45 days in Byron Bay, Noosa & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

45 days in Byron Bay, Noosa & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

45 days in Byron Bay, Noosa & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + bus:  4​h 30​min
1
Byron Bay
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Noosa
— 6 nights
+2
Drive + ferry + Drive:  6​h 45​min
3
Fraser Island
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  8​h 15​min
4
Bowen
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Airlie Beach
— 5 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Hamilton Island
— 3 nights
Fly + shuttle:  3​h 30​min
7
Port Douglas
— 5 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
8
Cairns
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h
9
Mission Beach
— 2 nights
Drive + ferry:  3​h 15​min
10
Magnetic Island
— 3 nights
ferry:  30​min
11
Townsville
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
12
Rockhampton
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Sydney

5
nights
Byron Bay

Byron Bay ©
Named after Lord Byron's grandfather, Byron Bay is not only famous as the easternmost point of Australia, but even more so as one of the liveliest vacation spots in the country.
Visiting Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Turners Beach will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Lennox Head Beach and Main Beach Yamba. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Byron Bay: Ballina Historic Waterfront Trail (in Ballina), Spooky Beach (in Angourie) and Books and Stuff (in Lismore). Spend the 22nd (Fri) exploring nature at Arakwal National Park. There's much more to do: add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, stroll through Tallow Beach, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and kick back and relax at Belongil Beach.

To see ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Byron Bay trip builder .

Sydney to Byron Bay is an approximately 4.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in February, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Noosa.

Things to do in Byron Bay

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Yamba, Broken Head, Lennox Head Beach, Books and Stuff, Ballina Historic Waterfront Trail
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Main Beach Yamba ©
Main Beach Yamba
Lennox Head Beach ©
Lennox Head Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching

6
nights
Noosa

Noosa ©
Known for its "green" development and north-facing beach, Noosa is a natural getaway.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Kings Beach and Scuba & Snorkeling. Relax by the water at Peregian Beach and Maroochydore Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Mount Ninderry (in Yandina), Maleny (Art on Cairncross & Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve) and Kondalilla Falls (in Montville). And it doesn't end there: browse the eclectic array of goods at The Original Eumundi Markets, view the masterpieces at Discover Eumundi Heritage & Visitor Centre, enjoy the sand and surf at Bulcock Beach, and explore the striking landscape at Carlo Sand Blow.

For photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read Noosa journey tool .

You can drive from Byron Bay to Noosa in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Noosa

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Caloundra, Eumundi, Maleny, Maroochydore Beach, Carlo Sand Blow
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Kondalilla Falls ©
Kondalilla Falls
Scuba & Snorkeling
Marcoola Beach ©
Marcoola Beach

3
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Eli Creek and Indian Head. Get in touch with nature at Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Champagne Pools.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Fraser Island travel route builder app .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Noosa to Fraser Island takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, car, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, car, and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in March, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Bowen.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks Nature Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 4:
Highlights from your plan
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach
Indian Head ©
Indian Head

1
day
Bowen

Bowen ©
Bowen is a coastal town and locality in the Whitsunday Region on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. On the 5th (Tue), make a trip to Mother Beddock Rock, don't miss a visit to Horseshoe Bay Rotary Lookout, then enjoy the sand and surf at Grays Bay, and finally kick back and relax at Horseshoe Bay.

To see photos, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read Bowen online journey planner .

Explore your travel options from Fraser Island to Bowen with the Route module. In March, daytime highs in Bowen are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Bowen

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Grays Bay ©
Grays Bay
Horseshoe Bay Rotary Lookout ©
Horseshoe Bay Rotary Lookout

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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Whitehaven Beach and Boathaven Beach. Explore hidden gems such as Kayaking & Canoeing and Nature & Wildlife Tours. There's still lots to do: choose your vessel at Cumberland Charter Yachts, tour on your own time with Charter Yachts Australia, take in the exciting artwork at Art Whitsunday Gallery & Shop, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For ratings, reviews, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Bowen to Airlie Beach takes an hour. In March in Airlie Beach, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) to allow time to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Transportation
Find places to stay Mar 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Charter Yachts Australia ©
Charter Yachts Australia
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
nights
Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island ©
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Catseye Beach and Hamilton Island Marina. Get outdoors at Scuba & Snorkeling and Whitsunday Islands National Park. Next up on the itinerary: play a few rounds at Hamilton Island Golf Club and view the masterpieces at Hamilton Island Art Gallery.

