12 days in Cairns & Brisbane Itinerary

12 days in Cairns & Brisbane Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Cairns & Brisbane Itinerary

Start: Zurich
Fly:  22​h 45​min
1
Cairns
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
2
Brisbane
— 2 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Zurich

6
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Thornton Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Get some cultural insight at Historic Village Herberton and Underart Gallery. Explore Cairns' surroundings by going to Port Douglas (Safaris & Four Mile Beach), Rex Lookout (in Wangetti) and Daintree Discovery Centre (in Cow Bay). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Palm Cove Beach, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral, look for all kinds of wild species at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, and take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones.

Plan trip to Cairns with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Zurich, Switzerland to Cairns is an approximately 23-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Central European Time (CET) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST), which is usually a 9 hour difference. Expect warmer temperatures when traveling from Zurich in December; daily highs in Cairns reach 36°C and lows reach 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Port Douglas, Daintree Discovery Centre, Thornton Beach, Historic Village Herberton
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

2
nights
Brisbane

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Dicky Beach and Moffat Beach. Popular historic sites such as Catholic Old St. Stephen's Church (chapel) and Cathedral Square are in your itinerary. There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, let the kids burn off some steam at South Bank Parklands, explore the world behind art at Queensland Art Gallery, and see the interesting displays at Queensland Museum & Sciencentre.

To find ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Brisbane day trip app .

Traveling by flight from Cairns to Brisbane takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Cairns in December; daily highs in Brisbane reach 32°C and lows reach 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Museums Beaches

Side Trip

Caloundra
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
South Bank Parklands ©
South Bank Parklands
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Dicky Beach ©
Dicky Beach

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