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Sydney to Cairns Adventure

Sydney to Cairns Adventure

From $ 6,780 AUD

Description

Explore Australia’s stunning east coast from the iconic cityscapes of Sydney to the tropical hub of Cairns on an epic trip that hits all the highlights in just two weeks. Sample wine and cheese as you venture through the picturesque Hunter Valley, meet cute and cuddly koalas in an animal hospital near Port Macquarie, hike down for a dip in the cascading waters at Dangar Falls then hang loose in the bustling beachside town of Byron. Next, follow the sun-kissed coastline to Queensland and take an off-road adventure across Fraser Island, sail through the picture-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, flop and drop on the palm-fringed sands of Mission Beach and explore the colourful underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.

Trip Name
Sydney to Cairns Adventure
Last Updated
2022-07-04
Days
14
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Witness the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef on a bucket-list ticking snorkelling adventure. Brimming with colourful coral and tropical fish, enjoy an included cruise from Cairns to explore this underwater paradise.
  • Take an incredible 4WD adventure through the breathtaking landscape of Fraser Island. Venture across undulating sand dunes and vast golden beach in search of that iconic outback creature, the dingo!
  • Keep your eye out for koalas and kangaroos on your way to a cheese, chocolate and wine-filled lunch in the chilled-out Hunter Valley – a picturesque region in the rural hills of New South Wales.
  • Cruise through the postcard-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, including a stop at the world-famous Whitehaven beach. Surround yourself with dazzling white sands and azure waters as you discover this idyllic corner of Queensland.
  • Soak up the beachside vibes of Byron Bay with a free day in this surfer’s haven. Go for a dip in the ocean, listen to buskers by the beach, join a yoga class or just hang loose in a quirky cafe – it’s a hard life!

Itinerary

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CULTURAL EXPERIENCES & COMMUNITIES Due to cultural sensitivities, entry to particular parts of local First Nations communities may be unavailable from time to time. Some cultural experiences may be seasonal and only available at certain times of year. Where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guides are unavailable an Intrepid leader will replace this activity with a suitable alternative. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guides may be absent due to cultural commitments with minimal prior notification and Intrepid reserves the right to amend the itinerary in these circumstances with no obligation to refund.

