24 days in Great Barrier Reef, Gold Coast & Sydney Itinerary

24 days in Great Barrier Reef, Gold Coast & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

24 days in Great Barrier Reef, Gold Coast & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Nashville
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  28​h
1
Fraser Island
— 2 nights
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  10​h 15​min
2
Whitsunday Island
— 1 day
bus:  45​min
3
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
4
Townsville
— 2 nights
5
Cairns
— 3 nights
6
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  6​h
7
Gold Coast
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
8
Sydney
— 6 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Nashville

2
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Escape the urban bustle at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Champagne Pools. We've included these beaches for you: Eli Creek and Indian Head.

For ratings, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read our Fraser Island trip planner.

Nashville, USA to Fraser Island is an approximately 28-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) is 16 hours. Traveling from Nashville in June, expect Fraser Island to be slightly colder, temps between 73°F and 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Jun 5 — 7:
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Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

1
day
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

For where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Whitsunday Island day trip planning app .

Getting from Fraser Island to Whitsunday Island by combination of car, ferry, and flight takes about 10.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. In June, daily temperatures in Whitsunday Island can reach 76°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jun 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

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.
On the 9th (Sun), see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the 10th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find more things to do, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Airlie Beach vacation planner.

Traveling by bus from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Airlie Beach, with lows of 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can catcht the bus to Townsville.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

2
nights
Townsville

Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
On the 11th (Tue), see the interesting displays at Maritime Museum of Townsville and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: head off the coast to Museum of Tropical Queensland, then tour the pleasant surroundings at The Strand, and then hike along Castle Hill.

Plan a Townsville trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by bus from Airlie Beach to Townsville takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Airlie Beach in June, expect nights in Townsville to be little chillier, around 60°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 78°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Townsville

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Strand ©
The Strand
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland

3
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.
Visiting Scuba & Snorkeling and Esplanade Boardwalk will get you outdoors. Go for a jaunt from Cairns to Palm Cove to see Palm Cove Beach about 32 minutes away. Spend the 14th (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's more to do: learn about all things military at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Cairns vacation planner .

Fly from Townsville to Cairns in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Cairns when traveling from Townsville in June, with lows around 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Jun 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. Spend the 17th (Mon) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, take in the exciting artwork at Des Spencer Galleries, and look for gifts at With Sugar.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Port Douglas travel route website .

You can drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in June, and nighttime lows around 65°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to travel to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

1
night
Gold Coast

Gold Coast ©
A city of towering skyscrapers, sandy beaches, and tree-lined streets, Gold Coast has an unpretentious air complemented by a citywide focus on sports and the arts.
On the 19th (Wed), see the interesting displays at Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Surfers Paradise, then stroll through Surfers Paradise Beach, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Burleigh Heads Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at David Fleay Wildlife Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Coolangatta Beach, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Burleigh Head National Park.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Gold Coast travel itinerary planner .

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Gold Coast in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and train; or drive. In June, Gold Coast is little chillier than Port Douglas - with highs of 69°F and lows of 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jun 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach
Surfers Paradise Beach ©
Surfers Paradise Beach
David Fleay Wildlife Park ©
David Fleay Wildlife Park

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Bondi Beach and The National Pass. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Manly Beach and Clovelly Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum (in Faulconbridge) and Lincoln's Rock (in Blue Mountains National Park). Spend the 26th (Wed) exploring nature at Sydney Harbour National Park. There's much more to do: listen to music at Sydney Opera House, take a stroll through The Rocks, don't miss a visit to Sydney Harbour Bridge, and admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

To find maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Sydney online driving holiday planner .

You can fly from Gold Coast to Sydney in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 65°F in June, and nighttime lows around 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Blue Mountains National Park, Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum
Find places to stay Jun 20 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Manly Beach
Manly Beach
The Rocks ©
The Rocks

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