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Reefs and Rainforests

(Start Cairns)

COUNTRIES
1
DAYS
16
FROM
$2,759
In-Depth Explorer
4.6
51 reviews
51 reviews
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Save your space with only $200 deposit
WHAT YOU GET
15 nights accommodation
1 night in Lodge, 8 nights in Resort, 1 night in Country Homestead, 3 nights in Hotel, 1 night in Hostel, 1 night in Surf Village
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!
22 included Meals
14 Breakfast, 7 Dinner, 1 Lunch
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.
Team
Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides
A highly trained Trip Manager who brings your adventure to life. An expert driver who knows foreign roads better than Google Maps. Local Guides who make tourist traps a thing of the past. This is your team. Smart, friendly, fun, and integral to everything we do.
Transport
All transport included during the trip
Australia isn't the easiest land to traverse, but we know this wild island better than most. Whether it's internal flights, scenic local trains or air conditioned coaches, our included transport will speed you from A-B in comfort, safety and style.
Your group
Travel with other 18-35 year olds from around the world
Our trips are exclusively 18-35. This means you'll be travelling with people just like you, from all over the world- laughter and friendships always guaranteed.
Experiences
12 included, 7 optional that you can add
We've packed in everything from surf lessons to city tours. You'll ride a hay wagon at a Queensland cattle station, visit the iconic Manly beach and pet marsupials at Currumbin wildlife sanctuary. Expect wildlife tours and bushwalks, with beaches and sunsets in between.
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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!
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February 2019

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21
  • Thursday 21st February
  • Friday 8th March
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March 2019

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21
  • Thursday 21st March
  • Friday 5th April
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REEFS AND RAINFORESTS (START CAIRNS)

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itinerary
Map
Itinerary

ITINERARY

Nights spent per location
Cairns
1
1 night
Cape Tribulation
3
3 nights
Cairns
via
via
Townsville
2
2 nights
Whitsundays
1
1 night
Farmstay
2
2 nights
Noosa
via
via
Fraser Island
via
via
Brisbane
2
2 nights
Surfers Paradise
via
via
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
1
1 night
Byron Bay
1
1 night
Coffs Harbour
via
via
Port Macquarie
2
2 nights
Sydney
+5 more
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Map
Itinerary
  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • Bus route
  • River route
  • Plane route
  • Traveller Photos
DAY 1 - Cairns to Cape Tribulation
Cairns

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?


 
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Tjapukai Cultural Centre
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Ziplining
Cape Tribulation
Stay
PK’s Backpacker Lodge (or similar)
DAY 2 - Cape Tribulation to Cairns
Cape Tribulation
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.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
See Port Douglas
Cairns
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...
Stay
Gilligan’s Hostel (or similar)
DAYS 3-4 - Cairns
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.
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Cairns Outer Barrier Reef Cruise
from A$190
White Water Rafting
A$130
AJ Hackett Minjin Swing or Bungy Jump
A$110 / A$155
Stay
Gilligan’s Hostel (or similar)
DAY 5 - Cairns to The Whitsundays
Cairns
Ready for some coach time fun? Damn right you are when your end destination is the Whitsundays. Bring it!
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Townsville city orientation
Townsville
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.
Whitsundays
We've arrived in paradise - Airlie beach awaits as we settle in for the next few days. 
Stay
Mantra Club Croc (or similar)
DAY 6 - The Whitsundays
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.
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Cruise Whitsundays Camira Day Sail
A$179
Stay
Mantra Club Croc (or similar)
DAY 7 - The Whitsundays to Farmstay
Whitsundays
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...
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Check out the farm & animals on a hay wagon ride, then try whip cracking!
Meet the cattle station owners
Farmstay
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.
Stay
The Old Station
DAY 8 - Farmstay to Noosa
Farmstay
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.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Visit the picturesque seaside town & beach of Noosa
Noosa
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...
Stay
Habitat Noosa
DAY 9 - Noosa
Noosa
Rise and shine beach babes! We're heading to a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world's largest sand island.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Dine beachside at Noosa Surf Club
Take a locally guided 4WD trip across Fraser Island & indulge in a delicious lunch
Drive along Australia's only sand highway
Fraser 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.
Stay
Habitat Noosa
DAY 10 - Noosa to Surfers Paradise
Noosa
Adieu Noosa, we’ve got a party town to hit up, and it goes by the name of Surfers Paradise...
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Nightclub entry
See the Brisbane River, South Bank & visit Queen Street Mall
See the Glass House Mountains
Brisbane
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.
Surfers Paradise
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!
Stay
Alpha Sovereign Hotel (or similar)
DAY 11 - Surfers Paradise including Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Surfers Paradise
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. 
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Relax on some of Australia's most famous beaches on the Gold Coast
Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - and see native Australian animals including kangaroos, emus, crocodiles, dingoes & Tasmanian devils
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Tandem Skydiving
from A$355
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.
Stay
Alpha Sovereign Hotel (or similar)
DAY 12 - Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay
Surfers Paradise
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. 
Byron Bay
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 . 
Stay
Nomads hostel (or similar)
DAY 13 - Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour
Byron Bay
After a night of boho bliss (or maybe some table top dancing, Cheeky Monkey’s style) our open road adventure continues. Next stop, Coffs...
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Learn to surf the waves at our beachside surf camp at Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour
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?
Stay
Spot X Surf Camp
DAY 14 - Coffs Harbour to Sydney
Coffs Harbour
Time to say good-bye to those surf camp vibes as Sydney is calling.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Stop in the seaside resort town of Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie
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.
Sydney
Stay
Wake Up Hostel (or similar)
DAY 15 - Sydney
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.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Experience Darling Harbour, Mrs Macquarie's Chair Lookout & The Rocks
Cruise across Sydney Harbour on a ferry from Manly
Cook your own BBQ dinner
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Harbour Bridge climb
from A$245
Stay
Wake Up Hostel (or similar)
DAY 16 - Sydney
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.
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Reefs and Rainforests (Start Cairns)

