East Coast Tours & Packages / Start in Sydney
Snorkelling/Scuba Diving Surfing Waterfalls 4x4 Driving Whitsundays Fraser Island Sailing / Cruising Hiking Sightseeing Sailing Bus Pass Wildlife Encounter Surf camps 22 Days & 21 Nights

22 Day Sydney to Cairns Essentials Tour (Or Reverse)




  • Drive 4x4s on K'gari Fraser Island with a 4x4 tag-along safari
  • Sail for 3 days through the beautiful Whitsunday Islands & Whitehaven beach
  • Stay on dreamy Magnetic Island
  • Enjoy 3 amazing days in beautiful Byron Bay, and hop on a surf lesson
  • Scuba dive, snorkel and relax on a glass bottom boat on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Chase waterfalls and explore ancient rainforests on a Waterfall Wanderers tour
  • Visit some awesome East Coast hot spots like Surfers Paradise, Cairns and Airlie Beach

Optional Hostel, Bus & Tour Inclusions

  • 3 Nights in Byron Bay 
  • Half-day Byron learn to surf lessons with Mojo
  • 2 Nights in Brisbane
  • 3 Nights in Rainbow Beach at Freedom Hostel
  • 3 Day / 2 Night Dingos Fraser Island Tag Along Safari
  • 2 Nights in Airlie Beach 
  • 3 Day / 2 Night Whitsundays Sailing 
  • 2 Nights on Magnetic Island
  • 3 Nights Cairns 
  • 1 Day Great Barrier Reef Trip including 1 Intro Scuba Dive, Snorkel & Glass Bottom Boat
  • 1 Day Rainforest & Waterfalls Tour
  • 7 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 4 Dinners 
  • 30 Day Bus Pass (Optional)

Additional Tour Add Ons

Sydney - Blue Mountains
Brisbane - Australia Zoo
Byron Bay - Dolphin Kayak
Airlie Beach - Skydive
Cairns - Daintree & Cape Tribulation

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Our Services

FREE Personalised Plan

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Discounted Price Applied

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Day 1: Overnight bus from Sydney to Byron Bay

Your adventure kicks off in stunning Sydney city where you'll have time to explore all the highlights including the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour. Looking at arriving a few days earlier to explore the best of Sydney tours? Chat with our travel experts today to find the best prices on day trips and Sydney accommodation. Tonight, you'll hop on board the overnight bus that will take you to the iconic coastal town of Byron Bay. 


Day 2: Byron Bay

Today is yours free to kick back and enjoy Byron. With stunning coastal walks as well as plenty of hinterlands, and awesome nightlife - there's plenty to keep you busy. If you want to make the most of this free day head to the iconic lighthouse to do the famous Lighthouse Walk.

Meals Included: None 


Day 3: Byron Bay - Learn to Surf with Mojo

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.

Meals Included: None 


Day 4: Byron Bay

Today you can soak up Byron Bays' charm and relaxed atmosphere. It is also a hub for artists, musicians, and creatives, plus you'll find a vibrant arts scene, live music performances, street markets, and an array of unique and eclectic shops.

Meals Included: None 


Day 5: Bus from Byron Bay to Brisbane

Jump on board a bus to Brisbane in the Queensland Region where you will check-in for 2 nights. Spend your first day exploring the area! Brisbane is known for its thriving arts and cultural scene. You can explore the Queensland Cultural Centre, which houses several world-class museums and galleries.

Meals Included: None 


Day 6: Brisbane

Enjoy your free day in Brisbane! Opt for a koala river cruise, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic South Bank Parklands, where you'll find picturesque views, riverside dining options, and the iconic Wheel of Brisbane.

Meals Included: None 


Day 7: Bus from Brisbane to Rainbow Beach

Today, you’ll head up to Rainbow Beach. Check into your beachfront accommodation and then head out to explore! You'll be staying at this Rainbow Beach hostel for a total of 3 nights so get comfortable - with daily free guided walks to the Carlo Sandblow and free pancake breakfasts, that's not hard to do!

 Meals Included: None 


Day 8: Rainbow Beach

Today, you're free to explore! You can visit the famous Colored Sands. They are a unique geological formation that consists of over 70 different shades of sand and offers stunning panoramic views of the coastline. You can hike to the top of the sand blow for a breathtaking view of the area. 

Meals Included: None 


Day 9: 3 Day / 2 Night Dingos Fraser Island Tag Along Safari

Your Fraser Island adventure begins with a quick morning brief at Freedom Hostel. At 9:30 am, depart for Fraser Island and drive approximately 10 minutes to the barge (ferry) and board for your 10-minute barge crossing. Once you have arrived on the world's largest sand island, drive for 1 hour to the Eurong Beach Resort along 75 Mile beach - Fraser Island's 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 Fraser. 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. Settle in for an early dinner, some well-deserved drinks and plenty of fun! 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 10:  3 Day / 2 Night Dingos Fraser Island Tag Along Safari

The day begins with a quick breakfast to fuel your busiest day on Fraser Island! 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 Fraser Island icon before continuing on to Indian Head. Fraser Island's highest point, from here you may be lucky enough to see whales and sharks in the ocean before travelling to Champagne Pools for a drop. Lunch is served at either Maheno Shipwreck or Champagne Pools on Day 2 depending on time constraints, safety and beauty. In the afternoon, travel back to camp for dinner and drinks. 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 11:  3 Day / 2 Night Dingos Fraser Island Tag Along Safari

Start with breakfast before cleaning and disassembling your campsite. 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. Once arrived on 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 5:00 pm, depending on the tides

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 12: Overnight bus to Airlie Beach

This morning you'll check out of your hostel and have a final chance to soak in the atmosphere of Rainbow Beach. Tonight you'll be heading on an overnight bus to Airlie Beach - the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. 

