53 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

53 days in Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Great Barrier Reef trip maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Port Douglas
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Cooktown
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Cairns
— 7 nights
Drive
4
Mission Beach
— 2 nights
Drive to Breakwater Ferry Terminal, Ferry to Magnetic Island
5
Magnetic Island
— 4 nights
Ferry
6
Townsville
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Airlie Beach
— 5 nights
Ferry
8
Hamilton Island
— 5 nights
Unknown
9
Whitsunday Island
— 2 nights
Fly
10
Rockhampton
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Agnes Water
— 4 nights
+2
Drive to River Heads, Ferry to Kingfisher Bay, Fraser Island, Drive to Fraser Island
12
Fraser Island
— 7 nights
+2
Drive to Kingfisher Bay, Fraser Island, Ferry to River Heads, Fly to Sydney

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Port Douglas

— 6 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.
Spend the 10th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. The adventure continues: take an exotic tour of a safari tour, learn about winemaking at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, kick back and relax at Four Mile Beach, and stop by Funstuff by Lynda.

Plan a Port Douglas trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Sydney to Port Douglas is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Sydney in October, with highs in Port Douglas at 34°C and lows at 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can travel to Cooktown.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 9 — 15:
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Cooktown

— 3 nights
Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Cooktown is known for historic sites, museums, and wildlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: enjoy the sea views from Grassy Hill, admire the sheer force of Trevethan Falls, contemplate the long history of Cooktown History Centre, and get a dose of the wild on Great Northern Tours.

You can plan Cooktown trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Port Douglas to Cooktown in 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Cairns.

Things to do in Cooktown

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Tours
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 18:
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Cairns

— 7 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 out of town with these interesting Cairns side-trips: Palm Cove (Spas & Palm Cove Beach). Spend the 20th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 22nd (Fri) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's much more to do: trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, make a trip to Green Island, take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens, and observe the fascinating underwater world at Cairns Aquarium.

For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Cairns trip planner.

Getting from Cooktown to Cairns by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Cairns are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Mission Beach.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 18 — 25:
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Mission Beach

— 2 nights
Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Tue): take a tour by water with Mission Beach Dive and then get some jogging in at Kennedy Walking Track. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: view the masterpieces at Helen Wiltshire Gallery, take the plunge with a skydiving experience, and then kick back and relax at Etty Bay.

To find where to stay, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read Mission Beach trip app.

Drive from Cairns to Mission Beach in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Mission Beach

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 25 — 27:
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Magnetic Island

— 4 nights
Magnetic Island is known for historic sites, wildlife, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: see what you can catch with Magnetic Island Time Cruises, explore the striking landscape at Balding Bay, stroll through Geoffrey Bay, and look for all kinds of wild species at Bungalow Bay Koala Village.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Magnetic Island tour planning site.

Getting from Mission Beach to Magnetic Island by combination of car and ferry takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, and ferry. In October, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can ride a ferry to Townsville.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 31:
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Townsville

— 5 nights
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
Townsville is known for beaches, zoos & aquariums, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, meet the residents at Billabong Sanctuary, make a trip to Riverway, and take in the exciting artwork at The Drill Hall Studio.

For where to stay, photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Townsville trip app.

You can ride a ferry from Magnetic Island to Townsville in an hour. October in Townsville sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 23°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Airlie Beach.

Things to do in Townsville

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Trails
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 5:
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Airlie Beach

— 5 nights

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.
Explore Airlie Beach's surroundings by going to Bowen (Grays Bay & Horseshoe Bay). Spend the 6th (Sat) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Airlie Beach Lagoon, take in the waterfront activity at Coral Sea Marina, look for gifts at Grotty Yachty Clothing, and get outside with Turtle Tours.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Airlie Beach online route planner.

Traveling by car from Townsville to Airlie Beach takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In November, daytime highs in Airlie Beach are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Nov 5 — 10:
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Hamilton Island

— 5 nights
A trip to Hamilton Island takes you to a car-free destination mostly covered in bushland.
Hamilton Island is known for wildlife, adventure, and beaches. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, get to know the resident critters at Wild life Hamilton Island, and play a few rounds at Hamilton Island Golf Club.

To find reviews, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Hamilton Island online trip itinerary planner.

You can ride a ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island in 2 hours. In November in Hamilton Island, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can travel to Whitsunday Island.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 10 — 15:
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Whitsunday Island

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 16th (Tue): explore the activities along Hill Inlet and then kick back and relax at Whitehaven Beach. Keep things going the next day: step off the mainland to explore Whitsunday Islands National Park.

Find out how to plan Whitsunday Island trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Hamilton Island to Whitsunday Island. Traveling from Hamilton Island in November, Whitsunday Island is slightly colder at night with lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Rockhampton.

Things to do in Whitsunday Island

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 17:
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Rockhampton

— 2 nights
With over 300 sunny days every year, Rockhampton plays host to numerous outdoor activities.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Rockhampton Heritage Village, indulge your taste buds at Saleyards Distillery, and then get to know the resident critters at Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Yeppoon Main Beach and then grab your bike and head to Capricorn Coast Pineapple Rail Trail.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Rockhampton trip builder tool.

You can fly from Whitsunday Island to Rockhampton in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In November, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Agnes Water.

Things to do in Rockhampton

Parks · Outdoors · Zoos & Aquariums · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Nov 17 — 19:
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Agnes Water

— 4 nights
Spend the 22nd (Mon) exploring nature at Deepwater National Park.

To find photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Agnes Water trip planner.

Drive from Rockhampton to Agnes Water in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and taxi. In November, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Tue) to allow time for travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Agnes Water

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours
Find places to stay Nov 19 — 23:
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Fraser Island

— 7 nights
Fraser Island is known for nature, wildlife, and beaches. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake McKenzie, tour the pleasant surroundings at Seventy-Five Mile Beach, see exotic creatures in open habitats at Australian Sunset Safaris Day Tours, and head off the coast to Waddy Point.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Fraser Island road trip website.

Getting from Agnes Water to Fraser Island by combination of car and ferry takes about 8.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, car, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, train, car, and ferry. Traveling from Agnes Water in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Fraser Island, with lows of 21°C. On the 30th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 30:
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