Most of the Coast–Sydney to Cairns
The route up Australia’s East Coast has earned its rep as one of the seemingly endless supply of must-do experiences in the country. The classic Sydney-to-Cairns route introduces you to both sides of modern Australia – the bright lights of the big city and the raw beauty of the Outback. You’ll get to try your hand at dozens of activities – everything from wine-tasting to sailing and snorkelling. And when you travel in small groups like we do, you really get out there into the wild to meet the locals and experience the land like they do. That amazing new frontier you’ve been looking for? Here it is.
Hunter Valley wine tasting. Sheep shearing demonstration. Gold panning and mine tour. Surf and yoga lessons. Fraser Island overnight excursion. Noosa Everglades overnight experience. Entrance fees to Cooloola Recreation Area and Fraser Island in Great Sandy NP. 3-day sailing excursion (Whitsunday Islands). Visit to Whitehaven Beach. Visit to G Adventures-supported Ingan Cultural Museum and Jirrbal Aboriginal art demonstration. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Taste wine in the Hunter Valley, sleep under the stars and at a sheep station, bliss out in famous Byron Bay, island hop through the Whitsundays
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour after your trip concludes. Additionally, this tour is a combination of several G Adventures tours, and your CEO, fellow passengers or vehicle may change between the individual tour sections.
2) Note that only 1 piece of luggage and 1 carry on are allowed on the Queensland train. If you exceed this allowance, AUD15 may be charged upon boarding the train.
3) Please be aware that wifi and internet access is not as readily available in Australia as in other parts of the world. There are often additional charges to connect to the internet, and speeds may be slower than what you are used to.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver – this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 20, avg 16
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
Please note that most included breakfasts will consist of cereal, milk, bread and spreads, juice, tea and instant coffee. Having a simple breakfast together most days allows us the flexibility to get on the road early and get from point A to B all that much faster.
Private bus, train, maxi yacht, 4×4, ferry, walking.
About our Transportation
Our vans are mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver.
The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt while riding in our vehicles.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hostels (10 nts), swag camping (1 nt), maxi yacht (2 nts), cabins (2 nt). All nights multi-share.
Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. When camping on this tour, you will have the choice between a tent or the truly Aussie ’swag’—a canvas bedroll with built-in padding and perfect for a night under the stars. We’ll have both with us, so mix it up and try out the Aussie way. Towels and soap are not always provided at overnight stops, so it’s best to bring your own for bathing. Bathroom and showering facilities are shared and are very rarely en-suite.
Multi-share accommodation, on a single-sex basis (typically 4-6 people per room), is very common in Australia and is the way you will be spending most of your nights. We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip.
Couples: Please note that due to the types of accommodation used in Australia, couples will likely be split into separate rooms where we use multi-share hostels. Pending availability, couples may be able to pay extra while on tour to have their own room in some destinations.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
By Taxi: $40-$50, approximately 15km from the joining hotel and should take no more than 30 minutes.
By Shuttle Bus: $16 per person, look for ‘Sydney Airporter’ bus desk between exit gates B & C. Alternatively, the ‘Airport Connect’ service in the same location.
By Train: The train station is under the airport terminal and takes approximately 20-25 minutes to get into the city. Hop off the train at Town Hall Station and head to Kent St, which is on the western side of the station.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Melbourne)
During office hours, 9am-5pm Local Time
From outside Australia: +61 3 9413 5820
From within Australia: 03 9413 5820
After office hours emergency number
From outside Australia: +61 432 705 621
From within Australia: 0432 705 621
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend the use of a well-labeled duffel bag, soft bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). Suitcases or heavy luggage are not recommended for the health of the CEO! A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential as you will have the chance to walk and hike in different national parks during these trips. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
You will need a smaller bag for the Fraser Island overnight excursion, as we will leave big bags on the mainland due to space constraints.
