3 Weeks Sydney To Cairns Adventure

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Airlie Beach + Island

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3-day 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 Sydney To Cairns Map


The earthly wonders of the East Coast are all yours on the Three Weeks Sydney To Cairns Itinerary! Where natural marvels are abundant and there are new experiences around every corner, make memories to last a lifetime on this epic Aussie discovery.

Sail through the Whitsundays, 4WD along the Fraser Coast, catch a wave in Byron Bay and explore Noosa, Airlie Beach, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns on this flexible and perfected experience! Meet new mates along the way as you live your best life along the cruisy coast… there really is nothing like soaking up that vitamin D in paradise! We’re here to make your travels as worry-free as possible, helping you with local guidance and booking so that all you need to do is hop on the bus, and explore!

  • Explore the beaches and backpacker scenes of Byron Bay, Noosa and the Gold Coast
  • Venture through the magnificent Whitsundays on a jampacked overnight social sail.
  • Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns & explore the flourishing tropical rainforests!
  • Relax and focus on the good stuff as our local travel agents book all accommodation, transport and tours for you, with excellent 24/7 support.

Your Sample Itinerary

Day 1 

Byron Bay girls sunbaking

Hit the road from Sydney to Byron Bay 

Don’t waste a minute of your epic Aussie adventure as you get on the road from Sydney to Byron Bay! Let the East Coast scenery get you truly excited for the sun-soaked experiences ahead of you, before arriving in the renowned streets of Byron Bay, laden with bohemian vibes and colourful boutiques.


Central Byron Bay hostel 

Trip Upgrade

  • Private dorm room

Trip Extension

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


Day 2

Byron Bay Surfer Catching a wave

Explore Byron Bay

Wander through eclectic streets, unwind on golden sands, embark on a hike up to the lighthouse, indulge at one of the many local eateries and let an authentic day in Byron loosen your shoulders! Or, grab a board and hit the waves with the Byron Surf Lesson add-on. And, if you can’t quite get enough of Byron’s vibrancy, extend your trip and head out to Nimbin on a unique tour to soak up the magic of this grassroots town! 


Central Byron Bay hostel

Trip Upgrade 

  • Byron Bay Surf Lesson 

Trip Extension 

  • Local tour of Nimbin

Day 3 

Two girls on the Gold Coast beach in colourful swimmers

Byron Bay to Gold Coast cruising

From one coastal paradise to the next, it’s time to head to the renowned Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast. Grab a coffee and beach sunrise before you leave the magnificent Byron Bay, and pop your headphones in as you take in the coastal scenery. Arrive at Gold Coast, or “Goldie” as the locals call it, where the beach and the city meet in an awesome culmination of nightlife and cruisy surfing days.


Hostel in Surfers Paradise

Day 4

Waterpark ride big slide

Golden Gold Coast adventures

Explore the rolling beaches, fabulous brunch spots and renowned backpacker scene of the Gold Coast on a day of leisure that’s totally up to you! Whether you’re a total beach bum, an avid surfer or a lover of theme parks, the Gold Coast is the perfect place to get your tan on and experience the chilled-out Queensland lifestyle.


Hostel in Surfers Paradise

Trip Upgrade

  • Gold Coast theme park day ticket

Day 5

Brisbane City at night

Brisbane City-bound

Today you’re heading up to the big smoke into the colourful and busy Brisbane! With an array of quirky things to do and a super backpacker-friendly vibe, you’re in for a blast. Settle in at your central hostel and either hit the town or spend a night in unwinding!


Hostel in the heart of Brisbane

Day 6 

Two girls in the city with backpacks

Explore Brisbane’s gems

With plenty of cheap, backpacker-friendly things to do in Brisbane, make your own way through this laid-back yet colourful city! Whether you’re hitting up Southbank, scouring the vintage stores of West End or moseying through the botanical gardens, make the most of your day with our comprehensive guide to Brisbane. Then, head back to your central hostel to freshen up before hitting the town… we really recommend the dazzling nightlife scene of Fortitude Valley to hang out with old friends and new ones!


Hostel in the heart of Brisbane

Day 7 

Noosa surfer carrying a surfboard down to the beach

The shores of Noosa await!

Head north up to the turquoise waters of Noosa, where it’s all about the sea, sun and sand. Embark on the short journey to the Sunshine Coast, before reaching your inclusive hostel situated in amongst the action in Noosa! Or, break up the drive with a day trip to the renowned Australia Zoo; the home of the Crocodile Hunter!


Noosa hostel

Trip Upgrade

  • Australia Zoo Wildlife Experience

Day 8

Noosa swim, surf and relax

A day of Noosa magic

Wake up with a whole day of coastal adventures ahead of you! With an array of impeccable national parks, native walk trails, secluded bays and beachy townships, feel the rhythm of coastal life take over as you check out the very best spots of the Sunshine Coast! Or, if you can’t get enough of surfing, add on another surf lesson or board hire and catch some waves.


