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East Coast Islands and Rainforest

  Avg. Trip Rating 4.3 Based on 10 Reviews. No Booking FeesDedicated Consultant
Our Price From 5,216 Per Person
Exclusive Savings 291 Per Person
 Trip Length
12 Days
 Trip Starts
Sydney
 Trip Finishes
Cairns
12 Day East Coast Islands and Rainforest Itinerary (AAT Kings)
Countries Explored: Australia
Accommodation
3 - 4 Star
Max. Group Size
49
Trip Style
Best Buys
Trip Code
QSC

Overview

Read 10 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on AAT Kings 12 Day East Coast Islands and Rainforest. 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.

Itinerary

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. (D) Stay: 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. (B) Stay: 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. (B)

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. (B) Stay: 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. (B/L)

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. (B) Stay: 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. (B/L) Stay: 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. (B)

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. (B) Stay: 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. (B)

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. (B/L/D)

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

Trip Inclusions

  • From beaches to rainforest, restaurants to theme parks, the Gold Coast delights. Choose your own adventure in paradise.
  • Two nights on the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island? Tick! Time spent exploring the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef? Tick!
  • Experience the Whitsundays your way, whether blissing out poolside, wandering Whitehaven or soaring above Heart Reef in a chopper.
  • 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.

  • 'Best Buys' Inclusions & Accommodation
  • 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

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

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

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

  • Low level of fitness required

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Prices are for land/cruise and internal flights as specified only. Flights not specified are not included.
  • Transfers not included
4.30
AVG. RATING 4.30 / 5
10 REVIEWS
5 Star
40%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
1 Star
Worthwhile 0 , Canada, Feb 2017
Great trip overall. Great tour director, Paul Cotterill. Had a fun time visiting the various beach destinations and the in-between sites. I am just disappointed with the Novotel in Cairns where the cleanliness of the pool was not at par and room housekeeping was extremely disappointing (no vacuuming or mopping for three days, tea cups and glasses ...read more not washed).
Terrific trip! 1 , Australia, Nov 2015
Thank you Georgie for once again organising our holiday so successfully. Our bus tour with AAT Kings from Sydney to Cairns was a terrific trip! Our fellow travellers were so friendly and we had a wonderful time together, there were 8 Australians and 20 Internationals. The highlights were the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, Daydream Island and Mission ...read more Beach, to name a few. It was so nice to see another section of our diverse country, we saw a working cattle station, cane fields, banana & pineapple plantations, tropical rainforests and so much more. We hope we can see another slice of our great country in the not too distant future, and we would certainly book again with Global Journeys!
Very satisfied with the journey and with Global Journeys 0 , Switzerland, Jun 2014
I was very satisfied with the journey and with the services of Global Journeys. Everything was well organized and went very well. The Coach was in an excellent condition, the seats very comfortable and the Driver excellent. The accommodations were in good condition and the daily breakfast-buffets and the included lunches and dinners very nice. If I ...read more have the opportunity to travel again to Australia (or somewhere else), I will again use your services.
Loved my tour 0 , Canada, Mar 2014
Loved my tour. Our Tour Guide was outstanding - she was knowledgeable and informative and very friendly. Didn't like all the rules the coach driver sent our way...a bit much. Loved where we went, loved Kirby's assistance at Global Journeys and would recommend this tour to others.
Global Journeys and AAT Kings were great 0 , Canada, Feb 2014
The East Coast Explorer gave us a nice look at this area of Australia. Highlights were Fraser Island and Farm Homestead visit. Mission Beach Castaways resort on the beach was great - wished we could stay an extra day. We also really enjoyed Noosa. The only negative was the Travel Lodge Rockhampton - AC was noisy and the hallway carpet smelled so bad ...read more that we had to stop breathing in order to get to our room - think this stop over needs to be replaced. Global Journeys and AAT Kings were great.
Would recommend the tour just for the itinerary 1 , United Kingdom, Jul 2013
The positives were that I had a great holiday and would recommend the tour just for the itinerary. We saw a lot of amazing places and the tour could of been extended to 14 days as we could of fitted in more places to see and gone further into far North Queensland. Met some amazing people who I'll keep in contact with and our tour guide and driver were ...read more fantastic. Ok the negatives were that at most of the hotels we stayed at we had to carry our own luggage up and down to our hotel rooms. In Noosa, I had to sleep on a sofa bed for 2 nights which wasn't great and share my hotel rooms with another lady who snored! Single travellers invest in single supplement/single room and learn from my mistake! The food in most of the hotels was pretty good some wasn't great. Apart from that I had a great holiday and have taken away some great memories!
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Early booking saving on selected tours (Pay Balance by 16 Dec 2021), plus our Global Journeys saving.
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Your Global Journeys Travel Advisor will check the availability of your departure date when you enquire. Additional savings may apply. We guarantee the lowest price in Australia. T&C’s apply.
Note
Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by AAT Kings.

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