15 days in Australia Itinerary

15 days in Australia Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Australia Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Fly:  19​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  7​h 30​min
3
Lord Howe Island
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Sydney
— 5 nights
Fly:  19​h 30​min
End: San Diego

2
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.
Relax by the water at Palm Cove Beach and Trinity Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. The adventure continues: stroll through Esplanade Boardwalk and take a leisurely stroll along The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip maker site .

San Diego, USA to Cairns is an approximately 19.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST), which is usually a 18 hour difference. While traveling from San Diego, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Cairns, ranging from highs of 88°F to lows of 73°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, The Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk, Trinity Beach
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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.
Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Port Douglas Boat Hire. Bring the kids along to Safaris and Four Mile Beach. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

To find other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Port Douglas trip itinerary maker app .

Drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in December, and nighttime lows around 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can travel to Lord Howe Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

1
night
Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island ©
Bursting out of the Tasman Sea, Lord Howe Island offers stunning scenery and many sandy beaches.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Lagoon Beach and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ned's Beach. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Mt Gower and then trek along Lord Howe Island Walking Trails.

For other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Lord Howe Island travel app .

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Lord Howe Island in 7.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Lord Howe Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Ned's Beach ©
Ned's Beach
Lagoon Beach ©
Lagoon Beach
Lord Howe Island Walking Trails ©
Lord Howe Island Walking Trails

5
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.
Get outdoors at Bondi Beach and Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk. Attractions like Manly Beach and Coogee Beach make great kid-friendly stops. Go for a jaunt from Sydney to Manly to see Shelly Beach about 36 minutes away. There's still lots to do: admire the landmark architecture of Sydney Opera House, meet the residents at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, enjoy the sand and surf at Clovelly, and stroll through Dee Why Beach.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip planning tool .

You can fly from Lord Howe Island to Sydney in 3.5 hours. December in Sydney sees daily highs of 81°F and lows of 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Shelly Beach
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 5:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

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