Best Buys

East Coast Islands and Rainforest

12 Day Guided Vacation | Sydney to Cairns

Travel Period

On this Sydney to Cairns tour, you’ll discover that life between these two cities revolves around water and sand, with Australia’s most fabled islands and beaches strung along the coast. Think, blinding Whitehaven in the Whitsundays, surf meccas in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, glam Hamilton Island, steamy Mission Beach and Fraser Island’s 75 Mile Beach. In contrast to these, try tasting the outback on a working cattle farm.

Prices From Code: QSC

$4624

Adult Twin i A person 16 years and over (note a person 16–17 years must be accompanied by a person 18 years and over). All prices are per person, land only.

$5588

Single i A person, who must be 18 years and over, travelling alone, must pay the single room price. All prices are per person, land only.

$4169

Child i A child must be accompanied by a person 18 years+. Some tours have minimum age requirements.
Prices above are per person, land only, in USD
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East Coast Islands and Rainforest

Best Buys

12 Day Guided Vacation

Sydney to Cairns

On this Sydney to Cairns tour, you’ll discover that life between these two cities revolves around water and sand, with Australia’s most fabled islands and beaches strung along the coast. Think, blinding Whitehaven in the Whitsundays, surf meccas in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, glam Hamilton Island, steamy Mission Beach and Fraser Island’s 75 Mile Beach. In contrast to these, try tasting the outback on a working cattle farm.

Highlights

Flexible Vacations

From beaches to rainforest, restaurants to theme parks, the Gold Coast delights. Choose your own adventure in paradise.

Iconic Sites

Two nights on the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island? Tick! Time spent exploring the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef? Tick!

Time For You

Experience the Whitsundays your way, whether blissing out poolside, wandering Whitehaven or soaring above Heart Reef in a chopper.

Sustainable Travel

A small holiday gesture of picking up 10 pieces of rubbish goes a long way for the future of the environment. Ask about our initiatives.

Itinerary

image map

Welcome to Sydney! Start discovering the landscapes of Australia’s east coast as you travel northward to the coastal town of Coffs Harbour. From your accommodation nestled amongst sprawling tropical gardens, you’ll have the opportunity to wander down to Little Diggers Beach and Diggers Head. Enjoy the early evening sea breeze just like the locals do! Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your newfound friends.

Hotel: BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort

Journey to Cape Byron Lighthouse and enjoy superb views from Australia’s eastern-most point over the Pacific Ocean. At the right time of year, you may be lucky enough to spot migrating whales frolicking off the coast. For lunch we recommend fresh fish and chips on the beach at Byron Bay, there’s nothing more Australian. Continue to the famous holiday destination, the Gold Coast where you’ll stay for the next two nights.

Hotel: Novotel Surfers Paradise, 2 nights

Today you have the freedom to enjoy the Gold Coast in your own style with optional activities to choose from. Nature lovers may head to Mt Tamborine, foodies explore the growing culinary culture or those needing relaxation just stroll down to the sand and salt of Surfers Paradise Beach.

Take in the landscape of rolling hills, surrounding mountain peaks and the coastline of the Sunshine Coast before arriving for a relaxed coastal vibe at Hervey Bay. This afternoon the ferry will take you across to the World Heritage Listed K’gari, also known as Fraser Island. Ground yourself back in nature on this sand island, your home for the next two nights.

Hotel: Kingfisher Bay Resort, 2 nights

A day of discovery lies ahead as your 4WD tour takes you for a bumpy ride around the island’s must-see sites. Visit Lake McKenzie, ringed with magnificent white sandy beaches. Walk through the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees. Across the island to 75 Mile Beach, the sand highway will take you up the eastern coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands; cooling, calm waters of Eli Creek and the famous sinking Maheno Shipwreck.

The morning ferry will take you back to the mainland where it’s back on the coach and travelling through cattle country to Langmorn Station, a fully operational family run cattle station.  Meet the Creed family and take a guided tour of the property including the original family homestead, built in 1873. Enjoy afternoon tea in the garden while you hear about the history of the station and what it is like to live and grow up on a cattle station! Cross the Tropic of Capricorn as you arrive in Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia! Your night is free so why not try some local beef at one of the town’s steakhouses.

Hotel: Quality Hotel Regent, Rockhampton

Travel north to the sugar town of Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital, to Sarina Sugar Shed, a working miniature sugar mill. On your tour you’ll get a peak into sugar cane processing and witness fully functioning sugar processing and distilling equipment in action. Afterwards you can taste some of the products made on site before sitting down for a light lunch. Continue to Airlie Beach, the gateway hub to the Whitsundays. Spend the next two nights in this vibrant coastal town where you will have free time to explore at your own pace.

