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Tropical Islands & Rainforest

9 Day Guided Vacation | Gold Coast 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 the Gold Coast all the way to Cairns. From a Great Barrier Reef tour and the Wet Tropics rainforest to K’gari (Fraser) Island 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 2024-09-12 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 2024-09-12 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
    • Crater Lake National Park entrance fees (Millaa Millaa Falls)


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

trip-details-flight-infoFlight Information

  • Day prior – flights to arrive anytime into Gold Coast Airport
    Day 9 – 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

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

trip-details-fitness-level-requirementsFitness Requirements

    Low level of fitness required.


image map

Follow the waves north to World Heritage-Listed 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

The other thing sandy is K’gari’s 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. Bring your camera, because between the wreck and Lake McKenzie – a dazzling patch of blue formed only with rainwater – you’ll accumulate dozens of happy snaps. 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

In a whiplash, you leave the coast behind and reunite with Queensland’s cattle country. First stop: Langmorn Station, where the Creed family welcome you to their immense (and historic) cattle property with open arms and afternoon tea. And just a few 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

From Australia’s beef capital to its sugar capital – today you’re en route to Sarina. 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, 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 are the stuff of postcards, a dreamy collection of 74 tropical islands that are all white sandy beaches and dense rainforest, surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. You have to decide how to take it in. Perhaps on a scenic flight over the legendary Heart Reef, or on a cruise to Whitehaven Beach, where high amounts of silica in the sand means that it squeaks under your feet. Bring your sunglasses – the colours are blinding.

  Hotel: Mantra Club Croc

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Relax – today is all about soaking up the scenery. Think sugar cane fields and rolling green paddocks, all framed by the ocean and rainforest-clad mountains on one side, and the Coral Sea on the other. 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

Early morning is the ideal time to explore Cairns, before things get too steamy. Join locals on a heart-starting stroll along the Esplanade. The temperature dips as you climb into the Atherton Tablelands, a high tropical plateau of rainforest, including the heritage listed Curtain 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, high above and through 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: Lunch, Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

From underwater love to overwater love – bid adieu to your new crew of travel buddies.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.

Tropical Islands & Rainforest

Best Buys

9 Day Guided Vacation

Gold Coast 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 the Gold Coast all the way to Cairns. From a Great Barrier Reef tour and the Wet Tropics rainforest to K’gari (Fraser) Island tour, get set for a parade of postcard-worthy attractions.


Flexible Vacations

Hike through rainforest, stroll Whitehaven’s sand, cruise the Coral Sea or chopper above it. Choose your own Whitsundays adventure.

Iconic Sites

Get up close with the only natural wonder you can see from space on the Great Barrier Reef. Dive in or cruise in a glass-bottom boat.

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.

Sustainable Travel

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


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.

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

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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Tropical Islands and Rainforest



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