15 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

15 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Great Barrier Reef route planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
2
Cairns
— 4 nights
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
4
Airlie Beach
— 3 nights
5
Hamilton Island
— 2 nights

S M T W T F S
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28
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31
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4
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.
Port Douglas is known for wildlife, adventure, and beaches. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, get to know the resident critters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, explore the gorgeous colors at Opal Reef, and do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Port Douglas trip itinerary builder app.

Sydney to Port Douglas is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In December, Port Douglas is a bit warmer than Sydney - with highs of 36°C and lows of 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Safaris
4.9

4
nights
Cairns

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.
Spend the 2nd (Sat) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 4th (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's lots more to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Cairns Aquarium, and let the kids burn off some steam at Muddy's Playground.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our Cairns vacation site.

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cairns takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Cairns can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks
Highlights from your trip
©
Nature / Wildlife Tour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
4.7

1
night
Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island ©
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): explore the activities along Hill Inlet, then enjoy the sand and surf at Whitehaven Beach, and then explore the striking landscape of Whitsunday Islands National Park.

For other places to visit and tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island day trip website.

You can fly from Cairns to Whitsunday Island in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in January, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks · Nature · Beaches · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Hill Inlet
5.0

3
nights
Airlie Beach

Gateway to the Whitsundays

Very much a town with an emphasis on the tropical lifestyle, Airlie Beach offers exotic surroundings with palm trees and charming, sandy beaches.
Get out of town with these interesting Airlie Beach side-trips: Daydream Island (Daydream Island Rejuvenation Day Spa & Daydream Island Living Reef). Spend the 7th (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon, test your team's savvy at Escape CQ, stop by Grotty Yachty Clothing, and take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

To see reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach itinerary website.

Getting from Whitsunday Island to Airlie Beach by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: ride a ferry. In January, daily temperatures in Airlie Beach can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
©
World heritage site
Scuba & Snorkeling
3.8
©
Helicopter Tour
Helicopter Tours
4.6

2
nights
Hamilton Island

A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
On the 10th (Sun), view the masterpieces at Hamilton Island Art Gallery, then take in the waterfront activity at Hamilton Island Marina, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. On the next day, bet on your favorite at Go-Kart Racing Track, enjoy the sand and surf at Catseye Beach, and then head outdoors with Jetryder.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read Hamilton Island road trip planning site.

Getting from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island by ferry takes about 2 hours. In January, daytime highs in Hamilton Island are 35°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours
Highlights from your trip
©
Scuba / Snorkeling
Scuba & Snorkeling
4.6

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