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Reefs and Rainforests
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This trip has alternate itineraries available. Please select your preferred option to see itinerary and pricing.

Wild nights & wildlife await you on Australia's East Coast. Take a rooftop ride along the rainforest canopy, go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef & relax in the Whitsundays. Experience a remote Cattle Station, guided bushwalks, koalas & kangaroos. Hit up the beach. But not just any beach, Surfers Paradise, serving up some of the best surf & sand in the world!

Australasia
  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: 227.443/236725
  • Starts: Cairns, Australia
  • Finishes: Sydney, Australia
  • Age requirement: 18 - 35
You will Visit
  • Cairns
  • Cape Tribulation
  • Whitsundays
  • Farmstay
  • Noosa
  • Surfers Paradise
  • Byron Bay
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Sydney

Itinerary

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Day 1: Cairns to Cape Tribulation

This morning is dedicated to meeting up with the rest of your Contiki crew, then our adventure begins. We’ll hit the open road and pay a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest, meeting up with a local Aboriginal guide to walk through the rainforest and learn about the culture and traditions of the native people. Want a little adventure in the treetops of the Daintree? Why not experience ziplining through the canopy?

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Day 2: Cape Tribulation to Cairns

Rise & shine – Cape Tribulation beach is calling, and we’ve got some giant mangroves to explore with our local guide. Nature fix complete, we’ll make our way to Cairns, passing through the pretty seaside town of Port Douglas.Tonight we hit Cairns, Northern Queensland’s famed party town. Get down with the backpacker crew at hotspots like the Woolshed, or opt for an early night – tomorrow, the Great Barrier Reef is calling...

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Day 3-4: Cairns

Well good morning Cairns you delightful palm tree paradise. We have two days here to get deep - which may even mean a scuba dive on one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Whether diving or snorkelling, one thing’s for sure – you’ll be blown away with the beauty of the reef. Spot tiny Nemos, giant Maori wrasse, even reef sharks if you’re lucky. Marine biologists will be on board to answer the inevitable ‘what fish is that’ question.

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Day 5: Cairns to the Whitsundays via Townsville

Ready for some coach time fun? Damn right you are when your end destination is the Whitsundays. Bring it!Tropical Townsville never fails to impress with its Colonial buildings and checkered maritime history. We'll get orientated with the city and grab some lunch before kicking on to Airlie.We've arrived in paradise - Airlie beach awaits as we settle in for the next few days.

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Day 6: The Whitsundays

Is there anywhere more beautiful in the world than the Whitsundays? Possibly not. With 74 perfect islands at your fingertips and an open sea calling your name, why not explore one of the worlds most sought after holiday destinations with an optional sailing excursion? If your legs are made for land, spend the day exploring the backpackers hub of Airlie. Endless cafes, bars and ocean vistas are there for the taking, so the choices are endless, just like the sunshine.

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Day 7: The Whitsundays to Farmstay

Rollin’ down the Capricorn Coast we’ll drive through the beef farming capital of Rockhampton and pass through the sugar cane plantations of Mackay before reaching The Old Station, a working cattle station that dishes up true Aussie farm life. Tonight may just go down in the history books, with past passengers citing it the best night of their trip...Honest Australian hospitality knows no bounds at our farmstay, and you’ll be blown away by the family as they welcome you into the fold, country style. Fill up on home cooked damper cake, an outback speciality, then it’s on to the tractor to meet some of the farm’s larger residents. Tonight is all about partying outback style – tuck in to a huge dinner feast, try whip cracking, then grab the karaoke mic and bust out those dancefloor moves.

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Day 8: Farmstay to Noosa

Just one night on The Old Station will have you hooked on outback life and wishing you could stay forever. But with Noosa on our horizons, things are only going to get even better from here.Welcome to the good life, otherwise known as the Sunshine Coast. As we make our way into Noosa, soak in the abounding natural beauty of this picture perfect seaside town. Get in those zzz’s tonight, tomorrow promises to be a big one...

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Day 9: Noosa and Fraser Island

Rise and shine beach babes! We're heading to a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world's largest sand island.Sitting in the sea with over 800,000 years of natural history in its grains, our included Fraser Island day trip will be filled with sand dunes, pretty lakes & dense rainforests. See those Instagram likes roll in with a snap of Lake Mackenzie, known for its silky silica sand and intense glassy blue water, then appease the hunger growls with a tasty lunch. Keep an eye out for dingoes as we cruise the world’s longest sand highway, then it’s back to Noosa tonight for a legit Aussie dinner at the Surf Club.

