Last-minute availability alert! Limited spots on our East Coast Australia tours for our May, June & July departures – Book Now!

Last-minute availability alert! Limited spots on our East Coast Australia tours for our May, June & July departures – Book Now!

Home| Experiences| Australia|Sydney to Cairns 21 Day Guided Group Tour

Sydney to Cairns 21 Day Guided Group Tour From $6395pp

Are you ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime through the rugged, untamed beauty of East Coast Australia? Look no further than Stray Travel’s 21 day EMU trip! This thrilling expedition from Sydney to Cairns is the ultimate way to experience the land Down Under, taking you on an unforgettable adventure filled with stunning landscapes, vibrant cultures, and unique wildlife encounters.

From the bustling streets of Sydney to the breathtaking sights of the Great Barrier Reef, this 21-day odyssey will take you to Australia’s most iconic destinations. You’ll have the chance to witness the Sydney Opera House, snorkel the colourful reefs of the Whitsundays, and even witness the never-ending rainforest on K’gari. Travel in style aboard Stray’s comfortable coaches, and enjoy the scenic drives that make Australia’s vast landscapes even more captivating. Their knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the regions you explore.

This EMU tour provides you with the chance to see some of Australia’s most fascinating creatures up close. Marvel at kangaroos, koalas, and various exotic bird species as you explore the vast landscapes of land and sea. You’ll also get to take part in numerous activities, from a 4WD tag along adventure on K’gari (Fraser Island), to a sailing trip on the beautiful Whitsundays; Australia’s must-see spots!

While you’ll have an action-packed itinerary, you also have the flexibility to choose your own activities on free days, making this trip the perfect blend of structure and freedom. Stray’s passionate and knowledgeable guides are more than just leaders; they’re storytellers and companions. They’ll ensure that your journey is as informative as it is exciting. Stray Travel specialises in small group adventures, meaning you’ll travel with like-minded adventurers, forging new friendships that will last a lifetime.

Stray’s EMU Sydney to Cairns Trip is not just a vacation; it’s an immersive, life-changing experience that will leave you with cherished memories and a deeper understanding of Australia’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and wildlife. So, if you’re seeking an adventure that takes you beyond the ordinary, join this epic tour and uncover the magic of Australia like never before.

  • Money Icon From $6395
  • Clock Icon 21 Days / 20 Nights

EMU Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney

Welcome to the start of your epic Sydney to Cairns East Coast Australia Adventure. Begin in Sydney, an epic city famous for world renowned landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Arrive at your central accommodation, check in, and head out to explore a bit of Sydney for the afternoon. Enjoy some dinner or fancy cocktails and then tonight, meet your guide and your group who will be your family for the next 21 days. Get ready for the journey of a lifetime.

Overnight: Wake Up! | Sydney

Day 2: Hunter Valley & Port Stephens

Say goodbye to Sydney and hello to the Hunter Valley wine region, full of rolling hills and beautiful vineyards. Here you’ll join a wine and cheese tasting session, before continuing on to Port Stephens where you’ll stay for the night. Your accommodation is set on 6 acres of natural bushland, full of roaming kangaroos and wallabies, so you’re in for a treat. Kick back and relax, explore the area, or head down to the local beach for a swim. Then tonight, enjoy a classic Aussie BBQ dinner and join in on some icebreakers to get to know your new travel mates.

Overnight: Surfside Hostel | Port Stephens
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Travel to Port Macquarie

Choose your own adventure this morning, whether you want to sleep in or head out for some adventure. You can join your Stray guide for a hike to the summit of Tomaree Head, or hop on a 4WD bus to take part in some epic sandboarding down the Stockton Sand Dunes (optional extra). You’ll learn how to safely sandboard while having fun, and also learn about the rich Aboriginal history of the area. If you join the hike, enjoy panoramic views from Fingal Island and the Point Stephens Lighthouse to Boondelbah Island, and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins. After an exciting morning, travel to Port Macquarie and stop off at the Koala Hospital on the way. Get a closer look at Australia’s laziest (and cutest) animals and learn about the importance of the hospital’s work in protecting and rehabilitating these adorable marsupials.

