15 Day Cairns To Brisbane Bucket List

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Airlie Beach + Island

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3-Day 4WD Tour

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Tropical Reef Tour

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Beach Camping

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Social Vessel

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Great Barrier Reef

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Aussie Animals

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15 Day Cairns to Brisbane Bucket List Map


Get the good times rolling and the adventures flowing with our ever-popular 15 Day East Coast Cairns to Brisbane Itinerary! Venture from the tropical, reef hub town of Cairns to the bustling and fun Brisbane city stopping at idyllic gems along the way.

From the shores of K'gari (Fraser Island) to the magnificent islands of the Whitsundays, revel in this authentic, vibrant and most importantly, exciting tour designed specifically for backpackers. Make your next Aussie escape about both the journey and the destinations with your wonder-filled 15 Day East Coast Cairns to Brisbane Itinerary!


  • Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and spot colourful corals, glimmering fish and sea turtles! 
  • Sail through the Whitsunday Islands on a deluxe, overnight vessel in tropical paradise.
  • Immerse yourself in K'gari's wonders on an exciting 4WD camping adventure!
  • Focus on the fun parts with this worry-free, flexible and inclusive coastal journey out to Australia’s finest!


Day 1 

Welcome to Cairns 

Arrive in Cairns, renowned as the tropical town where the rainforest meets the reef! A charming and vibrant hub for your Great Barrier Reef and Atherton Tableland adventures, enjoy a warm Cairns welcome and settle into your sunny East Coast adventure!

hotel Your Stay

Hostel in the heart of Cairns

Day 2

Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Today is all about diving in and exploring the wonders of the flourishing Great Barrier Reef! Let us know if you would prefer to scuba dive or just snorkel in advance so we can organise the perfect experience for you! Rub shoulders with sea turtles, tropical fish, dazzling corals and more as you delve into mystical underwater ecosystems! 

hotel Your Stay

Hostel in the heart of Cairns

Trip Upgrade

  • Include a scuba dive

Day 3 

Explore Cairns at your own pace

Seize your leisure day with an optional Tropical Rainforest or Waterfall Tour add-on! And if you can’t choose between the lush Daintree Rainforest and the wonder-filled Atherton Tablelands, just let us know and we’ll extend your adventure to include an extra day in Cairns! 

hotel Your Stay

Hostel in the heart of Cairns

Trip Upgrade

  • Waterfall / Rainforest Guided Tour

Day 4

Journey to the Whitsundays

Get excited for tropical marvels during your travel day to Airlie Beach with your chosen form of transport! And, if cuddling a koala is on your Aussie bucket list, you can’t miss a stop at the heavenly Magnetic Island. Just ask us to extend your tour with a tropical stop! 

hotel Your Stay

Hostel or apartment in central Airlie Beach

Trip Extension 

  • Include Magnetic Island Koala & Wildlife Experience

Day 5

Ahoy there Whitsunday sailor!

Set sail through the turquoise waters of the pristine Whitsundays on a state-of-the-art vessel. Whether you’re all about that luxe island life, up for an adventure or looking to chase the best dive spots, we’ll have you sailing into the sunset on your dream experience!

hotel Your Stay

Cabin or shared space on your vessel

Trip Upgrade

  • Include a scuba dive
  • Private cabin 

Day 6

Explore the Whitsunday Islands

Cruise through Whitsunday Islands stopping to swim and snorkel the fringing reefs! Explore the stunning Whitehaven Beach with time to relax, play and swim. Enjoy a short native bushwalk up to Hill Inlet Lookout where you will view the famous swirling sands! In the evenings, the boat will moor in secluded bays so you can enjoy sunset drinks and alfresco dining in your own slice of paradise! 

hotel Your Stay

Cabin or shared space on your vessel

Day 7

Return to the Airlie Beach Mainland

Sail into Airlie Beach with a golden glow and unforgettable island memories, before you head back for your exclusive afterparty, consisting of free entry into one of the most popular nightclubs in town! Let loose and dance with old friends and new for a quintessential night in Airlie Beach!

hotel Your Stay

Hostel or apartment in central Airlie Beach

Trip Upgrade

  • Private apartment with views of the Coral Sea
  • Hostel room upgrade

Day 8

Travel to the Fraser Coast Region

Head down the idyllic East Coast, where vistas of dazzling oceans and golden sands adorn your journey south. Your destination is the Fraser Coast Region, which is brimming with lush rainforests, turquoise oceans, rolling farmscapes and native wildlife. 

hotel Your Stay

Overnight bus to Rainbow Beach

Day 9

Fraser Coast Region Leisure Day

Tick off your K’gari (Fraser Island) tour safety briefing, relax with your mates and get settled into paradise! Enjoy the beauty of the Fraser Coast Region, or choose to head out on an exciting, hands-on day tour where you can kayak amongst friendly and majestic dolphins!

hotel Your Stay

Hostel in the pristine Fraser Coast Region

Trip Upgrade

  • Rainbow Beach Dolphin Kayak Tour

Day 10

Your 3 Day K’gari Self Drive 4WD adventure begins!

