22 days in Great Barrier Reef & Sydney Itinerary

22 days in Great Barrier Reef & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Great Barrier Reef & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Manchester
Fly:  23​h
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 15​min
4
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
+2
bus + taxi + Fly:  5​h 45​min
5
Sydney
— 6 nights
Fly:  25​h
End: Manchester


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.
Explore Cairns' surroundings by going to Palm Cove (Hartley's Crocodile Adventures & Palm Cove Beach). Spend the 9th (Mon) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. And it doesn't end there: take a memorable tour with Shaolin Junk Cruises, have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral, and pause for some photo ops at Cairns Cenotaph.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Cairns fast, fun, and easy.

Manchester, UK to Cairns is an approximately 23-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) is 10 hours. Traveling from Manchester in September, things will get somewhat warmer in Cairns: highs are around 33°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

4
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.
Spend the 13th (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 14th (Sat) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. And it doesn't end there: meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, get outside with Eye to Eye Marine Encounters, look for gifts at With Sugar, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Four Mile Beach.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Port Douglas trip itinerary planning website .

You can drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in September, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

To see reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Whitsunday Island holiday website .

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. Expect slightly colder evenings in Whitsunday Island when traveling from Port Douglas in September, with lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

3
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.
Spend the 18th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the 19th (Thu), spend a thrilling day on the water with a speed boat tour. Next up on the itinerary: zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, head off the coast to Whitsunday Islands, and stroll through Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Airlie Beach trip itinerary app .

You can ride a ferry from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach in 1.5 hours. When traveling from Whitsunday Island in September, plan for slightly colder days in Airlie Beach, with highs around 29°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Whitsunday Islands
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Speed Boats Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling

6
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.
Spend the 26th (Thu) exploring nature at Sydney Harbour National Park. There's much more to do: see a show at Sydney Opera House, enjoy the sand and surf at Manly Beach, take a stroll through The Rocks, and hike along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Sydney trip planning app .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Airlie Beach to Sydney takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and flight; or drive. Traveling from Airlie Beach in September, things will get little chillier in Sydney: highs are around 25°C and lows about 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge

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