36 Day Fully Guided Ultimate East Coast Explorer

Get ready for an epic guided group adventure exploring the very best of the Australian East Coast on the Ultimate East Coast Explorer tour from Sydney to Cairns. Discover amazing Aussie locations, have heaps of fun, create unforgettable memories and make friends for life! We’ll show you the very best spots along the East Coast including Byron Bay, Brisbane, Magnetic Island & Cairns! We’ll sail around the Whitsunday Islands, camp on Fraser Island, party in Surfer’s Paradise, spot Aussie wildlife, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef & more!

Ultimate East Coast tours are all about having fun, exploring amazing locations and making great friendships that will last a lifetime. We arrange everything for you so your trip will be easy and hassle-free! Download our trip notes for more tour information.

The Ultimate East Coast Explorer tour is packed with plenty of awesome activities and includes transport, accommodation at the best boutique hostels and resorts along the East Coast and some meals. Check out our tour inclusions below to see what is covered.


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This tour is perfect for solo travellers and for those travelling with friends. Enjoy your trip with a group of up to 20 other 18-30-somethings from all over the world and your Ultimate East Coast guide. Meet your group and other travellers via our Facebook groups. We’re proud to support Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, a collaborative movement designed to help the reef. $1 from each Ultimate East Coast booking is donated to help protect our planets largest coral reef ecosystem. Find out more about our values and charities.

