Starting in Sydney or Cairns you travel the east coast of Australia in the company of fellow adventurers on an tour to remember. With lots of mini adventures on the way like Fraser island and the Whitsundays there is plenty of action on this epic road trip. Perfect if you are pushed for time and want to “do” the east coast in a few weeks.

 14 Day Oz East Coast Adventure The Sun Tanner

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This is the perfect tour if you are a little short on time, but don ´t want to miss out on the fun of the Australian East Coast. Lets have a look at some of the destinations and activities you will experience on this trip:

14 day Oz East Coast Adventure Highlights

  • Two surf lessons at our surf lodge
  • Brisbane city river cruise and morning tea
  • Full-day 4WD experience on Fraser Island
  • Authentic ‘goat rodeo’ at Kroombit Park Outback Cattle Station
  • Overnight sailing in the Whitsunday Islands
  • Visit to stunning Whitehaven Beach
  • Two nights on a tropical island
  • Great Barrier Reef catamaran cruise

Also Included

  • 13 breakfasts (B), 5 lunches (L), 6 dinners (D)
  • 3 nights in hotels, 9 nights in lodges/cabins
  • 1 night ‘liveaboard’ sailing
  • Escorted services of a fully trained Trip Leader and Driver
  • Group Size
  • Average 15, maximum 36

Transport:  Modern air-conditioned coach, including power points for charging electronics.  

 

Photos

 

Itinerary

Cairns to Sydney (Also operates Sydney to Cairns)

Once an amazing arrival package with this option?  Check out the Cairns adrenaline overload five days ripping it up on the barrier reef!

Day 1  Cairns

For our first day in the tropics, we head a little further north of Cairns along the coast to the resort town of Port Douglas. Take some time to explore, or just hit the beach. Those of a more cultural bent can join an optional tour with the local Kuku Yalanji people, where a guide will explain the cultural significance of their country, before introducing you to traditional spear fishing. Learn about the edible plants and medicines found around you, make your way through the mangroves and view the magnificent Niau Waterfall. The rest of the group will relax in Port Douglas before heading to the rainforest village of Kuranda, sampling some of their fine arts and crafts a great way to begin our Eastern Australia adventure together. (B)

Day 2 – Cairns

Where the rainforest meets the reef, that’s where you’ll find Cairns. Take advantage of these two spectacular natural landscapes with a day free for optional activities (all own expense)! Head out to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling or diving, and get an insight into this beautiful part of the world. Get your heart racing with some white water rafting along the Tully River, or tandem skydiving. Take a day trip into the Daintree Rainforest, or even go horse riding, quad biking, bungee jumping or hot air ballooning! As you can see, there’s a veritable cavalcade of things to do, and that’s without even mentioning the shopping options in Cairns. Tonight we can swap stories over dinner (own expense). (B)

Day 3 Cairns to Whitsundays (Sailing)

We’re up early today, heading south from Cairns, towards the city of Townsville, the unofficial capital of North Queensland. It’s not far through the tropical towns of Sarina and Bowen (Home to the Big Mango) until we reach our gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. Step aboard our yacht and make passage through the inlets. Tonight you’ll gaze upon the stars from the deck and enjoy the relaxed vibes. (BD)

Day 4 Whitsundays (Whitehaven Beach)

Today get ready to chase the sun over the shimmering ocean. Wake up from the shelter of a nearby cove and get ready for a day of sailing! We’ll take in beautiful beaches, snorkel through colourful reefs and get a taste of tropical living. Weather permitting; we’ll visit Whitehaven Beach (the whitest sand you’ve ever seen) and Blue Pearl Bay. Then we plot a course for nearby South Molle Island, our home for the next two nights take a turn on the helm if you’re up for it! (BLD)

Day 5  Whitsundays (South Molle Island)

Back on dry land, explore the idyllic surrounds of South Molle: feed the Rainbow Lorikeets, go snorkelling or swimming, even a quick nine holes of golf if you feel the urge (own expense). There’s plenty of bushwalking tracks available, with scenic views of the Whitsundays and 17 (count ’em) private beaches if you want to get away. A walk up ‘Spion Kop’ (voted as one of the best island bushwalks) is a must. Either way, the pace is relaxed and the choice is all yours. (BD)

