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Reefs and Rainforests with Sailing (Start Sydney)
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Starting Sydney-side, wild life & wild nights await you on the Aussie East Coast! Learn to surf in Coffs Harbour, enjoy whip cracking at a farmstay, maybe hold a koala, then chill in paradise in The Whitsundays, where you’ll spend 2 nights sailing this spectacular area. Take a rooftop ride along the rainforest canopy, go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef & get a taste of what the East Coast life is like!

Australasia

Duration: 16 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 161027
Starts: Sydney, Australia Finishes: Cape Tribulation, Australia
You will visit
  • Sydney
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Byron Bay
  • Surfers Paradise
  • Noosa
  • Fraser Island
  • Farmstay
  • Whitsundays
  • Cairns
  • Cape Tribulation

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Sydney

Meet up with your travel buddies & Contiki team & get ready for your Down Under adventure! This morning we’re heading out of the city & into the country for our included Blue Mountain’s day trip. The dramatic landscape of gorges (some up to 760m) are massive & will impress with the endless views into the distance. We’ll take a casual hike along the Jamison Ridge to the top of Wentworth Falls, passing a number of lookouts along the way. Next we’ll stop at Leura, a charming country village before visiting the iconic ‘Three Sisters’ – the famous rock formations. With amazing views & photos to keep your memories fresh when you get home, we’ll head back to Sydney. Later this evening have a truly Aussie experience when you get to cook your own delicious BBQ dinner of legendary Australian steak. Watching the sunset with a drink in hand & a great meal is the perfect way to end the day & the ideal start your trip.

02

Day 2: Sydney

Sydney rocks & with Contiki you’ll see the best of the city. First up, get in the know on Sydney as your Trip Manager points out all the hottest spots & icons of this harbourside haven. From the babes on the beaches of Manly, the buzzy Kings Cross & its colourful characters to Chinatown & Darling Harbour, the sights & sounds are as varied as its residents & we’re here to uncover it all. We’ll also take you to Mrs Macquarie's Chair & The Rocks, for undoubtedly the city’s best views of the Opera House & Harbour Bridge in one go (so it’s perfect for some of those legendary Sydney snaps). You could even try scaling the heights of the Harbour Bridge on an optional BridgeClimb or take a tour around the stunning Opera House! Later, it’s a totally Sydney experience with an included ride to the famous Manly Beach. We’ll drop you right at the beach. Bliss! On arrival, grab some lunch then throw down your towel, pop in your iPod & take time to paddle in the cool water, work on your tan if the weather is right, or just people watch as you soak up the vibes & atmosphere. There are loads of shops & restaurants here too, for those that are keen to check out the local buzz. Later, take the Sydney scenic route back - you’ll get a panoramic view of the city as your backdrop whilst you cruise on the famous & iconic ferry.

03

Day 3: Sydney to Coffs Harbour

Chill out on the coach today and chat with your travel buddies as we head northbound over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We stop by seaside Port Macquarie for lunch before heading to Coffs Harbour, home to surf beaches, fishing and banana plantations. This is a chance for a real Aussie overnight as we arrive at our Special Stay experience at our Aussie Surf Camp. Maybe get to know your Contiki team & travel buddies over a few drinks. Our cabins are right on the beach so soak up the surf vibes and relax by the open fire under the stars.

04

Day 4: Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay

This morning wake up to one of our Aussie highlights, a surf lesson! An awesome Aussie experience – hit the waves & learn to surf with some professional instructors as you have a go at surfing! Join some of the coolest people on the planet as you get involved with Australia’s beach culture. It’s a fun way to learn how to surf as our professional local instructors show you just how it’s done. The perfect Aussie experience & will top off your Coffs Harbour stay! Later, it’s time to hit the road for our next overnight stop, gorgeous Byron Bay – one of Australia’s gems & a great place to hang out! With a laid-back lifestyle, cute little shops, organic food, alternative therapies and around 30km of pretty beaches, it’s a must see. Byron Bay is also known for its incredible marine life. Head out to Cape Byron, Australia’s most easterly point and see dolphins and humpback whales if you’re lucky, then grab some lunch back in town and maybe take a swim at the beach & soak up the hippy vibes & easy going atmosphere. There are loads of other things on offer here too, like a sea kayaking adventure where you catch up with a family of dolphins at Wategos beach, their curiosity often brings them right up next your kayak, and snorkeling at Middle reef home to turtles, rays, corals, eels, starfish and sharks.

