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.
Travel to the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting. Overnight at a sheep station, which includes a shearing demonstration.
Depart in the morning and head to a small country town for lunch before continuing to Nundle Sheep Station for the night.
At the sheep station, have the unique opportunity to meet an expert sheep shearer. Experience a shearing demonstration and learn about local sheep farming. At the end of the day, enjoy dinner with the locals before sleeping in historic shearer's quarters.
Visit a working mine and have a go at panning for gold.
After breakfast, drive to Tamworth, the country and western music capital of Australia and home to a giant guitar. Arrive in Bingara in the early afternoon for an included visit to a historic gold mine where you can try gold panning.
Later, opt for a swim in the local watering hole.
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.
Travel north, and opt for a night out in Queensland's capital.
Head north to Noosa, and enjoy a free afternoon for surfing or strolling the boardwalk to Noosa National Park, where koala sightings are common.
Travel by private 4x4 and ferry to reach Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. Walk through the rainforest, visit Lake Mackenzie, and drive along Australia's only sand highway.
Enjoy a free morning in the Noosa Everglades. Hop on board a northbound train. Travel to laid back Emu Park on the Capricorn Coast, and enjoy an Aussie barbecue in the evening.
Catch a train up the 'Capricorn Coast' which is well-known as 'Cattle Country'.
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.
Drive north to the town of Airlie Beach, and embark on a maxi yacht which will be our home for the next three days. 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. 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. There is the option for certified divers to scuba dive. Again we drop anchor in a secluded bay for the night.
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 Tully. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch and a tour of the G Adventures-supported Ingan Cultural Centre. Participate in a painting activity with traditional Jirrbal Aboriginal artists before continuing on to Cairns.
Enjoy a free day to visit the Great Barrier Reef or get the adrenaline pumping by skydiving, whitewater rafting or bungee jumping. Cap it all off with a Big Night Out in Cairns.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Most of the Coast–Sydney to Cairns
Duration: 16 Days
From Price: $3,299
Supplier Tour ID: OASC.C/201756
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