4.6
51 independent reviews
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Anonymous
Traveled Jan 2019
I recently returned from the Reefs and Rain Forests with Sailing tour in Australia which was from December 16-31, 2018 and there were several problems on the trip we experienced that warrant a significant partial refund. First off, our tour began in Sydney and spanned all the way to Cairns with the majority of time spent in the coach rather than actually getting to spend time exploring Australia as we paid for. Nowhere in any of the advertisements or included materials did it mention the lengthy travel times by coach and I feel this should be made clear to those looking to book this trip. There were 2 to 3 days where for 7-9 hours we were just on a coach bus which is not ideal when you are paying thousands of dollars to be touring Australia. The trip should eliminate stops or fly between locations to make the most of people's time and to increase value. The second issue I had was with the sailing portion. On the website and in the materials I received it showcased the boat we would be sailing and living on for 2 days as a luxury yacht. The boat we were on was anything but a luxury yacht and was in fact a racing boat with very cramped and extremely hot quarters. The weather also was windy with rain which made it choppy and not an ideal sailing trip. There was nowhere for all 17 of us to go when the rain set in. We either got wet from the rain being on the top deck or melted from being below in the sweltering lower deck area. When several people requested to get off the boats due to false advertising of what the sailing portion of the trip was supposed to be, myself included, we were forced to pay for our own hotel room of $173 AUD at the same hotel the rest of our group who had chosen not to do the sailing portion were at. I feel I should be refunded for the cost of the hotel room and then some as the sailing portion was an additional $200-$300 USD I paid for before the trip and I did not stay on the boat the full two days. Our tour guide, Sian, who was very lovely otherwise, actually met with the group who did not do the sailing excursion and told them people getting off the sailing boats never happens and they should not let us share their hotels rooms but have to pay for their own. Coming back and finding that out was very disappointing since the guides on our sailing tour actually expressed people leaving the boat tour happens a lot, especially with Contiki, since they do not properly advertise the trip. I feel it was wrong of our guide to say people never leave the boats in order to save face for Contiki when the people on the boats heard the truth that it does happen a lot from our guides. When we mentioned our concerns to Sian prior to actually leaving the boats she contacted the sailing vendor and told them we were not having a good time on the trip and our guides got into trouble with their manager. Our guides were actually very nice and fun to be with and the wrath they got was unjustified. Contiki is at fault for not advertising it properly as a sailing vessel and should include photos of what the boats actually looks like inside. Furthermore, it lists we visit Airlie Beach which the only place in Airlie Beach we get to see is the marina. I was under the impression we'd actually get to go and see the town which only happened because I got off the boat. I think the sailing portion should be refunded as the weather was not great to actually sail, the boat was not as advertised, and we did not get to see all that was listed in the itinerary. Lastly, the last two days we were supposed to go to Cape Tribulation but as the one road to go there was flooded we were not able to go. We were then forced to stay in Cairns for an additional 2 nights and the planned activities Contiki came up with were lackluster at best. The majority of the group had to come up and pay for their own activities on those days since Contiki did not have a fall back planned lined up ahead of time. Sian had to think on her feet of things to do. I think we should get money back for this as well since we did not actually get to travel to see Cape Tribulation and I had to pay out of pocket to do anything worthwhile back in Cairns where we were stuck.
Traveled Jan 2019

