The route up Australia’s East Coast has earned its rep as one of the seemingly endless supply of must-do experiences in the country. The classic Sydney-to-Cairns route introduces you to both sides of modern Australia – the bright lights of the big city and the raw beauty of the Outback. You’ll get to try your hand at dozens of atypical activities – everything from wine-tasting to sailing and snorkelling. And when you travel in small groups like we do, you really get out there into the wild to meet the locals and experience the land like they do. That amazing new frontier you’ve been looking for? Here it is.
Hunter Valley wine tasting. Sheep shearing demonstration. Gold panning and mine tour. Surf and yoga lessons. Fraser Island overnight excursion. Noosa Everglades overnight canoeing experience. Entrance fees to Cooloola Recreation Area and Fraser Island in Great Sandy NP. 3-day sailing excursion (Whitsunday Islands). Visit to Whitehaven Beach. Visit to G Adventures-supported Ingan Cultural Museum and Jirrbal Aboriginal art demonstration. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Taste wine in the Hunter Valley, sleep under the stars and at a sheep station, bliss out in famous Byron Bay, island hop through the Whitsundays
1) This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour after your trip concludes. Additionally, this tour is a combination of several G Adventures tours, and your CEO, fellow passengers or vehicle may change between the individual tour sections.
2) Note that only 1 piece of luggage and 1 carry on are allowed on the Queensland train. If you exceed this allowance, AUD15 may be charged upon boarding the train.
3) Please be aware that wifi and internet access is not as readily available in Australia as in other parts of the world. There are often additional charges to connect to the internet, and speeds may be slower than what you are used to.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver – this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 20, avg 16
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
Please note that most included breakfasts will consist of cereal, milk, bread and spreads, juice, tea and instant coffee. Having a simple breakfast together most days allows us the flexibility to get on the road early and get from point A to B all that much faster.
Private bus, train, maxi yacht, 4×4 safari vehicle, ferry
About our Transportation
Our vans are mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver.
The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt while riding in our vehicles.
Hostels (10 nts), swag camping (1 nt), maxi yacht (2 nts), cabin (1 nt), tents (1 nt). All nights multi-share.
Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. When camping on this tour, you will have the choice between a tent or the truly Aussie ’swag’—a canvas bedroll with built-in padding and perfect for a night under the stars. We’ll have both with us, so mix it up and try out the Aussie way. Towels and soap are not always provided at overnight stops, so it’s best to bring your own for bathing. Bathroom and showering facilities are shared and are very rarely en-suite.
Multi-share accommodation, on a single-sex basis (typically 4-6 people per room), is very common in Australia and is the way you will be spending most of your nights. We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip.
Couples: Please note that due to the types of accommodation used in Australia, couples will likely be split into separate rooms where we use multi-share hostels. Pending availability, couples may be able to pay extra while on tour to have their own room in some destinations.
477 Kent Street, NSW 2000
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Tel: 02 9267 7718
By Taxi: $40-$50, approximately 15km from the joining hotel and should take no more than 30 minutes.
By Shuttle Bus: $16 per person, look for ‘Sydney Airporter’ bus desk between exit gates B & C. Alternatively, the ‘Airport Connect’ service in the same location.
By Train: The train station is under the airport terminal and takes approximately 20-25 minutes to get into the city. Hop off the train at Town Hall Station and head to Kent St, which is on the western side of the station.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Melbourne)
During office hours, 9am-5pm Local Time
From outside Australia: +61 3 9413 5820
From within Australia: 03 9413 5820
After office hours emergency number
From outside Australia: +61 432 705 621
From within Australia: 0432 705 621
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend the use of a well-labeled duffel bag, soft bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). Suitcases or heavy luggage are not recommended for the health of the CEO! A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential as you will have the chance to walk and hike in different national parks during these trips. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
You will need a smaller bag for the Fraser Island overnight excursion, as we will leave big bags on the mainland due to space constraints.
For days in the outdoors, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days spent hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Flashlight or headlamp
•Camera, memory card(s) and charger
•Electricity plug adapter
-Day pack/overnight bag (needed for Fraser overnight excursion)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
A valid passport and visa is required. For some nationalities, the visa can be issued by your Travel Agency or the Australian Embassy via Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
To apply for an ETA online, travellers must hold a passport from one of the following countries:
- Brunei – Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- United States
More information about the ETA and how to apply can be found here:
If you do not hold a passport from any of the above countries, you cannot apply for an ETA online. You may be eligible to apply for an ETA through a travel agent, airline or an Australian visa office. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for other types of electronic visitor visas. See: www.immi.gov.au
The Australian currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Australia and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s), traveller’s cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in Australia in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is not customary in New Zealand or Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) – do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip – but it certainly isn’t expected.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in AUD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators. Please note there may be weight restrictions on certain activities (eg skydiving 100 – 110 kg).
MyMulti Pass (public transport pass) $11
Harbour Bridge Climb $198
Taronga Zoo – $44
Ocean Kayaking $69
Skydiving from $299-399
Fraser Island Flight $75
Scuba Diving $75
Whitewater Rafting $195 (Tully Full-day) $225 (Xtreme Tully Full-day)
Bungee jumping $169 (includes certificate and t-shirt)
Minjin Swing $99
Combo Bungee and Minjin Swing $319
Safety and Security
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD300-390 for meals not included.
13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: OASC, ID: 24225
Day 1 Sydney
There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city.
If you arrive early enough, head down to the harbour’s edge to ‘The Rocks’ historic area and the Opera House.
