East Coast Encompassed—Sydney to Cairns

18 days,Sydney to Cairns
OAEC

Island hop by yacht through the Whitsunday Islands, overnight at a traditional sheep station, zip over dunes in a 4x4 on a remote sand island, spearfish and savour lunch with local Aborigines, sleep in a swag under the impressive southern night sky

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Rugged landscapes, crashing surf and indigenous culture stretching back through time and beyond—Australia’s East Coast possesses a truly otherworldly allure. This trip offers you a comprehensive, authentic and wholly affordable experience in one of the country’s most popular regions. Raw thrills and refined pleasures abound out here. In the space of a few days, you’ll sample wines in the Hunter Valley, spend the night in a teepee, snorkel the Whitsundays, catch a few wave and spearfish with local Aborigines. When people back home ask what you did on your trip, just tell ‘em: “Everything.”

What's Included

  • Hunter Valley wine tasting. Sheep shearing and Aboriginal art demonstrations. Gold panning and mine tour. Yoga and surf lessons (Byron Bay). 4x4 excursion on Fraser Island. Sailing in the Whitsundays. Visit to Whitehaven Beach. Spearfishing with Aborigines. 'Walk of the Women' at Bloomfield Falls. Aboriginal rock art explanation with an Aboriginal Elder.
  • 16 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 9 dinners (Allow AUD200-250 for meals not included)
  • Hostels (9 nts), eco-lodge (1 nt), beachside permanent tented camp (2 nts), maxi yacht (2 nts), beach hostel (1 nt), swag/canvas bedroll (2 nts). All nights multi-share.
  • Train, maxi yacht, private bus, 4x4 safari vehicle, ferry
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 20, avg 16
Map of the route for Click to enlarge
Places Visited
  • Australia
Itinerary Notes

Please note that most accommodation in Australia is multi-share, you can read more in the trip details in our about accommodation section.

Day 1 Sydney

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Nundle Sheep Station (1B,1D)

Travel to the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting. Overnight at a sheep station, including a shearing demonstration.

Day 3 Bingara (1B,1D)

Visit a working mine and have a go at gold mining.

Day 4 Yamba (1B)

Travel to this beach town surrounded by Yuraygir NP. Go for a swim at the beach, relax and enjoy the view.

Day 5-6 Byron Bay (2B)

Travel up the coast to Byron Bay, which has a reputation as an alternative hippie town. Take a surf lesson and zen out at a yoga class. Free time to hit the beach, get a massage, go skydiving, try sea kayaking or go on a dolphin watch.

Day 7 Brisbane (1B)

Stop for lunch at the Gold Coast. Transfer to Brisbane, then opt for a night out in Queensland's capital.

Day 8-9 Fraser Island (2B,2L,2D)

Travel by private bus, 4x4 and ferry to reach Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. Settle into the group's exclusive permanent tented camp in the bush by the beach. Enjoy a little over a day's worth of exploring by private 4x4 to hit all of the highlights.

Day 10 Cattle Station (1B,1D)

Visit a working cattle station. Bed down in a 'swag' (canvas bedroll) under the Outback sky.

Day 11-12 Whitsunday Islands Sailing (2B,1L,2D)

Savour an Outback breakfast before travelling to Mackay. Embark on a 3-day maxi yacht sailing adventure from Mackay to Airlie Beach through the Whitsundays, a unique route only used by G Adventures. Enjoy beach visits, island bush walks and snorkelling the reefs. Anchor off of secluded tropical islands at night.

Day 13 Whitsundays/Whitehaven Beach/Airlie Beach (1B)

Hike to an island lookout over Whitehaven Beach, known for its stunning white sand, then enjoy free time on the famous beach. Sail to the resort town of Airlie Beach for a night of dancing.

Day 14-15 Cairns (1B)

Admire the scenery on a full-day train ride through Queensland. Enjoy a free day to visit the Great Barrier Reef or get the adrenaline pumping by skydiving, whitewater rafting or hang gliding.

Day 16 Cape Tribulation (1B,1L,1D)

Take an Aboriginal art class, learn the stories behind the images and take home what you make. Learn about the flora and fauna with local Aborigines, then go spearfishing with them and eat what you catch. Cool off in a waterfall in Daintree NP. Overnight in a rainforest lodge beside the beach.

Day 17 Cooktown (1B,1L,1D)

Travel by 4x4 on the rugged Bloomfield track, stopping at Bloomfield Falls to participate in the 'Walk of the Women' where local Aboriginal women share their knowledge of the sacred falls. Enjoy dinner alongside the locals before sleeping under the stars in a swag.

Day 18 Cairns (1B)

Head north and meet an Aboriginal Elder and story keeper, who will teach about several ancestral rock art sites and survival techniques of the local Aborigines. Travel back to Cairns where the tour ends at 7:30pm. Feel free to book onward travel from 9pm onwards.

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