Day 1 - Sydney
Your Australia adventure begins in the iconic harbour city of Sydney, the glittering jewel in the east coast's crown. Make your own way to the joining hotel where you’ll meet your leader and fellow travellers at 2pm for a welcome meeting in the lobby. Afterwards, head out to explore the historic area around the hotel before heading out for dinner. If you arrive early, there’s plenty to see and do – why not head down to Circular Quay and check out the world-famous Opera House, or if you’re feeling brave, opt to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to catch an epic view over this stunning city. Alternatively, you might like to take the ferry over to Manly Beach for some sun, sea and surf – soaking up the panoramic view of the iconic Sydney cityscape as you cruise along the glittering waters.
Day 2 - Hunter Valley / Newcastle
Leave the hustle and bustle of Sydney behind for the chilled-out Hunter Valley – a picturesque wine region in the rural hills of New South Wales. On your way visit a wildlife sanctuary where a wildlife ranger will be keeping an eye out for koalas and kangaroos for you. Make your way to what the Hunter Valley is best known for – yes, there will be cheese, and wine, and chocolate (the Hunter is famous for it!). Continue your drive to Newcastle. It may only be a fraction the size of Sydney, but this beach side city is jam-packed with trendy bars and a buzzing arts scene. This evening why not head out for a delicious dinner at one of the many restaurants or simply settle in at a friendly pub for a night of live, local music.
Day 3 - Forster / Port Macquarie
After a local breakfast, hit the scenic Lakes Way and witness epic coastal views at their best as you drive past spectacular beaches and lakeside communities. Hit the pristine waters of Wallis Lake on a lunch cruise and relax as you explore the waterways and wildlife of the Great Lakes (approx. 2.5 hours). Continue on your way north and in the afternoon stretch your legs on a leisurely walk and climb to a lookout where you can take a moment to soak up panoramic vistas of New South Wales’ breathtaking shoreline. Continue your journey to Port Macquarie where you’ll spend the night.
Day 4 - Port Macquarie / Dorrigo National Park
This morning, meet the volunteers at a local koala hospital (cute!). If you’re able to tear yourself away from the cuddly critters, continue to the country town of Dorrigo via the spectacular Waterfall Way and Dorrigo National Park, known for its lush, sub-tropical rainforest, a remainder of the forests that once covered the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland. Few places on Earth contain so many plants and animals which remained relatively unchanged from their ancestors over such a long period. See Dangar Falls and if time allows, take a refreshing dip in its cascading waters. Finish the day in true Aussie style in Dorrigo at a traditional pub where you can relax, order some grub, have a few drinks and even play some pool. Why not opt for an Aussie classic like a chicken ‘parma’, or the quintessential meat pie (tomato sauce optional, but recommended!).
Day 5 - Orara State Forest / Byron Bay
This morning head back towards the coast and be rewarded with a stop in Orara East State Forest to share in a unique and immersive Gumbaynggirr First Nations experience that will get you in touch with the traditional custodians of this land, lore and ancient cultural knowledge. Enjoy 360 degree views and experience speaking traditional language and practice culture on Country. Next up is Byron Bay, a laid-back surf paradise with boundless coastline, sand and friendly locals. On arrival, pay a visit to the local lighthouse for a unique photo opportunity and the chance to spot dolphins, whales, and other marine life (Get your eagle eye ready, or perhaps just bring binoculars). Then discover a side to Byron bay that not many visitors have the chance to experience: Enjoy a walk with Cockatoo Paul, a colourful local character, and learn about useful plants found in an urban environment: edible, medicinal and more. If you are lucky on the day, you can spot a small bat colony, and will also have the chance to learn how to make a fire by friction, and a useful demo on how to make a palm frond basket in the wild
Day 6 - Byron Bay
Get up early or sleep late, sunrises are pretty ace at from Australia's most easterly point, but the choice is yours. It’s a free day today so perhaps kick-start the morning with a swim in the ocean or hunt down the best cold-brew coffee from one of Byron’s quirky cafes. Stroll along the streets and check out the trendy boutiques or stretch out your limbs at an optional yoga class. If you’re a seafood fan, head to The Balcony Bar for some delicious oysters or simply enjoy a cocktail or two as you people-watch from the outdoor terrace. If the waves are right, why not try your hand at surfing or just loll about on the one of the endless beaches. It’s a hard life.
Day 7 - Brisbane / Fraser Island (K'gari)
Rise and shine as you begin your adventure from Byron Bay to Brisbane, then through to sun-kissed Noosa, visiting one of Australia’s top surf locations on the way. Go koala-spotting in a national park before arriving on the stunning Fraser Island for the evening. The local Butchulla people call it K’gari (paradise), and you’ll find out why soon enough. This incredible slice of land is the largest sand island in the world, stretching some 123 kilometres down Queensland's southern coast and tomorrow you’ll have the chance to explore it, so get a good nights rest ready for a day of adventure – oh, and look out for dingoes!
Day 8 - Fraser Island (K'gari)
