Specials Trip Finder Brochures Menu

Cairns: East Coast, Beaches and Reef: Guided Vacation

12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,305

MODERATE | ESCORTED COACH TOUR: Discover Australia’s beautiful tropical east coast on this 12-day escorted coach vacation. Make your way from Cairns to Kuranda, Arilie Beach, Whitsundays Islands, Sarina, Rockhampton, Fraser Island, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, and Sydney. Australia’s East Coast invites you to explore its countless beaches, waterfalls, rainforests, islands, and vibrant local wildlife.

Begin your 12-day Australia vacation in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Discover the vast and colourful coral, sea turtles, and incredible fish on a high-speed catamaran tour, a snorkelling tour, or from an underwater observatory and glass-bottom boat. Move inland and take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over Barron Gorge National Park to the rainforest village of Kuranda. Explore the many markets and laneways before travelling through the Atherton Tablelands to the incredible Millaa Millaa Falls and Curtain Fig Tree.

Continue south to Airlie Beach, your home base for exploring the Whitsundays Islands. Choose between a morning helicopter tour over Heart Reef or a catamaran tour to the squeaky silica sands at Whitehaven Beach. Return to the mainland and travel further south to Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital, and enjoy a delicious lesson on sugar cane distillation at the Sarina Sugar Shed before continuing to Rockhampton, Australia’s beef capital. Keep indulging your hunger for quality Aussie beef at Langhorn Station, a 150-year-old cattle farm and standing homestead owned and operated by the Creed Family since 1869.

Take a scenic ferry ride to Fraser Island accompanied by whales (during migration season) coming to the protected tranquil waters to calve. Enjoy a 4WD tour along 75 Mile Beach to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands, Eli Creek, and the Maheno Shipwreck, resting on the shore since 1935. Move inland and visit the beautiful blue McKenzie Lake and Wangggoolba Creek.

Travel south to Surfers Paradise, the heart of the Gold Coast. Surf at one of the many local beaches or enjoy a leisurely cruise along the city’s intricate canal system before visiting the creative and gastronomy hub in the Mt. Tamborine hinterland area. Drive to the beachside town of Byron Bay for incredible views atop the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Wonder at the dolphins and whales swimming in the Pacific Ocean before heading to Coffs Harbour for a farewell dinner with your group.


Read More

At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,305

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive to Cairns

Welcome to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef! Today you have time to settle into the warm weather and create your own start to the upcoming journey. Depending on your arrival time, you could experience an Indigenous Cultural Show at Tjapukai, head straight to the water for an afternoon boat cruise or catch a sneak peek at the new Cairns Aquarium of some of the sea life you may spot on your reef day. Tonight you'll meet your new found friends whilst enjoying a welcome dinner at a Cairns Harbour restaurant.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration3 Nights
Day 2

The Great Barrier Reef

Board a high speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. The world heritage listed reef is the only living organism you can see from the moon. Imagine that! You'll have the opportunity to go snorkelling and view this natural living wonder up-close (equipment provided) and view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and the semi- submersible craft. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 3


From the Reef yesterday, to the Rainforest today! You'll be dropped off at Smithton for your peaceful Skyrail Rainforest Cableway journey across the canopy of Barron Gorge National Park. You'll disembark at the Rainforest village of Kuranda with free time to explore. Your journey continues through the Atherton Tablelands, where lush rainforest, waterfalls and lakes abound. Visit Millaa Millaa Falls and the famous Curtain Fig Tree making sure to keep an eye out for the spectacular Ulysses Butterfly. Your destination for the night is Mission Beach where you'll stay with views over the ocean. Magic!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Cairns - Airlie Beach

Some days, the journey matters just as much as the destination. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as you travel south through sugar cane fields and rolling green paddocks, all framed by the ocean and rainforest-clad mountains. Stretch your legs en route to Airlie Beach and soak up this steamy part of the state.


Accommodation: Mantra Club Croc

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 5

The Whitsunday Islands Free Time

Powdery beaches and rainforest unite in the Whitsundays, 74 tropical drops of land all ringed by the Coral Sea. There are endless ways to explore this part of the Great Barrier Reef on tour – today, we’re letting you choose. Perhaps rise early for an optional helicopter ride over Heart Reef. Or catch a catamaran to Whitehaven Beach, with sand so high in silica it squeaks underfoot.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Airlie Beach - Rockhampton

Life is sweet in Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital, where your guided tour takes you behind the scenes of processing and distilling sugar cane at the Sarina Sugar Shed. And yes, you get to sample the wares. You’ll be bouncing off your seat all the way to Rockhampton, another town with a big title: this is the country’s beef capital. See if it deserves its accolade at any of the restaurants that line the streets. Ask us for dining tips.   

