Sydney to Cairns Travel Pass

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Duration: Up to 12 months

Trip code: AULO

This extraordinary travel pass offers an exciting and original way to travel along Australia’s iconic East Coast, from Sydney to Cairns. Offering flexible travel for up to 12 months, plus incredible overnight experiences at set stop-off points, you can treat it as a tour and travel the route in a minimum of 13 days, or hop on and hop off and add in independent travel time – the choice is yours! With great local guides to show you the ropes, your East Coast travel pass will take you off the beaten track for authentic Aussie adventures. Book all your travel using an amazing app for a hassle-free way to make the most of the East Coast. Enjoy a travel pass trip of a lifetime Down Under!

Trip highlights

  • Travel along Australia’s East Coast at your own pace, seeing it all from Sydney to Cairns with this top travel pass, valid for 12 months
  • Treat the route as a tour and complete it in a minimum time of 13 days, or hop on and off for independent travel and extra time in your favourite East Coast hotspots
  • Stop overnight at set locations for unique adventures off the beaten track such as snorkelling, mountain hikes and a Magnetic Island getaway
  • Manage your bookings and join the online community with an easy-to-use travel app
  • Book our awesome Fraser Island and Whitsundays Add-on to max out the experience; go sailing around the Whitsundays and 4x4ing on Fraser Island!
Further trip information

This amazing travel pass route allows you to see the best of Australia’s East Coast by bus, train and ferry. The route can be completed in a minimum tour time of 13 days, or you can make the most of the 12 months validity on your travel pass and hop off to stay a little longer in any of the destinations en route. We recommend you allow at least 4-6 weeks to make the most of the East Coast, especially if you wish to add in other experiences, such as a fun tour on Fraser Island or sailing in the Whitsundays.

A unique way to travel along Australia’s East Coast from Sydney to Cairns

This extraordinary East Coast travel pass offers an amazing combination of experiences and is like no other ordinary tourist pass. Our unique travel pass offers:

Fantastic Freedom and Flexibility: This travel pass offers the ultimate in freedom and flexibility. The combination of bus and train travel equals fast travel times, so you can max out every moment! This East Coast route can be completed in a minimum of 13 days and treated as a guided tour-style experience, or if you wish to extend your East Coast stay, you have the freedom to hop on and off at your leisure for up to a total of 12 months and explore further at your own pace. It really is the best of both worlds!

Authentic Adventures off the Beaten Track: Head right off the beaten tourist track and get set for authentic adventures along the East Coast! The travel pass route includes overnight stop-offs at set locations, so you can have some awesome adventures and unique experiences. Stay in a National Park, swim at a tranquil river camp, spot incredible wildlife, hop across to magical Magnetic Island and enjoy a rainforest experience in Tully.

A Cutting-Edge Booking App: One of the best things about this brilliant travel passes is the ease of booking. The high-tech booking app can be installed easily onto your device so you can book departure times, accommodation and activities all at the touch of a button. The app is great for booking and uploading information as you go and also offers the facility to share great travel tips, evaluate your experience, connect with other East Coast travellers and add reviews. Alternatively you can access all information and booking directly through the website.

Great Guidance: One of the best ways to learn all about a destination is to benefit from the experience and advice of local guides. Guides give you information about everything from local culture, fun activities, tasty local meals, wonderful wildlife, and all the best things to see and do on the Aussie East Coast. If you choose to hop off and stay longer anywhere, you will be left to your own devices as the guides always stick with the programme, but the best thing is you don’t have to! Enjoy some independent travel and then hop back on the travel route and hook back up with a well-informed guide whenever you’re ready.

East Coast Travel Pass Route

The full East Coast route from Sydney to Cairns runs as below:

Sydney - Hunter Valley - Barrington Tops Farm - Port Macquarie (Koala Hospital) - Surf Camp - Remote River Camp - Byron Bay - Brisbane – Noosa/Rainbow Beach (for Fraser Island) - Cooroy - Emu Park  - Rockhampton - Airlie Beach (for the Whitsundays) – Townsville (for Magnetic Island) - Tully - Cairns

We have broken down the route into stages so you can see where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing along the way:

Sydney - Barrington Tops: Depart Sydney at 8am and sip wine in the vineyards of the Hunter Valley. Overnight stay in stunning Barrington Tops National Park. Opt to go inner tubing (additional cost), or relax with some fishing and wildlife spotting. This unique overnight stay costs AUD60 (approx. £28) and includes accommodation and meals.

