from $2959.20

East Coast Encompassed—Sydney to Cairns

Tour Map

Tour style - Active & Adrenaline, Chill out & Beach

18 days

Rugged landscapes, crashing surf and indigenous culture stretching back through time and beyond—Australia’s East Coast possesses a truly otherworldly allure. This trip offers you a comprehensive, authentic and wholly affordable experience in one of the country’s most popular regions. Raw thrills and refined pleasures abound out here. In the space of a few days, you’ll sample wines in the Hunter Valley, snorkel the Whitsundays, catch a few waves, and spearfish with local Aborigines. When people back home ask what you did on your trip, just tell ‘em: “Everything.”
  • Day 1 Sydney

    Arrive in Sydney at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Please try to arrive before 7pm for an important group welcome meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head down to the harbour's edge to 'The Rocks' historic area, the Opera House and visit the Botanical Gardens.

  • Day 2 Nundle Sheep Station (1B,1D)

    Depart in the morning, drive to the famous wine region of the Hunter Valley for an included wine tasting and talk on the history of wine-making in the area. Afterwards, head to a small country town for lunch before continuing to Nundle Sheep Station for the night. At the sheep station you'll have a unique opportunity to meet old sheep shearer and experience a shearing demonstration and talk on sheep farming in the area. At the end of the day enjoy a lamb dinner with the locals before sleeping in the historic shearer's quarters. The sheep station is quite remote and there is usually no reception for mobile phones. Estimated travel time: 6 hours Travel distance: 380 km

  • Day 3 Bingara (1B,1D)

    After breakfast, drive to the Country and Western music capital of Australia, Tamworth, also 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. At the end of the day, bed down at a hotel on a working farm. Opt to go horseback riding or swim in a local watering hole. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 210 km

  • Day 4 Yamba (1B)

    Travel through the rainforest to the coastal town of Yamba, stopping en route at Mile Creek, where you'll learn a bit about Aboriginal culture and the significance of the site to the Aborigines. Once in Yamba, head to the beach for a swim. End an active day by savouring the local delicacy of fish and chips on the beach with fellow group members. Estimated travel time: 5 hours Travel distances: 380 km

  • Day 5-6 Byron Bay (2B)

    After breakfast, travel the coastal road to the stunning surf and arts town of Byron Bay. There is plenty of free time to experience this hippie surfing town. Options abound—walk out to the lighthouse on the most easterly point of Australia where there is a chance to see whales swimming off the shore or hang ten with the locals after an included surfing lesson. Accommodation in Byron Bay is in a unique and exclusive section of an old hippy commune, embracing nature and a peaceful way of life. Day 6 is yours to explore—start it off with an included yoga lesson, walk along the long stunning beach, play in the surf, or simply hang out in the Buddha Bar and people watch. If you'd like to get your adrenaline pumping, go skydiving, try sea kayaking or go on a dolphin watch. Estimated travel time: 2 hours Travel distance: 128 km

  • Day 7 Brisbane (1B)

    This morning head out of the relatively undeveloped area of Byron to Australia's most developed surf beach area 'The Gold Coast'. Famous for its stunning beaches, bronzed locals and meter maids who wear bikinis. We stay for a few hours to let you take it all in before heading an hour further up the road to Brisbane, Queensland's capital city. Our hotel is located in the central business district of Brisbane, take advantage of being in the heart of the city by visiting some local hot spots. Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 288 km

  • Day 8-9 Fraser Island (2B,2L,2D)

    Travel by private bus up the coast before switching to 4x4 to drive along the beach to the ferry that heads to Fraser Island. Once on the island, drive along the beach until camp is reached. The camp consists of permanent tents to be shared by up to 4 people and will be exclusive to the G group during the stay. The tents are located in the bush beside the beach. Once settled in, enjoy an evening barbecue with good company on the beach. Fraser Island is the world's biggest sand island. Depending on the tides, we will explore the island either via an inland road or right on the beach. After a good night of sleep by the beach, the second day on the island offers an included private full day 4x4 trip taking in the highlights of this amazing island including Lake Mckenzie, the rainforest, Pile Valley, 75 Mile Beach, Maheno Shipwreck, Stonetool, Sandblow and the coloured sands. Estimated travel time: 5 hours Travel distance: 250 km

