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Home| Experiences| Australia|Travel Buddies 32 Day Sydney to Cairns Group Tour

32 Day East Coast Group Tour Semi Self-Guided with Travel Buddies Australia (Sydney – Cairns) From $4,299 / £2,219 / €2,599

Catered for backpackers looking for an adventure like no other, Travel Buddies Australia is an unforgettable 32 day semi self-guided small size East Coast group tour adventure hitting all of the most sought after destinations on Australia’s East Coast – as well as some absolute hidden gems.

This tour has limited spots available and departs from Sydney. Unlike many of our other East Coast Packages, this is a Semi-Self-Guided trip for a maximum 18 people who will be travelling the East Coast together, a Happy Travels Travel Buddy will meet your group at different steps of the way in Byron Bay, Brisbane, Airlie Beach & Cairns. This trip also includes all of your accommodation, bus transport, activities + 22 Meals.

Once you are confirmed on the tour, you will be added to a dedicated Whatsapp group chat with all 18 Travel Buddies which you can use 7 days per week to answer any questions, be a point of contact, you will be sent a message each day so you know what’s happening. In the group chat you can arrange pre-trip meetups, say G’Day and share all of your awesome photos and stories. This trip combines fun social vibes and only the highest reviewed and recommended tours and accommodation – you don’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime adventure along Australia’s magical East Coast.

Travelling from Sydney to Cairns means that you will tick off every top rated bucket list activity such as exploring K’gari tag along style in a 4WD, and seeing the pristine beaches as you sail around the 74 Whitsunday Islands. Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef and witness all kinds of marine life thrive, and delve deep into the breathtaking Daintree (the world’s oldest rainforest). Hop on a scenic flight to see the famous Heart Reef from the sky, and learn to catch a wave at an epic Surf Camp in Arrawarra (Spot X). All this, and so, SO much more – all with a group of new friends travelling alongside you.

Having all of your accommodation and transport included takes away the stress of planning so you can be sure to enjoy every moment of your road trip. As we limit our tours to a maximum number of 18 passengers, they are perfect for solo travellers and smaller groups wanting to meet new people, make friends and enjoy an epic adventure experience on Australia’s East Coast. As this tour is not a fully guided group tour, you get the best of both worlds with plenty of opportunities to go with the flow and enjoy your free time whilst having the same group embarking on the adventure together. Book your spot now on this epic East Coast group tour.

  • Money Icon From $4,299AUD
  • Clock Icon 32 Days

Tour Inclusions


  • 32 Day Semi Self-Guided East Coast Group Tour
  • 31 Nights Accommodation
  • Coach Transport from Sydney to Cairns
  • 22 Meals
  • 3 Night Surf Camp
  • 3 Nights in Byron Bay
  • 2 Nights in Brisbane
  • 3 Nights in Noosa
  • Noosa National Park
  • 3 Day K’gari 4×4 Camping Tag-A-Long Tour.
  • 3 Day Whitsunday Sailing Adventure to Whitehaven
  • 3 Nights on Magnetic Island
  • Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Tour


  • Travel Insurance compulsory April 1st 2024
  • Personal expenses
  • Any meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Deposits required for equipment hire
  • Shuttle buses not included by providers
  • Public transport (bus, taxis, trains, uber)
  • Accommodation outside of your booking

Tour & Adventure Pack Inclusions


  • ALL Travel Buddies Australia 32 Day Tour inclusions PLUS
  • Nimbin Day Trip
  • Kayaking with Dolphins
  • Moreton Island
  • Noosa Everglades Kayak
  • Scenic Flight over Heart Reef
  • Skydive
  • White Water Rafting on the Tully River
  • Bungy Jump at Skypark
  • Cape Tribulation and Daintree Day Trip



  • Travel Insurance compulsory April 1st 2024
  • Personal expenses
  • Any meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Deposits required for equipment hire
  • Shuttle buses not included by providers
  • Public transport (bus, taxis, trains, uber)
  • Accommodation outside of your booking
  • Moreton Island Levy Fee & Ferry $70 ($80 1st Jun 24)

Travel Buddies Itinerary*

Day 1: Sydney Start

Your adventure begins meeting your fellow travel buddies and with a day of exploring the city. 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.

Overnight: WakeUp! | Sydney Central

Day 2: Sydney

Enjoy your free day in Sydney trekking the stunning cliff top Bondi to Coogee walk. The trail brings you past parks, bays, and rock pools, with plenty of opportunities to go for a dip. Stop off at a beachside cafe for lunch, before returning to the city. Late afternoon, embark on the overnight bus from Sydney to Arrawarra.

