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Great Barrier Reef Highlights

Without Sailing

NEW TRIP No reviews yet
Man swimming in the sea with boat and island in background

The one that takes you to Queensland's most beautiful beaches, including Whitehaven & Magnetic Island

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Learn about our travel styles.

  • Duration

    6 days

  • Places

    4 places

  • Meals

    2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach, Ferries, Train

  • Group Size

    Maximum 25 people

  • Average Group Age

    18-35

  • Team

    Trip Manager

Airlie Beach, Magnetic Island, Townsville, Whitsundays

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    STEP 1

    Pick your destination & book

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    STEP 2

    Book 7 hotels, try figuring out public transport in a foreign language, get into an argument with your taxi driver, lose your passp…

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    STEP 2

    Turn up to your dream trip

    Everything has been sorted for you. Cool, convenient accom, smooth transport from place to place - plus a bunch of meals and travel experiences all locked in.

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    STEP 3

    Have the time of your life

    Your Trip Host has designed every trip to be packed with incredible, local experiences, made even more amazing as you share it with other incredible 18-35 year old travelers.

About this trip

Looking for some beautiful beaches, epic coastal walks, wondrous wildlife and lazy days snorkelling, swimming, eating and repeating? This is the trip for you. Journeying from the spotless sands of Whitehaven beach to the captivating charms of Magnetic island, this trip will leave you with sunkissed skin and a lazy smile plastered on your face.

Book With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Trip Variation

Customize the itinerary of your trip depending on yours preferences

Compare Trips Variations
  • Without Sailing

    Option 1

    On this version of the trip you'll spend a night at a hostel at Airlie Beach, instead of sailing the Whitsundays and overnighting on a yacht. You'll still have the option to book your own day sailing excursion from Airlie Beach if you choose.

  • With Sailing (Until March 2022)

    Option 2

  • With Sailing (From April 2022)

    Option 3

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. 3 3 nights

    Airlie Beach

  2. via via

    Whitsundays

  3. via via

    Townsville

  4. 2 2 nights

    Magnetic Island

  5. Townsville

DAY 1 - Arrive Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

Hello Airlie Beach! This tropical paradise is the perfect place to kick off our adventure. Our trip starts at Base Backpackers where we'll meet our fellow adventurers. Then we'll bond over a delicious welcome dinner before a free night to explore this laid-back tropical town.

Stay

Base Backpackers Airlie Beach

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Included Dinner

DAY 2 - Airlie Beach - Whitsundays Day Trip

Airlie Beach

Whitsundays

Is there anywhere in the world more beautiful than the Whitsundays? We think not. With 74 perfect islands at your fingertips, an open sea calling your name, today you'll get to explore one of the worlds most lusted-after holiday destinations with a day trip to the spotless Whitehaven Beach, including snorkelling. This is as close to heaven as you can find on planet earth.

Stay

Base Backpackers Airlie Beach

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Sail across the breathtaking Whitsundays on a day trip, including a visit to idyllic Whitehaven Beach, snorkelling and lunch

  • Snorkel some of the best coral reefs in Australia

DAY 3 - Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

We've got a free day in Airlie Beach today! This vibrant hub of the Whitsundays is ours to explore. We could get out onto the waters with an optional sea kayaking adventure, take to the sky with a Skydive over Australia's most beautiful drop zone or even a relaxing scenic flight over the Whitsunday islands including Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef. For those looking for a more relaxed option, kick back on the beach sipping something sweet or explore the cute boutiques, bistros and alfresco restaurants that adorn the seafront. It's a hard life.

Stay

Base Backpackers Airlie Beach

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Airlie Beach Skydive

    From A$209.00

  • Half Day Sea Kayaking

    A$85.00

  • Reef and Island Scenic Flight

    A$249.00

DAY 4 - The Whitsundays to Magnetic Island via Townsville

Airlie Beach

Is there anything better than the Whitsundays? We think our next destination comes close. We'll board a train this morning heading for Townsville.

Townsville

After soaking up some East Coast scenery on our train journey, we'll hop on a ferry headed towards the spellbinding Magnetic Island.

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is an apt name for this captivating isle, with its coastal walking trails and gum trees teeming with lazy koala bears. We'll have plenty of time to explore, try some water sports in the bright turquoise waters or meet some of the local marsupials. But this evening, we'll enjoy a drink (our treat) and watch the sunset over the bay. Blissful or what? 

Stay

Base Backpackers Magnetic Island

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Watch the vibrant sunset on Magnetic Island at Hawking's Point

DAY 5 - Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island

We have a whole day on this paradise island - lucky us! We'll waste no time meeting the locals, with a chance to eat an unlimited chef-cooked breakfast with some Koalas at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village. Then we can check out some of the walking trails - such as the Forts Walk which offers up stunning views of the Palm Island Group as well as WWI fortifications, and the chance to see more koalas in the wild-  or enjoy some free time at Horseshoe bay, taking a dip on the azure waters and relaxing on the beach. See Magnetic Island's resident Rock Wallabies at dusk before a free evening, where we can watch the sunset and check out some of the local bars.

Stay

Base Backpackers Magnetic Island

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Enjoy an unlimited chef-cooked breakfast while meeting and learning about Koalas at Bungalow Bay Koala Village

  • Spot native koalas alongside WWII fortifications on a Magnetic Island Fort Walk

  • See Magnetic Island's resident Rock Wallabies at dusk

DAY 6 - Magnetic Island to Townsville

Magnetic Island

After breakfast this morning we'll say farewell to our koala friends and depart Magnetic Island on a ferry. But we'll never forget its singular beauty.

Townsville

Our trip ends this morning back in Townsville, however an optional train to Cairns with the rest of the group is available - chat to your Contiki Expert or Travel Agent to add this on. This adventure may be over, but we'll never forget the friends and memories we made.

Travel your way

These trips have flexible itineraries, so whether you want to sleep aboard a sailboat in the Whitsundays or prefer to stay on dry land, the choice is always yours

Top Experiences

7 included & 3 free time add-ons available to add later

  • Sail across the breathtaking Whitsundays on a day trip, including a visit to idyllic Whitehaven Beach, snorkelling and lunch

    Included

    Whitsundays

  • Snorkel some of the best coral reefs in Australia

    Included

    Whitsundays

  • Airlie Beach Skydive

    From A$209.00

    Airlie Beach

Great Barrier Reef Highlights Without Sailing

7 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Included Dinner
  • Sail across the breathtaking Whitsundays on a day trip, including a visit to idyllic Whitehaven Beach, snorkelling and lunch
  • Snorkel some of the best coral reefs in Australia
  • Watch the vibrant sunset on Magnetic Island at Hawking's Point
  • Enjoy an unlimited chef-cooked breakfast while meeting and learning about Koalas at Bungalow Bay Koala Village
  • Spot native koalas alongside WWII fortifications on a Magnetic Island Fort Walk
  • See Magnetic Island's resident Rock Wallabies at dusk

3 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Airlie Beach Skydive From A$209.00
  • Half Day Sea Kayaking A$85.00
  • Reef and Island Scenic Flight A$249.00

Where You'll Stay

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • base-backpackers

    Base Backpackers

    Magnetic Island, Australia

    Located right on Magnetic Island’s beach with an outdoor deck, a swimming pool and hammocks, it’s the perfect place to either kick back or party, depending on your mood

    2 nights

  • 5 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    5 nights in Hostel

Frequently Asked Questions

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