5 Week Sydney To Cairns Ultimate


Select Date and Passengers

Adult (18+)
Camping Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


Multiday K'gari 4WD

Sailing Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


Whitsundays Social Sailing

Snorkelling Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


Great Barrier Reef

Accommodation Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


34 Nights Included

Surfing Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


Byron Bay Lesson

Scuba Dive Icon | East Coast Tours Australia

Scuba Dive

Intro Course Included

Skydive Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


Over Mission Beach

Kayaking Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


Noosa Everglades

Rainforest Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


Daintree + Cape Tribulation

Transport Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


East Coast Bus Pass

Rafting Icon | East Coast Tours Australia


White Water Rafting

Eco Tour Icon | East Coast Tours Australia

Eco Tour

Explore Intentionally

34 Day Sydney To Cairns Ultimate


  • Snorkel and scuba through vibrant ecosystems on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Sail through the glistening waters and islands of the Whitsundays
  • Adrenaline-packed Mission Beach trip with skydiving and white water rafting!
  • 4WD K'gari (Fraser Island) safari, Magnetic Island stay and so much more! 

Experience the best of everything between Sydney and Cairns on this 35-day Ultimate Itinerary. This action-packed trip includes 4WD-ing, diving and snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, skydiving, surfing and white water rafting, as well as all accommodation and transport! 

Discover the islands of the Whitsundays on a three-day, two-night sailing adventure, rub shoulders with tropical fish on the Great Barrier Reef, rove the sands of K'gari (Fraser Island) on a 4WD safari, and go skydiving over the glorious scenery of the Mission Beach coastline. Book your ultimate East Coast getaway today!

Your Sample Itinerary

Day 1 

Women looking at the Beach in Sydney, all in white

Overnight Bus to Byron Bay

Let the journey begin on the night bus from Sydney to Byron Bay! Break the ice and trade stories with your fellow travellers. From the dazzling cityscape to the rolling waves of iconic Byron, you’ll be amongst coastal wonders in no time!


Overnight bus to Byron Bay

Trip Extension 

Day 2

The Byron Bay lighthouse with two people jumping high in front of it

Arrive in Byron Bay

Byron Bay: land of hippies, white linens, and easy-breezy beachside living. Immerse yourself in the heart of Byron’s live music scene, treat yourself to a tour around the Stone & Wood Brewery, and head up to the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse for spectacular views of the ocean and bay.


Stay in Central Byron Hostel

Day 3

Woman on a green surfboard about to pop up on a small, clear wave

Surf’s Up in Byron

Hit the beach for a surf lesson with a totally tubular pro. Learn to shred waves, kick out, hang ten and, most importantly, hang loose. Make sure you’re taking notes, there’ll be plenty more opportunities to hit the waves over the next month!


Stay in Central Byron Hostel


Day 4

Group of friends kayaking through the ocean and reefs of Byron Bay

Kayak Adventure in Byron

Put your arms to work with a day of kayaking through the beautiful blue waters of Byron. There’s nothing better than enjoying the solitude and serenity of being out on the water with a mate as you paddle through paradise. Head back into town for a starlit night in Byron Bay — a nice cold beer will definitely be in order after this workout on the arms!


Stay in Central Byron Hostel

Day 5

Two women sitting on a picnic blanket eating colourful bowls of fruit

Nimbin Day Trip!

Spend your final day in the dreamy Byron Bay region exploring Nimbin. This psychedelic, funky little town is home to an awesome community of artists making for a colourful day! Discover the quirky streets, enjoy a healthy lunch and return home on your hippy bus! Go out for one last beer in Byron on your last night, and voila!


Stay in Central Byron Hostel

Trip Extension

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

Day 6 & 7

Gold Coast skyscrapers by the blue, glistening ocean

Next stop, Surfers Paradise

Board the bus for two days in glorious Surfer’s Paradise. With towering skyscrapers that can be seen from most of the Gold Coast, this big, bustling, beachside city is pulsing with parties and nightlife. Welcome to Queensland!


Stay in Central Surfers Hostel

Day 8 & 9

fairy light tree in Brisbane by the city and river

Brisbane city slicking!

On top of its abundance of natural beauty, Brisbane is also resplendent in its hospitality and nightlife scene. Hit the Howard Smith Wharves for some classy golden hour bevvies and Insta-moments before truly kicking off a night of partying in the Valley: the heart and soul of fun in Brisbane. And if you simply cannot get enough of the beach, head to Southbank’s manmade Street’s Beach!


Stay in Brisbane Hostel in the heart of the city

Day 10

Two people in beach clothes pointing from a lookout of turquoise waters

Welcome to Noosa Heads! 

