Fly over the international date line on your way to Australia.
Meet up with the other Contiki Travellers and your Tour Manager in legendary Surfers Paradise. It’s the Gold Coast’s party hot spot and home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Get to know your group and Contiki crew in a fun night out by joining in the party atmosphere of Surfers Paradise. 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. For adrenaline-junkies, there’s an optional tandem skydive or Tiger Moth biplane flight, where you can get your thrills and an amazing bird’s eye view over the Pacific Ocean and myriad of rivers and estuaries that make up the area. 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.
As we make our way up the coast, we make a stop in Brisbane to see what this city is all about. You’ll get a feel for the capital of Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town. Noosa is up next. It’s a trendy beach resort town. You could take a stroll through the shops or sunbathe and swim at the beach before we check into our resort. Tonight, go local and enjoy a taste of Aussie as we head to the surf club for our included dinner overlooking the beach. Later, if you want to take it up a level, head out into the town & explore Noosa by night.
This morning we make our way north to Fraser Island, a slice of paradise. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 freshwater lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation. If you want to explore as much of the island as possible, jump on our included full-day 4WD tour. Meet your Local Guide in the morning and be shown some of the island’s best spots and hidden treasures, taking you 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.
Back on the mainland this morning, we continue inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queensland’s cattle country. 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.
This morning we stop off in Rockhampton, the beef farming capital of Australia that spans the Tropic of Capricorn. As we make our way up the Capricorn Coast, the landscape becomes more tropical. Plug in your MP3 or chat with friends as we drive through scenic Mackay, with the countryside full of vibrant green vegetation and sugar cane plantations. In the afternoon visit the backpackers’ hub of Airlie Beach with its turquoise waters and busy café scene before boarding a boat out to stunning Daydream Island in the Whitsundays. As we cruise soak up the crystal clear waters, white sands and mountain peaks of the islands. The time is then yours to enjoy the picture-perfect Whitsundays! Slow the pace down, kick back and make the most of the fantastic facilities available at the resort. Go for a rainforest walk, swim in the pool, get into some beach or water sports, try your hand at fish-feeding, catch a film at the big outdoor cinema or laze about on the beach. For those that are up for it, you could get away from it all with our optional day sail. Check out some of the Whitsunday’s 74 islands from the boat – you’ll soon understand why this region is so famous. Experience what is known as one of the top ten beaches in the world, the uninhabited Whitehaven Beach. Swim off the boat and play beach volleyball or cricket with the local skipper and crew before enjoying a tasty lunch and a few drinks on the way back to Daydream Island.
After a ferry back to the mainland, we head deeper into the tropics of Australia today when 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 up north. Back on the road, we cruise past waterfalls, waterholes, fruit plantations and thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australia’s best white-water rafting. Then it’s on to the popular traveller’s hub of Cairns. With a colourful tropical setting, vibrant restaurant scene and happening nightlife, this gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and rainforests is one of Australia’s hottest destinations. In your free time on the first night in Cairns, walk around the buzzing night markets. It’s the perfect place for shopping and with everything from fun, kitsch treasures to local crafts like boomerangs and didgeridoos.
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. In your free time in the evening, walk around the 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. There's another 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.
Feed your your inner adrenaline junkie or relax? It’s your choice with another free day to do what you’re into.
Say a final farewell to your new friends as your trip ends this morning.