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: Manchester
Fly + shuttle:  26​h
1
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h
2
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
ferry:  1​h 15​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
+2
ferry + foot + Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Manchester

2
nights
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Safaris. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge.

To see photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip planner .

Manchester, UK to Port Douglas is an approximately 26-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight, car, and ferry. The time zone difference when traveling from Manchester to Port Douglas is 10 hours. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Manchester in February: high temperatures in Port Douglas hover around 36°C and lows are around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Feb 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Wed): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Whitsunday Island road trip planning site .

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. In February, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can catch the ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

2
nights
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.
On the 7th (Thu), see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Fri): explore the activities along Heart Reef, then enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon, and then zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Airlie Beach journey builder app .

You can ride a ferry from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in February, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Visit Palm Cove Beach and Yorkeys Knob Beach for some beach relaxation. It doesn't end there: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Cairns vacation maker .

Do a combination of ferry and flight from Airlie Beach to Cairns in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in February, and nighttime lows around 28°C. You will leave for home on the 12th (Tue).

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Yorkeys Knob Beach
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

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