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East Coast Australia: Sydney, Byron & Beyond

Explore the Whitsunday Islands by speedboat, discover K’gari in a 4x4 & snorkel the Great Barrier Reef with a Master Reef Guide

What's Included

  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Max 14 travelers per group
  • Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
  • Arrival transfer included
  • Private minibus
  • 2 domestic flights
  • All activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
  • Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
  • 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners

Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.

About your trip

Dream of visiting Australia but don’t know where to start? Let this two-week east coast escapade be your guide.

Starting in Sydney, you’ll explore the famous harbor and stop by Bondi Beach for a surf lesson, before sampling fine wine in the Hunter Valley’s rolling vineyards. You’ll soak up Byron Bay’s boho vibes then dial up the adrenaline with a 4×4 excursion amid the giant dunes and rainforest of K’gari (Fraser Island), a speedboat tour of the Whitsundays and unforgettable snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, accompanied by a Master Reef Guide.

Finishing in tropical Cairns, you’ll float through the eco-paradise of Daintree National Park for a momentous end to the perfect Aussie adventure – with plenty of wow moments (and fun surprises) along the way.

This is the ultimate Aussie road trip, and more.

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An Aussie welcome
  • Touch down in stunning Sydney – a city with plenty of wow factor – where a private Flash Pack transfer will be waiting to whisk you to your boutique hotel
  • Spend your first evening getting to know your group over food and drinks in a traditional Aussie pub, raising a toast with your fellow Flashpackers to the adventures to come
Iconic Bondi surf
  • Explore Sydney’s highlights on a local-led sightseeing tour; don’t miss the Harbour Bridge and iconic Opera House, a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture
  • Sample traditional fish and chips for lunch before heading to the crashing waves of Bondi Beach, one of the world’s most famous stretches of sand
  • Join the surfer dudes for a lesson, cheering each other on as you master the basics of paddling out, standing up and – no doubt – falling off
Hunter Valley wine
  • Take a wine tour of the Hunter Valley to learn how boutique family-run estates produce their famous vintages (with plenty of tastings, of course)
  • Sample some of the area’s other tasty local products including gourmet chocolate, handmade cheese and small batch local spirits
  • Return to Sydney for an evening at leisure, perhaps exploring some local bars before bedding down for the night
North to Byron
  • Catch a flight to Byron Bay, a laidback surf town known for its alternative, hippy culture and irresistible golden sand
  • Take a walk along the grassy headland to the easternmost point of Australia where the 1901 Cape Byron lighthouse looks out across the rolling waves.
  • Spend your evening soaking up the town’s boho vibe; checking out the New Age boutiques, farmer’s market and grassroots music scene
Byron Bay beauty
  • Enjoy a free day to explore the area: options include a sea kayaking tour in search of whales and dolphins, a scuba diving taster or a visit to a nearby national park
  • Perhaps you might choose to finish your day with a craft cocktail or ice-cold beer overlooking the ocean
Exotic wildlife
  • Visit David Fleays Wildlife Park and Rescue Centre to meet some of Australia’s native animals and threatened species, from koalas and cassowaries to wallabies and emus
  • Continue your journey north to the Sunshine Coast town of Noosa, where yet more idyllic beaches await
  • Spend your evening exploring Noosa’s nightlife, perhaps hitting up Hastings Street with its cafes, restaurants and bars
K'gari by 4x4
  • Prepare to explore the world’s largest sandbar, K’gari (formerly known as Fraser Island), on an incredible 4×4 adventure
  • Take in the unique island setting as you off-road along sandy tracks through a canvas of rainforest, giant dunes, crystalline creeks and vivid blue freshwater lakes
  • Stop off for swimming, walking and nature spotting (keep a look out for the native dingoes), as you make the most of the wilderness
Off to Airlie Beach
  • Fly north to Prosperine and travel to your hotel in Airlie Beach, gateway to the mesmerising Whitsunday Islands, 18 miles offshore
  • Enjoy a leisurely afternoon exploring the lively coast town; take a ramble around the seafront lagoon and soak up the fun-loving, holiday atmosphere
  • Rally your Flashpackers for an evening out in friendly Airlie, but don’t go too hard – you’ll want a clear head for tomorrow’s sea-faring foray…
Speedboat the Whitsundays
  • Spend your day onboard a speedboat, exploring the tropical Whitsunday islands, an archipelago of 74 idyllic islands lined with pristine sandy coves
  • Stop off at photogenic Whitehaven Beach, a 4.3-mile stretch of dazzling silica sand (one of the whitest in the world), framed by lush vegetation and lapped by gentle waves
  • Soak up the sunshine and snorkel in the warm turquoise water while the crew prepares a tasty lunch on board
A tropical road trip
  • Wake up early for your eight-hour road trip to Cairns, with stretch-your-legs stops along the way at traditional Aussie roadhouses
  • Check in at your seafront hotel (and perhaps take a dip in the pool) before heading out to explore the Esplanade with its cool cafes, bars and restaurants
Daintree National Park
  • Head north to Daintree National Park, the world’s longest surviving rainforest, claimed to be the most extraordinary place on earth by Sir David Attenborough
  • Hike through Mossman Gorge with an aboriginal guide, learning about Australia’s indigenous people and their relationship with nature, followed by a ‘welcome to country’ ritual
  • Lay back as you drift down the freshwater creek on a float, connecting with the tropical landscape from a unique perspective
The Great Barrier Reef
  • Travel by catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef, a Unesco World Heritage site boasting the largest and most spectacular coral reef system in the world
  • Cruise to the best snorkeling sites where a Master Reef Guide will share their expert knowledge of this fragile ecosystem and teach you how to monitor the reef
  • Grab lunch onboard with your Flashpacker crew before returning to Cairns in time for Happy Hour
Downtime in Cairns
  • Start the day with a yoga and mindfulness session with your group, setting you up for a final day of relaxation
  • Enjoy some well-deserved R&R today, or get your heart racing with optional activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving or a scenic helicopter flight
  • Gather for a farewell dinner at a renowned Italian restaurant and celebrate your incredible fortnight together as the sun goes down on your Australian adventure
Farewell, Australia
  • Grab your last breakfast at the hotel before checking out and making your own way to the airport
  • Return home tired but buzzing from your adventure Down Under; you’ve shared a fun-filled road trip through this iconic destination and made new lifelong friends

