14 days in Great Barrier Reef, Red Centre & Sydney Itinerary

14 days in Great Barrier Reef, Red Centre & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

14 days in Great Barrier Reef, Red Centre & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Tampa
Fly + Drive:  28​h
1
Fraser Island
— 1 night
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  10​h 15​min
2
Whitsunday Island
— 1 day
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
3
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  5​h 15​min
4
Alice Springs
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  2​h
5
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 30​min
6
Sydney
— 3 nights
Fly:  25​h
End: Tampa

1
night
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Thu): explore the activities along Lake McKenzie and then delve into the lush surroundings at Central Station Rainforest. On your second day here, explore the activities along Eli Creek and then stroll through Seventy-Five Mile Beach.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Fraser Island travel route website .

Tampa, USA to Fraser Island is an approximately 28-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Tampa to Fraser Island is 15 hours. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Tampa in December: high temperatures in Fraser Island hover around 85°F and lows are around 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Central Station Rainforest ©
Central Station Rainforest
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

1
day
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach and then contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island trip maker app .

Traveling by combination of car, ferry, and flight from Fraser Island to Whitsunday Island takes 10.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. In December in Whitsunday Island, expect temperatures between 89°F during the day and 69°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

2
nights
Port Douglas

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.
On the 8th (Sun), see the vivid underwater world at Agincourt Reef and then kick back and relax at Palm Cove Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then explore the gorgeous colors at Opal Reef, and then don't miss a visit to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel.

To see photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Port Douglas route planner.

Getting from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or take a train. In December, daily temperatures in Port Douglas can reach 88°F, while at night they dip to 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can travel to Alice Springs.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel

2
nights
Alice Springs

Alice Springs ©
Situated right in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs serves as an urban oasis deep within the country’s parched, desert-like Red Center.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, then look for all kinds of wild species at Alice Springs Reptile Centre, then appreciate the history behind John McDouall Stuart, and finally identify plant and animal life at Alice Springs Desert Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Wed): see the interesting displays at Road Transport Hall of Fame, take an in-depth tour of Alice Springs School of the Air Visitor Centre, then get great views at Anzac Hill, then ponder the world of politics at Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at The Kangaroo Sanctuary.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Alice Springs online driving holiday planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Alice Springs in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Port Douglas in December: highs in Alice Springs hover around 95°F, while lows dip to 69°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Things to do in Alice Springs

Parks Wildlife Museums
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Alice Springs Reptile Centre ©
Alice Springs Reptile Centre
The Kangaroo Sanctuary ©
The Kangaroo Sanctuary
Alice Springs Desert Park ©
Alice Springs Desert Park

1
night
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ©
For quintessential Outback scenery and culture, you can't beat a holiday in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): appreciate the views at Valley of the Winds, then take in the dramatic natural features at Kata Tjuta, and then get engrossed in the history at Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre.

To see photos, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Alice Springs to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. December in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park sees daily highs of 97°F and lows of 70°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Valley of the Winds ©
Valley of the Winds
Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre ©
Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre
Kata Tjuta ©
Kata Tjuta

3
nights
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Scuba & Snorkeling and Bronte Beach. Visiting Terrigal Beach and Manly Scenic Walkway will get you outdoors. Explore Sydney's surroundings by going to Shelly Beach (in Manly), Featherdale Wildlife Park (in Blacktown) and Blue Mountains (in Katoomba). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Balmoral Beach, Mosman, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, and take in the dramatic natural features at The Gap Park.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Sydney road trip planning site .

Traveling by flight from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Sydney takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in December, things will get slightly colder in Sydney: highs are around 81°F and lows about 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Shelly Beach, Terrigal Beach, Balmoral Beach, Mosman, Bronte Beach, Featherdale Wildlife Park
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Manly Scenic Walkway ©
Manly Scenic Walkway
Bronte Beach ©
Bronte Beach
Balmoral Beach, Mosman ©
Balmoral Beach, Mosman

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