7 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

7 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

7 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + shuttle:  7​h 15​min
1
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Cairns
— 3 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 15​min
End: Sydney

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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): stop by With Sugar and then look for gifts at The Reef Marina. On the next day, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Port Douglas attractions planner .

Sydney to Port Douglas is an approximately 7.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Sydney in December, with highs in Port Douglas at 36°C and lows at 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Palm Cove Beach. Shop till you drop at Tanks Arts Centre and Smithfield Shopping Centre. Step out of Cairns with an excursion to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Palm Cove--about 44 minutes away. There's more to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk.

For reviews, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns vacation tool .

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. December in Cairns sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Tanks Arts Centre, Smithfield Shopping Centre
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 28th (Fri): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then stroll through Whitehaven Beach.

For reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Whitsunday Island road trip app .

You can fly from Cairns to Whitsunday Island in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Whitsunday Island are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

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