16 Day Express Sydney - Cairns or Reverse East Coast Package

Tight on cash but don't want to miss out on the stunning Whitsundays and magical Fraser Island? Peterpans have got you covered with this awesome East Coast package, taking you all the way from Sydney to Cairns to see the best bits on a budget!

From
AU$1,378

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Highlights

  • Drive 4x4s on Fraser Island with a 4x4 tag-along safari, stopping off at the amazing Champagne Pools, Indian Head, Eli Creek and of course stunning Lake McKenzie
  • Sail through the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, stopping off at stunning Whitehaven Beach and some amazing snorkelling locations
  • Enjoy 3 amazing days in beautiful Byron Bay
  • Stop off at Sydney - one of Australia's most iconic cities! 

Inclusions

  • 2 nights in Byron Bay Accommodation
  • 1 Day Nimbin Tour 
  • 3 nights in Rainbow Beach Accommodation
  • FREE 3 hour Dolphin Experience 
  • 3 day/2 night Fraser Island Tag Along Safari
  • 3 nights in Airlie Beach
  • 2 day/1 night Whitsundays 
  • 2 nights in Cairns Accommodation
  • 1 Day Great Barrier Reef Trip including 1 introductory dive
  • Meals as per the itinerary 

Day 1: Overnight bus from Sydney to Byron Bay

Your adventure kicks off in stunning Sydney city where you'll have time to explore all the highlights including the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour. Looking at arriving a few days earlier to explore the best of Sydney tours? Chat with our travel experts today to find the best prices on day trips and Sydney accommodation. Tonight, you'll hop on board the overnight bus that will take you to the iconic coastal town of Byron Bay. 

Day 2: Byron Bay

This morning you'll arrive bright and early and check into your central Byron Bay accommodation for the next 2 nights. This laid back coastal town is iconic for its pristine coastline and relaxed vibe. 

Day 3: Nimbin / Byron Bay

Today you'll be heading out on one of the most famous Byron Bay tours to the neighbouring town of Nimbin, nestled high in the Byron Bay Hinterland. Travel in a custom built retro coach with kick-ass beats choreographed to the day! Visit beautiful national park and waterfall, check out an authentic country Aussie pub, venture into the rainforest and even cook up a massive Aussie BBQ lunch! Plus we have time to explore the historic village of Nimbin, where you can visit the hemp museum, check out some of the weird and wonderful local stores. This afternoon you'll head back into town for your second night's included Byron Bay accommodation. 

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Rainbow Beach

Today you'll make your way up the East Coast to Rainbow Beach. Check into your beachfront accommodation and then head out to explore! You'll be staying at this Rainbow Beach hostel for a total of 3 nights so get comfortable - with daily free guided walks to the Carlo Sandblow and free pancake breakfasts, that's not hard to do! 

Day 5: Dolphin Experience / Rainbow Beach

This morning you're up bright and early to go see dolphins in the wild - a unique, Australian experience! Depart Rainbow Beach at 6:45am to take a 20-minute coach ride to Tin Can Bay. Here you will meet the resident pod of 9 humpback dolphins who have been visiting the area since 1991. There is a $5 marine park fee to pay directly on arrival and you will have the opportunity to feed the dolphins at an optional cost of $5 for a bucket of food. Midmorning you will be transferred back to Rainbow Beach. This evening you'll attend a compulsory 5pm safety briefing at your hostel for your upcoming Fraser Island tour tomorrow! 

Day 6: Fraser Island

We begin with a morning brief where we cover the following: Pack cars, check equipment, Dingo’s safety, and driver briefing. at 9.30am we depart for Fraser Island. We drive approx 10 minutes to the barge (ferry) and board for our 10-minute barge crossing. Once we have arrived on the world's biggest sand island, we then drive for 1 hour to the Eurong resort along 75 Mile beach...Fraser Island's own highway with speed limits! There you can grab a coffee and chocolate croissant (own cost) for morning tea. From here is when the big adventure begins as we drive to the famous Lake McKenzie...arguably the most popular and picturesque highlight of Fraser! Here we stop for some lunch, and for some quality time to have a play in the amazingly clear waters with your new found friends! Around 3pm we drive up the beach to our campsite, for an early dinner and some well-deserved drinks and fun!  Fraser Island camping is the ultimate way to experience the true beauty of the island. 

