18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island & Sydney Itinerary

18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Lord Howe Island & Sydney Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  7​h 30​min
3
Lord Howe Island
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Sydney
— 5 nights
Fly:  25​h
End: London

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Scuba & Snorkeling and Muddy's Playground. Venture out of the city with trips to Palm Cove (Palm Cove Beach, Annie's Ladies Boutique, & more). Spend the 9th (Tue) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, look for all kinds of wild species at Green Arrow Walk, and take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Cairns trip itinerary planning site .

London, UK to Cairns is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST) is 10 hours. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from London in April, with highs in Cairns at 34°C and lows at 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Find places to stay Apr 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Muddy's Playground ©
Muddy's Playground

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Scuba & Snorkeling and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Spend the 14th (Sun) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's more to do: meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Port Douglas day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in April, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can travel to Lord Howe Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

2
nights
Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island ©
Bursting out of the Tasman Sea, Lord Howe Island offers stunning scenery and many sandy beaches.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Ned's Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Lagoon Beach, take in the dramatic natural features at Ball's Pyramid, play a few rounds at Lord Howe Island Golf Club, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt Gower.

To find more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Lord Howe Island road trip planning website .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Lord Howe Island takes 7.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Lord Howe Island

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Ned's Beach ©
Ned's Beach
Lagoon Beach ©
Lagoon Beach
Mt Gower ©
Mt Gower

5
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.
Kids will enjoy Bondi Beach and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. And it doesn't end there: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, don't miss a visit to Sydney Harbour Bridge, kick back and relax at Manly Beach, and see the sky in a new way at Sydney Observatory.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Sydney holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Lord Howe Island to Sydney takes 3.5 hours. In April in Sydney, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Museums Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium ©
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

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