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: Mumbai
Fly:  16​h 45​min
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
Hamilton Island
— 1 day
ferry:  1​h
5
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
bus:  45​min
6
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
7
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
8
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Mumbai

2
nights
Melbourne

The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Visit Old Melbourne Gaol and Shrine of Remembrance for their historical value. Get in touch with nature at Royal Botanic Gardens and Balloon Rides. The adventure continues: get to know the resident critters at Melbourne Zoo, enjoy breathtaking views from Eureka Skydeck 88, steep yourself in history at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and make a trip to Flinders Street Station.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Melbourne trip planner.

Mumbai, India to Melbourne is an approximately 17-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from India Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) is 4 hours. Prepare for much colder weather when traveling from Mumbai in May: high temperatures in Melbourne hover around 20°C and lows are around 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Outdoors Tours Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Balloon Rides
Royal Botanic Gardens ©
Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne 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.
Visiting Bondi Beach and The Opera House to the Botanic Gardens Walk will get you outdoors. Get some historical perspective at The Rocks and Macquarie Lighthouse. Spend the 29th (Wed) exploring nature at Sydney Harbour National Park. There's much more to do: see a show at Sydney Opera House, observe the fascinating underwater world at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge, and take a stroll through Darling Harbour.

To see maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Sydney road trip planning tool .

Getting from Melbourne to Sydney by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Melbourne in May; daily highs in Sydney reach 24°C and lows reach 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Sydney Harbour National Park
Find places to stay May 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
The Rocks ©
The Rocks
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Darling Harbour ©
Darling Harbour

2
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Get outdoors at Lake McKenzie and Fraser Island Great Walk.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Fraser Island using our trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight, ferry, and car from Sydney to Fraser Island takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, ferry, and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) to allow time to travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay May 29 — Jun 1:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Indian Head ©
Indian Head

1
day
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Hamilton Island journey builder .

Getting from Fraser Island to Hamilton Island by combination of car, ferry, and flight takes about 9 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Hamilton Island when traveling from Fraser Island in June, with lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) to allow time to ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jun 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Keep things going the next day: get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour.

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in June, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to take a bus to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To see ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Whitsunday Island travel planner .

You can take a bus from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island in an hour. Another option is to ride a ferry. Traveling from Airlie Beach in June, plan for a bit cooler nights in Whitsunday Island, with lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Jun 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven 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.
Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Spend the 7th (Fri) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Port Douglas attractions planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and shuttle from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or take a train. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in June, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Port Douglas, with lows around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jun 5 — 8:
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Crystal Cascades. Step out of Cairns with an excursion to Palm Cove Beach in Palm Cove--about 32 minutes away. Spend the 11th (Tue) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's still lots to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk and take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral.

To see more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Cairns tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In June in Cairns, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove Beach, Crystal Cascades
Find places to stay Jun 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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