All about the 21 Day Extraordinary East Coast Sydney to Cairns Package

This 21-day group experience offers an unrivalled trip between Sydney and Cairns with more inclusions than any other operator. Visit iconic destinations including Byron Bay, Fraser Island, Magnetic Island and the Whitsundays. We stay on two farms, visit three very different islands, four World Heritage National Parks and some secret spots in between. It offers a great mix of unique accommodation and experiences including wine tasting, wildlife, indigenous culture, beaches, hiking, rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, off-roading, horse-riding, surfing, kayaking….and more.

This is the ultimate Sydney to Cairns East Coast package

We have squeezed one of the best Fraser Island tours, an incredible Whitsundays sailing adventure, the Queensland rainforest, and Magnetic Island into one amazingly action-packed East Coast 21 day adventure tour! Stopping off in Byron Bay and to the off the beaten track Fraser Island, this tour package is the ultimate way to see the East Coast of Australia! You will visit three very different islands, four World Heritage National Parks and some secret spots recommended by locals. You will enjoy a great mix of unique accommodation and experiences including wine tasting, wildlife, indigenous culture, beaches, hiking, rainforest, reef, off-roading, surfing, and kayaking. 

Travelling in a group of like-minded people you will explore Sydney to Cairns led by our team of professional, experienced guides to see the ‘real’ Australia and meet some true Aussie locals. This East Coast time saver and budget-conscious package take in all the best bits of the most popular route in Australia, with your accommodation and activities included. 

You will spend two days on Fraser Island seeing the famous Lake Mckenzie, adventuring around this large sand island full of rainforest and lakes. On the Whitsunday Island boat, we take you to see Whitehaven Beach, another bucket list place on the East Coast of Oz. Plus have a snorkel on the reef and try to look for Nemo. Then it's off up to Magnetic Island to explore the National Park before finally the rainforest before finishing in tropical Cairns.

Check out our dates of departure, we leave Sydney every Tuesday heading north to Cairns. ( If that date doesn't suit we can tailor make you an East Coast package, so get in touch and let us plan your adventure!)

Great for your first visit to Australia, see all the highlights from Sydney to Cairns whilst getting to know a great bunch of new friends. What could be better? 

