You will visit: East Coast, including Cairns, Cape Tribulation, The Whitsundays, Langmorn Station, Fraser Island, Noosa, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour & Sydney
Wild nights & wildlife await you on Australia's East Coast. Take a rooftop ride along the rainforest canopy, go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef & relax & work on your tan in the Whitsunday Islands. From there get back on the mainland for guided bushwalks, koalas & kangaroos. Enjoy a 'knees-up' at a farmstay then head back to the beach. But not just any beach, Surfers Paradise, serving up some of the best surf & sand in the world!
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Itinerary + Backstage Pass & ME Time Optionals
ME Time Optionals
ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Tour Manager in local currency.
Your Backstage Pass gives you incredible exclusive experiences you’ll only get with Contiki. From food to accommodation to exclusive access to the best sights, your Backstage Pass gives you unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.
Check into the Rydges Esplanade from 2pm and the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore.
Meet up with the other Contiki travellers and your Tour Manager in Cairns. Then we hit the road and travel north to Port Douglas. Known for its idyllic white sands and palms trees, this resort town attracts both the rich & famous and travellers. You’ll soon see why.
Sticking to the coast, we follow the Coral Sea past remote beaches and gorgeous scenery to the lush, tropical Daintree Rainforest. Get back to nature as we walk through this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site and head to a stunningly clear swimming-hole in Mossman Gorge, where you can cool off in the waters.
Tonight, get to know your group and Tour Manager over dinner in Cape Tribulation.
- Aboriginal experience at Mossman Gorge
We check out Cape Tribulation beach & go for a guided walk through the mangroves, before we hit the road and travel to Port Douglas. Known for its idyllic white sands and palms trees, this resort town attracts both the rich & famous and travellers. You’ll soon see why.
Later this afternoon we arrive back in Cairns.
- Mangrove boardwalk with our expert guide
Wake up to the warm waters of Cairns where there’s something for everyone. This is your chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef on an optional day trip.
If you have always wanted to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef then this is your chance! There are scuba diving options for both certified and introductory divers (no experience necessary). Check out the amazing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, you are sure to see one of Nemo's cousins, tiny schooling fish right up to giant Maori wrasse and if you're lucky, even a small reef shark! There are local marine biologists on board to answer 'which fish is that?'
Tonight you have the opportunity to try kangaroo fillets, amongst other delicious Australian delicacies during your included dinner at one of Cairns' most awarded restaurants.
On day 2, for those who are keen for a fun and thrilling ride on the rapids of the Tully River, join our optional whitewater rafting adventure activity with our professional Local Guides. There are loads more activities available in Cairns like hot air ballooning, sky diving and bungy jumping – just ask your Tour Manager for some more info.
Catch up with your new buddies to swap stories on your day at a local hot spot. The food and entertainment is sure to leave a lasting impression!
Resort Breakfast, Dinner, Breakfast
- Cairns city orientation
- Outer Barrier Reef Cruise from A$160
- Cairns Tropical Zoo with transfers A$60
- Rainforestation nature park A$65
- Ma Mu Rainforest & Misty Mountains day trip A$175
- Cape Tribulation day trip A$165
- Skyrail rainforest cableway from A$40 one way; A$65 return
- Whitewater Rafting A$180
- Hot Air Ballooning A$220
- Tandem Skydiving A$280
- AJ Hackett Minjin Swing or Bungee Jump A$85 / A$150
Relax on the coach as we cruise past thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australia’s best whitewater rafting.
Slowly leaving the tropics behind us, we hit Townsville for some free time. Check out the colonial buildings and get a feel for its maritime past as we drive along the esplanade and into town where you can grab some lunch.
See vistas over Magnetic Island, a National Park and bird sanctuary, before we continue our travels south. Play some tunes on your ipod, have a chat, catch a DVD or simply enojoy some downtime before you board a ferry out to stunning Daydream Island.
