20 days in Noosa, Gold Coast & Cairns Region Itinerary

20 days in Noosa, Gold Coast & Cairns Region Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Noosa, Gold Coast & Cairns Region Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  6​h 15​min
1
Noosa
— 5 nights
2
Gold Coast
— 8 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Cairns
— 6 nights
End: Melbourne

5
nights
Noosa

Noosa ©
Known for its "green" development and north-facing beach, Noosa is a natural getaway.
Take a break from the city and head to Peregian Beach and Bulcock Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Maroochydore Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Change things up with these side-trips from Noosa: Carlo Sand Blow (in Rainbow Beach), Double Island Point Lighthouse (in Cooloola National Park) and Caloundra Lighthouses (in Kings Beach). And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Kings Beach, get advice or help at Discover Eumundi Heritage & Visitor Centre, look for gifts at Podie Pie, and step into the grandiose world of Sunshine Castle.

To see maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Noosa journey builder tool .

Melbourne to Noosa is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight, train, and bus; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can drive to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Noosa

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Caloundra, Discover Eumundi Heritage & Visitor Centre, Maroochydore Beach, Double Island Point Lighthouse, Sunshine Castle
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Kings Beach ©
Kings Beach
Maroochydore Beach ©
Maroochydore Beach
Bulcock Beach ©
Bulcock Beach

8
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.
Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse and Cape Byron Lighthouse will appeal to history buffs. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lennox Head Beach and Kirra Beach. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Gold Coast: Bexhill Open Air Cathedral (in Bexhill), New Govardhana Australia (in Eungella) and Byron Bay (Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Belongil Beach, & more). Spend the 29th (Sat) exploring nature at Natural Bridge. Spend the 4th (Fri) exploring nature at Springbrook National Park. There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape of Burleigh Head National Park, buy something for everyone on your list at Marina Mirage, enjoy the sand and surf at Surfer's Paradise Beach, and visit a coastal fixture at Fingal Head Lighthouse.

Before you visit Gold Coast, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Noosa to Gold Coast takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. December in Gold Coast sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Byron Bay, Bexhill Open Air Cathedral, Lennox Head Beach, New Govardhana Australia, Fingal Head Lighthouse
Find places to stay Dec 27 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Kirra Beach ©
Kirra Beach
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park
Natural Bridge ©
Natural Bridge

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Trinity Beach and River Rafting & Tubing. Explore hidden gems such as Michaelmas Cay and Spas & Wellness. When in Cairns, make a side trip to see Palm Cove Beach in Palm Cove, approximately 32 minutes away. Spend the 6th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Atherton Tablelands, look for gifts at Australian Leather Company, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral, and admire the masterpieces at Cairns Art Gallery.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the Cairns trip builder app .

Traveling by flight from Gold Coast to Cairns takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Gold Coast in January; daily highs in Cairns reach 37°C and lows reach 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Cairns Kart Hire Track
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach
River Rafting & Tubing

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