16 days in Cairns, Alice Springs & Sydney Itinerary

16 days in Cairns, Alice Springs & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Cairns, Alice Springs & Sydney Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  18​h 45​min
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Alice Springs
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
3
Sydney
— 5 nights
Fly:  17​h
End: San Francisco

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.
Get in touch with nature at Safaris and Scuba & Snorkeling. Venture out of the city with trips to Palm Cove (Hartley's Crocodile Adventures & Village Gallery) and Four Mile Beach (in Port Douglas). Spend the 2nd (Wed) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Esplanade Boardwalk and admire the landmark architecture of Freshwater Station.

For more things to do, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Cairns holiday site .

San Francisco, USA to Cairns is an approximately 19-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. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in September: high temperatures in Cairns hover around 83°F and lows are around 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel to Alice Springs.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Port Douglas
Find places to stay Sep 29 — Oct 3:
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

3
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.
Get some cultural insight at Alice Springs School of the Air Visitor Centre and Talapi. Popular historic sites such as Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve and Flynn Memorial Uniting Church are in your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at The Kangaroo Sanctuary, appreciate the history behind John McDouall Stuart, get a sense of history and politics at Law Courts Alice Springs, and take in the local highlights with Walking tours.

To see more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read our Alice Springs route planner.

You can fly from Cairns to Alice Springs in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cairns in October, Alice Springs is little chillier at night with lows of 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Alice Springs

Wildlife Parks Museums
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 6:
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The Kangaroo Sanctuary ©
The Kangaroo Sanctuary
Alice Springs Desert Park ©
Alice Springs Desert Park
Alice Springs Reptile Centre ©
Alice Springs Reptile Centre

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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Sydney Fish Market and Queen Victoria Building. Do some cultural sightseeing at The Rocks and Sydney Opera House. There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Bondi Beach, wander the streets of Darling Harbour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Manly Beach, and see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, use the Sydney holiday website .

Traveling by flight from Alice Springs to Sydney takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Alice Springs, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Sydney, ranging from highs of 76°F to lows of 59°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Outdoors Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 12:
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Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

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