The time is then yours to enjoy the picture-perfect Whitsundays! Slow the pace down, kick back and make the most of the fantastic facilities available at the resort. Go for a rainforest walk, swim in the pool, get into some beach or water sports, try your hand at fish-feeding, catch a film at the big outdoor cinema or laze about on the beach.
For those that are up for it, you could get away from it all with our optional day sail. Check out some of the Whitsunday’s 74 islands from the boat – you’ll soon understand why this region is so famous. Experience what is known as one of the top ten beaches in the world, uninhabited Whitehaven Beach. Swim off the boat and play beach volleyball or cricket with the local skipper and crew before enjoying a tasty lunch and a few drinks on the way back to Daydream Island.
Resort Breakfast, Dinner, Breakfast
- Pass through Tully, home to Australia's best whitewater rafting
- Pass Hinchinbrook Island - Australia's largest island national park
- See Magnetic Island
- Townsville city orientation
- Visit the vibrant seaside town of Airlie Beach
- Transfer boat to Daydream Island
- Stay on Daydream Island and enjoy all the resort facilities
- Whitsunday Day Sail A$160
- Daydream Island group photo A$15
Today you head back to the mainland, plug in you ipod or chat with friends as we drive through scenic Mackay, with countryside full of vibrant green vegetation and sugar cane plantations. Continue down the Capricorn Coast and head inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queensland’s cattle country, for our overnight stay.
During our time at Langmorn, a working cattle station, you’ll experience a taste of real Aussie country life. The owners will show you around the enormous property in a behind-the-scenes look at daily life on the farm.
Taste local hospitality tonight as your welcoming hosts pile your table high with a hearty roast beef and vegetables (like you've never tasted before) followed by an indulgent home made decadent desert.
Later, have a go at whip cracking an authentic leather stock whip under night lights before heading back inside for traditional Aussie bush dancing. Have some fun and a giggle with some evening karaoke. See if you can spot the 'Southern Cross' amongst a chandelier of stars, a constellation only visible in the southern hemisphere & featured on the Australian flag.
Contiki Special Stopover Breakfast, Dinner
- Visit the main region of Australia's sugar cane industry
- Visit & cross the Tropic of Capricorn
- Rockhampton sightseeing tour
- Meet the cattle station owners
- Check out the farm & animals on a hay wagon ride, then try whip cracking!
- Aussie Outback experience: Langmorn Station Special Stopover
After breakfast we drive back out to the coast and jump on board a ferry. Enjoy the cruise out to famous Fraser Island, where we’ll stay at an eco-lodge for our time here. Each cabin has its own kitchenette and living room, as well as a balcony – perfect for hanging out and listening to the sounds of the bush surrounding your lodge.
If you're done with the pool and spa, you could take a stroll along the sand, check out the busy crabs on their evening march up the beach or the fish that dart amongst the jetty pylons. Make yourself comfortable on the beach and take in a unique sunset over the water near the Jetty Hut.
Tonight, grab a bite to eat at one of the resort restaurants, then grab your dancing shoes and use the coloured chalk to write on the walls of the popular Dingo Bar.
Eco Lodge Breakfast
- Stop in Childers, known for its heritage & farming history
- Stay on the world's largest sand island, a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Stay in an eco-village & enjoy the resort facilities
Experience a slice of paradise on Fraser Island this morning. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 fresh-water lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation.
Jump on our included 4WD adventure through the island’s sand dunes, rainforests & freshwater lakes. Our Local Guide will show you some of the island’s best spots and hidden treasures, such as Lake McKenzie – make sure you keep your camera handy – this is one of Australia’s most beautiful regions.
Once we’re back on the mainland, Noosa is up next. It’s a trendy beach resort town. Enjoy a drink or two with dinner tonight at the local surf club. Later if you want to take it up a level, head out into the town & explore Noosa by night.
