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Reefs and Rainforests (Start Cairns)
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Wild nights & wildlife await you on Australia's East Coast. Take a rooftop ride along the rainforest canopy, go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef & relax & work on your tan in the Whitsunday Islands. From there get back on the mainland for guided bushwalks, koalas & kangaroos. Enjoy a 'knees-up' at a farmstay then head back to the beach. But not just any beach, Surfers Paradise, serving up some of the best surf & sand in the world!

Australasia
  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: BWCSD/161016
  • Starts: Cairns, Australia
  • Finishes: Sydney, Australia
You will Visit
  • Cairns
  • Cape Tribulation
  • Whitsundays
  • Farmstay
  • Noosa
  • Surfers Paradise
  • Fraser Island
  • Byron Bay
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Sydney

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cairns to Cape Tribulation

Meet up with the other Contiki travellers and your Trip Manager in Cairns. Then we hit the road and travel north. Sticking to the coast, we follow the Coral Sea past remote beaches and gorgeous scenery to the lush, tropical Daintree Rainforest. Get back to nature as we walk through this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site with a local aboriginal guide who will teach you about the culture traditions of the native people. You will also head to a stunningly clear swimming-hole in Mossman Gorge, where you can cool off in the waters. This afternoon you can choose to either glide through the canopy of the rainforest on the optional zip lines, go kayaking off cape tribulation and see turtles swimming beneath and eagles soaring overhead. Tonight, get to know your group and Trip Manager over dinner in Cape Tribulation.

02

Day 2: Cape Tribulation to Cairns

We check out Cape Tribulation beach & go for a guided walk through the mangroves, before we hit the road and travel to Port Douglas. Known for its idyllic white sands and palms trees, this resort town attracts both the rich & famous and travellers. You’ll soon see why. Later this afternoon we arrive back in Cairns.

03

Day 3-4: Cairns

Wake up to the warm waters of Cairns where there’s something for everyone. This is your chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef on an optional day trip. If you have always wanted to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef then this is your chance! There are scuba diving options for both certified and introductory divers (no experience necessary). Check out the amazing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, you are sure to see one of Nemo's cousins, tiny schooling fish right up to giant Maori wrasse and if you're lucky, even a small reef shark! There are local marine biologists on board to answer 'which fish is that?' On day 2, for those who are keen for a fun and thrilling ride, join our optional whitewater rafting adventure activity with our professional Local Guides. There are loads more activities available in Cairns like sky diving and bungy jumping – just ask your Trip Manager for some more info. Catch up with your new buddies to swap stories on your day at a local hot spot. The food and entertainment is sure to leave a lasting impression!

04

Day 5-6: Cairns to the Whitsundays

Relax on the coach as we cruise past thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australia’s best whitewater rafting. Slowly leaving the tropics behind us, we hit Townsville for some free time. Check out the colonial buildings and get a feel for its maritime past as we drive along the esplanade and into town where you can grab some lunch. See vistas over Magnetic Island, a National Park and bird sanctuary, before we continue our travels south. Play some tunes, have a chat, catch a movie or simply enjoy some downtime. The time is then yours to enjoy the picture-perfect Whitsundays! Slow the pace down, kick back and relax. For those that are up for it, you could get away from it all with our optional day sail. Check out some of the Whitsunday’s 74 islands from the boat – you’ll soon understand why this region is so famous. Experience what is known as one of the top ten beaches in the world, uninhabited Whitehaven Beach. Swim off the boat and play beach volleyball or cricket with the local skipper and crew before enjoying a tasty lunch and a few drinks.

05

Day 7: The Whitsundays to Farmstay

Today, plug in your ipod or chat with friends as we drive through scenic Mackay, with countryside full of vibrant green vegetation and sugar cane plantations. Continue down the Capricorn Coast and head inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queensland’s cattle country, for our overnight stay. During our time at Langmorn, a working cattle station, you’ll experience a taste of real Aussie country life. The owners will show you around the enormous property in a behind-the-scenes look at daily life on the farm. Taste local hospitality tonight as your welcoming hosts pile your table high with a hearty roast beef and vegetables (like you've never tasted before) followed by an indulgent homemade decadent dessert. Later, have a go at whip cracking an authentic leather stock whip under night lights before heading back inside for traditional Aussie bush dancing. Have some fun and a giggle with some evening karaoke. See if you can spot the 'Southern Cross' amongst a chandelier of stars, a constellation only visible in the southern hemisphere & featured on the Australian flag.

