11 days in Sydney, Cairns Region & Port Douglas Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Australia visit planner
Make it your trip
Bus
1
Sydney
— 1 night
Fly
2
Cairns
Drive
3
Port Douglas
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Cairns
— 5 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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27
28
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31
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6

Sydney — 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Wed): hike along Bondi to Coogee Walk, catch a live performance at Sydney Opera House, and then admire the natural beauty at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read Sydney day trip planning site.

Canberra to Sydney is an approximately 2.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Canberra in July, with highs in Sydney at 21°C and lows at 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Cairns.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Trails · Outdoors
Side Trip
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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.
For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Cairns holiday planning website.

You can fly from Sydney to Cairns in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Sydney in July, expect Cairns to be a bit warmer, temps between 30°C and 20°C. You will leave for Port Douglas on the 28th (Thu).
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks
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Port Douglas — 4 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.
You've added Daintree National Park, Mossman Gorge Centre Tours, Photography Tours, and other attractions to your itinerary. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Mossman Gorge Centre, enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach, and go for a walk through Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail.

For maps, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Port Douglas day trip site.

Drive from Cairns to Port Douglas in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Port Douglas can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. You'll have a few hours on the 1st (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Cairns.
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Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors
Side Trips
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Cairns — 5 nights

The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

You've added Esplanade Lagoon Pool, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, and other attractions to your itinerary. Venture out of the city with trips to Palm Cove (Palm Cove Beach & Palm Cove Jetty) and Australian Butterfly Sanctuary (in Kuranda). Enjoy Cairns some more: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, let little ones run wild at Muddy's Playground, and admire the natural beauty at Botanical Gardens.

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Cairns online trip builder.

Getting from Port Douglas to Cairns by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. On the 6th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly back home.
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Side Trips
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Cairns Region travel guide

4.2
Scuba & Snorkeling · Water Sports · Hiking Trails
An area defined by its close relationship with the ocean and its focus on the beach-going lifestyle, Cairns Region has a picture-postcard aesthetic that combines favorably with a relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere. A relative small slither of land--4,135 sq km (1,597 sq mi)--the region nevertheless boasts a large number of attractive beaches, coastal enclaves, scenic towns, and close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. The region revolves around the economic prosperity of its immaculate capital, the city of Cairns.
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