Australia East Coast Explorer
Updated: Jan 22
This independent tour starts in Sydney and takes you along the East coast travelling by train and car. It includes a trip to the majestic Blue Mountains, a tour along the nature coast checking out the hinterlands, coastline and Fraser Island, the worlds biggest sand island, exploring the Whitsunday Islands and finishing in North Queensland. Highlights include visiting the Blue Mountains, Fraser Island, Hamilton Island and the Great Barrier Reef.
Duration: 21 days, 20 nights
Starts: Brisbane Ends: Cairns
Cost from: £2315 per per person With flights from: £3115 per person
Itinerary Day 1: Sydney (4 nights) On arrival in Sydney, meet your transfer and head to Australia's most iconic city. Stay in Darling Harbour, Sydney's entertainment district. Be sure to check out Bondi beach, the infamous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera house. Don't forget to visit the Rocks area to enjoy some street food and see the open air market. Take your included tour to the Blue Mountains and ride the worlds steepest railway through the ancient forest.
Day 5: Brisbane (2 nights) Board the morning train from Sydney to Brisbane. This train takes around 14 hours so sit back and marvel at the stunning coastline. Stock up on snacks before you go or enjoy the on board buffet cart that includes a variety of drinks and snacks as well as hot and cold meals. On arrival stay in a boutique hotel on the South Bank, the most upcoming area in Brisbane. Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or chill by the lagoon. With the new story bridge built over the river, Brisbane is a very pleasurable place to walk. Don't miss Eat Street Market on the weekends, lots of street food traders serving delicious meals from old shipping containers.
Day 7: Glasshouse Mountains (1 night) Pick up your rental car and start your drive an hour North of Brisbane to the Glasshouse Mountains, a little town surrounded by a mountain range within the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast.
Day 8: Fraser Island (2 nights) Keep driving north to Hervey Bay and leave your car in a secure parking lot (paid locally). Take the ferry over to Fraser Island and enjoy two days of touring around the biggest sand island in the world. Activities include hiking, swimming in fresh water creeks, visiting a shipwreck, a drive along a 70 mile beach, spotting dingos and other local wildlife. Day 10: Hervey Bay (1 night)
After catching the afternoon ferry back, stay for one night in Hervey Bay. It maybe whale watching season during your visit and Hervey Bay is a great place to catch a glimpse of the thousands of humpback whales that migrate through the ocean with their young. Take an eco tour to get even closer to these friendly creatures. Day 11: Noosa (1 night) Start your trip back down south to the Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Stay for one night by the beach and visit the boutique local shops and cafes close by. Enjoy a poke bowl or smoothie after a walk down to the beach at Coconut Head Superfood Bar.
Day 12: Brisbane (1 night) Stay for one more night in this city after returning your car to the car hire depot.
Day 13: Overnight Train (1 night) All aboard the Spirit of Queensland to start heading up the coast towards the Whitsunday Islands. Enjoy your overnight train journey, get comfy in your spacious seat that turns into a comfortable RailBed, all with a personal entertainment system. The train features drinking fountains, showers and meals, all included.
Day 14: Hamilton Island (3 nights) Welcome to the Whitsundays. Catch a ferry over to Hamilton Island, the largest Whitsunday Island, stay for three nights for some well deserved rest and relaxation. There are minimal cars on the island and you can hire an electric powered golf buggy to explore. Don't forget to take a day to visit Whitehaven beach. Take a full day tour that includes a hike for a beautiful view over the famous white sandy beach.
Day 17: Airlie Beach (1 night) Catch your ferry back to Airlie beach where you will stay for one night in a boutique hotel overlooking the ocean. Airlie has lots going on and plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Day 18: Port Douglas (4 nights) Up early this morning to catch the train from Airlie Beach up to Cairns where your fabulous journey will end. Once you arrive in Cairns there will be a mini bus waiting to transfer you to Port Douglas, home to a 4 mile beach. Stay in an independent hotel and explore the amazing restaurants of Mocrossan Street. Included during your stay is a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. This eco tour takes you to the furthest point North of the reef and includes your snorkelling equipment, a marine biologist on board for demonstrations and a buffet lunch. Don't forget to visit the ancient Daintree Rainforest, the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites meet - the rainforest and the reef. Day 21: Depart Cairns The tours are tailor made by me and can be changed to suit your needs. This tour is based on 2 people sharing and includes touring where specified, train journeys, car hire and all accommodation. The price is based on low season and is subject to change based on availability.