5 Week Cairns To Sydney Ultimate


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Adult (18+)
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Multiday K'gari 4WD

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Whitsundays Social Sailing

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Great Barrier Reef

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34 Nights Included

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Byron Bay Lesson

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Scuba Dive

Intro Course Included

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Over Mission Beach

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Noosa Everglades

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Daintree + Cape Tribulation

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East Coast Bus Pass

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White Water Rafting

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Eco Tour

Explore Intentionally

34 Day Cairns To Sydney Ultimate


  • See the best of the rainforest and reef in Cairns with snorkelling tours and an introductory dive course!
  • Get to know the Whitsundays as you hop from island to island on a three-day sailing trip.
  • Galivant through the dunes of K’gari (Fraser Island) and camp on starry beaches!
  • Be a daredevil as you skydive over Mission Beach and ride the rapids on a day of white water rafting.
  • All transport, accommodation and 24/7 travel agent support are included, so see the most of Australia without the worry!

Hit the best of Australia’s East Coast on the ultimate Cairns to Sydney adventure! Spend five weeks ticking off your Aussie bucket list as you hop from one beach town to the next. Spy on wild crocs and cassowaries in the Daintree Rainforest, swim through coral gardens with tropical fish and sea turtles, kayak alongside dolphins in dreamy Byron Bay, and catch a glimpse of a dingo from your starlit campsite on K'gari (Fraser Island)!

This once-in-a-lifetime trip is also jampacked with thrills, from skydiving and surfing, snorkelling to scuba diving, and white water rafting to 4WD-ing, you’ll be chockfull of daredevil stories to share with the mates you make along the way and your family back home. Join the trip of a lifetime and book your East Coast experience today!

Your Sample Itinerary

Day 1 

Women looking at the Walsh's Pyramid in a yellow dress

Welcome to Sunny Cairns!

This sun-soaked land will be your base for the first 5 days of your 34-day adventure! Shed your baggage at the luxey backpackers’ hostel and explore Cairns. Hit the pool with your new mates, or rub shoulders and trade travel stories with the locals in the bustling food and nightlife scene.


Stay in Central Cairns Hostel

Trip Extension 

  • Pre-itinerary accommodation, activities and packages 

Day 2

Scuba divers looking at a Maori Wrasse

Dive into the Great Barrier Reef

Set sail for a day on Far North Queensland’s vibrant and lively Great Barrier Reef teeming with treasures waiting to be discovered! Snorkel alongside some of the world’s most beautiful and colourful marine life and take an introductory dive course. The coral gardens are calling your name!


Stay in Central Cairns Hostel

Day 3

Two people in bikinis smiling next to a waterfall

Waterfall Wonderland in the Atherton Tablelands

Far North Queensland has some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Australia coursing through its rainforests, and luckily for you, many are within a day’s travel from Cairns. Feel closer to nature as you hike through lush foliage and beneath ancient giants. Beat the heat and spend the day dipping your toes in the fresh flowing waters of the best waterfalls and watering holes near Cairns.


Stay in Central Cairns Hostel


Day 4

An aerial shot of the Cape Trib Palm forest meeting with Beach

Cape Tribulation Safari

Head north for a day at Cape Tribulation. Cape Trib is smack bang where the reef meets the Daintree Rainforest and is home to thousands of Australian wildlife species, including 30% of our frog population, 65% of our butterfly population, and 70 adult crocodiles. Buckle up for a day of croc spotting amid the world’s oldest rainforest (seriously, it's over 135 million years old!).


Stay in Central Cairns Hostel

Day 5

A woman in a pink dress and hat with a big yellow and blue bird

Last Day in Cairns

As your time in Cairns draws to a close, spend today ticking off anything you haven’t done yet or simply bliss out and relax by the pool. Gather your friends and fall in a sunkissed slump by the pool as you gear up for the next leg of your journey, or maximise your time in Cairns by ticking off anything you might have missed … Cairns Night Markets, Kuranda or more snorkelling. The world is your oyster!


Stay in Central Cairns Hostel

Day 6

Person sitting on the beach watching a sunset

Mission Beach

Arrive at Mission Beach on the morning of your sixth day. Mission Beach is one of the few tropical paradises left mostly undeveloped by the tourism industry. So embrace the natural beauty of the world around you, and experience Australia like a local! Take a long sunset stroll along the 14-kilometre beach, go hiking through the lush rainforests, or sink into the Cardwell Spa Pool.


Stay at Mission Beach Backpackers

Day 7

person skydiving over blue seas, white beaches and green land.

Mission (Beach) Impossible: Freefall and Glide

Feel the thrills as you free fall for a full sixty seconds on this scenic skydive over Mission Beach, and then feast your eyes on the sights of the glorious untouched nature spread out beneath you when the parachute kicks in. After 15,000 feet of falling and gliding, reconnect with the pure white sands.


