Sunshine State Explorer – Gold Coast, Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Cairns

16 days,

13 nights |

from $6499 per person*


Step into a world of wonder as you embark on a mesmerizing 13-night journey along Australia’s enchanting east coast. Your adventure begins with three captivating nights at the luxurious QT Gold Coast, where the sun-kissed beaches meet the vibrant cityscape. Dive into the heart of nature with a thrilling full-day escapade to Lamington National Park and O’Reillys, immersing yourself in the lush rainforest scenery and cascading waterfalls. Indulge your senses with a charming vineyard tour, savoring the exquisite flavors of the region’s finest wines.

Continue your Australian vacation and journey to the laid-back capital of Queensland, Brisbane, for three nights at the Adina Apartment Hotel. Cruise along the picturesque river, soaking in panoramic views as you make your way to the iconic Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Delight in an evening of culinary delights at City Winery, where you’ll sample exquisite wines paired with a delectable dinner, before delving into the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Escape to Queensland Whitsunday Islands as you travel north to Hamilton Island, nestled amidst the azure waters of the Coral Sea. During your three-night stay at the Reef View Hotel explore the island’s pristine beauty aboard an Islands and Whitehaven Beach Cruise, basking in the sun-drenched shores of one of the world’s most renowned beaches. As the day gives way to dusk, embark on a memorable BBQ Dinner Cruise, savoring the flavors of the Coral Sea under a canopy of stars.

Your final stop on your Australian vacation is a 4-night stay at The Reef House Boutique Hotel & Spa in Cairns Northern Beaches. Explore the rugged terrain of Cape Tribulation and the ancient wonders of the Daintree Rainforest on a full-day tour, immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of flora and fauna. Then, plunge into the depths of the Outer Reef, where a kaleidoscope of marine life awaits. Snorkel alongside vibrant corals and darting fish at Mackay Cay, pausing to indulge in a sumptuous lunch amidst this aquatic wonderland.

  • Round-trip airfare on United Airlines from San Francisco to Brisbane
  • Round-trip airfare on Virgin Australia from Brisbane to Hamilton Island
  • Round-trip airfare on Virgin Australia from Brisbane to Cairns
  • 3-nights Gold Coast, QT Gold Coast, QT King Ocean View Room including breakfast
    • Full-day Lamington National Park, O’Reillys and Vineyard Tour
  • 3-nights Brisbane, Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane, One Bedroom Apartment
    • Return River Cruise to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary including admission.
    • City Winery Wine Tasting with Dinner
  • 3-nights Hamilton Island, Reef View Hotel, Coral Sea View Room, including breakfast
    • Islands and Whitehaven Beach Cruise
    • BBQ Dinner Cruise
  • 4-nights Cairns Northern Beaches, The Reef House Boutique Hotel & Spa, Brigadier Room, including breakfast
    • Full-day Cape Tribulation, Daintree and Mossman Tour
    • Full-day Outer Reef to Mackay Cay including lunch
  • Round-trip airport/hotel private transfers
  • US/foreign taxes and fees including September 11 Security Fee

All trips include 24-hour emergency travel assistance.

Book by:

May 31, 2024

Valid for travel between:

May 1 – June 28, 2024 and July 24 – September 20, 2024

Additional dates, gateway cities and airlines may be available.

Need some help? Contact us here.

This package is 100% customizable and no set itinerary is available.

Day 1: Depart USA

Make your way to San Francisco Airport for your overnight flight to Brisbane. If you require a connecting flight from another US gateway, please let us know and we can price your airfare accordingly.

Day 2: International Date Line

During your flight, you will cross the International Date Line.

Day 3: Brisbane – Gold Coast (B)

On arrival at Brisbane Airport, you will be met and transferred to the Gold Coast for a three-night stay. The remainder of your day is free to relax or explore the city at your leisure.

Day 4: Gold Coast (B)

Today is free to relax on the beach or take in the many sights of the Gold Coast. Visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or meet marine life at Sea World. Step back in time to explore rainforests that date back to Gondwana, take a tour beside Yugambeh traditional custodians to learn about the Gold Coast’s rich Indigenous culture at Dreaming Mountain (Jellurgal). Learn to Surf or kayak along the waterways. Gold Coast is renowned for its abundance of fine-dining, international cuisines, family-friendly surf clubs and lively pubs to consider exploring! Ask one of our Destination Specialist to tailor your stay.

Day 5: Gold Coast (B)

Discover the Gold Coast hinterland’s best with this guided tour. Begin with a scenic drive through Canungra Valley, a quick stop for drinks, and light refreshments. Ascend to Lamington National Park, known for its vast subtropical rainforest. At O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, learn about its history and enjoy a treetop walk on suspension bridges. Capture photos of King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas feeding. Visit Kamarun Lookout for stunning views. Don’t miss O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard, where you can explore, meet Alpacas, and savor sparkling wine.