Overnight: Bus Journey

Day 3: Spot X Surf Camp Arrawarra

Arrive bright and early at Spot X in Arrawarra for an epic 3 day long surf camp. Meet the Spot X crew, check into your beachside accommodation, and head out for your first surf lesson at a beautiful beach with awesome beginner waves. In your free time, join one of the many extra activities such as kangaroo trekking, kayaking, or rafting.

Overnight: Spot X | Arrawarra
Meal(s) included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Spot X Surf Camp Arrawarra

Breakfast is served from 7am to 9am daily. Surf lessons begin at 7:30am and last two to three hours, depending on the size of the group. Lunch is served from 12 to 1 pm. You can unwind, lay in the sun, take part in a free activity, or watch a movie in the TV room in the afternoon.

Overnight: Spot X | Arrawarra
Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Spot X Surf Camp Arrawarra

Make the most of your last day at Spot X. Have another surf lesson and see where you’ve improved in the 3 days. Relax on the beach and enjoy evening entertainment around the campfire.

Overnight: Spot X | Arrawarra
Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Byron Bay

This morning, you’ll arrive early to check into your luxury Byron Bay accommodation for the next 3 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.

Overnight: WakeUp! | Byron Bay

Day 7: Byron Bay / Kayaking with Dolphins

Enjoy a beautiful day in the Bay, with plenty of gorgeous beaches, quirky cafes, and fabulous shops to keep you entertained. Then, join the Arts Factory crew for their Monday night Talent Show, the starting point for artists such as Tones & I, Tash Sultana, & Ziggy Alberts.

If you’ve booked the Adventure Pack, today the dolphins are calling! Join a kayaking with dolphins tour to see these wonderful creatures up close in the turquoise bay.

Overnight: WakeUp! | Byron Bay

Day 8: Byron Bay / Nimbin Day Tour

Enjoy a free day around Byron. Start the day with a Yoga Class, or grab a surfboard and keep up your momentum from Spot X. 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.

For those who have the Adventure Pack, you’re off to one of Byron Bay’s most famous destinations: Nimbin. Spend the day driving through the hinterlands, visiting waterfalls, exploring the small town of Nimbin, and enjoying a traditional Aussie country pub. Be sure to make some time for some shopping before a relaxing drive back to Byron.

Overnight: WakeUp! | Byron Bay

Day 9: Brisbane

After your breakfast in Byron Bay you’ll be heading up to the Capital of the Sunshine State – Brisbane! Known for its parks, shopping, and foodie lifestyle. There is something here for everyone to enjoy. Meet up with our Brisbane Happy Travels rep for an orientation of the city before checking into your hostel and enjoying a night exploring the vibrant bars and streets.

Overnight: Bunk | Brisbane

Day 10: Brisbane / Moreton Island

Today, feel free to get in touch with your creative side in Brisbane with a visit to the museums and art galleries, conveniently situated next to a beautiful expansive parkland with its very own man made beach to cool down in. Take in a movie at the cinema or wander through the West End as you gather any last minute things for the journey north out of the cities.
If you’re Adventure Pack ready, you’ll be heading over to Moreton Island. Check out the famous Tangalooma Wrecks and Snorkel with the unique marine life that is there. Head down massive sand dunes and enjoy this slice of paradise.

Overnight: Bunk | Brisbane

Day 11: Noosa

Get ready to 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 beachside town, home of surfing and amazing national parks. Tonight at 6pm is your safety briefing at Nomads Noosa, to prepare for an exciting adventure over to the longest island in the world, K’gari!

Overnight: Nomads | Noosa

Day 12: 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.

Overnight: K’gari Camping
Meal(s) included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 13: 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.

Overnight: K’gari Camping
Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 14: 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, chill out and reminisce on your epic trip, before enjoying a post tour night out with your group at KB’s bar.

Overnight: Nomads | Noosa
Meal(s) included: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 15: Noosa / Everglades

We recommend checking out the hidden Fairy Pools that you can find on a wonderful scenic coastal walk along the Noosa headland. Take the morning to walk around but make sure you keep looking up, as it’s also home to some sleepy Koalas.

If you’ve got the Adventure Pack, 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.

Overnight: Nomads | Noosa

Day 16: Travel Day

Spend the morning at the beach and grab lunch at one of the many cafes in Noosa. Make sure you stack up on snacks & drinks before jumping on the Overnight Bus to your next leg of your East Coast journey, North Queensland & the Great Barrier Reef!

Overnight: Bus Journey

Day 17: Airlie Beach

Arrive bright and early in 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 in only a couple of days you’ll be departing for your exciting Whitsundays sailing adventure.