Resort Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner
- Take a locally guided 4WD trip across Fraser Island & indulge in a gourmet BBQ lunch with drinks
- Drive along Australia's only sand highway
- Visit the picturesque seaside town & beach of Noosa
- Dine beachside at Noosa Surf Club & meet a lifesaver
There’s time to explore Noosa this morning so take a stroll through the shops or sunbathe and swim at the beach before we make our way south. We also stop off in Brisbane today. You’ll get a feel for the capital of Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town.
Tonight we pull into legendary Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast’s party hot spot and home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world.
Grab some of your new friends and join the party atmosphere of Surfers tonight. With loads of restaurants and buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everybody. Head to the happening Orchid or Cavill Avenues, where clubs and bars line the street or shoot some pool at the pub.
- See the Brisbane River, South Bank, Royal Botanical Gardens & visit Queen Street Mall on a city tour
- See the Glass House Mountains
- Stay at a resort located right by the beach
With a free day, hang out among the bronzed bodies, bikini babes and surfer dudes on the golden sands. Check out what Surfers is most famous for, the three kilometers of gorgeous natural beaches. Kick back and spot some locals showing off their talents in the waves.
If you want to get amongst the action there’s so much happening in Surfers Paradise you are spoilt for choice. You could head up into the Hinterland Mountains on a 4WD trip, visit South Stradbroke Island on a kayaking safari or spend all day at Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's Zoo, Australia Zoo.
Our hotel is only a short walk from both the beach and downtown Surfers Paradise so you could also hit the shops – Surfers has some great places to shop and a huge outlet mall for bargains, so get some tips from your Tour Manager on where’s best to head.
- Relax on some of Australia's most famous beaches on the Gold Coast
- VIP nightclub entry
- Dracula's Cabaret Restaurant A$93
- Tandem Skydiving from A$325
- Sea Kayaking A$85
- Learn To Surf Lesson from A$50
- Australia Zoo A$125
This morning, we visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you’ll get up close to Australia’s amazing native animals. Cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and see wombats, emus, crocodiles, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and colourful birds. You can feel good about doing this too, as our visits to this not-for-profit organisation go towards the sanctuary’s animal hospital and help over 4000 injured animals every year.
Next up: cross the Queensland/New South Wales state boarder to one of Aussies not-to-be-missed spots - gorgeous Byron Bay. With a laid-back lifestyle, cute little shops, organic food, alternative therapies and around 30km of pretty beaches, it’s a must see. Byron Bay is situation on a marine park also known for its incredible marine life.
Head out to Cape Byron, the mainland Australia’s most easterly point and see the local pod of dolphins and if you’re lucky the seasonal humpback whales. Grab some lunch back in town and maybe take a swim at the beach.
There are loads of other things on offer here too, like a sea kayaking adventure where you catch up with a family of dolphins at Wategos beach, their curiosity often brings them right up next your kayak, and snorkeling at Middle reef home to turtles, rays, corals, eels, starfish and sharks.
- Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - cuddle a koala and see native Australian animals including kangaroos, emus, crocodiles, dingoes & Tasmanian devils
- Visit Australia's most eastern point & Cape Byron lighthouse
- Get into Byron's organic lifestyle & cool nightlife
- Kayak Adventure A$60
This morning you’ll wake up to more good times in Byron Bay. Maybe head to the beach for a swim or a wander round town before it’s time to leave the chilled out atmosphere behind after lunch.
Later, there’s more beach action. Tonight we’ll stay in Coffs Harbour, home to surf beaches, fishing and banana plantations. This is a chance for a unique experience with our overnight Special Stay experience – we’re staying at a Surf Village!
This afternoon it’s time for an awesome Aussie experience - hit the waves & learn to surf with some professional instructors as you have a go at surfing! Join some of the coolest people on the planet as you get involved with Australia's beach culture. It’s a fun way to learn how to surf as our professional local instructors show you just how it’s done. Our cabins are right on the beach, so soak up the surf vibes, top up your tan and relax by the open fire under the stars tonight.