Want to start your Down Under adventure with an adrenaline rush? Add the ‘Sydney Adrenaline Bundle’ or ‘Sydney Bridge Climb’ extra to your tour. Get an incredible view of the iconic Sydney Harbour from the top of the Harbour Bridge, then zip through the waterways on a jet boat ride if you book the ‘Adrenaline Bundle’. PLEASE NOTE: If booking either of these extras, a pre-night in Sydney is highly recommended as the Bridge Climb starts early in the morning on Day 1.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Sydney/Nundle (1B, 1D)
Depart in the morning and head to a small country town for lunch before continuing to Nundle Sheep Station for the night.
At the sheep station, have the unique opportunity to meet an expert sheep shearer. Experience a shearing demonstration and learn about local sheep farming. At the end of the day, enjoy a lamb dinner with the locals before sleeping in historic shearer’s quarters.
The sheep station is quite remote, and there is usually no reception for mobile phones.
Hunter Valley Wine Tour
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 380km)
Day 3 Nundle/Bingara (1B, 1D)
After breakfast, drive to Tamworth, the country and western music capital of Australia and home to a giant guitar. Arrive in Bingara in the early afternoon for an included visit to a historic gold mine where you can try gold panning.
Opt to go horseback riding or swimming in a local watering hole.
Gold Mine Tour
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 210km)
Day 4 Bingara/Yamba (1B)
Once in Yamba, head to the beach for a swim. End an active day by savouring the local delicacy of fish and chips on the beach with fellow group members.
Travel distance: 380km (236 mi)
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 380km)
Day 5 Yamba/Byron Bay (1B)
After breakfast, travel the coastal road to the stunning surf and arts town of Byron Bay. Enjoy plenty of free time to experience the hippie surfing town. Options are abound — walk to the lighthouse (located on Australia’s most easterly point) for a chance to see whales swimming off shore or hang ten with the locals after an included surfing lesson.
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 128km)
Day 6 Byron Bay
The free time is yours to explore. Walk along the long stunning beach, play in the surf, or simply hang out in the Buddha Bar and people watch. Want to get your adrenaline pumping? Go skydiving, try sea kayaking, or go on a dolphin watch.
Day 7 Byron Bay/Brisbane (1B)
Travel north, and opt for a night out in Queensland’s capital.
Stop along the way to Brisbane for a quick break at one of the many surf spots such as the Gold Coast.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 288km)
Day 8 Brisbane/Fraser Island (1B, 1L)
Once on the island, enjoy a 4×4 tour of Fraser Island, driving along over 100km of beach. Go for a swim in Lake McKenzie, and enjoy a rainforest walk along the way.
While on Fraser Island and the Noosa Everglades, main luggage will be stored in a secure storage facility. Each person will need to pack a bag for two nights with max weight of 5kg. This is due to luggage capacity restrictions in 4×4 vehicles and canoes. Your CEO will explain further details on arrival into Rainbow Beach.
Depending on the day of the week, some groups may swap the order of the Fraser Island and Noosa Everglades days. Some groups will first travel to the Noosa Everglades for a night before travelling on to Fraser Island. All inclusions will still be offered but just in a different order.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 9 Fraser Island/Noosa River (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a morning of exploring by 4×4 to hit the remainder of Fraser Island’s highlights, then set off to the Noosa Everglades. Canoe upstream to a riverside camp for an evening surrounded by stunning wilderness. Walk through coastal vegetation along a gentle trail that leads to the Cooloola Sand Patch (time permitting).
Noosa Everglades Canoeing Overnight Excursion
Day 10 Noosa River/Rockhampton (1B, 1D)
Catch a train up the ‘Capricorn Coast’ which is well-known as ‘Cattle Country’. Arrive at a remote farm and stay the night. The workers from the property are excellent hosts as they teach about the history of the farm, the cattle industry, and some of the challenges of raising cattle in such a harsh environment.
Train (6.00-8.00 hours)
Day 11 Rockhampton/Whitsunday Islands (1B, 1D)
After a traditional Outback-style breakfast, transfer to the town of Airlie Beach and embark on a maxi yacht which will be our home for the next three days. Set sail to a secluded cove in the Whitsunday Islands where you will drop anchor for the night.
Whitsunday Islands Yolo Sailing Trip, Day 1
Private Vehicle (6.50-7.00 hours, 539km)
Day 12 Whitsunday Islands (1B, 1L, 1D)
The sailing route today allows us to follow part of Captain Cook’s route up through the Whitsunday Islands. There is the option for certified divers to scuba dive. Again we drop anchor in a secluded bay for the night.
Whitsunday Islands Yolo Sailing Trip, Day 2
Day 13 Whitsunday Islands/Airlie Beach (1B)
After three days at sea, we sail to the resort town of Airlie Beach for a night on land in a local beach hostel resort. Feel free to relax by the pool at the end of the day.
Whitsunday Islands Yolo Sailing Trip, Day 3
Day 14 Airlie Beach/Cairns (1L)
Admire the scenery on the train north to Tully. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch and a tour of the G Adventures-supported Ingan Cultural Museum. Participate in either a weaving or painting activity with traditional Jirrbal Aboriginal artists before continuing on to Cairns.
Ingan Cultural Museum & Jirrbal Aboriginal Art Demonstration
Train (5.00 hour(s), 482km)
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 140km)
Day 15 Cairns (1B)
Enjoy a free day to visit the Great Barrier Reef or get the adrenaline pumping by skydiving, whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.
Day 16 Cairns (1B)
Depart at any time.