Day 1 : Monday: Arrive in Sydney
G’day and welcome to your epic East Coast adventure. Your tour begins in Sydney with a day to yourself to explore the city sights and world-famous landmarks. If you’ve just flown in, we recommend taking the train from the airport to Central Station, your accommodation is conveniently located straight across the road. Check into the hostel anytime after 2pm and if you’d like to begin your trip with a delicious cocktail (because wine-not?), head down to Circular Quay and the Opera Bar. Located at the base of the Opera House, with views of the Harbour Bridge, you’ll get all the iconic Sydney pics you can dream of. At 7pm head down to the hostel bar for pizza night and to meet your Stray guide and travel mates for the next few weeks.
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner
Day 2 : Tuesday: Sydney to Port Stephens
We depart the harbour city this morning and make our way north to the Hunter Valley wine region where we’ll spend a classy afternoon drinking wine and tasting chocolate before continuing through to Port Stephens, our destination for the night. We’ll be staying at the Surfside hostel, set on 6 acres of natural bushland, with kangaroos and wallabies on site. This boutique accommodation is about creating a relaxing experience in an environmentally conscious way. They’ve used wood and glass to maximise light and ensured all development encompasses the natural flora and fauna.
Once we’ve checked in, we’ll walk to the summit of Tomaree Head, which stands at 161 metres above the Port Stephens entrance. This short 2.2km return track offers breathtaking views of the coastline and panoramic views of Yacaaba Head, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands, as well as Zenith, Wreck and Box Beaches, Fingal Island and Point Stephens Lighthouse - you might even be lucky enough to see some dolphins (and if it’s May - September, you could see Whales!). Tonight, we’ll enjoy a classic Aussie BBQ dinner and get to know each other - anyone have a good icebreaker?
Meals: Breakfast, BBQ Dinner
Day 3 : Wednesday: Port Stephens to Port Macquarie
This morning either enjoy a relaxing sleep in, head to the beach for a swim, or get up bright and early and jump in a 4WD bus to partake in some first-class sandboarding down the Stockton Sand Dunes (optional expense). The local guide will teach you how to safely sandboard as well as inform you all about the amazing area and the rich aboriginal history of the region.
Late morning, we’ll pack up and move on to our next overnight stop, Port Macquarie. We’ll have lunch on the way before visiting the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where we’ll get a closer look at Australia’s laziest (and arguably cutest) marsupials. Check out the information centre to learn all about the hospital’s efforts to rehabilitate, protect and preserve the koalas.
Day 4 : Thursday: Port Macquarie to Byron Bay
Today we’re heading to the iconic surfing town of Byron Bay, known for its relaxed vibes and no worries attitude. On the way to Byron, we’ll stop at the amazing Dangar Falls and the historic and hipstertown of Bellingen to get some lunch, followed by a special Aboriginal experience learning about the First Nations people of Australia.
Your Cultural Experience takes place at an important cultural site of the Gumbaynggirr people, the stunning location of “Niigi Niigi” (Sealy Lookout) within the Orara East State Forest. You’ll go for a 2-hour tour and see 360-degree views, as well as getting the opportunity to immerse yourself in culture through stories, songs, language and the uses of native plants. By taking part in the experience, you’re making a direct contribution to the revitalisation of Gumbaynggirr language and culture. This will be an unforgettable cultural experience with an emphasis on authentic connection and contributing to helping a community regain their culture and identity.
When we arrive in Byron Bay, we’ll take you on an orientation drive around town to help you get your bearings, showing you points of interest and the top spots for food, shopping and nightlife. For the next few nights we’re staying at boutique hostel The Surf House, located right in the heart of Byron and just a couple of hundred metres from the main beach - heaven!
Day 5 : Friday: Byron Bay Free Day
Today you have a full day in Byron Bay to "cheer up, slow down, and chill out” as the town’s famous welcome sign instructs. Start your day off with a morning yoga class on the rooftop of your hostel and then spend your day exploring the laidback hippy town.
You can walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse, mainland Australia’s most easterly point, or check out the many eclectic boutiques and cafes around town. You could join a sea kayaking or snorkel trip and search for dolphins and other marine life, or even go for an iconic Australian activity - learning to surf.
Day 6 : Saturday: Byron Bay Free Day
You lucky thing - you have ANOTHER free day to explore Byron Bay today. Tick off any activities you didn’t get the chance to do yesterday or pass the day wandering the township or relaxing on the beach. Hone your surf skills with more lessons or borrow one of the free surfboards at your hostel to try it out by yourself.
If you’re a foodie, we assure you that eating your way around Byron is an experience in itself. There are heaps of vegetarian and vegan options available, a couple of our favourites are the Cardamom Pod for lunch and No Bones for dinner, both of which are super close to your hostel. This evening, head to the Saturday twilight markets for some live music and lots of boutique stalls showcasing local arts, crafts and some incredible food.
Day 7 : Sunday: Byron Bay to Brisbane via Surfers Paradise
This morning we’ll depart and continue north, stopping at the hippy and historic town of Mullumbimby, known as the ‘Biggest Little Town of Australia’. Grab a coffee, check out the sculpture walk or stock up on sweets at the famous chocolate shop before hopping back in the coach and heading to the famous Surfers Paradise where we’ll stretch our legs and grab some lunch. We’ll then head to a nearby nature reserve to spot some wild kangaroos, before continuing to Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland for the night. We’ll head down to Southbank for a walk along the Brisbane River and then check out some of the many bars and restaurants.
Day 8 : Monday: Brisbane
Today is the final day of your Stray adventure. Give a wave and a hug to your new mates and head off for the next leg of your adventure, taking with you the most incredible memories, everything you’ve learned about Australia’s special culture and wildlife, and of course some classic Aussie lingo - G’DAY MATES!
Departs: Varies - Ask your agent for availability upon enquiry
Pick Ups: Check into your central Sydney hostel anytime after 2pm. You'll meet your Stray guide and group at 7pm in the hostel reception to get to know each other.
Finishes: Mid Afternoon in Brisbane
What to Bring
Small Day Pack
Clothes (mainly light layers but a couple of warm items).
Any meals that aren't included.
Many activities are included but there are 2 free days in Byron, and a free day in Noosa and Cairns if they want to add on any additional activities e.g. a surf lesson, kayak, Great Barrier Reef trip.