Barrington Tops - Surf Camp: Explore beautiful Barrington Tops National Park and then visit a Koala Hospital to meet these cute and iconic animals. Your next destination is surf camp - surf's up! Accommodation costs at surf camp start at AUD40 per night.

Surf Camp - River Camp: Spend more time surfing (extra cost). Then go off the beaten track and swim in the stunning inlet of Solitary Islands Marine Park. Camp out in this remote and wonderful place! This overnight stay costs AUD60, and includes accommodation and meals.

River Camp - Byron Bay: Make tracks for the legendary surfing and arts town of Byron Bay and enjoy the laid-back vibe in this coastal town. Byron Bay is a popular spot, so you may want to hop off here for a few more days by the sea.

Byron Bay – Brisbane – Noosa – Rainbow Beach: Explore the headlands at Danger Point and Snapper Rocks, before driving along the Gold Coast into Brisbane, ending up in the smart beach resort of Noosa. You can hop off here for the night, or head on to Rainbow Beach, gateway to famous Fraser Island.

Rainbow Beach - Noosa - Emu Park: Travel to Emu Park and check into a beautiful beach resort for approx. AUD35 a night. Optional Treasure Island Overnight Experience. AUD99 including transfers to Great Keppel Island, accommodation, dinner, treasure hunt and turtle spotting walk.

Please note: If you arrive in Emu Park on a Saturday, you will spend a minimum of 2 days and 2 nights here before the next bus departs.

Emu Park - Overnight Train - Airlie Beach: Relax on the beach or opt to visit a local crocodile park. Catch an overnight train to Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsunday Islands.

Airlie Beach - Magnetic Island: Take a ferry to tropical Magnetic Island. Nearly 50% of Magnetic Island is National Park, and the island boasts amazing beaches and abundant wildlife. Enjoy a guided walk around the island. Accommodation starts at AUD28 (approx £14) per night.

Magnetic Island – Tully: Head to Tully and enjoy a unique Rainforest Experience. Visit a swimming hole, spend the night in a historic country pub and enjoy a sunrise mountain hike and champagne breakfast. AUD57 extra cost. Alternatively, stay in a hostel in Tully at hostel rates.

Tully – Cairns: Travel north by train from Tully to Cairns. If you fancy adding in amazing activities in Cairns, book our Cairns Adventure, which includes white water rafting, snorkelling, kayaking and a hot air balloon ride, or discover the gorgeous Great Barrier Reef on our Learn to Dive course.    

Don't forget your travel pass is fully flexible, so if you fall in love with anywhere along the way you can hop off and spend more time in your favourite spots!

Please note: Due to the nature of this flexible bus pass, itinerary and inclusions are subject to change.

Fraser Island and Whitsundays Add-on

Complete your Aussie experience with our awesome Fraser Island and Whitsundays Add-on. The pack includes a fantastic 3 day/2 night cruise around the Whitsundays and a 4x4 camping experience on Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach.

Make sure you save money by booking this add-on pack BEFORE you travel. Booking locally is a lot more expensive so get ahead of the crowd and secure your adventures early! (and spend the money you save on more fun and games in Oz!)

Select the Add-On from the drop down menu in the booking section for correct pricing.

The Add-on includes:

  1. Whitsundays Sailing

Climb aboard a gorgeous 3-deck yacht and sail around the Whitsundays. Watch the landscapes glide by and slide into the cool turquoise waters for swimming and snorkelling. You will stop off at Whitehaven beach, stroll along the white sand shores, and soak up the glorious Aussie sunshine! As the sun goes down, you'll get out on deck and gaze at the stars with a few drinks. The perfect way to see the Whitsundays!

  1. Fraser Island 4x4 camping

Jump on a 4x4 and explore beautiful Fraser Island with a group of like-minded travellers! Explore the island at your leisure, camp out in stunning surroundings and discover perfect beaches and hidden pools. Camping and cooking equipment is included as well as 2 nights in a hostel near Rainbow Beach.

On day 1 you’ll arrive at Rainbow beach, meet your group and receive maps, itineraries and specialist training on how to drive over soft sand. The next day you’ll transfer to Fraser Island and have 2 days exploring island highlights such as 75 Mile Beach, the Maheno ship wreck and Lake Mckenzie. In the evenings you’ll set up camp and whip up delicious meals under the stars. On day 4 you’ll return to Rainbow Beach and enjoy another night chilling out with your new mates. The experience ends on day 5.

If you wish to book either of the adventures separately, please contact your travel advisor.

Dates & booking
Please note these start dates are approximate only, and may change due to different bus timetables during certain times of the year.