After a lovely hiatus in Brisbane, it’s time to head back to the sandy shores of the East Coast with a few days in Noosa. Take the Noosa National Park walk and stop at the little coves and bays for a cool rejuvenating swim, hit the bars and eateries of Hastings Street, or hire a board and see how much you’ve retained from your foray into surfing back in Byron.


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 11

Three people hanging out on a jetty, one doing a dive bomb into the blue waters

Explore the Everglades... by kayak!

Explore the serene beauty of Noosa’s Everglades — one of only two Everglade ecosystems in the world! As you kayak through the calm narrow waterways, experience intimate encounters with the big beautiful waterbirds who inhabit the marshlands — cormorants, eagles, glossy black cockatoos, jabirus, osprey, and pelicans.


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 12

Man laying next to a Kangaroo in a grass area surrounded by more kangaroos

Become an Australia Zoo wildlife warrior!

Go wild at Australia Zoo and meet the creatures that make this country iconic. Get cuddly with a koala, have lunch with a croc, watch a wombat build a home out of a hole, or — if you’re extra lucky — see green-and-gold royalty, the Irwins, in action. Return to your hostel in the evening to celebrate one last night in beautiful Noosa.


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 13

Two women at the beach looking at surfers

Noosa Relaxing

Spend a final day on the Sunshine Coast before continuing on to K'gari. Whether you're lapping up the vitamin D, going for a stroll around Noosa Headland, chowing down a foodie holiday on Hastings Street or catching up on laundry and chatting with friends back home, revel in a day at your own pace!


Stay in Luxe Noosa Hostel

Day 14 & 15

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

Rainbow Beach Relaxin’

Unwind at Rainbow Beach and enjoy the slow pace of coastal living. Explore the sands, where up to 72 different colours and shades can be found, or get to know the residents at the local bars — we hear The Deck is the hottest spot in town.


Stay in Rainbow Beach Hostel

Day 16, 17 & 18

Person in a red hammock on lake Mackenzie looking at the colours

Rove the sands & lakes of K'gari (Fraser Island)

From the crystal clear waters of Lake Mackenzie and the marooned shipwreck on 75 Mile Beach, to the mountainous sloping dunes at Lake Wabby and the ginger-faced dingoes, Fraser Island (K’gari) is sure to be one of the highlights of your month. And the best way to see it? A three-day 4WD camping safari.


Day 16 & 17 - Stay in a starlit, K'gari beach campsite

Day 18 - Rainbow Beach hostel

Day 19

Woman in a brown hat on a bus looking at greenery

Overnight Bus to Airlie

Hit the Greyhound for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Cool your sunburns, update your Insta, or simply sleep off the first half of your trip.


Overnight bus to Airlie Beach

Day 20

Woman standing in front of the Airlie Beach sign

Airlie Beach Exploring

Shed your bags and get settled at your centrally located Airlie Beach accommodation. Today is yours, so spend it in any way that tickles your fancy! Maybe that looks like a chilled day by the pool, exploring the local cafe culture, or getting absolutely tanked with your mates in Airlie’s nightlife scene.... whatever you're style, this tropical hub has you covered!


Stay in Airlie Beach Accommodation

Day 21, 22 & 23

Hill Inlet Lookout group of backpackers staring at the view

Whitsundays Sailing

Boat, island, ‘nother island, ‘nother island, boat, next place! Hop from one sandy beach to another, snorkel through crystal clear waters with kaleidoscopes of tropical fish, and enjoy the simplicity of life at sea. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, relax on Whitehaven Beach and hang out with your young & fun crew and mates as you sail into sunsets! You’ll be sleeping on a comfortable liveaboard vessel for the first two nights, before returning to your Airlie Beach accommodation on the third evening, where a VIP afterparty awaits!


Day 21 & 22 - Shared cabin aboard your spacious, social vessel

Day 23 - Central Airlie Beach accommodation

Day 24

Woman reading a book on the sand by the water

More Airlie Beach Adventuring!

You’re sure to be shot after your big three days at sea, so feel free to use today to relax and shake off your sealegs. Or if you’re still achin’ for adventure get set for a mini-expedition to Cedar Creek Falls, cast a line at the beach and catch some fish for a seafood barbeque, or explore the rest of Airlie’s boundless beauty.


Stay in Airlie Beach accommodation

Day 25 & 26

Magnetic Island little 4WD with two people smiling out the top near palm trees

Magnetic Island Magic

Leave the mainland in your rearview once again in favour of more island time. This time you’ll be staying in the tropical paradise of Magnetic Island. Sink into the warm sands as the palm trees sway in the breeze, go hunting for native rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay, or put on your walking shoes and hike the Forts Walk track!


