13 days in Gold Coast & Cairns Itinerary

13 days in Gold Coast & Cairns Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Queensland trip planner

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Gold Coast
— 6 nights
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Cairns
— 6 nights
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Gold Coast

— 6 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Greenmount Beach and New Farm River Walk. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Gold Coast: Byron Bay (Sundive Byron Bay, Belongil Beach, &more) and Brisbane (City Botanic Gardens & Story Bridge). There's much more to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at Summer Elisabeth Day Spa, don't miss a visit to Rotary Carousel Broadbeach, enjoy the sand and surf at Kurrawa Beach, and take in panoramic vistas at SkyPoint Climb.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Gold Coast road trip planning website.

Sydney to Gold Coast is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Gold Coast can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Cairns

— 6 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like St Mary’s by The Sea chapel and Opal Reef. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cairns: Mulgrave Settlers Museum (in Gordonvale), Flagstaff Hill Lookout (in Port Douglas) and Etty Bay (in Innisfail). There's still lots to do: see Off-Road Tours, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Blue Sky Brewery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yorkeys Knob Beach, and learn about all things military at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum.

To see maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Cairns itinerary planner.

Fly from Gold Coast to Cairns in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Gold Coast in December, expect Cairns to be a bit warmer, temps between 36°C and 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips