18 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

18 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: London
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  33​h
1
Fraser Island
— 2 nights
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + train:  9​h 30​min
2
Townsville
— 1 day
bus:  3​h 45​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h 15​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
5
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
6
Cairns
— 5 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: London

2
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Get in touch with nature at Lake McKenzie and Central Station Rainforest. You'll get in some beach time at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Eli Creek.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Fraser Island online road trip planner .

London, UK to Fraser Island is an approximately 33-hour combination of flight, ferry, and car. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Fraser Island is 10 hours. Traveling from London in December, expect Fraser Island to be much warmer, temps between 34°C and 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Fraser Island

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

1
day
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
On the 18th (Tue), step off the mainland to explore Museum of Tropical Queensland, then enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, and then take in the pleasant sights at Castle Hill.

To find maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Townsville sightseeing planner .

Traveling by combination of car, ferry, and flight from Fraser Island to Townsville takes 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Fraser Island in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Townsville, with lows around 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Townsville

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

3
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.
Get outdoors at Waterskiing & Jetskiing and Heart Reef. Spend the 20th (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's still lots to do: race across the water with a speed boat tour, go for a walk through Bicentennial Walkway, look for gifts at Beach Book Boutique, and kick back and relax at Airlie Beach Lagoon.

For more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Airlie Beach trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Townsville to Airlie Beach takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. In December, daytime highs in Airlie Beach are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can ride a ferry to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Whitehaven Beach.

To find maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Whitsunday Island trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island by ferry takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Whitsunday Island when traveling from Airlie Beach in December, with lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Safaris and Scuba & Snorkeling. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Janbal Gallery and Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach, look for gifts at With Sugar, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas driving holiday planner .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of train and taxi. In December, daytime highs in Port Douglas are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Mossman
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

5
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.
Michael Seebeck Gallery and Underart Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get outdoors at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Esplanade Boardwalk. Step out of Cairns with an excursion to Palm Cove Beach in Palm Cove--about 32 minutes away. Spend the 26th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 29th (Sat) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Next up on the itinerary: have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Cairns trip itinerary builder website .

Drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In December, daily temperatures in Cairns can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. You'll set off for home on the 30th (Sun).

Things to do in Cairns

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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