Travel Consultation:

Ultimate East Coast

A road trip through pure paradise.

Australia - truck driving on beach

Ultimate East Coast

Travel time

From 20 days

Type of travel


Best time

April - October

To destination

Approx. 23 hours


£ 4,067

pp excl. flights


Tourlane Expert

Our Tourlane experts are happy to advise you!

Starting in Sydney, Australia’s most exciting city, you’ll travel north, along Australia’s eastern coast, stopping at the region's premier towns and beaches on the way to the tropical north of the country. There is so much to look forward to on the east coast: from the wine region of Hunter Valley to the whales and beaches of Gold Coast and Byron Bay to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest near Port Douglas and Cairns.

  1. Sydney
  2. Hunter Valley
  3. Port Macquarie
  4. Byron Bay
  5. Gold Coast
  6. Noosa Heads
  7. Hervey Bay
  8. Airlie Beach
  9. Townsville
  10. Mission Beach
  11. Port Douglas
  12. Port Douglas
Ultimate East Coast


£ 4,067

pp excl. flights

Plan Your Trip

Travel Itinerary

Highlights you can experience

Destination 1: Sydney

You’ll begin your exciting tour of Australia’s eastern coast in the cosmopolitan city which has no shortage of attractions. A highlight is Darling Harbour, with numerous attractions like the Sydney aquarium, maritime museum and the Powerhouse Museum. A tour of the Sydney Opera House is an excellent way to learn more about this Australian icon and its unique history. For the best views of the city, try climbing up the Harbour Bridge - safely harnessed in of course! Nearby Cockatoo Island offers a fascinating glimpse into Sydney’s convict past and offers a quiet sanctuary in the city. No trip to Sydney would be complete without visiting the world-famous Bondi and Manly Beaches, with its swimming, surfing and people-watching opportunities.

Destination 2: Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley, on the eastern coast of Australia, is home to some of the country’s great wineries. Numerous companies offer tasting tours that can also include trips to cheese factories and breweries that dot the area as well. A highlight trip in the region is a hot air balloon flight to survey this beautiful landscape from above. Riding a cycling trail is a special way to visit not only the wineries but the local markets and art galleries that call the area home. Horse riding adventures, golf courses and day spas are also great ways to spend your time in the Hunter Valley. For the more adventurous, Yengo and Watagans National Parks offer 4wd trails, bushwalks and mountain bike trails and are perfect for getting away from civilisation and viewing some of Australia’s unique fauna and flora.

Destination 3: Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie offers a wonderful combination of coastal landscapes and forest parks. Seventeen beaches can be explored for those who want to swim and surf or see the dolphins and whales that can be found in the region’s waters. Animal lovers will be delighted to visit the Billabong Zoo with its crocodiles, cheetahs, penguins and much more wildlife. A visit to the world’s first Koala Hospital is a special experience. Families will be delighted with a visit to Timbertown Heritage Theme Park - a living village exploring days gone by. Port Macquarie is also home to a unique coastal rainforest, and a visit to the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre is an inspiring experience. Explore with or without a guide and wander along the elevated forest walkways.

Destination 4: Byron Bay

Byron Bay is all about nature and the great outdoors. Being a coastal town (Australia’s easternmost town) Byron Bay has wonderful beaches to explore and awesome waves to surf. After surfing, the most popular activities here are kayaking and whale watching - you can even whale watch from your kayak! Those wanting to go under the water should head to the Julian Rocks Aquatic Reserve to view the regions tropical fish. Back on dry land, be sure to enjoy the views on the Cape Byron Walking Track. The track is a walking loop just over 2 miles in length that takes you from rainforests to beachfront cliffs en route to the Cape Byron lighthouse.

Destination 5: Gold Coast

Like many towns on the east coast, surfing is the name of the game here. However, there is so much more to the Gold Coast! Families and adrenaline lovers could spend days visiting the area’s theme parks, like Dreamland and the Warner Bros. Movie World. Wildlife parks also dot the area and a visit to Australia’s Sea World, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary will delight people of all ages. Treetop walks are also popular activities and can be done at Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk and O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walkway in nearby national parks. The local Burleigh Heads National Park, within the town, offers walking trails and beachfront grasslands to sit, relax and enjoy a BBQ with spectacular views.

