18 days in Gold Coast, Cairns & Sydney Itinerary

18 days in Gold Coast, Cairns & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Gold Coast, Cairns & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Reno
+2
Fly + foot + train:  20​h 30​min
1
Gold Coast
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Cairns
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h
3
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly:  20​h 15​min
End: Reno

4
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.
Kids will enjoy Coolangatta Beach and Kirra Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Burleigh Heads Beach and Broken Head Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Gold Coast side-trips: Byron Bay (Jules Hunt Studio Gallery & Cape Byron Walking Track). There's much more to do: meet the residents at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, see the interesting displays at Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Surfers Paradise, enjoy the sand and surf at Burleigh Head National Park, and find something for the whole family at Infinity Attraction.

To see more things to do, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Gold Coast trip builder site .

Reno, USA to Gold Coast is an approximately 20.5-hour flight. Traveling from Reno to Gold Coast, you'll lose 18 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Reno in December: high temperatures in Gold Coast hover around 81°F and lows are around 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Outdoors Theme Parks

Side Trips

Byron Bay, Broken Head Beach
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Kirra Beach ©
Kirra Beach
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park

6
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Trinity Beach and Palm Cove Beach. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Daintree National Park and Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Get out of town with these interesting Cairns side-trips: Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas (in Port Douglas) and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures (in Palm Cove). Spend the 3rd (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Mossman Gorge, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral, soar above the sights with a balloon tour, and get your game on at Cairns Kart Hire Track.

For maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Cairns itinerary planner.

Getting from Gold Coast to Cairns by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Gold Coast in January; daily highs in Cairns reach 89°F and lows reach 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Daintree National Park, Mossman Gorge Centre, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Daintree National Park ©
Daintree National Park
Mossman Gorge Centre ©
Mossman Gorge Centre

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.
Get some cultural insight at The Rocks and Darling Harbour. Kids will appreciate attractions like Jenolan Caves and Manly Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Lincoln's Rock (in Blue Mountains National Park), Shelly Beach (in Manly) and Wentworth Falls (in Katoomba). There's lots more to do: stroll through Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, enjoy the sand and surf at Congwong Beach, choose your vessel at Sea Sydney Harbour, and contemplate the long history of Justice & Police Museum.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Sydney trip planner .

You can fly from Cairns to Sydney in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Cairns in January; daily highs in Sydney reach 82°F and lows reach 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Wentworth Falls, Congwong Beach, Jenolan Caves, Lincoln's Rock, Shelly Beach
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Jenolan Caves ©
Jenolan Caves
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach

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