The route up Australia’s East Coast has earned its rep as one of the seemingly endless supply of must-do experiences in the country. The classic Sydney-to-Cairns route introduces you to both sides of modern Australia — the bright lights of the big city and the raw beauty of the Outback. You’ll get to try your hand at dozens of activities — everything from wine-tasting to sailing and snorkelling. And when you travel in small groups like we do, you really get out there into the wild to meet the locals and experience the land like they do. That amazing new frontier you’ve been looking for? Here it is.
Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city.
If you arrive early enough, head down to the harbour's edge to 'The Rocks' historic area and the Opera House.
Enjoy a free day to explore Sydney. Opt to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, hop on a jet boat ride through the harbour, or chill out at Bondi Beach.
Travel to the Hunter Valley for a wine tutorial before continuing on to Tamworth for a taste of Australian country living.
Travel over the Great Dividing Range to Yamba, a quaint beach town. Go for a swim at the beach, relax, and enjoy the view.
Continue north, visiting Raspberry Lookout and Boundary Falls in Gibraltar National Park en route. Once in Yamba, head to the beach for a swim.
Continue up the coast to Byron Bay, an alternative hippie paradise. Hit the beach and enjoy an included surf lesson.
After breakfast, travel the coastal road to the stunning surf and arts town of Byron Bay. Enjoy plenty of free time to experience the hippie surfing town. Options are abound — walk to the lighthouse (located on Australia's most easterly point) for a chance to see whales swimming off shore or hang ten with the locals after an included surfing lesson.
Enjoy free time to hit the beach, get a massage, or try sea kayaking.
The free time is yours to explore. Walk along the long stunning beach, play in the surf, or simply hang out at the Byron Bay Brewery and people watch. Want to get your adrenaline pumping? Go skydiving, try sea kayaking, or go on a dolphin watch.
Opt to pre-book the "Byron Bay Ocean Kayaking" activity on the checkout page ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour.
Travel north, and opt for a night out in Queensland's capital.
Set off to the Noosa Everglades for an evening surrounded by stunning wilderness.
Travel by private vehicle and ferry to reach Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. Explore the island by 22-seat 4x4 truck.
Once on the island, enjoy a 4x4 tour of Fraser Island, driving along over 100km of beach. Go for a swim in Lake McKenzie, and enjoy a rainforest walk along the way.
Enjoy a morning of exploring by 4x4 to hit the remainder of Fraser Island's highlights, before hopping an overnight train north to Airlie Beach.
Embark on a 3-day maxi yacht sailing adventure. Enjoy beach visits, island bush walks, and time to snorkel the reefs. Anchor off of secluded tropical islands at night.
After arriving in Airlie Beach and some time for brunch, head to the marina and embark on a maxi yacht which will be our home for the next two nights. Set sail to a secluded cove in the Whitsunday Islands where you will drop anchor for the night.
Hike to an island lookout over Whitehaven Beach, known for its stunning white sand, then enjoy free time on the famous beach. Learn about community efforts to protect and restore coral in the Great Barrier Reef before heading out to snorkel over a Planeterra-supported coral garden. Anchor off of a secluded tropical island at night.
The sailing route today allows us to follow part of Captain Cook's route up through the Whitsunday Islands.
Planeterra has partnered with Reef Ecologic, a nonprofit specialized in creating innovative solutions to challenges facing coral reefs. In the Whitsundays they are working to engage the community and travellers to restore the reef following the 2017 cyclone. Reef Ecologic's new coral gardens in the Whitsundays foster natural coral fragments to be replanted into the reef for a healthy marine environment.
Continue sailing through the gorgeous backdrop of the Whitsunday Islands. Sail to the resort town of Airlie Beach for a night on the town.
After three days at sea, we sail back to Airlie Beach for a night on land in a local beach hostel. Feel free to relax by the pool at the end of the day.
Admire the scenery on the train north to Cairns.
Enjoy a free day to visit the Great Barrier Reef or get the adrenaline pumping by whitewater rafting or bungee jumping. Cap it all off with a Big Night Out in Cairns.
Opt to pre-book the "Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling" activity on the checkout page ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Most of the Coast–Sydney to Cairns
Duration: 16 Days
From Price: $2,719
Supplier Tour ID: OASC.C/201756
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