For days in the outdoors, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days spent hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Flashlight or headlamp
•Camera, memory card(s) and charger
•Electricity plug adapter
-Day pack/overnight bag (needed for Fraser overnight excursion)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
A valid passport and visa is required. For some nationalities, the visa can be issued by your Travel Agency or the Australian Embassy via Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
To apply for an ETA online, travellers must hold a passport from one of the following countries:
- Brunei – Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- United States
More information about the ETA and how to apply can be found here:
If you do not hold a passport from any of the above countries, you cannot apply for an ETA online. You may be eligible to apply for an ETA through a travel agent, airline or an Australian visa office. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for other types of electronic visitor visas. See: www.immi.gov.au
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The Australian currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Australia and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s), traveller’s cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in Australia in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is not customary in New Zealand or Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) – do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip – but it certainly isn’t expected.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in AUD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators. Please note there may be weight restrictions on certain activities (eg skydiving 100 – 110 kg).
MyMulti Pass (public transport pass) $11
Harbour Bridge Climb $198
Taronga Zoo – $44
Ocean Kayaking $69
Skydiving from $299-399
Fraser Island Flight $75
Scuba Diving $75
Whitewater Rafting $195 (Tully Full-day) $225 (Xtreme Tully Full-day)
Bungee jumping $169 (includes certificate and t-shirt)
Minjin Swing $99
Combo Bungee and Minjin Swing $319
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Planeterra is G Adventures’ non-profit foundation created to make a positive difference in the communities where G Adventures takes travellers. Planeterra supports sustainable social and environmental solutions in destinations travellers love to visit.
As travellers, it’s natural to want to give back to the places we’ve come to love. But to truly impact poverty, we work to build self-sufficiency, not dependency.
Planeterra partners with grassroots organizations with firsthand knowledge of local culture and true community needs. This ensures that solutions come from the people we support. Then G Adventures brings travellers to visit, fuelling sustainable local income in these communities. This model is helping many rural and marginalized communities on their way to self-sufficiency because they are harnessing the power of the tourism industry as a force for good. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit planeterra.org.
MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Fifty percent of our planet lives on less than $2/day. For the price of a coffee, you can make every day of your trip count by giving back to the communities you visit through Planeterra.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking).
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Please note that most Yolo accommodation in Australia is multi-share. For more info, see our Trip Details.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD300-390 for meals not included.
13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: OASC, ID: 24225
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Sydney
There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city.
If you arrive early enough, head down to the harbour’s edge to ‘The Rocks’ historic area and the Opera House.
Want to start your Down Under adventure with an adrenaline rush? Add the ‘Sydney Adrenaline Bundle’ or ‘Sydney Bridge Climb’ extra to your tour. Get an incredible view of the iconic Sydney Harbour from the top of the Harbour Bridge, then zip through the waterways on a jet boat ride if you book the ‘Adrenaline Bundle’. PLEASE NOTE: If booking either of these extras, a pre-night in Sydney is highly recommended as the Bridge Climb starts early in the morning on Day 1.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Sydney/Nundle (1B, 1D)
Depart in the morning and head to a small country town for lunch before continuing to Nundle Sheep Station for the night.
At the sheep station, have the unique opportunity to meet an expert sheep shearer. Experience a shearing demonstration and learn about local sheep farming. At the end of the day, enjoy a lamb dinner with the locals before sleeping in historic shearer’s quarters.
The sheep station is quite remote, and there is usually no reception for mobile phones.
Hunter Valley Wine Tour
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 380km)
Day 3 Nundle/Bingara (1B, 1D)
After breakfast, drive to Tamworth, the country and western music capital of Australia and home to a giant guitar. Arrive in Bingara in the early afternoon for an included visit to a historic gold mine where you can try gold panning.
Opt to go horseback riding or swimming in a local watering hole.
Gold Mine Tour
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 210km)
Day 4 Bingara/Yamba (1B)
Once in Yamba, head to the beach for a swim. End an active day by savouring the local delicacy of fish and chips on the beach with fellow group members.
