29 days in Sydney, Brisbane & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

29 days in Sydney, Brisbane & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in Sydney, Brisbane & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Baden-Baden
train + Fly:  26​h
1
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Brisbane
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h
3
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
4
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
Drive + ferry:  4​h 30​min
5
Magnetic Island
— 2 nights
ferry:  30​min
6
Townsville
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h
7
Cairns
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
8
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
9
Cooktown
— 2 nights
Fly:  36​h
End: Baden-Baden

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.
Visit Shelly Beach and Avalon Beach for some beach relaxation. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Jenolan Caves and Watson's Bay. Explore Sydney's surroundings by going to Kiama Blowhole (in Kiama), Wentworth Falls (in Katoomba) and Nan Tien Temple (in Wollongong). The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at Art Gallery of New South Wales, enjoy the sand and surf at Camp Cove, tour the pleasant surroundings at Newport Beach, and examine the collection at Australian National Maritime Museum.

For ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Sydney trip itinerary maker site .

Baden-Baden, Germany to Sydney is an approximately 26-hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) is 9 hours. Traveling from Baden-Baden in March, things will get much hotter in Sydney: highs are around 30°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Sydney

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Nan Tien Temple, Wentworth Falls, Jenolan Caves, Avalon Beach, Shelly Beach
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Jenolan Caves ©
Jenolan Caves
Kiama Blowhole ©
Kiama Blowhole
Shelly Beach ©
Shelly Beach

4
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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Burleigh Heads Beach and Dicky Beach. Get some cultural insight at GOMA and Museum of Brisbane. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Brisbane: Mooloolaba Beach (in Mooloolaba), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (in Currumbin) and Infinity Attraction (in Surfers Paradise). There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Burleigh Head National Park and admire all the interesting features of Suncorp Stadium.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Brisbane trip planner .

Fly from Sydney to Brisbane in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in March, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Brisbane

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Burleigh Heads, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Mooloolaba Beach, Infinity Attraction, Dicky Beach
Find places to stay Mar 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Burleigh Heads Beach ©
Burleigh Heads Beach
Mooloolaba Beach ©
Mooloolaba Beach
Burleigh Head National Park ©
Burleigh Head National Park

2
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
On the 19th (Tue), take in the waterfront activity at Hamilton Island Marina, then enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach, and then head outdoors with Jetryder. Here are some ideas for day two: tee off at Hamilton Island Golf Club and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Hamilton Island trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Brisbane to Hamilton Island in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Hamilton Island when traveling from Brisbane in March, with lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) early enough to ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina

3
nights
Airlie Beach

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.
You'll get in some beach time at Airlie Beach Lagoon and Grays Bay. Step out of the city life by going to Horseshoe Bay and Kayaking & Canoeing. Take a break from Airlie Beach with a short trip to Mother Beddock Rock in Bowen, about 1h 20 min away. There's still lots to do: tour the water at your own pace with Charter Yachts Australia, enjoy the sand and surf at Boathaven Beach, stop by Grotty Yachty Clothing, and view the masterpieces at Art Whitsunday Gallery & Shop.

To see photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach holiday maker tool .

Traveling by ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks

Side Trip

Bowen
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
On the 24th (Sun), enjoy the sand and surf at Geoffrey Bay, then get engrossed in the history at Magnetic Island Museum, then choose your vessel at Pilgrim Sailing, and finally step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island Forts Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail and then step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island National Park.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Magnetic Island journey planner .

Do a combination of car and ferry from Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus, flight, and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in March, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to catch the ferry to Townsville.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Magnetic Island National Park ©
Magnetic Island National Park
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay
Pilgrim Sailing ©
Pilgrim Sailing

3
nights
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Museum of Tropical Queensland and The Drill Hall Studio are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at The Strand and Castle Hill. There's lots more to do: identify plant and animal life at Billabong Sanctuary, view the masterpieces at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, pause for some serene contemplation at St James Cathedral, and trek along Many Peaks Walking Track.

To find ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Townsville trip itinerary maker .

Townsville is just a stone's throw from Magnetic Island. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in March, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Townsville

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Trails
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary

3
nights
Cairns

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Palm Cove Beach and River Rafting & Tubing. Get outdoors at Michaelmas Cay and Balloon Rides. Next up on the itinerary: take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens, take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yorkeys Knob Beach, and pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral.

For other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Cairns trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Townsville to Cairns takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in March, and nighttime lows around 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) to allow time to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trips

Yorkeys Knob Beach, Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Mar 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Michaelmas Cay ©
Michaelmas Cay
Balloon Rides

2
nights
Port Douglas

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Mon): learn about winemaking at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, identify plant and animal life at Mossman Gorge, then view the masterpieces at Janbal Gallery, and finally meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. On the 2nd (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: browse the exhibits of Des Spencer Galleries, then see the vivid underwater world at Agincourt Reef, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and finally stop by With Sugar.

To see other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Port Douglas travel route planner .

You can drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In March in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can travel to Cooktown.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trips

Mossman, Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 2:
Highlights from your plan
Mossman Gorge ©
Mossman Gorge
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

2
nights
Cooktown

Cooktown ©
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Wed): stroll the grounds of Cooktown War Memorial, visit a coastal fixture at Grassy Hill, contemplate the long history of Cooktown History Centre, then take an in-depth tour of James Cook Museum, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Finch Bay. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Great Northern Tours, then take in the dramatic scenery at Trevathan Falls, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Black Mountain National Park, and finally relax in the rural setting at Alkoomie Station.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Cooktown road trip planning app .

You can drive from Port Douglas to Cooktown in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cooktown

#Parks, #Historic Sites, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Black Mountain National Park
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Finch Bay ©
Finch Bay
Great Northern Tours ©
Great Northern Tours
Grassy Hill ©
Grassy Hill

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