Embark on a journey to remember as you dive into K’gari’s wonders! With infinite possibilities, island life awaits. Your dreamy itinerary is subject to weather and tidal conditions, and holds crystal-clear swims, cruisy beach days and exciting 4x4 trips down abundant sandy stretches! 

hotel Your Stay

Starlit K’gari campsite with deluxe facilities

Day 11

Discover the wonders of K’gari

This self-drive camping adventure will provide you with authentic island memories full of salt, sand and sunshine! Experience the renowned Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, the Maheno Shipwreck and so much more. Brimming with local wildlife like dingoes, humpback whales and dolphins, experience island wonder on this deluxe, fully-inclusive tour amongst excellent company! 

hotel Your Stay

Starlit K’gari campsite with deluxe facilities

Day 12

K’gari adventures & return to the mainland

Wake up to an enchanting beach sunrise and venture through more of K’gari’s natural wonders before heading back to the mainland. With delightful memories of your sun-kissed days in a wonderful natural haven, you’re bound to be radiating that holiday glow! Or, if you’re not ready to leave just yet, let us know and we’ll extend your exquisite K’gari adventure.

hotel Your Stay

Starlit K’gari campsite with deluxe facilities

Trip Extension

  • Additional day and night of K'gari adventure

Day 13

Explore Fraser Coast Mainland 

With endless stretches of beach, marvellous dunes and idyllic rainforests, there is a multitude of ways to spend your days roaming the coastal mainland. Whether you’re zooming down the beach in your 4x4 with the windows down, hitting the beach for a chilled out session with your friends or heading out to Double Island Point, enjoy the freedom of the Fraser Coast Mainland! 

hotel Your Stay

Hostel or hotel on the Fraser Coast Mainland

Day 14

Leisure day or Australia Zoo wildlife experience

Explore the beautiful Sunshine Coast at your own pace, with a free day in this Aussie wonder! Or, With the optional choice to add a trip to Australia Zoo to your itinerary, rub shoulders with extraordinary Aussie wildlife like never before. Home to the renowned Crocodile Hunter, get a taste of the native Australian marvels iconic to this slice of natural paradise! 

hotel Your Stay

Hostel or hotel on the Sunshine Coast 

Trip Upgrade

  • Day at Australia Zoo Wildlife Experience

Trip Extension

  • Want to spend more time on the beach? Ask us about additional nights in Noosa!

Day 15

Journey to the vibrant Brisbane 

You’re southbound today, as you take in a dreamy drive to the ever-bustling streets of Brisbane! Your ultimate destination is just around the corner, so make the most of the last leg of your adventure. With a unique and vibrant city scene, wrap your East Coast tour up with a night of fun and friends to celebrate the unforgettable memories made down under! 

Trip Extension

  • Ask us about spending longer in Brisbane or continuing to Byron Bay, Sydney or Melbourne to keep the adventure going!

What's Included?

Tour Package Includes

  • Overnight Whitsundays sailing trip
  • Exclusive VIP Airlie Beach afterparty
  • Great Barrier Reef tour in Cairns
  • An overnight guided 4WD camping tour on K’gari
  • Meals during your ticketed tours
  • 4 nights' accommodation during tours 
  • Guaranteed authentic adventures!  

Full Package Also Includes

  • 10 nights of additional accommodation
  • All bus transport from Cairns to Brisbane
  • Overnight bus
  • Hostel breakfasts

What's Extra?

Optional Trip Extensions

  • Australia Zoo Wildlife experience 
  • Noosa Surf Experience and accommodation
  • Extended K’gari Tour 
  • Far North Waterfall / Rainforest Guided Tours 
  • Rainbow Beach Dolphin Kayak 
  • Magnetic Island Wildlife Island adventure 
  • Explore Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Brisbane and more! 

Optional Trip Upgrades

  • Van or rental car transport 
  • A private cabin on your Whitsunday sailing vessel
  • Scuba diving 
  • Hostel dorm upgrades

Terms and Conditions

Please read our terms, conditions and cancellation policies before booking your East Coast itinerary package. 

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