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Lewis and Caitlin at Bryon Bay learning how to surf

Lewis' Top 10 Moments on the Australia East Coast Adventure

By Gap 360

Last updated: 8th May 2024

One of our recent travellers, Lewis, has been on our Australia East Coast Adventure group trip! He has decided to write and share about his top 10 favourite moments on this tour that you simply cannot experience anywhere else! 

I’ve just spent the last 5 weeks travelling on Gap 360’s Australia East Coast Adventure tour. The tour is packed full of bucket list moments, stopping off at all the most iconic spots. If you’re dreaming of Aussie life, this is definitely the tour for you! Take a look at my top 10 East Coast adventures for a sneak peek of what the tour is like:

1. Learning to surf in Byron Bay

Lewis walking with a pink surfboard in Byron Bay

We couldn’t travel up the East Coast without surfing the waves at one of Australia’s most iconic spots. The instructors got us comfortable with our boards, teaching us how to paddle and stand up. Then, it was time to test our new skills on the waves. I even managed to stand up and ride the wave into shore on the first try!

2. Singing our favourite songs at Byron Bay’s Piano Bar 

Piano bar in Byron Bay with man singing at piano

You’ve probably seen it on TikTok, Byron Bay’s famous Piano Bar. The bar is located in The Great Northern, live singers play the audience’s requests while you sing your heart out. There’s nothing like screaming your favourite classics with a group who were complete strangers a few days before! Our guide made sure we beat the crowds and got free entry by arriving early. I would 100% recommend this, as it meant we were in the front row and could submit our requests first. Australia’s East Coast is famous for its nights out, and this was really starting the trip on such a high. 

3. Seeing amazing wildlife at Australia Zoo

Lewis at the "crikey!" sign in the Zoo

I grew up a huge Steve Irwin fan, so I couldn’t wait to do this optional activity on the Australia East Coast Adventure tour. The zoo is still run by the Irwin family and is committed to wildlife conservation, which is evident across the zoo. As soon as we arrived, we saw adorable kangaroos and koalas. The famous wildlife show at the Crocoseum was so interesting as they talked about the animals Steve Irwin rescued and how Australia Zoo contributes to protecting wildlife for future generations.

4. Walking Noosa’s coastline to relax in the fairy pools

People swimming in the Noosa fairy pools

The quaint surfer town of Noosa was a highlight for many reasons, with its leafy National Park, winding Everglades, and vibrant town. There is also, of course, the viral Fairy Pools that backpackers just can’t miss. Our guide wanted to ensure we really appreciated our surroundings first, with a 4-hour hike through the vast forest and along the tranquil coastline. We watched as surfers rode the waves and kept an eye out for the many unique wildlife that call Noosa National Park home. Then, it was time to climb over the rocks and cool down in the magical fairy pools. 

5. Floating down a natural lazy river on K’Gari

Travellers in rubber rings floating down the river in K'gari

Our 2-night tour in K’Gari was undoubtedly such a highlight of the tour as we drove 4x4s across the beach and swam in the most incredible spots. One of the best spots the tour took us was Eli Creek, a natural lazy river! Our guides gave us rubber rings so we could lay back, soak up the sunshine, and gently glide down the Creek.

6. Flying over the Great Barrier Reef

Picture of the Great Barrier Reef from the plane

In Airlie Beach, we had the opportunity to go on a scenic flight to see the Great Barrier Reef from above. The flight was such a bucket list experience for me and a unique way to see one of the largest coral reefs on Earth and one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. We flew over the picture-perfect Whitsunday Islands, with commentary from our pilot about what we were seeing before seeing the one-and-only Heart Reef. Every traveller should have the scenic flight on their bucket list as it was unique and filled with the most stunning sights I have ever seen!

7. Watching the sunset on the Whitsundays

Group of travellers in the Whitesundays taking a photo at sunset

We enjoyed 2 days sailing the spectacular Whitsunday islands. We spend our days sunbathing on the deck, snorkelling the crystal clear waters, and stopping for a while at Whitehaven Beach. Our nights were full of unbeatable sunsets and delicious dinners made by the cook. On the night of our white party, our fantastic crew took us to one of their favourite spots. We spent the night anchored up at Blue Pearl Bay and rode on the tender to a spot only accessible by the water. The uninterrupted ocean made for one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen, lighting the waters up in various hues of orange and red. The perfect moment for lots of golden hour pictures! 

8. Feeding the Lorikeets on Magnetic Island

Lewis smiling and feeding a green bird

Magnetic Island was brimming with wonderful wildlife, including wild koalas and wallabies. Bungalow Bay offers free Lorikeet feeding every afternoon, an extraordinary up-close experience with the rainbow-coloured parrots. All we had to do was hold the feed out in our palms, and the adorable birds came eagerly flying over.

9. Snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef

Lewis having a photo taken under the water in the Great Barrier Reef with a sign

Every traveller dreams of exploring the captivating underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef! Included on the Australia East Coast Adventure tour in Cairns is a snorkelling tour for a full day. So, of course, the whole group was counting down the days. As we dived into the sea at our two snorkelling spots, vibrant corals and hundreds of beautiful fish and turtles greeted us! After an included lunch, we had an interesting talk about what we saw whilst snorkelling and learning about the important conservation efforts in place to protect the Great Barrier Reef. 

10. Exploring the Atherton Tablelands

Traveller at the lake waving to camera

Our final activity in Cairns included adventuring the many magical lakes, waterfalls, and creeks of the Atherton Tablelands. Our first stop, Lake Eacham, was a freshwater crater filled with rainwater water, creating a crystal clear swim spot surrounded by the mountainous landscape. I couldn’t wait to dive straight into the tranquil waters! We also swam at Millaa Millaa Falls, ranked as Australia’s most photographed cascade, and picturesque Josephine Falls.

I flew through my Oz bucket list on the Australia East Coast Adventure and even ticked off amazing adventures I hadn’t heard of before! Getting to experience endless memorable experiences with a group of strangers, who quickly became new best friends, is why I believe this tour is a must for any backpacker dreaming of exploring the East Coast.

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