13 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

13 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Sydney
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  8​h 15​min
1
Fraser Island
— 3 nights
+4
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly + shuttle:  11​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
3
Cairns
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
5
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
+2
bus + taxi + Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Sydney

3
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
We've included these beaches for you: Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Eli Creek. Step out of the city life by going to Lake McKenzie and Champagne Pools.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the Fraser Island tour app .

Sydney to Fraser Island is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of flight, ferry, and car. You can also do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, ferry, and car. In October in Fraser Island, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

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.
Get outdoors at Scuba & Snorkeling and Opal Reef. Next up on the itinerary: take an exotic tour of a safari tour, stop by With Sugar, tour the pleasant surroundings at Four Mile Beach, and learn about winemaking at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery.

To see maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Port Douglas trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by combination of car, ferry, flight, and shuttle from Fraser Island to Port Douglas takes 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Traveling from Fraser Island in October, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Port Douglas, with lows around 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Find places to stay Oct 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

3
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.
Get outdoors at Scuba & Snorkeling and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Change things up with these side-trips from Cairns: Palm Cove (Spas & Palm Cove Beach). And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Esplanade Boardwalk, admire the striking features of Freshwater Station, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral, and have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool.

To find more things to do, photos, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns road trip tool .

Traveling by bus from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in October, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
On the 25th (Fri), explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To find traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island trip planner .

Fly from Cairns to Whitsunday Island in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Cairns in October since evenings lows in Whitsunday Island dip to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 25:
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Sat): look for gifts at Beach Book Boutique, then stroll through Airlie Beach Lagoon, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the world from above with a helicopter tour and then zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Airlie Beach day trip site .

Traveling by bus from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. When traveling from Whitsunday Island in October, plan for slightly colder days and a bit warmer nights in Airlie Beach: temperatures range from 30°C by day to 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

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