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A beach in Australia

Ultimate East Coast

A road trip through pure paradise.

  • From 20 days
  • Self-drive
  • April - October
  • Approx. 23 hours

In Australia, you can blaze your own trail. Begin in Sydney, an east coast city with iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. Then cruise the coastline, pulling over at Hunter Valley for a wine tour and tasting. Coastal towns with spotless beaches and rainforest invite you to dive or zipline between trees. As you move further north towards tropical Queensland, beyond monoliths and hopping wildlife, finish your tour with a dive in the Great Barrier Reef.

  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.  Less

Ultimate East Coast



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Plan your trip

Travel Itinerary

Destination 1: Sydney

Begin your trip in the high-octane setting of Sydney. Head over to Bondi Beach, a place of where kites fly overhead, and the surf is up. Move through Darling Harbour, a pedestrianised zone that bulges with attractions such as the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds. Enjoy fresh oysters as you're moved by views of towering buildings and boats that zip by on water.

Destination 2: Hunter Valley

Cruise north to Hunter Valley, home to some of the most popular wineries in Australia. Spend the afternoon tasting the local varietals and take in spiralling views of rolling vineyards. Dine among rows of grapes. Treat yourself to a hot air balloon over a countryside soaked in sunshine. 

Destination 3: Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie is a coastal town, leave your footprint in beach sands and the soil of forested parks in New South Wales. If thrills are your thing, then hop on a speed boat and cruise along the river. A walk, bike, or hike in any direction in this nature setting will please as you come across a koala sculpture trail, aqua park, or one of seventeen beaches that allows you to get away from the crowd.

Destination 4: Byron Bay

Australia’s easternmost town, Bryan Bay is all about the great outdoors. The beaches are wonderful and windswept. While you sea kayak, be on the lookout for a green turtle as it grazes. You may even see a white Spotted Eagle Ray flap beneath you. At night, relax with a glass of wine in hand after a boat trip to the two-island nature reserve of Julian Rocks Nguthungulli.

Destination 5: Gold Coast

The city Gold Coast is a fun place to be. Amuse yourself in a theme park called Dreamland as you ride a rollercoaster. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has a Free Flight Bird show and houses Ozzy wildlife such as the infamous Tasmanian Devil. A treetop walk at Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk will cap off a day of fun times. Enjoy an evening barbecue at one of many coastal grassland spots in the evening with a cold one and good company.

Destination 6: Noosa Heads

Your next destination is a bird watcher's paradise. In fact,  Noosa Heads’ unique nature has earned a spot on UNESCO’s list of Biosphere Reserves. Trail the rocky headlands and waterways full of birdlife as you enter secluded bays that are excellent for whale watching. Enjoy beach activities such as snorkeling or boogie boarding before cruising the Pacific Ocean on a tour boat. Be sure to scan the waters for the albino turtle. If you really want to get up close, consider paddle in a kayak.

Destination 7: Hervey Bay

Drive towards the calming waters of Hervey Bay for whale-watching by boat or kayak. Just off the coast, Fraser Island—the world’s largest sand island—is a must-see. Don’t let that accolade fool you, there’s a vast amount of landscape diversity from rainforests to peat swamps. An island shaped by wind and waves over hundreds of years, this get-away from it all location is perfect for fishing, snorkelling, or wildlife sightings.

Destination 8: Airlie Beach

A little further north, Airlie Beach is a tiny beach town with big views of the bay. Mountain bike over trails and pause to take in your surroundings. Being so close to the Great Barrier Reef, these coral reef waters welcome you by boat, snorkel, swim or dive.  Spend a day in Conway National Park, a place of wildlife where the Dingos stand tall in packs with their nose to the breeze, and swamp wallabies feed from green leaves in the bush.

Destination 9: Townsville

Townsville averages 300 sunny days a year. In this balmy tropical setting, take time to learn of the Bindal and Wulgurukaba at a cultural centre that focuses on these indigenous people. Castle Hill is a monolith of red rock that dominates the landscape and is the go-to spot for epic vistas. The Strand is a waterfront promenade that’s great to stroll. Feel the breeze on your back as you enjoy seafood at sunset by the beachfront.

Destination 10: Mission Beach

The town of Mission Beach is a prime location for nature lovers looking to explore the abundant tropical flora and marine found in the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel through the 2,900 coral reefs that wind beneath nine islands. For the thrill-seeker in you, raft the Tully River. Back in town, enjoy a tropical skywalk or enter a historic village at your leisure before dining outdoors.

Destination 11: Port Douglas

End your holiday road tripping the eastern coast of Australia in Port Douglas, a chic sea-side village that’s balmy tropical all year-round. Hit up Four Mile Beach for one last dive in the Pacific Ocean. Swing by the “million-dollar marina” and beyond yachts bobbing in these blue waters. Enjoy an al fresco dining experience in a rainforest to end your time journeying the vast eastern coastline of mighty Australia. Less

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