36 Day Fully Guided Ultimate East Coast Explorer
Tour itinerary - 35 Days

  • Day 1 Welcome to Sydney
    Your Ultimate East Coast adventure starts here in Sydney, with a guided tour of the city and an orientation at our Ultimate HQ. Get to know your group at our welcome dinner before we begin our epic journey up the East Coast. We'll travel overnight by luxury, air-conditioned coach, complete with wifi and reclining chairs so sit back, relax and get ready for 5 weeks exploring the very best of the wonderful East Coast of Australia!
  • Day 2 Byron Bay
    This morning, we arrive in Byron Bay, the boho hub of the East Coast. Explore the town, chill on the stunning beaches and embrace the laid-back surfer vibes of Byron! We'll take part in a fun, professional surf lesson so you'll be riding the waves like a pro in no time! We'll explore the town, beaches and head to the famous Byron lighthouse to take in the gorgeous ocean views. Tomorrow we'll zen out at morning yoga on the beach, enjoy more time exploring Byron, and then have some tasty wine & cheese at our hostel this evening! For you fitness junkies, you also have the option to get some personal training at the hostel gym. Keen for more? No worries, go kayaking with Dolphins or explore the famous hippie hub of Nimbin (add-ons). The choice is yours!
  • Day 3 - 5 Byron Bay
    Relax in Byron Bay for a few days and if the mood strikes do some additional activities. Or just chill on the beach or hike up to the Lighthouse. Optional Extra: Dolphin Kayak Tour - Additional Cost, Nimbin Tour - Additional Cost Day 5 (D)
  • Day 6 - 8 Byron Bay to Surfers Paradise
    Days 6-8: After a morning exploring Byron's boutique shops, we'll set off for our next stop; Surfers Paradise! Known for its awesome waves, never-ending nightlife and long sandy beaches, Surfers is a real highlight of the East Coast. We'll explore the town and the beautiful beaches, before getting dressed up and heading out to our favourite bars and clubs for a fun night out on the town. If you love theme parks - your tour guide can also help you organise a visit to Dreamworld, the most famous theme park on the Gold Coast. Spend the next day chilling by the pool, soaking up the sun or exploring the city, before we get together for a Sausage Sizzle and a few bevvies. Optional Extra: Big Night Out - Additional Cost Day 7 : Surfers Paradise Day 8 : Surfers Paradise (D)
  • Day 9 - 10 Surfers Paradise to Brisbane
    Days 9-10: In the morning, we'll hop on the bus and head to Brisbane! With accommodation right in the buzz of the city, we'll explore the best bits of Brisbane, from man-made Streets Beach to Southbank, the cultural hub. If you fancy, you also have the option to head to the famous Australia Zoo and see some amazing wildlife! (add-on). Day 10 : Brisbane Optional Extra: Australia Zoo - Additional Cost
  • Day 11 - 12 Brisbane to Noosa
    Days 11-12: Tropical greenery, diverse wildlife, and beautiful beaches - Noosa, our next stop, is gorgeous. We'll arrive in the afternoon, chill by the beach and watch the sunset. Tomorrow, we'll take a hike over the coastal headlands taking in the amazing sea views. The rest of the day is yours: chill by the pool or have a couple-a beers at the bar. The choice is yours!
  • Day 12 Noosa
    Optional Extra: 1 Day Self-Guided Noosa Everglades Kayak Adventure - Additional Cost
  • Day 13 - 14 Noosa to Rainbow Beach
    Days 13-14: Our next stop is Rainbow beach, the gateway to our Fraser Island adventure! Check into our hostel and head out for a short hike to Carlo Sand Blow, a unique sand mass where you can watch the sunset over the southern tip of Fraser Island! In the morning, we head out early to Tin Can Bay, home to Australian Humpback dolphins! You'll get the opportunity to enter the knee deep water in the marina to feed the resident pod of dolphins. The rest of the day is free for you to chill on the beach, explore Rainbow or relax at the hostel - before our Fraser Island safety briefing in the evening. Day 14 : Rainbow Beach
  • Day 15 - 17 Fraser Island
    Days 15-17: Ready to explore the world's largest sand island? Today, we will begin our Fraser Island adventure, exploring this vast island in a 4x4! We will drive on the beach highway, take a dip in the amazing clear waters of Lake McKenzie, bathe in the champagne pools, and take in vast views from Indian heads lookout. We'll be spending the 2 nights here in our own private campsite, just a few metres from the beach, so kick back and take in the amazing views! We'll head back to Rainbow beach for another night, before journeying to our next spot. (L and D) Day 16 : Fraser Island (B, L and D) Day 17 : Rainbow Beach (L and D)
  • Day 18 - 20 Rainbow Beach to 1770 (Agnes Water)
    Days 18-20: Our next stop is Town of 1770 - named after Captain Cook's second landing spot in Australia. We'll check into our accommodation before having a classic Aussie camp fire with marshmallows on the fire - bliss! Our next two days here are free for you to spend as you like. Play games by the pool, chill on the beach, hire a surfboard and catch some waves or join 1770's famous scooter tour (add-on). In the evening, we'll hop on the overnight bus to Airlie beach, arriving the next morning.
  • Day 19 - 20 1770 (Agnes Water)
    Optional Extra: Scooteroo 1770 Mini Chopper Motorbike Tour - Additional Cost (B)
  • Day 21 - 23 Airlie Beach
