35 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

35 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Great Barrier Reef trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

35 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Chambery
Fly:  38​h
1
Cairns
— 6 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 6 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Townsville
— 4 nights
train:  4​h 15​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
5
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Hamilton Island
— 4 nights
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  9​h
7
Fraser Island
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  42​h
End: Chambery

6
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Cairns: Australian Butterfly Sanctuary (in Kuranda) and Palm Cove Beach (in Palm Cove). Spend the 21st (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 22nd (Thu) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's much more to do: trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, identify plant and animal life at Atherton Tableland, enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, and don't miss a visit to Green Island.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Cairns online tour itinerary builder .

Chambery, France to Cairns is an approximately 38-hour flight. Traveling from Chambery to Cairns, you'll lose 9 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in August, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Atherton Tablelands, Palm Cove Beach, Cattana Wetlands, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Atherton Tablelands ©
Atherton Tablelands

6
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.
Explore Port Douglas' surroundings by going to Cow Bay (Walu Wugirriga Lookout & Daintree Discovery Centre) and Photography Tours (in Daintree). Spend the 30th (Fri) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Spend the 28th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's lots more to do: experience rural life at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, identify plant and animal life at Opal Reef, enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Port Douglas trip planner.

Getting from Cairns to Port Douglas by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in August, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Cow Bay, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Photography Tours, Mossman Gorge Centre, Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Find places to stay Aug 27 — Sep 2:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

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.
Spend the 4th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, take in the exciting artwork at The Drill Hall Studio, explore the galleries of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, and enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the Townsville trip planner .

Getting from Port Douglas to Townsville by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In September, daytime highs in Townsville are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Wet Tropics World Heritage Area
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Strand ©
The Strand

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach and then head off the coast to Whitsunday Islands National Park.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by train from Townsville to Whitsunday Island takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Townsville in September, Whitsunday Island is a bit cooler at night with lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Whitsunday Islands National Park ©

3
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.
When in Airlie Beach, make a side trip to see Horseshoe Bay in Bowen, approximately 1h 20 min away. Spend the 8th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the 10th (Tue), spend a thrilling day on the water with a speed boat tour. There's more to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach online travel planner .

Traveling by bus from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Whitsunday Island in September: highs in Airlie Beach hover around 29°C, while lows dip to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Horseshoe Bay
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay

4
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Spend the 11th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's much more to do: take in the waterfront activity at Hamilton Island Marina, head outdoors with Jetryder, play a few rounds at Hamilton Island Golf Club, and join the crowd at Go-Kart Racing Track.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Hamilton Island day trip planning site .

You can ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island in an hour. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in September, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club

5
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Fraser Island is known for nature, wildlife, beaches, outdoors, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the activities along Lake McKenzie, step aboard Maheno Wreck, delve into the lush surroundings at Central Station Rainforest, and enjoy the sea views from Sandy Cape Lighthouse.

To see maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Fraser Island online trip itinerary planner .

You can 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. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Central Station Rainforest ©
Central Station Rainforest

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