16 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

16 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Australia travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Cairns
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Whitsunday Island
— 1 night
Fly
4
Melbourne
— 3 nights
Fly
5
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly

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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.
Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Esplanade Boardwalk. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cairns: Palm Cove (Palm Cove Beach & Village Gallery). Spend the 30th (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

Plan my trip to Cairns with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

San Francisco, USA to Cairns is an approximately 20-hour flight. You'll lose 18 hours traveling from San Francisco to Cairns due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Francisco in September, expect Cairns to be a bit warmer, temps between 83°F and 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Port Douglas

— 3 nights
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. There's more to do: take an exotic tour of a safari tour and look for all kinds of wild species at Opal Reef.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas journey maker.

Getting from Cairns to Port Douglas by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Port Douglas are 85°F, while nighttime lows are 68°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Whitsunday Island

— 1 night
On the 5th (Sat), contemplate the waterfront views at Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Whitsunday Island trip itinerary builder app.

Traveling by flight from Port Douglas to Whitsunday Island takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder evenings in Whitsunday Island when traveling from Port Douglas in October, with lows around 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Melbourne

— 3 nights

Australia's Garden City

The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Do your shopping at Melbourne Central and Collins St/Swanston St. Melbourne Museum and National Gallery of Victoria are good opportunities to explore the local culture. There's much more to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Royal Botanic Gardens, meet the residents at Melbourne Zoo, take in panoramic vistas at Eureka Skydeck, and appreciate the history behind Shrine of Remembrance.

To find reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Melbourne day trip tool.

Traveling by flight from Whitsunday Island to Melbourne takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Whitsunday Island in October, expect Melbourne to be slightly colder, temps between 69°F and 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Parks · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Museums

Sydney

— 4 nights

The Harbour City

Lent iconic status as a result of its famous bridge and opera house, Sydney has a down-to-earth charm that enhances its spectacular setting and functional efficiency.
Sydney Opera House and ATTY Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. We've included these beaches for you: Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. There's lots more to do: wander the streets of The Rocks, admire the landmark architecture of Queen Victoria Building, admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and stop by Darling Harbour.

To find photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip planner.

You can fly from Melbourne to Sydney in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Melbourne in October, with highs in Sydney at 76°F and lows at 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Shopping · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors