East Coast Contrasts

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15 days | Departs Jul to Oct 2019 –
Snorkel the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, explore the mysterious Undara Lava Tubes, and enjoy genuine outback hospitality on a family-owned cattle property.

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Discover more about this holiday

  • View Milaa Milaa Falls & the Curtain Fig Tree in World Heritage listed rainforest
  • Visit Langmorn Station, a working cattle property, and meet the local Creed family for afternoon tea
  • Gem fossicking in the gem fields of Rubyvale
  • Go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef to view colourful coral & tropical fish
  • Stay in Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsunday Islands
  • Afternoon tea with traditional damper & a family-run farm
  • A guided tour of the Bundaberg Rum Distillery
  • Meet the cuddly locals at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
  • Lunch & beer tasting at a genuine Australian craft beer brewery
  • Visit the famous Golden Guitar in Tamworth
  • Return flights to Cairns & from Sydney (as required)
  • Comfortable accommodation throughout
  • Experienced Travel Director & Driver Guide
  • 14 breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L) & 5 dinners (D)

Show / hide full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Homeport to Cairns (D)

Your East Coast adventure begins with a flight to Cairns. On arrival, you will be met and taken to your hotel. The rest of your day is at leisure to explore the city.

Welcome to tropical Cairns, on the pristine east coast of Far North Queensland. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for an orientation tour of the laid-back city before getting to know each other over a Welcome Reception and dinner.

❱ Hotel stay: Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa (2 nights)

Day 2 – Great Barrier Reef (BL)

Board a high-speed catamaran this morning and cruise out to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the only living organism visible from the moon. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling and see this natural wonder up close (equipment provided) or view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and glass-bottomed boat. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon. Your evening is at leisure.

Day 3 – Cairns to Undara (BD)

Depart Cairns this morning and travel inland through the fertile Atherton Tablelands where waterfalls, lakes and lush rainforests abound. You’ll stop in the town of Atherton before visiting Millaa Millaa Falls – keep a lookout for platypus and the brilliant Ulysses butterfly – and the famous Curtain Fig Tree. This evening you’ll enter the Undara Volcanic National Park and experience your first taste of outback hospitality.

❱ Hotel stay: Undara Lava Lodge (1 night)

Day 4 – Undara to Charters Towers (B)

Rise early for billy tea and a real bush breakfast around the campfire. Then embark on an unforgettable guided tour of the unique Undara Lava Tubes, reputedly the longest in the world, that stand as silent sentinels to the volcanic pre-history of the region.

❱ Hotel stay: Cattleman’s Rest (1 night)

Day 5 – Charters Towers to Airlie Beach (BD)

This afternoon visit Leahton Park, where extraordinary Texas Longhorn cattle have been resident since the 1800s, and enjoy a ‘smoko’ and tour of the property. Then journey on to the charming seaside town of Airlie Beach, gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

❱ Hotel stay: Mantra Club Croc (2 nights)

Day 6 – Airlie Beach Free Time (B)

Today is at leisure. You might like to consider an optional experience. Perhaps take the ferry to Hamilton Island, visit famous Whitehaven Beach aboard the Lady Enid, try croc-spotting in the estuaries and wetlands of the Whitsundays or just relax with a book by the pool at your resort.

Day 7 – Airlie Beach to Emerald (B)

Australia’s largest underground sapphire mine beckons this morning. Fossick for gems in the tiny village of Rubyvale before heading to Emerald for the evening.

❱ Hotel stay: Emerald Creek Hotel (1 night)

Day 8 – Emerald to Agnes Water (BD)

On the way to Agnes Water today you’ll stop for afternoon tea and traditional damper at Langmorn Station, an 11,000-hectare cattle property located in a scenic coastal valley. Your next stop is the historic, quaintly-named township of 1770, a little-known gem on the Queensland coast.

❱ Hotel stay: Lagoons 1770 Resort & Spa (2 nights)

Day 9 – Agnes Water Free Time (B)

Today is free to enjoy at your own pace. Perhaps take an optional experience and join the Goolimbil ‘Black Cockatoo’ Walkabout Tour to Eurimbula National Park on an amphibious cargo vessel, or take a day-cruise to Lady Musgrave Island, where you may be lucky enough to swim with the local turtles.

Day 10 – Agnes Water to Brisbane (B)

Today you’ll visit the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and learn about the history and making of famous ‘Bundy Rum’. Tonight is free for you to dine at one of Brisbane’s many restaurants and cafés.

❱ Hotel stay: Royal on the Park (2 nights)

Day 11 – Brisbane (B)

Explore Brisbane at your leisure today.

Day 12 – Brisbane to Armidale (BLD)

This morning at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary you can meet some of the cute, cuddly locals. Then depart Queensland and travel over the border to New South Wales. On the journey south, stop at the Granite Belt Brewery in Stanthorpe for lunch, and perhaps take the opportunity to try the renowned artisan-made beers. Celebrate your holiday at a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and newfound friends.

❱ Hotel stay: Quality Hotel Powerhouse Armidale (1 night)

Day 13 – Armidale to Sydney (B)

Visit country-music mecca Tamworth and the famous Golden Guitar and Collectors Museum on the way to Sydney.

❱ Hotel stay: Rydges Sydney Central (2 nights)

Day 14 – Blue Mountains (B)

See the Three Sisters in Katoomba and admire panoramic views over the Jamison Valley from a vantage point. Ride the world’s steepest railway at Scenic World (optional). Enjoy a lunch break in Leura. Visit Featherdale Wildlife Park and pat a cuddly koala. See other native animals including kangaroos and crocodiles.

End your day with a relaxing cruise down the Parramatta River, toasting the sunset with a glass of sparkling wine, beer or juice, on your return into Sydney Harbour. Disembark at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay and make your way back to your hotel.

Day 15 – Sydney to Homeport (B)

Sadly, today marks the end of your East Coast adventure. You will be transferred to Sydney Airport in time for your flight home.

Additional information
Departure City

Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney


04 Jul 2019, 26 Sep 2019, 24 Oct 2019


The following terms & conditions apply to your booking in addition to our General Booking Terms & Conditions:

  • Flights are included from all departure cities shown as required. These are based on Virgin Australia ‘Q’ Class Economy airfares, and are subject to availability at the time of your booking confirmation.
  • The following fees apply for cancellations made once your booking is confirmed:
    After deposit is received – loss of deposit;
    31 to 70 days before departure – 50% of total booking value plus deposit;
    Within 30 days of departure – 100% of total booking value.
    We recommend purchasing travel insurance for your holiday.
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