Travel distance: 380km (236 mi)
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 380km)
Day 5 Yamba/Byron Bay (1B)
After breakfast, travel the coastal road to the stunning surf and arts town of Byron Bay. Enjoy plenty of free time to experience the hippie surfing town. Options are abound — walk to the lighthouse (located on Australia’s most easterly point) for a chance to see whales swimming off shore or hang ten with the locals after an included surfing lesson.
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 128km)
Day 6 Byron Bay
The free time is yours to explore. Walk along the long stunning beach, play in the surf, or simply hang out in the Buddha Bar and people watch. Want to get your adrenaline pumping? Go skydiving, try sea kayaking, or go on a dolphin watch.
Day 7 Byron Bay/Brisbane (1B)
Travel north, and opt for a night out in Queensland’s capital.
Stop along the way to Brisbane for a quick break at one of the many surf spots such as the Gold Coast.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 288km)
Day 8 Brisbane/Fraser Island (1B, 1L)
Once on the island, enjoy a 4×4 tour of Fraser Island, driving along over 100km of beach. Go for a swim in Lake McKenzie, and enjoy a rainforest walk along the way.
While on Fraser Island and the Noosa Everglades, main luggage will be stored in a secure storage facility. Each person will need to pack a bag for two nights with max weight of 5kg. This is due to luggage capacity restrictions in 4×4 vehicles and canoes. Your CEO will explain further details on arrival into Rainbow Beach.
Depending on the day of the week, some groups may swap the order of the Fraser Island and Noosa Everglades days. Some groups will first travel to the Noosa Everglades for a night before travelling on to Fraser Island. All inclusions will still be offered but just in a different order.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 9 Fraser Island/Noosa River (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a morning of exploring by 4×4 to hit the remainder of Fraser Island’s highlights, then set off to the Noosa Everglades for an evening surrounded by stunning wilderness.
Noosa Everglades Overnight Excursion
Day 10 Noosa River/Rockhampton (1B, 1D)
Catch a train up the ‘Capricorn Coast’ which is well-known as ‘Cattle Country’. Arrive at a remote farm and stay the night. The workers from the property are excellent hosts as they teach about the history of the farm, the cattle industry, and some of the challenges of raising cattle in such a harsh environment.
Train (6.00-8.00 hours)
Day 11 Rockhampton/Whitsunday Islands (1B, 1D)
After a traditional Outback-style breakfast, transfer to the town of Airlie Beach and embark on a maxi yacht which will be our home for the next three days. Set sail to a secluded cove in the Whitsunday Islands where you will drop anchor for the night.
Whitsunday Islands Yolo Sailing Trip, Day 1
Private Vehicle (6.50-7.00 hours, 539km)
Day 12 Whitsunday Islands (1B, 1L, 1D)
The sailing route today allows us to follow part of Captain Cook’s route up through the Whitsunday Islands. There is the option for certified divers to scuba dive. Again we drop anchor in a secluded bay for the night.
Whitsunday Islands Yolo Sailing Trip, Day 2
Day 13 Whitsunday Islands/Airlie Beach (1B)
After three days at sea, we sail to the resort town of Airlie Beach for a night on land in a local beach hostel resort. Feel free to relax by the pool at the end of the day.
Whitsunday Islands Yolo Sailing Trip, Day 3
Day 14 Airlie Beach/Cairns (1L)
Admire the scenery on the train north to Tully. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch and a tour of the G Adventures-supported Ingan Cultural Museum. Participate in either a weaving or painting activity with traditional Jirrbal Aboriginal artists before continuing on to Cairns.
Ingan Cultural Museum & Jirrbal Aboriginal Art Demonstration
Train (5.00 hour(s), 482km)
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 140km)
Day 15 Cairns (1B)
Enjoy a free day to visit the Great Barrier Reef or get the adrenaline pumping by skydiving, whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.
Day 16 Cairns (1B)
Depart at any time.