Explore Australia’s stunning east coast from the iconic cityscapes of Sydney to the tropical hub of Cairns on an epic trip that hits all the highlights in just two weeks. Sample wine and cheese as you venture through the picturesque Hunter Valley, meet cute and cuddly koalas in an animal hospital near Port Macquarie, hike down for a dip in the cascading waters at Dangar Falls then hang loose in the bustling beachside town of Byron. Next, follow the sun-kissed coastline to Queensland and take an off-road adventure across K'gari (Fraser Island), sail through the picture-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, flop and drop on the palm-fringed sands of Mission Beach and explore the colourful underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.
- Cruise through the postcard-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, including a stop at the world-famous Whitehaven beach. Surround yourself with dazzling white sands and azure waters as you discover this idyllic corner of Queensland.
- Keep your eye out for koalas and kangaroos on your way to a cheese, chocolate and wine-filled lunch in the chilled-out Hunter Valley – a picturesque region in the rural hills of New South Wales.
- Soak up the beachside vibes of Byron Bay with a free day in this surfer’s haven. Go for a dip in the ocean, listen to buskers by the beach, join a yoga class or just hang loose in a quirky cafe – it’s a hard life!
- Take an incredible 4WD adventure through the breathtaking landscape of K'gari. Venture across undulating sand dunes and vast golden beach in search of that iconic outback creature, the dingo!
- Witness the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef on a bucket-list ticking snorkelling adventure. Brimming with colourful coral and tropical fish, enjoy an included cruise from Cairns to explore this underwater paradise.
12 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Private vehicle , Plane
Hotel (7 nights), Motel (1 night), Pub Hotel (1 night), Resort (4 nights)
- Atherton Tablelands - Highlights Tour
- Byron Bay - Walking Tour with Cockatoo Paul
- Dorrigo National Park - Dangar Falls
- Forster - Wallis Lake Lunch Cruise
- Great Barrier Reef - Day Cruise & Snorkelling Adventure
- Hunter Valley - Wildlife Sanctuary Visit with Ranger
- Hunter Valley - Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tasting
- K'gari - Highlights tour by 4WD, including Eli Creek, Lake McKenzie & 75-Mile Beach
- Noosa - Noosa National Park visit
- Orara East State Forest (Niigi Niigi)- Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience
- Port Macquaire - Meet Volunteers at the Koala Hospital
- Rainbow Beach - Carlo Sandblow walk
- Sydney - Welcome Dinner
Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
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Day - 1
Location: Sydney - Your adventure begins in Sydney (Warrane in the language of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Sydney is now located). This is the iconic harbour city, the glittering jewel in the east coast's crown. Make your own way to the joining hotel where you’ll meet your leader and fellow travellers for a welcome meeting in the lobby. Afterwards, head out to explore the historic area around the hotel before heading out for dinner. If you arrive early, there’s plenty to see and do – head down to Circular Quay and check out the world-famous Opera House, or if you’re feeling brave, opt to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with an Indigenous Storyteller as your guide to catch an epic view over this stunning city and learn about Aboriginal culture, languages and history of Sydney. For each climber a $20 donation will be made to Tribal Warrior, an Aboriginal-led not-for-profit organisation in Redfern in Sydney's Inner West. Alternatively, you might like to take the ferry over to Manly Beach for some sun, sea and surf – soaking up the panoramic view of the iconic Sydney cityscape as you cruise along the glittering waters.
Day - 2
Location: Hunter Valley / Newcastle - Leave the hustle and bustle of Sydney behind for the chilled-out Hunter Valley – a picturesque wine region in the rural hills of New South Wales. On your way visit a wildlife sanctuary where a wildlife ranger will be keeping an eye out for koalas and kangaroos for you. Make your way to what the Hunter Valley is best known for – yes, there will be cheese, and wine, and chocolate (the Hunter is famous for it!). Continue your drive to Newcastle. It may only be a fraction the size of Sydney, but this beach side city is jam-packed with trendy bars and a buzzing arts scene. This evening why not head out for a delicious dinner at one of the many restaurants or simply settle in at a friendly pub for a night of live, local music.
