East Coast Discovery, Sydney to Cairns

12 Days | 11 Nights

Day 1: Sydney – Coffs Harbour

Depart Sydney this morning and travel along the scenic coastline of New South Wales. Stop at Port Macquarie on your way to the resort town of Coffs Harbour. Enjoy a Welcome Reception and dinner with your Tour Director.

Hotel: Novotel Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour.

Day 2: Coffs Harbour – Gold Coast

This morning journey to the Cape Byron Lighthouse and enjoy the superb views from Australia’s eastern-most point. Stop in exclusive Byron Bay for lunch (own expense) before following the lush Tweed River Valley to the famous Gold Coast. Tonight is free for you to dine at one of the many restaurants and cafés on the Gold Coast.

Hotel: Vibe Hotel, Gold Coast.

Day 3: Gold Coast – Noosa

Travel on to Brisbane for an orientation tour. Visit Australia Zoo, made famous by the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin, and Teri Irwin and their global documentaries. Enjoy a sneak peek of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital or catch a show in the world famous Crocoseum. The Zoo is the ultimate wildlife adventure and its team of over 500 believes in delivering conservation through exciting education. They will ensure you have a wildlife experience you’ll never forget. Your final destination is Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.

Hotel: The French Quarter, Noosa, 2 nights.

Day 4: Noosa ‘Free Time’

Take time out to discover Noosa for yourself. Swim at Noosa Main Beach or venture a little further with an easy walk along the headland through to Noosa National Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could take a boat ride through the Noosa Everglades. Pristine beaches, lakes, wetlands, mangroves and diverse flora and fauna are among the spectacular scenery you’ll witness.

Day 5: Noosa – Hervey Bay

A day of discovery lies ahead as you explore the wonders of World Heritage listed Fraser Island. Your 4WD tour will visit Rainbow Beach coloured sands (tidal) before heading across by ferry or barge to Fraser Island. Walk through the ancient rainforest at Central Station with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees. Visit Lake McKenzie, ringed with magnificent white sandy beaches. Enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch before you transfer by ferry to the mainland for your overnight stay at Hervey Bay.

Hotel: Mantra, Hervey Bay.

Day 6: Hervey Bay – Rockhampton

Today you’ll journey to the beef capital of Australia. En route, stop at Langmorn Station, a fully operational cattle station. Enjoy afternoon tea at the homestead, a restored ‘Queenslander’ built in 1873. Cross the tropic of Capricorn and continue to Rockhampton, on the Fitzroy River.

Hotel: Travelodge, Rockhampton.

Day 7: Rockhampton – Daydream Island

Travel north through Mackay, Australia’s sugar capital, before continuing to Airlie Beach, a gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. At Airlie Beach you’ll take a ferry across to Daydream Island in the heart of the spectacular Great Barrier Reef.

Hotel: Daydream Island Resort & Spa, Ocean Balcony Rooms, 2 nights.

Day 8: Daydream Island ‘Free Time’

A day at leisure to explore Daydream Island. Perhaps, explore the beautiful bays, islands and beaches on an optional cruise to Whitehaven Beach. You have the opportunity to take a rainforest walk, play beach volleyball, tennis, water polo or you could go snorkelling or kayaking. Just laze by one of the pools or on a beach, or replenish your body and soul at the Daydream Rejuvenation Spa.

Day 9: Daydream Island – Mission Beach

Return to the mainland for today’s journey, which takes you further into Tropical North Queensland. You are invited by the Flemming family to Billabong Sanctuary. Dine on a gourmet lunch at the edge of the billabong and interact with the native animals. Learn how this former cattle property has been brought back to a living eco system thriving with life, making a home for saltwater crocodiles, koalas, wombats, cassowaries and all animals native to Australia. You’ll spend tonight in a resort right on the waterfront at Mission Beach.

Hotel: Castaways Resort & Spa, Mission Beach.

Day 10: Mission Beach – Cairns

Climb the high tropical plateau known as the Atherton Tablelands, where lush rainforests, waterfalls and lakes abound. Your first stop is the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway. Elevated walkways, a cantilever and observation tower offers you the exhilarating experience of being high in the rainforest canopy and provides spectacular panoramic views of World Heritage rainforest landscapes. Later, visit Millaa Millaa Falls and the famous Curtain Fig Tree. Your final destination today is tropical Cairns.

Hotel: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns, 2 nights.

Day 11: Great Barrier Reef

Board a high speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a reef education presentation and view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and the semi-submersible craft. There is the opportunity to go snorkelling and view this natural living wonder up-close (equipment provided). Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns. Celebrate your vacation this evening at a Farewell Dinner with your Tour Director and new-found friends.

Day 12: Depart Cairns

Your tour concludes today after breakfast. Make the most of this tropical city before being transferred to Cairns Airport for your onward flight. You could visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your Indigenous Guide who will escort you through the park as you discover this ancient culture through theatres, stage shows and demonstrations. Later, travel on the Skyrail Cableway above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park. On arrival in Kuranda there is free time to explore the ‘village in the rainforest’, including the Heritage Markets. Then board the Kuranda train for a historic journey through some of the world’s oldest rainforests. Or take a day trip to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree National Park. Ask your travel agent or AAT Kings about all the optional tours on offer in Cairns, as well as additional nights’ accommodation.

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