East Coast Tours & Packages / Start in Sydney
Hiking Sightseeing Campervan Car Hire Wildlife Encounter 21 Days & 20 Nights

Campervan Road Trip Sydney - Cairns (Or Reverse)



+ Flexible Travel Dates & Duration of Travel

+ Customisable Tours

Explore Australia YOUR way with our flexible 21-day self drive example adventure itinerary. Travel from Sydney to Cairns, discovering the captivating K'gari Fraser Island including Champagne Pools & Lake Mckenzie, the picturesque Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach, and the vibrant Great Barrier Reef. Cruise at your own pace with freedom and flexibility along the East Coast. 

Please note; Advertised rate is hire only price per day - 2 Berth

Included Rental & Suggested Experiences;

21 Day Campervan Rental

3 Day 2 Night K’gari Fraser Island Tour

All your food for K'gari (Fraser Island)
Fuel for 4x4s
Tent, camp mat and sleeping bag
All camping, National Park and vehicle permits
Return ferry transfer
4WD driver training on the beach
All 4x4s have iPod / MP3 adaptor cables
4x4s escorted onto the ferry
Luggage storage and safety deposit

1 Day Whitsundays Islands Adventure Cruise

Hill Inlet Lookout (swirling sand)
Whitehaven Beach
2 snorkels on the fringing Great Barrier Reef
Swim in crystal clear waters
Free use of snorkelling equipment
All meals plus morning and afternoon snacks
Lycra suit or wetsuit hire (winter months only)
Parks fees and fuel levy

1 Day Great Barrier Reef Snorkel & Scuba Dive

2 Outer Great Barrier Reef Locations
Guided Snorkel Tours
Buoyancy vests and Stinger Suits (seasonal)
Snorkelling equipment and tuition
Intro or Certified Dive
Glass bottom boat tour
Marine Biology Presentation
Breakfast, bacon and egg BBQ roll
BBQ Lunch, drinks and snacks
Reef tax, fuel levy & national park fees

Eco Everglades Explorer

Advanced Eco-Certified Cruise
Dedicated, informative skippers.

Half Day Surf lesson

Pick up and transport to the beach (and return)
All equipment provided during lessons


Traveling in a campervan is the ultimate way for backpackers to explore Australia, offering a perfect blend of adventure, freedom, and affordability. With your home on wheels, you can easily visit iconic spots like the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback, and bustling cities like Sydney and Melbourne without breaking the bank. Campervanning gives you the flexibility to discover hidden gems, stay at scenic campgrounds, and meet epic people along the way. Enjoy the freedom to explore Australia's diverse landscapes, from pristine beaches to lush rainforests, all at your own pace. Experience the road trip of a lifetime!


21 Day Campervan Road Trip Example Itinerary

Note:  Driving time is based on the direct route

Day 1: Sydney - Blue Mountains

Driving time 1h 33 min
Suggested Stay (1 Night)

G'day mate! Welcome to Sydney, the land down under! Today's the day you hit the road in your campervan and head to the breathtaking Blue Mountains. First, you'll check out the stunning Leura Cascades, then head to Echo Point Lookout for amazing views of the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley. You’ll stroll along the Cliff Top Walk in Katoomba before parking up at a cozy campsite for the night. Get excited to hit the road and make some memories!


Day 2: Blue Mountains - Port Macquarie

Driving time 5 hours
Suggested Stay (1 Night)

Ready for an epic road trip from the stunning Blue Mountains to the coastal paradise of Port Macquarie? Hit the road early and drive to the stunning Ellenborough Falls a 200 metre horsetail waterfall that will nicely break up this journey. Continue driving towards Port Macquarie before settling in for the night at a cozy campsite of your choice.


Day 3: Port Macquarie - Byron Bay

Driving time 4 hours
Suggested Stay (2 Nights)

Wake up early and take the most incredible scenic drive to Byron Bay. Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Trial Bay along the way to freshen up. Drive to the beautiful coastal town of Yamba and explore the beaches, coastal walks, and rock pools. For some more laid-back surf and locals drop into Lennox Head before reaching dreamy Byron Bay for a few nights.


Day 4: Byron Bay - Learn to Surf

Surfs up! It's time to tackle some waves like the locals. From Byron Bay, your surf school will take you to the best beaches with perfect learning waves and will have you riding in no time! You’ll enjoy a half-day Surf lesson with an expert local team and all equipment will be provided.

Byron Bay has several stunning beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. Check out Main Beach, Wategos, and Tallows Beach for a more chilled beach vibe! You can also hike in the Hinterland and explore the Minyon Falls walk/ lookout, which takes you to a stunning waterfall. In the evening head to one of the beaches or hilltops in Byron Bay to watch the sun go down.


Day 5: Byron - Noosa

Driving time 3 h 26 min
Suggested Stay (2 Nights)

Get ready for an epic road trip from Byron to the tropical paradise of Noosa. Explore Mount Warning for an incredible hike to the summit, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. You can also explore the natural beauty of Mount Tamborine and make a few stops at the stunning Gold Coast beaches before reaching the buzzing city of Brisbane! Continue through the Sunshine Coast for some more beach adventure and reach Noosa for a couple of nights.


Day 6: Noosa - Everglades Cruise

Today you’ll discover Noosa’s iconic Everglades off-the-beaten-path! Explore the serene and scenic waterways of Australia's only Everglades on a specially designed eco boat or by canoe. This untouched, pristine wilderness area located within the sand dunes of the Cooloola National Park is home to over 44% of Australia's bird species and offers stunning reflections of the surrounding tea tree infused ecosystem.


Day 7: Noosa - Rainbow Beach

Driving time 1 h 38 min
Suggested Stay (2 Nights + 2 Nights Camping)

You may have time this morning to head to the quaint town of Eumundi to check out the famous Eumundi Markets, where you'll find unique handmade crafts and local delicacies. From there you can road trip to Rainbow Beach - the gateway to K’gari Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world!


Day 8: Rainbow Beach

Explore the rainbow cliffs, and the Carlo Sand Blow for stunning views of the coastline and dunes, search for the rainbow stairs and relax in paradise. You may wish to venture around the surrounding national parks and nature reserves such as the Great Sandy National Park and Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area. There are heaps of breathtaking walking trails and hikes that are great for wildlife spotting. Make sure you're at the Freedom Rainbow hostel tomorrow at 7am for your Fraser Island safety brief tomorrow!


Day 9: Depart Rainbow Beach - Fraser Island Lake McKenzie

The morning starts bright & early with our compulsory tour briefing at 7am sharp at Freedom Hostel. Here you will be placed into groups and have the opportunity to organise sleeping bag hire and luggage storage. You will also be taught how to drive safely on Fraser Island ahead of your big adventure! Once you have arrived on the world's largest sand island, drive for 1 hour to the Eurong Beach Resort along 75 Mile beach - K'gari's (Fraser Island) own highway with speed limits! There you can grab a coffee and chocolate croissant (own cost) for morning tea. From here, the adventure really begins, as we drive to the famous Lake McKenzie, one of the most popular and picturesque highlights of K'gari (Fraser Island). We stop for lunch and time to swim and relax in the amazingly clear waters of the lake before driving up the beach to your campsite around 3:00 pm. Settle in for an early dinner, some well-deserved drinks and plenty of fun!

Meal(s) included : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 10: K’gari - Fraser Island

The day begins with a quick breakfast to fuel your busiest day on K'gari (Fraser Island)! The first stop is Eli Creek, a beautifully clear creek perfect for a relaxing swim. Travelling north, stop at Maheno Shipwreck for a photo opportunity and a short history lesson about this famous K'gari (Fraser Island) icon before continuing on to Indian Head, K'gari's (Fraser Island) highest point. From here you may be lucky enough to see whales and sharks in the ocean before travelling to Champagne Pools for a dip. Lunch is served at either Maheno Shipwreck or Champagne Pools on Day 2. In the afternoon, travel back to camp for dinner and drinks.

Meal(s) included : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 11: Lake Wabby - Fraser Island Return to Rainbow Beach

After brekkie and once packed up, you'll drive to the beginning of the Lake Wabby walk where you'll stride through the dunes to find a tropical paradise! Lunch follows your trip to Lake Wabby before you begin the drive down the beach and back to the barge. From the mainland, head to the 4WD shed where you can unpack and quickly clean the cars. You will return to Freedom Hostel between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

Meal(s) included : Breakfast, Lunch


Day 12: Rainbow Beach - 1770/ Agnes Waters

Driving time 3 h 45 min
Suggested Stay (1 Night)

Time to self-drive the coast and explore the charming town of Agnes Water - the site of Captain Cook's first landing in Queensland in 1770. Today you can visit the Paperbark Forest Walk which takes you through a beautiful paperbark forest and is a great way to experience the area's unique flora and fauna. You may want to check out the Discovery Coast Markets held on the second and fourth Sunday of every month, these markets offer a great selection of local produce, crafts, and live music - a must do!


Day 13: 1770 - Airlie Beach

Driving time 7 h 47 min
Suggested Stay (2 Nights)

Let's hit the road and take in the stunning coastal scenery towards idyllic Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays! Drive to Eungella National Park for an epic bushwalk, and you may even see a platypus in its natural habitat. After, you can head to the charming town of Mackay to stroll through the botanical gardens and check out the local markets. Make your way to a campsite of your choice near Airlie Beach.


Day 14: Airlie Beach - Whitsundays Adventure Cruise

Today you’ll jump on an unforgettable day trip to the Whitsunday Islands! Discover the incredible underwater world of the Whitsundays through snorkeling at one of its most picturesque islands. Then, head to the world-famous Whitehaven Beach for a dip in its crystal-clear waters and a hike to the Hill Inlet Lookout for some stunning views and Insta-worthy sand swirl pictures. With two snorkeling opportunities, you'll get to see the vibrant marine life up close and personal. Your day cruise is one of the fastest catamarans in the Whitsundays and is proud to be accredited as a Climate Action Leading tour. Encounter a small part of The Great Barrier Reef while taking care of the environment. You’ll arrive back at Airlie Beach around 5 pm.

Meals Included; Lunch & Snacks


Day 15: Airlie Beach - Townsville - Magnetic Island

Driving time 3 h 13 min to Townsville Harbour 
Suggested Stay (1 Night)

This morning you can make a pit stop at Bowen's Big Mango for some awesome photo ops and then head to the coastal town of Ayr. After that, make your way to Townsville - the entry point for Magnetic Island, a great place for hiking, kayaking, and full relaxation! Explore Horseshoe Bay and Picnic Bay for a pristine beach day. The island is home to a variety of wildlife, including koalas, rock wallabies, and over 180 species of birds and is also surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Note - You’ll have to jump on a ferry (own cost) to get to the Island and pre-book your accommodation.


Day16: Townsville - Mission Beach

Driving time 3 hours
Suggested Stay (1 Night)

This morning, journey to Paluma Range National Park, where you can hike to breathtaking waterfalls and swim in crystal-clear rock pools. Then, you'll head to the charming seaside town of Cardwell to soak up some sun and relax on the beach. Time permitting, visit the picturesque Murray Falls before finally reaching Mission Beach… did someone say SKYDIVE beach landing?... Contact us to add this to your itinerary!


Day 17: Mission Beach - Port Douglas

Driving time 2 h 57 min
Suggested Stay (1 Night)

Get ready for an adventure as you road trip from Mission Beach to Port Douglas. Make sure you hit up the stunning Babinda Boulders for a refreshing swim in crystal clear waters surrounded by lush rainforest. You'll wrap up the day with an overnight stay near Port Douglas - home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.


Day 18: Port Douglas - Cape Tribulation

Driving time 1 h 49 min
Suggested Stay (1 Night)

Today you can head North to experience the Daintree Rainforest and River which is home to a variety of wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, birds, snakes, frogs, and other creatures. Contact us for a Daintree cruise option. You’ll then drive to Cape Tribulation, the only place in the world where two World Heritage-listed sites (the Daintree and Great Barrier Reef) meet together! This is a really special area to stay for the night and to watch the glowing sunset.


Day 19: Cape Tribulation - Cairns

Driving time 2 h 44 min
Suggested Stay (2 Nights)

Get up early to find a hidden gem in the tropics. Head to Mason's Swimming Hole, a crocodile-free waterhole that's sure to be a highlight of your trip. The rocks are perfectly round, while the crystal-clear water is ideal for a refreshing swim. And the best part? You'll be surrounded by the lush green canopy of the rainforest overhead! Then you’ll journey South to Cairns for a couple of nights exploring the city's buzzing nightlife.


Day 20: Cairns - Great Barrier Reef Intro Dive/ Snorkel

This morning you can tick off one of Australia's must-do activities - a full-day Great Barrier Reef tour. You'll board at 7:30 am for a day packed with fun and excitement as you explore the outer reef. With options to try snorkeling or even scuba diving, you'll spend up to 6 hours discovering 2 spectacular reef locations. Swim alongside schools of tropical reef fish and admire amazing coral formations. Learn about the underwater ecosystem during a glass-bottom boat cruise and Marine Biology presentation. It's a true bucket-list experience that you won't want to miss!


Day 21: Cairns - Departure

Your East Coast adventure has come to an end, today you can drop off your rental vehicle and say goodbye to like-minded friends and you set off on the rest of your travels. We hope you have made memories to last a lifetime and hope to help you on your next adventure! Fiji or New Zealand anyone….!

Pickups / Departures

Itinerary Vehicle Pick Up - Sydney

Itinerary Vehicle Drop Off - Cairns 

OR Reverse.

Pick ups & Drop offs are available in:

Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane & Cairns:

Contact us for more information


Optional K'gari Fraser Island $25 - $50 vehicle insurance levy to pay directly.

Please note: Prices are subject to change for travel between PEAK SEASON.

Please contact us for a custom quote.


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 us via email hello@backpackersworld.com, phone +61 2 9070 1025 or live chat and we will be more than happy to assist you by providing you with an updated itinerary/package inclusions/price.


  • Is the itinerary flexible?

We book all of the included tours/activities on your behalf and you will be given a voucher for each with all of the information needed ie travel date and departure/pick up location/time.

We also provide a recommended driving and overnight stay itinerary with loads if info on what to see along the way. You are welcome to follow this suggested itinerary or change it up as you travel. Please just keep in mind you will need to arrive at the departure points for the booked activities as per the dates you are booked.

It is your responsibility to prebook the suggested campsites or find free freedom camping areas along the way. Most travellers find this is a really flexible way to explore the East Coast whilst still seeing all the bucket list destinations.  


  • 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! Your campervan rental includes everything you need to cook your meals.

You will also need to budget $9-35 per/person per night if you wish to stay at dedicated camp sites with full amenities if you wish to pre book these. When you book your package you will receive a document with all of our favourite campsites. This also includes free campsite options (with limited availability) if you wish to use these and save money.


  • Do I have to choose the exact dates to start and finish?

Due to limited availability for the campervan rental and tours/activities we recommend that you book your package as far in advance as possible to guarantee availability on your chosen dates.


  • Does this package depart daily?

Yes this package is available to depart daily (subject to availability).


  • Do I have to pay upfront for this package 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 campervan 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 +61 2 9070 1025 or send us an email at hello@backpackersworld.com


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Campervan Road Trip Sydney - Cairns (or Reverse)