Meals included: None 


Day 13: Airlie Beach

You'll arrive in the tropical paradise of Airlie Beach bright and early. This morning you'll check into your central Airlie Beach accommodation. No time to waste! Drop your bags and head out to explore this beachside town before preparing for your 3 day Whitsundays tour tomorrow! 

 Meals included: None  


Day 14: Whitsundays Sailing Trip - Airlie Beach to Whitsundays

This unique 3 day 2 night Whitsundays tour offers time to explore the islands, including 5 hours to relax at the magnificent Whitehaven Beach, walk to the famous Hill Inlet Lookout. Experience up to 4 snorkelling locations to check out the magnificent fringing reef around the Islands (all part of the Great Barrier Reef Marina Park). stops on the fringing coral reefs which extend right from the edge of the islands. 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 15: Whitsundays Sailing Trip

Today you can enjoy multiple bush-walks and hikes (with lookouts and stunning views) - don't forget to charge up your phone/ camera! Enjoy Standout delicious meals made by the crew who are fun, and experienced and welcome you into the Prosail family. With 3 full days, you have more time to explore, relax and not be rushed - this is a great amount of time to explore this iconic location.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 16: Whitsundays Sailing Trip - Whitsundays to Airlie Beach

Wake up on your final morning to that clear sea air before it's time for more thrilling sailing back to Airlie Beach. this ex-racing yacht has heaps of extra comforts like rain & sun shades, hot showers, yoga mats, hammocks, USB charging stations, and thicker snorkel/swimming suits in the cooler months. Also, note - this experience is one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to explore the Whitsunday Islands! Arrive back at Airlie Beach at approximately 3.30pm. Straight after your tour, keep the adventure alive and meet your crew and fellow passengers for a catch-up at the after-party in Airlie Beach – you will have a reserved table, drink discounts and meal deals!   

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 17: Bus from Airlie Beach to Townsville - Magnetic Island

Today you'll make your way to Townsville where a ferry will take you to the stunning Magnetic Island (extra cost $36 AUD approx). Check in for 2 nights and then kick back and relax on one of the island's many iconic beaches. 

 Meals included: None 


Day 18: Magnetic Island

Today is yours free to soak in the sunshine of Magnetic Island for your final day here. A beautiful 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. 

 Meals included: None 


Day 19: Cairns

Today you'll wave goodbye to Magnetic Island and hello to Cairns as you catch the ferry back to Townsville and then head further North. Cairns is the gateway to both the Great Barrier Reef as well as the Daintree Rainforest and offers heaps of awesome activities for travellers from nature to extreme sports! Check into your Cairns accommodation for 3 nights and then head out to explore the city. 

Meals included: None 


Day 20: Great Barrier Reef / Cairns

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! 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 21: Waterfall Wanderers / Cairns

Today prepare to be mesmerized by nature and wildlife within the ancient tropical rainforest. You'll explore Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls (Natural rock slide), Crawfords Lookout (Big high lookout) and the stunning Millaa Millaa Falls (World famous hair flick waterfall). You will also have the opportunity to visit the dormant Volcanic Crater Lake filled with turtles and surrounded by wildlife. You will watch the sunset next to your last swim (don’t worry about getting cold the water in here never changes temperature 23 degrees all day all night)!

Meals Included: Snacks, Lunch


Day 22: Depart Cairns

This morning you will check out of your hostel and wave goodbye to your East Coast adventure! If you want to add some time to this trip but don’t want to add on destinations, Cairns is a great place to add on a few nights and explore!  Say goodbye to like-minded friends and 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….?

Meals included: None 

Pickups / Departures

This package has select departure dates.

Please contact our travel specialists to discuss your preferred date of travel.

Departs: Sydney or Cairns 

Returns: Cairns or Sydney 


Extra Costs

You will need to pay the "Magnetic Island Ferry" cost directly (approx $36 AUD return ticket)
There is an optional driving insurance levy to pay directly for the K'gari 4WD Safari 
The bus + package price includes a specific bus pass, selected to work with this trip length

Contact Us today if you wish to explore alternative trip lengths or transport options

Please note: If you are travelling in Peak Season there is a slight rate increase as reflected on our package pricing.
Please contact us for any questions.


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, and we 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, selected to fit in with your chosen style of travel (budget or flexi 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 Backpackers World Travel is one of the largest travel agencies in Australia, these packages are heavily discounted. Should you need any extra guidance, we are always on hand to help!

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 the exact dates?

Due to limited availability in hostels and on tours we recommend that you book your package as far in advance as possible to guarantee availability on your chosen dates.


  • What hostels are included in the package?

We hand-pick the best selection of hostels on the East Coast that are available for your travel dates. We include 6-8 bed dorms in the package price however double/twin share room upgrades are available at an additional cost. Please contact us with your preferred travel date and package name if you would like a price to upgrade to double/twin share rooms.


  • Does this package depart daily?

This package is available to depart most days of the week (subject to availability). To check availability for your preferred departure date please ask us on live chat, give us a call on +61 2 9070 1025 or send us an email at hello@backpackersworld.com. Alternatively you can book directly on the website by selecting your preferred date and we will reply within 48 hours with a booking confirmation or a secondary option that suits your dates.


  • 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 +61 2 9070 1025 or send us an email at hello@backpackersworld.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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22 Day Sydney To Cairns Essentials Tour (or Reverse)