7 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

7 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Great Barrier Reef tour planner

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Route & dates

7 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + shuttle:  6​h 45​min
1
Port Douglas
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Cairns
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + foot + bus + ferry:  4​h 15​min
3
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
ferry + Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Airlie Beach
— 1 night
ferry:  1​h
5
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
End: Sydney

few
hours
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.
For maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Port Douglas sightseeing planner.

Sydney to Port Douglas is an approximately 7-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Sydney in April, expect Port Douglas to be somewhat warmer, temps between 34°C and 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 12:

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, then brush up on your military savvy at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. On the next day, admire the sheer force of Josephine Falls, then look for gifts at Australian Leather Company, and then enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour.

To see other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Cairns vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. April in Cairns sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 26°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Balloon Rides
Josephine Falls ©
Josephine Falls
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sun): tour the water at your own pace with Big Mama Sailing, then enjoy the sand and surf at Geoffrey Bay, and then step off the mainland to explore Magnetic Island Forts Walk.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Magnetic Island trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by combination of flight and ferry from Cairns to Magnetic Island takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In April, daytime highs in Magnetic Island are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Outdoors Tours Transportation
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Geoffrey Bay ©
Geoffrey Bay

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Mon): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Heart Reef.

To find ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Airlie Beach day trip tool .

Do a combination of ferry and car from Magnetic Island to Airlie Beach in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. While traveling from Magnetic Island, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Airlie Beach, ranging from highs of 31°C to lows of 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Adventure Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Heart Reef ©
Heart Reef
Spas & Wellness

2
nights
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Here are some ideas for day two: go for a stroll along the water at Hamilton Island Marina and then enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach.

For where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Hamilton Island trip maker app .

Ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island in an hour. In April, plan for daily highs up to 31°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hamilton Island Marina ©
Hamilton Island Marina

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