The route up Australia’s East Coast has earned its rep as one of the seemingly endless supply of must-do experiences in the country. The classic Sydney-to-Cairns route introduces you to both sides of modern Australia — the bright lights of the big city and the raw beauty of the Outback. You’ll get to try your hand at dozens of€tivities — everything from wine-tasting to sailing and snorkelling. And when you travel in small groups like we do, you really get out there into the wild to meet the locals and experience the land like they do. That amazing new frontier you’ve been looking for? Here it is.
Day 1 Sydney
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Sydney
Enjoy a free day to explore Sydney. Opt to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, hop on a jet boat ride through the harbour, or chill out at Bondi Beach.
Day 3 Sydney/Tamworth (1B, 1D)
Travel to the Hunter Valley for a wine tutorial before continuing on to Tamworth for a taste of Australian country living.
Day 4 Tamworth/Yamba (1B)
Travel over the Great Dividing Range to Yamba, a quaint beach town. Go for a swim at the beach, relax, and enjoy the view.
Day 5 Yamba/Byron Bay (1B)
Continue up the coast to Byron Bay, an alternative hippie paradise. Hit the beach and enjoy an included surf lesson.
Day 6 Byron Bay
Enjoy free time to hit the beach, get a massage, or try sea kayaking.
Day 7 Byron Bay/Brisbane (1B)
Travel north, and opt for a night out in Queensland’s capital.
Day 8 Brisbane/Noosa Everglades (1B, 1L)
Set off to the Noosa Everglades for an evening surrounded by stunning wilderness.
Day 9 Noosa Everglades/Fraser Island (1B)
Travel by private vehicle and ferry to reach Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Explore the island by 22-seat 4x4 truck.
Day 10 Fraser Island/Airlie Beach (1B, 1L)
Enjoy a morning of exploring by 4x4 to hit the remainder of Fraser Island’s highlights, before hopping an overnight train north to Airlie Beach.
Day 11 Airlie Beach/Whitsunday Islands (1D)
Embark on a 3-day maxi yacht sailing adventure. Enjoy beach visits, island bush walks, and time to snorkel the reefs. Anchor off of secluded tropical islands at night.
Day 12 Whitsunday Islands (1B, 1L, 1D)
Hike to an island lookout over Whitehaven Beach, known for its stunning white sand, then enjoy free time on the famous beach. Learn about community efforts to protect and restore coral in the Great Barrier Reef before heading out to snorkel over a Planeterra-supported coral garden. Anchor off of a secluded tropical island at night.
Day 13 Whitsunday Islands/Airlie Beach (1B)
Continue sailing through the gorgeous backdrop of the Whitsunday Islands. Sail to the resort town of Airlie Beach for a night on the town.
Day 14 Airlie Beach/Cairns
Admire the scenery on the train north to Cairns.
Day 15 Cairns
Enjoy a free day to visit the Great Barrier Reef or get the adrenaline pumping by whitewater rafting or bungee jumping. Cap it all off with a Big Night Out in Cairns.
Day 16 Cairns
Depart at any time.
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