49 days in Sydney, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

49 days in Sydney, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

49 days in Sydney, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Ulladulla
Drive:  3​h 15​min
1
Sydney
— 10 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Gold Coast
— 8 nights
Fly + shuttle:  6​h 30​min
3
Port Douglas
— 8 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Cairns
— 8 nights
Fly:  2​h
5
Townsville
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h 45​min
6
Airlie Beach
— 4 nights
ferry:  1​h 15​min
7
Whitsunday Island
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + Drive + ferry + Drive:  9​h
8
Fraser Island
— 5 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Ulladulla

10
nights
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Attractions like Bondi Beach and Australian National Maritime Museum make great kid-friendly stops. Change things up with these side-trips from Sydney: Wentworth Falls (in Katoomba) and Blue Mountains National Park (The National Pass, Lincoln's Rock, & more). Spend the 16th (Wed) exploring nature at Sydney Harbour National Park. There's much more to do: trek along Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, tour the pleasant surroundings at The Opera House to the Botanic Gardens Walk, take a stroll through The Rocks, and kick back and relax at Manly Beach.

For photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Sydney road trip planning tool .

Ulladulla to Sydney is an approximately 3.5-hour car ride. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in May, and nighttime lows around 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to travel to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Sydney

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature

Side Trips

Blue Mountains National Park, Wentworth Falls, Taronga Zoo
Find places to stay May 13 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach

8
nights
Gold Coast

Gold Coast ©
A city of towering skyscrapers, sandy beaches, and tree-lined streets, Gold Coast has an unpretentious air complemented by a citywide focus on sports and the arts.
Bring the kids along to Sea World Theme Park and Dreamworld. Change things up with these side-trips from Gold Coast: Dicky Beach (in Caloundra) and Glow Worm Caves (in North Tamborine). Spend the 30th (Wed) exploring nature at Natural Bridge. There's lots more to do: find something for the whole family at Warner Bros. Movie World, kick back and relax at Surfer's Paradise Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Coolangatta Beach, and look for all kinds of wild species at Burleigh Head National Park.

To see reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read Gold Coast holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Sydney to Gold Coast takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. In May in Gold Coast, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 15°C at night. On the 31st (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Gold Coast

#Parks, #Theme Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Glow Worm Caves, Dicky Beach
Find places to stay May 23 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Sea World Theme Park ©
Sea World Theme Park
Warner Bros. Movie World ©
Warner Bros. Movie World
Dreamworld ©
Dreamworld

8
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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Scuba & Snorkeling and Daintree National Park. Explore Port Douglas' surroundings by going to Daintree Discovery Centre (in Cow Bay) and Myall Beach (in Cape Tribulation). Spend the 2nd (Sat) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's still lots to do: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, enjoy some diversion at Port Douglas Tennis Club, see the vivid underwater world at Agincourt Reef, and make a trip to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas travel planner.

Getting from Gold Coast to Port Douglas by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or drive. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Gold Coast in May: high temperatures in Port Douglas hover around 32°C and lows are around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Parks

Side Trips

Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, Daintree Discovery Centre
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 8:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

8
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.
Kids will enjoy Scuba & Snorkeling and Palm Cove Beach. Change things up with a short trip to Kayaking & Canoeing in Palm Cove (about 34 minutes away). Spend the 12th (Tue) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: tour the water at your own pace with Shaolin Junk Cruises, have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, do some two-wheel cruising with Trail Bike Adventures, and kick back and relax at Trinity Beach.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Cairns visit website .

You can drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. In June, daily temperatures in Cairns can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can travel to Townsville.

Things to do in Cairns

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Crystal Cascades, Edge Hill Memorial Bowls Club, Trinity Beach
Find places to stay Jun 8 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

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.
Family-friendly places like The Strand and Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium will thrill your kids. There's still lots to do: step off the mainland to explore Museum of Tropical Queensland, identify plant and animal life at Billabong Sanctuary, make a trip to Riverway, and admire the natural beauty at Townsville Palmetum.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Townsville tour itinerary planner .

You can fly from Cairns to Townsville in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cairns in June, plan for a bit cooler nights in Townsville, with lows around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Townsville

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Jun 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
Castle Hill
Castle Hill

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.
Family-friendly places like Airlie Beach Lagoon and Scuba & Snorkeling will thrill your kids. The adventure continues: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, go for a walk through Bicentennial Walkway, and zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach vacation planner.

Take a bus from Townsville to Airlie Beach in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Townsville in June, expect nights in Airlie Beach to be about the same, around 21°C, while days are slightly colder, around 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can catch the ferry to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure
Find places to stay Jun 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Speed Boats Tours

2
nights
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 24th (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Whitsunday Island road trip site .

You can ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Airlie Beach in June, expect little chillier with lows of 15°C in Whitsunday Island. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Jun 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

5
nights
Fraser Island

Fraser Island ©
Attractions like Seventy-Five Mile Beach and Eli Creek make great kid-friendly stops.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Fraser Island trip itinerary builder site .

Do a combination of flight, ferry, and car from Whitsunday Island to Fraser Island in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, car, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. In June, daily temperatures in Fraser Island can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 14°C. On the 30th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Fraser Island

#Parks, #Nature, #Beaches
Find places to stay Jun 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Lake McKenzie ©
Lake McKenzie
Eli Creek ©
Eli Creek
Seventy-Five Mile Beach ©
Seventy-Five Mile Beach

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