East Coast Islands & Rainforest
Australia/ New Zealand
Queensland is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Sites meet. And you get to see their convergence on this east coast Australia trip, which tours from Sydney all the way to Cairns. From a Great Barrier Reef tour to the Wet Tropics rainforest, from K’gari (Fraser) Island tour to the Gold and Coffs Coasts tour, get set for a parade of postcard-worthy attractions.
Your Holiday Package Includes:
- 11 night East Coast Islands & Rainforests guided tour with AAT Kings, Sydney to Cairns
- Centrally located premium accommodation
- 16 meals - 11 full breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
- Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director & Driver
- 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – K’gari (Fraser Island), Great Barrier Reef & Wet Tropics of Queensland (Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail)
Pricing is per person twin share and based on travel 06-17 November 2023
Solo traveller pricing available. Please speak to one of our travel consultants for more details
Call us to add flights!
Day 1 / Sydney - Coffs Harbour
As much as you’ll want to linger in Australia’s largest city, this tour from Sydney begins on a high – Coffs Harbour is calling. On the mid-North Coast of New South Wales, this pocket of paradise has some of the state’s most impressive beaches, not to mention the glorious national parkland that surrounds. Follow the breeze (and lead of locals) to the beach for a dazzling end of day, before meeting your fellow adventure-seekers and Travel Director over dinner.
Day 2 / Coffs Harbour - Gold Coast
Fittingly, your east coast Australia tour takes you to the country’s most easterly point. It’s the stuff that postcards were made for, as you’ll discover when you reach the Cape Byron Lighthouse, standing proud over the Pacific Ocean. Dolphins are a common sight year round, and they’re joined by whales during migration. For lunch, we can point you in the direction of a tasty Byron Bay fish-and-chip shop – order a haul to eat with your feet in the sand. Which you’re going to see plenty of at your next destination.
Day 3 / Gold Coast
Your base in Surfers Paradise is the heart of the Gold Coast, a city that really does sparkle. Today you might choose to explore beaches (there are too many to count), lingering in light-filled cafés and restaurants. Or enlist in a Gold Coast tour to see another side of the ‘Goldie’ in the Mt. Tamborine hinterland – a hub for creatives and foodies. The city also breaks records for its extensive network of canals, which you might opt to explore on a leisurely cruise.
Day 4 / Gold Coast - K'gari (Fraser Island)
Follow the waves north to Hervey Bay, the gateway to World Heritage-Listed K’gari (Fraser Island). The ferry ride across the strait is a highlight, particularly during whale migration when these gentle giants come to the calm, protected waters to calve. Landing on K’gari, expect to see a lot of sand. This is, after all, the world’s largest sand island, and the only place in the world where rainforest grows from the sand.
Day 5 / K'gari (Fraser Island)
The island also has a really long sand highway, which you’ll get to zip along on a 4WD Fraser Island tour across 75 Mile Beach, all the way up the east coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands, calm Eli Creek and the Maheno shipwreck, which offers quite the photo op. Just when you thought the island couldn’t get any prettier, Lake McKenzie appears on the horizon, this dazzling patch of blue formed only with rainwater. It’s a hard act to follow, but the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek lives up to the challenge with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees.
Day 6 / K'gari (Fraser Island) - Rockhampton
Back on the mainland you’re in Queensland’s cattle country. Case in point Langmorn Station, where the Creed family will welcome you with afternoon tea and a tour of the immense (and historic) cattle property – the original family homestead was built in 1873. The Creeds will regale you with stories about life on the land. The theme continues as you cross the Tropic of Capricorn to arrive in Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia. See if it deserves its title sampling some of the town’s restaurants. Ask us for tips.
Day 7 / Rockhampton - Airlie Beach
Another town with an impressive title is Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital. If you’ve ever wanted to know how sugar cane is processed and distilled, you’ll find the guided tour at the Sarina Sugar Shed a sweet addition to the itinerary. And yes, you get to sample the wares. Continue, on a high, along the east coast to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. Life moves at a leisurely pace here. Fall into step and take things slow tonight.
Day 8 / The Whitsunday Islands Free Time
The Whitsunday Islands need little introduction, the 74 tropical drops of land a beguiling union of powdery beaches and rainforest, all ringed by the Coral Sea. There are endless ways to explore this part of the Great Barrier Reef on tour – today, we’re letting you choose. Perhaps rise early for an optional helicopter ride over Heart Reef. Or catch a catamaran to Whitehaven Beach, with sand so high in silica it squeaks underfoot. Decisions, decisions.
Day 9 / Airlie Beach - Cairns
After all the excitement of yesterday, today it’s time to relax and enjoy the scenery – more sugar cane fields and rolling green paddocks, all framed by the ocean and rainforest-clad mountains. Stretch your legs en route to Cairns and soak up this steamy part of the state.
Day 10 / Cairns
The Cairns Esplanade is a hive of activity in the morning, with active locals out before the humidity of the day sets in. Keep pace, before cooling off in the Atherton Tablelands, a high tropical plateau of rainforest, including the heritage-listed Curtain Tree. And waterfalls, like Millaa Millaa Falls, where enormous iridescent Ulysses butterflies like to dance. Explore Kuranda before getting some perspective on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, high above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park.
Day 11 / The Great Barrier Reef
Just when you thought your outlook couldn’t get any better, your Cairns tour sees you zipping over the Great Barrier Reef on a high-speed catamaran. Snorkel with six of the world’s sea turtles bobbing over fans of coral, as well as so many fish you won’t know where to look. If you prefer to keep your head above water, the marine world can also be glimpsed from an underwater observatory and glass-bottom boat.
Day 12 / Farewell from Cairns
A ridiculous number of beaches, world-record breaking rainforest, dreamy islands and even dreamier ocean… it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to this east coast Australia tour. Not to mention your fellow travellers.
* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices/Offers are correct as at 25 July 2023 and can be withdrawn without notice. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.