5 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

5 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

5 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Canberra
Fly:  6​h
1
Cairns
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h
End: Canberra


1
night
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.
On the 30th (Tue), get into the urban bustle at Tanks Arts Centre and then hike along Esplanade Boardwalk. Keep things going the next day: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Cairns vacation tool .

Canberra to Cairns is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Canberra in October: highs in Cairns hover around 34°C, while lows dip to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Adventure

Side Trip

Tanks Arts Centre
Find places to stay Oct 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Tanks Arts Centre ©
Tanks Arts Centre

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the 2nd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Four Mile Beach, look for gifts at With Sugar, look for gifts at Whileaway, then stop by Coffee Works, then stop by Funstuff by Lynda, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Sunday Market Port Douglas.

To find ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Port Douglas itinerary planner.

Getting from Cairns to Port Douglas by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In October, daily temperatures in Port Douglas can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Whitehaven Beach.

Before you visit Whitsunday Island, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. Traveling from Port Douglas in November, plan for a bit cooler nights in Whitsunday Island, with lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

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