20 days in Tropical North Queensland Itinerary

20 days in Tropical North Queensland Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Port Douglas
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Cape Tribulation
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Mission Beach
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Cairns
— 7 nights
Fly

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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.
Spend the 29th (Thu) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's still lots to do: see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, browse the eclectic array of goods at Sunday Market Port Douglas, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

To find more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Port Douglas online sightseeing planner.

Sydney to Port Douglas is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Sydney in December, with highs in Port Douglas at 36°C and lows at 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Cape Tribulation.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 2:

Cape Tribulation — 5 nights

A lush headland that's part of the forested Daintree Region, Cape Tribulation was so named by Lieutenant--later Captain--Cook in 1770, when his ship ran aground in the area.
Get out of town with these interesting Cape Tribulation side-trips: Photography Tours (in Daintree) and Cow Bay (Daintree Discovery Centre & Walu Wugirriga Lookout). Spend the 4th (Wed) exploring nature at Daintree National Park. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Myall Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Thornton Beach, admire the sheer force of Alexandra Bay Waterfall, and take in nature's colorful creations at Marrdja Botanical Walk.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Cape Tribulation trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by car from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation takes 2 hours. In January, daytime highs in Cape Tribulation are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Mission Beach.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 7:

Mission Beach — 2 nights

Gracing the coast along the Coral Sea, Mission Beach is a collection of villages that merged into one city.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): take a tour by water with Mission Beach Dive, identify plant and animal life at Croc and Wildlife Tours, and then don't miss a visit to Golden Gumboot. Keep things going the next day: cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience, then explore the galleries of Helen Wiltshire Gallery, and then trek along Kennedy Walking Track.

To find where to stay, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Mission Beach online trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Cape Tribulation to Mission Beach in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Cairns.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:

Cairns — 7 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.
Get out of town with these interesting Cairns side-trips: Kuranda (Kuranda Koala Gardens & Australian Butterfly Sanctuary) and Palm Cove (Palm Cove Beach & Palm Cove Jetty). Spend the 10th (Tue) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Spend the 12th (Thu) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: hike along Esplanade Boardwalk, learn about all things military at The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, take an exotic tour of Billy Tea Safaris, and observe the fascinating underwater world at Cairns Aquarium.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Cairns trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by car from Mission Beach to Cairns takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 16: