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Lagoon Cairns
Lagoon Cairns Magnetic Island Base

Stray Australia – Sydney to Cairns 21 Day Tour EMU

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Mixed: dorm share, safari tent & yacht dorm share
21 days, 20 nights
Most Meals
Explore the East Coast of Australia on this fun 21 day adventure from Sydney to Cairns with Stray! 

Start your journey in Sydney to drive up to the Hunter Valley to taste delicious wines. Visit the koala hospital in Port Macquarie, chill out like the locals in Byron Bay, spot dingos on K’gari (Fraser Island) and sail away on the Whitsundays before heading to Cairns. Keep your eyes open for Aussie wildlife, take in the fresh air at the beaches and enjoy the next 3 weeks together with your tour crew. Book your Stray Australia Sydney to Cairns adventure right now!

Starts: Sydney
Finishes: Cairns
Duration: 21 days


  • Friendly, informative tour guide
  • Airconditioned private coach
  • Wine & Chocolate tasting in the Hunter Valley
  • 20 nights in 4-6 shared dorm rooms in a range of hostels, backpacker resorts, and eco-
    lodges. There will be 2 nights at K’Gari/Fraser Island (safari tents) and 2 Whitsunday Sailing (shared dorms/sections onboard yacht).
  • 24 meals (13 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 7 Dinners)
  • 3 Day & 2 Night K’Gari 4WD Glamping Tour
  • 2 Day & 2 Night Whitsunday Sailing Experience
  • Aboriginal Cultural Bush Walk
  • Entry ticket to Mon Repos Turtle Centre
  • Rum Tasting in Bundaberg
  • Canoeing in the night
  • Walks, wildlife spotting, waterfalls, lookouts and more!


“Travelling from Sydney to Cairns is what we call the East Coast of Australia. There is a lot to see and do, but during these 21 days your guide will take you to all the best spots. You will have the best time with other people. They all want to explore this part of Australia. The scenery along the way is unforgettable, especially the Whitsundays. A little piece of heaven!” – Chloe


  • Visit the Hunter Valley and taste their famous wines
  • Spot Australia's wildlife at Port Stephens
  • Go for a wander around the towns Mullumbimby & Bellingen
  • Stretch out during a yoga class in Byron Bay
  • Dip your toes in the fine sand at Surfers Paradise
  • Take a stroll along the Brisbane River and explore the city
  • Enjoy a few fancy days in Noosa
  • Explore K'gari (Fraser Island) in 3 days and drive a 4WD yourself
  • Flip your hair at the Millaa Millaa falls in the Atherton Tablelands
  • Paddle through the rainforest in the evening
  • Sail away and discover the Whitsunday Islands in 2 days
  • Check out Kuranda and party in Cairns with your (new) friends
  • Taste Bundaberg's Rum and visit Mon Repos Turtle centre

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney

Your tour starts in the famous Sydney. Spend all day checking out this awesome city! See the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, The Rocks and more. Make sure to meet up (7pm) at the hostel for a tasty pizza together with your tour mates and guide.
SLEEP: Wake Up Sydney or similar

Day 2: Sydney to Port Stephens

Today is the time for wine, nature and wildlife. We'll leave the city behind and head to the Hunter Valley. Here we'll enjoy wine and chocolate tastings! Our next stop is Port Stephens, where we'll be sleeping tonight. This cool hostel is located on lots of land and surrounded by kangaroos and wallabies. As the day is far from over, we've got some more fun things on the planning.

We'll walk to the top of the Tomaree Head (161 metres above the entrance of Port Stephens). It's a 2.2km return with impressive vistas of the coastline, Yacaaba Head, Cabbage Tree, Boondelbah Islands and much more. We'll also be checking out Port Stephens Lighthouse where you might spot dolphins. If you're here between May and September you could even see whales. Later in the evening, we'll all be enjoying a real Aussie BBQ dinner.
SLEEP: Surfside Hostel

Day 3: Port Stephens to Port Macquarie

Your third day is slightly more relaxing. You can choose to sleep in, go for an early morning swim or jump on a sandboard and glide down the dunes of Stockton sand dunes (own expense). Then we'll drive up to Port Macquarie where we'll have lunch. But first, we're going to see the koalas at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital!
SLEEP: Port Macquarie YHA or similar

Day 4: Port Macquarie to Byron Bay

Pack your bags, we're going to Byron Bay! This laid back town is perfect for a relaxing day or two. But before we enjoy Byron we stop at the Dangar Falls and the town Bellingen where we'll have lunch. Later you can immerse yourself in the culture of the Gumbaynggirr people. Learn more about their habits, flora and fauna and language during your cultural experience. Once in Byron Bay, your guide will show you around so you know what to do and see the next few days.
SLEEP: The Surf House or similar

Day 5: Enjoy a free day in Byron Bay

Enjoy Byron Bay as you please today. You've got the whole day for yourself to surf, do yoga and check out the cute cafes. Join a yoga instructor on the rooftop of the hostel for a relaxing morning yoga sesh (included).
SLEEP: The Surf House or similar

Day 6: Spend another free in Byron Bay

Byron Bay, we're not done with you just yet! You've got another free day. Kayak with dolphins, snorkel or dive at Julian rocks, skydive or book another surf lesson. Food lovers will love Byron Bay too. This awesome town offers something for almost all dietary requirements. Especially vegans will have a great time here. Enjoy the twilight markets in the evening, with lots of live music, art and food.
SLEEP: The Surf House or similar

Day 7: Byron Bay to Brisbane via Surfers Paradise

This morning it's time to hop on the bus to Brisbane, Queensland. But first, we stop in Surfers Paradise to check out the beach and a nature reserve full of kangaroos. Once in Brisbane, we'll explore the city and walk around Southbank and the Brisbane River. Find a nice restaurant along the water and spend the evening enjoying Brissy.
SLEEP: Brisbane YHA or similar

Day 8: Brisbane to Noosa

Today we take it easy as we leave late in the morning to go to Noosa. We'll make sure to have lunch and check out beautiful Noosa and its surroundings. The hostel we stay at tonight is more like a hotel! Take a dip in the pool, have a cocktail at the bar and sleep in style in a fancy dorm.
SLEEP:  Bounce

Day 9: Spend a free day in Noosa

Noosa offers so many fun things and you have the whole day to enjoy them. Go kayaking on the Everglades, hike towards the fairy pools and chill out on the beach. You can also shop at one of the cute boutique stores, explore Noosa from above (skydive!) and eat lunch at a fun cafe.
SLEEP: Bounce

Day 10: Noosa to K'gari (Fraser Island)

Are you ready for an adventure? Then today is the day! You'll be making your way to K'gari, more known called Fraser Island, where you start your 3 Day and 2 Night tour. With a large 4WD we'll be exploring Lake McKenzie (Lake Boorangoora), walking through rainforests and enjoying the sand between our toes. You might spot a dingo or two and can drive a 4WD yourself if you like to. In the evening we'll gather around the campfire at our beach camp with a tasty dinner, a drink and like-minded people. If the sky is clear, you'll be able to watch the millions of stars around us.
SLEEP: You'll be sleeping in a comfy safari tent at Beach Camp K'gari

Day 11: K'gari

Day two of our K'gari tour starts with an epic sunrise (if it's not too cloudy) over the ocean and breakfast at the camp. We'll be exploring even more of the largest sandy island in the world before having lunch on the beach. As the day isn't over yet, we'll be driving to other amazing lakes where you can enjoy a dip in the water and chill time on the beach.
SLEEP: You'll be sleeping in a comfy safari tent at Beach Camp K'gari!

Day 12: K'gari to Bundaberg

Our last day on Fraser Island will be spent inland, between the impressive rainforests and of course, on the beach again! After lunch, it's time to head to Rainbow Beach and eventually to the city of rum, ginger beer and sugarcane: Bundaberg. Tonight, after a nice BBQ dinner, you'll probably be sleeping like a baby as we stay in a beautiful eco-resort next to a nature reserve. There's even a spa, sauna and tennis court for you to enjoy.
SLEEP: Kelly's Eco Resort or similar

Day 13: A free day in Bundaberg

We can't just take you to the place of rum and not taste it. So obviously we include a rum tasting and tour through their distillery! We'll do this in the afternoon which means you can spend the morning at the Mon Repos turtle centre with us. If you're not keen on drinking, you can also book a tour to Lady Musgrave and snorkel, swim and relax on the beach the whole day.
SLEEP: Kelly's Eco Resort or similar

Day 14: Bundaberg to Airlie Beach

This day is going to be a long one. We'll be heading to Airlie Beach today where you'll be beginning your Whitsundays tour tomorrow. Fuel up with enough snacks, drinks and music to make the drive feel a little bit less long. We'll be stopping a few times for some fresh air and toilet stops.
SLEEP: Base Airlie Beach or similar

Day 15: Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Islands

Who's in for a little bit of paradise? Take it easy in the morning before heading to the marina to check in for your 2 day Whitsunday tour! Jump aboard the comfortable yacht and sail around the 74 beautiful islands with the crew. Enjoy swimming, snorkelling and relaxing all day long. In the evening we'll be having a drink together on the deck and checking out the mesmerising sky.
SLEEP: You'll be sleeping on the boat! (Share dorm cabins/sections below deck)

Day 16: Whitsundays Islands

Another day in paradise! On the second day of your Whitsunday tour we'll be exploring stunning Whitehaven Beach. Go for a walk to Hill Inlet Lookout, take a dip in the clear, blue water and enjoy the sunset from the beach. Tonight we'll be having dinner together before chilling on the deck with a drink.
SLEEP: You'll be sleeping on the boat! (Share dorm cabins/sections below deck)

Day 17: Whitsunday Islands to Airlie Beach

Sad to say, but your Whitsunday tour has come to an end. But not before we go for another swim, snorkel & chill. We'll then make our way back to Airlie Beach where you can snooze by the lagoon or find a nice spot to eat. In the evening we'll meet up and enjoy the afterparty all together (make use of the discounts on drinks and food!).
SLEEP: Base Airlie or similar

Day 18: Airlie Beach to Yungaburra

After a fun Whitsunday adventure, we'll be making our way to the amazing Atherton Tablelands. This is where you can find the popular Millaa Millaa falls! Enjoy a swim and act out the Herbal Essence tv ad (we bet you can't wait to look it up online straight away). We'll be staying in On The Wallaby Eco Lodge tonight and sharing a tasty BBQ dinner together. The night is far from over as we are exploring Lake Tinaroo during a moonlit canoe tour.
SLEEP: On the Wallaby Eco Lodge

Day 19: Yungaburra to Cairns

This day we'll be driving to famous Cairns, one of many gateways to the Great Barrier Reef. But first, we'll be checking out Curtain Fig Tree, Lake Eacham and the hippy town Kuranda which is located in a rainforest. Tonight we'll enjoy dinner at Gilligans, our home for the next few days. Gilligans is more like a hotel and super popular amongst backpackers. If you like to party, this is your yam.
SLEEP: Gilligan's Hotel & Resort or similar

Day 20: Free day in Cairns

The 20th day of your tour is free to spend as you please. If you had a few too many drinks, just stay in bed a bit longer. Or maybe a refreshing dip in the lagoon is more your thing. Looking for a fun day out? Explore the Great Barrier Reef while diving or check out Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest (own expense). Tonight too we'll be spending in Gilligans where there is always something to do. Or spend another evening out in town. The choice is yours!
SLEEP: Gilligan's Hotel & Resort or similar

Day 21: Cairns

It's already the last day of your Sydney to Cairns trip. You can choose to spend another day in Cairns, fly to another part of Australia or do the east coast once again. Hopefully you had a fantastic time and made many new friends!

  • Camera
  • Proper walking shoes/boots
  • Warm clothing (it can get chilly in the night)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Hat & Sunscreen,
  • Swimsuit/towel
  • Water bottle
  • Toiletries (with motion sickness tablets and insect repellent)

  • Luggage is limited to one piece per person with a maximum weight of 20kg. You can also take a day pack.
  • A basic level of fitness is required for medium length walks.
  • Accommodation is in 4-6 shared dorms in a range of hostels, backpacker resorts, eco-lodges. Except from the 2 nights on Fraser Island and the Whitsundays. You'll be sleeping in safari tents and onboard of a yacht.
  • 24 meals are included. You'll be stopping regularly at supermarkets so you can arrange the rest of the meals yourself. There are usually quite a few cafe/restaurant options in each location.