37 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

37 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

37 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Milan
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  31​h
1
Fraser Island
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
2
Agnes Water
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Rockhampton
— 1 night
+2
Fly + taxi + train:  5​h 30​min
4
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Travel:  3​h
5
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Airlie Beach
— 5 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
7
Townsville
— 2 nights
ferry:  30​min
8
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
ferry + Drive:  3​h 15​min
9
Mission Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
10
Port Douglas
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
11
Cairns
— 7 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Milan

4
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Indian Head. Step out of the city life by going to Lake McKenzie and Eli Creek.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Fraser Island tour itinerary maker app .

Milan, Italy to Fraser Island is an approximately 31-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Time to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland), which is usually a 9 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to Agnes Water.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek

1
night
Agnes Water

Agnes Water
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): explore the striking landscape of Deepwater National Park.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Agnes Water trip planner.

Drive from Fraser Island to Agnes Water in 6 hours. September in Agnes Water sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel to Rockhampton.

Things to do in Agnes Water

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 25:

1
night
Rockhampton

Rockhampton ©
With over 300 sunny days every year, Rockhampton plays host to numerous outdoor activities.
On the 26th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Archer Park Rail Museum, look for all kinds of wild species at Capricorn Caves, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Etna Caves National Park.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Rockhampton road trip planner .

You can drive from Agnes Water to Rockhampton in 3 hours. Traveling from Agnes Water in September, expect little chillier with lows of 17°C in Rockhampton. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Rockhampton

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Capricorn Caves ©
Capricorn Caves
Mount Etna Caves National Park ©
Mount Etna Caves National Park
Archer Park Rail Museum ©
Archer Park Rail Museum

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Whitsunday Islands National Park.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island trip itinerary maker website .

You can do a combination of flight and train from Rockhampton to Whitsunday Island in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in September, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

2
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
On the 29th (Sun), go for a stroll along the water at Hamilton Island Marina, meet the residents at Wild life Hamilton Island, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Mon): play a few rounds at Hamilton Island Golf Club and then kick back and relax at Catseye Beach.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Hamilton Island trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Whitsunday Island to Hamilton Island. While traveling from Whitsunday Island, expect slightly colder days and a bit warmer nights in Hamilton Island, ranging from highs of 29°C to lows of 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Wild life Hamilton Island ©
Wild life Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina

5
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.
Visiting Scuba & Snorkeling and Airlie Beach Lagoon will get you outdoors. On the 2nd (Wed), spend a thrilling day on the water with a speed boat tour. And it doesn't end there: get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, get a new perspective on things with Cumberland Charter Yachts, explore the activities along Heart Reef, and look for gifts at Grotty Yachty Clothing.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Airlie Beach travel website .

You can ride a ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. In September, daytime highs in Airlie Beach are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Townsville.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Whitsunday Islands
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 5:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Speed Boats Tours

2
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.
On the 6th (Sun), step off the mainland to explore Museum of Tropical Queensland, then kick back and relax at The Strand, and then admire all the interesting features of Castle Hill. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, make a trip to Riverway, then identify plant and animal life at Billabong Sanctuary, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Cathedral.

For photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Townsville vacation planner .

Take a bus from Airlie Beach to Townsville in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In October, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Castle Hill
Castle Hill
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary

1
night
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
Start off your visit on the 8th (Tue): get a new perspective on things with Pilgrim Sailing, then kick back and relax at Geoffrey Bay, and then choose your vessel at Big Mama Sailing.

For traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Magnetic Island online day trip planner .

Magnetic Island is just a short distance from Townsville. In October in Magnetic Island, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 23°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can travel to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Pilgrim Sailing ©
Pilgrim Sailing
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay

1
night
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 9th (Wed), hike along Kennedy Walking Track, view the masterpieces at Helen Wiltshire Gallery, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Mission Beach.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Mission Beach online journey planner .

Traveling by combination of ferry and car from Magnetic Island to Mission Beach takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Kennedy Walking Track ©
Kennedy Walking Track
Helen Wiltshire Gallery ©
Helen Wiltshire Gallery

7
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 in touch with nature at Safaris and Scuba & Snorkeling. Spend the 13th (Sun) exploring nature at Mowbray National Park. And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Four Mile Beach, explore the gorgeous colors at Opal Reef, stop by With Sugar, and tee off at Port Douglas Golf Tours.

To find photos, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Port Douglas online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Mission Beach to Port Douglas in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. In October in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 23°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and Esplanade Boardwalk. We've included these beaches for you: Palm Cove Beach and Yorkeys Knob Beach. Step out of Cairns to go to Palm Cove and see Kayaking & Canoeing, which is approximately 34 minutes away. Spend the 17th (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 20th (Sun) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. And it doesn't end there: take a memorable tour with Shaolin Junk Cruises, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral, enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, and enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Cairns online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. October in Cairns sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Centenary Lakes - Cairns Botanic Gardens, Yorkeys Knob Beach
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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