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Cairns: Tropical Beaches and Reef: Guided Vacation

9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,320

MODERATE | ESCORTED COACH TOUR: Explore the countless tropical beaches and Great Barrier Reef on Australia’s east coast during this 9-day escorted coach tour. Make your way from Cairns to the Gold Coast with stops at Kuranda, the Atherton Tablelands, Airlie Beach, Sarina, Rockhampton, Fraser Island, and Hervey Bay. Enhance your trip with the expertise of your highly trained travel director and driver.

Your 9-day East Coast Australia vacation begins in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s wet tropics. Immerse yourself in the coral gardens of the Great Barrier Reef on a catamaran and snorkelling tour or from an underwater observatory and glass bottom boat. Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over Barron Gorge National Park to the small rainforest town of Kuranda. Enjoy the local markets and laneways before continuing through the Atherton Tablelands to the electric blue Ulysses butterfly dancing around the heritage-listed Curtain Fig Tree and Millaa Millaa Falls.

Drive along sugar cane fields, green paddocks, and rainforest-covered mountains as you depart Cairns and travel to Airlie Beach. Discover the 74 tropical Whitsunday Islands on a morning helicopter tour over Heart Reef or a high-speed catamaran tour to the squeaky silica sand at Whitehaven Beach. Head south to the Sarina for a delicious lesson on sugar cane distillation in Australia’s sugar capital before driving to Rockhampton, Australia’s beef capital, for a savoury meal.

Continue to Langhorn Station, a 150-year-old cattle farm and standing homestead owned and operated by the Creed Family, who will welcome you with rich stories and tea. Tour their massive and historic cattle property before departing to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and the only one with a rainforest. Marvel at the whales accompanying you on your ferry ride as they swim to the protected tranquil waters to calve. Enjoy a 4WD tour along the 75 Mile Beach and visit the Pinnacles Coloured Sands, Eli Creek, and the Maheno Shipwreck, resting on the shore since 1935. Travel inland to explore the ancient forest surrounding Central Station, the beautiful blue McKenzie Lake, and Wanggoolba Creek. Return to the mainland and travel through Hervey Bay to the Gold Coast, where your escorted coach tour ends.


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.
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,320

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Welcome to Cairns

Cairns, the gateway to two World Heritage Sites: The Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland. And you’re about to see both. Take it easy today, because the next few are going to be jam-packed with adventures.


Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration3 Nights
Day 2

The Great Barrier Reef

It’s not quite James Bond, but your high-speed catamaran over the Great Barrier Reef is certainly thrilling. Pause to snorkel over immense fans of coral, a verdant habitat for six of the world’s sea turtles as well as so many fish you won’t know where to look. If you prefer to keep your head above water, the marine world can also be glimpsed from an underwater observatory and glass-bottom boat.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 3


And now for that second World Heritage Site. Enjoy perspective of the Wet Tropics on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, lifting you above and through the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park to Kuranda. The Atherton Tablelands awaits, this high tropical plateau a tangle of dense forest – look out for the heritage listed Curtain Fig Tree – where waterfalls drop from high escarpments. Millaa Millaa Falls is among the most dramatic, a natural magnet for iridescent Ulysses butterflies.

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

Airlie Beach Free Time

Sand, sun and seriously dreamy vistas are your outlook exploring the Whitsundays, 74 tropical drops of land all ringed by the Coral Sea. There are endless ways to take in this part of the Great Barrier Reef – 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. Decisions, decisions.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Airlie Beach - Rockhampton

Your day starts on a natural high as you venture into Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital. 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.


Accommodation: Quality Hotel Regent

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 7

Rockhampton - K'gari (Fraser Island)

More beef awaits after you cross the Tropic of Capricorn to the Creed family’s Langmorn Station. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about life on the land, this is your chance – the Creeds have endless anecdotes to share over afternoon tea and a tour. 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 (Fraser Island)

The island also has a really long sand highway. Jump in a 4WD and zip 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 is where we say goodbye, but you don’t have to – this sparkling Queensland city has 70 kilometres of coastline to explore

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


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


- 12 meals included (8 Full Buffet Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 1 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
- Crater Lake National Park entrance fees (Millaa Millaa Falls)
- 9 included attractions/experiences
- Enjoy 4 different beach locations along the East Coast
- Experience 2 different island lives, the nature and discovery of K'gari plus the relaxation and spoils of Hamilton Island
- 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
- International and/or Domestic Flights


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
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