2 Week Brisbane To Cairns Express


Select Date and Passengers

Adult (18+)
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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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13 Nights

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Totally Included

14 Day Brisbane To Cairns Express


Discover the very best of the East Coast and QLD in just two weeks with our ever-popular 14-Day Express Itinerary! From the dazzling city of Brisbane to tropical Cairns, experience island magic, beachy bliss, hidden gems, iconic bucket-list items and seamless travel without the price tag! 

Relax on the sands of Rainbow Beach, 4WD down the sands of K’gari (Fraser Island), party it up in Airlie Beach, sail through the Whitsunday Islands, explore Cairns and scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef on this jam-packed, semi-guided two-week adventure. Quench your wanderlust, connect with Australian nature and meet some great mates along the way with your East Coast Tour!

  • The perfect option for travellers short on time, see the best of the tropical north and QLD in just two weeks!
  • Enjoy both flexibility and local hidden gems on this semi-guided package, featuring awesome guided trips and ample downtime in heavenly destinations!
  • See more and worry less as our local travel agents book all of your transport and accommodation, offering you 24/7 support whenever you need us.
  • Dive into natural world wonders in Australia on this social, unforgettable itinerary designed by expert locals for backpackers on a budget!

Your Sample Itinerary

Day 1 

Two people looking out on the Brisbane River at sunset

From Brisbane to Rainbow Beach

Make your own way to the busy and colourful Brisbane city, where you’ll jump into the first leg of your jam-packed Aussie road trip! You’re en route to Rainbow Beach today, so relax and arrive mid-afternoon. Why not hit the town and welcome in beach life with a cheeky beer or cocktail?


Hostel in the heart of Rainbow Beach

Day 2

Person in a straw hat smiling by the Carlo Sand Blow at sunset

Explore Rainbow Beach

Wake up in this bustling beachside town and explore your way! A lazy brunch at the many cute cafes is on the cards, followed by a trip to the impressive Carlo Sand Blow. Top the day off with a sunbake and swim at the tranquil Rainbow Beach or a local hike through gorgeous bush and forest ecosystems!


Hostel in the heart of Rainbow Beach

Trip Upgrade

  • Dolphin kayak tour
  • Surf lesson

Day 3, 4 & 5

Lake mackenzie's dual-tone water with people swimming and playing

4WD, camp and swim on K’gari (Fraser Island)

Let your morning welcome in the sunshine and adventure as you hop on the ferry and embark on your K’gari overnight camping 4WD safari! The next three days and two nights hold breathtaking natural wonders, gem-coloured lakes, endless beaches and towering forests! Your local guide will show you the very best of the world’s largest sand island, taking you to Lake Mackenzie, Pile Valley, Eli Creek and the charming Maheno Shipwreck. Make friends and memories to last a lifetime, as you wrap up each day amongst your new mates at a starlit campsite right on the beach!


Day 3 & 4 - K’gari campsite with excellent facilities

Day 5 - Hostel in the heart of Rainbow Beach

Day 6

Three people sitting on the Welcome to Airlie Beach sign

En route to Airlie Beach!

Settle into this leg of your East Coast road trip as you set your sights on the bustling, vibrant backpacker of Airlie Beach! As the region’s gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, you're bound for a jam-packed tropical adventure, so get some rest and wake up in paradise!


Overnight bus to Airlie Beach

Day 7

A sunset over the mountains

Welcome to the beautiful Airlie Beach

Whether you’re a beach babe, sailing-lover, trail walker or foodie traveller, Airlie Beach is the ideal hub renowned amongst backpackers all over the world! With a busy live music scene, plentiful hostels and young travellers, make new mates and soak up that island sunshine in this abundant Whitsunday hub!


Airlie Beach central hostel

Day 8, 9 & 10

Solway Lass vessel with sails up

Sail the Whitsundays on a charming, overnight trip!

From one island paradise to the next, set sail for the dazzling Whitsunday Islands! You’re in for the tropical adventure of a lifetime as you immerse yourself in serene seas, beach oases, fringing reefs, magnificent marinelife and awesome vibes! Your charming, social vessel is your chariot as your cruise through rolling islands, guided by your friendly expert crew. Explore Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout, where bright white sands and clear blue waters await. Then, dive into the Great Barrier Reef and snorkel with fish, turtles, reef sharks and colourful corals! Return back to the mainland after three days, with a golden tan and a camera roll full of island pics, before donning your finest threads and heading to your VIP trip afterparty, where exclusive drink discounts and free club entry await your group! 


Day 8 & 9 - Shared cabin accommodation aboard your spacious sailing vessel

Day 10 - Airlie Beach central hostel

Day 11

A person in a red bikini smiling next to palms

Airlie Beach venturing

Whether you’re nursing a hangover, up bright and early for an additional scenic flight experience over the Great Barrier Reef, or are feeling somewhere in between, relax in Airlie Beach your way today! Lounge by the local lagoon, hang out with your new mates or take a chilled-out wander along the beautiful esplanade for your final day in the Whitsunday Coast region.


