19 Day Express Melbourne - Cairns (or Reverse)

Experience the full East Coast from Melbourne to Cairns without breaking the bank! Hit all the highlights including Whitsunday sailing, Fraser Island 4x4, Great Barrier Reef snorkelling and more! 

From
AU$1,469

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Highlights

  • Spend 2 days sailing the spectacular Whitsundays, snorkelling dreamy coral reefs and exploring magical Whitehaven Beach
  • Drive 4x4s in a group of adventurous backpackers through all the wonder of beautiful Fraser Island, swim through Lake McKenzie, hike Indian Head and camp beneath the stars
  • Spend time among the incredible culture, vibes and madness of beautiful Byron Bay

Inclusions

  • 2 Nights Sydney Accommodation at Wake Up
  • 2 Nights Byron Bay Accommodation at Nomads
  • 1 Day Nimbin Tour with Grasshoppers
  • 3 Nights Rainbow Beach Accommodation at Freedom Rainbow Beach Hostel
  • 3 Day / 2 Night Dingos Fraser Island Tag Along Safari
  • 3 Nights Airlie Beach Accommodation at Nomads
  • 2 Day / 1 Night Whitsundays Sailing on the Siska
  • 2 Nights Cairns Accommodation at Freedom Cairns Hostel
  • 1 Day Great Barrier Reef Trip including Introductory Dive

Day 1: Overnight bus from Melbourne to Sydney

Your East Coast package starts in the fan favourite city of Melbourne! This artsy southern capital is worth a few extra days so we recommend arriving a little earlier. This evening, you'll hop on board your overnight bus to sunning Sydney! 

Day 2: Sydney

Welcome to Sydney! Check into your Sydney accommodation for 2 nights and then head out to explore all the city has to offer! Head to the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House for some classic photos before wandering the museums and parks. 

Day 3: Sydney

Today is yours free to explore Sydney! As well as being one of Australia's most iconic cities, it also boasts heaps of awesome day trips including Bondi Beach, the Hunter Valley, and Blue Mountains tours! Chat to one of our travel experts to find out how to book! 

Day 4: Overnight bus from Sydney to Byron Bay

This morning you'll check out of your Sydney accommodation and soak in the last of the city vibe before jumping on board your overnight bus to the laid-back beach town of Byron Bay! 

Day 5: Byron Bay

Today is yours free to kick back and enjoy Byron. With stunning coastal walks as well as plenty of hinterland, and awesome nightlife - there's plenty to keep you busy. Byron Bay is also the perfect place to add on an optional surf lesson! Ask us how

Day 6: 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 7: 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! This evening you'll attend a compulsory 5pm safety briefing at your hostel for your upcoming Fraser Island tour tomorrow! 

Day 8: Rainbow Beach

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

Day 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: Overnight bus to Airlie Beach

This morning you'll check out of your Rainbow Beach accommodation and have the rest of the day free to relax. This evening you will jump on board your overnight bus to the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands - Airlie Beach! 

Day 13: 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 14-15: Whitsundays

Welcome to your once in a lifetime Whitsundays tour! 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. 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. Itineraries are flexible, and this itinerary is an example only. Trips will differ depending on the prevailing breezes and tides. Itineraries are planned by the Captain considering the safety and well being of guests and crew. If you have a special place that you would like to visit, they do their very best to see what can be done.  On the afternoon of day 15, you will head back to your Airlie Beach hostel where you'll check in for another 2 nights.

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Airlie Beach

Today is your final day to enjoy Airlie Beach before heading up to Cairns! Head to the local lagoon 

Day 17: Cairns

Say hello to 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! Check into your Cairns accommodation for 3 nights and then head out to explore the city. 

Day 18: 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 8:00am on the ReefQuest for a full day including an introduction dive! You'll explore the beautiful Norman, Saxon and Hastings Reefs 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 a tropical self-serve buffet before you head off to your second siteView 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.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 19: 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 8:00am on the ReefQuest for a full day including an introduction dive! You'll explore the beautiful Norman, Saxon and Hastings Reefs 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 a tropical self-serve buffet before you head off to your second siteView 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.

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 Beach

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: 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 from Byron Bay 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: Sydney

Welcome to Sydney! Check into your Sydney accommodation for 2 nights and then head out to explore all the city has to offer! Head to the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House for some classic photos before wandering the museums and parks. 

Day 17: Sydney

Today is your free day to explore Sydney! As well as being one of Australia's most iconic cities, it also boasts heaps of awesome day trips including Bondi Beach, the Hunter Valley, and Blue Mountains tours! Chat to one of our travel experts to find out how to book! 

Day 18: Overnight bus from Sydney to Melbourne

This morning you'll check out of your Sydney accommodation and soak in the last of the city vibe before jumping on board your overnight bus to the famous city called Melbourne!

Day 19: Arrive Melbourne, trip ends

Your East Coast package ends in the fan favourite city of Melbourne! This artsy southern capital is worth a few extra days so we recommend staying a little longer!

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

Departs: Melbourne or Cairns 

Returns: Cairns or Melbourne

  • 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 $20 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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Enquire about 19 Day Express Melbourne - Cairns (or Reverse)

Please give us a call on 02 6685 2600 or use the form below

WHY BOOK PETERPANS?

Building bucket lists and bringing dreams to reality since 1998

Just like you, we too are avid adventurers, always looking for the next best destination. In fact, our staff have done most of the tours and activities we sell, making them experts at what they do - finding you the best experiences in Australia, New Zealand and the Oceanic region. 

We’ve scoured the region to find the best of the best. So whether you’re looking to explore Australia’s outback, relax in the Whitsundays, take a leap of faith with a Bungy in Queenstown, or maybe a leap with no strings attached skydiving in Taupo, we’ve got you covered.

Looking to get from A to B on a budget? Or just need to find somewhere to relax after a long day of adventuring? We’ve got the inside info on how to get where you're going, and where to stay when you get there.

With more than 30 stores and decades of experience helping create amazing adventures, we’re the right team for planning your perfect trip, and we can’t wait to get started!

 

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