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Fraser Island

Arise in the morning for a quick breakfast before you begin your busiest day on Fraser Island and head off to see Eli Creek, a beautifully clear creek perfect for a relaxing swim. Travelling north we then stop at Maheno shipwreck for some photos and short history lesson about this famous Fraser Island icon. Shortly after we travel up to Indian Head, Fraser Island's highest point. From here you may be lucky enough to see whales and sharks in the ocean before we travel to Champagne pools for a dip! You'll have lunch at either Maheno shipwreck or Champagne pools on day 2 depending on time constraints, safety, and beauty! In the afternoon, travel back to camp for dinner and drinks. 

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Fraser Island / Rainbow Beach

Start with breakfast, before cleaning and take down of your campsite. You'll then drive to the beginning of the Lake Wabby walk, where you'll walk through the sand dunes to this tropical paradise! Lunch follows your trip to Lake Wabby before you begin your drive down the beach heading back to the barge. Once back on the mainland, head back to the 4WD shed where you unpack and quickly clean the cars. Return to Dingos Resort between 3pm and 4pm.  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Overnight bus to Airlie Beach

Today you have a final morning to soak in the beauty of Rainbow Beach before checking out of your hostel. This evening you'll hop on board an overnight bus that will take you further north to Airlie Beach - the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. 

Day 10: Airlie Beach

This morning you'll check into your central Airlie Beach accommodation. No time to waste! Drop your bags and head out to explore this beachside town before preparing for your Whitsundays tour tomorrow! 

Day 11: Whitsundays

You will sail across the Whitsunday Passage to Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island. Around the southern side of Hook Island, pass through Hook Passage and speed sail your way to Cataran Bay on Border Island. Time to head to the northeastern side of Whitsunday Island to Whitehaven Beach. Take a guided bush walk up to the ever-talked-about Hill Inlet Lookout. Don't forget to bring your camera as this will be a view you will want to capture forever. Your crew will proceed to find you a nice and protected anchorage site for a night of fun. 

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Whitsundays / Airlie Beach

Wake up the next morning and it's time for more thrilling sailing back to Airlie Beach. You will pass along the western coast of Whitsunday Island, through Hook Passage and follow the eastern coast of Hook Island, passing the Molle Islands. You'll arrive back in Airlie Beach from your Whitsunday sailing tour around 4pm where you'll head back to your hostel to check in for your final 2 nights. 

Day 13: Airlie Beach

Today is your final day in Airlie beach and yours free to explore! Kick back and relax on the beach or test your limits and opt for something a bit higher off the ground...Chat with our crew about how you can add on a scenic flight to see the iconic Heart Reef or why not try skydiving in one of Australia's most stunning coastal locations? Tonight is your final night here before moving on, so make sure you enjoy it! 

Day 14: Cairns

Today you'll head from Airlie Beach to your final destination - Cairns! This city is the gateway to both the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Daintree Rainforest and offers heaps of awesome activities for travellers from nature to extreme sports! 

Day 15: Great Barrier Reef / Cairns

This morning you're treated to one of Australia's must-do bucket-list activities - a Great Barrier Reef tour. You'll board at 7:30am for a full day including an introduction dive! First, you'll explore the beautiful beautiful Upolu Cay.  Surrounded by stunning turquoise water and many types of corals, reef fishes, stingrays, sea cucumbers, sea stars - this makes for a great introduction to the reef. Snorkel and dive here under the watchful eye of our safety conscious staff. Lunch is at approximately 12:30am and is a self-serve buffet before you head off to your second site, the amazing "Wonder Wall" on the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef. View many different types of hard and soft coral in addition to fans, giant clams, turtles, a huge diversity and abundance of reef fish of all sizes, including Nemos everywhere! After a leisurely day cruising the reef, you'll return to Cairns around 4:30pm. Transfer back to your hostel for your final nights Cairns accommodation. 

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Depart Cairns

This morning you will check out of your hostel and wave goodbye to your East Coast adventure! 