To find reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Hamilton Island road trip tool .

Traveling by ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island takes an hour. In March in Hamilton Island, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 28°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Whitsunday Islands National Park
Find places to stay Mar 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Catseye Beach ©
Catseye Beach
Hamilton Island Golf Club ©
Hamilton Island Golf Club
Whitsunday Islands National Park ©
Whitsunday Islands National Park

5
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.
Head to Sunday Market Port Douglas and With Sugarfor plenty of shopping. Explore hidden gems such as Agincourt Reef and Spas & Wellness. Spend the 16th (Sat) exploring nature at Mowbray National Park. The adventure continues: see the vivid underwater world at Opal Reef, get outside with Eye to Eye Marine Encounters, make a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, and choose your vessel at Port Douglas Boat Hire.

To see photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip planner .

Getting from Hamilton Island to Port Douglas by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and train. In March, daytime highs in Port Douglas are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Agincourt Reef ©
Agincourt Reef
Port Douglas Boat Hire ©
Port Douglas Boat Hire
Mowbray National Park ©
Mowbray National Park

5
nights
Cairns

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Balloon Rides and Atherton Tablelands. Shop till you drop at Village Gallery and Underart Gallery. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cairns: Palm Cove (Kayaking & Canoeing & Spas & Wellness). The adventure continues: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, experience rural life at Gallo DairyLand, let little ones run wild at Muddy's Playground, and have unforgettable encounters with a shark diving experience.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Cairns itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In March, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can go by car to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Cairns

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Village Gallery
Find places to stay Mar 18 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Atherton Tablelands ©
Atherton Tablelands
Shark Diving
Michaelmas Cay ©
Michaelmas Cay

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 24th (Sun), take the plunge with a skydiving experience, then take in the exciting artwork at Helen Wiltshire Gallery, and then kick back and relax at Mission Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Etty Bay and then cast your line with a fishing tour.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Mission Beach road trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Cairns to Mission Beach takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Outdoors Tours Beaches

Side Trip

Etty Bay
Find places to stay Mar 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Fishing Charters & Tours
Skydiving

3
nights
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
Take a break from the city and head to Big Mama Sailing and Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Magnetic Island Forts Walk and Fishing Charters & Tours.

To find maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Magnetic Island day trip planning tool .

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 March, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) to allow time to ride a ferry to Townsville.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Wildlife Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Mar 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay
Magnetic Island National Park ©
Magnetic Island National Park
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Billabong Sanctuary and Lake Paluma. Get in touch with nature at Museum of Tropical Queensland and The Strand. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Little Crystal Creek, pause for some serene contemplation at St James Cathedral, view the masterpieces at The Drill Hall Studio, and trek along Many Peaks Walking Track.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Townsville holiday planner .

Townsville is just a stone's throw from Magnetic Island. March in Townsville sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Rockhampton.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
Little Crystal Creek ©
Little Crystal Creek

2
nights
Rockhampton

Rockhampton ©
With over 300 sunny days every year, Rockhampton plays host to numerous outdoor activities.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Mon): head outdoors with Yeppoon Lagoon, kick back and relax at Farnborough Beach, and then kick back and relax at Yeppoon Main Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and then look for all kinds of wild species at Capricorn Caves.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Rockhampton trip maker .

Getting from Townsville to Rockhampton by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In March, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rockhampton

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Yeppoon
Find places to stay Mar 31 — Apr 2:
Highlights from your plan
Capricorn Caves ©
Capricorn Caves
Yeppoon Main Beach ©
Yeppoon Main Beach
Yeppoon Lagoon ©
Yeppoon Lagoon

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