23 Day Budget Sydney to Cairns Tour

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!


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  • Drive 4x4s on Fraser Island with a 4x4 tag-along safari, stopping of 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
  • Stay in beachfront accommodation surrounded by palm trees on dreamy Magnetic Island
  • Enjoy 3 amazing days in beautiful Byron Bay
  • Visit some awesome East Coast hot spots like Noosa, Cairns and Airlie Beach


  • 3 nights in Byron Bay at Byron Beah Resort
  • 2 nights in Noosa hostel accommodation 
  • 3 nights in Rainbow Beach hostel accommodation 
  • 3 day/2 night Fraser Island Tag Along Safari
  • 2 nights Airlie Beach hostel accommodation 
  • 2 day/2 night Whitsundays trip 
  • 2 nights Magnetic Island hostel accommodation 
  • Return Magnetic Island Ferry transfers
  • 4 nights Cairns hostel accommodation 
  • 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners


*Please note that this package is designed to work with an East Coast bus pass that is available at an additional cost. If you already have a set of wheels drop us a line to find out how to purchase this package without transport. 

Day 1: Sydney - Byron Bay 

Spend the afternoon exploring all the excitement Sydney has to offer before boarding your overnight bus from Pitt Street to the beautiful town of Byron Bay. 

Optional Extras: 

  • Sydney Hostel Accommodation $25pp
  • Blue Mountains Day Trip $135pp
  • Jenolan Caves Day Trip $149pp
  • Port Stephens Day Trip $165pp
  • Jervis Bay Day Trip $155pp
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tasting $155pp
  • 15,000ft Tandem Skydive $294pp + $35 APF Levy

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 6:45pm


  • Bus times are subject to change, please check the exact time on your ticket.


Days 2, 3 and 4: Byron Bay 

Arrive in Byron Bay and check into your laid-back, village style hostel for 3 nights. It’s then time to set out and explore the town! Byron Bay boasts some of the best beaches in the world and there is no better way to discover this than with a surf lesson on its awesome waves. Perhaps you’d like to kayak with dolphins along the glorious coastline. 


  • 3 nights Byron Bay hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

  • 15,000ft Tandem Skydive $264pp + $35 APT Levy
  • Dolphin Kayaking $69pp
  • Half Day Surf Lesson $69pp
  • Nimbin Day Trip $65pp
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. (Check with our travel experts the options and rates available).


Bus time: 

  • Arrival: 8:55am


Days 5 and 6: Byron Bay - Noosa 

Today it’s onto Noosa, a dreamy coastal town boasting world-class beaches and some striking national parks. After get on your bus you will have a short stop in Brisbane City. Arrive at Noosa Junction, check into your central accommodation for 2 nights and dive into a glistening town lake or the ocean just down the road. Ever heard of the Noosa Everglades? A lake spanning 1948km’s wide, untouched by man. Ask us how!


  • 2 night Noosa hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

  • Noosa Everglades Day Trip $135pp
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 8:55am
  • Arrival: 4:20pm 


Days 7 and 8: Noosa - Rainbow Beach 

This afternoon depart Noosa and head for Rainbow Beach, feel the excitement begin to bubble as this is the gateway to magical Fraser Island! On the afternoon of day 8, attend a safety briefing in preparation for your Fraser Island trip ahead and meet your fellow adventurers.


  • Day 8 – Breakfast


  • 2 nights Rainbow Beach hostel accommodation  

Optional Extras: 

  • 15,000ft Tandem Skydive - $334pp + $35 APF Levy fee
  • Dolphin Kayaking tour - $79pp
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 4:20pm
  • Arrival: 7pm


Days 9, 10 and 11: Fraser Island 

Today you will set out on an unforgettable trip of a lifetime on magical Fraser Island. Your 4x4 tag along tour is world renowned and the ultimate way to discover Fraser Island. The next 3 days are spent in a tour group of young adventurous backpackers driving 4x4’s along the beach to swim through crystal clear Lake McKenzie, dive into the Champagne Pools float down Eli Creek. Hike Indian Head to take in 360-degree views of the island, stop off at world-renowned icons like Maheno Shipwreck and trek through the tranquil, ancient rainforests. On the afternoon of day 1 you will return to Rainbow Beach for another nights inlcuded hostel accommodation. 


