Best Buys

Tropical Islands and 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.  

Prices From Code: QGC

$3732

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.

$4237

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.
Prices above are per person in USD
Child prices are available on request

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Tropical Islands and 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.  

Highlights

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.

Time For You

Where the rainforest meets the reef, Cairns is the tropics to a tee. Stroll the Esplanade or take a dip in the lagoon. This is your time.

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.

Itinerary

image map

We hope you love sinking your toes into the sand, because there’s a lot to come. Bid adieu to the Gold Coast’s 70-kilometre coastline and venture north to Hervey Bay for the ferry ride to the world’s largest sand island, and the only place on the planet where rainforest grows from the sand. Welcome to World Heritage listed K’gari. Disconnect from tech, and reconnect with nature. 

  Hotel: Kingfisher Bay Resort, 2 Nights

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. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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, 2 Nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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. 

  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, 3 Nights

  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 Falls, 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.  

  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. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, 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.


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

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

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

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

Flight Information

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

Tropical Islands and Rainforest

Best Buys

9 Day Guided Vacation

Gold Coast to Cairns

You could spend weeks exploring Queensland’s East Coast – but this Gold Coast to Cairns tour gives you all the highlights in 9 days. Perhaps World Heritage-listed rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, blissful Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, or the freshwater lakes of Fraser Island. Cruise, snorkel, hike… then discover outback life on a working cattle station.

Highlights

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.

Time For You

Where the rainforest meets the reef, Cairns is the tropics to a tee. Stroll the Esplanade or take a dip in the lagoon. This is your time.

Sustainable Travel

Future generations will thank you for joining our ‘10 Pieces’ program, to collect rubbish and clean up wherever we go.

Itinerary

image map

Welcome to the Gold Coast, one of Australia’s favourite holiday destination. As we travel north enjoy the view of the changing 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.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning you will stop at Ohana Exotic Fruit Orchard for a guided tour with the opportunity to try some local flavours and produce. Later you’ll stop at 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 in the company of the pet kangaroo! 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

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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

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.

Optional Experiences

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

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.

Adult Price: From AUD 99.00
Child Price: From AUD 45.00

Dinner and Harbour Cruise on Spirit of Cairns

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 Cairn. Enjoy fabulous dining and live music with the lights of Cairns City and mountain silhouettes as your backdrop. 

Adult Price: AUD $55.00 Child Price: AUD$37.00

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.

Adult Price: AUD $149.00

Adult: $65.00 AUD

Child: $45.00 AUD

Ride the amphibious “duck” vessel through the vibrant Gold Coast streets and the exclusive Gold Coast canals. On land you will learn about the history and landmarks of Surfers Paradise along the esplanade and see one of the world’s most famous surf breaks. Then cruise past the glitzy waterfront mansions of the rich and famous and take in the spectacular views of the Gold Coast canals. After your adventure, enjoy lunch at Lime Mexican, a fresh take on modern and street style Mexican food located in the Circle on Cavill shopping precinct.

Adult: $99.00 AUD

Child: $78.00 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.

Adult: $99.00 AUD

Child: 78.00 AUD

Join a 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.

Adult: $99.00 (AUD)

Child: $78.00 (AUD)

 

Join a 5 hour morning tour to Mount Tamborine, the arts and crafts centre of the scenic rim. In only 30 minutes drive from the Gold Coast you will enjoy the change of pace, cool mountain air and beautiful views the mountain has to offer.  Experience a guided leisurely walk through the rainforest to see Curtis Falls, enjoy a delicious morning tea, taste wines, explore the local arts and crafts along ‘Gallery Walk’ and more.

Adult: $99.00 (AUD)

Child: $78.00 (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.

Adult Price: AUD $235.00 Child Price: AUD $122.00

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 days 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. 

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. 


Optional Experiences indicated are Australian or New Zealand dollars. Please note that occasionally weather or seasonal conditions may not permit their operation. Some also depend on a minimum number of participants and suitable time being available. Please see your Travel Director for a full list of experiences.

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

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • 8 Full Breakfasts
  • • 3 Lunches
  • • 1 Dinner with Wine

Flight Information

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

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