Surf Village Breakfast, Dinner
- Learn to surf the waves or ride a kayak at our beachside surf camp
This morning, chill out on the coach and chat with your travel buddies as we head south. We pass the iconic 'Big Banana' in Coffs Harbour, before heading to Port Macquarie for lunch. Relax with your travel buddies...it’s a chilled out day before reaching Sydney.
From the high-energy downtown area to its popular beaches, Sydney has something for everyone. You’ll soon understand why this is one the world’s most beautiful harbour cities.
See the sails of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge. We will pass the iconic ‘Coca Cola Sign’ and cruise along ‘The Strip’ of Kings Cross, and hear stories of the underbelly of Sydney’s Red Light District.
- See the famous 'Big Banana' & banana plantations
- Stop in the seaside resort town of Port Macquarie
- Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb from A$188
First up today - get in the know on Sydney as your Tour Manager points out all the hottest spots & icons of this harbourside haven. From the babes on the beaches of Manly, the buzzy Kings Cross & its colourful characters to Chinatown & Darling Harbour, the sights & sounds are as varied as its residents & we’re here to uncover it all. We’ll also take you to Macquarie Street & The Rocks, for undoubtedly the city’s best views of the Opera House & Harbour Bridge in one go (so it’s perfect for some of those legendary Sydney snaps).
Later, it’s a totally Sydney experience with an included ride to the famous Manly Beach. We’ll drop you right at the beach. Bliss! On arrival, grab some lunch then throw down your towel, pop in your iPod & take time to paddle in the cool water, work on your tan if the weather is right, or just people watch as you soak up the vibes & atmosphere. There are loads of shops & restaurants here too, for those that are keen to check out the local buzz. Later, take the Sydney scenic route back - you’ll get a panoramic view of the city as your backdrop whilst you cruise on the famous & iconic ferry
On arrival back in the city tonight, dinner is guaranteed to impress. We’ll head to one of Darling Harbour’s locals restaurants for a delicious included meal right by the water. Watching the sunset with a drink in hand & a great meal as you people watch the cool Sydney siders is the perfect way to end the day.
Celebrate your last night on tour together by heading out for dinner at Darling Harbour & soaking up the buzzing nightlife of Sydney with your friends one last time!
Hotel Breakfast, Dinner
- Take a tour of Kings Cross, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Macquarie Street & The Rocks
- Cruise across Sydney Harbour on a ferry to Manly
- Cook your own BBQ dinner
- Sydney Opera House Tour A$TBA
This morning we’re heading out of the city & into the country for our included Blue Mountain’s day trip. The dramatic landscape of gorges (some up to 760m) are massive & will impress with the endless views into the distance. We’ll take a casual hike along the Jamison Ridge overlooking the ridge of the same name. You’ll also check out the iconic ‘Three Sisters’ – the famous rock formations at the same location. With amazing views & photos to keep your memories fresh when you get home, we’ll head back to Sydney.
Don’t worry, on arrival back in the city this afternoon there’s still time to get your fix of other activities – you could try scaling the heights of the Harbour Bridge on the BridgeClimb, or give your credit card a work out at some of Sydney’s incredible shops.
This city is home to some of the world’s best shopping, so it’s a haven for those who love to shop! From Aussie favourites like Sass & Bide, Witchery, Mimco, Billabong, Sportsgirl & all round favourite General Pants Co, there is plenty to tempt at every turn. Explore the unique boutiques in beautiful surroundings at the historic Queen Victoria Building right in the heart of the city. It’s a shot walk from Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, the Botanic Gardens and Sydney shopping Mecca Pitt Street Mall – home to Australian retail giants Myer and David Jones.
Say a farewell to your new friends as your tour winds up upon arrival back in Sydney this afternoon.
- Day trip out to the stunning Blue Mountains
- See the famous Three Sisters rock formation
- Hike along the ridge overlooking Jamison Valley
Say a final farewell to your new friends as your trip ends this morning.
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