YHA | Port Macquarie
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Aboriginal Experience & Byron Bay

Today you’re in for an absolute treat as you get to enjoy a wonderful Aboriginal Experience before travelling to the backpacker favourite little surf town of Byron Bay. First up, you’ll visit the historic and scenic town of Bellingen for some lunch, followed by a very special cultural experience to learn about the First Nations people of Australia. Taking place at an important site of the Gumbaynggirr people, ‘Niigi Niigi’, within the Orara East State Forest, enjoy an unforgettable and informative 2 hour tour with an emphasis on authentic connection and meaningful contribution. Immerse yourself in the culture through stories, songs, language, and the uses of native plants. Then, travel on to Byron Bay, famous for its surf and hipster vibes. Relax, explore the beaches, and enjoy a night out exploring the local bars.

Overnight: The Surf House | Byron Bay
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Free Day in Byron Bay

Enjoy a full day to take in the magic of Byron Bay. The local motto ‘cheer up, slow down, and chill out’ will feel very fitting for today. Enjoy a morning yoga class on the roof of your hostel before heading out to one of many eclectic cafes for breakfast. Walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse, mainland Australia’s most easterly point, for gorgeous views of the beaches below. Join a kayaking tour in search of dolphins that love to swim around the bay, or a local brewery tour to get your tastebuds working and to start the night off right.

Overnight: The Surf House | Byron Bay

Day 6: Free Day in Byron Bay

Another free day in the bay to do as you please. Tick off any activities you didn’t get the chance to do yesterday, like roaming the boutique shops, hopping on a Nimbin day tour to see the local waterfalls and Hinterland, or do the classic Aussie activity and join a surfing lesson, perfect for beginners wanting to hone in a new skill. In the evening, head to the Twilight Markets in the centre of town for some live music, local arts and crafts stalls, and some incredible street food.

Overnight: The Surf House | Byron Bay

Day 7: Travel to Brisbane Via Surfers Paradise

This morning, say goodbye to Byron Bay and head straight off on the first leg of today’s journey. First up is Surfers Paradise, a famous part of the Gold Coast where massive skyscrapers meet the pristine beaches with epic surf. Then, explore a nearby reserve spot to see some kangaroos roaming in the wild before continuing on to Brisbane. Enjoy an afternoon exploring the sights of Brisbane like Southbank and the Brisbane River walk, before checking out some of the many bars and restaurants.

Overnight: Selina | Brisbane

Day 8: Travel to Noosa

After a chill morning you’ll start making your way north to the beachside town of Noosa. Along the way stop off and stretch your legs while exploring epic views of the Glasshouse Mountains and the Sunshine Coast. Enjoy lunch in the charming town of Eumundi, before arriving into Noosa to check into your accommodation and explore. Spend the night at your hostel bar, cocktail in hand chilling around the pool.

Overnight: Bounce | Noosa
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9: Free Day in Noosa

Today is yours to spend as you wish. Explore the headland walk and track down the hidden fairy pools. Chill out on the beach or try and catch a wave, perfect for beginners. Hop on a serene Everglades tour or go for a skydive to see it all from above.

Overnight: Bounce | Noosa
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10: K’Gari 4WD Adventure

It’s K’Gari adventure time! Up and out early this morning as you head over to the gorgeous island in your 4WD’s for a 3 day 2 night camping expedition. Here you’ll get to explore the world’s largest sand island, drive along beach highways in a convoy, and camp under incredibly starry skies. Discover the magic of Lake Boorangoora (McKenzie), journey through towering rainforests, spot a dingo roaming the vast beaches, and cruise along Eli Creek’s lazy river on a floaty. You’ll have beachside camping grounds to spend your evenings, enjoying a drink around the campfire getting to know your new friends.

Overnight: The Eco Retreat | K’Gari
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: K’Gari 4WD Adventure

It’s worth the early wake up call today as you watch the gorgeous golden sunrise over the ocean. Enjoy breakfast and get excited for another adventure filled day exploring K’Gari. Full of all kinds of beautiful lakes, diverse rainforests, and other hidden treasures, there’s not a moment that isn’t filled with awe. Chill out in the Champagne Pools and watch the fantastic views of the turquoise ocean splash against the rocks. Trek through a desert and find the green Lake Wabby, a literal oasis. Head back to camp in time for another dinner and fun night under the stars.

Overnight: The Eco Retreat | K’Gari
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: K’Gari 4WD Adventure

For your final morning on this magical island of K’gari, hit the inland tracks and take one final dip in a hidden lake. Enjoy lunch in the forest and then it’s time to start making your way back to the mainland. You’ll be arriving into Rainbow Beach around mid afternoon and then head north to your next stop, Bundaberg. Known for sugarcane, rum, and ginger beer, Bundaberg is an up and coming place with plenty to explore. You’ll enjoy eco-resort style accommodation tonight for an absolute treat surrounded by nature with access to a spa, sauna, tennis courts and more. Enjoy a group BBQ dinner and a relaxed evening.

