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: Adelaide
Fly:  4​h
1
Cairns
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— Few hours
shuttle + Fly:  3​h 45​min
3
Hamilton Island
— 1 night
ferry:  1​h
4
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
+2
bus + taxi + Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Adelaide

3
nights
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Gallo DairyLand and Michaelmas Cay. For shopping fun, head to Bones and Jones or Australian Leather Company. And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Atherton Tablelands, get out on two wheels at Trail Bike Adventures, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Cairns online vacation planner .

Adelaide to Cairns is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Adelaide in May, things will get somewhat warmer in Cairns: highs are around 32°C and lows about 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Tours
Find places to stay May 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Michaelmas Cay ©
Michaelmas Cay
Shark Diving
Gallo DairyLand ©
Gallo DairyLand

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.
To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Port Douglas trip itinerary maker site .

Getting from Cairns to Port Douglas by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. May in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. On the 15th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

#Shopping, #Museums
Find places to stay May 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas
With Sugar ©
With Sugar
Coffee Works ©
Coffee Works

1
night
Hamilton Island

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 (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Wild life Hamilton Island and then kick back and relax at Catseye Beach.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Hamilton Island vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Hamilton Island takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and ferry. Traveling from Port Douglas in May, expect nights in Hamilton Island to be about the same, around 24°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can ride a ferry to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches
Find places to stay May 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Wild life Hamilton Island ©
Wild life Hamilton Island

3
nights
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Horseshoe Bay and Grays Bay. Discover out-of-the-way places like Heart Reef and Cumberland Charter Yachts. Go for a jaunt from Airlie Beach to Bowen to see The Big Mango about 46 minutes away. The adventure continues: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour and stop by Whitsunday Opals.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Airlie Beach using our trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. In May, daytime highs in Airlie Beach are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Parks

Side Trip

Bowen
Find places to stay May 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Horseshoe Bay ©
Horseshoe Bay
Heart Reef ©
Heart Reef

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