EAST COAST EXPLORER
Routing: Sydney to Cairns
Duration: 23 Days
From AUD$3,360.00* per person, based on standard double/twin share accommodation.
Includes: 22 nights’ accommodation, 23 days unlimited km use of a compact sized car, Fraser Island Day tour, continental breakfast in Atherton Tablelands and fully detailed itinerary with local and regional maps.
From AUD$4,060.00* per person, based on superior double/twin share accommodation.
Includes: 22 nights’ accommodation, 23 days unlimited km use of a compact sized car, Fraser Island Day tour, full breakfast in Montville and fully detailed itinerary with local and regional maps.
From AUD$5,190.00* per person, based on boutique double/twin share accommodation.
Includes: 22 nights’ accommodation, 23 days unlimited km use of a compact sized car, Fraser Island Day tour, continental breakfast in Airlie Beach, full breakfast in Port Stephens & Montville and fully detailed itinerary with local and regional maps.
DAY 01: Sydney to Hunter Valley (221 km)
Depart Sydney and travel north over the Harbour Bridge and onto the Pacific Highway. Detour through the towns of Gosford and Newcastle. Newcastle is Australia’s sixth largest city – enjoy a scenic walk along the foreshore. From Newcastle, travel via Maitland and into the Hunter Valley. With wineries in abundance, take the opportunity to taste and purchase some of the finest wines Australia has to offer.
DAY 02: Hunter Valley
A full day to explore the wineries, art and gourmet delights that is the Hunter Valley. We suggest planning ahead which wineries you may like to visit – you will see they are in close proximity. Discover local artisans and beautiful gardens. Tonight dine in one of the many gourmet restaurants in the area.
DAY 03: Hunter Valley to Port Stephens (159 km)
Leave the Hunter Valley and travel northeast to Port Stephens. Known as the Blue Water Wonderland, Port Stephens is a natural bay 2½ times the size of Sydney Harbour and almost enclosed by two dormant volcanic headlands. There is fabulous seafood and over 26 golden sandy beaches to explore.
DAY 04: Port Stephens
We suggest taking a cruise to see the Bottlenose dolphins that frequent Nelson Bay. Cruises depart morning and afternoon. There are some great nature trails to explore in Tomaree National Park, as well as other wildlife in the region, including koalas in their natural habitat. There is great scuba diving from the beach at Nelson Bay.
DAY 05: Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour (335 km)
Continue north to Bulahdelah, the entrance to the Myall Lakes National Park. Travel north along the Lakes Way, a scenic route through rainforest with spectacular views of the inland lakes and ocean beaches. Travel through Forster and re-join the Pacific Highway. Travel on through the Manning Valley and Taree to Port Macquarie. Continue on to Coffs Harbour, which is the start of the subtropical northern coast of New South Wales. The iconic ‘Big Banana’’ is open daily with a comprehensive display on the banana industry.
DAY 06: Coffs Harbour
Today is free to spend at your leisure exploring the coastal town of Coffs Harbour and its surrounding beauty. Perhaps relax and discover nearby Boambee Beach at Sawtell or travel inland and discover the “Waterfall Way” on your way to the Dorrigo National Park.
DAY 07: Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay (251 km)
This northern stretch of New South Wales contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in Australia. From Coffs Harbour, the highway follows the coast to Woolgoolga and then turns inland towards Grafton, a graceful old country town on the banks of the mighty Clarence River. From Grafton travel to Woodburn and on to Ballina, and then a further 38 kilometres to Byron Bay, which attracts surfers from near and far to Wategos Beach, on Cape Byron – its northerly aspect makes it one of the best beaches for surfing on the East Coast of Australia. Cape Byron is the most easterly point on the Australian coast.
DAY 08: Byron Bay
Today is free to spend at your leisure. Enjoy the restaurants and cafes, take a surfing lesson or simply relax on the beach. Other beaches to explore include Lennox Head to the south and Brunswick Heads to the north, both of which offer quieter beach options. Hike to Cape Bryon Lighthouse.
DAY 09: Byron Bay to Lamington National Park (165 km)
Depart beautiful Byron and join the Pacific Motorway heading north. You can detour and travel along the coastal road past Hastings Point, Cabarita Beach and Kingscliff, before re-joining the Motorway and travelling past Tweed Heads and Coolangatta. Take the Nerang exit and then continue further along to the rich pastures of Canungra, before reaching Lamington National Park.