Noosa hostel

Trip Upgrade

  • Surf Lessons on Noosa Main Beach

Day 9

Surfing Man at Noosa Beach

Depart Noosa for 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 10 & 11

Dingo on K'gari

Your K’gari camping adventure begins!

Hop on the barge and head on over to K’gari (Fraser Island): the world’s largest sand island! Adorned with gem-coloured lakes, lush rainforests and divine coastlines, it’s the perfect place for your fully-inclusive, self-drive guided 4WD camping adventure! Visit Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Shipwreck and much more, as you keep an eye out for the iconic local dingoes. Head back to your campsite with excellent facilities for a classic campfire under the stars on this two day, two night island exploration is bound to leave you with irreplaceable memories and a glowing tan! 


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 12

Three people looking at Maheno Shipwreck at Sunset

Back to the mainland and depart for Airlie Beach

Arise for one last K’gari sunrise before you zoom back down the golden sands to hop on the return barge with sights on the mainland. Your next stop is the famous Airlie Beach, so board your bus to the tropical north of Queensland and kick back on the journey with more good times on the horizon! 


Overnight bus to Airlie Beach

Day 13

Airlie Beach resort relaxing

Welcome to Airlie Beach

Arrive in Airlie Beach with ample time to get out and explore the colourful seaside township, local swimming lagoon and lush neighbouring hikes. With something for everyone, Airlie Beach really is the heart of the Whitsundays. Surrounded by an archipelago of magnificent islands, this bustling hub is renowned for its backpacker atmosphere, happening nightlife and awesome budget-friendly daytime activities.


Central Airlie Beach hostel

Trip Upgrade

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

Day 14 & 15

People splashing in the water in the Whitsundays

Whitsunday sails ahoy! 

Rise and shine as you depart on your two-day, two-night social sailing adventure out to the dazzling Whitsunday Islands! Explore the hidden gems and unmissable destinations of this island haven as bright white bays, luminous coral gardens and tranquil turquoise waters await your discovery. Visit Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Lookout and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, before settling down at night sunset, drinks, dinner and hangouts on your relaxed, social vessel! 


Shared or private vessel cabin

Trip Upgrade 

  • Scuba dive
  • Private cabin

Day 16

Two young people playing pool

Return to Airlie Beach and dance the night away

Sail back to the mainland and return to your accommodation to unwind and freshen up. Tonight’s the night to hit the town with your newfound friends at the exclusive afterparty for your sailing adventure! With free entry into Airlie’s hottest nightclub and VIP drink discounts, you’re bound to kick up a storm!


Central Airlie Beach hostel

Day 17

Cairns picnic surrounded by palms

Cairns, here we come!

Venture to Far North Queensland as you depart the Whitsunday region for the flourishing tropics of Cairns! It’s all thriving rainforests, cascading waterfalls and charming towns from here on out! For a stop and stay on Magnetic Island, where a Koala & Native Wildlife Experience is yours, just let us know!


Hostel accommodation in the heart of Cairns

Trip Extension

  • Magnetic Island Koala & Wildlife Experience 

Day 18

Explore Cairns Lagoon two girls in white swimmers

Explore Cairns like a local

With an abundant selection of local activities to do in town and adventures through the Daintree Tablelands, take a day to fully immerse yourself in the capital of Far North Queensland. Take the wheel of your day and check out our top 10 Cairns recommendations, or book a tour guided by a knowledgeable local. 


Hostel accommodation in the heart of Cairns

Trip Upgrade

  • Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Tour
  • Daintree Rainforest Guided Tour

Day 19

Green Sea Turtle swimming with fish

Scuba Dive through the Great Barrier Reef

Tick this quintessential Aussie activity off your bucket list as you surround yourself with the incredible reef ecosystems like never before! Get the most out of the kaleidoscopic reefs, glistening marine life and breathtaking natural wonders just below the surface with the scuba experience so you really can dive even deeper into nature!


Hostel accommodation in the heart of Cairns

Trip Extension 

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

Day 20

Girl with two tropical birds perched on arms

Cairns is your oyster!

Indeed, this tropical hub lives up to its name… it truly is where the rainforest and reef meet! So, whether you can’t wait to get back out on the water or you’re keen to check out the Atherton Tablelands self-drive waterfall circuit, there are plenty of things to do in Cairns, both for free and as paid tours. Soak up the sunshine and get out into the natural marvels at your fingertips!


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 21

East Coast Tours towel with logo and sandy feet

So long, farewell! 

The time has come for goodbyes! Check out of your hostel and choose your own adventure from Cairns! Don’t forget to tag us at @eastcoasttours in any FOMO-inducing Instagram pics to share your truly spectacular journey along the simply gorgeous Aussie East Coast! 

Trip Extension

  • Add on post-tour accommodation, transport and more if you’re not sure what’s next your next East Coast stop is! 

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 Sydney to Cairns
  • 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. 

Customer Reviews

Katie Lehane

Jan, 09 2023

Absolutely loved it!

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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