9 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

9 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  29​h
1
Townsville
— 1 day
Fly + shuttle:  4​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
3
Cairns
— 4 nights
Fly:  27​h
End: Toronto

1
day
Townsville

Townsville ©
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): view the masterpieces at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, explore the galleries of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, view the masterpieces at The Drill Hall Studio, then head off the coast to Museum of Tropical Queensland, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St James Cathedral.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Townsville road trip planner.

Toronto, Canada to Townsville is an approximately 29-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to Townsville is 15 hours. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Toronto in January: high temperatures in Townsville hover around 37°C and lows are around 29°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Townsville

Museums Shopping Nature
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 22:
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Museum of Tropical Queensland ©
Museum of Tropical Queensland
The Drill Hall Studio ©
The Drill Hall Studio
Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts ©
Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts

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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Here are some ideas for day two: experience rural life at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, then look for gifts at With Sugar, then browse the exhibits of Ngarru Gallery, and finally view the masterpieces at Des Spencer Galleries.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Port Douglas trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Townsville to Port Douglas in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. January in Port Douglas sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

4
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Village Gallery and Michael Seebeck Gallery. For shopping fun, head to Underart Gallery or Rusty's Market. Spend the 24th (Fri) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Esplanade Boardwalk, pause for some serene contemplation at St Monica's Cathedral, admire the masterpieces at KickArts Contemporary Arts, and buy something for everyone on your list at Stockland Cairns Shopping Centre.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Cairns trip site .

You can drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In January, daily temperatures in Cairns can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. You'll have a few hours on the 27th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Shopping Wildlife

Side Trip

Village Gallery
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk

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