    Days 21-23: Check into your hostel before heading out to explore tropical Airlie Beach, taking a dip in the famous harbourfront lagoon. The next day, it's time to start our Whitsundays adventure! We'll be spending the next few days cruising around the stunning Whitsunday islands on a Maxi sailing yacht. We'll be sleeping onboard so get comfy, have a drink, enjoy some delicious food, and settle into the gorgeous surroundings. Snorkel in pristine blue waters, visit some of the whitest sandy beaches in the world, chill with your mates and witness some incredible sun sets. The Whitsundays are breathtaking! After two amazing days on the boat, we'll head back to our hostel in Airlie Beach for the next two nights. Day 22 : Whitsundays (D) Day 23 : Whitsundays (B, L and D)
  • Day 24 - 25 Airlie Beach
    Days 24-25: Arriving in the evening, we'll hit the hostel terrace bar and reminisce on our Whitsundays adventure! The next day soak up the paradise vibes at Airlie's lagoon, wander around the town or explore the surrounding national park before our journey to Townsville, the gateway to Magnetic Island! (L) Day 25 : Airlie Beach Optional Extra: GSL Aviation: Whitsunday Heli Experience - Additional Cost
  • Day 26 - 28 Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island
    Days 26-28: You're in for a treat as we spend the next 3 days exploring Magnetic Island - home to wild koalas, wallabies, and golden sandy beaches. Snorkel in the pristine island waters, take the guided Fort's walk offering incredible views of the island and chill at the hostel. Our hostel even has an on-site wildlife park where you can get up close to Aussie wildlife such as koalas and wallabies! Want to explore the rest of the island? Rent a 4x4 'Barbie car' and drive around the island with your mates (available for hire)! Day 27 : Magnetic Island Day 28 : Magnetic Island
  • Day 29 - 30 Magnetic Island to Mission Beach
    Days 29-30: Our next stop is Mission beach, where the rainforest and the reef meet and renowned for incredible sunrises. After a few drinks at the hostel bar, we'll wake and explore the neighbouring National Park, traditional country of The Djiru Aboriginal people. If you're up for a bit of adrenaline action, you have the option of joining an awesome white water rafting adventure in Tully, just a short distance from Mission Beach (add-on). Mission beach is also home to Australia's highest skydive (15,000ft!) so if you're feeling adventurous and ready for some adrenaline pumping action - get signed up (add-on). Fly over a reef, jump out a plane and land on a beach. Awesome!
  • Day 30 Mission Beach
    Optional Extra: Tully Full Day White Water Rafting - Additional Cost
  • Day 31 - 35 Mission Beach to Cairns
    Days 31-35: Tonight we arrive in Cairns - the Ultimate backpacker destination, and home to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy luxury air-conditioned en-suite dorm rooms, a huge pool and daily entertainment in our resort style accommodation. We'll be spending the next 5 days here, so settle in and get ready for an exciting few days ahead! Keen to explore the rainforest? You're in the right place - Cape Tribulation add-ons available. Optional Extra: Skydive Mission Beach - Additional Cost Day 32 : Rainforest & Waterfalls Our first full day in Cairns will be spent exploring the Tablelands region, swimming under waterfalls, exploring rainforest and sliding down natural rock slides. If you're lucky, you may even see some shy platypuses in the wild! Day 33 : Great Barrier Reef What better way to spend your last few days in paradise than a day trip to the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef? We'll take a boat to the outer reef and snorkel around the vibrant coral, encountering turtles, stingrays and maybe even Nemo - an experience you'll never forget! The final two days are open for you to explore Cairns. Chill at the hostel pool, make the most of the nightlife, visit the Cairns Lagoon and soak up the sun while you reminisce on the past 5 week of adventure with your new mates! (L) Day 34 : Cairns Optional Extra: Active 1 Day Tour to Cape Tribulation - Additional Cost Day 35 : Cairns Day 36 : Onward Travel Support Whether you plan to stay in the tropics, travel elsewhere in Australia or onto a different destination, your tour guide and the crew at Ultimate HQ will be here to support you and help you plan your adventure!
36 Day Fully Guided Ultimate East Coast Explorer Price information AUD per person

Tour code: 27326



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Departure information



Tour starts in Sydney Mondays at 11 am
Tour ends in Cairns Monday at 10am


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Important Notes

Things you need to know about this tour

Your Ultimate East Coast Explorer guide will be travelling with you from start to finish and available 24/7. Our guides are experienced, first-aid trained, professional, fun and have expert local knowledge - they will show you the best time!

The Ultimate East Coast Explorer (5 Week) and Explorer + Sydney (6 Week) start in Sydney on Mondays at 11am and ends in Cairns on Mondays at 10am. At the end of your adventure your tour guide can help you to arrange onward travel. You can continue your adventure with our Outback add-on or select a return transfer to take you to the airport at the end of the tour.


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