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: Phoenix
Fly:  29​h
1
Airlie Beach
— 1 day
+3
ferry + foot + Fly + shuttle:  5​h 45​min
2
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Cairns
— 2 nights
Fly:  20​h
End: Phoenix

1
day
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.
On the 19th (Sat), take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Airlie Beach holiday planning app .

Phoenix, USA to Airlie Beach is an approximately 29-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Phoenix to Airlie Beach is 17 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Phoenix in January: highs in Airlie Beach hover around 85°F, while lows dip to 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Wildlife Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

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.
Bring the kids along to Scuba & Snorkeling and Safaris. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, stop by Coffee Works, and enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach.

To see photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Port Douglas holiday maker tool .

Traveling by combination of ferry, flight, and shuttle from Airlie Beach to Port Douglas takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 89°F in January, and nighttime lows around 75°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

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 23rd (Wed): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, let little ones run wild at Muddy's Playground, and then hike along Esplanade Boardwalk.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Cairns sightseeing tool .

Drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 89°F in January, and nighttime lows around 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Esplanade Lagoon Pool ©
Esplanade Lagoon Pool

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