18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 30​min
4
Melbourne
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
5
Sydney
— 5 nights
Fly:  24​h
End: London

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 19th (Wed), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the 20th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: relax in the rural setting at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and then kick back and relax at Palm Cove Beach.

To find maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Cairns trip planner.

London, UK to Cairns is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) is 10 hours. Traveling from London in December, expect Cairns to be much hotter, temps between 36°C and 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Scuba & Snorkeling and Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. Spend the 22nd (Sat) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach and tour the water at your own pace with Port Douglas Boat Hire.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Port Douglas tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In December, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then stroll through Whitehaven Beach.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read Whitsunday Island online day trip planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. December in Whitsunday Island sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

4
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Kids will enjoy Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo. And it doesn't end there: admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Gardens, see the interesting displays at Melbourne Museum, tour the pleasant surroundings at Half Moon Bay, and enjoy breathtaking views from Eureka Skydeck 88.

Start your trip to Melbourne by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Fly from Whitsunday Island to Melbourne in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a train. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in December, things will get a bit cooler in Melbourne: highs are around 30°C and lows about 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trip

Werribee Open Range Zoo
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo
Werribee Open Range Zoo ©
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum

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.
Attractions like Bondi Beach and Clovelly make great kid-friendly stops. There's lots more to do: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, pause for some photo ops at Mrs Macquarie's Chair, wander the streets of Darling Harbour, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk.

Plan my Sydney trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Sydney takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Melbourne in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Sydney, with lows of 21°C. On the 3rd (Thu), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium ©
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

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