Day - 3
Location: Forster / Port Macquarie - After a local breakfast, hit the scenic Lakes Way and witness epic coastal views at their best as you drive past spectacular beaches and lakeside communities. Hit the pristine waters of Wallis Lake on a lunch cruise and relax as you explore the waterways and wildlife of the Great Lakes (approx. 2.5 hours). Continue on your way north and in the afternoon stretch your legs on a leisurely walk and climb to a lookout where you can take a moment to soak up panoramic vistas of New South Wales’ breathtaking shoreline. Continue your journey to Port Macquarie where you’ll spend the night.
Day - 4
Location: Port Macquarie / Dorrigo National Park - This morning, meet the volunteers at a local koala hospital (cute!). If you’re able to tear yourself away from the cuddly critters, continue to the country town of Dorrigo via the spectacular Waterfall Way and Dorrigo National Park, known for its lush, sub-tropical rainforest, a remainder of the forests that once covered the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland. Few places on Earth contain so many plants and animals which remained relatively unchanged from their ancestors over such a long period. See Dangar Falls and if time allows, take a refreshing dip in its cascading waters. Finish the day in true Aussie style in Dorrigo at a traditional pub where you can relax, order some grub, have a few drinks and even play some pool. Why not opt for an Aussie classic like a chicken ‘parma’, or the quintessential meat pie (tomato sauce optional, but recommended!).
Day - 5
Location: Orara State Forest / Byron Bay - This morning head back towards the coast and be rewarded with a stop in Orara East State Forest (Niigi Niigi) to share in the unique and immersive Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience that will get you in touch with the traditional custodians of this land, lore and ancient cultural knowledge. Enjoy 360 degree views, experience speaking language and practice culture on Country. Next up is Byron Bay, a laid-back surf paradise with boundless coastline, sand and friendly locals. On arrival, pay a visit to the local lighthouse for a unique photo opportunity and the chance to spot dolphins, whales, and other marine life (Get your eagle eye ready, or perhaps just bring binoculars). Then discover a side to Byron bay that not many visitors have the chance to experience: Enjoy a walk with Cockatoo Paul, a colourful local character, and learn about useful plants found in an urban environment: edible, medicinal and more. If you are lucky on the day, you can spot a small bat colony, and will also have the chance to learn how to make a fire by friction, and a useful demo on how to make a palm frond basket in the wild
Day - 6
Location: Byron Bay - Get up early or sleep late, sunrises are pretty ace at from Australia's most easterly point, but the choice is yours. It’s a free day today so perhaps kick-start the morning with a swim in the ocean or hunt down the best cold-brew coffee from one of Byron’s quirky cafes. Stroll along the streets and check out the trendy boutiques or stretch out your limbs at an optional yoga class. If you’re a seafood fan, head to The Balcony Bar for some delicious oysters or simply enjoy a cocktail or two as you people-watch from the outdoor terrace. If the waves are right, why not try your hand at surfing or just loll about on the one of the endless beaches. It’s a hard life.
Day - 7
Location: Brisbane / Noosa / Rainbow Beach - Rise and shine as you begin your drive from Byron Bay to Brisbane (Meeanjin in the language of the Turrbal and Yuggera peoples, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Brisbane is now located). From Brisbane you'll head to sun-kissed Noosa (don't forget to bring your bathing suit), and go koala-spotting in Noosa National Park before heading to Rainbow Beach, our overnight location for the next two nights. Explore Rainbow Beach's massive Carlo Sandblow. Take a path through eucalypt stands and rainforest to reach this huge accumulation of windblown sand known as the Cooloola sandmass. As you cross the sandblow, marvel at this ever-changing landscape, transformed by wind. From the top you'll enjoy stunning 180-degree views over Rainbow Beach and K'gari. This incredible slice of land is the largest sand island in the world, stretching some 123 kilometres down Queensland's southern coast and tomorrow you’ll head out to explore it in depth, so get a good night’s rest ready for a day of adventure.
