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Itinerary - Is this doable?

Level Contributor
8 posts
27 reviews
11 helpful votes
Itinerary - Is this doable?

Just hoping to get some feedback on this itinerary for a last minute getaway. Would you recommended longer in some spots more than others?

Day 1 - Fly to Cairns. Stay in Cairns to get my bearings

Day 2 - Potter around Cairns or maybe a day trip to Fitzroy Island?

Day 3 - Drive to Mission Beach. Stay at Mission Beach

Day 4 - Mission Beach

Day 5 - Mission Beach

Day 6 - Slow drive to Palm Cove via the Atherton Tablelands

Day 7 - Palm Cove. Maybe check out Kundara.

Day 8 - Palm Cove

Day 9 - Drive to Port Douglas

Day 10 - Port Douglas

Day 11 - Port Douglas

Day 12 - Drive to Cape Tribulation

Day 13 - Cape Tribulation

Day 14 - Drive back to Cairns and fly home.

4 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
12,555 posts
54 reviews
30 helpful votes
1. Re: Itinerary - Is this doable?

Very doable, but I would add the Kuranda bit to your time in Cairns.


Camp Pendleton...
Level Contributor
1 post
23 reviews
17 helpful votes
2. Re: Itinerary - Is this doable?

I just visited Cairns from 28JUN to 08JUL. I enjoyed the trip, but half of the vacation was a cloudy and some days it rained (even though this is their dry season apparently). However, when it was sunny the colors truly popped out of Cairns and it felt great. Palm Cove probably will look a lot different from what you googled (during this time of year due to the winds I guess it causes the water to look brown and not as beautiful). It's not dirty, but the silt and dirty gets mucked around. Also, by winds, I don't mean some ridiculously harsh winds I just mean enough to make some waves.

If your weather forecast looked like mine did (cloudy, cloudy w/ rain, partly cloudy, sunny, cloudy, cloudy, etc.) then I recommend planning some tours via Viator.com or finding other things to do on TripAdvisor or even Google Maps.

It might just be me, but I don't think Australia has really good cuisine so I mainly relied on a lot of the specialty restaurants (the Japanese restaurants in Cairns were great and the one Italian restaurant I went to was great too).

You seem to be focusing on mainly beaches which is great because when it's sunny you will have a blast. I did not go to Fitzroy Island, but there are a lot of tour agencies that can arrange it for you easily. I heard Cape Tribulation is beautiful, but I did not get a chance to go since I did not rent a car, however it seems like you are, so I definitely recommend you go there and enjoy it.

I think your itinerary is doable especially since you plan multiple days for places you really want to stay at. Palm Cove may be a bit much (long beach, but not an extreme amount of restaurants or shops in my opinion), but you can judge for yourself on your first day there. I think you should plan some other things to do if it's a rainy day (like from the websites I recommended earlier) or if you think you've seen all you can at some beaches. I think Kuranda is worth the visit. There's a scenic train ride and skyrail (up or down) with some stops for views and pictures. Also, when you do get up to Kuranda it's an actual city with a population of roughly 1,000 (I may be wrong) so there a good amount of shops and restaurants. The train clerk for the tickets recommended I did not need to spend the longest amount of time there, but I disagree. There are a lot of interesting shops in Kuranda, some food stalls, markets, mini golfs, and 3 zoos which I recommend you visit (which is probably the main reason people head up there besides the shopping). No huge malls or buildings up there, but the city has a really cool layout - the markets especially so. Athertton Tablelands has some beautiful views and a nice restaurant (Nick's Italian and Swiss Restaurant).

So the main take away:

- Plan for cloudy/rainy days (tours, activities, shopping to do if you want)

- Try to plan how long your driving would take to destinations and add a bit extra time

- Plan things to do if you don't think you need so many days at a certain location

Ummm... that should be it. I mostly stayed in Cairns and did some tours there (Rainforest tour, Snorkeling tour). I may have a bit more specific things for you I think is worth seeing/doing in Cairns (or that I think isn't worth it) if you're interested.

Have fun!

Kilcoy, Australia
Level Contributor
85 posts
30 reviews
14 helpful votes
3. Re: Itinerary - Is this doable?

Looks great. I love Mission Beach and Palm Cove.

Level Contributor
8 posts
27 reviews
11 helpful votes
4. Re: Itinerary - Is this doable?

Thanks for your feedback, everyone!

Thanks for your detailed response, Anthony - I'm going more for the relaxation/getting back to nature aspect than adventure/shopping/socialising so I don't mind if it rains - will take a good book to curl up with. :) Much of the accommodation I've tentatively booked has ocean views so even grey days shouldn't be too bad. :) But maybe I'll take a day out at Palm Cove and spend it at Cape Tribulation instead so I can do a few more walks etc.

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