3 Weeks Cairns to Sydney Adventure

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Airlie Beach + Island

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2-night 4WD Tour

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Reef + Rainforest

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Beach Campsite

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Social Vessel

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Great Barrier Reef

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Aussie Animals

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Included In Tours

3 Weeks Cairns to Sydney


Discover the very best of the East Coast, without missing a thing, on the 3 Week Cairns to Syndey Itinerary! Wander through ancient rainforests, hang out by stunning beaches and explore diverse cities as you get a taste of what Australia is truly about! 

This inclusive, worry-free itinerary will take you to all of the must-see spots, without sacrificing those off-the-beaten-track adventures to hidden corners of Australia. Sail into a Whitsunday sunset, 4WD down K’gari (Fraser Island)’s golden beaches, hike the Noosa National Park scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, party in the Gold Coast and catch a wave in Byron Bay! Take advantage of ample flexibility to travel your way, whilst enjoying the awesome value-for-money guided experiences and travel agent support! So, what are you waiting for? Australia’s magic is at your fingertips!

  • Explore beachy backpacker towns like Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Airlie Beach and Noosa
  • Scuba dive through the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, and discover the ancient Daintree Rainforest.
  • Sail the calm waters of the Whitsunday Islands on an overnight social boat experience.
  • Let our local travel agents support and guide you every step of the way, as you relax and focus on the good stuff! 

Your Sample Itinerary

Day 1 

Three people walking through a palm tree forest in Cairns

Let the adventure begin… in Cairns!

Where else would you rather begin your adventure than in Cairns? With plentiful local wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and Atherton Tablelands at your fingertips, Far North Queensland has never looked this good! Take the day at your own pace, booking a guided local tour or checking our top 10 cheap Cairns recommendations!


Hostel accommodation in the heart of Cairns

Trip Upgrade

  • Atherton Tabelalnds Waterfall
  • Daintree Rainforest Guided Tour 

Trip Extension

  • Haven’t explored Cairns yet? See the most of this tropical haben with pre-tour accommodation and experience add-ons.


Day 2

Coral Reef with many colours underwater

Great Barrier Reef Scuba Diving Experience

Delve into the magical environments below the surface with a jam-packed day tour out to the reef. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s seven natural wonders, and it’s no surprise why! With magnificent marinelife, complex relationships and sprawling corals, explore even deeper as you learn or advance your diving skills!


Hostel accommodation in the heart of Cairns 

Trip Extension 

  • Get more out of your dive learning with a 4-day open water certification course

Day 3 

Woman holding her hat up in Cairns

Discover Cairns

Traverse the streets, rainforests and waterfalls of Cairns your way! Whether you’re tacking on a guided tour of the Atherton Tablelands, the Daintree or Cape Tribulation, indulging in a low-key day in town full of good food and lagoon-side lounging or heading back out to the reef, get amongst it however you want to!


Hostel accommodation in the heart of Cairns

Trip Upgrade

  • Cape Tribulation & Crocodile Experience
  • Day Tour out to the Great Barrier Reef
  • River Rapids Rafting


Day 4

Two koalas on a branch surrounded by gum leaves

Airlie Beach, here we come!

Say farewell to the bustling Cairns and make your way to the vibrant backpacker town of Airlie Beach. Depart in the morning and arrive at your central accommodation in the evening. Or, break the trip up with a dreamy stop at Magnetic Island, home to secluded beaches and an incredible Koala & Native Wildlife Haven!


Central Airlie Beach hostel

Trip Extension

  • Magnetic Island Koala & Wildlife Experience

Day 5

Woman with red bicycle at Airlie Beach boardwalk

Welcome to Airlie Beach

The bustling streets, seaside sunsets and stunning island vistas are the first things to greet you in Airlie Beach, so spend the day exploring, relaxing and kicking back in tropical paradise! Renowned as the iconic heart of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, bask in the vibes, social backpacker scene and day adventures to be had! 


Central Airlie Beach hostel

Trip Upgrade

  • Your own studio apartment with views of the Coral Sea
  • Airlie Beach Scenic Skydive 

Day 6 & 7

Two girls at hill inlet with backpacks

Overnight Sailing Adventure

Wake up bright and early to board your two-day, two-night sailing vessel, equipped with plentiful snorkelling gear, water toys and friendly crew to deliver you to the finest island gems! Smooth island cruising will take you to Whitsunday Island, home to the dazzling Whitehaven Beach, dreamy Hill Inlet and secluded Betty’s Beach. Stop for incredible snorkels along the way, and dance the night away on your social sail!


