9 days in Whitsundays & Cairns Itinerary

9 days in Whitsundays & Cairns Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Whitsundays & Cairns Itinerary

Start: Sydney
+2
Fly + taxi + bus:  5​h 45​min
1
Airlie Beach
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
2
Hamilton Island
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h 30​min
3
Cairns
— 5 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Sydney

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Tue): take in the exciting artwork at Above & Below Photography Gallery and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. On the 3rd (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find where to stay, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach trip planning website .

Sydney to Airlie Beach is an approximately 6-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and ferry; or drive. Traveling from Sydney in July, expect a bit warmer with lows of 20°C in Airlie Beach. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
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Waterskiing & Jetskiing
Scuba & Snorkeling
Airlie Beach Lagoon ©
Airlie Beach Lagoon

1
night
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
On the 5th (Fri), see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Hamilton Island trip planning website .

Ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island in an hour. In July, daytime highs in Hamilton Island are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) so you can travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Tours Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 4 — 5:
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Scuba & Snorkeling

5
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Cairns side-trips: Port Douglas (Scuba & Snorkeling, Safaris, & more) and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures (in Palm Cove). And it doesn't end there: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, have fun at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and admire the natural beauty at Botanical Gardens.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip planner .

Getting from Hamilton Island to Cairns by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and train. Traveling from Hamilton Island in July, expect nights in Cairns to be about the same, around 20°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Port Douglas, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jul 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

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