Hotel: Mantra Club Croc, 2 nights

The Whitsunday Islands are a collection of 74 tropical islands with white sandy beaches and dense rainforest surrounded by The Great Barrier Reef. This tropical oasis offers numerous activities for all budgets and interests. With so many bucket list reasons to get up early, why not take an optional helicopter ride over Heart Reef or perhaps the famous Whitehaven Beach beckons. Take an optional cruise aboard a catamaran to this slice of paradise, where you can simply relax on the beach, take a swim, or get involved in some fun beach activities.

Today we head north to Cairns along the Bruce Highway. Relax and take in the scenery as we travel through sugar cane fields and large farming lands with the ocean to one side and lush rainforests and mountains on the other. We’ll make a stop along the way at a town where you can soak up the relaxed lifestyle that tropical North Queensland has to offer.

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns, 3 nights

Before breakfast feel free to take a walk along the shore and feel the golden sand between your toes before you depart. Today you’ll travel through the high tropical plateau known as the Atherton Tablelands, where lush rainforests, waterfalls and lakes abound. Visit Millaa Millaa Falls and the famous Curtain Fig Tree. Keep an eye out for the spectacular Ulysses Butterfly while you’re there. Continue to Kuranda where you’ll stop around lunch time. Enjoy some free time to explore this village in the rainforest. From Kuranda you will take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway high above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park before arriving at your hotel in Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

Board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. The world heritage listed reef is the only living organism you can see from the moon.  Imagine that! You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling and view this natural living wonder up- close (equipment provided) and view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and the glass bottom boat. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon. Tonight, is your farewell dinner at a restaurant on Cairns Harbour.

Your wonderful holiday concludes after breakfast when you bid farewell to your fellow travellers.

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort.
The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Discover the best of Coffs Harbour accommodation at BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort - a relaxed, tropical style beachfront resort which is ideal for families and couples looking for their next seaside adventure. There's accommodation to suit everyone at BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort, making your beach holiday extra special with a fantastic range of facilities and great choice of room types.

    Features

  • Microwave and toaster
  • Air-conditioning
  • In-room internet access
  • Cable TV
  • DVD player
  • CD player
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Kingfisher Bay Resort is the gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and is internationally renowned following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal visit, during their official Australian tour .

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bath/Shower
  • Colour TV
  • STD/ISD Phone
  • Tea & Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The 1914 Historical Heritage Listed TAFE College has been converted into a 4 1/2 Star 49 room hotel with conference and licensed restaurant facilities. The Quality Regent Hotel Rockhampton is part of the Choice group of quality hotels and offers superior accommodation and professional functions facilities in a premier position in the CBD. It is situated within walking distance to shops, businesses, restaurants and waterfront. Airport and Rail - only minutes drive away. We will cater to our guests every need to ensure their stay is most enjoyable.

    Features

  • Guest Laundry
  • Air Conditioning
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Refrigerator
  • Room service
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Families, couples and groups will find Mantra Club Croc ideally positioned in the coastal town of Airlie Beach, within a five-minute drive of its lively hub. Centrally located on Shute Harbour Road, you’ll be set to experience the best of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations. Providing a glimpse into the region’s past, Mantra Club Croc’s traditional Queenslander exterior complements its modern interior and boasts a tropical carefree atmosphere throughout. Hotel rooms are refurbished with natural tones reflect the nearby coastline, coupled with modern features to ensure you are relaxed while on vacation.

    Features

  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Air-conditioning
  • LCD TV
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Wi-Fi (additional cost)
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Boasting uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea, and a stunning natural setting amidst landscaped tropical gardens, the oceanfront DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns is just a short walk from the city center, and Cairn’s business, retail and entertainment districts. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Cairns Esplanade, and is just moments from Cairns Lagoon and Cairns Casino. The Great Barrier Reef departures terminal is 100m away, and Cairns International Airport is only 10 minutes’ drive from our Cairns hotel. Our onsite tour desk will help you explore the wonders of this unique region.

Need accommodation before or after your tour?

Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver
  • • 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – K’gari (Fraser Island), Great Barrier Reef & Wet Tropics of Queensland (Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail)
  • • Centrally located premium hotels

What to Bring

  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months
  • • Camera
  • • Comfortable walking shoes
  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • 11 Full Breakfasts
  • • 3 Lunches
  • • 1 Dinner
  • • 1 Farewell Dinner

Flight Information

  • • Day prior – flights to arrive anytime into Sydney Airport
  • • Day 12 – flights to depart anytime from Cairns Airport

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