Destination 6: Noosa Heads

A highlight of any trip to Noosa Heads is the nearby Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. The zoo is considered the most interactive zoo on the planet, where you can get up close and personal with numerous wildlife. While the town offers wonderful beaches and ocean waves for the ubiquitous Australian surfer, unique to this region is the Noosa Everglades. Rent a kayak on your own or take a guided trip to explore nearly 40 miles of narrow waterways - the best method to explore the regions unique flora and fauna. Exploring the distinct Noosa River, in town, is a wonderful activity as well. Travel the waterways by rental boat, sunset boat cruise or kayak and when finished be sure to visit the Industrial estate, just minutes from the river, for a unique local market.

Destination 7: Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay offers water sports enthusiasts a year-round playground due to the bay offering safe, calm waters. Hervey Bay is also the whale-watching capital of the world as it lies along a whale migration route - boat cruises and kayak trips are unique ways to see these giants, some companies even offer swimming options! No visit to Hervey Bay, or indeed Australia, is complete without a visit to Fraser Island. The island is the world’s largest sand island and is home to a rainforest - truly unique! Explore the island on a tour or with a 4wd vehicle and drive along Seventy Five Mile beach. The island also offers world-renowned fishing opportunities right from the beach.

Destination 8: Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is best known as the gateway to the wonderful Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsunday islands offer some of the world’s purest white-sand beaches as well as spectacular reefs for snorkelling and sailing, like Heart Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef. The town’s man-made lagoon offers safe, protected swimming year-round. Not to be overshadowed by the amazing coastal area, the hinterland of Airlie Beach offers the superb Conway National Park. The park offers rainforests, beaches and stunning views towards the Whitsunday islands. Bushwalking is the main activity here, as is mountain biking and birdwatchers will also be delighted in the variety of bird species to be spotted here.

Destination 9: Townsville

Another spectacular coastal beach paradise, Townsville has much to offer the discerning beach-goer. If you can pull yourself away from the waters and beaches of the town, you’ll find an abundance of other activities, such as parkland, cultural centres, tropical islands and the Great Barrier Reef. The Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre offers excellent insight into the culture of these indigenous peoples - through their artwork, performances and more. The Reef HQ is home to the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium and the Great Barrier Reef Education Centre. Just 25 minutes by ferry is Magnetic Island, which offers Aboriginal historic sites, rugged beaches, hiking trails and unique scuba diving opportunities within local shipwrecks.

Destination 10: Mission Beach

Surrounded by two World-heritage listed attractions, the Great Barrier Reef in front and the Wet Tropics Rainforest behind, Mission Beach is a true paradise for nature-lovers. The Great Barrier Reef never disappoints with its snorkelling, diving and sailing opportunities and the Wet Tropics Rainforest offers unique activities to Australia. In the rainforest, one can go whitewater rafting on the Tully River for those looking for extreme adventure. The rainforest has been designated an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International due to the unique birds of the area - most notably the endangered Cassowary. Some of the town’s highlights range from Charley’s Chocolate Factory to ferry trips to nearby tropical islands, such as Dunk and Bedarra.

Destination 11 & 12: Port Douglas

Port Douglas distinguishes itself from other towns on the eastern coast of Australia, with its million-dollar marina and huge, 5-star resorts - those looking for luxury won’t be disappointed! Port Douglas also offers a quieter scene than the more crowded town of Cairns. Port Douglas’ big draw is the wonderful Four Mile Beach. The beach, with its golden-sand, is perfect for long walks and also is popular with kite-surfers. A day trip to the coral cays just off-shore offers perfect swimming and snorkelling opportunities with the Great Barrier Reef. A visit to the Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest, is a must. Here you can explore the ancient forest on aerial walkways and ground-level walking paths, take river cruises to look for saltwater crocodiles and partake in guided, Aboriginal walking tours which offer special insights into the land.

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1. You dream

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