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Beaches and Reefs (Start Cairns)

If you love sun, water, fun & adventure then this is the perfect trip for you. Packed with loads of inclusions, you’ll experience the best of what makes the East Coast of Oz such a sought after place to visit. Learn to surf in Coffs Harbour, chill in the Whitsundays & get a taste of the action & adventure of Cairns. If that is not enough, we have thrown in the bright lights of Sydney for good measure. You'll get to swim, snorkel, hold a koala, bungy jump & even towel off for some shopping, bushwalking & skydiving. It’s the best of the East Coast rolled up into one cool adventure.

Australasia

Duration: 14 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 160448
Starts: Cairns, Australia Finishes: Sydney, Australia
You will Visit
  • Cairns
  • Whitsundays
  • Farmstay
  • Noosa
  • Surfers Paradise
  • Fraser Island
  • Byron Bay
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Sydney

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cairns

Meet your Contiki crew then we’re off on an optional day trip to experience the Great Barrier Reef or free time to explore Cairns. Put on your snorkel gear or try an optional introduction to scuba diving and check out colourful fish, turtles, vivid coral and the incredible clear waters. For your first night with the group in this city, there’s a chance to head down to a local hot-spot for dinner and the chance to try Kangaroo.

02

Day 2: Cairns

Wake in tropical Cairns. Today is a free day for you to do as you please. You Trip Manager will be able to arrange Bungy Jumping, White Water Rafting or both for those adrenaline junkies. Later, take a cooling swim in the esplanade back in Cairns or sit down with a coffee and people watch. Tonight is a great chance to 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. There’s something for everyone.

03

Day 3-4: Cairns to the Whitsundays

Slowly leaving the tropics behind us, 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, a National Park and bird sanctuary, before we continue our travels south. Play some tunes, have a chat, catch a movie or simply enjoy some downtime before you arrive at The Whitsunday Islands. The time is then yours to enjoy the picture-perfect Whitsundays! Slow the pace down, kick back and make the most of the fantastic facilities available at the resort. Go for a walk, swim in the pool, get into some beach or water sports, or laze about the resort. For those that are up for it, you could get away from it all with our optional day sail. Check out some of the Whitsunday’s 74 islands from the boat – you’ll soon understand why this region is so famous. Experience what is known as one of the top ten beaches in the world, uninhabited Whitehaven Beach. Swim off the boat and play beach volleyball or cricket with the local skipper and crew before enjoying a tasty lunch and a few drinks on the way back to the resort.

04

Day 5: The Whitsundays to Farmstay

Today, plug in your ipod or chat with friends as we drive through scenic Mackay, with countryside full of vibrant green vegetation and sugar cane plantations. Continue down the Capricorn Coast and head inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queensland’s cattle country, for our overnight stay. 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.

05

Day 6: Farmstay to Noosa

After breakfast we drive back out to the coast and travel towards the beautiful beach side town of Noosa. Along the way we stop at a small town called Childers where we get the chance to enjoy some exotic fruits and do some wine tasting and learn about the local wines.

06

Day 7: Fraser Island to Noosa

Experience a slice of paradise on Fraser Island this morning. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 fresh-water lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation. Jump on our included 4WD adventure 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. Enjoy a drink or two with the included dinner tonight at the local surf club. Later if you want to take it up a level, head out into the town & explore Noosa by night.

07

Day 8: Noosa to Surfers Paradise

There’s time to explore Noosa this morning so take a stroll through the shops and the National Park or sunbathe and swim at the beach before we make our way south. We also stop off in Brisbane today. You’ll get a feel for the capital of Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town. 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 with included nightclub entry. With loads of restaurants and buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everybody. Head to the happening Orchid or Cavill Avenues, where clubs and bars line the street or shoot some pool at the pub.

