Departs Gilligan's Backpackers Hotel & Resort, 57-89 Grafton St, Cairns at 6.00pm.
On the 16th day to Sydney
Optional tours & activities.
Hat & sunscreen, bathers & towel, toiletries, walking shoes, water bottle & camera.
Capture the essence of the East Coast of Australia, one of the best road trips in the world, on this 16-day adventure. From spending the night on the world’s largest sand island to sailing the islands of the Whitsundays. From making your own boomerang to learning how to throw it. Learn to care for koalas, how to surf, and how to crack a whip. From a cruising adventure around the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge to exploring the Blue Mountains.
From Cairns to Sydney– this is your adventure.
Day 1– Cairns (Dinner)
Welcome to the first day of your East Coast adventure.
Upon checking in at our Cairns accommodation you can opt to explore the city– the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef– or laze by the pool and sip on a cocktail.
In the evening our group will meet for a welcome dinner and a few drinks.
?Arrive at leisure ?Welcome dinner
Day 2– Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands (Breakfast/Dinner)
Today we head south through the stunning Atherton Tablelands. Here we will visit the magnificent Millaa Millaa Falls, the Curtain Fig Tree and the volcanic crater of Lake Eacham.
In the evening we will arrive at our rainforest lodge in the village of Yungaburra. Yungaburra is a beautiful town nestled away from the coastline, amongst beautiful crater lakes, rainforest and tropical fruit farms. From our accommodation this night you will have the opportunity to go wildlife spotting by canoe, looking for the rare“Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo (yes a real kangaroo that lives in amongst the rainforest canopy), ring tail and brush tail possums, carnivorous possums, bandicoots, gliders and platypuses.
? Cairns Highlands Waterfalls ? Crater Lakes ? Night wildlife spotting by canoe
Day 3– Atherton Tablelands to Airlie Beach (Breakfast/Dinner)
After your big night of activities we awake this morning to participate in a platypus spotting walk (in fact we have a 98% success rate in seeing the elusive platypus), with the option of biking in the neighbouring area.
We then take the long drive to Airlie Beach, our base to the Whitsundays Islands.
En-route you will get to participate in a game of Australian folk-lore,“lawn bowls”. Stop at one of the great little towns in rural Australia to test your skills against your group and the locals that frequent these watering holes for the“sport”.
? Platypus spotting ? Australian Lawn Bowls
Day 4– Whitsunday Islands free day or Overnight Sail (Breakfast)
Today you will have the option of relaxing in Airlie Beach to rest up and take in the tropical atmosphere of this chilled out town. For those wanting a more action-packed experience you have the option to upgrade to a 2 day/1 night sailing experience with our partners Explore Whitsundays. Sail on a maxi-yacht with young fun loving people and experience sleeping overnight on a fast sailing yacht.
? Day at leisure at Airlie Beach ? Optional Overnight Sailing adventure.
Day 5–Sail the Whitsunday Islands to Whitehaven Beach (Breakfast/Lunch)
This morning we head to Abel Point Marina for our cruise through the magnificent Whitsunday Islands.
Our sleek catamaran features a boom net where you can laze about as you watch the blue water break against the sides and the islands slowly cruise by.
In the morning we will venture onto Whitsunday Island to take in the breathtaking seven kilometre-long Whitehaven Beach where you can snorkel, swim and even clean your jewellery with the white pristine silica sand.
For lunch we return to the boat for a BBQ and cruise around the area before returning to Airlie in the late afternoon.
If you don’t have a case of the sea legs, then tonight you may want to check out the nightlife which makes Airlie Beach so famous.
? Catamaran sailing in the Whitsundays ? Whitehaven Beach ? Airlie Beach nightlife
Day 6– Airlie Beach to outback cattle station (Breakfast/Dinner)
This morning we bid farewell to the beautiful Whitsundays region and head to our outback cattle station for two nights.
As we will be driving a lot of the day, we suggest counting kangaroos.
In the evening we settle around the campfire for a traditional camp oven dinner followed by a mechanical bull ride to bring out our inner cowboys and girls. Who will reign supreme as the expert bull rider?
? Coast to the Outback ? Campfire dinner
Day 7– Outback cattle station (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Awake to the sounds of birds chirping and the crackle of the campfire preparing for your camp oven breakfast.
Today is a day of Aussie outback life as you will try your hand at whip cracking, clay target shooting and lassoing and releasing a goat in a rodeo. You also have the opportunity to participate in a goat muster by horseback or quad bike through the cattle station (both optional). In between these activities experience a traditional Aussie BBQ to keep your energy levels up.
In the evening we return to the campfire for another camp oven dinner.
? Outback cattle station Life ? Whip Cracking ? Clay Target Shooting ? Goat Rodeo ? Campfire dinner
Day 8– Outback cattle station to Rainbow Beach (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
After our final bush breakfast we head on south to Rainbow Beach– the gateway to World Heritage Fraser Island.
We arrive in time for an afternoon swim before settling into our accommodation for the evening with a meal in the bar/restaurant.
? Outback Cattle Station ? Rainbow Beach
Days 9& 10– Two full days on Fraser Island (Day 9 Lunch/Dinner Day 10 Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Allow us to introduce you to the largest sand island in the world, World Heritage Fraser Island.
