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|23 Day Cairns to Sydney Adventure Package

23 Day Cairns to Sydney Adventure Package

From $2,699 / £1,402* / €1,639*

Tick off those bucket list worthy destinations as you travel in style along Australia’s East Coast. From the tropical rainforests and islands of the Great Barrier Reef region, to the insta-worthy beaches and surf breaks in Byron Bay, this unforgettable 23 day itinerary has it all.

  • Money Icon From $2,699
  • Clock Icon Duration: 23 days


Welcome to the land of picture-perfect beaches and uncapped adventure. Dive into this epic 23 day itinerary from Cairns to Sydney to experience unbeatable destinations that will leave you obsessed with unveiling the highlights and hidden gems of this country.

Upgraded from the ever popular Sydney to Cairns East Coast package, this Southbound adventure takes away the stress of planning but leaves you with a flexibility to seek out new experiences every day. Visit bucket-list worthy hot spots like the stunning Whitsunday Islands and the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef. Seek out some thrills on a 4wd tag along tour to see the golden sand beaches and hidden rainforests on K’gari. Take up kayaking in the surf obsessed Byron Bay to see dolphins up close, and get the perfect shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset. With the perfect mix of wildlife encounters, action packed days, and social hostel vibes, this itinerary has it all.

Package Inclusions

  • 3 nights in Cairns
  • Great Barrier Reef snorkelling day trip
  • Atherton Tablelands day tour
  • 2 day 2 night Magnetic Island Escape with Nomads Magnetic Island
  • 2 nights in Airlie Beach
  • 2 day 2 night Whitsundays Sailing Adventure
  • 3 nights in Noosa
  • Half day Everglades Cruise and Canoe
  • 3 day 2 night K’gari Tag Along tour
  • 1 night in Surfers Paradise
  • 3 nights in Byron Bay
  • Half day Dolphin Kayaking tour
  • 2 nights in Sydney
  • 5 Breakfasts 7 Lunches 5 Dinners
  • 23 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: Magnetic Island

Today, you’ll be travelling to Townsville where a ferry will take you to Magnetic Island, a gorgeously tropical island known for its abundance of wild koala’s. Check in for two amazing nights at a beach side resort. Kick back and relax on one of the island’s many iconic beaches, whilst you enjoy a complimentary drink.

Day 5: Magnetic Island

Today is yours to freely explore and relax. Check out one of the scenic walks through plentiful national parks, or hire the well-known ‘Barbie Cars’ and jet around the island in style. Hike to the Forts, one of the highest points on the island, for breathtaking views of the coast and forests below. Keep your eyes peeled for Koala’s sleeping in the trees around you. Enjoy an evening by the pool back at the hostel, getting ready for your adventurous journey to Airlie Beach the next day.

Day 6: Airlie Beach

Once back in Townsville, 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 sailing adventure.

Day 7: Whitsundays

Set off at full speed and make your way through the scenic tunnels of the Whitsunday Islands. Head towards the northern tip of Hook Island from Airlie Beach and explore the stunning Stonehaven Bay reefs, including Langford Reef. Swim, snorkel, and relax in the sun, before enjoying dinner and drinks under the stars at a secluded Bay where your maxi yacht sailboat will be anchored for the night.

Meal(s) included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Whitsundays

After setting sail for another hidden bay, such as Tongue Bay or similar, spend the day discovering everything that Whitsunday Island has to offer. Enjoy a bushwalk to the northern end of Whitehaven Beach to Hill Inlet lookout, for that iconic shot of the white swirling sands. Then, visit Whitehaven Beach’s southern end, for another scenic bush walk and to discover some of the island’s hidden treasures. After a full day outdoors in nature, enjoy another evening on the deck with your group under the clear starry skies.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9: Whitsundays/Airlie Beach

It’s your final morning to make the most of some incredible snorkelling locations full of vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. See turtles, manta rays, and fish of all kinds of colours. If the tides allow it, you may get to visit the Ngaro Caves at Nara Inlet. Finally, make your way back to Airlie Beach, recharge your batteries, and head out for an epic afterparty with your new friends and awesome crew.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

Day 10: 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. Tonight, hop on to the overnight bus to head to your next epic destination.

Day 11: 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 Fraser Island adventure.

Day 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: Surfers Paradise

Travel to the famous city of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, you will check into your accommodation, ready to explore Australia’s answer to Miami. Walk down Miami Beach and take a picture under the Surfers Paradise sign before heading out to party with your new mates.

Day 17: Byron Bay

Say goodbye to Gold Coast and travel south to Byron Bay. Check into your luxury central accommodation for the next three nights. Check out Byron Bay town for an eclectic mix of shopping or relax at one of the many beautiful local beaches. Be sure to hit up some of the top sights while you’re at it, such as the Cape Byron Lighthouse or The Farm Byron Bay.

Day 18: Byron Bay/Dolphin Kayaking

Today, you’ll be waking up in the beautiful Byron Bay. Your plan for the day will include an incredible 3.5 hour dolphin kayak tour. You will need to make your own way to the meeting point on Lawson Street where your tour guide and group will be waiting for you. Enjoy an awesome paddle around the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse and spot wild dolphins, rays, turtles & more. After your tour finishes you may want to head back to your accommodation or spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach.

Day 19: Byron Bay

Enjoy a free day around Byron. Start the day with a Yoga Class, or hire a bike to explore the surrounding areas. Speak to your guide to book a snorkel at Julian Rocks, or take it slow and soak up some sun at one of many pristine local beaches.

Day 20: Byron Bay

Make the most of your final morning in Byron, hopping onto any activities or exploring beaches you haven’t yet. Tonight, grab your snacks and embark on an overnight bus to Sydney.

Day 21: Sydney

Arrive bright and early in Sydney and enjoy the next couple of days exploring the iconic city with epic landmarks. Consider starting with the famous Sydney Opera House, with beautiful views of the harbour and bridge. Head to one of the many local restaurants for lunch before taking a stroll in the city’s lush botanic gardens.

Day 22: Sydney

Today, we recommend starting with a train ride up to the world renowned Blue Mountains. Jump off at your stop, Katoomba, before heading off and stretching your legs on one of the many bush walks through the stunning landscape. With varying levels of difficulty, there is a walk for everybody. After lunch, snatch a selfie with the remarkable Three Sisters rock formations or gaze over Wentworth Falls before taking the train back to Sydney to reflect on the day with cocktails or a beer by Circular Quay.

Day 23: Finish

Finish up your epic East Coast package in Sydney, 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 sailing Adventure
  • K’Gari 4wd Tag Along Tour
  • Dolphin Kayaking in Byron Bay
  • 5 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, & 5 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.

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23 Day Cairns to Sydney Adventure Package

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Our 23 day Cairns to Sydney East Coast Package gives you the freedom to choose and create new adventures as you go without the stress of planning.

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