Overnight: Nomads | Airlie Beach

Day 18: Airlie Beach / Scenic Flight

Enjoy a free day for you to choose how to spend in the beautiful Airlie Beach. Explore the town and the many shops and restaurants for a delicious breakfast and lunch. Relax at the lagoon or take a walk along the Bicentennial Walking Track between Airlie Beach and Cannonvale, where you’ll end up at a hidden bay perfect for sunbathing. Have a great night on the town at one of many awesome bars full of backpackers, but be sure to get ready for your epic sailing trip departing the next morning.

For those with the Adventure Pack, experience the Whitsunday Islands from above on a 60 minute scenic flight, including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet’s lush forest. Then fly over the Great Barrier Reef and witness the picture perfect Heart Reef from above.

Overnight: Nomads | Airlie Beach

Day 19: 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.

Overnight: Whitsundays Sailboat
Meal(s) included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 20: 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.

Overnight: Whitsundays Sailboat
Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 21: Whitsundays

It’s your last day 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 for an epic afterparty with your new friends and awesome crew.

Overnight: Nomads | Airlie Beach
Meal(s) included: Breakfast

Day 22: Airlie Beach / Skydive

Back in Airlie Beach, you can spend the day recovering or revisiting your favourite spots.

If you’ve got the Adventure pack add on, you’re in for an afternoon of adrenaline as you take to the clouds and jump from a plane with a 15000 ft skydive!

In the afternoon you can enjoy more free time exploring Airlie Beach town and relaxing at the iconic lagoon.

Overnight: Nomads | Airlie Beach

Day 23: 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 three 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 cocktail.

Overnight: Nomads | Magnetic Island

Day 24: 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.

Overnight: Nomads | Magnetic Island

Day 25: Magnetic Island

Spend another day in paradise and explore secret bays and lush walks. 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 Cairns the next day.

Overnight: Nomads | Magnetic Island

Day 26: Cairns

Once back in Townsville, enjoy the scenic drive to Cairns and get your bearings. Explore the many shops and galleries, and enjoy the vibrant Night Markets to grab some souvenirs. Cairns is also the adventure capital of Australia, so get ready for an epic few days exploring the incredible surroundings.

Overnight: Gilligans | Cairns

Day 27: Free Day / Tully River White Water Rafting

Today you’ve got a free day to explore more of the local shops, bars, and waterfront lagoon.

If you’ve booked the Adventure Pack, today you’ll head to Tully River where you’ll be partaking in an exhilarating White Water Rafting tour on grade 3 and 4 rapids. Meet your awesome river guide and churn along white water to tackle epic rapids from the top to the lower section of the river. After a hearty dinner, head into Cairns city where you’ll be checking into your accommodation for the next 6 nights: Gilligans backpacker resort! Famous for its epic parties and backpacker vibes, enjoy cheap drinks and a social atmosphere.

Overnight: Gilligans | Cairns
Meal(s) included: Dinner (Adventure Pack)

Day 28: Great Barrier Reef

Today, you will be part of a unique Great Barrier 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. With a later departure time, you’ll return to Cairns at sunset. Today will be a chilled day with mind-blowing reef to explore.

Overnight: Gilligans | Cairns
Meal(s) included: Lunch

Day 29: Atherton Tablelands

Venture 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 for another epic night with your amazing tour group.

Overnight: Gilligans | Cairns
Meal(s) included: Lunch

Day 30: Free Day / Bungy

Another free day in the city, to do with what you please. With a social hostel and great backpacker vibes, you’ll find plenty to do.

With the Adventure Pack option, you’ll get to experience some thrills and take the leap today as you partake in a Bungy jump! Feel the adrenaline pump through your body as you freefall through the air. Smile, high-five the crew at the bottom, and check out the optional photo/video packages.

Overnight: Gilligans | Cairns

Day 31: Free Day / Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest

As your last day in Cairns and on your epic Travel Buddies journey, you’ll want to make the most of your day. Be sure to fit in any last minute bucket list items and enjoy a final night out with your awesome new group of friends.

For those booking the Adventure Pack, today you head up to Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest, known as a hotbed of wildlife and tropical plants. It’s an eco-warrior paradise. You will get picked up from your accommodation by your quirky and knowledgeable guide and journey north, stopping at remote beaches and pristine water holes as you go. Once you arrive in the Daintree Rainforest, you will take part in a crocodile cruise along the river, spotting the prehistoric creatures in their natural habitat. On the way back down, you will stop off at a few viewing points to take in the scenery before being dropped back at your accommodation just in time for a night out.

Overnight: Gilligans | Cairns
Meal(s) included: Lunch (Adventure Pack)

Day 32: Finish

Your final day after an epic month of unforgettable travels. Say goodbye to your new friends and contemplate what’s next on your journey.

Available Tour Dates

12-Mar-2024 (SOLD OUT) 
9-Apr-2024 (SOLD OUT)
7-May-2024 (SOLD OUT)
4-Jun-2024 (FEW SPOTS LEFT!)