Shared or private vessel cabin

Trip Upgrade

  • Scuba dive
  • Private cabin 

Day 8

Group of young people in white partying

Sail into the mainland and boogy!

Return to Airlie Beach with a golden tan and excellent memories before hitting your accommodation to unwind and freshen up. Don your favourite fit and hit the town with your new mates at an exclusive sail afterparty! Enjoy free entry into Airlie’s funnest nightclub and VIP drink discounts as you get your groove on and dance the night away! 


Central Airlie Beach hostel

Day 9

Fraser Coast aerial shot with blue waters and golden sands

Airlie Beach to Fraser Coast Region travel day

Depart Airlie Beach as you continue down the East Coast to reach Rainbow Beach! This long journey will give you time to soak up the mesmerising coastal views, rest ad reflect on your awesome experiences so far. Your destination is Rainbow Beach, a naturally marvellous hub and gateway to K’gari (Fraser Island), where the next chapter of your adventures begins!


Overnight bus to Rainbow Beach

Day 10

Yellow kayak on the water

Soak up the rays of Rainbow Beach

The gem-coloured sands of Rainbow Beach beckon so hit the road and head on out to the Fraser Coast Region! Surrounded by stunning golden beaches, rainforest walking trails and furry native wildlife, Rainbow Beach is a beautiful gateway to K’gari (Fraser Island). Explore, before you settle in and prepare for your K’gari 4WD camping trip tomorrow! 


Coastal Rainbow Beach hostel

Trip Upgrade

  • Rainbow Beach Dolphin Kayak tour 

Day 11 & 12

K'gari travellers running into Lake Mackenzie

K’gari (Fraser Island) 4WD camping adventure

Head over to K’gari, the largest sand island in the world, to embark on your two-day, two-night guided camping tour! Spend your time 4WDing down sand highways, swimming in the ocean, trekking through forests and swimming in freshwater lakes… yes please! Meaning “paradise” in the native Butchulla language, bask in the wonders of Lake McKenzie, Maheno Shipwreck, Eli Creek, Central Station and more as you adventure under the sun and sleep under the stars! 


Two nights at your K’gari starlit campsite with deluxe facilities 

Trip Extension

  • Prolong your K’gari adventure with an additional day and night

Day 13

Noosa headland at sunset

Travel to the sunny beaches of Noosa!

Enjoy your final K’gari sunrise, a cup of tea in hand, before returning to the mainland. Then, continue your journey further south to the Sunshine Coast’s famous Noosa Head. Arrive after the short journey to your beachy accommodation, and head on down to Main Beach for an explore and to revel in the soft afternoon light, beachside!


Noosa Hostel

Day 14

Three people with their arms around each other looking out at Noosa Beach

Noosa’s beach sessions, coastal hikes and laid-back brunch spots! 

Grab your swimmers, sunnies and a water bottle before embarking on a day of incredible beaches, sweet surf, national park gems and native wildlife. A backpacker’s dream through and through, Noosa is laden with sunshine, good vibes and social venues, so get amongst the salt, sand and surf for a day to remember! 


Noosa hostel

Trip Upgrade

  • Surf Lessons

Day 15

Two women eating a picnic in the city on grassy banks near river

Brisbane City-bound

From surf to city, travel from Noosa to Brisbane to explore the urban wonders and colourful lights of this backpacker-friendly city! A traveller destination renowned for being not-too-big yet not-too-small, Brisbane maintains a local atmosphere whilst dazzling you with vivid nightlife, lovely gardens and beautiful riverside activities! Extend your trip along the way to include a day at Steve Irwin’s iconic Australia Zoo.


Hostel in the heart of Brisbane

Trip Extension

  • Day at Steve Irwin's iconic Australia Zoo

Day 16

Two young people playing pool

Brisbane adventures and city charm

Choose-your-own adventures await today as you design a day based on your travel style! Whether you’re scouring the vintage stores of West End, indulging in a long, boozy brunch in Newstead, hanging out by the lagoon at Southbank or enjoying a picnic in the botanical gardens, keep it authentic and fun with our backpacker guide to Brisbane City! Then, hit the town (known as Fortitude Valley down here) for a wild night of dancing, celebrating and meeting new mates! 


