11 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

11 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: New Delhi
Fly + shuttle:  17​h 45​min
1
Port Douglas
— 1 night
shuttle + Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Townsville
— 2 nights
bus + ferry:  4​h 30​min
3
Hamilton Island
— 1 night
Travel:  3​h
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h 45​min
5
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: New Delhi

1
night
Port Douglas

A holiday in Port Douglas balances an activity-filled getaway with plenty of opportunities to relax, thanks to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and bustling beach life.
On the 21st (Tue), take a memorable tour with Tours. On your second day here, look for gifts at With Sugar, view the masterpieces at Ngarru Gallery, then take in the exciting artwork at Des Spencer Galleries, then relax in the rural setting at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, and finally get engrossed in the history at Port Douglas Court House Museum.

For reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Port Douglas travel route planner.

New Delhi, India to Port Douglas is an approximately 18-hour combination of flight and shuttle. The time zone difference when traveling from New Delhi to Port Douglas is 4 hours. When traveling from New Delhi in May, plan for cooler days and a bit cooler nights in Port Douglas: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 24°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay May 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Ngarru Gallery ©
Ngarru Gallery

2
nights
Townsville

Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): browse the exhibits of The Drill Hall Studio, explore the galleries of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, then browse the exhibits of Museum of Tropical Queensland, and finally kick back and relax at The Strand. Keep things going the next day: brush up on your military savvy at Army Museum North Queensland and then get interesting insight from Tours.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read Townsville visit planner.

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Townsville takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. May in Townsville sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay May 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Strand ©
The Strand
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland

1
night
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): view the masterpieces at Hamilton Island Art Gallery, enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach, and then get outside with Jetryder.

For more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Hamilton Island day trip planning site .

Traveling by combination of bus and ferry from Townsville to Hamilton Island takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of train, bus, and ferry. While traveling from Townsville, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Hamilton Island, ranging from highs of 28°C to lows of 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay May 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Hamilton Island Art Gallery ©
Hamilton Island Art Gallery

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sun): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To see reviews, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island sightseeing planning site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Hamilton Island to Whitsunday Island. Traveling from Hamilton Island in May, expect slightly colder with lows of 19°C in Whitsunday Island. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay May 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

4
nights
Cairns

A neat, cosmopolitan city of shaded plazas and laid-back neighborhoods, Cairns serves as a popular base for exploration of the surrounding region and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as a center for watersport activities like surfing or waterskiing.
Get some cultural insight at Village Gallery and Underart Gallery. Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Esplanade Boardwalk. Go for a jaunt from Cairns to Palm Cove to see Palm Cove Beach about 32 minutes away. There's much more to do: explore the galleries of Doongal Aboriginal Art, admire the masterpieces at KickArts Contemporary Arts, take a stroll around Tanks Arts Centre, and make a trip to Freshwater Station.

To find ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Cairns planning tool .

You can fly from Whitsunday Island to Cairns in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in May, Cairns is a bit warmer at night with lows of 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Tanks Arts Centre
Find places to stay May 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

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