Tour Type & Availability

Tour Inclusions Price

32 Day East Coast Tour

32 day pre organised East Coast tour with accommodation and transport included


32 Day East Coast Tour + Adventure Pack Add-On

(Limited availability) All of the inclusions of the 32 day East Coast tour + Adventure Pack Add-On (enquiry only)



  • All Accommodation, Tours & Transport
  • Best tours on Australia’s East Coast
  • Semi-Self Guided Experience = Best of both worlds
  • Travel with a Group
  • Meet people, Make friends, Create memories
  • Local Reps to meet you along the way

What To Bring

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

Supplier Terms & Conditions

Travel Buddies Terms & Conditions

Cancellation & Refund Policy: Refunds will be processed according to the following time frames:
Cancellations within 14 Days of the start date incur a 100 % fee.
Cancellations within 21 Days of the start date incur a 80% fee

Cancellations outside of these periods incur a 50% fee.

Please note that changes to the itinerary may occur due to weather, operator changes & cancellations. A suitable and comparable replacement will take place on such occasions.

If a third party operator cancels on the Adventure Pack, we will organise a replacement activity. If a suitable replacement cannot be found, a fee will be refunded.

*Itinerary days may change from trip to trip due to availability or transport schedules.

Pick ups & Departures

This tour departs from our Happy Travels Sydney store.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a guided tour or am I responsible for my own travel?

Travel Buddies will book all of the accommodation, bus sectors, and activities within
your package for you. It is your responsibility to be at the correct pick-up or start
location on time. If you fail to show up for your activity or miss the bus, you will not be
refunded, and in the case of missing a bus sector, you will be responsible for your own
travel arrangements and associated costs. Whilst you do not have an official guide for this trip, you will have someone dedicated to your group in the chat to help out along the way.

When will I be added to the group chat?

On the Friday before your departure, you’ll be added to a group chat on Whatsapp with all of your Local & Travel Buddies, so you can meet up before your departure from Sydney. Each day within this chat we will keep you up to date with where you need to be, what you will be doing, and links to Google Maps to easily find your way around. Whilst you do not have a guide for this trip, you will have someone dedicated to your group in the chat to help out along the way. Don’t forget, it’s still up to you to be at the correct pick-up or start location on time.

When will I receive official tickets and all details?

We will send a confirmation email to you once you have officially booked your spot on Travel Buddies! An itinerary specific to your trip will be finalised and sent to you no less than 21 days prior to your trip, with bus times and activity times.

Is travel insurance required?

From the 1st of April 2024, travel insurance is compulsory when booking Travel Buddies. Your policy should cover you in case you get sick or injured (COVID-19 or otherwise), lose an item, or miss your tour. 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.

World Nomads travel insurance policies offer coverage for more than 150 activities. Get a quote, make a claim, or buy or extend your policy while on the road.

What time can I arrive on the first day?

You can check into your pre-booked hostel anytime from 2pm. If you’ve arrived before check in time, no stress – your hostel will provide a safe space for you to drop your bags, so that you can go and explore Sydney in your free time. You will be added to your Whatsapp group chat the Friday before your departure date, so you can plan any pre-check-in meet ups with your group from there. You will also be given a time and place from your Sydney Local Buddy to meet for a welcome gathering in the afternoon/evening time.

What happens if the tour isn’t filled, will it still continue or be cancelled?

Some sectors and experiences may require a minimum number of passengers to operate. In circumstances where minimum numbers are not reached an alternative option will be offered. You will be notified by email at least 48 hours in advance of such changes. In the unlikely event that the entire Travel buddies tour doesn’t meet minimum requirements, no stress – we can either find you an alternative date to travel, or create a personalised itinerary just for you.

What happens if any of the tours are cancelled because of the weather?

If a tour cannot go ahead because of the weather or any other unforeseen circumstances, we’ll aim to reschedule or find an alternative activity for you. If one cannot be booked or found in time, you’ll receive a refundable amount of the discounted rate paid for that activity.

Once the trip finishes, is onward travel planned or do I sort that out myself?

If you’d like to continue travelling once you’ve finished your Travel Buddies trip in Cairns, why not reach out to your travel agent and find out some more bucket-list destinations for any onward travel – whether it’s continuing on in Cairns, somewhere else in Australia like the Red Centre or a trip to Western Australia, or even a different country – we’ve got you covered. You can also check out our destination pages for trips to incredible places like Bali, Japan, Thailand, and more!

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Travel Buddies 32 Day Sydney to Cairns Group Tour

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Travel the East Coast on this 32-day semi self-guided group adventure tour including K'gari, Whitsundays, Cape Tribulation and more!

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