8 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

8 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Cairns: Palm Cove (Hartley's Crocodile Adventures & Palm Cove Beach). Spend the 22nd (Sat) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's lots more to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Cairns trip itinerary tool .

Newcastle to Cairns is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. In September, Cairns is somewhat warmer than Newcastle - with highs of 33°C and lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

3
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.
Spend the 24th (Mon) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Spend the 25th (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's much more to do: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge, and stroll through Four Mile Beach.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip planning website .

You can drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In September in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Mossman Gorge
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
On the 27th (Thu), kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Whitsunday Island trip maker app .

Getting from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. Traveling from Port Douglas in September, expect little chillier with lows of 17°C in Whitsunday Island. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach

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