DAY 10: Lamington National Park
Today is a day at leisure to explore this beautiful National Park, with over 20,000 hectares of sub-tropical rainforest. Hear the calls of native birds as you walk through the tree tops, 16 metres above the rainforest floor. Take a hike or bush walk along the many trails which wind through the ancient Antarctic Beech forest.
DAY 11: Lamington National Park to Hervey Bay (447 km)
Upon leaving Lamington National Park you will travel back to Nerang then north on the Pacific Motorway. Travel on the Gateway Motorway to take you north, bypassing the Brisbane city traffic. Take a detour to stop at the Sunshine Coast beaches at Coolum and Noosa Heads, before travelling through Gympie and Maryborough to Hervey Bay.
DAY 12: Hervey Bay – Fraser Island
Today enjoy a full day guided Fraser Island Safari Tour. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the island, swim in clear freshwater lakes, walk through towering rainforest and drive along the amazing Seventy-Five Mile Beach. Other highlights include Lake Garawongera, Eli Creek and the Maheno Shipwreck. Lunch and afternoon tea is included.
DAY 13: Hervey Bay to Yeppoon (439 km)
Depart Hervey Bay and continue north on the Bruce Highway to Yeppoon via Rockhampton where there is a large spire at Curtis Park. This marks the exact line of the Tropic of Capricorn. 40 kilometres from Rockhampton is Yeppoon a seaside resort located on the coast overlooking Great Keppel Island.
DAY 14: Yeppoon to Airlie Beach (495 km)
Continue your Queensland odyssey as you return to the Bruce Highway and travel north towards Marlborough (120 kilometres) and onto Mackay. Continue north to Proserpine and then to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Airlie Beach is one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations and gateway to the seventy-two islands of the Whitsundays.
DAY 15: Airlie Beach
A day at leisure to enjoy what the beautiful Whitsundays has to offer. We suggest you take a sailing trip and spend the day on one of the many beautiful Whitsunday Islands. There are many operators offering different cruise and island combinations for you to choose from.
DAY 16: Airlie Beach to Townsville (276 km)
Depart Airlie Beach and travel north towards Townsville, detour to the beautiful country town of Bowen and the twin towns of Home Hill and Ayr. Townsville is a modern, tropical city and the administrative capital of North Queensland. A visit to the Great Barrier Reef Wonderland is recommended; it houses the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. This evening join in with the locals for a walk along the waterfront esplanade, known as “The Strand”.
DAY 17: Townsville
Today is at your leisure to enjoy, maybe explore the natural beauty that Magnetic Island’s beaches and National Park has to offer.
DAY 18: Townsville to Atherton Tablelands (377 km)
This morning continue north on the Bruce Highway via Ingham and Tully. Detour to explore the coastal village of Mission Beach before continuing on the highway to Innisfail. Travel from Innisfail along the Palmerston Highway through the rich wet tropics rainforest of Johnstone River Valley to the cool climate highlands of the Atherton Tablelands.
DAY 19: Atherton Tablelands
Highlights of the Atherton Tablelands include the deep blue waters of extinct volcano crater lakes – Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham and the amazing Curtain Fig Tree. Travel to Millaa Millaa, where you can start your rainforest drive of the Waterfall Circuit, an essential part of any visit to the Atherton Tablelands. Short walks lead to viewing areas and swimming holes at Millaa Millaa Falls, Elinjaa Falls and Zillie Falls.
DAY 20: Atherton Tablelands to Port Douglas (134 km)
Today’s drive takes you north on the Kennedy Highway to Mareeba, where you can savour the region’s aromatic coffee. Continue on to Port Douglas, famous for its “Four Mile Beach” and boasting a marina resplendently lined with boutiques and harbour side cafés.
DAY 21: Port Douglas
Spend a day at leisure in Port Douglas, take a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef or explore the nearby Mossman Gorge.
DAY 22: Port Douglas to Cairns (67 km)
Heading south the drive along the coast is one of the most scenic drives in Australia. Be sure to stop at “Rex Lookout” for spectacular views along the coast. It is worth taking a short detour to stop and look around the delightful resort of Palm Cove before continuing along the Captain Cook Highway into Cairns. It is also possible to detour to Kuranda – the “Village in the Rainforest”.
DAY 23: Cairns
Spend sometime today exploring Cairns, the Marlin Marina and the Cairns Foreshore Promenade. Your journey has now come to an end.
Drop your car off at the airport or city today by the same time as it was picked up on Day 1 to avoid any additional charges.
*Prices are subject to availability and conditions apply. Valid until 31 March, 2020. For dates after this or if you would like to make any changes, please contact us direct for a quote.