17 days in Brisbane, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

17 days in Brisbane, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Brisbane, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Kansas City
Fly:  21​h 15​min
1
Brisbane
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
2
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
4
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
5
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  25​h
End: Kansas City

3
nights
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.
Queensland Museum & Sciencentre and Queensland Art Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. When in Brisbane, make a side trip to see Sea World Theme Park in Main Beach, approximately 1h 30 min away. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, have some family-friendly fun at Zoccer Sports - Bubble Soccer, and walk around South Bank Parklands.

To see photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Brisbane trip planning website .

Kansas City, USA to Brisbane is an approximately 21.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Kansas City to Brisbane is 16 hours. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Kansas City in June, with highs in Brisbane at 70°F and lows at 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Theme Parks

Side Trip

Sea World Theme Park
Find places to stay Jun 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Sea World Theme Park ©
Sea World Theme Park
Queensland Art Gallery ©
Queensland Art Gallery

4
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.
Relax by the water at Bondi Beach and Clovelly Beach. Appreciate the collections at Australian National Maritime Museum and Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum. Step out of Sydney to go to Katoomba and see Wentworth Falls, which is approximately 1h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, explore the world behind art at Art Gallery of New South Wales, hike along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, and see the interesting displays at Hyde Park Barracks Museum.

For photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip itinerary maker app .

Fly from Brisbane to Sydney in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. When traveling from Brisbane in June, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Sydney: temperatures range from 65°F by day to 50°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum, Wentworth Falls
Find places to stay Jun 30 — Jul 4:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
The Rocks ©
The Rocks

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
On the 5th (Sun), explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

For where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Whitsunday Island online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Sydney to Whitsunday Island takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a train. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Sydney in July: high temperatures in Whitsunday Island hover around 75°F and lows are around 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

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.
Visiting Safaris and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures will get you outdoors. Spend the 6th (Mon) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's lots more to do: see the vivid underwater world at Opal Reef, stop by With Sugar, and view the masterpieces at Ngarru Gallery.

To find ratings, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our 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 take a train. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Port Douglas, with lows of 64°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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 Scuba & Snorkeling and Esplanade Boardwalk. Visit Palm Cove Beach and Yorkeys Knob Beach for some beach relaxation. Spend the 10th (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's more to do: learn about all things military at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum.

To find maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Cairns visit planner.

Traveling by bus from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In July, daytime highs in Cairns are 79°F, while nighttime lows are 64°F. On the 12th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Yorkeys Knob Beach, Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Jul 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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