  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Lunch


  • 3 day/ 2 night Fraser Island Tag Along Camping Safari
  • 2 nights camp accommodation
  • 1 night Rainbow Beach hostel accommodation  

Optional Extras: 

  • Hostel accommodation: private room.  


Day 12: Rainbow Beach - Airlie Beach 

Enjoy a relaxing day to kick back and recover from your Fraser Island adventure before boarding your overnight bus from the front of your hostel to Airlie Beach.


  • Day 12 – Breakfast

Optional Extras: 

  • 3 hour Surf Lesson - $65pp

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 7pm 


Days 13: Airlie Beach 

Arrive at the Port of Airlie check in for 1 nights and set out to explore the town. Head down to the town lagoon and relax before your Whitsundays adventure ahead. 


  • 1 night Airlie Beach hostel accommodation  

Optional Extras: 

  • 15,000ft Tandem Skydive - $299pp + $35 APF Levy fee
  • 60 min Scenic Flight - $219pp
  • Ultimate Bay Blast Jet boat - $69pp
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. (Check with our travel experts the options and rates available).

Bus time: 

  • Arrival: 9:30am


Days 14, 15 and 16: Whitsunday Sailing 

The day has arrived! Today you will begin to sail through the spectacular Whitsundays at 2pm. The next few days will be action-packed with snorkelling stunning reefs like Blue Pearl Bay and Mantaray Bay with, of course, a stop off on stunning Whitehaven Beach.  You'll spend 2 nights at sea before heading back to port mid day on day 16. Check back into your Airlie Beach hostel for your final night. 


  • Day 14 - Dinner 
  • Day 15 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 16 - Breakfast, Lunch


  • 2 day/2 night Whitsunday Sailing tour 
  • 2 night Whitsundays sailboat accommodation 
  • 1 night Airlie Beach hostel accommodation  


Days 17 and 18: Airlie Beach - Magnetic Island 

Depart Airlie Beach as you head north to the amazing Magnetic Island, via Townsville. Your bus will drop you off outside the Sealink Ferry Terminal where you will board your ferry to Magnetic Island. 


  • 2 nights Magnetic Island hostel accommodation

Optional Extras: 

  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 9:30am
  • Arrival:  1:50pm


Day 19: Magnetic Island - Cairns 

Farewell Magnetic Island as you board your ferry back to Townsville. Your bus will meet you at the terminal to take you on to Cairns! Arrive at the Central Railway Station check into your hostel for 4 nights and set out to explore Cairns.


  • 1 night Cairns hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 1:50pm
  • Arrival: 7:30pm


Days 22, 21 and 22: Cairns 

These days are yours to play with! With the world heritage listed areas, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef right at your doorstep, there has never been a better time to tick waterfall hopping and world-class snorkelling off your bucket list! Perhaps you’re feeling brave enough to plummet from a 50 metre ledge in the thick wilderness with a Cairns Bungy? 


  • 3 nights Cairns hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

  • Cruising Cairns Bike Tour - $79pp
  • Extra Cairns hostel accommodation - $24 per night
  • Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise + Introductory dive - $249pp
  • Cape Tribulation Day Trip - $169pp
  • Waterfalls Day Trip - $109pp
  • 15,000ft Tandem Skydive - $299pp + $35 APF Levy fee
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. (Check with our travel experts the options and rates available).


  • An introductory dive requires no previous experience. The dive instructors on Ocean Freedom boat are specialists in first time diving – guaranteed 1 instructor per 2 divers on your first dive (normal ratio 1:4)!
  • To be able to dive, you must have no medical condition/not be taking any medication that interferes with diving. If you have a medical condition/are taking medication that interferes with diving you are able to change from including 1 introductory dive to snorkelling instead which would reduce the price of your package by $44. 


Day 23: Cairns

Today you will check out of your hostel at 10 am and look back on an incredible trip and lifelong memories.


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

Start Time: 

Sydney Pitt Street Station, Bay 17 at 6:45pm

Finish Time: 

Cairns Central Railway Station: 7:30pm


  • 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. 
  • Extra accommodation can be purchased for the following fees: 

-       1 night Sydney hostel accommodation $25/night

-       1 night Cairns hostel accommodation  $24/night

  • Please note that surcharges may apply to holiday periods, Christmas and New Years.

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 flash packer). 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 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 instalments?
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 instalments 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 free phone 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 23 Day Budget Sydney to Cairns Tour

Please give us a call on 1800 669 424 or use the form below


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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