Day 6  Whitsundays to Emu Park

Our short morning ferry lands us back into Shute Harbour where we jump back on the coach, our destination Rockhampton (or “Rocky” to its mates), Beef Capital of Queensland. It’s not far from here to our overnight pit stop, set in the relaxed beach locales of Emu Park. You won’t need any help chilling out in a place like this! Go for a swim in the pool, take to the beach, or just enjoy the warm sunshine. Tonight make the most of the locals’ hospitality as we tuck into a ‘Reef & Beef Dinner’, right by the ocean! (BLD)

Day 7  Emu Park to Kroombit Cattle Station

A hearty breakfast greets us today, then a chance to let it settle before our visit to the Sandilands family, and their 10,000 acre cattle station. Breathe in the fresh air and get a feel for the wide open spaces. Try your hand at goat mustering, horse riding, quad bike trailing or even trap shooting this afternoon (own expense). Spot some of the local kangaroos and birds as you enjoy this peaceful taste of the Australian bush. Later get ready for the world-famous ‘Goat Rodeo’, before we settle in ’round the campfire for a tale or three. Don’t forget to try your skills on the Mechanical Bull, either! (BD)

Day 8 Kroombit Cattle Station to Noosa

Leaving the farm behind, we journey back to the coast to Noosa, a popular resort town on the Sunshine Coast! Enjoy the endless beaches of the area, or just mosey around town. Tonight we’ll share a drink or two with the friendly locals. (B)

Day 9 Fraser Island

Today we’re taking a guided tour around the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island! Join our local guides in a 4WD trip that drinks in the awesome beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. We’ll traverse the stunning Seventy Five Mile Beach, before entering the tropical part of the isle for a guided rainforest walk. After a “fair dinkum” (read: authentic) Aussie BBQ on the banks of Lake McKenzie, we’ll take to the waters for a cooling swim. There’s still time to stop off at Central Station, as well as witnessing the multi-coloured sands of Rainbow Beach before returning to Noosa. (BL)

Day 10 Noosa to Gold Coast

Continuing along the famous Irwin Way, passing the Glasshouse Mountain range and hitting the Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin, time is available for those who wish to visit the zoo today (own expense). For the rest of us, we will make our way to Queensland’s Capitol City Brisbane. We arrive in Brisbane, boarding one of the famed CityCats for a cruise along the river and a chance to gaze up at the city skyline. Cruising through the outer suburbs, we’ll get a feel for one of Australia’s most popular holiday spots Surfers Paradise! Expect warm beaches and even warmer locals (Google “Meter Maids” if you don’t believe us). Tonight we regroup for a frame or two of bowling and some dinner, before getting a taste of the nightlife on offer it’s gonna be a big one! (BD)

Day 11 Gold Coast to Byron Bay

Today you have a chance to go ‘Crazy on the Goldy!’ Explore the surrounds on your own time perhaps visit the nearby theme parks for some thrills and excitement, or just indulge in a spot of shopping, or catch some rays down on the beach. It’s only a short hop later this afternoon, as we cross over the Tweed River, into New South Wales. We check in at Byron Bay, a relaxed beach destination that melds fertile rainforest with endless beaches and an alternative culture vibe. So dump your bags at the accommodation and let’s go check it out! (BL)

Day 12  Byron Bay

You’ve got a free day to explore Byron to your heart’s content. There’s plenty of activities on hand adrenalin junkies can skydive, scuba or sea kayak their way across the landscape (all own expense), while others might like to catch some rays and relax beachside. Cultivate your artistic bent with a visit to the local galleries and craft shops, or just unwind at a cafe and people watch for a while. For those after healthier pursuits, take the scenic walk up to the lighthouse at Cape Byron and indulge in some potential dolphin spotting (seasonal) along the way. The choice is yours… (B)

Day 13 Byron Bay to Central Coast (Surfing)

Another short drive passing through Coffs Harbour (look for the Big Banana), Grafton and Ballina, is an extremely scenic journey and lands us here on to the Central NSW Coast. This will be the final instalment in our love-affair with heavenly Australian beaches. The pristine sands will hold your first surf lesson, before we take to the waves. If you’re not up for surfing, take some time to explore the lush landscape and meet some of the friendly wildlife. We’ll all meet up around the campfire tonight. (D)

Day 14 Central Coast (Surfing) to Sydney

Today we’ll start the day how locals do, with an early morning surf to get the blood pumping. All good surfers need a great lunch after the morning waves. Time to relax, and reflect back on the past days achievements on our afternoon journey to the big smoke of Sydney. Entering the city via the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge with spectacular views, we are sure that you will love this city as much as we do. Our East Coast trip draws to a close in the heart of the CBD where travellers will bid their farewells and continue on their own paths.

Note*:  Upgrade accommodation is not available at the Surf Camp or whilst Whitsunday Sailing and will not feature ensuite facilities at the outback cattle station stay.

Sydney to Cairns Version

Day 1 – Sydney to Central Coast (Surfing)

Pack your sunscreen for this trip, as we meet the group and travel over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Heading up the coast, we’ll pass through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and stop in Kempsey (where the Akubra hat comes from) for lunch (own expense). It’s not far from here to the Central Coast and the start of our love-affair with heavenly Australian beaches. The pristine sands will hold your first surf lesson, before we take to the waves. If you’re not up for surfing, take some time to explore the lush landscape and meet some of the friendly wildlife. We’ll all meet up around the campfire tonight. (D)

Day 2 Central Coast to Byron Bay

Today we’ll start the day how locals do, with an early morning surf to get the blood pumping. Then it’s time to head up the coast on our way towards Northern New South Wales. Passing through Coffs Harbour (look for the Big Banana), Grafton and Ballina, it’s an extremely scenic journey! We check in at Byron Bay, a relaxed beach destination that melds fertile rainforest with endless beaches and an alternative culture vibe. So dump your bags at the accommodation and let’s go check it out! (BL)

Day 3 – Byron Bay

You’ve got a free day to explore Byron to your heart’s content. There’s plenty of activities on hand adrenalin junkies can skydive, scuba or sea kayak their way across the landscape (all own expense), while others might like to catch some rays and relax beachside. Cultivate your artistic bent with a visit to the local galleries and craft shops, or just unwind at a cafe and people watch for a while. For those after healthier pursuits, take the scenic walk up to the lighthouse at Cape Byron and indulge in some potential dolphin spotting (seasonal) along the way (seasonal). The choice is yours… (B)

Day 4 Byron Bay to Gold Coast

It’s a short hop today, as we cross over the Tweed River, into Queensland and the Gold Coast. Cruising through the suburbs, we’ll get a feel for one of Australia’s most popular holiday spots. Expect warm beaches and even warmer locals (Google ‘Meter Maids’ if you don’t believe us). Once we’ve arrived explore the surrounds on your own time perhaps visit the nearby theme parks for some excitement, or just indulge in a spot of shopping. Tonight we regroup for a frame or two of bowling and some dinner, before getting a taste of the nightlife on offer it’s gonna be a big one! (BD)

Day 5 Gold Coast to Noosa

An hour’s drive north of the Gold Coast, we arrive in Brisbane, boarding one of the famed CityCats for a cruise along the river and a chance to gaze up at the skyline. Then we head onwards and upwards along the Bruce Highway, passing the Glasshouse Mountain range and hitting the Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin. There is time available to visit the zoo this afternoon (own expense). For the rest of us, we will make our way to Noosa, a popular resort town on the Sunshine Coast. Enjoy the endless beaches of the area, or just mosey around town. Tonight we’ll share a drink or two with the friendly locals. (B)

Day 6 Fraser Island

Today we’re taking a guided tour around the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island! Join our local guides in a 4WD trip that drinks in the awesome beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. We’ll traverse the stunning Seventy Five Mile Beach, before entering the tropical part of the isle for a guided rainforest walk. After a ‘fair dinkum’ (read: authentic) Aussie BBQ on the banks of Lake McKenzie, we’ll take to the waters for a cooling swim. There’s still time to stop off at Central Station, as well as witnessing the multi-coloured sands of Rainbow Beach before returning to Noosa. (BL)

Day 7 Noosa to Kroombit Cattle Station

Leaving the beach behind, we head inland and get a taste of country Australia! First stop is a visit to the Sandilands family, and their 10,000 acre cattle station. Breathe in the fresh air and get a feel for the wide open spaces. Spot some of the local kangaroos, enjoy this peaceful taste of the Australian bush. This afternoon get ready for the world-famous ‘Goat Rodeo’, before we settle in ’round the campfire for a tale or three. Don’t forget to try your skills on the Mechanical Bull, either! (BD)

Day 8 Kroombit Cattle Station to Emu Park

Try your hand at goat mustering, horse riding, quad bike trailing or even trap shooting this morning. Then we jump on the bus and zoom up to Rockhampton (or ‘Rocky’ to its mates), Beef Capital of Queensland. It’s not far from here to our overnight pit stop, set in the relaxed beach locales of Emu Park. You won’t need any help chilling out in a place like this! Go for a swim in the pool, take to the beach, or just enjoy the warm sunshine. Tonight make the most of the locals’ hospitality as we tuck into a ‘Reef & Beef Dinner’, right by the ocean! (BLD)