Day - 8
Location: Fraser Island (K'gari) / Rainbow Beach - After breakfast, head over to stunning K'gari by ferry. In 2023 the island returned to it's tradiational name after being referred to as Fraser Island for many years. The original Butchulla people’s name for the island means 'paradise' and you’ll find out why soon enough. The name change is a major milestone in a long running campaign by the Butchulla people. Set off on a 4WD adventure through the breathtaking landscape of K'gari. Start off with an adventurous drive along the 75 Mile Beach Road – one of the best coastal drives in the country. Take a refreshing dive into the crystal-clear water of Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie) – an island icon. The lake is world famous for its turquoise colours and fine dazzling white 92% pure silica sands. Next up is Wanggoolba Creek, a pristine rainforest with prehistoric ferns and a luxuriant canopy of palms and vines. Take another dip, this time in the fresh waters of Eli Creek. Visit the Maheno shipwreck and the coloured sands of the pinnacles. From tropical dense rainforest to wild offshore waters – witness the contrasting fauna and terrain of this truly unique island as you venture across undulating sand dunes and vast golden beach, in search of that iconic outback creature, the dingo. This evening return by ferry back to Rainbow Beach.
Day - 9
Location: Airlie Beach - This morning transfer back to Brisbane Airport before boarding a flight to Proserpine, then transfer to Airlie Beach, the hub town of the magnificent Whitsundays and home to endless beer gardens, trendy cafes and a lawn-fringed swimming lagoon. You’ll arrive late in the afternoon, so after settling into your lodgings the evening is yours to spend as you please. Perhaps stroll around and explore, or if the sun is still up why not visit some local swimming spots for a refreshing dip. Alternatively, you might feel more at home finding a seat at one of the many bars, grabbing a cocktail or two, and watching the sun set on the shimmering blue water.
Day - 10
Location: Whitsunday Islands / Airlie Beach - Today is entirely free for you to choose your own adventure. Perhaps take a leisurely day cruise through the postcard-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, including a stop at the world-renowned Whitehaven Beach. Words can’t do justice to the dazzling white sands, azure waters and densely verdant vegetation of this incredible corner of the world – Whitehaven is about as impressive as a beach can get, and at 98% pure silica, it’s about as white as a beach can get too. Peel your eyes away from the pristine sands and explore the colourful underwater world surrounding the Whitsundays on a snorkelling adventure. Get up close to a beautiful array of rainbow coral, playful fish and, if you’re lucky, maybe even some friendly turtles. Spend another night in this lively town.
Day - 11
Location: Mission Beach - Admire the change of scenery on today's long drive as you jump into your private vehicle and head through undulating cane fields to picturesque Mission Beach, where World Heritage rainforest meets the colourful Coral Sea. Be welcomed by crystal-clear waters, stunning views and a large population of cassowaries – a flightless bird that thrives in the tropical forests of north-eastern Australia. This afternoon you can enjoy plenty of free time to soak up paradise and do as you please. You might like to wind down with an optional yoga class or go for a swim in the pool. Alternatively, head out in search of the famous cassowary or simply grab a book and find a shady spot to sit and enjoy the tropical bliss.
Day - 12
Location: Great Barrier Reef / Mission Beach - The breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef is on the bucket list of many travellers who venture to this incredible corner of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is brimming with colourful coral and an amazing array of tropical fish, and today you’ll get to witness its magnificence with your own eyes on a snorkelling adventure through this underwater paradise. Cruise out to this famous reef this morning as you hear a marine conservation commentary about the importance of preserving the World Heritage-listed region and how you can do your bit. Then, it’s time to put on your snorkelling gear and dive into the dazzling waters, where you can freely explore a wonderfully rich ecosystem. After an incredible day, head back to the hotel, where you can freshen up and get ready for dinner. Compare memories, swap stories, and celebrate your east coast journey with your travel companions.
Day - 13
Location: Atherton Tablelands / Cairns - Enjoy breakfast in a local cafe before venturing into the wet tropics of far north Queensland. Stop off en route to your next destination and discover a magnificent plunge waterfall nestled in dense tropical rainforest. Take a dip in the cool water, then continue on to Lake Eacham, a crater lake with beautiful blue-green hues in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands. Next, visit the unusual yet fascinating Curtain Fig Tree, a magnificent tree with extensive aerial roots that drop 15 metres to the forest floor, forming a curtain-like appearance. The day draws to a close as you head to your next stop, Cairns, one of Australia’s most lively tropical towns.
Day - 14
Location: Cairns - Your east coast experience comes to an end after breakfast. With so much to do in this bustling hub, enquire about booking some extra nights in Cairns for further exploration of this tropical paradise.