Day 1 : Arrive Cairns

Today you'll arrive Cairns! The one place on earth where two marine parks meet! This city is the gateway to both the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Daintree Rainforest and offers heaps of awesome activities for travelers from nature to extreme sports! 

Day 2: Great Barrier Reef / Cairns

 This morning you're treated to one of Australia's must-do bucket-list activities - a Great Barrier Reef tour. You'll board at 7:30am for a full day including an introduction dive! First, you'll explore the beautiful beautiful Upolu Cay. Surrounded by stunning turquoise water and many types of corals, reef fishes, stingrays, sea cucumbers, sea stars - this makes for a great introduction to the reef. Snorkel and dive here under the watchful eye of our safety conscious staff. Lunch is at approximately 12:30am and is a self-serve buffet before you head off to your second site, the amazing "Wonder Wall" on the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef. View many different types of hard and soft coral in addition to fans, giant clams, turtles, a huge diversity and abundance of reef fish of all sizes, including Nemos everywhere! After a leisurely day cruising the reef, you'll return to Cairns around 4:30pm. Transfer back to your hostel for your final night in Cairns. 

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch

 Day 3: Airlie beach

Today you will spend your morning in Cairns. Have a morning coffee or spend some time at the esplanade lagoon, before you head off to Airlie beach - the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands.

 Day 4: Whitsundays

 You will sail across the Whitsunday Passage to Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island. Around the southern side of Hook Island, pass through Hook Passage and speed sail your way to Cataran Bay on Border Island. Time to head to the northeastern side of Whitsunday Island to Whitehaven Beach. Take a guided bush walk up to the ever-talked-about Hill Inlet Lookout. Don't forget to bring your camera as this will be a view you will want to capture forever. Your crew will proceed to find you a nice and protected anchorage site for a night of fun. 

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Whitsundays / Airlie Beach

Wake up the next morning and it's time for more thrilling sailing back to Airlie Beach. You will pass along the western coast of Whitsunday Island, through Hook Passage and follow the eastern coast of Hook Island, passing the Molle Islands. You'll arrive back in Airlie Beach from your Whitsunday sailing tour around 4pm where you'll head back to your hostel to check in for your final 2 nights.  

Day 6: Airlie Beach

Today you have a day off in Airlie beach and it is time to explore! Kick back and relax on the beach or test your limits and opt for something a bit higher off the ground...Chat with our crew about how you can add on a scenic flight to see the iconic Heart Reef or why not try skydiving in one of Australia's most stunning coastal locations? Tonight is your final night here before moving on, so make sure you enjoy it! 

Day 7: Overnight bus to Rainbow

Today is your last day in Airlie. Enjoy the seaside markets or catch some sunlight at the lagoon. In the evening you will board the bus to Rainbow beach!

Day 8: Rainbow Beach

This morning you will arrive in Rainbow! Check into your beachfront accommodation and then head out to explore! You'll be staying at this Rainbow Beach hostel for a total of 3 nights so get comfortable - with daily free guided walks to the Carlo Sandblow and free pancake breakfasts, that's not hard to do! Are you more of an adventurous person book a surf lesson, stand up paddle board or even a horse ride on the beach. 

Day 9: Dolphin Experience / Rainbow Beach

This morning you're up bright and early to go see dolphins in the wild - a unique, Australian experience! Depart Rainbow Beach at 6:45am to take a 20-minute coach ride to Tin Can Bay. Here you will meet the resident pod of 9 humpback dolphins who have been visiting the area since 1991. There is a $5 marine park fee to pay directly on arrival and you will have the opportunity to feed the dolphins at an optional cost of $5 for a bucket of food. Midmorning you will be transferred back to Rainbow Beach.

This evening you'll attend a compulsory 5pm safety briefing at your hostel for your upcoming Fraser Island tour tomorrow! 

