Beaches and Reefs with Sailing (Start Cairns)
Check into the Rydges Esplanade from 2pm and the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore.
Meet your Contiki crew then we’re off to town for a Cairns orientation tour, so you can get a feel of the area you will be spending the next two nights. Tonight we head out to a local restaurant for dinner where you have the opportunity to try kangaroo fillets, amongst other delicious Australian delicacies. In your free time, walk around Cairns’ 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.
Wake up to the warm waters of Cairns. For those who are keen for a fun and thrilling ride on the rapids of the Tully River, join our optional white-water rafting adventure activity with our professional Local Guides. There are loads more activities available in Cairns like hot air ballooning, sky diving and bungy jumping – just ask your Tour Manager for some more info. There’s a chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef on an optional day trip. Put on your snorkel gear and check out colourful fish, turtles, vivid coral and the incredible clear waters. Later, hit the seaside esplanade back in Cairns, sit down with a coffee and people watch. For your last night with the group in this city, there’s a chance to head down to a local hot-spot for dinner if you’re up for it.
Cairns to Whitsundays Sailing
Relax on the coach as we cruise past thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australia’s best whitewater rafting. 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 to Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsundays Islands and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to board our sailing yacht. Enjoy two days and nights sailing the stunning Whitsunday islands with your friends. Swim, snorkel, or laze your way around the 74 islands of this tropical paradise, where you will pass the lush tropical islands, snorkel or dive the many spectacular coral reefs, laze on the world's best beaches and personally meet an extravagant array of sea life. You can help the crew & learn how to grind the winches & hoist the sails, and try your hand at or just relax and top up your tan in the sun. Please note: Accommodation on board the yacht is multishare only.
The Whitsundays to Farmstay
Today you head back to the mainland, plug in you 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 home made decadent desert. 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.
Farmstay to Fraser Island
After breakfast we drive back out to the coast and jump on board a ferry. Enjoy the cruise out to famous Fraser Island, where we’ll stay at an eco-lodge for our time here. Each cabin has its own kitchenette and living room, as well as a balcony – perfect for hanging out and listening to the sounds of the bush surrounding your lodge. If you're done with the pool and spa, you could take a stroll along the sand, check out the busy crabs on their evening march up the beach or the fish that dart amongst the jetty pylons. Make yourself comfortable on the beach and take in a unique sunset over the water near the Jetty Hut. Tonight, grab a bite to eat at one of the resort restaurants, then grab your dancing shoes and use the coloured chalk to write on the walls of the popular Dingo Bar.
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. Once we’re back on the mainland, Noosa is up next. It’s a trendy beach resort town. Enjoy a drink or two with 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.
Noosa to Surfers Paradise
There’s time to explore Noosa this morning so take a stroll through the shops 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 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.
With a free day, hang out among the bronzed bodies, bikini babes and surfer dudes on the golden sands. Check out what Surfers is most famous for, the three kilometers of gorgeous natural beaches. Kick back and spot some locals showing off their talents in the waves. If you want to get amongst the action there’s so much happening in Surfers Paradise you are spoilt for choice. You could head up into the Hinterland Mountains on a 4WD trip, visit South Stradbroke Island on a kayaking safari or spend all day at Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's Zoo, Australia Zoo. Our hotel is only a short walk from both the beach and downtown Surfers Paradise so you could also hit the shops – Surfers has some great places to shop and a huge outlet mall for bargains, so get some tips from your Tour Manager on where’s best to head.
Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay
This morning, we visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you’ll get up close to Australia’s amazing native animals. Cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and see wombats, emus, crocodiles, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and colourful birds. You can feel good about doing this too, as our visits to this not-for-profit organisation go towards the sanctuary’s animal hospital and help over 4000 injured animals every year. Next up: cross the Queensland/New South Wales state boarder to one of Aussies not-to-be-missed spots - gorgeous Byron Bay. With a laid-back lifestyle, cute little shops, organic food, alternative therapies and around 30km of pretty beaches, it’s a must see. Byron Bay is situation on a marine park also known for its incredible marine life. Head out to Cape Byron, the mainland Australia’s most easterly point and see the local pod of dolphins and if you’re lucky the seasonal humpback whales. Grab some lunch back in town and maybe take a swim at the beach. There are loads of other things on offer here too, like a sea kayaking adventure where you catch up with a family of dolphins at Wategos beach, their curiosity often brings them right up next your kayak, and snorkeling at Middle reef home to turtles, rays, corals, eels, starfish and sharks.
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. It’s a fun way to learn how to surf as our professional local instructors show you just how it’s done. 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.
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. We will pass the iconic ‘Coca Cola Sign’ and cruise along ‘The Strip’ of Kings Cross, and hear stories of the underbelly of Sydney’s Red Light District.
First up today - get in the know on Sydney as your Tour 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 Macquarie Street & 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 On arrival back in the city tonight, dinner is guaranteed to impress. We’ll head to one of Darling Harbour’s locals restaurants for a delicious included meal right by the water. Watching the sunset with a drink in hand & a great meal as you people watch the cool Sydney siders is the perfect way to end the day. 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!
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 overlooking the ridge of the same name. You’ll also check out the iconic ‘Three Sisters’ – the famous rock formations at the same location. With amazing views & photos to keep your memories fresh when you get home, we’ll head back to Sydney. Don’t worry, on arrival back in the city this afternoon there’s still time to get your fix of other activities – you could try scaling the heights of the Harbour Bridge on the BridgeClimb, or give your credit card a work out at some of Sydney’s incredible shops. This city is home to some of the world’s best shopping, so it’s a haven for those who love to shop! From Aussie favourites like Sass & Bide, Witchery, Mimco, Billabong, Sportsgirl & all round favourite General Pants Co, there is plenty to tempt at every turn. Explore the unique boutiques in beautiful surroundings at the historic Queen Victoria Building right in the heart of the city. It’s a shot 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 a farewell to your new friends as your tour winds up upon arrival back in Sydney this afternoon.
Say a final farewell to your new friends as your trip ends this morning.