12 days in Cairns, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

12 days in Cairns, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Cairns, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

Start: Cairns
1
Cairns
— 5 nights
Fly:  6​h
2
Sydney
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
3
Melbourne
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
End: Sydney

5
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 Scuba & Snorkeling and Four Mile Beach. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cairns: Palm Cove Beach (in Palm Cove), Daintree Discovery Centre (in Cow Bay) and Port Douglas (Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas & Safaris). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Esplanade Boardwalk and take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip maker .

If you are flying in from United States, the closest major airport is Cairns International Airport. In February, daily temperatures in Cairns can reach 88°F, while at night they dip to 75°F. You will have some time to spend on the 20th (Wed) before leaving for Sydney.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Port Douglas, Daintree Discovery Centre, Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

2
nights
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Step out of the city life by going to Bondi Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Get a sense of the local culture at The Rocks and Sydney Opera House. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Manly Beach, wander the streets of Darling Harbour, hike along The Opera House to the Botanic Gardens Walk, and admire the natural beauty at The Royal Botanic Garden.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Sydney online day trip planner .

Getting from Cairns to Sydney by flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. Traveling from Cairns in February, things will get little chillier in Sydney: highs are around 80°F and lows about 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

4
nights
Melbourne

The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Get a sense of the local culture at Melbourne Museum and Shrine of Remembrance. Get outdoors at Melbourne Zoo and St. Kilda Beach. Spend the 23rd (Sat) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's still lots to do: admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Gardens, contemplate the long history of Parliament House of Victoria, examine the collection at HMAS Castlemaine, and soar above the sights with a balloon tour.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Melbourne trip itinerary planning website .

You can fly from Sydney to Melbourne in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Sydney in February since evenings lows in Melbourne dip to 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Melbourne

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Balloon Rides
Shrine of Remembrance ©
Shrine of Remembrance
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum

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