8 days in Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

8 days in Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Sydney & Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Paris
Fly:  27​h
1
Sydney
— 1 day
Fly:  5​h 45​min
2
Airlie Beach
— 1 night
bus:  3​h 45​min
3
Townsville
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 15​min
4
Cairns
— 2 nights
Fly:  22​h 45​min
End: Paris

1
day
Sydney

Sydney ©
Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Mon): explore the world behind art at Art Gallery of New South Wales, take in nature's colorful creations at Chinese Garden of Friendship, then stroll through Balmoral Beach, Mosman, and finally identify plant and animal life at North Head Sanctuary.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip itinerary builder site .

Paris, France to Sydney is an approximately 27-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 9 hours traveling from Paris to Sydney. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Paris in January: high temperatures in Sydney hover around 32°C and lows are around 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

North Head Sanctuary, Balmoral Beach, Mosman
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
North Head Sanctuary ©
North Head Sanctuary
Balmoral Beach, Mosman ©
Balmoral Beach, Mosman
Art Gallery of New South Wales ©
Art Gallery of New South Wales

1
night
Airlie Beach

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 (Tue): choose your vessel at Charter Yachts Australia, stop by Into The Blue Gallery, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Sydney to Airlie Beach in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and ferry; or drive. Traveling from Sydney in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Airlie Beach, with lows of 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Townsville.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Transportation Tours
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon
Charter Yachts Australia ©
Charter Yachts Australia

1
night
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Billabong Sanctuary, take in the exciting artwork at The Drill Hall Studio, and then kick back and relax at The Strand.

For more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Townsville itinerary planner .

Getting from Airlie Beach to Townsville by bus takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks Wildlife Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
The Strand ©
The Strand
Billabong Sanctuary ©
Billabong Sanctuary
The Drill Hall Studio ©
The Drill Hall Studio

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.
On the 17th (Thu), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On the 18th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens, enjoy the sand and surf at Palm Cove Beach, and then let little ones run wild at Muddy's Playground.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Cairns route builder site .

Getting from Townsville to Cairns by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In January in Cairns, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Palm Cove Beach
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Muddy's Playground ©
Muddy's Playground

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