Overnight: Kelly’s Eco Resort | Bundaberg
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Free day in Bundaberg

This morning is free for you to explore as you please. After breakfast at the resort you can relax, go for a swim or play a game of tennis. Then for lunch head into Bundaberg town to explore the area. After lunch, it’s time for a treat as you head to the Bundaberg Rum Centre for a tour of the distillery and a tasting of their iconic rum. If you’re not so keen on rum tasting, no stress, you can also choose to have a full day out on the water instead with the chance to visit the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef on the incredible Lady Musgrave full day tour (extra cost).

Overnight: Kelly’s Eco Resort | Bundaberg
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14: Travel to Airlie Beach

Today is a big travel day so kick back, relax, and load up on the snacks. There’ll be some stops along the way to stretch your legs and enjoy some lunch, but otherwise be sure to have your favourite playlist downloaded. Airlie Beach is the gateway to the amazing Whitsunday Islands, soon to be explored. Arrive into the social town in the evening just in time for a few drinks at the local bar.

Overnight: Base | Airlie Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 15: Whitsunday Sailing Adventure

This morning, get yourself ready for an epic sailing adventure to the Whitsunday Islands. After lunch, head down to Coral Sea Marina with your group to meet your crew. Here you’ll find the 76-foot maxi sailing yacht that’s going to be your home for the next two nights! An exciting journey, watch the crew hoist the sails as you glide past turquoise waters into the Whitsunday Islands, part of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Your first stop will be in a gorgeous bay where you can snorkel amongst thriving fringing reefs. Then, enjoy the sunset with a drink on the deck of the sailboat before a fun evening getting to know your crew. Play some games, enjoy a delicious dinner, and stargaze as the gentle waves rock you to sleep.

Overnight: Maxi Sailing Yacht | Whitsundays
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Whitsunday Sailing Adventure

Wake up in absolute bliss, surrounded by the beautiful islands of the Whitsundays and crystal clear water. Enjoy a fresh breakfast on deck before you head towards Whitsunday Island, home to one of the most famous beaches in the world – Whitehaven Beach. You’ll disembark on one side of the island and enjoy a bush walk through scenic forests to Hill Inlet Lookout. Here you can get that iconic shot of the swirling white sands of the stunning beach below, and learn a bit about the history of the area. Then head down to the beach itself where you can spend some time relaxing, swimming, and soaking up some sun. Afterwards, sail towards another epic snorkelling spot, then make the most of a sunset beach session where you can play some fun beach games and enjoy a few drinks, surrounded by nothing but stunning nature and new friends.

Overnight: Maxi Sailing Yacht | Whitsundays
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Travel to Magnetic Island

It’s your final morning in the magical Whitsunday Islands, and you’ll have enough time for another snorkelling session. Then, start sailing back towards Airlie Beach, taking in the scenic sights of the islands and hidden bays as you go by. You won’t be on the mainland for too long however, as this afternoon you’ll be getting the bus straight to Townsville, and a quick 20 minute ferry over to Magnetic Island. This paradise island, made up of nearly 50% national park, is full to the brim of breathtaking nature and wildlife, stunning beaches, and an epic social vibe. Get ready for a couple of days of unforgettable exploring.

Overnight: Selina | Magnetic Island
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 18: Explore Magnetic Island

Spend the day exploring the highlights and hidden gems of this fantastic island. Home to the historic Forts Complex, accessible by a scenic bush walk to one of the highest spots on the island, take in the incredible views of the island and ocean below. Then spend the day relaxing on one of the secluded beaches surrounded by giant granite rocks. Keep your eye on the trees and you might be lucky to spot a koala, as the island is one of the best places in Australia to see them!

Overnight: Selina | Magnetic Island
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 19: Atherton Tablelands

Enjoy your final morning in paradise before catching the ferry back over to Townsville. From there, you’ll start making your way up to Cairns, capital of Far North Queensland, but not before stopping on the way in the mystical Atherton Tablelands. Full of waterfalls, lakes, winding roads, and fun adventures, get ready for a wonderful day in and out of the water. Stop off at the famous Millaa Millaa Falls for a swim and an amazing photo opportunity recreating the renowned hair flick. Enjoy a walk to Lake Eacham, a beautiful crater lake, and dive into the refreshing water. Visit the heritage listed Curtain Fig Tree, before finally reaching Cairns just in time to witness this town’s amazing nightlife. Enjoy a group dinner at your resort hostel before checking out the local bars and clubs.

