33 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

33 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

33 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Dusseldorf
Fly + shuttle:  26​h
1
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Cooktown
— 2 nights
Fly:  10​h
3
Fraser Island
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  9​h 45​min
4
Rockhampton
— 1 night
Drive:  7​h 15​min
5
Bowen
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Airlie Beach
— 4 nights
bus:  45​min
7
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Travel:  2​h 30​min
8
Hamilton Island
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
9
Fitzroy Island
— 1 night
Travel:  4​h 15​min
10
Mission Beach
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
11
Cairns
— 7 nights
Fly + train:  22​h 45​min
End: Dusseldorf

3
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.
Get outdoors at Safaris and Four Mile Beach. Discover out-of-the-way places like Opal Reef and With Sugar. Spend the 12th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's lots more to do: admire all the interesting features of Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, get to know the resident critters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, take in the exciting artwork at Ngarru Gallery, and don't miss a visit to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, use the Port Douglas trip maker tool .

Dusseldorf, Germany to Port Douglas is an approximately 26-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of flight, car, and ferry. The time zone difference when traveling from Dusseldorf to Port Douglas is 9 hours. Traveling from Dusseldorf in January, things will get warmer in Port Douglas: highs are around 37°C and lows about 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can travel to Cooktown.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

2
nights
Cooktown

Cooktown ©
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. On the 16th (Thu), take an in-depth tour of James Cook Museum, visit a coastal fixture at Grassy Hill, explore the different monuments and memorials at Cooktown War Memorial, then stroll through Finch Bay, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Trevethan Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: cast your line with a fishing tour, contemplate the long history of Cooktown History Centre, and then identify plant and animal life at Great Northern Tours.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Cooktown tour itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cooktown takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Cooktown

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Finch Bay ©
Finch Bay
James Cook Museum ©
James Cook Museum
Grassy Hill ©
Grassy Hill

2
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Discover out-of-the-way places like Central Station Rainforest and Seventy-Five Mile Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Eli Creek and Lake Wabby.

Plan a trip to Fraser Island easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Explore your travel options from Cooktown to Fraser Island with the Route module. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in January, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to travel to Rockhampton.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek
Central Station Rainforest ©
Central Station Rainforest

1
night
Rockhampton

Rockhampton ©
With over 300 sunny days every year, Rockhampton plays host to numerous outdoor activities.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Capricorn Caves, examine the collection at Archer Park Rail Museum, and then get to know the resident critters at Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed): get to know the resident critters at Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary, then stroll through Farnborough Beach, and then kick back and relax at Yeppoon Main Beach.

For more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Rockhampton trip itinerary planner .

Do a combination of car and ferry from Fraser Island to Rockhampton in 10 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and train; or do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in January, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Bowen.

Things to do in Rockhampton

Parks Outdoors Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Yeppoon
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Capricorn Caves ©
Capricorn Caves
Rockhampton Botanic Gardens ©
Rockhampton Botanic Gardens
Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary

1
day
Bowen

Bowen ©
Bowen is a coastal town and locality in the Whitsunday Region on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Bowen Historical Society and Museum, then look for all kinds of wild species at Horseshoe Bay, then kick back and relax at Grays Bay, and finally make a trip to Horseshoe Bay Rotary Lookout.

To see traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Bowen trip maker website .

You can drive from Rockhampton to Bowen in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. In January in Bowen, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Bowen

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Grays Bay ©
Grays Bay
Bowen Historical Society and Museum ©

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Heart Reef. Get outdoors at Kayaking & Canoeing and Waterskiing & Jetskiing. Spend the 24th (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach, take in the exciting artwork at Above & Below Photography Gallery, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and explore the galleries of Art Whitsunday Gallery & Shop.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Airlie Beach trip website .

Traveling by car from Bowen to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in January, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can take a bus to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
On the 28th (Tue), head off the coast to Whitsunday Islands National Park and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

To find more things to do, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Whitsunday Island vacation planner .

Traveling by bus from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. In January, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Whitsunday Islands National Park ©
Whitsunday Islands National Park

3
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Get in touch with nature at Catseye Beach and Hamilton Island Golf Club. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Passage Peak and Jetryder. Spend the 30th (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's more to do: admire all the interesting features of Go-Kart Racing Track and take in the exciting artwork at Hamilton Island Art Gallery.

To find maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Hamilton Island trip planner .

Explore your travel options from Whitsunday Island to Hamilton Island with the Route module. In January, daytime highs in Hamilton Island are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to travel to Fitzroy Island.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hamilton Island Art Gallery ©
Hamilton Island Art Gallery

1
night
Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island ©
On the 1st (Sat), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Fitzroy Island National Park.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Fitzroy Island visit site .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Hamilton Island to Fitzroy Island. In January, daytime highs in Fitzroy Island are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to travel to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Fitzroy Island

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 1:
Highlights from your plan
Fitzroy Island National Park ©
Fitzroy Island National Park

2
nights
Mission Beach

Mission Beach ©
Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
On the 2nd (Sun), see what you can catch with a fishing tour and then kick back and relax at Etty Bay. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Mission Beach, then view the masterpieces at Helen Wiltshire Gallery, and then take the plunge with a skydiving experience.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Mission Beach vacation planner .

Explore your travel options from Fitzroy Island to Mission Beach with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Cairns.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trip

Etty Bay
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Fishing Charters & Tours
Skydiving

7
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.
Visiting Atherton Tablelands and Josephine Falls will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Cairns Tropical Zoo and Cairns Aquarium. When in Cairns, make a side trip to see Palm Cove Beach in Palm Cove, approximately 32 minutes away. Spend the 4th (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 7th (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. And it doesn't end there: trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, admire the sheer force of Crystal Cascades, take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Cairns day trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Mission Beach to Cairns takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Cairns are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Red Arrow Walk, Crystal Cascades
Find places to stay Feb 3 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Josephine Falls ©
Josephine Falls
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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