Day 10: Fraser Island

We begin with a morning brief where we cover the following: Pack cars, check equipment, Dingo’s safety, and driver briefing. at 9.30am we depart for Fraser Island. We drive approx 10 minutes to the barge (ferry) and board for our 10-minute barge crossing. Once we have arrived on the world's biggest sand island, we then drive for 1 hour to the Eurong resort along 75 Mile beach...Fraser Island's own highway with speed limits! There you can grab a coffee and chocolate croissant (own cost) for morning tea. From here is when the big adventure begins as we drive to the famous Lake McKenzie...arguably the most popular and picturesque highlight of Fraser! Here we stop for some lunch, and for some quality time to have a play in the amazingly clear waters with your new found friends! Around 3pm we drive up the beach to our campsite, for an early dinner and some well-deserved drinks and fun!  Fraser Island camping is the ultimate way to experience the true beauty of the island. 

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Fraser Island

Arise in the morning for a quick breakfast before you begin your busiest day on Fraser Island and head off to see Eli Creek, a beautifully clear creek perfect for a relaxing swim. Travelling north we then stop at Maheno shipwreck for some photos and short history lesson about this famous Fraser Island icon. Shortly after we travel up to Indian Head, Fraser Island's highest point. From here you may be lucky enough to see whales and sharks in the ocean before we travel to Champagne pools for a dip! You'll have lunch at either Maheno shipwreck or Champagne pools on day 2 depending on time constraints, safety, and beauty! In the afternoon, travel back to camp for dinner and drinks. 

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Fraser Island / Rainbow beach

Start with breakfast, before cleaning and take down of your campsite. You'll then drive to the beginning of the Lake Wabby walk, where you'll walk through the sand dunes to this tropical paradise! Lunch follows your trip to Lake Wabby before you begin your drive down the beach heading back to the barge. Once back on the mainland, head back to the 4WD shed where you unpack and quickly clean the cars. Return to Dingos Resort between 3pm and 4pm.  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Byron Bay

Its time to head down the East Coast to our next destination which is Byron Bay! This laid back coastal town is iconic for its pristine coastline and relaxed vibe. Take a walk through the streets and enjoy the music!

Day 14: Nimbin /Byron Bay

Today you'll be heading out on one of the most famous Byron Bay tours to the neighboring town of Nimbin, nestled high in the Byron Bay Hinterland. Travel in a custom built retro coach with kick-ass beats choreographed to the day! Visit beautiful national park and waterfall, check out an authentic country Aussie pub, venture into the rainforest and even cook up a massive Aussie BBQ lunch! Plus we have time to explore the historic village of Nimbin, where you can visit the hemp museum, check out some of the weird and wonderful local stores. This afternoon you'll head back into town for your second night's included Byron Bay accommodation. 

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Overnight bus to Sydney

Today is your last day in Byron. Wake up early and go for a walk to the lighthouse. The sunrise at the lighthouse is stunning! Maybe you will even see whales, dolphins or rockwallabees on your way there! In the evening it is time to board the bus to your last destination of this trip – Sydney!

Day 16: Depart Sydney

You will arrive early and bright in Sydney. Stroll through the streets of this big city! Spot the famous opera house and harbor bridge. Or you can choose to take a stunning cruise through the harbour or visit the famous toranga zoo! Such a fan of Sydney maybe stay a few more days? Chat with our travel experts today to find the best prices on day trips and Sydney accommodation.

This package can depart any day of the week and can be altered to better suit your travel dates.

Departs: Sydney or Cairns 

Returns: Cairns or Sydney 

  • Please note that this package includes dorm hostel accommodation however you are able to upgrade the accommodation to private
  • Fraser Island accommodation can’t be upgraded as it is camp accommodation
  • Apart from the $15 levy for Fraser Island which needs to be paid directly on the day of travel, there are no other compulsory extra costs for this package.
  • Please be advised that the price advertised includes this levy but when you proceed to checkout, the price you pay does not include the levy.
  • There is an optional $10 sleeping bag hire on Fraser Island. 

Save 10% on your East Coast bus pass add-on!

The bus + package price includes a specific bus pass, selected to work with this trip length. Contact Us today if you wish to explore alternative trip length or transport options. 

Love this package but have some questions? No worries! Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about our packages. Don't see yours here? Contact Us to find out more.

  •  Can I make changes to the package?