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration1 Night
Day 7

Rockhamton - K'gari (Fraser Island)

More beef awaits after you cross the Tropic of Capricorn, GPS set for Langmorn Station, where the Creed family will welcome you with afternoon tea and a tour of the immense (and historic) cattle property – the original family homestead was built in 1873. The Creeds love nothing more than a good yarn about life on the land. Your next destination involves water. Lots of it. The ferry ride to World Heritage-listed K’gari (Fraser Island) is a highlight, particularly during whale migration when these gentle giants come to the calm, protected waters to calve. Alight on the world’s largest sand island, and the only place in the world where rainforest grows from the sand.


Accommodation: Kingfisher Bay Resort

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 8

K'gari (Faser Island)

The island also has a really long sand highway. Jump in a 4WD on your Fraser Island tour and skid along 75 Mile Beach, all the way up the east coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands, calm Eli Creek and the Maheno shipwreck, which offers quite the photo opportunity. Just when you thought the island couldn’t get any prettier, Lake McKenzie appears on the horizon, this dazzling patch of blue formed only with rainwater. It’s a hard act to follow, but the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek lives up to the challenge with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 9

K'gari (Fraser Island) - Gold Coast

Back on the mainland, follow the waves of Hervey Bay south to the Gold Coast, where you can be surfing one minute and surrounded by rainforest the next. This afternoon, fall into beat with locals and explore the city’s booming food and wine scene. We have a few restaurant favourites…


Accommodation: Novotel Surfers Paradise

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 10

Gold Coast Free Time

The hardest thing you have to do today is decide which direction to set your Queensland trip compass. Perhaps stay close to your Surfers Paradise base and explore long stretches of sand and achingly cool cafés. The city also breaks records for its extensive network of canals, which you might opt to explore on a leisurely cruise. Or go further afield to see another side of the ‘Goldie’ in the Mt. Tamborine hinterland – a hub for creatives and foodies

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Gold Coast - Coffs Harbour

Journey from the Gold Coast to the beach side town of Byron Bay. From Cape Byron Lighthouse enjoy superb views from Australia’s eastern-most point over the Pacific Ocean. At the right time of year, you may be lucky enough to spot migrating whales frolicking off the coast. Travel South to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales to Coffs Harbour. Experience your last evening of Australian nature at your accommodation nestled amongst sprawling tropical gardens in Coffs Harbour. You’ll have the opportunity to wander down to Little Diggers Beach and Diggers Head. Enjoy the early evening sea breeze just like the locals do! Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with your travelling friends.


Accommodation: BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 12

Coffs Harbour - Sydney

Your final stretch of your East Coast Australia tour takes you to the ‘Harbour City’, one of the prettiest of its kind anywhere in the world, in our humble opinion. If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to life on the road, chat to your Travel Director about extending your trip to take in Sydney’s legendary sights.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


2023: Nov 17
2024: Jan 19; Feb 16; Mar 15


  • 16 meals included (11 Full Buffet Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners including Welcome Dinner & Farewell Dinner)
  • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver
  • Local Specialists (Guides) at:
  • K’gari (Fraser Island)
  • Langmorn Station
  • Sarina Sugar Shed
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – K’gari (Fraser Island), Great Barrier Reef & Wet Tropics of Queensland (Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail)
  • Centrally located premium hotels
  • Cape Byron Lighthouse Permit & Crater Lake National Park entrance fees (Millaa Millaa Falls)
  • 10 included attractions/experiences
  • For a beach, island and water themed break mixed with regional Australian life
  • Great for those who enjoy watching the changing scenery of nature
  • Enjoy 6 different beach locations along the East Coast
  • It'll be hard to come by an Australian who hasn't spent a family holiday at Surfers Paradise. Discover why as you unwind on the sand and waves
  • Experience the nature and discovery of K'gari
  • Gain insight into Australian rural life with a visit to Langmorn cattle station hosted by the Creed Family
  • Discover the beauty of the Tropical North rainforest
  • Jump from the Rainforest to the Reef and swim amongst the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef


  • Items of a personal nature
  • Pre or Post Tour accommodation
  • Meals and Beverages not listed in itinerary
  • Optional Excursions/Tours


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

15 Mar 2024
Trip Finder

What our travelers say

Goway Toolkit

Need help planning your holiday? Our toolkit is a great place to get started.