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Home| Experiences|35 Day Cairns to Melbourne ‘Ultimate’ Tour Package

35 Day Cairns to Melbourne ‘Ultimate’ Tour Package

From $4,399 / £2,286* / €2,672*

When 3 weeks just doesn’t cut it, spend 35 unbeatable days touring the absolute best Australia’s East Coast has to offer. From the tropical paradise of Cairns to the urban culture capital of Melbourne, every experience in this itinerary will leave you in awe.

  • Money Icon From $4,399
  • Clock Icon Duration: 35 days

Description

Introducing the Ultimate 35 Day Cairns to Melbourne Package, your passport to an extraordinary journey along Australia’s stunning East Coast. From venturing into the wild Daintree Rainforest where a crocodile cruise awaits, to getting the perfect shot of the 12 Apostles along the scenic Great Ocean Road, this package includes everything you could wish for allowing you the ultimate unforgettable backpackers experience.

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and revel at the colours of a sunrise on Cape Hillsborough surrounded by roaming kangaroos. Tick off your bucket list destinations with a Whitsundays Sailing Adventure and an unbeatable K’gari 4wd Tag Along experience. Discover hidden gems in Finch Hatton’s gorges and catch some epic waves in a 3 day all inclusive surf camp at the iconic Spot X in Arrawarra. With carefully curated experiences and accommodations included, this itinerary allows you the freedom to customise your adventure to your preferences, whether you’re craving adrenaline fueled activities or serene nature escapes – or both! With this package you can have peace of mind and experience the best of Australia’s coastal treasures without the hassle of planning, while enjoying the chance to take on new adventures and epic memories every day.

Package Inclusions

  • 4 nights in Cairns
  • Great Barrier Reef snorkelling day trip
  • Atherton Tablelands day tour
  • Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest tour
  • 2 day 2 night Magnetic Island Escape with Nomads Magnetic Island
  • 3 nights in Airlie Beach
  • 2 day 2 night Whitsundays Sailing Adventure
  • 3 day 2 night Mackay Adventure tour
  • 3 nights in Noosa
  • Half day Everglades Cruise and Canoe
  • 3 day 2 night K’gari Tag Along tour
  • 2 nights in Brisbane
  • Moreton Island Tangalooma Wrecks snorkelling trip
  • 1 night in Surfers Paradise
  • 3 nights in Byron Bay
  • Half day Dolphin Kayaking tour
  • 3 day 3 night Spot X Surf Camp in Arrawarra
  • 2 nights in Sydney
  • 2 nights in Melbourne
  • Great Ocean Road Day Tour
  • 10 Breakfasts 13 Lunches 8 Dinners
  • 35 Day East Coast Package

Itinerary

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/Cape Tribulation

Today, 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.

Meal(s) included: Lunch

Day 4: 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 5: 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 cocktail.

Day 6: 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 7: 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 in only a couple of days you’ll be departing for your exciting Whitsundays sailing adventure.

Day 8: 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 day before embarking on an exciting sailing adventure tomorrow.

Day 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: 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 plunge pool, and sip at a drink at the Lakeside Cafe and Sunset Bar with your tour mates before getting ready for another exciting day ahead of you.

Day 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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 17: 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 18: 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 19: 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 20: 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 21: Brisbane/Moreton Island

Head out for a unique day today and head 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. As you travel back to Brisbane, check out the nightlife and markets for some fun dinner and drinks.

Day 22: Surfers Paradise

After a short bus ride down 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 23: 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 24: 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 25: 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 26: Spot X Surf Camp

Today you’ll be heading to 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 in the afternoon at a beautiful beach with awesome beginner waves.

Meal(s) included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 27: Spot X Surf Camp

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.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 28: Spot X Surf Camp

Make the most of your last full day at Spot X. Have another surf lesson and be sure to get some last minute pointers. In your free time, join one of the many extra activities such as kangaroo trekking, kayaking, or rafting. Relax on the beach and enjoy evening entertainment around the campfire.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 29: Arrawarra

Squeeze in one more surf lesson this morning and check out how much you’ve improved over the last few days. Check out of your accommodation, enjoy some lunch, and say farewell to the Spot X crew. Spend some free time in the town and then tonight, embark on the overnight bus from Arrawarra to Sydney.

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

Day 30: 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 31: 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 32: Sydney

Make the most of your last morning in Sydney. We recommend heading down to Bondi Beach to see the iconic and beautiful bay before heading to town for some shopping. Tonight, get your snacks ready for the last leg of your journey as you embark on an overnight bus to Melbourne.

Day 33: Melbourne

Arrive in Australia’s pop culture capital and drop your bags into the hostel luggage room, then take the opportunity to explore the city. If art or architecture is your thing, you’re going to be blown away, so consider stopping by Federation Square, Southbank, and The Arts Centre. Finish your day by checking into your accommodation before enjoying the nightlife.

Day 34: Melbourne/Great Ocean Road

Enjoy an epic day out along one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world, the Great Ocean Road. Here you’re going to explore the rugged, but stunning coastline of the beautiful south coast of Australia. A dip in Apollo Bay or a few selfies in front of the breathtaking Twelve Apostles will see you smiling from ear to ear, before finally finishing the day with a sunset by the water in St. Kilda.

Day 35: Finish

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

Highlights

  • Great Barrier Reef snorkelling
  • Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest Experience
  • Waterfall exploring in the Atherton Tablelands
  • Whitsundays sailing Adventure
  • K’Gari 4wd Tag Along Tour
  • 3 day Surf Camp just South of Byron Bay
  • Dolphin Kayaking in Byron Bay
  • See the World Famous Great Ocean Road
  • 5 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, & 5 Dinners

Transportation

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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35 Day Cairns to Melbourne ‘Ultimate’ Tour Package

Valid for 12 months

The ultimate 35 day Cairns to Melbourne package exploring only the best of the East Coast of Australia, with sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, and more.

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AUD $200
Total (AUD): $200
Remaining balance to pay (AUD)
$4199

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