Our Favourite Hotels

Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.

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The Porter House, Sydney

Hidden behind the doors of an 1870s tobacco factory, this eclectic hotel effortlessly blends original stone flooring, brick archways and timber beams with an elegant bread-and-wine bistro, moody cocktail bar and secret rooftop pool.  

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Noosa Blue Resort

A tranquil resort perched on the crest of Noosa Hill, with far-reaching views across the hinterland and ocean. The smart rooms come with a long list of welcome extras including 3 outdoor pools (one with a slide), a hot tub and a poolside bar.

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Airlie Beach Hotel

Wrapped around Airlie’s white-sand crescent bay, this buzzing hotel offers boutique ocean-side rooms, a resort-style pool and alfresco dining at ‘The Pub’ bar and bistro. It’s a relaxed place to hang out before heading to the islands. 

Important Notes

Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code

Fly into Sydney Airport (SYD) and out of Cairns Airport (CNS). 

What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?

Before 2 pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 5 pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located 15-20 minutes away from Sydney Airport.

What time should my flight depart on the last day?

There are no activities planned for Day 14, so you can leave any time that suits you. Check-out from the hotel is at 10 am and it takes around 10-15 minutes by taxi to Cairns Airport. Your Pack leader can help you book transfers the night before if needed.

Are airport transfers included?

If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.

Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.

We don’t include departure transfers because Flashpackers leave at different times. A taxi to the airport from your final hotel costs around 20-25 AUD. If you and some other travelers are all getting the same flight, we recommend splitting the taxi journey.

Are tips included?

Please note that tips are not included in the cost of this adventure. Suggested amounts per person are:

  • Pack Leader: 15-20 AUD per day
  • Drivers: 10 AUD per day
  • Local tips: your Pack Leader will be able to advise on how much to tip local guides, restaurants, etc. Some Pack Leaders will collect a tipping kitty at the welcome meeting to take care of local tips.

However, all tips are at your discretion depending on what you feel comfortable with.

Do I need a visa?

Up-to-date visa and entry information can be found using our official partner, Sherpa, who can help you arrange a visa if needed.

You can also find essential travel advice – including security and local laws, as well as passport and visa information – on the government website of your home country:

Please be aware that passport and visa requirements can change before departure, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest information.

What vaccinations and medication will I need?

While we are not medical professionals and cannot offer personalized medical advice, we want to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable adventure. Here are some tips to help you prepare.

1. Consult with a healthcare professional

We recommend scheduling an appointment with your travel nurse or doctor at least eight weeks before your adventure. This will give you ample time to receive any necessary vaccines or medications.

2. Up-to-date medical advice

3. Government travel advice

4. Medication tips

If you take prescription medication, ensure you bring enough to last the entire adventure, plus a few extra days in case of travel delays. Carry a copy of your prescription with you in case you need to visit a clinic while abroad.

We hope this information will help you prepare for a safe and healthy adventure.

What are the drive times like?

Australia is a big country and this is a trip for travellers who enjoy a road trip. The total drive time is around 25 hours, so we don’t advise joining if you suffer badly from motion sickness or any other ailment that extensive travel can make worse. 

We use a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle but there are some long drives, like from Airlie Beach to Cairns, which takes about eight hours. 

We do break up the drives with local and authentic experiences, like stopping off at Aussie roadhouses and local farms. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow Flashpackers. 

In addition, there are two internal flights.

What fitness levels do I need for this trip?

Overall, the trip is relatively relaxed and suitable for most levels of fitness.

We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions. 

Will this itinerary change?

Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try to communicate to you.

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