Stay at Magnetic Island Lodgings


Day 27

Three friends at sunset having a picnic by the water

On a mission to Mission Beach

Welcome to Mission Beach, travellers. This low-key tropical paradise has been left mostly untouched by chain stores, highrises and crowds. Embrace the serenity of the 14-kilometre beach, take a dip in the turquoise waters of Cardwell Spa Pool, or put your legs to work and explore numerous hiking tracks!


Stay in Mission Beach Hostel


Day 28

Tandem skydivers in the sky

Scenic skydive with a beach landing!

Release your inner daredevil as you fling yourself into the big blue sky. Feel the adrenaline pounding through your body as gravity pulls you closer and closer to the stunning jungles and sandy coastlines of Far North Queensland. Don’t forget to enjoy the view on your way down!


Stay in Mission Beach Hostel

Day 29

Group of rafters in an inflatable vessel going down the creek

White Water Rafting

Prepare to get wet and wild with another day of thrills in Mission Beach! Rage through Tully River’s ravines in a race against the current as the untouched beauty of the towering rainforest stands tall above you.


Stay in Mission Beach Hostel

Day 30

Backpacker looking out at Walsh's Pyramid with a blue backpack

Welcome to the heart of Tropical North QLD, Cairns!

Welcome, you’ve made it to the unofficial capital of the north! Take a load off, grab a bite and get cosy at your centrally located hostel and buckle up for a week of reef and rainforest fun.


Stay at Backpackers in the Heart of Cairns

Day 31

Group of divers swimming by a Maori Wrasse

Great Barrier Reef Scuba Diving & Snorkelling

Arguably the crown jewel of Australia’s endless natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef is home to a rich biodiversity of over 9,000 species! Snorkel alongside graceful rays and sea turtles, colourful schools of clownfish and electric-blue surgeonfish, all the while taking in the view of the vibrant and varying coral gardens and structures. Take an intro diving class too, as a treat, and enjoy an easy day where all food, gear and tuition are included!


Stay at Backpackers in the Heart of Cairns

Day 32

Woman in a white dress looking at Millaa Millaa Falls, surrounded by forest greenery

Chasing Waterfalls Through The Atherton Tablelands

Cairns is surrounded by lush mountains and ancient rainforests where a bounty of waterfalls are waiting to be discovered. Spend today exploring the best watering holes and falls mere moments from the CBD, stopping at the iconic Millaa Millaa and Josephine Falls, just to name a few!


Stay at Backpackers in the Heart of Cairns

Day 33

Daintree Rainforest with Beach in the scenery

Cape Tribulation & Daintree Rainforest Marvels!

Escape the crowds of Cairns for a day on the remote beaches of Cape Tribulation. Cape Trib strikes gold on the rainforest-to-beach ratio as the coastline backs directly onto the Daintree National Park. While you enjoy the dense lush greenery, be sure to keep an eye open for the majestic cassowaries and crocodiles that rule these jungles!


Stay at Backpackers in the Heart of Cairns

Day 34

Two colourful cocktails on the bar, with warm lighting in the background

Penultimate Party Day in Cairns!

Set out with a book in search of a good coffee and some downtime at a local cafe, catch some rays and work on your tan by the pool, and — most importantly — get ready to celebrate the final night of your tour with all the mates you’ve met along the way. Treat yourselves to a celebratory dinner and go out with a bang in Cairns’ bustling nightlife.


Stay at Backpackers in the Heart of Cairns

Day 35

Person in an East Coast Tours white tshirt at the pool

Hasta La Vista Travellers!

Your month of fun has come to an end, dear friends. But don’t let this be the last leg of your East Coast adventures! Now that you’ve got the lay of the land, level up your scuba skills, and explore more reefs, return to some of your favourite destinations from your trip, or if you’re on a working visa, replenish your funds and work locally! The East Coast is your oyster.

Trip Extension 

  • Post-itinerary accommodation, tours and transport

What's Included?

  • Half-day surf lesson in Byron Bay
  • Byron Bay dolphin kayak half-day tour
  • Nimbin day trip
  • 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
  • 33 nights accommodation
  • Bus transport from Sydney to Cairns
  • 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?

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.

Powered By

Copyright 2024 East Coast Tours | All Rights Reserved

Version: 2.2.3

Payment Method - Visa | East Coast Tours AustraliaPayment Method - Mastercard | East Coast Tours Australia