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!

Home| Experiences|16 Day Southbound East Coast Adventure Package

16 Day Southbound East Coast Adventure Package

From $2,499 / £1,298* / €1,517*

See how much exciting adventure, epic memories, and good times you can fit into just 16 days as you explore Queensland’s East Coast. The perfect package for when you’re short on time but still looking for the ultimate travel holiday.

  • Money Icon From $2,499
  • Clock Icon Duration: 16 days


Queensland’s East Coast is a tropical paradise begging to be explored. Embark on 16 adventure-packed days of epic travel with this Cairns to Brisbane Southbound package. From the vibrant coral of the Great Barrier Reef to the pristine beaches of K’gari, enjoy the perfect mix of our favourite highlights plus uncover absolute hidden gems along the way. Each day of discovery brings more adventure, and memories that will last a lifetime.

This thrilling package includes all your activities and accommodations, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable journey. Stay in popular backpacker hostels and comfortable lodges surrounded by nature, or enjoy the flexibility of upgrading to suit your preferences. Whether you’re snorkelling among turtles, soaring above the breathtaking Whitsundays on a scenic flight, or marvelling at the stunning natural beauty of Eungella National Park, our expertly crafted itinerary guarantees an immersive and exhilarating East Coast experience from start to finish.

Package Inclusions

  • 3 nights in Cairns
  • Great Barrier Reef snorkelling day trip
  • Atherton Tablelands day tour
  • 3 nights in Airlie Beach
  • Whitsundays Fly and Raft tour
  • 3 day 2 night Mackay Adventure tour
  • 3 nights in Noosa
  • 3 day 2 night K’gari Tag Along tour
  • Half day Everglades Cruise and Canoe
  • 1 night in Brisbane
  • 4 breakfasts 7 lunches 2 dinners
  • 16 Day East Coast Package


Day 1: Cairns

Your adventure begins in the tropical North Queensland city. Check into your central accommodation and head out to explore. Spend your day and evening enjoying the culture and nightlife. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep for your Great Barrier Reef trip the following day.

Day 2: Cairns/Great Barrier Reef

Today, you will be part of a unique reef experience, catering for small groups only, and for both experienced and first time snorkelers and divers. The tour will have a very relaxed, chilled, tropical vibe, allowing passengers to experience both the reef and a sand cay. Enjoy a later departure time and return to Cairns at sunset. Today will be a chilled day with mind-blowing reef to explore.

Meal(s) included: Lunch

Day 3: Cairns/Atherton Tablelands

Today, you’ll be venturing into the depths of the Australian Rainforests on the hunt for watering holes. The Atherton Tablelands is a circuit of waterfalls that need to be seen to be believed. You’ll spend your day swimming, jumping, and sliding into some of the most picturesque waterfalls and lakes you’ll see on your Australia trip. Try the famous “hair flick” at Milla Milla and try your best to recreate the TV adverts. Arrive back in Cairns in the evening.

Meal(s) included: Lunch

Day 4: Airlie Beach

Enjoy the scenic drive to Airlie Beach, drop your bags off at the hostel, and explore the beachside town. Keep cool at the central lagoon with views of the harbour, where tomorrow you’ll be departing for your exciting Whitsundays rafting adventure.

Day 5: Whitsundays Fly & Raft

Experience the Whitsunday Islands on a 60 minute scenic flight, flying over the Great Barrier Reef and witnessing the picturesque Heart Reef from above. Then, enjoy an exhilarating ride out to the Islands on board a high speed raft. See the gorgeous Whitehaven Beach and its swirling sands from Hill Inlet Lookout, and enjoy some snorkelling time at incredible reefs thriving with ocean life. Head back to Airlie Beach in time for a night on the town exploring the many bars and restaurants.

Meal(s) included: Lunch

Day 6: Airlie Beach

Enjoy a hang out day in Airlie Beach by the lagoon, get yourself a breakfast at one of the many stellar cafes, or venture out of town to some of the serene nature offerings like Cedar Creek Falls or the Honeyeater Lookout trail. Consider adding on an exhilarating skydive to top off your final day in the Whitsundays region.