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Anonymous
Traveled Jan 2019
What you advertise is not what you get! All very rushed with more time on the coach than on the beach! Lots of unhappy customers on our trip many who had done Contiki trips before and who all said never again! If you can’t afford all the add ons don’t go! Also be prepared that if it rains heavily in Cairns the rainforest gets cancelled and you end up wine tasting!!! Our trip manager said it’s boring going there anyway as all there is to do is zip lining! 10 of us hired 2 cars and ended our trip early to go and see some proper Australian sights! We went to local waterfalls, National Parks and visited the crocodile park all of which could have been organised at short notice for our whole group. Want my advice organise it all yourself.
Traveled Jan 2019

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Anonymous
Traveled Dec 2018
Saw so many things in such a short time, was organized well and did so many amazing things. Wish it could’ve been longer
Traveled Dec 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Dec 2018
The trip was wonderful. We managed to see a lot of highlights in a very short time. It was a mix of activities and truly something for everyone. The tour manager, Sian and the tour driver, Rhys were super people who genuinely seemed to care that each person enjoyed their trip. Sian and Rhys went out of their way to accommodate requests and provide access to activities outside of what the tour included. My only reason for not giving it five stars is that it is the luck of the draw how the age range falls and if you're the lone 18 yo with a bunch of 30 somethings or the lone 35 yo with teens and early 20s it might be less enjoyable.
Traveled Dec 2018

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Marc Mckellar
Traveled Dec 2018
had the option on the trip to do activities I've never done. was provided multiple great dining venues and some fun late night activities.
Traveled Dec 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Oct 2018
AMAZING! Best thing I’ve ever done
Traveled Oct 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Oct 2018
Add ons were a bit expensive due to the amount the trip cost
Traveled Oct 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Oct 2018
Meine Erwartungen wurden alle erfüllt. Ich sah den Regenwald, sehr viele Strände, das great barrier reef und hatte sogar eine surf lesson.
Traveled Oct 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Oct 2018
The trip was organised and good value - there was so much included in the price. The tour manager and driver were professional and ensured that everyone had an amazing time!
Traveled Oct 2018

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Deb
Traveled Aug 2018
I booked through STA Travel. The whole process was great. Also paying for excursions on the trip was made flexible.
Booked from UK Traveled Aug 2018

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Alexander Holdsworth
Traveled Aug 2018
Trip of a lifetime- highly recommend! Tour guide Mark was amazing!
Traveled Aug 2018

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Stephanie Slaviero
Traveled Jul 2018
The amount of things included for the price was worth it.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Tyler Sherman
Traveled May 2018
Awesome experience. Will do another contiki soon.
Traveled May 2018

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Charlotte Wix
Traveled Mar 2018
Good value for money and brilliant trip
Traveled Mar 2018

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Tara Squirrell
Traveled Mar 2018
Easy from STA good value for money
Traveled Mar 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Feb 2018
Excellent tour. Jam packed with all popular places along the east coast.
Traveled Feb 2018

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Kara Collins
Traveled Feb 2018
The tour 16 day tour from Sydney up the East Coast to Cape Tribulation was very well organised and very diverse from cities, to seaside towns, to countryside/farm stay, sailing on the Whitsundays, exploring the Great Barrier Reef and learning about the Daintree Rainforest. I feel I really saw and experienced a lot of Australia in a relatively short period of time. There was a good range of 'Free time add Ons', which made the trip feel more personalised to what I wanted to do. Generally accommodation and meals included were of high standard.
Traveled Feb 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Feb 2018
Great fun with great people and amazing activities. A lot of travel involved (obvs)
Traveled Feb 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Jan 2018
Price was a little steep; especially with all the optionals . The accommodations were worth the price
Traveled Jan 2018

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Vicki
Traveled Jan 2018
Absolutely amazing trip, thoroughly enjoyed every second! #noregrets
Booked from Cambridge Traveled Jan 2018

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