Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef Travel Itineraries

The Three Sisters rock formation in Australia's Blue Mountains National Park.
If you have two weeks to spend in the region consider visiting Blue Mountains National Park. Photo © ianwool/123rf.

When traveling, it’s key to make the most of your time and your money to make your experience the one that fits you. Whether you’re visiting Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef for one week or three, here are some suggestions on how to spend your time to get a good taste of what each region has to offer.

  • If you have five days: Spend half in Sydney, seeing The Rocks and Circular Quay, taking a round-trip on the Manly ferry, and strolling along Macquarie Street. Then head to Heron Island for an intensive Great Barrier Reef experience with diving and snorkeling.
  • If you have one week: Add Bondi Beach and a BridgeClimb in Sydney, and go to Cairns for a trip up to the Daintree Forest around Cape Tribulation.
  • If you have two weeks: Add the Blue Mountains from Sydney and an overnight trip to the Undara Lava Tubes, plus a day out in Kuranda from Cairns. Fly to Townsville for a brief stay on Magnetic Island and have breakfast with the koalas.
  • If you have three weeks: Add a few days of sailing the Whitsundays. Or explore the southern reef islands, such as Lady Musgrave from the Town of 1770, and learn to surf at neighboring Agnes Water.
Travel map of Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef

For a more detailed day-by-day travel itinerary, check out Queensland & the Great Barrier Reef in 11 Days or Plan a 2-Week Vacation to Sydney & the Great Barrier Reef.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Sydney & the Great Barrier Reef.