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East Coast Islands & Rainforests

12 Day Guided Vacation | Sydney to Cairns

Queensland is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Sites meet. And you get to see their convergence on this east coast Australia trip, which tours from Sydney all the way to Cairns. From a Great Barrier Reef tour to the Wet Tropics rainforest, from K’gari (Fraser) Island tour to the Gold and Coffs Coasts tour, get set for a parade of postcard-worthy attractions. 

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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 unless otherwise indicated.
Above lowest price is based on 2024-11-04 departure


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 unless otherwise indicated.
Above lowest price is based on 2024-11-04 departure
Prices above are per person in USD
Single rooms are limited and subject to availability
Child prices may be available on request

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Trip Details

trip-details-whats-includedWhat'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)
    • Comfortable accommodation with easy access to city centres
    • Cape Byron Lighthouse Permit & Crater Lake National Park entrance fees (Millaa Millaa Falls)


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

trip-details-flight-infoFlight Information

  • Day prior – flights to arrive anytime into Sydney Airport
    Day 12 – flights to depart anytime from Cairns Airport
    Flights are not included in the holiday price
    Return airport to hotel transfers are not included in the holiday price

trip-details-what-to-bringWhat to Bring

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

trip-details-fitness-level-requirementsFitness Requirements

    Low level of fitness required.

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As much as you’ll want to linger in Sydney, Coffs Harbour is calling. On the mid-North Coast of New South Wales, this pocket of paradise has some of the state’s most impressive beaches, not to mention the glorious national parkland that surrounds. Follow the breeze (and lead of locals) to the beach for a dazzling end of day, before a Welcome Dinner with your fellow adventure seekers.

  Hotel: BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort

  Included Meals: Dinner

Australia’s most easterly point is the stuff that postcards were made for, as you’ll discover when you reach the Cape Byron Lighthouse, standing proud over the Pacific Ocean. Dolphins are a common sight year round, and they’re joined by whales during migration. For lunch, we can point you in the direction of a tasty Byron Bay fish-and-chip shop – order a haul to eat with your feet in the sand. Which you’re going to see plenty of at your next destination.

  Hotel: Novotel Surfers Paradise

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Your base in Surfers Paradise is the heart of the Gold Coast, a city that really does sparkle. Today you might choose to explore beaches (there are too many to count), lingering in light-filled cafés and restaurants. Or enlist in a Gold Coast tour to see another side of the ‘Goldie’ in the Mt. Tamborine hinterland – a hub for creatives and foodies. The city also breaks records for its extensive network of canals, which you might opt to explore on a leisurely cruise.   

  Hotel: Novotel Surfers Paradise

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Follow the waves north to the gateway to K’gari (Fraser Island). The ferry ride across the strait is a highlight, particularly during whale migration when these gentle giants come to the calm, protected waters to calve. Landing on K’gari, expect to see a lot of sand. This is, after all, the world’s largest sand island, and the only place in the world where rainforest grows from the sand.

  Hotel: Kingfisher Bay Resort

  Included Meals: Breakfast

The island also has a really long sand highway, which you’ll get to zip along on a 4WD tour across 75 Mile Beach, all the way up the east coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands, calm Eli Creek and the Maheno shipwreck, which offers quite the photo opportunity. Just when you thought the island couldn’t get any prettier, Lake McKenzie appears on the horizon, this dazzling patch of blue formed only with rainwater. It’s a hard act to follow, but the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek lives up to the challenge with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees.

  Hotel: Kingfisher Bay Resort

  Included Meals: Lunch, Breakfast

Back on the mainland you’re in Queensland’s cattle country. Case in point Langmorn Station, where the Creed family will welcome you with afternoon tea and a tour of the immense (and historic) cattle property – the original family homestead was built in 1873. The Creeds will regale you with stories about life on the land. The theme continues as you cross the Tropic of Capricorn to arrive in Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia. See if it deserves its title sampling some of the town’s restaurants. Ask us for tips.

