14 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

14 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Great Barrier Reef trip planner

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Route & dates

14 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  4​h
1
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
2
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
3
Townsville
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
4
Cairns
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
5
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Sydney

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet. On your second day here, stroll through Whitehaven Beach and then head off the coast to Whitsunday Islands National Park.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Whitsunday Island trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Sydney to Whitsunday Island is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or take a train. When traveling from Sydney in August, plan for a bit warmer days in Whitsunday Island, with highs around 29°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Whitsunday Islands National Park ©
Whitsunday Islands National Park

3
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.
Airlie Beach is known for adventure, wildlife, beaches, spas, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, take in the exciting artwork at Above & Below Photography Gallery, get interesting insight from Tours, and get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Airlie Beach road trip planner.

You can take a bus from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach in an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in August, you will find days in Airlie Beach are a bit cooler (26°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (21°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to Townsville.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

2
nights
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 16th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas and then stroll through The Strand. On the next day, head off the coast to Museum of Tropical Queensland, then take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill, then browse the exhibits of The Drill Hall Studio, and finally don't miss a visit to Jezzine Barracks.

Find out how to plan Townsville trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by bus from Airlie Beach to Townsville takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Airlie Beach in August: highs in Townsville hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Townsville

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Scuba & Snorkeling
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Palm Cove Beach in Palm Cove (about 32 minutes away). There's lots more to do: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Cairns travel route app .

Traveling by flight from Townsville to Cairns takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
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.
Port Douglas is known for wildlife, adventure, beaches, zoos & aquariums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, take an exotic tour of a safari tour, and stop by With Sugar.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Port Douglas holiday planner.

Traveling by bus from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In August in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 19°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

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