Day 1 - 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.
Day 2 - 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 glass bottom boat. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon
Day 3 - Cairns - Mission Beach
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!
Day 4 - Mission Beach - Hamilton Island
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, on of 74 tropical islands that make up with Whitsundays. You′ll be surrounded by pristine beaches, and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life!
Day 5 - Hamilton Island
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 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.
Day 6 - Hamilton Island - Rockhampton
This morning you′ll board a ferry back to 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 peak in to 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.
Day 7 - Rockhampton - K′gari (fraser Island)
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.
Day 8 - K′gari (fraser Island)
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. Walk through 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.
Day 9 - K′gari (fraser Island) - Gold Coast
It′s back to the mainland this morning aboard your return ferry. However 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 in to 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. You won′t venture far from the sand this evening as you arrive to the famous Gold Coast for another relaxing 2 nights.
Day 10 - Gold Coast
Today you have the freedom to enjoy the Gold Coast in your own style. Nature lovers may head to Mt Tamborine, foodies explore the growing culinary culture or those needing relaxation just stroll down to the sand and salt of Surfers Paradise Beach.
Day 11 - Gold Coast - Coffs Harbour
Journey to Cape Byron Lighthouse and 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. 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.
Day 12 - Coffs Harbour To Sydney
Memorise the Australian landscape with your last day traversing the east coast. This evening you′ll arrive to the buzzing hub of Sydney where this trip ends however hopefully your journey continues! We recommend an extra few days to catch the wonder of this harbour city. Have a chat with your Tour Director for some recommendations and perhaps spend some more time with your travelling friends.