29 days in Cairns, Brisbane & Melbourne Itinerary

29 days in Cairns, Brisbane & Melbourne Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in Cairns, Brisbane & Melbourne Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  5​h 45​min
1
Cairns
— 8 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
2
Brisbane
— 8 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Melbourne
— 10 nights
End: Melbourne

8
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.
Get in touch with nature at Safaris and Scuba & Snorkeling. Daintree Discovery Centre and Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Cairns' surroundings by going to Alexandra Bay Waterfall (in Diwan), Palm Cove (Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Spas, & more) and Port Douglas (Four Mile Beach, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, & more). Spend the 3rd (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Spend the 6th (Mon) exploring nature at Daintree National Park. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Thornton Beach, stroll through Yorkeys Knob Beach, trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, and let little ones run wild at Muddy's Playground.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, go to the Cairns trip itinerary maker .

Melbourne to Cairns is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. Traveling from Melbourne in December, expect Cairns to be a bit warmer, temps between 36°C and 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Palm Cove, Wonga Beach, Daintree Discovery Centre
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 6:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

8
nights
Brisbane

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Kids will enjoy Surfers Paradise Beach and Mooloolaba Beach. We've included these beaches for you: Burleigh Heads Beach and Dicky Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Brisbane side-trips: Sea World Theme Park (in Main Beach), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (in Currumbin) and Caloundra (Bulcock Beach, Spas, & more). There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, kick back and relax at Coolangatta Beach, get outside with Watersports Guru, and stroll through Australia Zoo.

To see traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Brisbane tour planner .

Traveling by flight from Cairns to Brisbane takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Cairns in January, you will find days in Brisbane are slightly colder (34°C), and nights are about the same (25°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Gold Coast, Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Watersports Guru, Buderim Forest Park
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
South Bank Parklands ©
South Bank Parklands
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Surfers Paradise Beach ©
Surfers Paradise Beach

10
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 get in some beach time at St. Kilda Beach and Sandridge Beach. Melbourne Museum and Melbourne Central are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get out of town with these interesting Melbourne side-trips: Cowes (Cowes Beach & Koala Conservation Centre), Werribee Open Range Zoo (in Werribee) and The Great Ocean Road (in Torquay). Spend the 26th (Sun) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's much more to do: stroll through Royal Botanic Gardens, kick back and relax at Half Moon Bay, steep yourself in history at Old Melbourne Gaol, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Melbourne Zoo.

To see reviews, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Melbourne journey tool .

You can fly from Brisbane to Melbourne in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Brisbane in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Melbourne, with lows of 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Melbourne

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Cowes, Phillip Island, Flynns Beach, YCW Beach, The Great Ocean Road
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum
The Great Ocean Road ©
The Great Ocean Road
Melbourne Zoo ©
Melbourne Zoo

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