Australia East Coast Adventure
5-6 weeks on the beautiful East Coast of Australia!
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Group Size: Avg - 10-20
Trip code: AECA
Duration: 5-6 weeks
Australia’s East Coast is a truly spectacular part of the world, full of dreamy beaches, stunning islands and epic cities. Unlike many whistle-stop tours, this 5 week adventure from Sydney to Cairns travels at a steady pace, allowing you plenty of time to explore each of the stunning stop-offs on the route, including Byron Bay, Brisbane, Noosa, Airlie Beach, & more! You’ll also enjoy a huge range of awesome included activities, including a 2 night cruise around the Whitsundays, a surf lesson in Byron, a K'gari camping experience, and a snorkelling boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef! Plus, to supercharge your adventure you can book our 6 week option and enjoy extra time in and around Sydney! It’s the ultimate introduction to this backpacker paradise!
- Take in the best backpacker destinations on the Aussie East Coast, including Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane and Cairns
- Spend 2 nights camping and exploring on K'gari
- Sail around the gorgeous Whitsundays on a live-aboard maxi yacht!
- Discover the dramatic Atherton Tablelands and the spectacular Great Barrier Reef!
- Book the 6 week option and enjoy an extra week in and around Sydney before your tour begins. Includes a harbour cruise, a 2 day Bondi Beach escape, & more!
This trip has two options:
- 5 week itinerary (36 days)
- 6 week itinerary including Sydney intro week (43 days)
6-week Itinerary: 7-day Sydney Intro Week
The 5 week tour only includes 1 day in Sydney. If you fancy extending your time here, book our 6 week option and enjoy an additional 7 days in and around Sydney before your East Coast tour begins! Enjoy a city tour, a trip around Sydney harbour on board a private catamaran, a 2 day getaway on Bondi Beach, a Sydney bar crawl and a walk from Coogee to Bondi, one of the world’s most beautiful coastal walks. You also join a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains too!
On day 8, you’ll join the 5 week trip and follow the itinerary below.
Choose the 6-week option from the drop-down menu in the booking section to see trip dates and prices.
Day 1: Sydney. If you book the 5 week option, your awesome East Coast adventure kicks off today in Sydney. Meet your guide and the rest of your group and head out into the city for a guided tour, taking in Sydney’s biggest and best sights. Then, board an overnight bus that’ll take you up the coast to Byron Bay.
Please note: You will meet the rest of your group and guide at around 11am this morning. Due to this early start time, we recommend you arrive into Australia the day before and book an extra night of accommodation in Sydney. An airport transfer is included. Please speak to a travel advisor for more information. If you have booked the 6-week tour, you will have today free and then meet the rest of the group at around 4:30pm.
Day 2-5: Byron Bay. Spend your days here relaxing on the perfect golden beaches and cooling off in the gorgeous aquamarine waters. Enjoy an included surfing lesson, explore the coast, visit the Byron lighthouse, relax with a morning yoga session, and live the high life with a wine & cheese night!
Days 6-8: Surfers Paradise. This stunning city is legendary for its epic waves and buzzing nightlife. Put your new surfing skills to the test, or simply lay back and soak up the sun. Spend a few days of relaxing, swimming, surfing and partying.
Days 9-11: Brisbane. Another day, another epic East Coast stop-off! Today, you’ll discover Brisbane, a glistening city of towering skyscrapers and vast rivers. Enjoy a guided tour of the city, and check out the man-made Streets Beach, the perfect place for a cooling dip on a hot day!
Days 12-13: Noosa. Get away from the skyscrapers as you venture into the lush landscapes of Noosa. Surrounded by thick green forests and stunning sandy shores, this east coast gem is simply gorgeous. Enjoy a hike along the coast, bask in beautiful panoramic views, or chill by the beach and watch an out-of-this-world sunset. Bliss.
Day 14: Rainbow Beach. This exquisite stretch of coast is pure paradise. Enjoy a hike along the beach and watch the sunset over K'gari, your next East Coast stop!
Days 15-17: K'gari. Today, you’ll leave the mainland behind and transfer across to beautiful K'gari. On the island, you’ll drive across the sand in a 4x4, stopping off for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lake McKenzie, and taking a dip in the incredible champagne pools. You’ll also enjoy the views from the Indian Heads Lookout before making camp with your group, and watching the stars appear overhead.
Days 18-19: Rainbow Beach. Have a free day to relax in Rainbow Beach. Choose to do some optional activities such as SUP, horse riding or kayaking with dolphins.
