12 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Kangaroo Island Itinerary

12 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Kangaroo Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Kangaroo Island Itinerary

Start: Helsinki
Fly:  37​h 30​min
1
Cairns
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
4
Sydney
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
5
Kangaroo Island
— 1 night
Fly:  31​h
End: Helsinki

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip itinerary planning app .

Helsinki, Finland to Cairns is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of ferry and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 8 hours traveling from Helsinki to Cairns. In December, Cairns is much warmer than Helsinki - with highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Lagoon Pool ©
Esplanade Lagoon Pool

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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Keep things going the next day: take an exotic tour of a safari tour.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Port Douglas trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. December in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Whitehaven Beach.

To see where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Whitsunday Island trip builder tool .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or take a train. In January in Whitsunday Island, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

3
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. There's still lots to do: see a show at Sydney Opera House, tour the pleasant surroundings at Clovelly Beach, take a stroll through The Rocks, and trek along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk.

For traveler tips, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Sydney trip builder .

Traveling by flight from Whitsunday Island to Sydney takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a train. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Whitsunday Island in January: highs in Sydney hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 23°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel to Kangaroo Island.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Manly Beach
Manly Beach
Clovelly Beach ©
Clovelly Beach

1
night
Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island ©
Abandoned by Aborigines a few thousand years ago, Kangaroo Island attracts over 140,000 visitors each year.
On the 6th (Mon), identify plant and animal life at Raptor Domain, identify plant and animal life at Seal Bay Conservation Park, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Stokes Beach.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Kangaroo Island online trip maker .

You can fly from Sydney to Kangaroo Island in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, bus, ferry, and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kangaroo Island

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Raptor Domain ©
Raptor Domain
Seal Bay Conservation Park ©
Seal Bay Conservation Park
Stokes Beach ©
Stokes Beach

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