32 Day Budget Sydney to Cairns Tour

Travel the length of Australia's awesome East Coast without wasting your hard earned pennies. Peterpans budget Sydney to Cairns packages will take you through the wilderness of Fraser Island all the way to a sailing adventure at the stunning Whitsundays. 


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  • Explore the magic of Fraser Island as you drive 4x4’s to stunning Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, the Champagne Pools, Indian Head and more
  • Camp beneath the stars in a private campsite just meters from the beach
  • Sail through the stunning Whitsundays in a crew of young adventurous backpackers
  • Spend time on beautiful Whitehaven Beach and snorkel stunning coral reefs
  • Stop off in dreamy East Coast towns Byron Bay, Noosa, Town of 1770 and Cairns


  • 3 nights in Byron Bay hostel accommodation 
  • 2 nights Surfers Paradise hostel accommodation 
  • 2 nights Brisbane hostel accommodation 
  • 2 nights Noosa hostel accommodation 
  • 4 nights Rainbow Beach hostel accommodation 
  • 3 day/2 night Fraser Island Tag Along Safari
  • 2 nights 1770 hostel accommodation 
  • 2 nights Airlie Beach hostel accommodation 
  • 2 day/2 night Whitsundays trip 
  • 2 nights Magnetic Island hostel accommodation 
  • Return Magnetic Island Ferry
  • 2 nights Mission Beach hostel accommodation 
  • 4 nights Cairns hostel accommodation 
  • 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners


*Please note that this package is designed to work with an East Coast bus pass, which is an optional extra. If you would like to add a bus pass to this package, drop us a line.

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


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. 

Bus time: 

  • Arrival: 8:55am


Days 5 and 6: Byron Bay - Surfers Paradise 

Board your bus to the exciting city on the beach that is Surfers Paradise, aka the Gold Coast. Check into your central accommodation and head out to uncover the excitement. With a world-renowned theme park, spectacular nightlife and beaches in every corner, it’s no wonder this city really is “famous for fun”. 


  • 2 nights Surfers Paradise hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

  • Gold Coast 2 day/1 night Camping Adventures - $179pp
  • Springbrooke Rock Pool Trip - $70pp
  • Dreamworld Day Ticket - $85pp
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - $79pp
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 8:55am
  • Arrival: 10am


Days 7 and 8: Surfers Paradise - Brisbane 

Next, it’s onto the vibrant city of Brisbane. Check your awesome accommodation and head into the city. See more when you board the free City Cat or cool off with a dip in the man-made city beach.


  • 2 nights Brisbane hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

  • 15,000ft Tandem Skydive - $334pp + $35 APF Levy fee (Noosa)
  • 1 Day Stradbroke Island Day Trip - $149pp
  • 1 Day Moreton Island Day Trip - $149pp 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 10am
  • Arrival: 11:20am


Days 9 and 10: Brisbane - Noosa 

Farewell the excitement of Brisbane as you head for Noosa, a dreamy coastal town boasting world-class beaches and some striking National Parks.  Ever heard of the Noosa Everglades? A lake spanning 1948km’s wide, untouched by man! Canoe across its glassy surfaces with a guided tour. 


  • 2 night Noosa hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

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

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 11:20am
  • Arrival: 4:20pm


Days 11 and 12: Noosa - Rainbow Beach 

Today you will head to Rainbow Beach, feel the excitement begin to bubble as this is the gateway to magical Fraser Island! Arrive and check into your hostel for 2 nights, set out to wonder this dreamy beach town. On the afternoon of day 12, attend a safety briefing in preparation for your Fraser Island trip ahead and meet your fellow adventurers.


  • Day 12 – 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 13, 14 and 15: 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 and 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 day 15 you will return to Rainbow Beach for one more nights accommodation. 


  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 14 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 15 - 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 16: Rainbow Beach 

Enjoy a relaxing day to kick back and recover from your Fraser Island adventure. 


  • Day 16 – Breakfast


  • 1 night Rainbow Beach hostel accommodation  

Optional Extras: 

  • 3 hour Surf Lesson - $65pp
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 


Days 17 and 18: Rainbow Beach - 1770 

These East Coast towns just keep getting better. Board your overnight bus to the sleepy Town of 1770 arriving before catching your included shuttle to your hostel and checking into your hostel for 2 nights. Enjoy these free days to explore this gem of a place. Note, if heading north, Town of 1770 is one of the last places you can surf on the East Coast, be sure to lock in that surf lesson on these uncrowded, smooth waves. 


  • Day 17 – Breakfast


  • 2 nights 1770 hostel accommodation  

Optional Extras: 

  • 3 hours surf Lesson $35pp
  • Scooteroo Tour $85pp

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 7pm
  • Arrival: 0:10am (10min past midnight)


Day 19 & 20: 1770 - Airlie Beach 

On the afternoon of day 19, board your overnight bus to Airlie Beach arriving at the Port of Airlie. Head to your hostel, check in 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. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 0:10 (10min past midnight)
  • Arrival: 9:30am



Days 21, 22 & 23: Whitsunday Sailing 

The day has arrived! Today you will begin to sail through the spectacular Whitsundays. 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. 


  • Day 21 - Dinner
  • Day 22 - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Day 23 - Breakfast


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

Optional Extras: 

  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 


Days 24 and 25: 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


Days 26 and 27: Magnetic Island - Mission Beach 

Farewell Magnetic Island and board your ferry back to Townsville where you will jump on your bus to Mission Beach. Check into your hostel for 2 nights. The next 2 days are yours to explore. Mission Beach is home to some of the best adrenaline activities in Australia so if you’re feeling adventurous, jump out of a plane to land on the beach or take on the rapids of the Tully River with a day of White Water Rafting. 


  • 2 nights Mission Beach hostel accommodation 

Optional Extras: 

  • 15,000ft Tandem Skydive - $299pp + $35 APF Levy fee
  • White Water Rafting Day Trip - $159pp + $30 Insurance fee
  • Hostel accommodation: private room. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 1:50pm
  • Arrival:  5:20pm


Days 28, 29, 30 and 31: Mission Beach - Cairns 

Board your bus from Mission Beach to Cairns. 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! Peterpans can sort you out, just ask us how! Perhaps you’re feeling brave enough to plummet from a 50-metre ledge in the thick wilderness with a Cairns Bungy?


  • 4 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.


  • 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. 

Bus time: 

  • Departure: 5:20pm
  • Arrival:  7:30pm


Day 32: Check out 

This morning you will check out of your Cairns hostel where your East Coast adventure will come to an end! 

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 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 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 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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Building bucket lists and bringing dreams to reality since 1998

We're super keen on travel, particularly when it involves adventure, partying and getting involved in culture. We’re also serious (sometimes) and are pros at landing a job in a place we want to call home, as well as studying abroad. Basically, all we really want is to have a once in a lifetime experience and offer you the same.

But that’s enough about us, what we really want is to know what you're into. Whether you’d prefer to party in Sydney or sleep under the stars in The Red Centre we will listen to what you want out of your trip and make sure it's perfect for you.

Without trying to brag, we’ve explored the best of Australia: from 4WD tours in Fraser Island and diving the Great Barrier Reef to exploring The Red Centre and sailing through the Whitsundays. That’s why we’re the best. With more than 20 stores, decades of experience and staff who are not only legends, but also travel obsessed we’re ready to help you have the best time in Australia.

So send us an email today, Skype us or kick it old school and give us a call and let’s send you on your next adventure.


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