22 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

22 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Melbourne, Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  25​h
1
Melbourne
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Sydney
— 4 nights
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  8​h 15​min
3
Fraser Island
— 2 nights
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  9​h
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 day
bus:  1​h 15​min
5
Airlie Beach
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 45​min
6
Townsville
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h 30​min
7
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
8
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: London

2
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Melbourne Museum and Old Melbourne Gaol are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Kids will appreciate attractions like Melbourne Zoo and St. Kilda Beach. There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at National Gallery of Victoria, learn about all things military at Shrine of Remembrance, take in panoramic vistas at Eureka Skydeck 88, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Scots Church.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Melbourne trip itinerary builder site .

London, UK to Melbourne is an approximately 25-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from London to Melbourne, you'll lose 10 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from London in October, you will find days in Melbourne are a bit warmer (24°C), and nights are about the same (9°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo
Shrine of Remembrance ©
Shrine of Remembrance

4
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.
Bring the kids along to Bondi Beach and Freshwater Beach. Get outdoors at Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk and Manly Beach. The adventure continues: make a trip to Sydney Opera House, view the masterpieces at Brett Whiteley Studio, steep yourself in history at Elizabeth Bay House, and enjoy the sand and surf at Clovelly.

To see maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip itinerary builder site .

You can fly from Melbourne to Sydney in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Melbourne in October, expect Sydney to be a bit warmer, temps between 28°C and 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk

2
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Kids will appreciate attractions like Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Eli Creek. Get outdoors at Indian Head and Lake McKenzie.

To find out how to plan a trip to Fraser Island, use our trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Sydney to Fraser Island by combination of flight, ferry, and car takes about 8.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, car, and ferry. In October, daytime highs in Fraser Island are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) to allow time to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Indian Head ©
Indian Head

1
day
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Wed): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Whitsunday Island tour planner.

Traveling by combination of car, ferry, and flight from Fraser Island to Whitsunday Island takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. In October, daily temperatures in Whitsunday Island can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can catch the ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Thu): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach day trip planning tool .

Ride a ferry from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in October, you will find days in Airlie Beach are slightly colder (30°C), and nights are a bit warmer (24°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) so you can take a bus to Townsville.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
Townsville

Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Fri): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Townsville day trip app .

Traveling by bus from Airlie Beach to Townsville takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. October in Townsville sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 23°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Townsville

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Scuba & Snorkeling and Four Mile Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Safaris and Mossman Gorge. It doesn't end there: stroll through Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

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

Getting from Townsville to Port Douglas by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in October, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can go by car to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge Centre
Find places to stay Oct 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Palm Cove Beach and Yorkeys Knob Beach. Kids will enjoy Scuba & Snorkeling and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. There's more to do: stroll through Esplanade Boardwalk and view the masterpieces at Bones and Jones.

For photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip maker site .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 24°C. You will leave for home on the 2nd (Fri).

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Yorkeys Knob Beach
Find places to stay Oct 29 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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