Overnight: Gilligan’s Backpacker Resort | Cairns
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 20: Explore Cairns & Surrounds

You’ll have today completely free to choose your own adventure. With so many incredible things to do in Cairns and the surrounding areas, you won’t be bored for a second. Check out a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef for an unforgettable day of snorkelling the thriving coral reefs, and even add on an intro dive if you’re feeling extra adventurous. Maybe book a tour to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest, to discover the wonders of this ancient landscape. Looking for a thrill? Check out the Tully River White Water Rafting for a day shredding some grade 3 and 4 rapids, or check out the Skypark Bungy Jump for an exciting 50 metre freefall into the unknown below. Whatever your choice, you’re surely in for a memorable day.

Overnight: Gilligan’s Backpacker Resort | Cairns

Day 21: Finish

It’s time to say farewell to your incredible Stray adventure. Wave goodbye to your new friends and get ready for the next leg of your journey. Whether you’re planning on staying in Cairns to join some more exciting day tours or carrying on elsewhere, be sure to check out our destination pages for some ideas on what not to miss.

Inclusions & Extras


  • 20x Nights Accommodation
  • 25x Meals
  • Experienced tour guide
  • Private coach transport
  • 3 Day 2 Night K’Gari 4WD Glamping Tour
  • 2 Day 2 Night Whitsunday Sailing Experience
  • Wine and Cheese Tasting
  • Aboriginal Cultural Bush Walk and Smoking Ceremony
  • Bundaberg Rum Tasting
  • Return Magnetic Island Ferry
  • Walks, wildlife spotting, waterfalls, lookouts and so much more!


  • Visas
  • Any meals not outlined
  • International flights
  • Optional activities such as a surf lesson, skydiving, Cairns tours etc

Tour Type & Availability

Tour Inclusions Price

21 Day EMU Group Tour

Informative Guides, All Accommodation, Some Meals & Activities


What to bring

  • Camera
  • Sneakers/Trainers
  • Flip flops/Sandals
  • Clothing (mainly light layers but some warm items)
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Hat & Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit/Towel
  • Water Bottle
  • Toiletries
  • Motion Sickness Tablets (if required)
  • Insect Repellent

Pick Ups & Departures

Wake Up! Sydney, Pitt Street, Haymarket

Supplier Terms & Conditions

Stray Terms & Conditions

Refunds will be processed according to the following time frames:

Cancellations within 28 Days of the start date incur a 100.00% fee.
Between 28 Days and 365 Days incur a 0.00% fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to reconfirm my bookings?

All bookings must be reconfirmed 48 hours in advance by contacting your tour provider directly using the contact information listed on your tour voucher.

What should I do if my trip is cancelled due to bad weather?

You may either re-schedule directly with the supplier or you can email our support team on [email protected] and include your voucher number, name of product you booked, planned departure date and your contact details. Once you’ve emailed us, you can drop us a line at +61 2 5633 1149.

Do you book tours with flexible dates? If so, how long are they valid for?

Yes, we do have open dated/flexible tickets available. Most tour vouchers are valid for 12 months from date of purchase, however please be aware that you may be subject to supplier price fluctuations. All ticket validity is specified on the tour voucher. If you are unsure of the validity of your voucher, just ask one of our wonderful staff.

What do I do if I need help with an existing booking?

Some tours have extra costs and you should be aware that there may be added expenses. These expenses will differ for each service provider, but some of the more usual extras are: EMC tax, stinger suit hire, luggage storage, sleeping bag hire, linen hire, national park fee, food, insurance, accommodation, equipment hire, petrol levy, etc. We will alert you to extra costs to the extent reasonably practicable. However, you must also check with each individual service provider when you re-confirm your booking.

Do I need travel insurance?

We endorse the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that all travellers 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.

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).

How do I know if my trip is BYO?

Most tour vouchers will specify if your trip is BYO however we recommend asking your tour provider if your trip is BYO when you reconfirm your booking 48 hours prior to departure.

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Sydney to Cairns 21 Day Guided Group Tour

Valid for 12 months

Enjoy an epic 21 day Sydney to Cairns guided group tour with Stray's EMU. See the best of the East Coast like Whitsundays, K'gari, Byron Bay and more.

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