Day 9 Emu Park to Whitsundays (Sailing)

Today get ready to chase the sun over the shimmering ocean. We arrive at Airlie Beach, resort town par excellence and gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. Think of the best tropical island you’ve visited, multiply it by 10 and you’re still nowhere near it this place is paradise on earth. Step aboard our yacht and make passage through the inlets. Tonight you’ll gaze upon the stars from the deck and enjoy the relaxed vibes. (BD)

Day 10 Whitsundays (Whitehaven Beach)

Wake up from the shelter of a nearby cove and get ready for a day of sailing! We’ll take in beautiful beaches, snorkel through colourful reefs and get a taste of tropical living. Weather permitting; we’ll visit Whitehaven Beach (the whitest sand you’ve ever seen) and Blue Pearl Bay. Then we plot a course for nearby South Molle Island, our home for the next two nights take a turn on the helm if you’re up for it! (BLD)

Day 11 Whitsundays (South Molle Island)

Back on dry land, explore the idyllic surrounds of South Molle: feed the Rainbow Lorikeets, go snorkelling or swimming, even a quick 9 holes of golf if you feel the urge (own expense). There’s plenty of bushwalking tracks available, with scenic views of the Whitsundays and 17 (count ’em) private beaches if you want to get away. A walk up ‘Spion Kop’ (voted as one of the best island bushwalks) is a must. Either way, the pace is relaxed and the choice is all yours. (BD)

Day 12  Whitsundays to Cairns

We’re up sailing early today, heading back to the mainland and Airlie Beach. From here, we head north and further up towards Far North Queensland (or FNQ as it’s sometimes known). Passing through the charming Townsville, it’s not far to the adventurous city of Cairns. The destination for many a traveller, it’s somewhat of a party town, which we’ll find out tonight after dinner (own expense). Having said that, you’re more than welcome to relax at the resort should the mood strike you? (B)

Day 13 – Cairns

Where the rainforest meets the reef, that’s where you’ll find Cairns. Take advantage of these two spectacular natural landscapes with a day free for optional activities (all own expense)! Head out to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling or diving, and get an insight into this beautiful part of the world. Get your heart racing with some white water rafting along the Tully River, or tandem skydiving. Take a day trip into the Daintree Rainforest, or even go horse riding, quad biking, bungee jumping or hot air ballooning! As you can see, there’s a veritable cavalcade of things to do, and that’s without even mentioning the shopping options in Cairns. Tonight we can swap stories over dinner (own expense). (B)

Day 14 Cairns

For our last day in the tropics, we head further north along the coast to the resort town of Port Douglas. Take some time to explore, or just hit the beach. Those of a more cultural bent can join an optional tour with the local Kuku Yalanji people, where a guide will explain the cultural significance of their country, before introducing you to traditional spear fishing. Learn about the edible plants and medicines found around you, make your way through the mangroves and view the magnificent Niau Waterfall. The rest of the group will relax in Port Douglas before heading to the rainforest village of Kuranda, sampling some of their fine arts and crafts a great way to end our adventure together. (B)

B  = Breakfast |  L  = Lunch |  D  = Dinner

Departures

Departure location:  Gilligan´s Backpackers at 08.00am.
Arrival location:  Sydney early evening day 11.