08

Day 9: Surfers Paradise

This morning is all about chilling, hitting the beach, and getting a little R'n'R after the night before. We're nice like that. But remember, you're not in Surfer's forever, so do this thing right - don't stay in bed when there's a parachute with your name on it at the nearby skydiving centre. How's that for a rush of adrenaline? In the afternoon just make sure you're back (on earth) in time for some serious koala cuddling sessions at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. CURRUMBIN: All animal cuteness goals can easily be achieved in this neck of the woods. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is undeniably a must-see destination if you've made it as far as Surfer's Paradise. Here's your chance to see how cute koalas really are, feed a kangaroo & see a crocodile up close (but not too close, obvs). Best of all, it's a non-for-profit set up, so our visit supports the sanctuary's animal hospital and gives back to Oz's furry friends. Soak up on all the cuteness this place has to offer before we head back to Surfer's for some sweet night time 4WD'ing.

09

Day 10: Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay

We're up & on the road early to the iconic Byron Bay for a day full of cheeky tanning with a beer in hand, some serious surfing or just exploring this cute ocean town. Opt for kayaking if you're feeling extra adventurous today. When you're done wiggling your toes in the sand maybe it's time to sate your hunger at one of the delicious local cafes and restaurants. Venture through the streets and soak up the hippie vibes .

10

Day 11: Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour

This morning you’ll wake up to more good times in Byron Bay. Maybe head to the beach for a swim or a wander round town before it’s time to leave the chilled out atmosphere behind after lunch. Later, there’s more beach action. Tonight we’ll stay in Coffs Harbour, home to surf beaches, fishing and banana plantations. This is a chance for a unique experience with our overnight Special Stay experience – we’re staying at a Surf Village! This afternoon it’s time for 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. Our cabins are right on the beach, so soak up the surf vibes, top up your tan and relax by the open fire under the stars tonight.

11

Day 12: Coffs Harbour to Sydney

This morning, chill out on the coach and chat with your travel buddies as we head south. We pass the iconic ‘Big Banana’ in Coffs Harbour, before heading to Port Macquarie for lunch. Relax with your travel buddies…it’s a chilled out day before reaching Sydney. From the high-energy downtown area to its popular beaches, Sydney has something for everyone. You’ll soon understand why this is one the world’s most beautiful harbour cities. See the sails of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge. Tonight, there is a chance for you to scale the heights of the Harbour Bridge on the optional BridgeClimb.

12

Day 13: Sydney

First up today – 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 Lookout Street and 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). 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 Celebrate your last night on tour together by heading out for dinner at Darling Harbour & soaking up the buzzing nightlife of Sydney with your friends one last time!

13

Day 14: Sydney

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. This city is home to some of the world’s best shopping, so it’s a haven for those who love to shop! Explore the unique boutiques in beautiful surroundings at the historic Queen Victoria Building right in the heart of the city. It’s a short walk from Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, the Botanic Gardens and Sydney shopping Mecca Pitt Street Mall – home to Australian retail giants Myer and David Jones. Say farewell to your new friends as your trip winds up upon arrival back in Sydney this afternoon.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 15 nights multi-share accommodation: 11 nights in resorts, 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
    • National Park fees, local taxes & service charges
      Staff
    • An experienced & professional Trip Manager & Driver team
    • Sightseeing tours of all major cities
      Food
    • 22 meals:
    • 15 breakfasts
    • 1 lunch
    • 6 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • See Magnetic Island
  • Townsville city orientation
  • Visit the vibrant seaside town of Airlie Beach
  • Visit the main region of Australia's sugar cane industry
  • Visit & cross the Tropic of Capricorn
  • Meet the cattle station owners
  • Check out the farm & animals on a hay wagon ride, then try whip cracking!
  • Aussie Outback experience: Langmorn Station Special Stopover
  • Stop in Childers, a small country town, known for its heritage & farming history
  • Take a locally guided 4WD trip across Fraser Island & indulge in a delicious lunch
  • Drive along Australia's only sand highway
  • Dine beachside at Noosa Surf Club & meet a lifesaver
  • See the Brisbane River, South Bank & visit Queen Street Mall
  • Stay at a resort located right by the beach
  • Nightclub entry
  • Learn to surf the waves or ride a kayak at our beachside surf camp
  • See the famous 'Big Banana' & banana plantations
  • Stop in the seaside resort town of Port Macquarie
  • 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
  • Cook your own BBQ dinner
  • Day trip out to the stunning Blue Mountains
  • See the famous Three Sisters rock formation
  • Hike along the ridge overlooking Jamison Valley