3 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

3 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

3 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Cairns
Drive:  1​h 15​min
1
Port Douglas
— 1 night
+3
shuttle + Fly + foot + ferry:  5​h 45​min
2
Airlie Beach
— 1 day
+2
ferry + foot + Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: Cairns

1
night
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.
On the 4th (Thu), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the vivid underwater world at Opal Reef, then get to know the resident critters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, then browse the eclectic array of goods at Sunday Market Port Douglas, and finally make a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel.

For ratings, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Port Douglas trip builder .

Cairns to Port Douglas is an approximately 1.5-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a shuttle. July in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sat): stop by Grotty Yachty Clothing, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and finally take in the pleasant sights at Bicentennial Walkway.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach day trip planner.

Traveling by combination of shuttle, flight, and ferry from Port Douglas to Airlie Beach takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or drive. When traveling from Port Douglas in July, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Airlie Beach: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Adventure Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Bicentennial Walkway ©
Bicentennial Walkway
Spas

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