16 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

16 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h
2
Townsville
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h 15​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
5
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
shuttle + Fly:  26​h
End: London

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Palm Cove Beach and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Tanks Arts Centre and Luminous Lights. Spend the 3rd (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's much more to do: trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, choose your vessel at Shaolin Junk Cruises, take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones, and get out on two wheels at Trail Bike Adventures.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Cairns itinerary maker tool .

London, UK to Cairns is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. You'll lose 10 hours traveling from London to Cairns due to the time zone difference. Traveling from London in August, expect Cairns to be somewhat warmer, temps between 31°C and 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Cairns

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Tanks Arts Centre, Smithfield Shopping Centre
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): step off the mainland to explore Museum of Tropical Queensland, kick back and relax at The Strand, and then explore and take pictures at Castle Hill. On the 8th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Billabong Sanctuary, gain insight at Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Cathedral.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Townsville travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Cairns to Townsville takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cairns in August, expect little chillier with lows of 17°C in Townsville. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Townsville

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary

2
nights
Airlie Beach

Very much a town with an emphasis on the tropical lifestyle, Airlie Beach offers exotic surroundings with palm trees and charming, sandy beaches.
On the 9th (Thu), get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour and then get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Fri): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach tour itinerary planning app .

You can take a bus from Townsville to Airlie Beach in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. While traveling from Townsville, expect little chillier days and somewhat warmer nights in Airlie Beach, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can catch the ferry to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

To see ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Whitsunday Island travel planner.

You can ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island in 1.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Airlie Beach in August since evenings lows in Whitsunday Island dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

4
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Safaris and Four Mile Beach. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Sunday Market Port Douglas and The Reef Marina. Spend the 12th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. The adventure continues: stroll through Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, stop by Whileaway, browse the exhibits of Des Spencer Galleries, and identify plant and animal life at Mossman Gorge.

To find reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Port Douglas trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and shuttle from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of train and taxi. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Port Douglas when traveling from Whitsunday Island in August, with lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Aug 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

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