37 days in Darwin, Cairns Region & Port Douglas Itinerary

37 days in Darwin, Cairns Region & Port Douglas Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in Darwin, Cairns Region & Port Douglas Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  8​h 15​min
1
Darwin
— 14 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
2
Trinity Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  15​min
3
Palm Cove
— 2 nights
bus:  45​min
4
Port Douglas
— 10 nights
bus:  1​h
5
Smithfield
— 9 nights
+2
bus + shuttle + Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: Sydney


14
nights
Darwin

Darwin ©
The smallest of Australia’s state capitals, Darwin has nevertheless become an attractive and important urban center, being simultaneously one of the country’s most modernized cities and a gateway to both the Top End region and South East Asia.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Territory Wildlife Park and Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve. For shopping fun, head to Parap Market or Nomad Art Gallery. Explore Darwin's surroundings by going to Adelaide River War Cemetery (in Adelaide River), Crazy Acres (in Berry Springs) and Batchelor (Batchelor Butterfly Farm and Pet Garden & Nina's Ark Wildlife Sanctuary). Spend the 13th (Thu) exploring nature at Mary River National Park. Spend the 11th (Tue) exploring nature at Charles Darwin National Park. And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at East Point Reserve, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Aquascene, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and admire the sheer force of Buley Rockhole.

Find out how to plan Darwin trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Sydney to Darwin is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Sydney in December; daily highs in Darwin reach 38°C and lows reach 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Trinity Beach.

Things to do in Darwin

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Litchfield National Park, Berry Springs, Batchelor, Mary River National Park, Adelaide River War Cemetery
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Territory Wildlife Park ©
Territory Wildlife Park
Magnetic Termite Mounds ©
Magnetic Termite Mounds
East Point Reserve ©
East Point Reserve

1
night
Trinity Beach

Trinity Beach ©
For photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Trinity Beach trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Darwin to Trinity Beach. In December, daytime highs in Trinity Beach are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to travel to Palm Cove.

Things to do in Trinity Beach

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach

2
nights
Palm Cove

Palm Cove ©
A small community of about 1,200 people, Palm Cove sits beside the clear blue waters of the South Pacific.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Palm Cove Beach and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Get in touch with nature at Kayaking & Canoeing and Ellis Beach. It doesn't end there: relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Palm Cove driving holiday planning tool .

Palm Cove is just a stone's throw from Trinity Beach. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in December, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Palm Cove

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trip

Ellis Beach
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Kayaking & Canoeing

10
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.
Get outdoors at Opal Reef and Scuba & Snorkeling. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Four Mile Beach and Myall Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Port Douglas: Cape Tribulation (Daintree Rainforest - Cooper Creek Wilderness, Daintree National Park, & more), Cow Bay Beach (in Cow Bay) and Floravilla Ice Cream Factory & Art Gallery (in Daintree). Spend the 25th (Tue) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's much more to do: hunt for treasures at Sunday Market Port Douglas, stop by Coffee Works, look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge, and meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Port Douglas trip planner.

You can drive from Palm Cove to Port Douglas in an hour. Another option is to take a shuttle. December in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to go by car to Smithfield.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Cape Tribulation, Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, Wonga Beach, Mossman Gorge, Floravilla Ice Cream Factory
Find places to stay Dec 22 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas
Scuba & Snorkeling
Opal Reef ©
Opal Reef

9
nights
Smithfield

Attractions like Michaelmas Cay and Scuba & Snorkeling make great kid-friendly stops. Visiting Curtain Fig National Park and Birdworld Kuranda will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Rainforest Gems Gallery & Studio (in Tolga), Atherton Tablelands (in Cairns) and Mareeba (Jaques Coffee Plantation & Granite Gorge Nature Park). Spend the 9th (Wed) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read Smithfield trip planner .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Smithfield takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus. In January, daytime highs in Smithfield are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Smithfield

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Cairns, Kuranda, Mareeba, Curtain Fig National Park, Cairns Kart Hire Track
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Michaelmas Cay ©
Michaelmas Cay
Birdworld Kuranda ©
Birdworld Kuranda

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