Day 6: Gold Coast – Brisbane (B,D)

After breakfast, transfer to your hotel in Brisbane for a 3-night stay. Brisbane is a city that lives up to its sunny potential with a strong focus on the outdoors – think al fresco dining, picnics by the river, islands just off the coast and national parks. This evening, make your way to Fortitude Valley and City Winery for a 2-course hosted dinner and wine sampling.

Day 7: Brisbane

Join a scenic river cruise to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, one of the oldest koala sanctuaries in Australia. Cruise past many of the city’s most historic landscapes, iconic attractions, historical homesites, and interesting wildlife habitats. Listen to an entertaining and informative commentary whilst onboard. The journey to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. After spending 3 hours exploring Lone Pine, rejoin the cruise at approximately 2.15pm for a relaxing return journey on the river back to the city.

Day 8: Brisbane

Today is free to explore Brisbane at your leisure. Discover the Queensland arts scene at South Bank or visit the idyllic Moreton Island. Climb the Story Bridge or take in the sights on a guided walking tour.

Day 9: Brisbane – Hamilton Island

Transfer to Brisbane Airport for your flight to Hamilton Island. On arrival, board the on-island shuttle for your transfer to the Reef View Hotel for a 3-night stay. Hamilton Island is the largest island in the Whitsunday’s offering easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and the stunning Whitehaven Beach.

Day 10: Hamilton Island (B)

Begin your journey at Hamilton Island Marina, where you’ll board your vessel for a captivating morning cruise through the Whitsunday Islands and to the renowned Whitehaven Beach. With ample seating both indoors and outdoors, your experienced skipper will offer engaging commentary on the area’s history and natural wonders. As you navigate through the picturesque Whitsunday Islands, you’ll be treated to morning tea on board. Arriving at the world-famous Whitehaven Beach, you’ll be enchanted by its crystal-clear aqua waters and pristine white silica sand that extends for over seven kilometers along Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Take your time to stroll along the beach to your secluded spot, relax on the shoreline, or indulge in a refreshing swim in the azure waters.

Day 11: Hamilton Island (B,D)

A free day to relax and experience the island and the many activities available. This evening sit back and relax as you cruise through the Whitsunday Islands to a secluded bay. While at anchor, you’ll be treated to a delicious buffet dinner as the sun sets and then enjoy a leisurely cruise back to shore under the magic of a starlit Whitsundays night sky.

Day 12: Hamilton Island – Cairns – Palm Cove (B)

Transfer on the island-shuttle from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Brisbane and connecting flight to Cairns. On arrival, transfer north to Palm Cove for a 4-night stay. Located 25 minutes north of Cairns Airport, this peaceful tropical community is the ideal base to connect with both yourself and the spectacular surrounding nature. Soak in the pristine stretch of sand, winding paths shaded by melaleuca trees, colorful boutiques, and award-winning spas and restaurants; or venture out to explore the World Heritage-listed wonders at your fingertips.

Day 13: Palm Cove

Today is free to kick back and relax and take in the sights of Palm Cove or join an optional tour and discover more of Far North Queensland. Ask our team of Destination Specialist for suggestions.

Day 14: Palm Cove (L)

Today, join Sailaway VII in Port Douglas for a full-day Mackay Cay Outer Barrier Reef cruise. After embarking, enjoy local tea, coffee, pastries, and fresh fruit, followed by a safety briefing. Sail from Port Douglas to Mackay Cay Outer Barrier Reef, with a reef interpretation talk along the way. Upon reaching Mackay/Undine Cay, receive a snorkel safety briefing and equipment. Then, head to the first reef site for nature activities like swimming, snorkeling over coral gardens, and guided tours by a marine biologist. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board. Move to the second reef site after lunch for more activities, including a glass-bottom boat tour, reef interpretation, snorkeling, exploring the coral cay, swimming, and relaxation. Afternoon tea with coffee, cakes, and fresh fruit is served on board before returning to Port Douglas.

Day 15: Palm Cove

Join a full-day tour that starts at Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre for morning tea before boarding your shuttle for the transfer into Mossman Gorge. Enjoy a guided walk and learn about the fascinating secrets of one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests. Enjoy a one-hour Daintree River Cruise and a tropical lunch before heading to the world-renowned Cape Tribulation. Enjoy an afternoon refreshment at the Daintree Ice Cream Company before returning to Palm Cove.

Day 16: Depart Palm Cove

An early morning transfer from Palm Cove to Cairns airport for your return flight to Brisbane and connecting flight to San Francisco.


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Based on Departures

Price per person from*

Based on Double Occupancy

May 1 – June 28, 2024 6499
June 29 – July 23, 2024 6999
July 24 – September 20, 2024 6499
September 21 – December 5, 2024 6599

Additional upgrades and add-ons may be available.

Need some help? Contact us here.

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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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