Right, time for a Vitamin D top up. Only one thing for it - better go to Australia and explore the East Coast. Chances are it'll be hot enough to boil a monkey's bum* and you'll get a tan that should mean no fake tan this winter! This trip will take you from the tropical north of Queensland, and the madness that is Cairns, all the way down the East Coast, with stops on the mind-bogglingly beautiful Whitsunday Islands, the Outback, where you might just get to rodeo some goats, and end up in Sydney.
*may not actually boil a monkey's bum
Day 1: Sydney to Crescent Head
Set the tone for this fair dinkum (i.e. authentic) Aussie adventure by crossing Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge as we venture toward the surfing haven of Crescent Head. Before testing the waters, dip your toes into an oak barrel (literally) in the Hunter Valley.
-Wine tasting and grape stomping in the Hunter Valley
Day 2: Crescent Head to Byron Bay
Try a barrel of a different kind with an early morning private surf lesson on one of the best beaches in the world. Here's your chance to become a bona fide surf master. Our road trip continues with a traditional BBQ lunch and a cruise past the Big Banana icon before pulling into Byron Bay - where you can burn incense, sip chai and become a yoga teacher all in one day.
-Surf lesson at Topdeck's surf retreat
Day 3: Byron Bay
Anti-McDonald's and anti-anything mass produced (but pro juice bars, beer gardens and beards), Byron is glitzy on the outside but small town-hearted underneath. Hit the shops, test out those newly acquired surfing skills, paddle a sea kayak, or watch whales breach from the Lighthouse in winter. This is the town where peace and tranquillity go to relax. You should too. Or jump out of a plane. Byron doesn't care as long as you're happy.
-Byron Bay highlights walking trip
Day 4: Byron Bay to Gold Coast
Leave the blissful buzz of Byron behind you as we head to Springbrook National Park and its major landmark, Natural Bridge. Next, swap the national park for the golden sand beaches and bustling nightlife of Surfers Paradise.
-Rainforest walk in Springbrook National Park
Day 5: Gold Coast to Fraser Island
***We ask that you have packed a small overnight bag to take to Fraser Island with you as luggage space is limited. Pack items like swimmers, beach towel, chargers, hat, sunscreen, camera, jacket, toiletries, sandals/flip flops and casual clothes for 2 days.***
Next stop: BrisVegas (aka Brisbane). Don't let its namesake fool you - there are no late-night wedding chapels in the sunshine state capital. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the city centre, before catching a ferry bound for UNESCO World Heritage listed, and the world's largest sand island Fraser Island.
-Brisbane city walking tour
Day 6: Fraser Island
Fraser is literally one huge pile of sand - as if someone dropped the Sahara Desert into the Pacific Ocean and scattered it with dingoes and rainforests. Included four-wheel-drive along the beach highway to mingle with the Pinnacles Coloured Sands (considered a place of good luck for the Indigenous Butchulla women), Eli Creek and the Maheno Shipwreck before testing out your stand up paddling skills on the crystal clear waters of Lake McKenzie.
-Fraser Island 4WD tour
Day 7: Fraser Island to Myella Farm
Live like a local family with a home-cooked meal and cattle station visit. Think dusty plains and wide open spaces - this is the Oz that people dream of. Go walkabout on a real Aussie farm to find that right spot for the perfect outback sunset and enjoy a hearty home cooked farm-style dinner.
Day 8: Myella Farm to Emu Park
Embrace your inner jackaroo and prepare for horse riding, motorbiking, whip cracking and lassoing. Then leave the campfire to follow in the footsteps of Captain Cook as we head back to the coast for Emu Park. Take a selfie as you pass into the Tropic of Capricorn. Enjoy the Aboriginal experience where you get to learn about totems and artefacts, see some traditional dancing, try your hand at boomerang throwing and make some artwork to take home.
-Aboriginal experience and artefact souvenir
Day 9: Emu Park to The Whitsundays
***We ask that you have packed a small overnight bag to take onboard with you as space on the overnight sailing is limited. Pack items like swimmers, beach towel, chargers, hat, sunscreen, camera, jacket, toiletries, sandals/flip flops and casual clothes for 3 days.***
Feeling like you need more air in your hair? Leave the bus and board your own private yacht for our overnight (2 day, one night) sailing trip in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Normally a toy for the rich and famous, today it's all yours to learn the ropes while sailing in paradise. More of a land-lover? Take the diva option and let the crew do the work whilst you feast, swim and snorkel.
Day 10: Daydream Island
Keep those sunglasses on as the blinding white sands of Whitehaven stretch before you like a 7km sea of diamonds and swim with the resident Maori Wrasse at Blue Pearl Bay. Back on board, keep adrift of your seafaring skills by helping to set the sails or steer at the helm as we set course for land and two nights at Daydream Island Resort.
Day 11: Daydream Island
Did someone say buffet breakfast? (Over) indulge, recharge and relax with water sports, beach volleyball and fish feeding right off the jetty. Appropriately named, Daydream Island has walking tracks, palm trees and secluded beaches. In keeping with tradition, a looong list of activities has been provided ranging from watersports to mini golf and tennis. Grab a cocktail from the swim up pool bar then make a date with a hammock and get in your happy place overlooking the pools.
Day 12: Daydream Island to Cairns
Today we pull into Cairns: Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. You'll soon forget you're not on a yacht anymore. We'll show you the sights of the local night markets, and then the night is yours to get out and explore some of Australia's best nightlife.
-Visit the Big Mango
Day 13: Cairns
The only place in the world nestled between two World Heritage areas. And you've got two days to take it all in. Why not start with an optional Great Barrier Reef trip? It's like a kid's gone crazy with their paint set down there! Snorkel or scuba to get that elusive selfie with a photobombing fish.
Day 14: Cairns
Ramp up the adventure metre today's optionals. You could be paddling the rapids of the Tully River, zip lining over a crocodile or getting an aerial view of the tropics by plummeting towards it. There's hot air ballooning, horse riding and bungee jumping…or just kick back with a coconut.
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