9 days in South Island & Queensland Itinerary

9 days in South Island & Queensland Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Pacific visit planner

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Route & dates

Start: Canberra, Australia
Fly:  8 h
1
Christchurch, New Zealand
— 2 nights
Fly:  6 h 45 min
2
Gold Coast, Australia
— 2 nights
Fly + Shuttle:  6 h
3
Port Douglas, Australia
— 1 night
Bus:  1 h 15 min
4
Cairns, Australia
— 3 nights
Fly:  7 h
End: Canberra, Australia

2
nights
Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): take a stroll around The Arts Centre, get engrossed in the history at Canterbury Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Southern Encounter, and finally let little ones run wild at Margaret Mahy Family Playground. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy breathtaking views from Christchurch Gondola, then enjoy some diversion at Velocity Karts, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and finally see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Christchurch trip builder site.

Canberra, Australia to Christchurch is an approximately 8- hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time to New Zealand Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. When traveling from Canberra in October, plan for slightly colder days in Christchurch, with highs around 20°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 6°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Gold Coast.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
Velocity Karts ©
Velocity Karts
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Canterbury Museum ©
Canterbury Museum

2
nights
Gold Coast, Australia

Gold Coast ©
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.
On the 10th (Sat), observe the fascinating underwater world at Sea World Theme Park and then stroll through Burleigh Heads Beach. On your second day here, kick back and relax at Surfers Paradise Beach and then get in on the family fun at Warner Bros. Movie World.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Gold Coast sightseeing site.

You can fly from Christchurch to Gold Coast in 7 hours. Another option is to do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Christchurch to Gold Coast. Traveling from Christchurch in October, things will get a bit warmer in Gold Coast: highs are around 29°C and lows about 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Gold Coast

Parks Theme Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Sea World Theme Park ©
Sea World Theme Park
Warner Bros. Movie World
Warner Bros. Movie World
Surfers Paradise Beach ©
Surfers Paradise Beach

1
night
Port Douglas, Australia

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.
On the 12th (Mon), do a tasting at Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery, meet the residents at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas day trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and shuttle from Gold Coast to Port Douglas takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Gold Coast in October, with highs in Port Douglas at 34°C and lows at 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Cairns.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Tours Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas ©
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery ©
Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery

3
nights
Cairns, Australia

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Palm Cove Beach and Trinity Beach. There's still lots to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, cool off at Cairns Wake park, stop by Annie's at the Beach, and get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Cairns Aquarium.

To find ratings, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Cairns attractions planner.

Take a bus from Port Douglas to Cairns in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In October in Cairns, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Palm Cove, Trinity Beach
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Palm Cove Beach ©
Palm Cove Beach
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach

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