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Sydney to Cairns Northbound

Sydney to Cairns Northbound
From £ 2431
Duration 14 Days
From £2431
Duration 14 Days

Explore Australia’s stunning east coast, taking in the iconic sights of Byron Bay, Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef, as you make your way from continental Sydney to tropical Cairns. Sample wine and cheese in the Hunter Valley, get up close to koalas at an animal hospital, splash about in pristine swimming holes, and cruise around the picture-perfect islands of the Whitsundays.

Tour Itinerary

1 - 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.

2 - 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 CBD to relax, explore further or a chance to indulge in some of Sydney’s famous nightlife.

3 - The Hunter Valley & 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.

4 - 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.

5 - 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.

6 - Byron Bay

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.

7 - Byron Bay

Get up early or sleep late, sunrises are pretty ace at from 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.

8 - 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.

9 - 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.

10 - 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.

11 - 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.

12 - Tully

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.

13 - the Atherton Tableands 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.

14 - 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. It’s a chance to compare memories, swap stories, and say farewell to your travel companions. No accommodation is included this evening as part of the tour. Please see your travel provider to add additional nigths in Cairns.

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