Days 20-21: Airlie Beach. Check into the hostel from the overnight bus this morning. Visit the famous Airlie Beach Lagoon and Honeyeater Lookout Trail
Days 22-23: Whitsunday Islands Cruise. Arrive into Airlie Beach this morning and enjoy a refreshing swim in the harbour-front lagoon. The next morning, you’ll board a spectacular sailing yacht and cruise around the dreamy Whitsunday Islands. Your yacht will take you past stunning islands and beaches, stopping off for snorkelling and swimming in some gorgeous surroundings. This is the ultimate in relaxation and adventure!
Days 24: Airlie Beach. Enjoy a post-island party night with your group and explore the gorgeous national park that surrounds Airlie Beach. If you want to max out on adventure, opt to see the Whitsundays from above in a helicopter (extra cost)!
Days 25-28: Magnetic Island. See some famous Aussie critters up close today as you explore Magnetic Island. Wander the island and enjoy its beautiful beaches. Snorkel in the shallows, enjoy a guided Forts Walk that takes in some of the best viewpoints on the Island, and relax at your accommodation.
Days 29-30: Mission Beach. Your penultimate stop is Mission Beach, a tropical paradise where golden sands and green palm trees fringe an ever-perfect blue sea. While here, you’ll explore the neighbouring National Park, home to the Djiru Aboriginal people.
Days 31-35: Cairns. The final stop on this epic East Coast Tour! You’ll spend 5 full days here to make the most of this fantastic backpacker destination. Enjoy awesome included activities, including a day-trip to the dramatic Atherton Tablelands, and a snorkelling boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef, where you can see turtles, stingrays, nemo fish and more! Your final two days are a chance to relax, sunbathe, party and enjoy your final moments on this epic tour.
Day 36: Tour ends. Your tour ends this morning in Cairns! Say goodbye to your group and guide and either head to the airport or stick around for more independent travel adventures!
On this trip you will have some free time to explore on your own or with others in your group. During your free time, you decide how to spend your time. Some travellers like to go out in the evenings for a meal and then carry on the party but there is no expectation to do so. If you prefer to chill and wake up with a clear head, then there are plenty of great options too!
Please note that itineraries and inclusions are subject to change.
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Most expensive: £1,412 December, 2023
For both the 5 week and 6 week options, your tour begins at around 11am on day 1 in Sydney. Due to this early start time, we recommend you arrive into Australia the day before and book an extra night of accommodation in Sydney. Please speak to a travel advisor for more information and assistance in booking this. An airport transfer is included.
If you are on the 6 week tour and you do not arrive in time for the 11am meeting, you can meet your group at 7pm that day instead. However this is not possible for those on the 5 week trip as you will be taking the overnight bus out of Sydney that evening.
You will need to go to a pre-set meeting point at Sydney airport and a greeter will direct you to the shuttle bus which will take you directly to your hostel to begin your first week of fun and adventure!
If you want to arrive a few days earlier into Sydney, we will be happy to help you organise any additional accommodation you may need (at extra cost). Please contact us for further details.
On your end date the tour will finish in the morning in Cairns. A return airport transfer is not included but is easy to arrange locally.
35 or 42 nights of accommodation are included on this group tour depending on which option you choose. This will mainly be in mixed hostel dorms, sleeping between 4 and 12 people. Two nights will be spent on overnight transport. Two nights will be spent camping on K'gari, and two nights will be spent on board a maxi yacht. Private room upgrades are available at extra cost. Please contact us for more details.
The majority of the journeys on the tour will be by coach. The coaches used are modern and comfortable, with USB sockets, wifi (connection dependant) and reclining seats. The overnight coaches also have even more legroom (more than most airlines!), as well as reclining seats, so you'll get a great nights sleep.
9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 6 dinners are included in the 6 week tour. You will need to purchase the majority of meals yourself. Each stop will have a great range of restaurants and backpacker bars where you can find tasty meals. Alternatively, you could prepare meals in the hostel kitchens. Preparing your own meals is a great way to save money. We recommend budgeting around AUD30-50 per day for food and drink.
The minimum age to join this trip is 18. This trip is designed for travellers aged 18-35 years old.
All visitors to Australia (excepting those from New Zealand) will require a visa or e-visa/ETA to enter. These must be applied for before departure, and if you’re planning on working in Australia whilst you’re out here you’ll need a Working Holiday Visa. If you are just heading to Australia for fun however, an ETA will suffice. Both visas can be applied for online. Please feel free to contact us if you need any more information.
Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for up to date information.