  Hotel: Quality Hotel Regent, Rockhampton

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Another town with an impressive title is Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital. If you’ve ever wanted to know how sugar cane is processed and distilled, you’ll find the guided tour at the Sarina Sugar Shed a sweet addition to the itinerary. And yes, you get to sample the wares. Continue, on a high, along the east coast to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. Life moves at a leisurely pace here. Fall into step and take things slow tonight.  

  Hotel: Mantra Club Croc

  Included Meals: Lunch, Breakfast

The Whitsunday Islands need little introduction, the 74 tropical drops of land a beguiling union of powdery beaches and rainforest, all ringed by the Coral Sea. There are endless ways to explore this part of the Great Barrier Reef – today, we’re letting you choose. Perhaps rise early for an optional helicopter ride over Heart Reef. Or catch a catamaran to Whitehaven Beach, with sand so high in silica it squeaks underfoot.

  Hotel: Mantra Club Croc

  Included Meals: Breakfast

After all the excitement of yesterday, today it’s time to relax and enjoy the scenery – more sugar cane fields and rolling green paddocks, all framed by the ocean and rainforest-clad mountains. Stretch your legs en route to Cairns and soak up this steamy part of the state.

  Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns

  Included Meals: Breakfast

The Cairns Esplanade is a hive of activity in the morning, with active locals out before the humidity of the day sets in. Keep pace, before cooling off in the Atherton Tablelands, a high tropical plateau of rainforest, including the heritage listed Curtain Fig Tree. And waterfalls, like Millaa Millaa, where enormous iridescent Ulysses butterflies like to dance. Explore Kuranda before getting some perspective on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, through and high above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park.

  Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Just when you thought your outlook couldn’t get any better, you’re zipping over the Great Barrier Reef on a high-speed catamaran. Snorkel with six of the world’s sea turtles bobbing over fans of coral, as well as so many fish you won’t know where to look. If you prefer to keep your head above water, the marine world can also be glimpsed from an underwater observatory and glass-bottom boat.

  Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns

  Included Meals: Farewell Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast

A ridiculous number of beaches, world-record breaking rainforest, dreamy islands and even dreamier ocean… it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this backdrop. Not to mention your fellow travellers.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.

East Coast Islands & Rainforests

Best Buys

12 Day Guided Vacation

Sydney to Cairns

Queensland is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Sites meet. And you get to see their convergence on this east coast Australia trip, which tours from Sydney all the way to Cairns. From a Great Barrier Reef tour to the Wet Tropics rainforest, from K’gari (Fraser) Island tour to the Gold and Coffs Coasts tour, get set for a parade of postcard-worthy attractions. 


Flexible Vacations

Choose your own adventure on the Gold Coast and in the Whitsundays, where surf and sand meet rainforest hinterland. Hike, swim, snorkel, cruise, repeat.

Iconic Sites

How many people get to say they visited three World Heritage Sites on a single holiday? You can: K’gari (Fraser Island), the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

Sustainable Travel

Our Take 3 for the Sea program helps conserve our oceans through small collective efforts of rubbish collection.

Natural Wonders

Some of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest envelops Cairns, this verdant tangle of ferns and palms a natural magnet for native wildlife.


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

Optional Experiences

Please note, prices for Optional Experiences are subject to change.

To ensure your holiday is filled with memorable experiences, we have included a range of quality Optional Experiences for you to choose from and partake in, if you wish, during your holiday. The experiences can be booked on tour through your Travel Director.

Evening Glow Worm & Rainforest Experience (Gold Coast)

Adult: $119.00 AUD

Child: $96.00 AUD

Join an unforgettable night in the rainforest after dark! Enjoy a guided walk by torchlight with an expert local guide through the night time rainforest. Along the walk see the nocturnal rainforest inhabitants that are unique to the region and experience the sounds and sights of the rainforest in the evening. Along the rock face, see the glowing lava which is Glow Worms, unique to the Australian east coast.

Evening Glow Worm & Rainforest Experience

Lamington National Park, O'Reilys & Vineyard Tour (Gold Coast )

Adult: $129.00 AUD

Child: 106.00 AUD

This tour provides you with all the best highlights packed beautifully into one fantastic day. A fully guided tour visiting the world’s largest sub-tropical rainforest, the famous O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and Canungra Valley Vineyard. Experience stunning panoramic views, a canopy treetop walk, wild bird feeding and more on this relaxed journey to 1,000 metres above sea level.