21 Day Extraordinary East Coast Sydney to Cairns Package
Tour itinerary - 21 Days

  • Day 1 Sydney to Barrington
    Meet your Loka guide at 8am outside of Wake Up Sydney for the start of your East Coast adventure.
    We head to the Hunter Valley wine area to do a tasting at one of Australia’s most famous vineyards. We then head through the backcountry to our stunning stop on the edge of Barrington Tops National Park (a World Heritage Listed Area). We stay in a private lodge overlooking the Barrington River. We have included river tubing down a scenic part of the river for the afternoon. Relax and enjoy the incredible views in the evening.
    (Private rooms cannot be guaranteed at this location. If available a local payment of $40.00 per person is payable.)
    Tonight you stay in our shared accommodation in hilltop lodge. (D)
  • Day 2 Barrington to Surf Camp
    In the morning you can go for a walk around the property before we begin our day’s journey. We stop for a visit to a Koala hospital to learn about their efforts in preserving Koalas, and at a nature reserve to spot wild kangaroos hopping along the incredible coastline then travel on to our waterfront accommodation at the Surf Camp, arriving in the early evening.
    (Private rooms require a local payment of $60.00 per person if available. Female only dorms cannot be guaranteed at this location.) (B,D)
  • Day 3 Surf Camp to River Retreat
    This morning you can take part in a group surf lesson or just relax on the beach. The surf lesson is included in the price of the tour package. In the afternoon we travel to our River Retreat and go for a guided canoeing trip, spotting wildlife along the way. In the evening have an Aussie BBQ, learn how to cook some damper and toast marshmallows around the campfire.
    Tonight you will be camping in cabins. (B,D)
  • Day 4 River Retreat to Byron Bay
    We leave our camp and head up towards Byron Bay, Australia’s famous surf and arts town. We stop in the picturesque town of Yamba along the way and go for a walk or a swim at the Angourie blue pools (weather dependent). We have an orientation drive on the way to Byron Bay to help you get your bearings. You stay at the wonderful Backpacker Resort Byron Bay, (B)
  • Day 5 Byron Bay
    Explore, learn to surf, party, visit the alternative town of Nimbin (additional cost), or just relax and take in the laidback, hippy vibe. We recommend taking a walk to the lighthouse to view the Australian mainland’s most easterly point.
    Stay in the Backpacker Resort Byron Bay.
  • Day 6 Byron Bay (via Gold Coast & Brisbane) to Rainbow Beach
    You will depart Byron Bay and cruise up to the New South Wales/Queensland border and hop out at Danger Point to stretch our legs and check out the view of one of Australia’s best surf spots, Snapper Rocks. We then drive into the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Noosa before we continue onto Rainbow Beach for the night. At Rainbow Beach we take a walk up to Carlo Sand Blow for either the sunset or sunrise.
    Tonight you stay at Backpacker Resort Rainbow Beach. (D)
  • Day 7 and 8 Rainbow Beach to Fraser Island
    Get ready for two full days of exploring World Heritage Fraser Island. After a short 10-minute ferry ride from Rainbow Beach you start your adventure of four-wheel-driving on the roads of sand.
    During your stay on Fraser you will have the chance to spot dingoes in the wild, swim in crystal clear freshwater lakes and swimming holes, hike through world heritage rainforest and explore the diverse landscapes in this unique habitat.
    Before heading to bed don’t forget to look up to enjoy the millions of stars and maybe even spot the five stars on the Aussie flag – the Southern Cross.
    In the late afternoon of day eight your guide will return you to your Rainbow Beach accommodation where you have dinner included.
    (Day 7 and 8 B,L and D)
  • Day 9 Rainbow Beach
    Today you will have the chance to witness some of the spectacular marine wildlife the Fraser Coast is famous for. You will be treated to a dolphin-watching kayak tour and Great Beach 4WD ride within the Great Sandy National Park.
    On this three-hour tour you have the chance of seeing Bottlenose dolphins, Humpback whales (May to November), turtles, manta rays, sting rays, soldier crabs and an array of marine birdlife.
    Make sure you bring along your swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, water, camera, a dry change of clothes and any snacks you may wish to eat.
    Stay at Backpacker Resort Rainbow Beach. (B, D)
  • Day 10 Rainbow Beach to Emu Park
    We hop in our bus in Rainbow Beach and head to Tin Can Bay to see wild dolphins up close. We then head to Cooroy where we start our train journey. We travel to Rockhampton then get met by a private bus, which takes us to Emus Beach Resort. We get welcomed onto the resort and find out more about our Loka Treasure Island Experience for the next day.
  • Day 11 Myella Farm Stay
    Depart bright and early to travel to Rockhampton where a member of the Myella family will pick you up, share information about the farm and its history, and advise what you can experience over the coming days.
    Ride your horse through the wide open fields where you can ride very close to cattle and kangaroos, enjoy a buffet style salad lunch and sign up for the motorbike training.
    In the afternoon join the cow milking team and enjoy an outback sunset to finish the day around the campfire to relax with a home-made beer. Dinner is served in the outdoor dining area. (L, D)
  • Day 12 Myella Farm Stay
    Take an early morning walk to see the sunrise and wild kangaroos before joining the family for breakfast. Feed the chickens, help sort the milking cows and learn to feed and saddle your own horse. Today you will ride a different route over the 2600 acre farm.
    After lunch take the 4WD farm tour or lasso and whip-cracking lessons, or ride the motorbike for something different. Chill in the pool in the afternoon heat before leaving around 4.30pm to make your way back to Rockhampton and Emu park. (L)
  • Day 13 Great Keppel Island
    We have an awesome “Treasure Island” today with return ferry transfers to Great Keppel Island and its 17 stunning beaches. We depart early to head to the tropical paradise Great Keppel Island. Relax or have a go at the optional water activities (snorkeling/kayaking etc) before taking part in the famous Loka Treasure Hunt. Follow the clues to win the treasure!
    We head back to the mainland late afternoon with a quick stop to go on a walk to Bluff Point and evening meal before returning to the comfort of your accommodation. (D)
  • Day 14 Emu Park to Airlie Beach
    After such a busy few days we take a little time to relax today, play Aussie lawn bowls or visit the local crocodile farm (both extra cost). Meet for dinner before we catch the train in the evening and travel overnight to Airlie Beach. We travel in a modern train with large reclining seats, a bar and a dining carriage. We get into a town called Proserpine in the morning then take a local bus in to Airlie Beach – the gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands where you will have time to store your luggage before your Whitsundays day trip. Overnight train in reclining seats. (D)
  • Day 15 Whitsunday Islands, snorkeling, reef and Whitehaven Beach
    Today provides an exhilarating ride to world famous Whitehaven Beach, pristine snorkeling reefs and guided Whitsunday Island National Park walks.
    Visit the Northern and Southern ends of Whitehaven Beach, spending at least two hours relaxing or exploring the 7km of white silica sand.
    Walk to the Southern Whitehaven lookout with breathtaking views of Pentecost Island, join the guided walks to Hill Inlet lookout and snorkel for an hour enjoying the amazing hard and soft corals of the fringing reefs. Upon completion of your Whitsundays day trip, you will have the night free to explore Airlie’s great nightlife and choice of restaurants. (L)
  • Day 16 Airlie Beach
    Time to relax and enjoy the large lagoon on the esplanade, and the many cafes and restaurants in this quaint coastal town.
  • Day 17 Airlie Beach (via Townsville) to Magnetic Island
    We start early with a local bus to the train, a ferry out to tropical ‘Maggie Island’, and a local transfer to the accommodation. There is much to explore on the island, as nearly 50% of it is National Park with amazing beaches and abundant wildlife. Your guide will join you on a walk around the Island; otherwise you can do more exploring or just relax by the pool.
  • Day 18 Magnetic Island
    Relax or visit the wildlife park at the resort (extra cost). Your guide will not be present today.
  • Day 19 Magnetic Island to Tully Rainforest Experience
    We travel back to the mainland on the ferry, travel by train to Tully – getting in at around lunchtime. We travel by bus into the amazing rainforest of Tully Gorge National Park. Cool off with a swim in a beautiful swimming hole, before a BBQ dinner and stories about the campfire. (D)
  • Day 20 Tully to Cairns
    We wake early at our rainforest camp for breakfast and then have an interpretative walk through the forest, learning about the traditional indigenous use of the land. We then travel back to Tully to catch the train north, arriving into Cairns central train station at approximately 4.05pm. Stay tonight in Gilligans(B)
  • Day 21 Great Barrier Reef
    This luxury vessel takes you to the Great Barrier Reef in only 90 minutes for a full day of snorkelling and/or the chance to do up to three dives (extra cost).
    Enjoy exclusive moorings at various reefs and a variety of dive sites to ensure minimal environmental impact to the pristine coral formations we visit. Dive sites are frequented by a myriad of tropical and pelagic fish, rays, turtles, (friendly) sharks and the ever-popular Maori Wrasse. There are swim-throughs, wall and drift dives to appeal to every level of diver. Your tour include a wetsuit or stinger suit, as well as floatation noodles. Crew keep a constant watch over the snorkelling sites, so you can enjoy the wonders of the reef in complete safety.
    ( A direct payment of AU$20.00 Reef Tax and Fuel Levy is to be paid at check in.)
    Return to Cairns where your East Coast adventure comes to an end. (L)
Real Adventure Group Real People
Real Aussie Says:
Explore Australia's stunning East Coast stretching all the way from bustling Sydney to the sunny tropics of Cairns. Full of bucket list adventures, this travel package is designed to help you tick off all those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Perfect for those 18-39 years old.