Stay at Mission Beach Backpackers

Day 8

Group of people in a raft in Mission Beach

Ride the Ravines at White Water Rafting

The Mission Beach thrills continue today with a whitewater rafting excursion. Own the 45 rapids of Tully River as you hurtle through rushing creeks and ravines at daredevil speeds! Park your rivercraft at a gorgeous picnic location for lunch and take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the World Heritage-listed rainforests around you.


Stay at Mission Beach Backpackers

Day 9 & 10

Magnetic Island shipwreck with palms

Make Memories on Maggie Island

Magnetic Island is a little slice of paradise just a short boat ride from Townsville. After your adrenaline-packed few days in Mission Beach, Maggie (that’s what the locals call her) will provide a perfect opportunity for some rest and relaxation. Covered in swaying palm trees, sandy bays and sunny ocean-front bars, Magnetic Island is practically screaming at you to take it easy and embrace the true meaning of island time.


Stay at Magnetic Island Hostel

Day 11 & 12

Young people dancing in white

Airlie Beach vibing! 

Airlie Beach is an oasis for backpackers rife with cheap thrills for shallow pockets. Bathe in the Airlie Beach Lagoon or get out of town for a splash in Cedar Creek Falls, stock up on souvenirs for loved ones at the Saturday markets, and hit the Airlie nightlife for unforgettable fun with your newfound travel buddies.


Stay in Airlie Beach Hostel

Day 13, 14 & 15

Snorkeller swimming through reefs and fish

Whitsunday Island Hopping On An Overnight Sail!

Depart the mainland for three days and two nights aboard a state-of-the-art sailing vessel, complete with a rope swing and onboard bar, of course! Spend the days snorkelling underwater wonderlands, combing the golden sands of island beaches like Whitehaven Beach, and chowing down on some seriously supreme catered lunches. 


Day 13 & 14 - Stay on a deluxe sailing vessel in shared cabins

Day 15 - Airlie Beach hostel

Day 16

Two people at the Carlo Sand Blow watching the sea and sun

Travel to Rainbow Beach

Settle in for another overnight Greyhound adventure, destination: Rainbow Beach. Catch up on your reading or sleeping, or connect with your loved ones back home.


Overnight bus to Rainbow Beach

Day 17 & 18

Blonde person in white swimmers sitting on the beach in sunglasses

R&R at Rainbow Beach

Wake up in the sleepy coastal town of Rainbow Beach. Relaxation is a vital obligation to every vacationer, and Rainbow Beach is the perfect place to do it. Retreat to the beach, frolic in the waves, bask in the sun’s warmth on the rainbow sands and crack open a coldie as the sun sinks behind the hills.


Stay at a hostel in the heart of Rainbow Beach

Day 19, 20 & 21

Maheno Shipwreck aerial on the beach at sunset

Make Tracks on Your K'gari 4WD Camping Safari

The best way to experience K'gari (Fraser Island) is via a 4WD adventure through the island’s treasures. Spend the next three days discovering the pristine waters and pure white sands of Lake Mackenzie, ride the natural currents of Eli Creek, or boogieboard down the huge dunes into Lake Wabby. You’re sure to score an intimate encounter with a dingo, too! Keep your distance though, dingoes rule the dunes and we are but visitors in their sandy paradise. Wind down at your starlit campsite, on this social tour through the world's largest sand island, named after "paradise"!


Day 19 & 20 - Deluxe beach K'gari campsite

Day 21 - Rainbow Beach central hostel

Day 22

Woman with red hair on a stand up paddlaboard in Noosa

Next Stop: Noosa

Easily one of the hottest and most sought-after beach destinations on the East Coast, Noosa is chock full of fun to be had. Hit up the bustling food scene and nightlife of Hastings Street and Noosaville, hire a board and put your surfing lessons to the test, and don’t leave without doing the Noosa National Park walk!


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 23

Everglade Canoe cruisers

Glide Through the Everglades

There are only two Everglade ecosystems in the world, and on Day 23 you’ll be lucky enough to kayak through the tranquil waters of Noosa Everglades! A network of delicate waterways hedged by leafy mangroves, the Everglades are home to a wide variety of big, beautiful waterbirds, so keep your eyes peeled and see how many you can spot.


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 24

Two koalas on a branch with gums

Go Wild at Australia Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side at the internationally iconic Australia Zoo. Learn the true meaning of ‘crikey!’ as you witness live croc feeding sessions, meet the world’s largest tortoise, and experience kangaroos and wallabies eating out of the palm of your hand. Return to your hostel afterwards and hit Hastings Street for the last hurrah in Noosa.


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 25

Noosa headland at sunset

Relax with a Noosa Free Day!

Hit Noosa Main Beach, wander hastings street, go for a coastal hike in Noosa National Park and chill out like a Sunny Coast local! Unwind and enjoy the marvels that Noosa has to offer, ending the day with a beer at KB's - the infamous backpacker bar!