It is no problem to customize your package to suit your travel plans by adding/removing anything that you wish. If you wish to make changes, please contact one of our online staff who will be more than happy to assist you by providing you with an updated itinerary/package inclusions/price.

  • Is this a guided trip?
This trip consists of a combination of tours and hostels, chosen to fit in with your chosen style of travel (budget, adventure, social or flashpacker). Whilst this means that you will not be with the same group of people for the entire duration of your tour, you will be with a group for each tour that you do, and it is very likely that the people that you do the tours with will be booked in the same accommodation in the area. As travellers often travel to similar destinations, it is likely that you will see some of these people, again and again, throughout your tour!
We book all of your tours/accommodation on your behalf and you will be given a voucher for each with all of the information needed ie travel date and pick up location/time. For your buses, we provide you with a bus ticket which has all of the individual departure and arrival times/details.
 
As Peterpans is the largest travel agency in Australia, these packages are heavily discounted. Moreover, while you are travelling you will find at least one, if not more, Peterpans agencies in most of the destinations you visit. Should you need any extra guidance, we are always on hand to help! You can ask our friendly staff for help during their opening hours, or we can offer assistance via phone and email form our Online Call Centre, which is open 14 hours a day during weekdays or 12 hours a day on weekends! 
 
This is the most popular way of travel for backpackers along the East Coast, whether you are a solo traveller or travelling in a group of friends - it is the perfect way to meet other travellers and get the most out of your East Coast trip!
  • How much should I budget for spending money?
All of our packages include some meals (you can find the included meals in the inclusions and in the day-to-day itinerary) which means that you will only have to budget for the meals that are not included. The amount that these meals will cost vary however all of the hostels have communal kitchens so you can cook your own meals instead of eating out. Some travellers will only spend an extra $5 a day whereas some will spend an extra $50!
 
  • Do I have to choose the exact dates?
You are either able to choose fixed dates for this package or if you would prefer to be flexible with your travels and stay longer in certain destinations, you are able to purchase this package as open dated and book in the date for each hostel/tour as you travel. Please note, if you do decide to purchase the package as open dated, we recommend that you book in the date of your main tours such as the Whitsundays and Fraser Island as far in advance as possible.
  • Do I have to pay upfront for this tour or can I pay a deposit/in installments?
The majority of our customers book and pay for their package in full, meaning that we will book everything in advance to guarantee availability. However, as the prices of our packages can change due to price increases, you are able to secure this amazing package price with a small deposit of just $100pp. You are then able to pay off the package in installments as and when you wish. As we are unable to make the bookings for the hostels and tours until we have received full payment, due to availability, we do recommend completing payment for your package as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. Because of this, it is no problem to tweak the itinerary until full payment has been received - the deposit just locks in the discounted price of this package. If you are worried about availability, let us know as so we can go ahead and look into options for you, for example locking in certain parts of your trip that are likely to fill up in advance such as the Whitsundays/Fraser Island. Have a query about the payment that isn't answered above? Feel free to ask us on live chat, give us a call on freephone 1800 669 424 or send us an email at info@peterpans.com
 
  • Is it possible to cater for specific dietary requirements?
Most if not all suppliers are able to cater for specific dietary requirements, however for some suppliers this can be an additional cost. Our online team are fully knowledgeable on what suppliers/tours charge extra for which dietary requirements so feel free to contact us for more information. 

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WHY BOOK PETERPANS?

Building bucket lists and bringing dreams to reality since 1998

Our team is made up of like-minded adventurers. We're super keen on travel, just like you! Whether you dream of chasing an adventure, meeting incredible new people or experiencing truly unique culture, we get it, and we're the experts in customising journeys to match your dreams. We will listen to what you want out of your trip and make sure it’s the perfect fit.

Not to brag, but we’ve been everywhere, explored it all, and we only select the best! From 4WD tours on Fraser Island and diving the Great Barrier Reef to sailing through the Whitsundays. A bungy jump in Queenstown, New Zealand and swimming with manta rays in Fiji, we’ve done it all.

With more than 50 stores, decades of experience and staff who are basically travel obsessed, we are the right team for planning your perfect trip, and we can't wait to get started!

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