  • Day 10 Cattle Station (1B,1D)

    We transfer off the island by boat then catch the train up the 'Capricorn Coast' which is well-known as 'Cattle Country'. Arrive at a remote cattle station, where we will be located for the night. The workers from the property are excellent hosts as they teach about the history of the cattle station, the cattle industry, and some of the challenges of raising cattle in such a harsh environment. Tonight, experience life in Cattle Country the traditional way by sleeping outside in a swag (canvas bedroll) under the stars. This is bound to be one of the most unique and memorable nights of the trip. No worries, there are toilet and shower facilities nearby. The cattle station is quite remote and neither power points for charging nor reception for mobile phones are available. Estimated travel time: 6 hours Travel distance: 416 km

  • Day 11-12 Whitsunday Islands Sailing (2B,1L,2D)

    After a traditional Outback-style breakfast, transfer to the town of Mackay 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 and enjoy some snorkelling before the anchor drops for the night. We are the only company to sail from south to north through the islands instead of backtracking while starting and finishing in the same point. Take advantage of the included snorkel gear, throw on a mask and see what lives in the Great Barrier Reef. (Note that fins are not provided in order to adhere with local coral conservation efforts.) The sailing route on Day 12 allows us to follow part of Captain Cook's route up through the Whitsunday Islands, stopping for swims and beach visits along the way. Options to SCUBA dive are available also. Again we drop anchor in a secluded bay for the night.

  • Day 13 Whitsundays/Whitehaven Beach/Airlie Beach (1B)

    A morning sail takes us to one of the most famous places in the Whitsundays, 'Whitehaven Beach'. Stroll along the impossibly white sand beach and go up to the lookout for a great view of the area. After an afternoon sail we arrive in the town of Airlie Beach for a comfortable stay in a local beach resort. Feel free to relax by the pool at the end of the day.

  • Day 14-15 Cairns (1B)

    Early morning transfer to the train station. Sit back and admire the scenery as we travel along the coast, through sugar cane country, covering a fair amount of terrain up to Cairns. Enjoy a free day to explore this popular northern Queensland city. Cairns is a popular jumping off point for snorkel and diving day trips out to the Great Barrier Reef. Other popular excursions include skydiving, hang gliding, ballooning and whitewater rafting. There is a vibrant nightlife in Cairns with many high quality restaurants and bars that are open late. Celebrate the last night all together with a night on the town. Estimated travel time: 10 hours Travel distance: 650 km

  • Day 16 Cape Tribulation (1B,1L,1D)

    *Please note that Days 16-18 may be run in reverse order during the rainy season (November to March) if the Bloomfield Track is closed due to weather conditions and safety. Travel by 4x4 safari truck up to a remote beach where we meet local Aboriginal guides. Go spear fishing and learn about the traditional ways of life as well as the local flora and fauna. Cook up what you catch for a delicious lunch. Visit an Aboriginal arts centre to learn about dreamtime stories and the art that expresses those visions. An opportunity to make some art yourself makes for a great gift to take home. Walk in some of the world's oldest rainforest and swim in a remote waterfall within the Daintree National Park. Overnight in a rainforest lodge located right on the beach. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 140 km

  • Day 17 Cooktown (1B,1L,1D)

    Travel safari-style through extremely remote countryside as we follow the Bloomfield track, only accessible by 4x4. Visit a sacred site at the Bloomfield Falls and participate in the 'Walk of the Women'. Local Aboriginal women explain how the falls speak to them, giving them powerful knowledge and visions for the future. Overnight in swags (canvas bedrolls) beside a historic hotel in the bush while being hosted by extremely entertaining locals. Listen to stories as you feast on the local cusine. During the rainy season, sleep in multi-share cabins. Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 100 km

  • Day 18 Cairns (1B)

    Travel westward to meet an Aboriginal guide who leads us into his traditional lands. The story teller explains the traditional lifestyle while interpreting historic rock cave paintings in the area. Travel the inland road back to Cairns where the tour finishes upon arrival at 7:30pm. Feel free to book onward travel from 9pm onwards. Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 324 km

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