34 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sunshine Coast & Gold Coast Itinerary

34 days in Great Barrier Reef, Sunshine Coast & Gold Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Queensland sightseeing planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Airlie Beach
— 1 night
Ferry
2
Hamilton Island
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Port Douglas
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Cairns
— 5 nights
Drive to Breakwater Ferry Terminal, Ferry to Magnetic Island
5
Magnetic Island
— 1 night
Ferry
6
Townsville
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Noosa
— 6 nights
+2
Drive to River Heads, Ferry to Kingfisher Bay, Fraser Island, Drive to Fraser Island
8
Fraser Island
— 5 nights
+2
Drive to Kingfisher Bay, Fraser Island, Ferry to River Heads, Fly to Gold Coast
9
Gold Coast
— 5 nights
Drive

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Airlie Beach

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Thu): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Airlie Beach Lagoon, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and then view the masterpieces at Above & Below Photography Gallery.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Airlie Beach online trip itinerary builder.

Brisbane to Airlie Beach is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Airlie Beach when traveling from Brisbane in July, with lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to ride a ferry to Hamilton Island.

Things to do in Airlie Beach

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Hamilton Island

— 3 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: don't miss a visit to Passage Peak, join the crowd at Go-Kart Racing Track, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and kick back and relax at Catseye Beach.

To see photos, ratings, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Hamilton Island trip maker tool.

Traveling by ferry from Airlie Beach to Hamilton Island takes 2 hours. July in Hamilton Island sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 21°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Hamilton Island

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Shopping

Port Douglas

— 5 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.
Port Douglas is known for wildlife, adventure, and beaches. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at The Deep Retreat : Deep Yoga Studio : Deep Pilates Studio, and shop like a local with Ngarru Gallery.

For other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Port Douglas trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Hamilton Island to Port Douglas takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and train. While traveling from Hamilton Island, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Port Douglas, ranging from highs of 31°C to lows of 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Cairns

— 5 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 find plenty of places to visit near Cairns: Palm Cove (Spas & Palm Cove Beach). Spend the 8th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 10th (Tue) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's much more to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, see exotic creatures in open habitats at Billy Tea Safaris, admire the masterpieces at Samurai Gallery Australia, and take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Gardens.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Cairns trip planner.

Drive from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. August in Cairns sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Magnetic Island.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Magnetic Island

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Fri): get to know the fascinating history of Magnetic Island Forts Walk and then see what you can catch with Magnetic Island Time Cruises.

To see reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Magnetic Island trip itinerary app.

Getting from Cairns to Magnetic Island by combination of car and ferry takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Traveling from Cairns in August, Magnetic Island is a bit cooler at night with lows of 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Townsville.

Things to do in Magnetic Island

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Townsville

— 2 nights
Tucked snugly beneath a steep, craggy mount--known as Castle Hill--the vibrant city of Townsville is as picturesque as its backdrop.
On the 14th (Sat), step off the mainland to explore Museum of Tropical Queensland and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at The Strand, don't miss a visit to Jezzine Barracks, and then go for a walk through Castle Hill.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Townsville road trip planning app.

You can ride a ferry from Magnetic Island to Townsville in an hour. In August in Townsville, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can catch the flight to Noosa.

Things to do in Townsville

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Noosa

— 6 nights
Known for its "green" development and north-facing beach, Noosa is a natural getaway.
Get out of town with these interesting Noosa side-trips: Strawberry Fields (in Palmview), Seaview Art Gallery (in Caloundra) and Mooloolaba (Scuba & Snorkeling, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, &more). Spend the 18th (Wed) exploring nature at Noosa National Park. There's still lots to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at Essential Bodywork, trek along Mount Cooroora, trot along with a tour on horseback, and head outdoors with Phippsy's Smooth Water Charters.

For where to stay, maps, and tourist information, use the Noosa trip planner.

You can fly from Townsville to Noosa in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to travel to Fraser Island.

Things to do in Noosa

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Fraser Island

— 5 nights
Fraser Island is known for nature, wildlife, and beaches. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: kick back and relax at Seventy-Five Mile Beach, see exotic creatures in open habitats at Australian Sunset Safaris Day Tours, explore the activities along Lake McKenzie, and delve into the lush surroundings at Central Station Rainforest.

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Fraser Island trip itinerary maker tool.

Do a combination of car and ferry from Noosa to Fraser Island in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, car, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, car, and ferry. In August, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Fraser Island

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Gold Coast

— 5 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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Gold Coast: Brisbane (South Bank Parklands, City Botanic Gardens, &more). Plan for a day of cool, family-friendly fun on the 31st (Tue) at Dreamworld. The adventure continues: get in on the family fun at Sea World Theme Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Surfers Paradise Beach, experience the excitement of Infinity Attraction, and get outside with Qld Luxury Car Rentals.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Gold Coast tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of car, ferry, and flight from Fraser Island to Gold Coast takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of car, ferry, and train. August in Gold Coast sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 11°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can go by car back home.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks · Theme Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors

Side Trip

Sunshine Coast travel guide

4.2
Beaches · Zoos · Gardens
Beaches, sun-drenched streets, and a relaxed ambience are the defining elements of Sunshine Coast, a region just north of Brisbane. Having grown rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, Sunshine Coast became a popular destination for surfers in particular and has now grown into a well-managed city focused on "green" economic development.