31 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

31 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Great Barrier Reef tour itinerary builder

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Route & dates

31 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Manama
Fly:  26​h
1
Cairns
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Mission Beach
— 4 nights
Drive + ferry:  3​h 15​min
4
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
ferry:  30​min
5
Townsville
— 4 nights
train:  4​h 15​min
6
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
7
Airlie Beach
— 4 nights
ferry:  1​h
8
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  9​h
9
Fraser Island
— 3 nights
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  28​h
End: Manama

4
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Spy & Camera Museum and Historic Village Herberton. You'll get in some beach time at Palm Cove Beach and Trinity Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cairns: Palm Cove (Annie's Ladies Boutique & Spas), Babinda Boulders (in Babinda) and Jaques Coffee Plantation (in Mareeba). There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Atherton Tablelands, admire all the interesting features of Wrights Lookout, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

For photos, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns day trip planning tool .

Manama, Bahrain to Cairns is an approximately 26-hour flight. The time zone changes from Arabia Standard Time (AST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST), which is usually a 7 hour difference. Expect cooler temperatures when traveling from Manama in July; daily highs in Cairns reach 30°C and lows reach 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Herberton, Kuranda, Trinity Beach, Babinda Boulders
Find places to stay Jul 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Babinda Boulders ©
Babinda Boulders
Historic Village Herberton ©
Historic Village Herberton
Atherton Tablelands ©
Atherton Tablelands

4
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dubuji Boardwalk and Opal Reef. Do some cultural sightseeing at Daintree Discovery Centre and Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery. Venture out of the city with trips to Cape Tribulation Beach (in Cape Tribulation) and Photography Tours (in Daintree). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, explore the gorgeous colors at Agincourt Reef, look for gifts at With Sugar, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Port Douglas day trip website .

Getting from Cairns to Port Douglas by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. In July, daily temperatures in Port Douglas can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Cape Tribulation, Daintree Discovery Centre, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, Mossman Gorge Centre
Find places to stay Jul 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Dubuji Boardwalk ©
Dubuji Boardwalk
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Cape Tribulation Beach ©
Cape Tribulation Beach

4
nights
Mission Beach

Mission Beach ©
Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
We've included these beaches for you: Mission Beach and Kurrimine Beach National Park. Step off the beaten path and head to Wallaman Falls and Hinchinbrook Island. Change things up with a short trip to Tully Gorge National Park in Tully (about 56 minutes away). The adventure continues: cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience and view the masterpieces at Helen Wiltshire Gallery.

To see maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Mission Beach online trip maker .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Mission Beach takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Hinchinbrook Island, Tully Gorge National Park, Wallaman Falls, Kurrimine Beach National Park
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Wallaman Falls ©
Wallaman Falls
Hinchinbrook Island ©
Hinchinbrook Island

1
night
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
Start off your visit on the 15th (Mon): admire all the interesting features of Magnetic Island Forts Walk, enjoy the sand and surf at Geoffrey Bay, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Magnetic Island online route planner .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Mission Beach to Magnetic Island takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. In July, daily temperatures in Magnetic Island can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to ride a ferry to Townsville.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay

4
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Scuba & Snorkeling. Get outdoors at Museum of Tropical Queensland and Gondwana Rainforest. There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Jezzine Barracks, identify plant and animal life at Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park, view the masterpieces at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, and brush up on your military savvy at Royal Australian Air Force Townsville Museum.

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

Townsville is very close to Magnetic Island. In July, daily temperatures in Townsville can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Queensland, Royal Australian Air Force Townsville Museum
Find places to stay Jul 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sat): kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach and then explore the activities along Hill Inlet.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Whitsunday Island trip itinerary builder tool .

Take a train from Townsville to Whitsunday Island in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Townsville in July, expect slightly colder with lows of 13°C in Whitsunday Island. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

4
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.
We've included these beaches for you: Horseshoe Bay and Airlie Beach Lagoon. Escape the urban bustle at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Scuba & Snorkeling. The adventure continues: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, go for a walk through Bicentennial Walkway, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see maps, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach visit planner .

Traveling by bus from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in July, expect nights in Airlie Beach to be a bit warmer, around 20°C, while days are little chillier, around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Horseshoe Bay
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Thu): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Fri): tee off at Hamilton Island Golf Club and then enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach.

Plan my Hamilton Island trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Traveling by ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island takes an hour. In July, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club

3
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Discover out-of-the-way places like Central Station Rainforest and Lake Wabby. You'll get in some beach time at Eli Creek and Seventy-Five Mile Beach.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Fraser Island trip planning app .

Do a combination of flight, ferry, and car from Hamilton Island to Fraser Island in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, bus, and car. Traveling from Hamilton Island in July, plan for a bit cooler nights in Fraser Island, with lows around 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Central Station Rainforest ©
Central Station Rainforest