21 Day Extraordinary East Coast Sydney to Cairns Package Price information AUD per person



Tour code: SC21
Dorm. For travel from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
Local fees payable
Reef Tax and Fuel Levy

Departure information


Tuesday's from Sydney (except Jan; 19, 26 Mar, Dec 17, 24, 31 2019 and Mar 17, 24, 31 2020.)


More information

Important Notes

Things you need to know about this tour

This itinerary is subject to change due to cultural, operational or seasonal conditions. Accommodation included is a guide only and will be confirmed with a personalised itinerary seven days prior to departure.

**Although the group you are travelling with will not exceed 24 passengers, a number of the activities including the cruise in the Whitsundays, four-wheel-drive touring on Fraser Island, and rail journey are not exclusive to the group. You will travel with additional people and will have larger group sizes on those days. You will also travel with guides specific to those activities, rather than your Loka guide.

As this is a tour package, your guide and group will change throughout your journey. You will travel on Loka transport with Loka guides. While you will have a fixed pre-arranged itinerary, other Loka customers on a more flexible pass will hop on and off throughout the trip.

This is an open-aged tour, however most passengers are between the ages of 18 and 39.

Female dorm customers will be placed in single sex female dorms where possible.

Dietary requirements: Vegetarian diets are generally easily catered for by each of the operators in this tour package if informed before departure. It may not always be possible for more specific dietary needs to be catered for, particularly in more remote areas visited. It is recommended that passengers with specific dietary needs carry snacks and other food items that they are certain will be suitable, as Real Aussie Adventures and its partners cannot be responsible for the ingredients contained in meals provided.

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