Explore the picturesque coastline that stretches from Cairns to the Gold Coast with a guided tour that takes you from the iconic Great Barrier Reef and Hamilton Island to Fraser Island, before finishing off with a visit to the sunny Gold Coast.
Cairns is the 4th most popular destination for international visitors. It is situated on a coastal strip between the Atherton Tableland (part of the Great Dividing Range) and the Coral Sea.
Cairns is a major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. It is the departure point for many day trips to the Atherton Tableland, Kuranda and the Daintree Tropical Rainforest. Flying into Cairns, one is struck by the lush tropical vegetation contrasting with the bright blue of the Coral Sea. There is a wide range of hotels in Cairns, both in the city itself and along the northern beaches heading to Port Douglas.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest feature made up of living organisms. Stretching 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) down the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef can be seen clearly from outer space.
Consisting of more than 900 islands and 2,900 individual reefs, it cannot be experienced by strapping on a mask, snorkel and fins and taking a casual swim from the beach. A great deal of thought has to be given to the style of the Great Barrier Reef trip you wish to take.
Part of the Whitsundays, and in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s most spectacular and sought-after holiday destinations. On a holiday to Hamilton Island, you’ll be surrounded by pristine white beaches and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life. Hamilton Island is a perfect base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and world-famous Whitehaven Beach.
Fraser Island stretches over 123 kilometres in length and 22 kilometres at its widest point. With an area of 184 000 hectares, it is the largest sand island in the world.
Fraser Island’s World Heritage listing ranks it with Australia’s Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef. Fraser Island is a precious part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage, it is protected for all to appreciate and enjoy.
Fraser Island is a place of exceptional beauty, with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly coloured sand cliffs, and over 100 freshwater lakes, some tea-coloured and others clear and blue all ringed by white sandy beaches. Ancient rainforests grow in sand along the banks of fast-flowing, crystal-clear creeks.
Fraser Island is the only place in the world where tall rainforests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres. The low “wallum” heaths on the island are of particular evolutionary and ecological significance and provide magnificent wildflower displays in spring and summer.
The immense sand blows and cliffs of coloured sands are part of the longest and most complete age sequence of coastal dune systems in the world and they are still evolving. They are a continuous record of climatic and sea-level changes over the last 700 000 years. The highest dunes on the island reach up to 240 metres above sea level.
Arrive at Cairns Airport– Hotel Transfer
Welcome to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef! Take your time to settle into the warm weather and relaxed vibe of the tropical north. Tonight, you’ll meet your newfound friends whilst enjoying a welcome dinner at a Cairns Harbour restaurant.
Cairns Accommodation plus welcome dinner with wine and breakfast
Great Barrier Reef Cruise.
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 glass-bottom boat. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon.
Cairns Accommodation plus breakfast
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!
Mission Beach Accommodation plus breakfast and dinner
This morning there will be time to take a walk along the shore and feel the golden sand between your toes before you depart. Your drive today takes you to Airlie Beach where the ferry will transport you to the relaxed lifestyle of Hamilton Island, one of 74 tropical islands that make up with Whitsundays. You’ll be surrounded by pristine beaches and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life!
Hamilton Island Accommodation plus breakfast
At Hamilton Island the day is yours to indulge and relax by the pool or on the beach – you may prefer to hire a buggy to explore the island (you’ll need your driver’s licence) or tee off in paradise against the magnificent backdrop of an azure ocean. Or perhaps the famous Whitehaven Beach beckons. Take an optional cruise aboard a catamaran to this slice of paradise, where you can simply relax on the beach, take a swim, or get involved in some fun beach activities.
Hamilton Island Accommodation plus breakfast
This morning you’ll board a ferry back to the mainland and continue south to Australia’s sugar capital Sarina. Thought you knew sugar? Sarina Sugar Shed is a working miniature sugar mill where you’ll get a peek into the sugar cane industry. Witness fully functioning sugar processing and distilling equipment in action. Afterwards, you can taste some of the products made on-site before sitting down for a light lunch. Balance out that sugar high this evening with some protein in the beef capital of Australia, Rockhampton. Your night is free so why not try some local beef at an Aussie pub or go the modern route at the newly built Pier restaurant
Rockhampton Accommodation plus lunch and breakfast
You’ll cross the Tropic of Capricorn this morning on the drive out of Rockhampton however we’re not quite leaving the beef behind yet. This morning, you’ll experience some true Australian hospitality and farming life at Langmorn Station, a fully operational family-run cattle station. Meet the Creed family and take a guided tour of the property including the original family homestead, built-in 1873. Enjoy morning tea in the garden in the company of the pet kangaroo! This afternoon a ferry will take you across to the World Heritage Listed K’gari, also known as Fraser Island. Ground yourself back in nature on this sand island, your home for the next two nights.
Fraser Island Accommodation plus breakfast
A day of discovery lies ahead as your 4WD tour takes you for a bumpy ride around the island’s must-see sites. Visit Lake McKenzie, ringed with magnificent white sandy beaches. Walkthrough the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees. Across the island to 75 Mile Beach, the sand highway will take you up the eastern coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands; cooling, calm waters of Eli Creek and the famous sinking Maheno Shipwreck.
Fraser Island Accommodation plus breakfast
It’s back to the mainland this morning aboard your return ferry. Wildlife discovery awaits with your visit to Australia Zoo made famous by the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin and his family. Enjoy a sneak peek into the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and see how AAT Kings works with the Wildlife Warriors to support the koala rehabilitation project at the hospital, the country’s largest and busiest wildlife facility. Catch one of the many shows and wander through the zoo’s fascinating grounds. Your tour ends upon arrival into the Gold Coast this evening.
Breakfast is included on the final day.
Short note to thank you for a terrific itinerary and choice of accommodations. We got back from Australia having had the best 'real' holiday in years. Loved it! The order of the trip was perfect and all the hotel bookings worked seamlessly.
We had a wonderful time! We so appreciate your arranging everything for us. It all went very smoothly. We just had to show up where and when you told us to. It took away any stress to this leg of our journey.
At long last & very overdue, we wish to thank you very much for all the bookings you made on our behalf for our adventure. We were pleased with all the accommodation bookings you made, we particularly noted we got what we asked for, walk in showers, twin beds & all clean & tidy. Thanks Madi, well done!!
Just wanted to say a big thank you!!! We have now returned from our holiday & it was fantastic. We would really like to thank you for how well everything was organised. Accommodation & tours were fabulous. We really loved how well organised our trip was and this is a credit to you!!! Thanks again, will be recommending you to friends and family.