18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne & Sydney Itinerary

Start: Taipei
Fly:  12​h 15​min
1
Cairns
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Port Douglas
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  6​h 30​min
3
Melbourne
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Sydney
— 5 nights
Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: Taipei

2
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Village Gallery and Bones and Jones. Museum-lovers will appreciate Underart Gallery and Doongal Aboriginal Art. Spend the 19th (Sat) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's still lots to do: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, get into the urban bustle at Tanks Arts Centre, stroll through Trinity Beach, and admire the masterpieces at KickArts Contemporary Arts.

To see other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Cairns day trip planning website .

Taipei, Taiwan to Cairns is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also do a combination of subway, train, and flight; or do a combination of subway and flight. The time zone difference moving from China Standard Time (CST) to Australian Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) (AEST) is 2 hours. Traveling from Taipei in January, you will find days in Cairns are warmer (37°C), and nights are a bit warmer (28°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) to allow time to drive to Port Douglas.

Things to do in Cairns

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Village Gallery, Trinity Beach, Tanks Arts Centre
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Esplanade Boardwalk ©
Esplanade Boardwalk
Trinity Beach ©
Trinity Beach

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Des Spencer Galleries and Ngarru Gallery. Museum-lovers will get to explore Studio 49 Artisan Gallery and Port Douglas Court House Museum. Spend the 22nd (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Next up on the itinerary: explore and take pictures at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, look for gifts at With Sugar, enjoy the sand and surf at Four Mile Beach, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read Port Douglas vacation maker .

Traveling by car from Cairns to Port Douglas takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. In January, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Melbourne.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Outdoors Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures ©
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Four Mile Beach ©
Four Mile Beach

4
nights
Melbourne

Melbourne ©
The state of Victoria crown jewel, Melbourne boasts shaded streets, leafy residential neighborhoods, vibrant street life, and a picturesque city center.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Melbourne Central and Original & Authentic Aboriginal Art. Let the collections at Melbourne Museum and National Gallery of Victoria capture your imagination. Spend the 28th (Mon) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Shrine of Remembrance, take in panoramic vistas at Eureka Skydeck 88, kick back and relax at St. Kilda Beach, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Melbourne Zoo.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Melbourne trip planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Port Douglas to Melbourne in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Port Douglas in January, things will get a bit cooler in Melbourne: highs are around 32°C and lows about 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can travel to Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

St. Kilda Beach
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Melbourne Museum ©
Melbourne Museum
Shrine of Remembrance ©
Shrine of Remembrance
National Gallery of Victoria ©
National Gallery of Victoria

5
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Bondi Beach and Clovelly. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Sydney Opera House and Brett Whiteley Studio. There's lots more to do: look for gifts at Sydney Fish Market, enjoy the sand and surf at Manly Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Coogee Beach, and don't miss a visit to Queen Victoria Building (QVB).

For ratings and tourist information, read Sydney trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Melbourne to Sydney takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Melbourne in January since evenings lows in Sydney dip to 23°C. On the 3rd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sydney

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 3:
Highlights from your plan
Bondi Beach ©
Bondi Beach
Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk ©
Manly Beach
Manly Beach

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