Hostel in the heart of Brisbane

Day 17

Two girls in Surfers PAradise

Gold Coast, here we come!

Venture further south towards the luxe streets and golden beaches of Surfers Paradise! Gold Coast is a timeless favourite amongst travellers and backpackers alike, as it has divine beaches, colourful dining options, unique accommodation and an awesome nightlife scene! 


Hostel in Surfers Paradise

Day 18

Gold coast high rise at sunset on the Beach

Get that Gold Coast glow!

Start your morning with a cup of local, barista-made coffee and catch a brilliant ocean-set sunrise. Then, stick by the beach and sprawl out on a towel, take a dip, catch some waves or read a few chapters as you really connect with your inner beach bum! Delicious lunch options for every kind of eater await you, after spending some time browsing the local boutiques and shops. Explore the quieter surrounding suburbs to find secret beaches, breweries and more, as you tailor a day that is all about pleasure and leisure in the Gold Coast! Or, for the young at heart amongst us, hit the theme parks for a day of ultimate thrill and excitement!


Hostel in Surfers Paradise

Trip Upgrade

  • Gold Coast theme park day ticket
  • Surf Lesson

Day 19

Two women in front of the Welcome to Byron Bay Sign in trees

From Gold Coast to Byron Bay

Make the short journey from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay as you pop your headphones in and reminisce about all of the incredible tropical experiences had so far! Disembark at the famous Byron Bay, where endless beaches, colourful coastal bars and restaurants and quirky locals will greet you!


Central Byron Bay hostel

Day 20

Girls at the Byron Bay lighthouse pointing at the view

Byron Bay days

The best way to understand why Byron Bay is so famous is to experience it for yourself! With a vibe like nowhere else, you will find yourself totally at ease as you soak up some rays on the beach, head off on the quintessential lighthouse walk, listen to live music and hang out with friends! Or, if you can’t get enough of the surf, grab a board and hit the waves for another day of ocean bliss. With options to extend your time in Byron, embark out to Nimbin for a quirky, local tour bound to immerse you in the interesting locals of this area!


Central Byron Bay hostel 

Trip Upgrade

  • Byron Bay Surf Lesson 

Trip Extension 

  • Nimbin Tour & extra night in Bryon

Day 21

Three people sitting in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The final leg from Byron to Sydney

The time has come to depart, en route to your final destination! With the dazzling lights and icons of Sydney City on the horizon, make your way to this hub loved by travellers and locals alike! With a new circle of friends, an excellent golden glow and countless memories made in paradise, hit the road and enjoy the next leg of your epic Aussie adventure! Don’t forget to tag us at @eastcoasttours in any of your stunning East Coast Instagram pics!

Trip Extension

  • Haven’t explored Sydney yet? See the most of this dazzling city with post-tour accommodation and experience add-ons.

What's Included?

Tour Package Includes

  • 3-day, 2-night guided Fraser Island 4WD camping tour 
  • 2-day, 2-night Whitsundays sailing trip
  • Exclusive VIP Airlie Beach afterparty
  • Great Barrier Reef introductory scuba dive tour in Cairns
  • Meals during your ticketed tours
  • 4 nights' accommodation during tours 
  • Guaranteed authentic adventures!  

Full Package Also Includes

  • 16 nights of additional accommodation
  • Stops in Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Rainbow Beach and more! 
  • Access social activities and perks of your hostel
  • All bus transport from Cairns to Sydney
  • Overnight bus
  • Hostel breakfasts

What's Extra?

Optional Extensions

  • Magnetic Island Wildlife Island adventure 
  • Guided tour of Nimbin 
  • Pre + post-tour accommodation

Optional Trip Upgrades

  • Van or rental car transport 
  • A private cabin on your Whitsunday sailing vessel
  • Hostel dorm upgrades
  • Cairns Rainforest / Waterfall guided tours
  • Cape Tribulation & Crocodile tour 
  • Cairns River Rapids Rafting 
  • Gold Coast theme park day ticket 
  • Byron Bay & Noosa surfing lessons 
  • Australia Zoo day trip
  • Rainbow Beach Dolphin Kayak 
  • Award-winning Sky Dive over Airlie Beach

Terms and Conditions

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

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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