14 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

14 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

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Route & dates

14 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sydney & Melbourne Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  30​h
1
Cooktown
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h 30​min
2
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
ferry:  30​min
3
Townsville
— 2 nights
train:  4​h 15​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
5
Sydney
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
6
Melbourne
— 2 nights
Fly:  24​h
End: London

1
night
Cooktown

Cooktown ©
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Start off your visit on the 26th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of James Cook Museum, then steep yourself in history at Cooktown History Centre, then cast your line with a fishing tour, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Grassy Hill. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Great Northern Tours, then stroll through Finch Bay, and then explore the different monuments and memorials at Cooktown War Memorial.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Cooktown trip planner.

London, UK to Cooktown is an approximately 30-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 10 hours traveling from London to Cooktown. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Cooktown

Wildlife Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
James Cook Museum ©
James Cook Museum
Grassy Hill ©
Grassy Hill
Cooktown War Memorial ©
Cooktown War Memorial

1
night
Magnetic Island

On the 28th (Sun), step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island Forts Walk, then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then take an in-depth tour of Magnetic Island Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Magnetic Island National Park and then identify plant and animal life at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Magnetic Island tour itinerary maker tool .

Explore your travel options from Cooktown to Magnetic Island with the Route module. In July, daytime highs in Magnetic Island are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Townsville.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Magnetic Island National Park ©
Magnetic Island National Park

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Billabong Sanctuary, then view the masterpieces at The Drill Hall Studio, then take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Cathedral. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step off the mainland to explore Museum of Tropical Queensland, then hike along Many Peaks Walking Track, and then make a trip to Kissing Point Fort.

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Townsville trip planning website .

Townsville is just a short distance from Magnetic Island. In July, daytime highs in Townsville are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) so you can catch the train to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
The Drill Hall Studio ©
The Drill Hall Studio

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
On the 1st (Thu), contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

For where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Whitsunday Island trip itinerary builder .

You can take a train from Townsville to Whitsunday Island in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Townsville in July, Whitsunday Island is little chillier at night with lows of 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 1:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): look and learn at Sydney Observatory, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Mary's Cathedral. Keep things going the next day: explore the striking landscape of Bouddi National Park.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Sydney road trip app .

Getting from Whitsunday Island to Sydney by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a train. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in August, you will find days in Sydney are little chillier (22°C), and nights are about the same (11°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Sydney

Wildlife Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Bouddi National Park
Find places to stay Aug 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
St. Mary's Cathedral ©
St. Mary's Cathedral
Sydney Observatory ©
Sydney Observatory

2
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Patrick's Cathedral, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Brighton Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at St. Kilda Beach, and finally steep yourself in history at St Paul's Cathedral. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Mon): get to know the resident critters at Werribee Open Range Zoo, make a trip to Southbank, and then explore the world behind art at Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Melbourne trip builder website .

Fly from Sydney to Melbourne in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Sydney in August; daily highs in Melbourne reach 16°C and lows reach 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Brighton Beach, Werribee Open Range Zoo, St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
St. Patrick's Cathedral ©
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Brighton Beach ©
Brighton Beach
St Paul's Cathedral ©
St Paul's Cathedral

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