13 days in Great Barrier Reef & Brisbane Itinerary

13 days in Great Barrier Reef & Brisbane Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Great Barrier Reef & Brisbane Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Townsville
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 45​min
4
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
5
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
6
Brisbane
— 1 night
Fly:  25​h
End: London


2
nights
Cairns

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Cairns trip maker tool .

London, UK to Cairns is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Cairns is 10 hours. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from London in May: highs in Cairns hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove Beach, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Trinity Beach
Find places to stay May 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary ©
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge, then meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Thu): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Port Douglas online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a shuttle. In May in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay May 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Spas & Wellness
Mossman Gorge ©
Mossman Gorge

1
night
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): head off the coast to Museum of Tropical Queensland, then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, and then take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Townsville online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Townsville takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay May 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon, then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers. Here are some ideas for day two: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by bus from Townsville to Airlie Beach takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Townsville in May: highs in Airlie Beach hover around 28°C, while lows dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) to allow time to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 2:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Spas & Wellness

2
nights
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): go for a stroll along the water at Hamilton Island Marina and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Tue): tee off at Hamilton Island Golf Club and then kick back and relax at Catseye Beach.

Start your trip to Hamilton Island by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island in an hour. In June, daily temperatures in Hamilton Island can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, then explore the world behind art at Gallery of Modern Art, and then admire the natural beauty at City Botanic Gardens.

Plan my trip to Brisbane with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

You can 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. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Hamilton Island in June since evenings lows in Brisbane dip to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Wildlife Museums
Find places to stay Jun 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Gallery of Modern Art ©
Gallery of Modern Art
City Botanic Gardens ©
City Botanic Gardens

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