21 days in Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Region Itinerary

21 days in Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Region Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Region Itinerary

Start: Pittsburgh
Fly:  29​h
1
Cairns
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Cape Tribulation
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
+3
shuttle + Fly + foot + ferry:  5​h 45​min
4
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
bus:  45​min
5
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  144​h
End: Pittsburgh

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.
Get outdoors at Scuba & Snorkeling and Esplanade Boardwalk. Family-friendly places like Palm Cove Beach and Trinity Beach will thrill your kids. Spend the 22nd (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Cairns trip builder .

Pittsburgh, USA to Cairns is an approximately 29-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Pittsburgh to Cairns, you'll lose 15 hours due to the time zone difference. In July, plan for daily highs up to 79°F, and evening lows to 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to catcht the bus to Cape Tribulation.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove Beach, Trinity Beach
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

3
nights
Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation ©
A lush headland that's part of the forested Daintree Region, Cape Tribulation was so named by Lieutenant--later Captain--Cook in 1770, when his ship ran aground in the area.
Family-friendly places like Daintree Discovery Centre and Myall Beach will thrill your kids. You'll get in some beach time at Thornton Beach and Cape Tribulation Beach. Spend the 24th (Wed) exploring nature at Daintree National Park. There's still lots to do: delve into the lush surroundings at Daintree Rainforest - Cooper Creek Wilderness, experience rural life at Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm, and stroll through Dubuji Boardwalk.

To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Cape Tribulation trip itinerary tool .

You can take a bus from Cairns to Cape Tribulation in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In July, daily temperatures in Cape Tribulation can reach 78°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cape Tribulation

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Daintree Discovery Centre
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Daintree Discovery Centre ©
Daintree Discovery Centre
Daintree National Park ©
Daintree National Park
Thornton Beach ©
Thornton Beach

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 Four Mile Beach. Kids will enjoy Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Scuba & Snorkeling. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Port Douglas trip builder .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Cape Tribulation to Port Douglas takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. July in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 64°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jul 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

2
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.
On the 29th (Mon), add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then stroll through Airlie Beach Lagoon, and then get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure. On the next day, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Airlie Beach tour builder .

Traveling by combination of shuttle, flight, and ferry from Port Douglas to Airlie Beach takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or drive. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Port Douglas in July: highs in Airlie Beach hover around 70°F, while lows dip to 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) early enough to catcht the bus to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 31st (Wed): explore the striking landscape of Whitsunday Islands National Park. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach and then explore the activities along Hill Inlet.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Whitsunday Island road trip planning site .

Traveling by bus from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Expect little chillier evenings in Whitsunday Island when traveling from Airlie Beach in July, with lows around 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 1:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitsunday Islands National Park ©
Whitsunday Islands National Park

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