11 days in Gold Coast, Brisbane & Cairns Itinerary

11 days in Gold Coast, Brisbane & Cairns Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Queensland itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Gold Coast
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Brisbane
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Cairns
— 2 nights
Fly

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Gold Coast

— 4 nights
A city of towering skyscrapers, sandy beaches, and tree-lined streets, Gold Coast has an unpretentious air complemented by a citywide focus on sports and the arts.
When in Gold Coast, make a side trip to see Cape Byron Lighthouse in Byron Bay, approximately Byron Bay away. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Surfers Paradise Beach, buy something for everyone on your list at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, enjoy breathtaking views from SkyPoint Observation Deck, and look for all kinds of wild species at David Fleay Wildlife Park.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Gold Coast trip planning site.

Melbourne to Gold Coast is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Melbourne in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Gold Coast, with lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Brisbane.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Theme Parks · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Shopping

Side Trip

Brisbane

— 3 nights

Australia's New World City

Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
You've now added Australia Zoo to your itinerary. Get out of town with these interesting Brisbane side-trips: Boat Tours & Water Sports (in Mooloolaba), Maleny Dairies (in Maleny) and Maroochydore Rotary Park (in Maroochydore). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, admire the natural beauty at City Botanic Gardens, admire all the interesting features of Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha, and contemplate the waterfront views at The Brisbane River.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Brisbane travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Gold Coast to Brisbane in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December in Brisbane, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 23°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trips

Cairns

— 2 nights

The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Hartley's Crocodile Adventures as well as Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail self-drive option. On the 26th (Sat), take a memorable excursion with Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail self-drive option, look for all kinds of wild species at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, and then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Macalister Brewing Company. On your second day here, take in the exciting artwork at Bones and Jones and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Cairns road trip planner.

Fly from Brisbane to Cairns in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Brisbane in December: highs in Cairns hover around 36°C, while lows dip to 26°C. You will have some time to spend on the 28th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Cairns

Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trips