9 days in Cairns, Whitsunday Island & Port Douglas Itinerary

9 days in Cairns, Whitsunday Island & Port Douglas Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Cairns, Whitsunday Island & Port Douglas Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Fly:  16​h 45​min
1
Cairns
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
2
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly + shuttle:  4​h
3
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  22​h 45​min
End: Los Angeles

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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Village Gallery and Smithfield Shopping Centre. Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Palm Cove Beach. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Esplanade Boardwalk, hunt for treasures at Rusty's Market, browse the exhibits of Doongal Aboriginal Art, and take in the exciting artwork at Michael Seebeck Gallery.

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Cairns driving holiday planner .

Los Angeles, USA to Cairns is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Los Angeles to Cairns is 18 hours. Traveling from Los Angeles in January, expect nights in Cairns to be warmer, around 75°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 89°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Shopping Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Smithfield Shopping Centre
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 14th (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island tour itinerary builder site .

Getting from Cairns to Whitsunday Island by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Whitsunday Island can reach 88°F, while at night they dip to 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Whitehaven Beach ©
Whitehaven Beach
Hill Inlet ©
Hill Inlet

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Safaris and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Head to With Sugar and Des Spencer Galleriesfor plenty of shopping. Spend the 15th (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's still lots to do: explore the galleries of Ngarru Gallery.

For other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas trip maker website .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Whitsunday Island to Port Douglas in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of train and taxi. In January, daily temperatures in Port Douglas can reach 89°F, while at night they dip to 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Safaris
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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