16 days in Cairns & Cooktown Itinerary

16 days in Cairns & Cooktown Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Cairns & Cooktown Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  5​h 45​min
1
Cairns
— 8 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Cooktown
— 7 nights
Fly:  9​h 15​min
End: Melbourne

8
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Port Douglas (Four Mile Beach, Safaris, & more), Rex Lookout (in Wangetti) and Palm Cove (Spas, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, & more). Spend the 25th (Sat) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 31st (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Trinity Beach, take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Cairns itinerary website .

Melbourne to Cairns is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. When traveling from Melbourne in May, plan for a bit warmer days and warmer nights in Cairns: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Cooktown.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Port Douglas, Yorkeys Knob Beach, Thornton Beach, Rex Lookout
Find places to stay May 24 — Jun 1:
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

7
nights
Cooktown

Cooktown ©
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Get out of town with these interesting Cooktown side-trips: Tranquility Falls (in Daintree) and Bloomfield Waterfall (in Bloomfield). Spend the 7th (Fri) exploring nature at Mount Cook National Park. Spend the 5th (Wed) exploring nature at Endeavour River National Park. The adventure continues: take some stellar pictures from Grassy Hill, steep yourself in history at Cooktown History Centre, cast your line with a fishing tour, and explore the striking landscape of Black Mountain National Park.

To find more things to do, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Cooktown trip planning site .

Getting from Cairns to Cooktown by car takes about 4.5 hours. On the 8th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cooktown

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Queensland, Bloomfield Waterfall, Tranquility Falls
Find places to stay Jun 1 — 8:
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Tranquility Falls ©
Tranquility Falls
Finch Bay ©
Finch Bay
Grassy Hill ©
Grassy Hill

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