17 days in Brisbane, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

17 days in Brisbane, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Queensland tour planner

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Route & dates

17 days in Brisbane, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  25​h
1
Brisbane
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
2
Gold Coast
— 2 nights
+2
train + foot + Fly:  5​h
3
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + foot + bus + ferry:  5​h 15​min
4
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h 30​min
5
Cooktown
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
7
Cairns
— 3 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: London

1
night
Brisbane

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Albert Street Uniting Church, see the interesting displays at Museum of Brisbane, make a trip to Boggo Road Gaol (Jail), then explore and take pictures at Suncorp Stadium, and finally admire the natural beauty at City Botanic Gardens. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Sat): ponder the world of politics at City Hall, admire the masterpieces at Queensland Art Gallery, then examine the collection at Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nepalese Pagoda.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Brisbane sightseeing planning app .

London, UK to Brisbane is an approximately 25-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 10 hours traveling from London to Brisbane. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from London in September: highs in Brisbane hover around 28°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Brisbane

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of Brisbane ©
Museum of Brisbane
Boggo Road Gaol (Jail) ©
Boggo Road Gaol (Jail)
Queensland Art Gallery ©
Queensland Art Gallery

2
nights
Gold Coast

Gold Coast ©
A city of towering skyscrapers, sandy beaches, and tree-lined streets, Gold Coast has an unpretentious air complemented by a citywide focus on sports and the arts.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Kurrawa Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Burleigh Heads Beach, and then explore the striking landscape of Burleigh Head National Park. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Coolangatta Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kirra Beach, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyPoint Climb.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Gold Coast trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Getting from Brisbane to Gold Coast by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. September in Gold Coast sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Sep 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach
Coolangatta Beach ©
Coolangatta Beach
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park

2
nights
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On your second day here, go for a stroll along the water at Hamilton Island Marina, then stroll through Catseye Beach, and then head outdoors with Jetryder.

To find ratings, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read our Hamilton Island trip maker website .

Do a combination of train and flight from Gold Coast to Hamilton Island in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Hamilton Island when traveling from Gold Coast in September, with lows around 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 2:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina

1
night
Magnetic Island

Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): kick back and relax at Geoffrey Bay, identify plant and animal life at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail, and then step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island Forts Walk. On the 4th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head off the coast to Magnetic Island National Park and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Magnetic Island trip app .

Traveling by combination of flight and ferry from Hamilton Island to Magnetic Island takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. In October, daytime highs in Magnetic Island are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) so you can travel to Cooktown.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Magnetic Island National Park ©
Magnetic Island National Park
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay

1
day
Cooktown

Cooktown ©
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): get engrossed in the history at James Cook Museum, contemplate the long history of Cooktown History Centre, then get interesting insight from Tours, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Grassy Hill.

To find ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Cooktown travel route builder website .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Magnetic Island to Cooktown. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cooktown

Tours Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
James Cook Museum ©
James Cook Museum
Grassy Hill ©
Grassy Hill
Cooktown History Centre ©
Cooktown History Centre

2
nights
Port Douglas

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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sun): see the vivid underwater world at Opal Reef, do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, and then head outdoors with Eye to Eye Marine Encounters. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Mon): look for gifts at With Sugar, don't miss a visit to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally identify plant and animal life at Agincourt Reef.

Plan trip to Port Douglas with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by car from Cooktown to Port Douglas takes 3.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel
Spas

3
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 outdoors at Balloon Rides and Shark Diving. Discover out-of-the-way places like River Rafting & Tubing and Muddy's Playground. There's much more to do: step off the mainland to explore Michaelmas Cay, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral, stop by Australian Leather Company, and admire the sheer force of Josephine Falls.

To find other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns trip planner .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In October in Cairns, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
River Rafting & Tubing
Michaelmas Cay ©
Michaelmas Cay

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