06

Day 8: Farmstay to Noosa

After breakfast we drive back out to the coast and travel towards the beautiful beach side town of Noosa. Along the way we stop at a small town called Childers where we get the chance to enjoy some exotic fruits and do some wine tasting and learn about the local wines.

07

Day 9: Fraser Island to Noosa

Experience a slice of paradise on Fraser Island this morning. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 fresh-water lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation. Jump on our included 4WD adventure through the island’s sand dunes, rainforests & freshwater lakes. Our Local Guide will show you some of the island’s best spots and hidden treasures, such as Lake McKenzie – make sure you keep your camera handy – this is one of Australia’s most beautiful regions. Enjoy a drink or two with the included dinner tonight at the local surf club. Later if you want to take it up a level, head out into the town & explore Noosa by night.

08

Day 10: Noosa to Surfers Paradise

There’s time to explore Noosa this morning so take a stroll through the shops and the National Park or sunbathe and swim at the beach before we make our way south. We also stop off in Brisbane today. You’ll get a feel for the capital of Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town. Tonight we pull into legendary Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast’s party hot spot and home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Grab some of your new friends and join the party atmosphere of Surfers tonight with included nightclub entry. With loads of restaurants and buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everybody. Head to the happening Orchid or Cavill Avenues, where clubs and bars line the street or shoot some pool at the pub.

09

Day 11: Surfers Paradise

This morning is all about chilling, hitting the beach, and getting a little R'n'R after the night before. We're nice like that. But remember, you're not in Surfer's forever, so do this thing right - don't stay in bed when there's a parachute with your name on it at the nearby skydiving centre. How's that for a rush of adrenaline? In the afternoon just make sure you're back (on earth) in time for some serious koala cuddling sessions at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. CURRUMBIN: All animal cuteness goals can easily be achieved in this neck of the woods. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is undeniably a must-see destination if you've made it as far as Surfer's Paradise. Here's your chance to see how cute koalas really are, feed a kangaroo & see a crocodile up close (but not too close, obvs). Best of all, it's a non-for-profit set up, so our visit supports the sanctuary's animal hospital and gives back to Oz's furry friends. Soak up on all the cuteness this place has to offer before we head back to Surfer's for some sweet night time 4WD'ing.

10

Day 12: Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay

We're up & on the road early to the iconic Byron Bay for a day full of cheeky tanning with a beer in hand, some serious surfing or just exploring this cute ocean town. Opt for kayaking if you're feeling extra adventurous today. When you're done wiggling your toes in the sand maybe it's time to sate your hunger at one of the delicious local cafes and restaurants. Venture through the streets and soak up the hippie vibes .

11

Day 13: Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour

This morning you’ll wake up to more good times in Byron Bay. Maybe head to the beach for a swim or a wander round town before it’s time to leave the chilled out atmosphere behind after lunch. Later, there’s more beach action. Tonight we’ll stay in Coffs Harbour, home to surf beaches, fishing and banana plantations. This is a chance for a unique experience with our overnight Special Stay experience – we’re staying at a Surf Village! This afternoon it’s time for an awesome Aussie experience - hit the waves & learn to surf with some professional instructors as you have a go at surfing! Join some of the coolest people on the planet as you get involved with Australia's beach culture. Our cabins are right on the beach, so soak up the surf vibes, top up your tan and relax by the open fire under the stars tonight.

12

Day 14: Coffs Harbour to Sydney

This morning, chill out on the coach and chat with your travel buddies as we head south. We pass the iconic 'Big Banana' in Coffs Harbour, before heading to Port Macquarie for lunch. Relax with your travel buddies...it’s a chilled out day before reaching Sydney. From the high-energy downtown area to its popular beaches, Sydney has something for everyone. You’ll soon understand why this is one the world’s most beautiful harbour cities. See the sails of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge. We will pass the iconic ‘Coca Cola Sign’ and cruise along ‘The Strip’ of Kings Cross, and hear stories of the underbelly of Sydney’s Red Light District. Tonight, there is a chance for you to scale the heights of the Harbour Bridge on the optional BridgeClimb.

