Sydney to Cairns: Exploring Australia’s East Coast
Australia’s Stunning East Coast
Australia boasts an abundance of fascinating sights and cities as well as glorious weather. Explore stunning scenery, captivating landscapes and vibrant cities on this exciting tour!
This 14 day tour begins in the incredible city of Sydney in New South Wales. See the Harbour Bridge and perhaps explore the iconic Sydney Opera House! As you travel northwards along the East Coast, experience the vastness of this great country. See the landscape transition from bustling city to great openness as you head to the home of wilderness in tropical Cairns. Along the way there will be a chance to sample wine and cheese in the Hunter Valley. Furthermore, encounter Australia’s famous koalas at an animal hospital. There’s plenty of intriguing wildlife to see here. Additionally, enjoy the pristine swimming holes, and cruise around the picture-perfect islands of the Whitsundays. Dip your toes into the warm aquamarine ocean!
This fascinating country has so much to offer. From vast beaches to buzzing cosmopolitan cities, there’s plenty to explore and discover.
Dates available throughout 2018 & 2019
Arrive in Sydney
Your East Coast Australia tour experience starts in Australia’s Harbour City, the glittering jewel in the east coast’s crown. Make your own way to our joining hotel, check in (usually after 2pm) and relax. We meet this evening at 6pm in the lobby for a welcome meeting before heading out to dinner. If you arrive early, check out the great range of Urban adventures on offer.
Tour of Sydney
Let’s go! Hit up a local café for breakfast. Set off to explore some of Sydney’s most beautiful spots on a walking tour, taking in the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Hop on the ferry to Watson’s Bay for lunch (fish and chips!), then walk along the towering coastal cliffs – keep your eye out for dolphins swimming below. Return to the centre to relax, explore further or a chance to indulge in some of Sydney’s famous nightlife.
Hunter Valley and Newcastle
Leave the hustle and bustle of Sydney behind for the chilled out Hunter Valley. Our own personal wildlife ranger will point out koalas and kangaroos as we make our way to a gourmet lunch – yes, there will be cheese, and wine, and chocolate (the Hunter is famous for it!). Continue to the beach side city of Newcastle for an evening of live music.
Port Macquarie via Forster
It’s all about water today. After an amazing local breakfast, we hit the scenic Lakes Way for a coastal walk and lookout climb. Afterwards, we’re off to Port Macquarie in time for a sunset cruise. Keep an eagle eye out for local pods of dolphins.
Dorrigo National Park
Meet the fuzzy patients at the local koala hospital, then travel to Dorrigo National Park, an area famous for its lush rainforest and waterfalls. End the day in true Australian style – at a traditional Aussie pub.
Splash about in Dangar Falls, then head to the laid-back surfer hub of Byron Bay. First stop is an organic farm where we’ll pick and prepare a healthy lunch. Walk to Byron’s iconic lighthouse for photos, before heading back into town to explore one of the many casual restaurants for dinner and maybe a quiet drink at the Great Northern or Beach Hotel.
The next day, get up early or sleep late, sunrises are pretty ace at Australia’s most easterly point, but the choice is yours. It’s a free day today. Perhaps start the day with a swim in the ocean, indulge in a massage, or stretch out your limbs at an optional yoga class. Otherwise take a stroll around town and check out what all the fuss is about.
Brisbane to Noosa
Travel via Brisbane to sun-kissed Noosa, visiting one of Australia’s top surf locations en route. Go koala-spotting in a national park, then head to a coastal lookout to take in a magnificent sunset over the Sunshine Coast hinterland. In the evening, relax and unwind, or perhaps head out on the town for some dinner and drinks.
Fraser Island and Noosa
Set off on a 4WD adventure on Fraser Island. This incredible slice of land is the largest sand island in the world, stretching some 123 kilometres down Queensland’s southern coast. Visit some of the renowned lookout points – perhaps Indian Head or the Cathedrals – for incredible views. Take a dive into a crystal clear lake, and head out in search of that most iconic outback creature, the dingo. When it’s all over, relax back at your accommodation or soak up some of Noosa’s vibrant nightlife.
Noosa to Airlie Beach
Fly to Airlie Beach, the hub town of the magnificent Whitsundays. The day is yours to spend as you please – perhaps stroll around and explore, visit some local swimming spots for a refreshing dip, or while away the hours at a bar with a view of the shimmering blue water. If you’re feeling active, chat to your leader for some ideas on optional activities, there are plenty to choose from.
Whitsundays cruise and Airlie Beach
After breakfast, take a leisurely day cruise through the postcard-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, including a stop at the famed Whitehaven beach. Words can’t do justice to the dazzling white sands, azure waters and densely verdant vegetation of this incredible corner of the world. Whitehaven is about as impressive as a beach can get! Get a closer look by snorkelling with colourful coral and an array of playful fish and turtles.
A change of scenery today as we head through undulating cane fields to historic Tully in a private vehicle. We’ll meet an Aboriginal family who’ll escort us to a secluded swimming hole in the rainforest. You’ll also get the chance to try your hand at Aboriginal art, as we are guided by local Jirrbal Aboriginal Artists on traditional techniques after a tour of the Ingan Cultural Centre. We finish the session with a candid discussion on Aboriginal culture, history and contemporary life for Indigenous people in Australia, followed by a delicious barbeque.
The Atherton Tablelands and Cairns
Enjoy breakfast in a local cafe before travelling into the wet tropics of Far North Queensland. Here you’ll discover a magnificent plunge waterfall nestled in dense tropical rainforest en route to Atherton Tablelands. Take a dip in the cool water, then head to Lake Eacham, a crater lake with beautiful water. Also pay a visit to the massive, unique, heritage-listed ‘Curtain Fig Tree’. The day draws to a close in Cairns, one of Australia’s most lively tropical towns.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the highlights of any trip to Australia. Cruise over to this famous reef and enjoy some snorkelling and a marine conservation commentary. After an extraordinary day in this underwater world, brimming with amazing coral and dazzling tropical fish, freshen up at the hotel and enjoy a farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport today for your return flight. Depending on your departure time, you may have some free time for some final exploring. If you wish to extend your tour and explore more of Australia’s highlights, just let us know and we can create an itinerary for you!
British Citizens travelling to Australia do require a Visa, you can apply for these via the Department of Immigration & Border Protection.