Accommodation

We stay in shared accommodation on this trip, think classy backpacker hostels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most tours require: sturdy walking shoes (preferably ankle high), hat, sunscreen, towel, toiletries, swimming gear, warm clothing, waterproof jacket, water bottle, torch, insect repellent, fly net to cover your head if you are bothered by flies (outback tours particularly), camera, motion sickness tablets (NZ and boat tours, especially) pillow, sleeping bag (can be hired for AUD $25 for Northern Territory Tours and AUD $30 for tours in Western Australia or purchased for AUD $50 for Western Australia Tours; not necessary for fully accommodated tours ie Tasmania), money for optional snacks and activities.
A local payment is an amount of money paid in local currency (eg, Australian or New Zealand dollars) on the first day of your tour. It is used to pay for activities and fees that need to be paid directly to a service provider on the day of services. These include national park entry fees, equipment hire and environmental management fees. All the prices on our website include local payments, where relevant.
Part of the enjoyment of our tours is bonding with a group of likeminded adventurers, so we make them active and hands on. With the exception of our Safari in Style tour, passengers are expected to help prepare food, wash dishes and generally assist the guide as directed.
Our tours are active and require a reasonable level of fitness. Please refer to our fitness guide. If you enjoy hiking through gorges, swimming in waterfalls and directly experiencing the environment, then our tours are perfect for you. If you have any doubts about your suitability for our tours, please check with our Reservations Department before making a booking. We reserve the right to assess your ability to participate at check-in.
Our emphasis is on fresh food wherever possible and our meals are nutritious and varied. If you are vegetarian or gluten intolerant we can cater for you, but if you have very specific dietary needs you may need to provide your own food, so please discuss this at time of booking. For breakfast we supply cereals, toast, tea and coffee. Lunch is usually a self-serve sandwich and salads; in the evening we have a cooked dinner. Some tours, such as Safari in Style, have a focus on ‘bush tucker’, giving you the chance to experience this uniquely Australian cuisine (refer to your itinerary for details). We always carry water in the vehicle and you will often have the chance to buy your own drinks, ice-creams etc at stops.
Australia is a large country with weather conditions varying considerably from one region to another. Generally, you can expect high temperatures in the summer (Dec-Feb), often extending into autumn, with lower temperatures at night and during winter (Jun-Aug), particularly in southern Australia where conditions can change quickly. The top half of Australia, particularly the Northern Territory, is known for its ‘wet’ (Oct-Mar) and ‘dry’ (Apr-Sept) seasons. New Zealand has a sub-tropical to temperate climate but be prepared for lower temperatures during winter (Jun-Aug) and we recommend you bring a good wind and/or waterproof jacket, as well as warm clothing, year-round.
No. Australian government regulations prohibit smoking and the drinking of alcohol inside tourist vehicles in Australia (smoking and drinking should be limited to stops along the route).

Duration Option Price  
14 (Days)USD 2459Book Now

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Included

  • 13 nights shared dorm accommodation
  • Meals (see itinerary)
  • Experienced guide
  • Surf lesson at spot X
  • 2 night Whitsunday sailing adventure
  • 4WD Fraser Island group tour
  • Outback ranch cattle station. Goat Rodeo baby!
  • Full staff support
  • Access to 24 emergency assistance in the UK

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary

Dates

Dates 2017 sydney to Cairns below.
If you wish to travel from Cairns to Sydney please ask us for the dates.

Departure Sydney 2017
Fri 17 Feb – Thu 02 Mar
Mon 27 Feb – Sun 12 Mar
Sun 05 Mar – Sat 18 Mar
Mon 27 Mar – Sun 09 Apr
Sun 02 Apr – Sat 15 Apr
Wed 12 Apr – Tue 25 Apr
Sun 23 Apr – Sat 06 May
Sun 30 Apr – Sat 13 May
Sun 21 May – Sat 03 Jun
Sun 28 May – Sat 10 Jun
Sun 18 Jun – Sat 01 Jul
Sun 25 Jun – Sat 08 Jul
Sat 01 Jul – Fri 14 Jul
Sun 16 Jul – Sat 29 Jul
Sun 23 Jul – Sat 05 Aug
Sun 13 Aug – Sat 26 Aug
Sun 20 Aug – Sat 02 Sep
Sun 10 Sep – Sat 23 Sep
Sun 17 Sep – Sat 30 Sep
Thu 28 Sep – Wed 11 Oct
Sun 08 Oct – Sat 21 Oct
Sun 15 Oct – Sat 28 Oct
Thu 26 Oct – Wed 08 Nov
Sun 05 Nov – Sat 18 Nov
Sun 12 Nov – Sat 25 Nov
Thu 23 Nov – Wed 06 Dec
Sun 03 Dec – Sat 16 Dec
Sun 10 Dec – Sat 23 Dec

Departure Sydney 2018
Tue 02 Jan – Mon 15 Jan
Thu 04 Jan – Wed 17 Jan
Sun 07 Jan – Sat 20 Jan
Thu 18 Jan – Wed 31 Jan
Sun 28 Jan – Sat 10 Feb
Sun 04 Feb – Sat 17 Feb
Thu 15 Feb – Wed 28 Feb
Sun 25 Feb – Sat 10 Mar
Sun 04 Mar – Sat 17 Mar
Thu 15 Mar – Wed 28 Mar
Sun 25 Mar – Sat 07 Apr

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