Day 7: Mackay Adventures

Today, depart for Mackay and arrive at your accommodation for the next two nights, Mackay Adventure Lodge, for an early check in and welcome drink. Then, have some fun on the water and take part in a thrilling 90 minute Wakeboarding Class at WakeHouse Australia, located on a beautiful lake right in front of your accommodation. After attempting to get your first jump on a wakeboard, spend some free time exploring Mackay city itself, known for its seafood, public art, and relaxing waterfront lagoon. Back at Mackay Adventure Lodge, enjoy free wifi and a plunge pool, and sip on a drink at the Lakeside Cafe and Sunset Bar with your tour mates before getting ready for another exciting day ahead of you.

Day 8: Mackay Adventures

Head deep into the rainforest at Finch Hatton Gorge for your first bit of epic adventure for the day. Here, you’ll find crystal clear creeks and rocks the size of houses, before embarking on an enjoyable hike through the forest. Head to the gorge itself, where stunning waterfalls and refreshing swim holes await you. Stop at an iconic Aussie pub for a pie and a drink before heading up the range into Eungella National Park for a bit of platypus spotting – an absolute highlight of your trip. These elusive little creatures are hard to catch sight of, but your guide knows the best spots for it so you are more likely to see them. After enjoying the winding drive back to Mackay enjoy some drinks at the lodge and a group dinner and sunset over the lake.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 9: Mackay Adventures

Up and out nice and early today as you head off to Cape Hillsborough National Park for a bucket list worthy sunrise with the kangaroos. Watch the beautiful colours of the sky and beach as the friendly kangaroos and wallabies roam the shores in search of food at their most active time of the day. Enjoy a delicious picnic breakfast before taking a guided walk up the headland and around the cape, learning about the local indigenous history and taking in the beautiful views of the cape. Return to Mackay, and make sure you stack up on snacks & drinks before jumping on the Overnight Bus to your next leg of your East Coast journey.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

Day 10: Noosa

Arriving bright and early, say hello to Noosa as you make your way to the Sunshine Coast. Check in to your hostel, drop down your bags, and explore the beautiful beach side town, home of surfing and amazing national parks. Settle in on the main beach and enjoy its crisp waves and remarkable backdrop, or go for a hike along the Noosa Headland in search of beautiful fairy pools. In the evening, you’ll attend a compulsory 6PM safety briefing at your hostel for your upcoming K’gari adventure.

Day 11: K’gari

It’s finally time to head to K’gari! An Island full of adventure. Drive along 75 mile beach, blast the tunes, and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Travel to the SS Maheno Shipwreck and take a few awesome pictures as you learn a bit about the history of this famous icon of the island. After lunch, spend the afternoon at Eli Creek, the natural lazy river. Chill out on floaties as you slowly drift through the relaxing creek. Head out for another drive towards your Dingo safe campsite before dark – just in time for a fun and relaxing evening of dinner and drinks.

Meal(s) included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 12: K’gari

After breakfast, it’s up and out for another day of exploring. Head out to see some more exciting sights as you drive into the beautiful rainforest at Central Station. Enjoy a guided walk along Wanggoolba Creek and learn about the history and indigenous significance of the creek. Next the most picturesque highlight of K’gari will be Lake Mckenzie. Swim in the amazingly blue water and relax on the white sands. After lunch, you’re in for a long but scenic drive along the beach to the top of the island, where the Champagne Pools await. Stunning rocky pools with a picture-perfect backdrop of the turquoise ocean, this may be your favourite spot yet. Then it’s back to the same campsite to help with dinner prep and an evening hanging out with your new friends.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 13: K’gari/Noosa

It’s time to pack up camp, but there’s still some sights left to see before heading back to the mainland. Drive through more rainforests and rugged tracks and head to Lake Wabby, a green oasis in the middle of the desert. Enjoy a refreshing swim and some time in the sun, then start making your way back along 75 Mile Beach to the barge. Once you’re back in Noosa, recharge your batteries and head out for an after party drink at the hostel bar.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 14: Noosa/Everglades

Start off your day with a trip to the stunning Noosa Everglades, one of only two Everglades systems in the world! Making this day a very special one, you will canoe through a stunning place of serene natural beauty, bursting with rare animals and plant species. Don’t forget to pop into the local brewery to try a few of their many beers, produced with fresh water from the everglades underground reservoirs.

Day 15: Brisbane

After your final breakfast in Noosa you’ll be heading down to the Capital of the Sunshine State – Brisbane! Known for its parks, shopping, and foodie lifestyle. There is something here for everyone to enjoy. Check into your hostel and take a stroll along the riverbank before enjoying a night exploring the vibrant bars and streets.