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Day 10: Noosa to Surfers Paradise via Brisbane

Adieu Noosa, we’ve got a party town to hit up, and it goes by the name of Surfers Paradise...Before we sail our way into Queensland's next much-loved surf and party hub, we’ll stop for a bite in the state's capital, Brisbane. Grab a slice of the city’s well known laid-back urban lifestyle whilst roaming South Bank & Queen Street Mall, then it’s on with our journey to the Gold Coast.Shake off those mellow beach vibes – Surfer’s Paradise is all about partying in style. Sitting up there with Vegas as one of the top party spots in the world thanks to its insane number of clubs in one area, Surfers is where we get our swank on. Let’s do this!

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Day 11: Surfers Paradise incl Currumbin

This morning is all about chilling, hitting the beach, and getting a little R'n'R after the night before. We're nice like that. But remember, you're not in Surfer's forever, so do this thing right - don't stay in bed when there's a parachute with your name on it at the nearby skydiving centre. How's that for a rush of adrenaline? In the afternoon just make sure you're back (on earth) in time for some serious koala cuddling sessions at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.All animal cuteness goals can easily be achieved in this neck of the woods. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is undeniably a must-see destination if you've made it as far as Surfer's Paradise. Here's your chance to see how cute koalas really are, feed a kangaroo & see a crocodile up close (but not too close, obvs). Best of all, it's a non-for-profit set up, so our visit supports the sanctuary's animal hospital and gives back to Oz's furry friends. Soak up on all the cuteness this place has to offer before we head back to Surfer's for a relaxing night by the resort pool or choose to live it up in one of the many nightclubs this city has to offer.

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Day 12: Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay

We're up & on the road early to the iconic Byron Bay for a day full of cheeky tanning with a beer in hand, some serious surfing or just exploring this cute ocean town.Opt for kayaking if you're feeling extra adventurous today. When you're done wiggling your toes in the sand maybe it's time to sate your hunger at one of the delicious local cafes and restaurants. Venture through the streets and soak up the hippie vibes .

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Day 13: Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour

After a night of boho bliss (or maybe some table top dancing, Cheeky Monkey’s style) our open road adventure continues. Next stop, Coffs...Your surf bum dreams are all about to come true as we shack up for the night in our Coffs Harbour surf camp. Sitting right on the beach, a constant stream of swims and beach hangs are the norm, then come night fall it’s all about an open fire, great chats with your new wolf pack, and occasional star gazing. Perfection much?

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Day 14: Coffs Harbour to Sydney via Port Macquarie

Time to say good-bye to those surf camp vibes as Sydney is calling.We'll break up our journey to Sydney with a lunch stop in Port Macquarie. This pretty seaside town sits at the end of the Hastings River and gives us a taste of life on the New South Wales mid coast.

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Day 15: Sydney

Today we have one main mission – to explore the sun drenched, eternally cool city of Sydney. Your team will give you the down low on all of Sydney’s best bits as you take a tour of the highlights, including a ferry ride across the world famous harbour. Beach hangs in Manly & the chance to climb the Harbour Bridge are all in a days work. Tonight’s our last night of the trip, so let’s eat ourselves silly with a cook your own BBQ dinner.

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Day 16: Depart Sydney

Today we’ll be ending our trip with a bang, or more specifically a day trip to one of Australia’s finest – the majestic Blue Mountains (which aren’t actually blue, but are still damn beautiful). Out here in the great Aussie outdoors we’ll be learning the legend behind the famous Three Sisters rocks formation and exploring the Jamison Ridge area, basically living out all our rustic dreams. Suck in that fresh country air, as this afternoon we head back to the city and the end of our epic adventure.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • Hotels, resorts and surf villages are the name of the game (plus an eco lodge for departures from Sep 2018 onward). Plus there's a night at a cattle station. Enjoy good conversation and comfy pillows!
      Food
    • We'll get 22 of your meals (23 for departures from Sep 2018 onward), you get the rest. You can expect a healthy breakfast every morning and a few good old-fashioned Aussie BBQs, as well as plenty of opportunities to try the best gourmet eats on the East coast
      Staff
    • Don't worry, your experienced Trip Manager and Driver will show you the ropes, not to mention all your new travel mates. Whether providing local knowledge or lols, our team members are people you can trust 100%
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Tour Highlights:
  • Cairns to Cape Tribulation: Aboriginal experience at Mossman Gorge
  • Cape Tribulation to Cairns: See Port Douglas
  • Surfers Paradise: Relax on some of Australia's most famous beaches on the Gold Coast
  • Sydney: Experience Darling Harbour, Mrs Macquarie's Chair Lookout & The Rocks,Cruise across Sydney Harbour on a ferry from Manly,Cook your own BBQ dinner