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

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

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Route & dates

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

Start: London
Fly:  23​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 5 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  9​h
4
Fraser Island
— 4 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  8​h 30​min
5
Gold Coast
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
6
Sydney
— 8 nights
Fly:  24​h
End: London

5
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Palm Cove (Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Spas & Wellness, & more). Spend the 3rd (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 6th (Sun) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's much more to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, enjoy the sand and surf at Trinity Beach, have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, and take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens.

For more things to do, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Cairns attractions tool .

London, UK to Cairns is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Cairns is 10 hours. In January, Cairns is warmer than London - with highs of 37°C and lows of 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Cairns Kart Hire Track, Trinity Beach
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

5
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Cape Tribulation (Daintree Rainforest - Cooper Creek Wilderness & Daintree National Park) and Alexandra Bay Waterfall (in Diwan). Spend the 8th (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 9th (Wed) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. The adventure continues: meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, look for gifts at Coffee Works, make a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, and enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Port Douglas trip planner .

Traveling by car from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in January, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Cape Tribulation, Alexandra Bay Waterfall
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Whitsunday Island trip planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. In January, daytime highs in Whitsunday Island are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

4
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Fraser Island is known for nature, beaches, outdoors, historic sites, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake McKenzie, visit a coastal fixture at Sandy Cape Lighthouse, make a trip to K'gari, and enjoy the sand and surf at Seventy-Five Mile Beach.

For photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Fraser Island journey planner .

You can do a combination of flight, ferry, and car from Whitsunday Island to Fraser Island in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, car, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. January in Fraser Island sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

4
nights
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Gold Coast: Caloundra (Dicky Beach & Moffat Beach), Glow Worm Caves (in North Tamborine) and Ted's Corner (in Capalaba). And it doesn't end there: get in on the family fun at Sea World Theme Park, kick back and relax at Burleigh Heads Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Surfer's Paradise Beach, and browse the different shops at Marina Mirage.

You can plan Gold Coast trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can do a combination of car and ferry from Fraser Island to Gold Coast in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. In January, daytime highs in Gold Coast are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Theme Parks Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Caloundra, Glow Worm Caves, Ted's Corner
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Sea World Theme Park ©
Sea World Theme Park
Surfer's Paradise Beach
Surfer's Paradise Beach
Warner Bros. Movie World ©
Warner Bros. Movie World

8
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Gallery Blackheath (in Blackheath) and Wentworth Falls (in Katoomba). Spend the 30th (Wed) exploring nature at Sydney Harbour National Park. And it doesn't end there: enjoy some music at Sydney Opera House, admire the natural beauty at The Royal Botanic Garden, enjoy the sand and surf at Coogee Beach, and take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Sydney itinerary 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. January in Sydney sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 23°C at night. On the 31st (Thu), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Gallery Blackheath, Wentworth Falls
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
The Royal Botanic Garden ©
The Royal Botanic Garden
The Rocks ©
The Rocks

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