05

Day 5: Byron Bay to Surfers Paradise

This morning we cross over into Queensland and visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you’ll get up close to Australia’s amazing native animals. Cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and see wombats, emus, crocodiles, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and colourful birds. You can feel good about doing this too, as our visit to this not-for-profit organisation goes towards the sanctuary’s animal hospital which helps over 4,000 injured animals every year. Tonight we pull into legendary Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast’s party hot spot and home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Grab some of your new friends and join the party atmosphere of Surfers tonight. There is an optional Cabaret dinner followed by included entry into one of Surfers Paradise’s best clubs. With heaps of restaurants and a buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everybody.

06

Day 6: Surfers Paradise

With a free day, hang out among the bronzed bodies, bikini babes and surfer dudes on the golden sands. Check out what Surfers is most famous for, the three kilometers of gorgeous natural beaches. Kick back and spot some locals showing off their talents in the waves. If you want to get amongst the action there’s so much happening in Surfers Paradise you are spoilt for choice. You could head up into the Hinterland Mountains on a 4WD trip or visit South Stradbroke Island on a kayaking safari. Our hotel is only a short walk from both the beach and downtown Surfers Paradise so you could also hit the shops – Surfers has some great places to shop and a huge outlet mall for bargains, so get some tips from your Trip Manager on where’s best to head.

07

Day 7: Surfers Paradise to Noosa

As we make our way up the coast, we make a stop in Brisbane to see what this city is all about. You’ll get a feel for the capital of Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town. Noosa is up next. It’s a trendy beach resort town. You could take a stroll through the shops or sunbathe and swim at the beach before we check into our resort.

08

Day 8: Noosa

This morning on our included full day 4WD tour, we make our way north to Fraser Island, a slice of paradise. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 freshwater lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation. You’ll meet your Local Guide in the morning and be shown some of the island’s best spots and hidden treasures, taking you through the island’s sand dunes, rainforests & freshwater lakes. Our Local Guide will show you some of the island’s best spots and hidden treasures, such as Lake McKenzie – make sure you keep your camera handy – this is one of Australia’s most beautiful regions. Tonight, go local and enjoy a taste of Aussie life as we head to the surf club for our included dinner overlooking the beach. Later, if you want to take it up a level, head out into the town & explore Noosa by night.

09

Day 9: Noosa to Farmstay

Today we continue inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queensland’s cattle country. We’ll stop in the country town Childers, where you’ll have the option to visit a local winery & exotic fruit orchard for a tour & tastings. During our time at Langmorn, a working cattle station, you’ll experience a taste of real Aussie country life. The owners will show you around the enormous property in a behind-the-scenes look at daily life on the farm. Taste local hospitality tonight as your welcoming hosts pile your table high with a hearty roast beef and vegetables (like you've never tasted before) followed by an indulgent homemade decadent dessert. Later, have a go at whip cracking an authentic leather stock whip under night lights before heading back inside for traditional Aussie bush dancing. Have some fun and a giggle with some evening karaoke. See if you can spot the 'Southern Cross' amongst a chandelier of stars, a constellation only visible in the southern hemisphere & featured on the Australian flag.

10

Day 10-11: Farmstay to Whitsundays Sailing

Today we drive to Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsundays Islands and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to board our sailing yacht. Enjoy two nights sailing the stunning Whitsunday islands with your friends. Swim, snorkel, or laze your way around the 74 islands of this tropical paradise, where you will pass the lush tropical islands, snorkel the many spectacular coral reefs, laze on the world's best beaches and personally meet an extravagant array of sea life. You can help the crew & learn how to grind the winches & hoist the sails, or just relax and top up your tan in the sun. Please note: Accommodation on board the yacht is multi-share only.

11

Day 12: The Whitsundays to Cairns

After a ferry back to the mainland, we head deeper into the tropics of Australia today when we hit Townsville for some free time. Check out the colonial buildings and get a feel for its maritime past as we drive along the esplanade and into town where you can grab some lunch. See vistas over Magnetic Island before we continue our travels up north. Back on the road, we cruise past waterfalls, waterholes, fruit plantations and thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australia’s best white-water rafting. Then it’s on to the popular traveller’s hub of Cairns. With a colourful tropical setting, vibrant restaurant scene and happening nightlife, this gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and rainforests is one of Australia’s hottest destinations. Tonight we head out to a local restaurant for dinner where you have the opportunity to try kangaroo, amongst other delicious Australian delicacies. In your free time on the first night in Cairns, walk around the buzzing night markets. It’s the perfect place for shopping and with everything from fun, kitsch treasures to local crafts like boomerangs and didgeridoos.

