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Sydney to Cairns Adventure

See the highlights of the Aussie East Coast

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Sydney to Cairns Adventure

Group Size: Max 20

Trip code: OASC

Duration: 16 days

Surf lesson at Spot x Camp
Overnight boat in the Whitsundays
4x4’s on K’gari (Fraser Island)

Travel Sydney to Cairns on this 16-day tour with a ready-made group of mates for lifelong memories. Explore famous landmarks, including Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, take a surf lesson in Byron Bay, tackle the sand dunes in K’gari (formally known as Fraser Island) with an epic 4x4 and sail the breathtaking Whitsundays. Finish up in Cairns with some optional skydiving or bungee jumping to get your heart racing. Party as the sun goes down, always with a spectacular sunset, as Aussie nightlife is one of a kind. 


Trip highlights

  • See the sights in Sydney 
  • Learn to surf in scenic Spot X Surf Camp 
  • Adventure K’gari (Fraser Island) in a 4x4 
  • Meet koalas in Brisbane Bushlands and kangaroos in Arrawarra 
  • Sail around the Whitsunday Islands
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What's included
  • Experienced tour leader
  • 15 nights accommodation in multi-share rooms 
  • 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners 
  • Orientation tour in Sydney
  • Surf lesson in Spot X Surf, Arrawarra 
  • Byron Bay 
  • K’gari 4x4 adventure 
  • Entrance to Cooloola Recreation Area and K’gari (Fraser Island) in Great Sandy National Park 
  • Sailing Whitsunday Islands 
  • Visit to Whitehaven Beach 
  • Cairns night out 
  • All transport between destinations and included activities
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport transfers 
  • Visas
  • Extra meals, snacks and drinks
  • Optional Activities
Further trip information

Day 1: Sydney. Say G’Day to Australia! Arrive in iconic Sydney at any time as there are no planned activities on the first day so you can take your time settling into the hostel, meeting your group and exploring the city. Break the ice with some drinks in the hostel bar and try out Sydney’s buzzing nightlife. 

Day 2: Sydney. You will have plenty of time to see the best of Sydney with a free day after a brief orientation walk with your group leader. Marvel at the stunning city, wander the cobbled lanes and make sure you see the top landmarks, including Sydney Opera House, sandy Bondi Beach and the Harbour Bridge. 

Day 3: Sydney to Arrawarra. Enjoy a scenic train ride to Coffs Harbour, where we will then continue to travel north to Spot X Surf Camp. Here, we’ll spend the next few days chilling on this beachfront location. 

Day 4: Arrawarra. Early risers will want to watch the stunning sunrise across the beach before you tackle the waves with an epic surf lesson. Soak up the sun and dry off, ready for a coastal bushland walk spotting adorable kangaroos. Enjoy the breathtaking views and kick back in the afternoon with some free time. 

Day 5: Arrawarra to Byron Bay. It’s time for an unbelievable drive up to Byron Bay, filled with coastal views, luscious hills and national parks. An essential stop is the most eastern point in the country, Cape Byron Lighthouse, where you may be able to spot dolphins riding the waves and even whales. After lunch, we’ll continue to Byron Bay and begin exploring the famed surfers town. 

Day 6: Byron Bay. This artsy beach town is a must visit for all those travelling the East Coast! Spend hours in the water on secluded beaches, test your balance with some stand-up paddle boarding and conquer the waves surfing. For thrill seekers, there’ll be a chance for a bit of skydiving and sea kayaking. 

Day 7: Byron Bay to Brisbane. On our way to Brisbane, we’ll stop for a tranquil nature walk and try to  catch a glimpse of cute Koalas in the Brisbane Koala Bushlands. You’ll want to have your cameras ready at all times! Get ready to explore the capital of Queensland and have some drinks as you test out the bustling nightlife. 

Day 8: Brisbane to Noosa. Sip coffee in local cafes and wander vibrant boutiques as we arrive in Noosa, known for relaxed beaches and soaking up the sun. 

Day 9: Noosa Everglades to K’gari (Fraser Island). Explore the largest sand island in the world on epic 4x4 tours and swimming in spectacular waters, such as Lake McKenzie. Travel through lushious rainforests as we return to Noosa in the afternoon. 

Day 10: Noosa. Enjoy a free day in the popular beachside Noosa, offering lakes to Kayak, beaches to sunbathe on and national parks to hike and swim in. Spot beautiful sea turtles and dolphins swimming in the coastline! 

Day 11: Noosa to Airlie Beach. Wake up early for an unforgettable hike on the Noosa Coastal Track with isolated beaches, scenic views and even adorable Koalas! After a visit to Hells Gate, we’ll board a comfortable overnight train to Airlie Beach. 

Day 12: Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Islands. Rise and shine as you pull up in Airlie Beach, where we’ll board a maxi yacht and speed off around Whitsunday Islands. Conquer Whitehaven Beach for sea views from an island lookout. Learn about the Great Barrier Reef and local community initiatives to restore coral and then enjoy the water with a snorkel in hand. 

Day 13: Whitsunday Islands to Airlie Beach. Glide through paradise in the Whitsunday Islands. Sunbathe on the deck and dip in the turquoise waters, you’ll want your snorkel again as the marine life is spectacular. As the day winds down, we’ll head back to Airlie Beach where you can kick back by the pool.

Day 14: Airlie Beach to Cairns. Stock up on all your favourite snacks and refreshments as we take an early train ride to Cairns - also known as The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef! 

Day 15: Cairns. Why not leap out of your comfort zone with some skydiving or bungee jumping? You can even try some awesome white water rafting or snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is known for its adrenaline-pumping activities and great place to tick off some epic bucket list items. End the day with a fun-filled night out with your group to celebrate the lifelong memories made. 

Day 16: Cairns. Our time together has sadly come to an end. Chat to your group leader with return airport transfer, or for further travels around Aus. We are sure to see you again soon!

Real customer reviews
Australia Facebook Group Discussion

Hey, I’ve just booked onto East Coast Highlights in August! Has anyone else booked onto the same trip?x

Hey!! Anyone doing Australia East Coast Adventure around November?? ☀️☀️ Either the 6 or 5 week tour?

Heya!! Is anyone booked on the Absolute Oz Jobs in January 2024🤍🫶

Booking options

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Flights from £521

Cheapest flights between London and Sydney for the next 6 months.

Cheapest: £521 June, 2023
Most expensive: £1,613 July, 2023
Arrival information

You may arrive at any time on day 1 as there are no activities planned on the first day. You can depart at any time on day 16, when your trip ends, from Cairns Airport. You can extend your stay in Australia and your trip leader can help you with this or any onwards travel arrangements.

Accommodation & meals


15 nights of accommodation are included in this trip. All rooms will be single-sex, multi-share, with 12 nights in hostels, 1 on an overnight train, 1 on a maxi yacht and 1 in a cabin. Please note that all accommodation is subject to change. 


This tour includes 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners. The rest of the meals you will need to purchase yourself, which is a perfect opportunity to explore local communities, markets and restaurants.

Minimum age & eligibility

You must be a minimum age of 18 years for this trip. This trip is designed for 18-39 year olds. 

All visitors to Australia (excluding those from New Zealand) require a visa or e-visa/ ETA. You must apply for these prior to departure. You will need a Working Holiday Visa if you are wanting to work in Australia. However, an ETA is suitable if you are only visiting for fun. You can apply for both visas online. You can contact your travel advisor for more information. 

It is important to note that all visa rules and regulations are subject to change. You should always check relevant embassy websites for up-to-date information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.