Day 16: Finish

Finish up your epic East Coast package in Brisbane, where you can choose to stay longer, or travel onwards to more exciting destinations.


  • Great Barrier Reef snorkelling
  • Waterfall exploring in the Atherton Tablelands
  • Whitsundays Scenic Flight and Rafting
  • K’gari 4wd Tag Along Tour
  • 4 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, & 2 Dinners


Add a Bus Pass: SAVE 10% on any of the following passes when booking together with the package

Greyhound – WHIMIT Bus Passes starting from just $289

Alternatively, why not add a Campervan: Let us find a great deal on a campervan for you: Custom Campervan Quote

Own Transport:

We can build an itinerary taking into account the fact that you have your own transport already. If you need information on planning your journey please contact one of our friendly travel specialists.

What to bring

  • Cameras
  • Sunscreen
  • Clothes
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Spending Money
  • Overnight Bag
  • Snacks
  • ID

Supplier Terms & Conditions

All of our discount package deals are comprised of a combination of various tour providers, accommodation providers, and transport providers. Each of these suppliers and/or providers have their own individual terms and conditions in addition to Happy Travels standard terms and conditions. To view Happy Travels’ terms and conditions, please click here. For more information for individual supplier terms & conditions, please contact us by making an inquiry. Alternatively, they will be listed on your travel vouchers at the time of purchase.

*Prices are based on an approximate exchange rate as of 1st May 2024 and are subject to fluctuations.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to travel Australia?

There is definitely no wrong way. We recommend either taking a WHIMIT or Hop on Hop off bus pass such as Greyhound or renting a campervan with some mates and hitting the open road. If you feel like getting pretty adventurous and want to get amongst the true Australian terrain, a 4WD may be better suited for you. Enquire now and we can help you find the most suitable transport option.

Do I need insurance when travelling to Australia?

Before your visit, you should arrange a sufficient and helpful medical and travel insurance. You should make sure the policies are adequate to cover costs for any possible emergency, including ambulance, boat, or helicopter rescue.

What do I need to know about driving in Australia?

Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. The steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car. Maximum speed limits in cities and towns do not exceed 60km/h and on highways/country roads, they range from 100km/h-110km/h. Strict drink-driving laws apply and drivers/passengers must wear seat belts at all times.

Does every town have hostel or budget friendly accommodation?

Most small cities and towns do offer hostels or some type of budget accommodation, but if not, we recommend being prepared with appropriate camping gear in case you want to go off the normal track.

What if something comes up and I can't make my tour?

We get it. Life is all about the unexpected, especially when you are travelling. If you are unable to make your pre-arranged tour you will need to reach out to our support email so we can give you a helping hand. In all cases we strongly recommend having a valid travel insurance policy which covers you for unexpected cancellations.

What is the best time of year to travel the East Coast?

It really depends on where you are going! Summers (December-February) brings the warmest temperatures, but in Far North Queensland, the cooly dry season from April to November is the best time to visit. Winter in Australia can get wet, but hardly every drops before 12C.rnrnThere are plenty of things to do in Australia year round, so it is quite difficult to get bored with loads of festivals, nightlife, adventures, and beautiful natural sights to see.

What do I do if I need help with my existing package booking?

If you need help with an existing booking please email us at [email protected], if your enquiry is urgent please follow up your email with a quick call on +61 2 5633 1149 so we can help you.

Do you offer payment plans?

Absolutely, we understand that paying off a big trip in one go isn’t always that easy. We offer flexible payment plans to suit all types of travellers with zero interest or fee’s (minimum $100AUD deposit required).

Do I need travel insurance?

We endorse the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that all travelers take out travel insurance. If you already have Travel Insurance please understand that it is your responsibility to ensure that your Travel Insurance covers you for all of the adventure style travel you have booked with us.

Can I book a package but travel in the reverse direction?

Absolutely, just let us know your preferred start and finish location and we’ll make it work.

Quick Enquiry

Recently viewed


Checking availability

Select Your Travel Date

16 Day Southbound East Coast Adventure Package

Valid for 12 months

See the best of Queensland with our 16 day Southbound East Coast Package. Choose dates or book a flexible ticket to see the Whitsundays, K'gari, and more.

AUD $200
Total (AUD): $200
Remaining balance to pay (AUD)

Package Enquiry

DD slash MM slash YYYY

Package Booking Request

DD slash MM slash YYYY

Sign up now for

$15 off

your next booking

"*" indicates required fields