Lamington National Park, O'Reilys & Vineyard Tour

Natural Bridge & Sprinbook Waterfalls Tour (Gold Coast)

Adult: $119.00 (AUD)

Child: $96.00 (AUD)

Join an afternoon tour to the World Heritage Rainforests of Springbrook and view 5 stunning waterfalls. Learn about the history, culture and stories of the region on a fully guided rainforest walk to Natural Bridge and stand on the edge of an extinct 23 million year old volcano. Take in the view at lookouts with views across to the Gold Coast, Mt Warning and Green Cauldron of Northern NSW and enjoy light refreshments.

Natural Bridge & Sprinbook Waterfalls Tour

Nautilus Aviation (Cairns)

Adult Price: AUD $199

Take to the sky on a 10-minute scenic flight. You will have the best seat to witness the iconic Great Barrier Reef from above.

Nautilus Aviation

Sunlover Guided Snorkel Safari (Cairns)

Adult Price: AUD $75.00 Child Price: AUD$60.00

>Have marine experts guide you on a personal 35 minute tour exploring areas of the reef not accessible by others, highlighting brilliant corals and fascinating marine life. Our marine naturalist has a large rubber ring that you can hold on to, making it great for non-swimmers and those who aren't confident to snorkel alone, as well as those who want an in depth experience of the outer reef.

Sunlover Guided Snorkel Safari

Sunlover Introductory Dive (Cairns)

Adult Price: AUD $210.00

For an underwater adventure to remember, experience an introductory dive! It’s fun and no experience is necessary to take a fully supervised introductory dive. Professional and experienced instructors will guide you through every aspect of your dive, allowing you to have a relaxed, enjoyable experience.

Sunlover Introductory Dive

Whitehaven & Hill Inlet, Chill & Grill (Whitsundays)

Adult Price: AUD $263.00 Child Price: AUD $152.00

Spend the whole day experiencing the wonders of the magnificent Whitehaven Beach. Following the cruise over, your day on the whitest of sands commences on the southern end of the beach. The crew will advise of the day's activities available including a trip to Hill Inlet at the northern end of the beach, walking tours and paddle boarding. Your trip includes morning and afternoon tea plus a gourmet burger with side salads served on the beach.

Whitehaven & Hill Inlet, Chill & Grill

Whitehaven Beach - Half Day Cruise (Whitsundays)

Adult: $120.00 (AUD)

Child: $47.00 (AUD)

The whitest sand in the Whitsundays is found on the magical Whitehaven Beach. This half day tour has you boarding a high speed catamaran directly to Whitehaven Beach where you will have time to explore, swim and relax. Morning departure, including morning tea. 

Whitehaven Beach - Half Day Cruise

Aquaduck City & River Tour (Gold Coast)

Adult: $50.00
Child: $40.00

Be amazed as the Aquaduck starts to say quack quack like a duck and instantly transforms into a boat and your Gold Coast river cruise begins. The Aquaduck has a unique seating layout offering you more room to stand and move around once we are on the water, along with great views. The Gold Coast is a beautiful part of Australia, and your tour aboard the Aquaduck allows you to see more than you would on even the longest boat cruises. Cruise past the glitzy waterfront mansions of the rich and famous and take in the spectacular views of the Gold Coast canals and Broadwater with its famous sights and natural wildlife.

Aquaduck City & River Tour

Dinner and Harbour Cruise on Spirit of Cairns (Cairns)

Adult Price: From AUD 119.00
Child Price: From AUD 69.00

A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Step aboard the luxury catamaran Spirit of Cairns for a 2.5 hour evening cruise through the calm water inlet and waterfront precinct of Cairns. Enjoy fabulous dining and live music with the lights of Cairns City and mountain silhouettes as your backdrop.

