8 days in Great Barrier Reef & Whitsundays Itinerary

8 days in Great Barrier Reef & Whitsundays Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Great Barrier Reef & Whitsundays Itinerary

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

1
night
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 11th (Tue): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Port Douglas travel route 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. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Sydney in June; daily highs in Port Douglas reach 30°C and lows reach 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Wed): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and then trek along Esplanade Boardwalk.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns day trip website .

You can take a bus from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. June in Cairns sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Jun 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Spas

2
nights
Magnetic Island

Kick off your visit on the 13th (Thu): cast your line with a fishing tour, then kick back and relax at West Point, and then take an in-depth tour of Magnetic Island Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Nelly Bay to Arcadia Trail.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Magnetic Island online sightseeing planner .

Getting from Cairns to Magnetic Island by combination of flight and ferry takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Cairns in June, plan for a bit cooler nights in Magnetic Island, with lows around 18°C. On the 14th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Wildlife Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jun 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours

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 (Sat): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For ratings, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Airlie Beach trip itinerary builder website .

Getting from Magnetic Island to Airlie Beach by combination of ferry and car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, train, and bus. When traveling from Magnetic Island in June, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Airlie Beach: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 21°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach and then explore the activities along Hill Inlet. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Whitsunday Islands National Park.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Whitsunday Island trip planner .

Getting from Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Island by bus takes about an hour. Other options: ride a ferry. Traveling from Airlie Beach in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Whitsunday Island, with lows of 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet
Whitsunday Islands National Park ©
Whitsunday Islands National Park

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