13

Day 15: Sydney

First up today - get in the know on Sydney as your Trip Manager points out all the hottest spots & icons of this harbourside haven. From the babes on the beaches of Manly, the buzzy Kings Cross & its colourful characters to Chinatown & Darling Harbour, the sights & sounds are as varied as its residents & we’re here to uncover it all. We’ll also take you to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair Lookout Street and the Rocks, for undoubtedly the city’s best views of the Opera House & Harbour Bridge in one go (so it’s perfect for some of those legendary Sydney snaps). Later, it’s a totally Sydney experience with an included ride to the famous Manly Beach. We’ll drop you right at the beach. Bliss! On arrival, grab some lunch then throw down your towel, pop in your iPod & take time to paddle in the cool water, work on your tan if the weather is right, or just people watch as you soak up the vibes & atmosphere. There are loads of shops & restaurants here too, for those that are keen to check out the local buzz. Later, take the Sydney scenic route back - you’ll get a panoramic view of the city as your backdrop whilst you cruise on the famous & iconic ferry On arrival back in the city tonight, dinner is guaranteed to impress. We’ll head to one of Darling Harbour’s locals restaurants for a delicious included meal right by the water. Watching the sunset with a drink in hand & a great meal as you people watch the cool Sydney siders is the perfect way to end the day. Celebrate your last night on tour together by heading out for dinner at Darling Harbour & soaking up the buzzing nightlife of Sydney with your friends one last time!

14

Day 16: Sydney

This morning we’re heading out of the city & into the country for our included Blue Mountain’s day trip. The dramatic landscape of gorges (some up to 760m) are massive & will impress with the endless views into the distance. We’ll take a casual hike along the Jamison Ridge to the top of Wentworth Falls, passing a number of lookouts along the way. Next we’ll stop at Leura, a charming country village before visiting the iconic ‘Three Sisters’ – the famous rock formations. With amazing views & photos to keep your memories fresh when you get home, we’ll head back to Sydney. This city is home to some of the world’s best shopping, so it’s a haven for those who love to shop! Explore the unique boutiques in beautiful surroundings at the historic Queen Victoria Building right in the heart of the city. It’s a short walk from Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, the Botanic Gardens and Sydney shopping Mecca Pitt Street Mall – home to Australian retail giants Myer and David Jones. Say farewell to your new friends as your trip winds up upon arrival back in Sydney this afternoon.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 15 nights multi-share accommodation: 10 nights in hotels & resorts, 1 night in a lodge, 1 night in an eco-lodge, 1 night in a hostel, 1 night in a surf school village, 1 night at a cattle station lodge
    • Modern, air-conditioned coach with power outlets for charging
    • Rainforest adventure on days 1 & 2
    • National Park fees, local taxes & service charges
      Staff
    • An experienced & professional Trip Manager & Driver team
    • Sightseeing tours of all major cities
      Food
    • 22 meals:
    • 15 breakfasts
    • 1 lunch
    • 6 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • Aboriginal experience at Mossman Gorge
  • Mangrove boardwalk with our expert guide
  • Cairns city orientation
  • Pass through Tully, home to Australia's best whitewater rafting
  • Pass Hinchinbrook Island - Australia's largest island national park
  • See Magnetic Island
  • Townsville city orientation
  • Visit the vibrant seaside town of Airlie Beach
  • Visit the main region of Australia's sugar cane industry
  • Visit & cross the Tropic of Capricorn
  • Meet the cattle station owners
  • Check out the farm & animals on a hay wagon ride, then try whip cracking!
  • Aussie Outback experience: Langmorn Station Special Stopover
  • Take a locally guided 4WD trip across Fraser Island & indulge in a delicious lunch
  • Drive along Australia's only sand highway
  • Dine beachside at Noosa Surf Club & meet a lifesaver
  • See the Brisbane River, South Bank & visit Queen Street Mall
  • Stay at a resort located right by the beach
  • Nightclub entry
  • Learn to surf the waves or ride a kayak at our beachside surf camp
  • See the famous 'Big Banana' & banana plantations
  • Stop in the seaside resort town of Port Macquarie
  • Take a tour of Kings Cross, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Mrs Macquarie's Chair Lookout & The Rocks
  • Cruise across Sydney Harbour on a ferry to Manly
  • Cook your own BBQ dinner
  • Day trip out to the stunning Blue Mountains
  • See the famous Three Sisters rock formation
  • Hike along the ridge overlooking Jamison Valley