22 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

22 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Birmingham
+2
train + Fly + shuttle:  27​h
1
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
+4
shuttle + Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  11​h 15​min
2
Fraser Island
— 1 night
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  9​h
3
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
4
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
Drive + ferry:  4​h 30​min
5
Magnetic Island
— 2 nights
ferry + Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Mission Beach
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly + foot:  24​h
End: Birmingham

2
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Opal Reef and St Mary’s by The Sea chapel. Escape the urban bustle at Agincourt Reef and Mowbray National Park. There's still lots to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and view the masterpieces at Des Spencer Galleries.

For photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Port Douglas itinerary planner .

Birmingham, UK to Port Douglas is an approximately 27-hour combination of train, flight, and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of train, flight, car, and ferry. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST), which is usually a 10 hour difference. Traveling from Birmingham in November, expect Port Douglas to be warmer, temps between 36°C and 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Nov 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Opal Reef ©
Opal Reef
Mowbray National Park ©
Mowbray National Park

1
night
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): take a peaceful walk through Central Station Rainforest and then enjoy the sand and surf at Seventy-Five Mile Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: head outdoors with The Pinnacles and then kick back and relax at Eli Creek.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Fraser Island planner .

Traveling by combination of shuttle, flight, ferry, and car from Port Douglas to Fraser Island takes 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, ferry, and car; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. Traveling from Port Douglas in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Fraser Island, with lows of 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

2
nights
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Visiting Scuba & Snorkeling and Catseye Beach will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Hamilton Island Marina and Whitsunday Islands National Park. Next up on the itinerary: tee off at Hamilton Island Golf Club and get outside with Jetryder.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Hamilton Island tour itinerary tool .

Traveling by combination of car, ferry, and flight from Fraser Island to Hamilton Island takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Traveling from Fraser Island in November, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Hamilton Island, with lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) to allow time to ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Whitsunday Islands National Park
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Kayaking & Canoeing and Horseshoe Bay. Get in touch with nature at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Heart Reef. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach, take in the pleasant sights at Bicentennial Walkway, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Airlie Beach driving holiday app .

You can ride a ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach in an hour. In November, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Horseshoe Bay
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay

2
nights
Magnetic Island

Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): stroll through Geoffrey Bay, look for all kinds of wild species at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail, and then step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island Forts Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Magnetic Island National Park and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Magnetic Island trip planner .

Getting from Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island by combination of car and ferry takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. November in Magnetic Island sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can travel to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Magnetic Island National Park ©
Magnetic Island National Park
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay

2
nights
Mission Beach

Mission Beach ©
Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sat): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then take in the exciting artwork at Helen Wiltshire Gallery, and then stroll through Mission Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Kennedy Walking Track and then cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience.

For ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Mission Beach trip builder website .

Traveling by combination of ferry and car from Magnetic Island to Mission Beach takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry and train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can go by car to Cairns.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Fishing Charters & Tours
Skydiving

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Balloon Rides and Shark Diving. Get in touch with nature at Atherton Tablelands and Kayaking & Canoeing. And it doesn't end there: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, let little ones run wild at Muddy's Playground, take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones, and head off the coast to Michaelmas Cay.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Cairns day trip site .

Getting from Mission Beach to Cairns by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In November in Cairns, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trip

Kayaking & Canoeing
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Balloon Rides
Shark Diving
River Rafting & Tubing

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