Winter Sale on Now! Save up to $500 on your East Coast Australia road trip – Offer ends soon! Start Planning Now!

Winter Sale on Now! Save up to $500 on your East Coast Australia road trip – Offer ends soon! Start Planning Now!

12 Stops On Australia’s East Coast

By: Abbie Brooks July 30, 2022
Heading along the East Coast of Australia soon and don’t have much of a plan? You’re in luck, because we have picked out some amazing locations for you to stop at and check out during your trip.

1. Sydney

Arguably the most iconic city in Australia, but oddly enough, not the actual capital! Sydney boasts more attractions than you can shake a boomerang at, including the world famous Bondi Beach, Manly, Tarronga Zoo, and of course, the Sydney Opera House. Kick back and explore this amazing city, party in Kings Cross, or escape the hustle and bustle on a day trip to the Blue Mountains.

Byron Bay

2. Byron Bay

If cities aren’t your thing, then Byron Bay is certainly going to be one of your favourites. A hippie town where surfer vibes, barefoot living, and alternative cultures mix together. This epic beach town is all about surfing, getting into lush nature, world class musicians, and know how to throw one hell of a party.

Stay at the iconic Arts Factory Lodge, learn to surf, watch sunrise at the most easterly point in Australia, and even kayak with dolphins. Byron Bay is a firm favourite with many backpackers and our travel team too!

Surfers Paradise

3. Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is often described as the Miami of Australia. High rise buildings fringe the open beaches and it’s a perfect stop for anyone looking for some retail therapy of city night life with a splash of ocean.

If you’re looking to head to any of the Gold Coast theme parks, this is the ideal base too, as they are located just north of the Goldie.


4. Brisbane

Perhaps you want to stop into a bigger city along your way up the coast and indulge in some more upscale ideals. Brisbane is a perfect spot for those wanting to learn some more about the history of arts, step into a back alley speakeasy cocktail bar, and enjoy some of the finer restaurants that Queensland has to offer. Want to save some money getting around as well? Brisbane has plenty of Escooter options that will help you reserve a few extra coins for your activities to get around on a budget.

Australia East Coast Noosa

5. Noosa

With its amazing national parks and the start point for kayak and canoe trips in the Everglades, Noosa is another awesome beach town stop on the East Coast.

Keep your eyes peeled for wild koalas chilling in the tree tops and jump on board the awesome Nomads Fraser Island tour which departs from here.

Rainbow Beach

6. Rainbow Beach

As the main departure point for Fraser Island, this town is full of pre and post tour things to do! Named after its multicoloured sand dunes, Rainbow Beach also offers plenty of other activities too, including jet skiing, whale watching, and dolphin kayaking.

Australia East Coast Fraser Island

7. Fraser Island

Fancy exploring the world’s largest sand island? There are plenty of epic Fraser Island trips and tours to choose from! Whether you fancy a camping adventure or want a bit more comfort and stay in a hostel on the island, you’ll get to experience an amazing 4×4 adventure!

Check out the famous Maheno Shipwreck, float down Eli Creek, soak up the views from Indian Head, and swim in the stunning Lake Mackenzie. All of these are stops that shouldn’t and can’t be missed!

Australia East Coast Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays

8. Airlie Beach & The Whitsundays

Along with Fraser IslandThe Whitsundays are one of the biggest bucket list destinations in Australia!

Whether you want to party hard on the likes of the Atlantic Clipper, cruise around on Tongarra, or enjoy something a bit more flashpacker on Powerplay, there’s so many options of Whitsunday Sailing Adventures to choose from for all styles and budgets!

Australia East Coast Magnetic Island

9. Magnetic Island

If you’re looking to slow the pace down a bit and enjoy some island time, then look no further than Magnetic Island. This awesome spot just off the coast of Townsville is the perfect place to enjoy a few days before or after the chaos of Cairns! For those still wanting to party, head to Base Hostel for some beachfront drinks. For those wanting to kick back amongst the rainforest, Bungalow Bay YHA offers a great alternative. Whatever you choose, make sure you hire some of the island’s famous “Barbie Cars” and explore the beaches and lookout points in style! The island is covered in rich history from ancient indigenous stories to tales of WWII.

Australia East Coast Mission Beach

10. Mission Beach

If adrenaline is your thing, then a couple days stop off at Mission Beach is well worth fitting into your travels. It’s the most popular spot in Australia to tick skydiving off your bucket list as this drop zone allows you to land on the beach, with epic views across the Great Barrier Reef too. If falling out of the sky isn’t your thing, then Mission Beach is also a great departure point for some white water rafting on the Tully River!

Australia East Coast Cairns

11. Cairns

The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a town full of good times! When you’re not busy on the ocean snorkelling or scuba diving one of Australia’s most popular natural attractions, you’ll be busy dancing on tables at the Woolshed or chilling by the lagoon pool with your travel buddies.

Australia East Coast Cape Tribulation

12. Cape Tribulation

The only place on the planet where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet; the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Cape Tribulation is a spectacular addition to any East Coast itinerary and well worth it!

Jump on a day trip from Cairns or stay overnight and you’ll enjoy plenty of time exploring waterfallsspotting wild crocodiles, and soaking up the natural beauty of Tropical North Queensland.

If you are planning your next East Coast Adventure and would like a free East Coast Package quote then check out our custom package builder. Simply select your preferred travel dates and one of our legendary travel guides will send you a custom calendar with a recommended itinerary for all the best spots on Australia’s East Coast.

If you are planning to travel the East Coast of Australia then our two favourite options are either a Greyhound Bus Pass which are perfect for travellers wanting to meet lots of people or you can hire a campervan and go off the beaten track. If you are unsure which is the best option for you then book a free trip-planning session where one of our travel experts will help you find the most suitable choice.