Dinner and Harbour Cruise on Spirit of Cairns

Hands On Country Eco Tour (Cairns)

Adult: $149.00 AUD
Child: $79.00 AUD

Travel in a small group fully hosted by Traditional Owners on their traditional Country discovering a stunning wetland environment just 10 minutes cruise from the Cairns City. In the distance, rainforest clad mountains soar – today’s destination. Turn up Hills Creek, where salty sea and mountain freshwaters meet, arriving to a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. Visit a working Indigenous Ranger base from where the Mayi Bugan Rainforest Trail begins. Join your Indigenous Guides to discover native foods and bush medicines, as well as ancient Aboriginal traditions, customs, and artefacts. Enjoy light refreshments surrounded by the sounds of nature before returning to the Cairns Harbour arriving at the Marina close to the CBD, shops, restaurants and cafes.

Hands On Country Eco Tour

Deadly After Dark Sunset Cruise (Cairns)

Adult: $99.00 AUD
Child: $59.00 AUD

As the sun begins to get low over the Great Dividing Range to the west of Cairns, met your Mandingalbay Yidjinji guide and push off from Cairns Marina in our new, covered River Cruise vessel, bound for wetlands and mangrove forests of East Trinity Reserve. Discover an Indigenous Protected Area where ancient knowledge meets latest science to deliver world-first conservation programs. Cruise along an avenue of ancient mangrove forests. Upon arrival at the Stingray Shelter, enjoy the ancient Mandingalbay custom of a Welcoming to Country and Smoke Cleansing Ceremony. Listen to our Mandingalbay Yidinji rangers speak of ancient language, practices and traditional implements that are still made and used.

Deadly After Dark Sunset Cruise

Hot Air Cairns - 40 Minute Flight (Cairns)

Adult Price: AUD 440.00 + flight levy (Weekday), $495.00 + flight levy (Weekend)

Experience the fun & unique sensation of being in a Hot Air Balloon, flying gently high above the Atherton Tablelands, Australia. The balloon takes off from Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands. Enjoy the picturesque landscape at dawn, floating in your Hot Air Balloon, time to really breathe in the wide-open spaces! We have Australia's largest fleet of Hot Air Balloons and a fun and highly trained crew to maximise the enjoyment of your balloon flight. It's just like a balloon festival, every day!

*Additional $30.00 insurance levy to be paid direct to Hot Air Cairns applies.

** If your tour ends in Cairns, you must have post tour accommodation or a late departing flight. Ask us for details

Hot Air Cairns - 40 Minute Flight

SeaWalker Helmet Dive (Cairns)

Adult: $210.00 (AUD)


For an amazing underwater walking experience, let Seawalker’s expert guides show you wonders of the reef as you stroll along Green Island lagoon’s sea floor. There’s no equipment to operate, non-swimmers welcome and you don’t even have to get your hair wet! It’s a great opportunity for those who don’t scuba dive or snorkel to see the reef from a different perspective.

SeaWalker Helmet Dive

The Tastes of Tamborine Mountain (Gold Coast)

Adult: $229.00 AUD
Child: $206.00 AUD

This is a Tamborine Mountain tour like no other. Experience Tamborine through the eyes of a local with a guided walk through the rainforest, taste locally grown produce at lunch and try the region’s best coffees and spirits. Meet passionate local producers, buy handmade art and crafts then take in the waterfalls and lookouts of the Gold Coast’s most famous mountain top village. Whilst on the tour our local guide will tell the stories of the local people, history of the region, show you their favourite spots and share their knowledge on the rainforest’s unique flora and fauna.

The Tastes of Tamborine Mountain

Waterfall, Wetlands & Skyrail Adventure (Kuranda)

Adult: $299.00 AUD
Child: $225.00 AUD

Embark on a Make Travel Matter® guided Waterfall, Wetlands & Skyrail adventure from Cairns. Explore Cattana Wetlands' palm forest with your experienced driver guide and Barron Falls with a Djabugay cultural guide. Savour lunch at Skybury, then journey to Emerald Creek Ice Creamery. Finish the day on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway travelling over and through the World Heritage Listed rainforest.

Waterfall, Wetlands & Skyrail Adventure
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