7 day itinerary: Cairns & Port Douglas

When it comes time to planning your trip to Tropical North Queensland, you have to factor in a few things. The time of year, how long you want to spend at each location, getting around and what you absolutely cannot miss.

We had 7 days to enjoy what Tropical North Queensland had to offer, and although more time would have been great, we found we were able to see and do everything we wanted to in this short time.


This was our itinerary. Please continue reading for links to individual posts for each day.

Day 1: Arrive in Cairns

Day 2: Cairns & Surrounds

Day 3: Driving from Cairns to Port Douglas

Day 4: Port Douglas (including Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation, The Daintree & Walks)

Day 5: Port Douglas (including Jungle Surfing)

Day 6: Port Douglas (including Ocean Safari and swimming with turtles)

Day 7: Depart Port Douglas for airport (via Hartleys Crocodile Adventures)


We visited in early January, which is rainy season. We were extremely lucky with the weather having only one afternoon of thunderstorms and rain but otherwise the days were beautiful, but VERY warm and humid.

Day 1

We arrived at Cairns Airport in the afternoon and after checking into our hotel, we explored what Cairns city had to offer.

Day 2

Wake up early and jump in your rental car and check out Kuranda and some of the beautiful waterfalls surrounding Cairns.

To read more about Cairns & the surrounding areas, click here.

Day 3

The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is absolutely beautiful and something that should not be rushed. We stopped into plenty of beaches along the way and it was just beautiful.

To read more about driving from Cairns to Port Douglas and where to stop along the way, click here.

Day 4

There is so much on offer in Port Douglas. We drove up 3 days in a row to visit Cape Tribulation and The Daintree.

The first day, we enjoyed some of the walks that were on offer in the Daintree. If you have time on your way back down to Port Douglas, be sure to stop in at Mossman Gorge. It is worth stopping in for an hour or so and enjoy the beautiful scenery that is on offer.

For our recommended walking spots in the Daintree, click here.

Day 5

Jungle Surfing! Who doesn’t like the sound of that? Well it is a really fun way to spend half a day and it doesn’t matter what the weather is – they run in just about everything! To read more about what this is all about, click here.

Day 6

We really enjoyed our Ocean Safari on the Great Barrier Reef which gave us the opportunity to swim with turtles. This was incredible and absolutely recommended as something you need to do when you visit. To read more about this experience, click here.

Day 7

this was our last day, but with an afternoon flight had some spare time.

We left Port Douglas for Cairns, and enjoyed a quick stopover at Hartleys Crocodile Adventures. Click here to read more and our reasons why you should visit here! We then stopped for a bite to eat in Cairns before making our way to the airport to head home.

Swimming in Tropical North Queensland

Click here to understand why you are NOT able to swim in the waters in Tropical North Queensland at certain times of the year without the correct protective gear on.

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent! Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

Where to stay in Cairns & Port Douglas

We stayed at the Pullman Cairns International. Click here for our full review and video.

In Port Douglas, we stayed at the Pullman Sea Temple. This is the perfect place to base yourself and to relax and unwind. Click here to read more.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison website

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