13 days in Cairns Region, Hamilton Island & Brisbane Itinerary

13 days in Cairns Region, Hamilton Island & Brisbane Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Cairns Region, Hamilton Island & Brisbane Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly:  30​h
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
2
Hamilton Island
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 15​min
3
Brisbane
— 5 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Newark

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.
Relax by the water at Palm Cove Beach and Trinity Beach. Get some cultural insight at Village Gallery and The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cairns: Palm Cove (Spas & Wellness & Hartley's Crocodile Adventures). Spend the 26th (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's much more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral, stroll the grounds of McLeod Street Pioneer Cemetery, view the masterpieces at Bones and Jones, and explore the world behind art at KickArts Contemporary Arts.

To see more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Cairns visit planner .

Newark, USA to Cairns is an approximately 30-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST) is 15 hours. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Newark in November: high temperatures in Cairns hover around 87°F and lows are around 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk, Trinity Beach
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach

1
night
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach, explore the galleries of Hamilton Island Art Gallery, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Hamilton Island trip builder tool .

Fly from Cairns to Hamilton Island in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of train, bus, and ferry. In November, daytime highs in Hamilton Island are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Hamilton Island Art Gallery ©
Hamilton Island Art Gallery

5
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.
Get some cultural insight at Queensland Art Gallery and Queensland Museum & Sciencentre. Relax by the water at Surfer's Paradise Beach and Moffat Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Brisbane side-trips: Pelican Feeding (in Labrador), Anthea Polson Art (in Main Beach) and Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre (in Murwillumbah). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Burleigh Heads Beach, wander the streets of Downtown Caloundra, explore the world behind art at Gallery of Modern Art, and look for all kinds of wild species at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

For where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Brisbane travel route builder website .

Fly from Hamilton Island to Brisbane in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, bus, and train; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Hamilton Island in December, Brisbane is slightly colder at night with lows of 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Gold Coast, Caloundra, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Surfers Paradise Beach ©
Surfers Paradise Beach
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach

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