40 days in Great Barrier Reef & Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Itinerary

40 days in Great Barrier Reef & Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in Great Barrier Reef & Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Itinerary

Start: Paderborn
Fly:  27​h
1
Cairns
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Mission Beach
— 1 night
Drive + ferry:  3​h 15​min
4
Magnetic Island
— 3 nights
ferry:  30​min
5
Townsville
— 4 nights
bus + ferry:  4​h 30​min
6
Hamilton Island
— 4 nights
ferry:  1​h
7
Airlie Beach
— 4 nights
bus:  45​min
8
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  9​h
9
Fraser Island
— 3 nights
+3
Drive + ferry + Drive + Fly:  14​h
10
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
— 3 nights
Fly:  36​h
End: Paderborn

5
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: Palm Cove (Spas & Wellness & Palm Cove Beach). Spend the 25th (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 27th (Sat) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. And it doesn't end there: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, admire the natural beauty at Munro Martin Parklands, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Cairns trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Paderborn, Germany to Cairns is an approximately 27-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Time (CET) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST), which is usually a 9 hour difference. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Paderborn in July, with highs in Cairns at 30°C and lows at 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can go by car to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Jul 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Botanical Gardens ©
Botanical Gardens

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.
Spend the 31st (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 2nd (Fri) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's much more to do: relax in the rural setting at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, get outside with The Bump Track, enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach, and stroll through Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip planner .

Traveling by car from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in July, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Mossman Golf Club, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 5:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

1
night
Mission Beach

Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Tue): take in the exciting artwork at Helen Wiltshire Gallery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Mission Beach, and then get interesting insight from Tours.

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

You can drive from Port Douglas to Mission Beach in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Helen Wiltshire Gallery ©
Helen Wiltshire Gallery

3
nights
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
Magnetic Island is known for nature, outdoors, adventure, beaches, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the water at your own pace with Big Mama Sailing, identify plant and animal life at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail, step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island Forts Walk, and play a few rounds at Magnetic Island Country Club.

For maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Magnetic Island trip site .

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 bus, train, and ferry. In August, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can catch the ferry to Townsville.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Pilgrim Sailing ©
Pilgrim Sailing
Fishing Charters & Tours
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.
Townsville is known for beaches, wildlife, nature, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, look for all kinds of wild species at Billabong Sanctuary, stroll through The Strand, and take in nature's colorful creations at Queens Gardens Townsville.

For more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read Townsville road trip tool .

Townsville is just a stone's throw from Magnetic Island. August in Townsville sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Scuba & Snorkeling
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

4
nights
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Spend the 14th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Passage Peak, get your game on at Sports Club, play a few rounds at Hamilton Island Golf Club, and enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Hamilton Island day trip planning tool .

Traveling by combination of bus and ferry from Townsville to Hamilton Island takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of train, bus, and ferry. When traveling from Townsville in August, plan for little chillier days in Hamilton Island, with highs around 26°C, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 21°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to catch the ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina
Passage Peak ©
Passage Peak

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.
On the 18th (Sun), spend a thrilling day on the water with a speed boat tour. Spend the 19th (Mon) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. And it doesn't end there: take a memorable tour with Tours, paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Airlie Beach Lagoon, and choose your vessel at Cumberland Charter Yachts.

For reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Airlie Beach trip builder .

Ride a ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach in an hour. August in Airlie Beach sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Whitsunday Island online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by bus from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. Traveling from Airlie Beach in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Whitsunday Island, with lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

3
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Fraser Island is known for nature, beaches, outdoors, historic sites, and spas. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake McKenzie, enjoy the sand and surf at Seventy-Five Mile Beach, stroll through Indian Head, and head off the coast to Waddy Point.

For ratings and other tourist information, read Fraser Island journey builder tool .

Traveling by combination of flight, car, and ferry from Whitsunday Island to Fraser Island takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, car, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, car, and ferry. In August, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Indian Head ©
Indian Head

3
nights
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park ©
For quintessential Outback scenery and culture, you can't beat a holiday in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a World Heritage Site.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is known for nature, museums, outdoors, trails, and classes. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the striking landscape at Uluru, explore the activities along Mutitjulu Waterhole, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Kata Tjuta, and appreciate the views at Valley of the Winds.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park trip planner.

Do a combination of car, ferry, and flight from Fraser Island to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in 14 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Fraser Island in August, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is slightly colder at night with lows of 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Uluru ©
Uluru
Kata Tjuta ©
Kata Tjuta
Valley of the Winds ©
Valley of the Winds

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