After a delicious buffet breakfast, set off on a 4WD adventure through the breathtaking landscape of Fraser Island (K'gari). Visit some of the renowned lookout points – perhaps Indian Head or the Cathedrals – for incredible views of the coast, then take a refreshing dive into the crystal-clear water of Lake McKenzie – an island icon. Visit the Maheno shipwreck and the coloured sands of the pinnacles, Pile Valley’s awe-inspiring Satinay and Brush Box forests as well as Central Station and Wanggoolba, before adventuring along 75 Mile Beach Road – one of the best coastal drives in the country – and taking a dip in the fresh waters of Eli Creek. From tropical dense rainforest to wild offshore waters – witness the contrasting fauna and terrain of this truly unique island as you venture across undulating sand dunes and vast golden beach, in search of that iconic outback creature, the dingo. This evening, relax at your accommodation and perhaps join the rest of your group for dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants.
Day 9 - Airlie Beach
Transfer back to Brisbane before boarding a flight to Proserpine, then transfer to Airlie Beach, the hub town of the magnificent Whitsundays and home to endless beer gardens, trendy cafes and a lawn-fringed swimming lagoon. You’ll arrive late in the afternoon, so after settling into your lodgings the evening is yours to spend as you please. Perhaps stroll around and explore, or if the sun is still up why not visit some local swimming spots for a refreshing dip. Alternatively, you might feel more at home finding a seat at one of the many bars, grabbing a cocktail or two, and watching the sun set on the shimmering blue water.
Day 10 - Whitsunday Islands / Airlie Beach
After breakfast, take a leisurely day cruise through the postcard-perfect islands of the Whitsundays, including a stop at the world-renowned Whitehaven Beach. Words can’t do justice to the dazzling white sands, azure waters and densely verdant vegetation of this incredible corner of the world – Whitehaven is about as impressive as a beach can get, and at 98% pure silica, it’s about as white as a beach can get too. Peel your eyes away from the pristine sands and explore the colourful underwater world surrounding the Whitsundays on a snorkelling adventure. Get up close to a beautiful array of rainbow coral, playful fish and, if you’re lucky, maybe even some friendly turtles. Head back to Airlie Beach and enjoy one last drink in this lively town
Day 11 - Mission Beach
Admire the change of scenery today as you jump into your private vehicle and head through undulating cane fields to picturesque Mission Beach, where World Heritage rainforest meets the colourful Coral Sea. Be welcomed by crystal-clear waters, stunning views and a large population of cassowaries – a flightless bird that thrives in the tropical forests of north-eastern Australia. This afternoon you can enjoy plenty of free time to soak up paradise and do as you please. You might like to wind down with an optional yoga class or go for a swim in the pool. Alternatively, head out in search of the famous cassowary or simply grab a book and find a shady spot to sit and enjoy the tropical bliss.
Day 12 - Great Barrier Reef / Mission Beach
The breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef is on the bucket list of many travellers who venture to this incredible corner of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is brimming with colourful coral and an amazing array of tropical fish, and today you’ll get to witness its magnificence with your own eyes on a snorkelling adventure through this underwater paradise. Cruise out to this famous reef this morning as you hear a marine conservation commentary about the importance of preserving the World Heritage-listed region and how you can do your bit. Then, it’s time to put on your snorkelling gear and dive into the dazzling waters, where you can freely explore a wonderfully rich ecosystem. After an incredible day, head back to the hotel, where you can freshen up and get ready for dinner. Compare memories, swap stories, and celebrate your east coast journey with your travel companions.
Day 13 - Atherton Tablelands / Cairns
Enjoy breakfast in a local cafe before venturing into the wet tropics of far north Queensland. Stop off en route to your next destination and discover a magnificent plunge waterfall nestled in dense tropical rainforest. Take a dip in the cool water, then continue on to Lake Eacham, a crater lake with beautiful blue-green hues in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands. Next, visit the unusual yet fascinating Curtain Fig Tree, a magnificent tree with extensive aerial roots that drop 15 metres to the forest floor, forming a curtain-like appearance. The day draws to a close as you head to your final stop, Cairns, one of Australia’s most lively tropical towns. You may like to head out for dinner to compare memories, swap stories, and celebrate your east coast journey with your travel companions.
Day 14 - Cairns
Your east coast experience comes to an end after breakfast. With so much to do in this bustling hub, enquire about booking some extra nights in Cairns for further exploration of this tropical paradise.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
06-08-202219-08-2022AUD $ 6,985-
10-09-202223-09-2022AUD $ 7,475-
08-10-202221-10-2022AUD $ 6,985-
22-10-202204-11-2022AUD $ 6,780-
05-11-202218-11-2022AUD $ 7,320-
19-11-202202-12-2022AUD $ 6,845-
03-12-202216-12-2022AUD $ 6,780-
17-12-202230-12-2022AUD $ 7,525-
07-01-202320-01-2023AUD $ 7,475-
04-02-202317-02-2023AUD $ 7,255-
04-03-202317-03-2023AUD $ 7,255-
08-04-202321-04-2023AUD $ 7,255-
06-05-202319-05-2023AUD $ 7,255-
10-06-202323-06-2023AUD $ 7,255-
08-07-202321-07-2023AUD $ 7,475-
05-08-202318-08-2023AUD $ 7,475-
09-09-202322-09-2023AUD $ 7,475-
07-10-202320-10-2023AUD $ 7,475-
21-10-202303-11-2023AUD $ 7,255-
04-11-202317-11-2023AUD $ 7,255-
18-11-202301-12-2023AUD $ 7,255-
02-12-202315-12-2023AUD $ 7,255-
16-12-202329-12-2023AUD $ 7,865-

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights),Motel (1 night),Pub (1 night)

Transport

private bus,plane

Map