17 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

17 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Manchester
Fly:  26​h
1
Melbourne
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Sydney
— 4 nights
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  8​h 15​min
3
Fraser Island
— 1 night
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  9​h
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
5
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Cairns
— 2 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Manchester

2
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Melbourne Museum and National Gallery of Victoria. Popular historic sites such as Old Melbourne Gaol and Shrine of Remembrance are in your itinerary. And it doesn't end there: stroll through St. Kilda Beach, take an in-depth tour of Immigration Museum, examine the collection at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, and take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Melbourne online trip itinerary maker .

Manchester, UK to Melbourne is an approximately 26-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 10 hours traveling from Manchester to Melbourne. Expect slightly colder evenings in Melbourne when traveling from Manchester in September, with lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay Sep 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum
Shrine of Remembrance ©
Shrine of Remembrance
Old Melbourne Gaol ©
Old Melbourne Gaol

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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate The Rocks and Justice & Police Museum. We've included these beaches for you: Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach. There's still lots to do: admire the striking features of Sydney Opera House, take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge, admire the masterpieces at Art Gallery of New South Wales, and take in nature's colorful creations at The Royal Botanic Garden.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Sydney travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Sydney takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Melbourne in September: high temperatures in Sydney hover around 25°C and lows are around 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House

1
night
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
On the 16th (Mon), contemplate the waterfront views at Lake McKenzie and then enjoy the sand and surf at Seventy-Five Mile Beach. On the next day, contemplate the waterfront views at Eli Creek.

To see reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read our Fraser Island vacation planning website .

Traveling by combination of flight, ferry, and car from Sydney to Fraser Island takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, car, and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Tue) to allow time for travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): step off the mainland to explore Whitsunday Islands National Park and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Whitsunday Island using our trip planner.

Traveling by combination of car, ferry, and flight from Fraser Island to Whitsunday Island takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. In September, daily temperatures in Whitsunday Island can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On your second day here, relax in the rural setting at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, tour the pleasant surroundings at Four Mile Beach, and then stop by With Sugar.

For traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip website .

Do a combination of flight and shuttle from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of train and taxi. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Whitsunday Island in September since evenings lows in Port Douglas dip to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can go by car to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Adventure

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

2
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.
On the 21st (Sat), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the 22nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral, kick back and relax at Trinity Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Yorkeys Knob Beach, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones.

Make your Cairns itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in September, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Adventure

Side Trips

Trinity Beach, Yorkeys Knob Beach
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach
Yorkeys Knob Beach ©
Yorkeys Knob Beach

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