East Coast Islands & Rainforest

12 days,

11 nights |

from $5410 per person*

TOUR CODE: QSC/QCS

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.

  • 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
  • Cape Byron Lighthouse Permit; Crater Lake National Park entrance fees (Millaa Millaa Falls)

Tour Highlights

  • Choose your own adventure on the Gold Coast and in the Whitsundays, where surf and sand meet rainforest hinterland. Hike, swim, snorkel, cruise, repeat.
  • 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.
  • The Take 3 for the Sea program helps conserve our oceans through small collective efforts of rubbish collection.
  • Some of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest envelops Cairns, this verdant tangle of ferns and palms a natural magnet for native wildlife.

Flight Information

Flights are not included in the tour price; please call our team for the current flight prices. Any flights referred to in the itinerary are an additional expense; these are the suggested group flights:

  • 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

 

All trips include 24-hour emergency travel assistance.

Book by:

April 30, 2024

Valid for travel between:

2024: Sep 9, Oct 7, Nov 4, Dec 2

Additional dates, gateway cities and airlines may be available.

Need some help? Contact us here.

As this Guided Vacation departs at 7:30am from Rydges Sydney Central, accommodations will need to be pre-booked for the previous night.

Day 1 Sydney – Coffs Harbor

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

Day 2 Coffs Harbor – Gold Coast

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 Includes Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Gold Coast Free Time

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 Includes Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Gold Coast – K’gari (Fraser Island)

Follow the waves north to Hervey Bay, 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 Includes Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 K’gari (Fraser Island)

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 Includes Meals: Lunch, Breakfast

Day 6 K’gari (Fraser Island) – Rockhampton

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 Includes Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 Rockhampton – Airlie Beach

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 Includes Meals: Lunch, Breakfast

Day 8 The Whitsunday Islands Free Time

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 Includes Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 Airlie Beach – Cairns

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 Includes Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 Mission Beach – Cairns

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 Lake Barrine, where it’s ‘all aboard’ for a tranquil cruise. Explore Kuranda before getting some perspective on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, high above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park.

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns Includes Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 Great Barrier Reef

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 Includes Meals: Lunch, Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Day 12 Farewell from Cairns

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.

Includes Meals: Breakfast

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*Terms & Conditions: Pricing is per person based on double occupancy. All prices are in US dollars and correct at time of posting for travel during specified travel dates. Single supplements, black-out dates and seasonal supplements may apply. Airfare is not included unless indicated. Prices may differ when you book your travel and are not guaranteed until full payment is received. Airline and hotels frequently change their prices as a result of fare increases and/or fuel surcharges. Prices may increase before full payment for those and other reasons. Package is not combinable with any other offer or discounted vacation package. After full payment, prices are guaranteed except only due to an increase in government-imposed taxes or fees. By paying your deposit, you affirmatively agree to the possibility of such increases. Package is strictly subject to availability, not retroactive and not combinable with any other special or vacation package offer. Minimum night stays or required room types may apply. All prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Please call for our current prices. CST#2001136-20

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