12

Day 13-14: Cairns

Wake up to the warm waters of Cairns where there’s something for everyone. This is your chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef on an optional day trip. If you have always wanted to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef then this is your chance! There are scuba diving options for both certified and introductory divers (no experience necessary). Check out the amazing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, you are sure to see one of Nemo's cousins, tiny schooling fish right up to giant Maori wrasse and if you're lucky, even a small reef shark! There are local marine biologists on board to answer 'which fish is that?' On day 2, for those who are keen for a fun and thrilling ride, join our optional whitewater rafting adventure activity with our professional Local Guides. There are loads more activities available in Cairns like sky diving and bungy jumping – just ask your Trip Manager for some more info. Catch up with your new buddies to swap stories on your day at a local hot spot. The food and entertainment is sure to leave a lasting impression!

13

Day 15: Cairns to Cape Tribulation

We hit the road following the Coral Sea past remote beaches and gorgeous scenery to the lush, tropical Daintree Rainforest. Get back to nature as we walk through this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site with a local aboriginal guide who will teach you about the culture and traditions of the native people. You will also head to a stunningly clear swimming-hole in Mossman Gorge, where you can cool off in the waters. Heading further north to Cape Tribulation, you have the option to go jungle surfing on zip lines through the rainforest canopy or go kayaking off Cape Tribulation and see turtles swimming beneath and eagles soaring overhead. We overnight in Cape Tribulation.

14

Day 16: Cape Tribulation to Cairns

Head to the lookout point at Cape Tribulation. The only place in the world where two UNESCO heritage listed sites meet. Next, make a splash in a local watering hole then check out the mangroves on a walk with our local guide. Next up is Port Douglas, known for its idyllic white sands and palms trees. This resort town attracts the rich & famous, travellers and families alike. You’ll soon see why. This afternoon it’s back to Cairns, where your tour ends at 4:00pm.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 15 nights multi-share accommodation: 8 nights in resorts, 2 nights on a yacht, 1 night in a lodge, 1 night in an eco-lodge, 1 night in a hostel, 1 night in a surf school village, 1 night at a cattle station lodge
    • Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
    • Rainforest adventure on days 15 & 16
      Staff
    • An experienced and professional Trip Manager & Driver team
    • Sightseeing tours of all major cities
    • National Park fees, local taxes & service charges
      Food
    • 24 meals:
    • 15 breakfasts
    • 2 lunches
    • 7 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • Day trip out to the stunning Blue Mountains
  • See the famous Three Sisters rock formation
  • Hike along the ridge overlooking Jamison Valley
  • Cook your own BBQ dinner
  • Take a tour of Kings Cross, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Mrs Macquarie's Chair Lookout & The Rocks
  • Cruise across Sydney Harbour on a ferry to Manly
  • Stop in the seaside resort town of Port Macquarie
  • See the famous 'Big Banana' & banana plantations
  • Learn to surf the waves or ride a kayak at our beachside surf camp
  • Visit Australia's most eastern point & Cape Byron lighthouse
  • Get into Byron's organic lifestyle & cool nightlife
  • Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - cuddle a koala and see native Australian animals including kangaroos, emus, crocodiles, dingoes & Tasmanian devils
  • Stay at a resort located right by the beach
  • Nightclub entry
  • Relax on some of Australia's most famous beaches on the Gold Coast
  • See the Brisbane River, South Bank & visit Queen Street Mall
  • See the Glass House Mountains
  • Visit the picturesque seaside town & beach of Noosa
  • Take a locally guided 4WD trip across Fraser Island & indulge in a delicious lunch
  • Stay on the world's largest sand island, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Drive along Australia's only sand highway
  • Stay in an eco-village & enjoy the resort facilities
  • Dine beachside at Noosa Surf Club & meet a lifesaver
  • Stop in Childers, a small country town, known for its heritage & farming history
  • Check out the farm & animals on a hay wagon ride, then try whip cracking!
  • Meet the cattle station owners
  • Aussie Outback experience: Langmorn Station Special Stopover
  • Visit the vibrant seaside town of Airlie Beach
  • Relax on the famous white sands of Whitehaven Beach
  • Townsville city orientation
  • See Magnetic Island
  • Pass Hinchinbrook Island - Australia's largest island national park
  • Pass through Tully, home to Australia's best whitewater rafting
  • Cairns city orientation
  • Aboriginal experience at Mossman Gorge
  • Swim in a local waterhole
  • Mangrove boardwalk with our expert guide
  • Visit the resort town of Port Douglas