12 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

12 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly + Drive:  27​h
1
Fraser Island
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  10​h 15​min
2
Cooktown
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Mission Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 45​min
5
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  27​h
End: Newark

1
night
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
On the 8th (Thu), explore the activities along Eli Creek and then stroll through Seventy-Five Mile Beach. On the next day, explore the activities along Lake McKenzie and then delve into the lush surroundings at Central Station Rainforest.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Fraser Island holiday planner .

Newark, USA to Fraser Island is an approximately 27-hour flight. Traveling from Newark to Fraser Island, you'll lose 15 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newark in August, expect Fraser Island to be little chillier, temps between 74°F and 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Cooktown.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Central Station Rainforest ©
Central Station Rainforest

1
day
Cooktown

Cooktown ©
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Cooktown History Centre, take an in-depth tour of James Cook Museum, then enjoy the sea views from Grassy Hill, and finally take a memorable tour with Tours.

For reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Cooktown trip builder website .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Fraser Island to Cooktown. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cooktown

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
James Cook Museum ©
James Cook Museum
Grassy Hill ©
Grassy Hill
Fishing Charters & Tours

2
nights
Port Douglas

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 11th (Sun), identify plant and animal life at Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime, do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Four Mile Beach. On the 12th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: browse the eclectic array of goods at Sunday Market Port Douglas, make a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, take some stellar pictures from Flagstaff Hill Lookout, then get outside with Horses in Port, then explore the gorgeous colors at Opal Reef, and finally stop by Moonglow Jewellery.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Port Douglas road trip site .

Traveling by car from Cooktown to Port Douglas takes 3.5 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Mossman
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel
Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery ©
Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery

1
night
Mission Beach

Mission Beach ©
Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): kick back and relax at Mission Beach, then explore the galleries of Helen Wiltshire Gallery, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, use the Mission Beach trip itinerary builder site .

Drive from Port Douglas to Mission Beach in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Fishing Charters & Tours
Helen Wiltshire Gallery ©
Helen Wiltshire Gallery

2
nights
Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach ©
Very much a town with an emphasis on the tropical lifestyle, Airlie Beach offers exotic surroundings with palm trees and charming, sandy beaches.
Escape the urban bustle at Whitsunday Great Walk and Waterskiing & Jetskiing. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Horseshoe Bay and Spas. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Heart Reef, take in the exciting artwork at Above & Below Photography Gallery, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and go for a walk through Bicentennial Walkway.

For other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach road trip website .

Traveling by car from Mission Beach to Airlie Beach takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. August in Airlie Beach sees daily highs of 72°F and lows of 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trip

Horseshoe Bay
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Kayaking & Canoeing
Whitsunday Great Walk ©
Whitsunday Great Walk

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