Airlie Beach central hostel

Trip Upgrade

  • Scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef
  • Award-winning skydive over Airlie Beach 

Day 12

Person in a poncho with arms outstretched at Walsh's Pyramid

Arrive in Cairns, where rainforest and reef meet!

Depart Airlie Beach in the morning as you continue the journey further north towards your ultimate destination, Cairns! The streets of this far north hub welcome you in the late afternoon, where you can explore the local pubs, restaurants and night markets and get settled into the warmth and good vibes!


Hostel in the heart of Cairns

Day 13

Two people scuba diving surrounded by blue water and corals

Scuba dive & snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

Your jam-packed day trip out to the flourishing Great Barrier Reef is here, so grab a hat and your swimmers and get amongst the natural marvels of tropical north Queensland! Whether you’re a keen snorkeller, an avid scuba diver, or both, enjoy this inclusive and immersive underwater adventure. Swim with countless fish, awestriking turtles, giant clams, reef sharks and abundant colourful coral gardens on this fun day experience! All food, gear and tuition are covered, so you can focus on the marvels of the reef seamlessly!


Hostel in the heart of Cairns

Day 14

Person standing by a waterfall in a white dress

Cairns morning pleasures & farewell!

Enjoy a morning adventure to one of the many cafes and brunch spots in Cairns, before a late check out from your hostel! With that, your itinerary comes to an end as you make your own way from here! Or, if you just can’t get enough of Cairns, extend your stay with post-tour accommodation and day trips! 

Trip Extension

  • Option to extend your stay in Cairns with post-itinerary tours and accommodation!

What's Included?

  • 2 nights' accommodation in Cairns
  • 1 Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise including 1 introductory dive
  • 3 nights' accommodation in Airlie Beach
  • 2 day/2 night Whitsundays sailing trip
  • Luggage storage in Airlie Beach
  • 3 nights' accommodation in Rainbow Beach
  • 3 day 2 night 4WD guided camping tour on K'gari
  • All bus transport from Brisbane to Cairns
  • Meals during your guided tours

What's Extra?

  • Surf lesson in Rainbow Beach
  • Dolphin Kayak tour in Rainbow Beach
  • Skydive in Airlie Beach
  • Scenic flight over the Whitsundays 
  • Private hostel room upgrades
  • Campervan or car rental 

Terms and Conditions

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


Who will I travel with?

This is not a group tour, so you only travel with whoever you book for. Whether that’s solo, with your partner, friend or group of your own choice, spend your downtime how you like and make memories with your tribe!

Whenever you embark on a tour during your itinerary (like your Whitsunday sailing trip or K'gari 4WD), rest assured that you will be on fun and adventurous backpacker-style tours.

Is this a guided trip?

This is a semi-guided itinerary, meaning that professional skippers and tour guides lead any time spent on individual tours (like sailboats, 4WD camping tours, reef tours, and the likes). However, the in-between bits like travel days, downtime and free days are up to you.

That means nobody will be waking you up for your early bus or checking into hostels with you, however, it makes your time in Australia undeniably more personalised and flexible. Read more about our semi-guided itineraries in our FAQs or chat with a local travel agent to match you with your dream experience.

If you are looking to travel with a group of other backpackers and be guided through every leg of your journey by a local leader, check out our fully guided group itineraries.

Are meals included?

This itinerary includes 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners (13 meals in total) all during your guided tours. The rest of the meals are up to you, and you will have plenty of access to bars, restaurants, cafes and supermarkets along the East Coast.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, we strongly recommend that travellers purchase their own travel insurance before their East Coast trip. Travel insurance is not included in your package price, and East Coast Tours is not responsible for personal injury, operator cancellations or delays.

How much spending money do I need?

We recommend about $60 to $100 AUD spending money per day. This will cover you for a meal in a restaurant, a couple of beers and some supermarket supplies daily. For details on your daily spending budget in Australia, check out our budget travel guide!

Where will I stay?

You will stay in a variety of central hostels on this trip including 8 nights in shared hostel dorms (Rainbow Beach, Airlie Beach & Cairns), 2 nights in a Whitsunday sailing vessel, 2 nights in a deluxe K'gari (Fraser Island) campsite with your tent and gear included, along with one overnight bus.

Can I upgrade to private rooms?

Of course! If you prefer some privacy, you can absolutely upgrade to a private room. Please note that you will pay the difference from a shared dorm to a private room, and all accommodation is subject to availability. For a detailed estimate, chat with our friendly travel agents over live chat to secure your space.

What transport is included?

This itinerary includes bus transport which is primarily a Greyhound Whimit Pass. Greyhound Busses are deluxe coaches with in-seat USB charging, wifi, reclining seats, air conditioning and onboard bathrooms. If you wish to upgrade your package, you can book a rental car or campervan through our friendly travel experts to go your own way!

Can I extend or personalise my trip?

Yes! Simply chat with our friendly travel agents to personalise your itinerary before you book. We wouldn't blame you for wanting longer in the K'gari rainforests or Airlie Beach sunshine!

Are the dates flexible?

Yes, the dates for this itinerary are flexible. Simply input your preferred arrival and departure dates before booking, or chat with our expert travel agents about your timeframe and we'll make it work for you!

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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