14 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

14 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

14 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+2
Fly + taxi + bus:  26​h
1
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
bus:  45​min
2
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
3
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
4
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: Washington DC

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.
Spend the 5th (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the 7th (Thu), spend a thrilling day on the water with a speed boat tour. There's much more to do: get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, look for gifts at Grotty Yachty Clothing, and enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Airlie Beach trip planner .

Washington DC, USA to Airlie Beach is an approximately 26-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of subway, bus, and flight; or do a combination of train, flight, and bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) is 15 hours. Traveling from Washington DC in November, expect Airlie Beach to be much hotter, temps between 83°F and 74°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can take a bus to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

For where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Whitsunday Island trip itinerary maker app .

Getting from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island by bus takes about an hour. Other options: ride a ferry. Expect little chillier evenings in Whitsunday Island when traveling from Airlie Beach in November, with lows around 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

4
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.
Spend the 9th (Sat) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 10th (Sun) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach, and see the vivid underwater world at Opal Reef.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas itinerary builder site .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or take a train. In November in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 87°F during the day and 72°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) to allow time to take a bus to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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 Spas in Palm Cove (about 30 minutes away). Spend the 13th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 15th (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's still lots to do: trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens, and have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool.

To find other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, use the Cairns trip planner .

Take a bus from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In November, daytime highs in Cairns are 87°F, while nighttime lows are 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Spas
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Esplanade Lagoon Pool ©
Esplanade Lagoon Pool

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