18 days in Queensland Itinerary

18 days in Queensland Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Queensland Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
+2
Fly + taxi + bus:  5​h
1
Airlie Beach
— 1 night
+2
ferry + foot + Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Cairns
— 3 nights
3
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h 30​min
4
Townsville
— 2 nights
ferry:  30​min
5
Magnetic Island
— 2 nights
+3
ferry + bus + foot + Fly:  6​h 30​min
6
Longreach
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h
7
Mackay
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
End: Brisbane

1
night
Airlie Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): go for a stroll along the water at Abell Point Marina, look for gifts at Into The Blue Gallery, and then trek along Whitsunday Great Walk. Keep things going the next day: stop by Beach Book Boutique, then tour the water at your own pace with Boab Boat Hire Airlie Beach, and then head off the coast to Whitsunday Islands.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach trip builder website .

Brisbane to Airlie Beach is an approximately 5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and ferry; or drive. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Airlie Beach when traveling from Brisbane in October, with lows around 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Whitsunday Islands
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Whitsunday Great Walk ©
Whitsunday Great Walk
Whitsunday Islands ©
Whitsunday Islands
Airlie Boat Hire ©
Airlie Boat Hire

3
nights
Cairns

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tablelands, Waterfalls, and Spanish Castle and Crystal Cascades. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cairns: Kayaking & Canoeing (in Palm Cove), Curtain Fig National Park (in Yungaburra) and Babinda Boulders (in Babinda). There's more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Cairns road trip planning app .

You can do a combination of ferry and flight from Airlie Beach to Cairns in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Airlie Beach in October, expect nights in Cairns to be about the same, around 24°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 34°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Nature Parks Adventure

Side Trips

Kayaking & Canoeing, Curtain Fig National Park, Babinda Boulders, Crystal Cascades
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Curtain Fig National Park ©
Curtain Fig National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Babinda Boulders ©
Babinda Boulders

3
nights
Port Douglas

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Daintree Rainforest - Cooper Creek Wilderness and Floravilla Ice Cream Factory. Step out of Port Douglas with an excursion to Walu Wugirriga Lookout in Cow Bay--about 44 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: explore the gorgeous colors at Opal Reef, stop by With Sugar, don't miss a visit to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, and hunt for treasures at Sunday Market Port Douglas.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Port Douglas trip builder site .

Getting from Cairns to Port Douglas by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In October, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Nature Parks

Side Trips

Floravilla Ice Cream Factory, Walu Wugirriga Lookout, Daintree Rainforest - Cooper Creek Wilderness
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Opal Reef ©
Opal Reef
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas

2
nights
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 31st (Wed), take in nature's colorful creations at Botanic Gardens, view the masterpieces at Pinnacles Gallery, and then identify plant and animal life at Little Crystal Creek. On your second day here, brush up on your military savvy at Royal Australian Air Force Townsville Museum, explore and take pictures at 1300SMILES Stadium, and then have fun at Warrina Ciniplex.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Townsville holiday planning website .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Townsville in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in October, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) to allow time to ride a ferry to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trip

Royal Australian Air Force Townsville Museum
Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 1:
Highlights from your plan
Little Crystal Creek ©
Little Crystal Creek
Pinnacles Gallery ©
Pinnacles Gallery
1300SMILES Stadium ©
1300SMILES Stadium

2
nights
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): indulge your taste buds at Arcadia Store, then look for all kinds of wild species at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail, and then kick back and relax at Geoffrey Bay. On your second day here, look for all kinds of wild species at Big Mama Sailing, then get engrossed in the history at Magnetic Island Museum, and then choose your vessel at Pilgrim Sailing.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Magnetic Island trip planner .

Magnetic Island is very close to Townsville. In November, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can travel to Longreach.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Nov 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay
Pilgrim Sailing ©
Pilgrim Sailing
Arcadia Store ©
Arcadia Store

1
night
Longreach

Longreach ©
Longreach is a town in Central West Queensland, Australia approximately 700km from the coast, west of Rockhampton. On the 4th (Sun), head outdoors with Spirit of the Outback Train, then steep yourself in history at Longreach, and then get engrossed in the history at Ilfracombe Machinery & Heritage Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: view the masterpieces at Outback Pics, look for gifts at Spinifex Collections, then take an in-depth tour of Langenbaker House, and finally don't miss a visit to Captain Starlight of Starlight's Lookout.

To see traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Longreach trip planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry, flight, and bus from Magnetic Island to Longreach takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and flight; or do a combination of ferry and car. When traveling from Magnetic Island in November, plan for somewhat warmer days in Longreach, with highs around 43°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Longreach

Museums Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Ilfracombe, Longreach
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Langenbaker House ©
Langenbaker House
Outback Pics ©
Outback Pics

2
nights
Mackay

Mackay ©
Mackay is a city and its centre suburb in the Mackay Region on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 6th (Tue): examine the collection at Melba House, then enjoy the sand and surf at Smalleys Beach, then take in the exciting artwork at Fredericks Showcase Space, and finally get lost in a book at Dudley Denny City Library. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Let the Children Play Toyshop, kick back and relax at Harbour Beach, then take some stellar pictures from Slade Point, and finally get great views at Lamberts Lookout.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Mackay online itinerary maker .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Longreach to Mackay. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Longreach in November: highs in Mackay hover around 34°C, while lows dip to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Mackay

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Melba House, Big Cane Toad, Smalleys Beach
Find places to stay Nov 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Town Beach ©
Town Beach
Melba House ©
Melba House
Slade Point ©
Slade Point

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