15 days in New South Wales & Queensland Itinerary

15 days in New South Wales & Queensland Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in New South Wales & Queensland Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  23​h
1
Sydney
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
2
Brisbane
— 3 nights
Fly + shuttle:  6​h
3
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
4
Cairns
— 3 nights
Fly:  21​h 30​min
End: Chicago

4
nights
Sydney

Sydney ©
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 is known for nightlife, trails, beaches, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the landmark architecture of Sydney Opera House, take in the views from Sydney Harbour Bridge, see the interesting displays at Australian National Maritime Museum, and get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Sydney trip planner .

Chicago, USA to Sydney is an approximately 23-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST), which is usually a 16 hour difference. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Chicago in September: high temperatures in Sydney hover around 71°F and lows are around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to travel to Brisbane.

Things to do in Sydney

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Sydney Opera House ©
Sydney Opera House
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
Sydney Harbour Bridge ©
Sydney Harbour Bridge

3
nights
Brisbane

Brisbane ©
Queensland’s biggest town and state capital, Brisbane has an attractive, manicured image based around its riverside aesthetic as well as the contrast between its high-rise center and extensive urban greenery.
Brisbane is known for parks, wildlife, museums, nightlife, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll around South Bank Parklands, look for all kinds of wild species at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, admire the natural beauty at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha, and explore the activities along The Brisbane River.

Before you visit Brisbane, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by flight from Sydney to Brisbane takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. In September, daytime highs in Brisbane are 75°F, while nighttime lows are 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Brisbane

Parks Wildlife Nature
Highlights from your plan
South Bank Parklands ©
South Bank Parklands
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ©
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Mount Coot-tha Lookout ©
Mount Coot-tha Lookout

3
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, beaches, zoos & aquariums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, look for gifts at With Sugar, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and get great views at Trinity Bay Lookout.

To see maps, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Port Douglas attractions planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and shuttle from Brisbane to Port Douglas takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or drive. In September, Port Douglas is a bit warmer than Brisbane - with highs of 83°F and lows of 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Safaris

3
nights
Cairns

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Spas in Palm Cove (about 30 minutes away). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, enjoy some diversion at Esplanade Lagoon Pool, trek along Esplanade Boardwalk, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, use the Cairns travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Port Douglas to Cairns by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. In September, daytime highs in Cairns are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Palm Cove
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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