Your island adventure begins in the morning when your local guide picks you up in Rainbow. After a short 10-minute ferry ride you start your two full days of four-wheel-driving on the roads of sand.
During your stay you will have the chance to spot dingoes, swim in crystal clear freshwater lakes and explore the diverse landscapes in this unique habitat. Don’t forget to bring your new boomerang with you to practice your throwing on the beach.
Before heading to bed don’t forget to look up to enjoy the millions of stars.
In the late afternoon of day 11 your guide will return you to your Rainbow accommodation where you have a group dinner.
? 2 Day 4WD Experience of Fraser Island
Day 11 - Rainbow Beach (Lunch/Dinner)
Today you will be treated to two unique experiences. You will have the opportunity to hand-feed wild dolphins as they come into Tin Can Bay every morning. This national park run activity is included in the price of your tour.
Then you will be able to design and paint your own boomerang, a traditional Aboriginal hunting implement. Yarra (Bunjalung tribe) and local artist Ze will help you using Aboriginal symbols, animals and activities to create a personal memento of your Australian adventure.
Rainbow Beach gets its name from an Aboriginal legend that tells of Yiningie– the spirit of the Gods represented by a rainbow– who was killed in a fight over a woman. When he crashed into the cliffs his spirits created the coloured sands that are visible today.
This will be followed by an early bushtucker lunch before you head into Brisbane, the Queensland capital, to drop off passengers participating in only the Queensland portion of the tour. From there we finish the day in the Queensland holiday capital, Surfers Paradise with a group dinner by the beach.
? Hand feed wild dolphins ? Boomerang Making Lesson ? Bushtucker lunch ? Surfers Paradise
Day 12– Spend the day in Byron Bay (Dinner)
Following breakfast we welcome you to New South Wales and head to the famous hippie town of Byron Bay where your guide will take you on a town tour including a walk up to the famous lighthouse. You will have most of the day to take in the relaxed vibe here before driving into our Spot X beachfront surf camp for the night.
Our surf camp is on the Coffs Coast– where the Great Dividing Range meets the ocean. It encompasses 90 kilometres of beaches which makes it one of the best places in Australia to learn how to surf.
? Byron Bay at leisure ? Beachside Surfcamp
Day 13– Beachfront Camp to Port Macquarie (Breakfast)
For those who have chosen to try their hand at‘hanging ten’ with an optional surf lesson you will participate this morning. If you would rather watch the waves (and the new surfers) roll in, then laze about our beachside accommodation or walk along the beach.
Following the lesson our journey continues South to the beautiful coastal seaside town of Port Macquarie where we visit the Koala Hospital. This hospital established in 1973 to treat sick and injured koalas is also involved in research with the University of Sydney into Koala diseases. With the exception of the supervisor the hospital is staffed by volunteers and by a charitable organisation, the Koala Preservation Society Australia. Your entry fee here goes towards this noble work. Overnight in Port Macquarie.
? NSW Beaches ? Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
Day 14– Port Macquarie to Katoomba via Port Stephens (No meals)
Today we focus on more of the coastal areas that have made NSW a holiday getaway for Sydney-siders for the past century. We firstly travel to Port Stephens to witness the largest sand dune system in Australia. The bay here also happens to have over 80 resident dolphins, so we have included a 1.5 hour dolphin cruise which has 99% chance of seeing dolphins in the wild. After lunch we then travel onto Katoomba in the heart of the Blue Mountains to prepare for our next day of activity.
? Port Stephens Wild Dolphin Cruise ? Blue Mountains
Day 15– Blue Mountains to Sydney (Breakfast/Dinner)
In the morning it’s on to one of New South Wales’ most picturesque destinations, the World Heritage Blue Mountains. Home to the famous Three Sisters rock formations your guide will take you on a walk down from the lookout to witness the vast land around you.
In the afternoon we make our way to the city many consider Australia’s real capital, Sydney.
After checking into our accommodation we re-join for a final group dinner.
? Blue Mountains hiking/sightseeing ? Sydney
Day 16 - Sydney (Breakfast)
What better way to finish your tour than by cruising past the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge on a Sydney Harbour cruise. A perfect way to relax and wrap up the past 16 days of your East Coast Adventure.
? Sydney Harbour cruise
Departs DEPARTURES GUARANTEED UNTIL 31 OCTOBER 2014
Gilligan’s, 57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns.
Wed 2 Apr– Thu 17 Apr
Wed 7 May– Thu 22 May
Mon 9 Jun– Tues 24 Jun
Fri 11 Jul– Sat 26 Jul
Wed 13 Aug– Thu 28 Aug
Mon 15 Sept– Tues 30 Sept
Fri 17 Oct– Sat 1 Nov
Sat 25 Oct– Sun 9 Nov
Wed 19 Nov– Thu 4 Dec
Fri 28 Nov - Sat 13 Dec
Sun 28 Dec– Mon 12 Jan
Fri 2 Jan– Sat 17 Jan
Thu 29 Jan– Fri 13 Feb
Thu 5 Feb– Fri 20 Feb
Tue 3 Mar– Wed 18 Mar
Wed 11 Mar– Thu 26 Mar