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 26 & 27

Pink cocktail with a hand holding the glass

Two Days in BrisVegas

All aboard for Brisbane! Get ready for two days in the stunning river city renowned for its big-country-town charm. Lose yourself in the Japanese gardens, bonsai houses, lagoons, rainforests and the tropical greenhouse at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, or kick it poolside at Southbank’s manmade beach with panoramic views of the CBD. And please don’t leave without raising a beer to the beautiful riverside sights down at Howard Smith Wharves — the hottest nightlife destination at the moment.


Stay in Central Brisbane Hostel


Day 28 & 29

Gold Coast cityline and beach aerial shot

Gold Coast Exploring in Surfers Paradise

Depart the river city for its glistening seaside competitor, Surfers Paradise. Surfers is renowned for being a playground for big kids on the Gold Coast. Hit the bars, hit the clubs, hit the beaches... honestly, it’s impossible to not have a blast here.


Stay in Central Surfers Hostel


Day 30

Two people looking out over Byron Bay

All Aboard for Byron Bay

Welcome to Byron Bay, beach lovers! Byron is a bohemian paradise oozing with hot surfers, white linens, budding musicians, and even the occasional celebrity. Align your chakras, take up surfing, or simply bliss out — this is where beachy dreams come true.


Stay in Luxe Byron Backpackers

Day 31

Person on a green surf board cutting waves in Noosa

Catch a Wave in Byron

Surf’s up, my dudes. Hit the beach and let the surf pros show you how to connect with the totally tubular way of life. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphin friends who might try to cut you off and steal your waves.


Stay in Luxe Byron Backpackers

Day 32

Two kayaks gliding through blue, calm water

Kayak Through Byron

Another day, another current to ride! Today you’ll be swapping the surfboard for a kayak and paddling your way through paradise. Feel reality wash away and the world slow down while you’re out on the water. 


Stay in Luxe Byron Backpackers

Day 33

Byron Bay lighthouse with purple backgroung

Peace Out in Nimbin!

Board your funky bus and make the short journey out to Nimbin. Your day trip guide will teach you everything you need to know about the history, geology and modern culture of this psychedelic little town! Enjoy some music, healthy food and explore the quirky corners of Nimbin. Return to Byron for your last night in town; go out with a bang and treat yourselves to a Mediterranean feast at Orgasmic then hit the Byron bars to enjoy the live music scene before you shoot off on your next adventure.


Stay in Luxe Byron Backpackers

Trip Extension

  • Surf more with 2 - 7 day surf camps in Byron Bay

Day 34

Woman in a hat looking out the bus window

Sleep Your Way to Sydney

To the bus for one last overnight journey. Curate your Insta feeds, plan your next few days in Sydney, or simply sleep off your month of East Coast adventuring.


Overnight bus to Sydney

Day 35

Sydney Opera House with a man in front of it jumping

Welcome to Sydney!

If Cairns is where the reef meets the rainforest then Sydney is where the CBD meets the sea! Rich in stunning seaside walks, sweeping beaches, shopping, and a state-of-the-art food and entertainment scene, set yourself free in Sydney and celebrate the past month with your new travel buddies!

Trip Extension

What's Included?

  • Half-day surf lesson in Byron Bay
  • Byron Bay dolphin kayak half-day tour
  • Day trip to Nimbin
  • Noosa Everglades kayak tour
  • Entry to Australia Zoo
  • 3-day, 2-night K’gari (Fraser Island) 4WD camping safari
  • 2-day, 2-night Whitsunday Island social sail trip
  • VIP afterparty in Airlie Beach
  • Luggage storage in Airlie Beach
  • Return Ferry from Magnetic Island-Townsville
  • 15,000ft skydive with Mission Beach landing
  • Mission Beach white water rafting day tour
  • Great Barrier Reef scuba diving & snorkelling day tour
  • Atherton Tablelands waterfall day tour
  • Cape Tribulation & Daintree Rainforest day tour
  • 34 nights accommodation
  • Bus transport from Cairns to Sydney
  • 19 meals (included in your guided tours)

What's Extra?

Trip Extensions

  • 2 - 7 day surf camps in Byron Bay

Trip Upgrades

  • Airlie Beach scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef
  • Van or rental car
  • Private accommodation upgrades

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 connect with the gorgeous locations on the way!

Whenever you embark on a tour during your itinerary (like your Whitsunday sailing trip or K'gari 4WD), rest assured they will be adventurous backpacker-style trips that attract similar sorts of people!

Is this trip guided?

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?

4 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 5 dinners are included in this itinerary package, all of which are provided during your tours. The rest of the meals are up to you, and you will have plenty of access to bars, restaurants 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 per day?

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 beachfront, poolside and city-centre hostels on this trip. A highlight is definitely your Magnetic Island oceanview hostel! You will sleep in a shared cabin aboard your deluxe Whitsunday vessel, and on your K'gari 4WD tour, you'll be spending two nights at your beachside campsite with hot showers and all gear supplied.

Can I upgrade to private rooms rather than shared dorms?

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

What kind of 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 itinerary?

Simply chat with our friendly travel agents to personalise your itinerary before you book. We wouldn't blame you for wanting longer in the Noosa surf 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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