8 days in Tropical North Queensland Itinerary

8 days in Tropical North Queensland Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Tropical North Queensland trip itinerary maker

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Route & dates

8 days in Tropical North Queensland Itinerary

Start: Newcastle
Fly:  7​h 30​min
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Newcastle


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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Mission Beach and Babinda Boulders. When in Cairns, make a side trip to see Palm Cove Beach in Palm Cove, approximately 32 minutes away. There's still lots to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral, and explore the galleries of Cairns Art Gallery.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Cairns travel planner .

Newcastle to Cairns is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Newcastle in November, with highs in Cairns at 36°C and lows at 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Palm Cove Beach, Babinda Boulders, Mission Beach
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Mission Beach ©
Mission Beach
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Babinda Boulders ©
Babinda Boulders

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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Wed): stop by With Sugar, learn about winemaking at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, then don't miss a visit to St Mary’s by The Sea chapel, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Sunday Market Port Douglas. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the gorgeous colors at Opal Reef and then enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Port Douglas road trip website .

Take a bus from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In December in Port Douglas, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Cooktown.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
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St Mary’s by The Sea chapel ©
St Mary’s by The Sea chapel
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach
Sunday Market Port Douglas ©
Sunday Market Port Douglas


Cooktown ©
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. On the 6th (Fri), take an in-depth tour of James Cook Museum, make a trip to Grassy Hill, then stroll the grounds of Cooktown War Memorial, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Finch Bay.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Cooktown trip itinerary planning app .

Drive from Port Douglas to Cooktown in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Herberton.

Things to do in Cooktown

Parks Historic Sites Beaches
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Grassy Hill ©
Grassy Hill
Finch Bay ©
Finch Bay
James Cook Museum ©
James Cook Museum


Herberton ©
Herberton is a town and locality on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, Australia. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Spy & Camera Museum and then contemplate the long history of Historic Village Herberton.

For ratings, maps, and tourist information, read our Herberton trip planner .

Traveling by car from Cooktown to Herberton takes 4 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Herberton can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Herberton

Museums Historic Sites
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Historic Village Herberton ©
Historic Village Herberton
Spy & Camera Museum ©
Spy & Camera Museum