16 days in Alice Springs, Cairns & Coffs Harbour Itinerary

16 days in Alice Springs, Cairns & Coffs Harbour Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Alice Springs, Cairns & Coffs Harbour Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  5​h 30​min
1
Alice Springs
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
2
Cairns
— 7 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
3
Coffs Harbour
— 5 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
End: Sydney

2
nights
Alice Springs

Alice Springs ©
Situated right in the heart of Australia, Alice Springs serves as an urban oasis deep within the country’s parched, desert-like Red Center.
Discover out-of-the-way places like The Kangaroo Sanctuary and Araluen Cultural Precinct. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Road Transport Hall of Fame and Talapi. There's much more to do: get outside with Simpsons Gap, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Gillen, get engrossed in the history at National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame & Old Alice Springs Gaol, and view the masterpieces at Tjanpi Desert Weavers.

To see ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Alice Springs holiday planner.

Sydney to Alice Springs is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Sydney in September, you will find days in Alice Springs are a bit warmer (32°C), and nights are about the same (11°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to travel to Cairns.

Things to do in Alice Springs

Museums Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
The Kangaroo Sanctuary ©
The Kangaroo Sanctuary
Road Transport Hall of Fame ©
Road Transport Hall of Fame

7
nights
Cairns

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tablelands, Waterfalls, and Spanish Castle and Kayaking & Canoeing. Historic Village Herberton and The Australian Armour & Artillery Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Change things up with these side-trips from Cairns: Birdworld Kuranda (in Kuranda), The Crystal Caves (in Atherton) and Spy & Camera Museum (in Herberton). There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Atherton Tablelands, explore the striking landscape at Babinda Boulders, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Monica's Cathedral.

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Cairns trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Alice Springs to Cairns in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Cairns when traveling from Alice Springs in September, with lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can travel to Coffs Harbour.

Things to do in Cairns

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Herberton, Palm Cove, Babinda Boulders, Trinity Beach, Birdworld Kuranda
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
The Crystal Caves ©
The Crystal Caves
Historic Village Herberton ©
Historic Village Herberton

5
nights
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour ©
Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Coffs Harbour is one of the larger cities in New South Wales.
Get some cultural insight at Smoky Cape Lighthouse and Bunker Cartoon Gallery. Relax by the water at Pippi Beach and Main Beach Yamba. Explore Coffs Harbour's surroundings by going to Dorrigo National Park (in Dorrigo), South West Rocks (Trial Bay Gaol, Maritime Museum South West Rocks, & more) and Spooky Beach (in Angourie). The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Coffs Harbour Butterfly House, take a peaceful walk through Korora Lookout, kick back and relax at Scotts Head Beach, and stroll through Turners Beach.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Coffs Harbour online trip planner .

Getting from Cairns to Coffs Harbour by flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Cairns in September: high temperatures in Coffs Harbour hover around 26°C and lows are around 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Coffs Harbour

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

South West Rocks, Yamba, Spooky Beach, Dorrigo National Park, Scotts Head Beach
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Smoky Cape Lighthouse ©
Smoky Cape Lighthouse
Trial Bay Gaol ©
Trial Bay Gaol
Coffs Harbour Butterfly House ©
Coffs Harbour Butterfly House

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