Travelers to Australia typically plan a trip for 8 to 10 days when combining Cairns with Sydney and Uluru. If you're not interested in Sydney and Uluru, five to six days is enough for your Cairns trip. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as four days. For the best itineraries, including Cairns, keep reading below.

How many days do you need in?

  • Most travelers spend 5-6 days in Cairns
  • Visiting Cairns in 4 days is possible, but it will feel rushed
  • With 7 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip
  • The most common extensions are Sydney, Port Douglas, and Hamilton Island

How Many Days to Spend in Australia

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Recommended Itineraries for Cairns

Recommended Itinerary for 6 Days

Fitzroy Island, Cairns
Fitzroy Island, Cairns
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairns, Explore Cairns
Day 2 Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Tour to Green Island Cairns
Day 3 Full-Day Kuranda Rainforest Tour Cairns
Day 4 Free Day in Cairns Cairns
Day 5 Aboriginal Fishing & Daintree Rainforest Tour Cairns
Day 6 Depart Cairns  

Experience all Cairns has to offer on this whirlwind Australian holiday. Spend the beginning of your trip relaxing and snorkeling around the Great Barrier Reef and Green Island. Continue into the rainforest to fly above the trees in a cable car and board one of the most famous train rides in the world, then dive into the heritage of the First Nations people as you learn traditional fishing techniques. Read more

Extended Itineraries

1-Week Itinerary Including Sydney & Melbourne

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Melbourne 7 November 2021 Melbourne
Day 2 Travel Great Ocean Road Melbourne
Day 3 Travel to Sydney and Afternoon Pub Tour Sydney
Day 4 Blue Mountains Hiking Day Trip Sydney
Day 5 Travel to Cairns Cairns
Day 6 Cairns - Great Barrier Reef Day Trip 29 December 2021 Cairns
Day 7 Departure From Melbourne  

On this weeklong trip to Australia, experience three different cities and several landmarks along the way. The itinerary begins in Melbourne, where you can enjoy some local sightseeing. Then, travel the Great Ocean Road, which hosts scenic lookouts like The Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard. The next stop is Sydney, which includes a pub crawl and a day trip to the stunning Blue Mountains. The final leg takes you to Cairns, where the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park awaits, as well as a memorable finale at the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Read more

10-Day Itinerary Including Sydney & Uluru

Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Airlie Beach to Cairns Cairns
Day 2 Cairns - Great Barrier Reef Day Trip Cairns
Day 3 Cairns - Free Day Cairns
Day 4 Travel to Uluru Uluru
Day 5 Uluru - Cairns Cairns
Day 6 Travel to Sydney Sydney
Day 7 Sydney - Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb Sydney
Day 8 Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Day Trip Sydney
Day 9 Sydney - Free Day Sydney
Day 10 Depart From Sydney  

On this 10-day trip to Australia, enjoy a mix of city tours and outdoor excursions. First, explore Cairns, along with a memorable day trip to the famed Great Barrier Reef. Next, visit the outback of Uluru and the iconic Ayers Rock. Then, land in Sydney for a city tour, a day of wine tasting in Hunter Valley, and a free day to experience the BridgeClimb at Sydney Harbour Bridge and the renowned Sydney Opera House. Read more

10-Day Itinerary Including Sydney, Uluru & Melbourne

Watch the sun set and rise over Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Watch the sun set and rise over Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Melbourne Melbourne
Day 2 Phillip Island Penguin Parade Melbourne
Day 3 Melbourne - Great Ocean Road Melbourne
Day 4 Melbourne - Uluru (Ayers Rock) Uluru
Day 5 Uluru to Cairns Cairns
Day 6 Cairns - Great Barrier Reef Cairns
Day 7 Cairns - Kuranda Scenic Railway Skyrail and Wildlife Experience Cairns
Day 8 Sydney City Sights Sydney
Day 9 Sydney - Blue Mountains Sydney
Day 10 Depart Sydney  

Cover the highlights on this 10-day tour that perfectly combines urban exploration with outdoor excursions starting in the cultural capital of Melbourne—a great jumping-off point to explore nearby Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road. Venture into the "Red Center" to visit the iconic Ayers Rock before flying out to tropical Cairns to cuddle with a koala and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. End your stay with a Sydney city tour and a day trip to Blue Mountains National Park. Read more


Map of Cairns: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Cairns: Best Itinerary Ideas