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: Manchester
Fly:  26​h
1
Melbourne
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Sydney
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + taxi + bus:  5​h 45​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
bus:  45​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
5
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
6
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Manchester

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo. There's much more to do: examine the collection at Melbourne Museum, contemplate the long history of Old Melbourne Gaol, admire the natural beauty at Fitzroy Gardens, and enjoy the sand and surf at St. Kilda Beach.

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Melbourne trip itinerary website .

Manchester, UK to Melbourne is an approximately 26-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Manchester to Melbourne, you'll lose 10 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Manchester in August, with highs in Melbourne at 16°C and lows at 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Werribee Open Range Zoo, St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo
St. Kilda Beach ©
St. Kilda Beach
Werribee Open Range Zoo ©
Werribee Open Range Zoo

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.
You'll get in some beach time at Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. Attractions like Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and Dolphin & Whale Watching make great kid-friendly stops. Spend the 7th (Fri) exploring nature at Sydney Harbour National Park. There's still lots to do: catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, wander the streets of The Rocks, make a trip to Sydney Harbour Bridge, and admire the natural beauty at The Royal Botanic Garden.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Sydney tour planner .

You can fly from Melbourne to Sydney in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Melbourne in August, expect Sydney to be a bit warmer, temps between 22°C and 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Sydney Harbour National Park
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Manly Beach
Manly Beach
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium ©
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

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.
Bring the kids along to Scuba & Snorkeling and Whitehaven Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Speed Boats Tours and Waterskiing & Jetskiing. The adventure continues: look for gifts at Into The Blue Gallery.

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach holiday maker .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Sydney to Airlie Beach in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and ferry; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Sydney in August; daily highs in Airlie Beach reach 26°C and lows reach 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
On the 13th (Thu), contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then stroll through Whitehaven Beach.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Whitsunday Island day 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 August, with lows around 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Four Mile Beach. Kids will enjoy Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. Spend the 16th (Sun) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Next up on the itinerary: trot along with a tour on horseback, make a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, look for gifts at With Sugar, and head outdoors with Horses in Port.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas road trip app .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of train and taxi. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Port Douglas, with lows of 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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.
Bring the kids along to Scuba & Snorkeling and Nature & Wildlife Tours. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Palm Cove Beach and Yorkeys Knob Beach. When in Cairns, make a side trip to see Spas & Wellness in Palm Cove, approximately 30 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: get a new perspective on things with Shaolin Junk Cruises, stroll through Esplanade Boardwalk, and admire the natural beauty at Munro Martin Parklands.

For traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Cairns road trip website .

You can drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a shuttle. August in Cairns sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 20°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Yorkeys Knob Beach, Palm Cove Beach, Shaolin Junk Cruises
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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