10 hidden places on Australia’s east coast

Australia’s hidden gems

You have just landed at the airport and have a tight schedule. You have to see the Sydney Opera House, you have to dive on the Great Barrier Reef and you definitely want to got to Fraser Island. Of course, you will experience all the main spots on your U.Trip up the East Coast, but what about a few of the hidden gems that most travellers tend to miss? Only U. takes you to many of the amazing places off the beaten track.

Burleigh Heads

While Surfers Paradise has the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast only a few miles away is the locals’ favourite “hang-out-spot” – Burleigh Heads.

Climb Burleigh Hill to find the perfect spot for a picnic, a nap in the sun or views over the Heads. Find a quiet spot for a swim of sunbathing around Tallebudgera Creek.

While in Burleigh Heads centre try out personal favourites, Paddock Bakery and The Pavilion. Paddock Bakery is without a doubt Australia’s best bakery / cafe and you have to try the whole menu, as in the ENTIRE menu. Right on the water, you will find the restaurant The Pavilion, where the long dresses and the ironed shirts hang out with exotic drinks and food in a class of its own, as in a truly class of its own.

Noosa Heads Walk

In Noosa Heads, the hike starts from Noosa and goes through to Hell’s Gates. It is one of our favourite off the beaten walks in Australia. Following around the coastline all the way, there are surfers at all hours of the day catching waves and spotting a pod of passing dolphins is not out of the ordinary – this is a hike where you constantly have the camera in hand.

We recommend starting the walk later in the afternoon where the sun is not so bright and temperatures a little cooler. At the Fairy Pools take a cooling dip before starting the walk back the same way you came only this time taking in the glorious sunset. This is an adventure for the early evening.

After a long walk you will be hungry. Go to El Capitano, one of the most renowned pizzerias in the country. We recommend grabbing a takeaway and enjoying it on the beach.

Snapper Rocks

Coolangatta on the sunshine coast is a hip and cool place to be. Nearby Snapper Rocks is where you will find some of Australia’s best surfers riding the big powerful waves. Snapper Rocks is very breathtaking and it is best experienced by sitting on the edge of the natural pool and becoming one with the waves and the sun. You won’t have a worry in life once the waves start.

Warrie Circuit

If you are a nature lover you will absolutely over this 17 km long hike, which passes countless waterfalls on its way through Springbrook National Park. This is one of our favourite hidden places in Australia with every waterfall seemingly better than the next.

Of course, it’s great to hike in the sunshine, but you actually get the best and most wilderness experience during the pouring rain. The waterfalls are always twice as lively during and after a good round of rain so pack a rain jacket and waterproof the camera.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Soar of the rainforest treetops on a 7.5 km long cable car that takes you over Australian treetops to the epic Barron Falls. Located close to Cairns Kuranda Rainforest is simply breathtaking scenery. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway  from Cairns to get there.

Wallaman Falls

Wallaman Falls is Australia’s highest waterfall at 268 meters. Situated deep in the rainforest in Girringun National Park, the Wallaman Falls sit on Stony Creek which descends from the Atherton Tablelands. As well as great hikes in the region there are several fantastic lookout points!

Great Keppel Island

A short 30 minute boat ride from the coastal town of Yeppoon in Queensland you will find Great Keppel Island with no less than 17 different sandy beaches to explore. There is fantastic snorkelling right off the beach and alternatively really good hikes in the rugged hinterland. While hiking be n the look out for a wide range of exotic birds from Kookaburras, and rainbow lorikeets to a wide range of different seabirds. Dolphins and whales are regularly spotted from the beaches and lookout points.

Hyams Beach

In Jervis Bay south of Sydney, you will find what the locals call “the whitest sandy beach in the world”. Hyams Beach is known for its  turquoise-aqua blue coloured waters and fine, squeaky, brilliantly white sand made of pure quartz. Remember your sunglasses so the bright white sand do not dazzle you!

Unfortunately Hyams Beach suffers from over-tourism during the height of the season and now the village effectively closes once the 450 street parking spaces are full. U. also supports a local group working hard to revegetate the dunes which have been badly damaged by dodgy tourists illegal freedom camping.

Magnetic Island

Make friends with a koala, dance the night away to the wildest beach parties or learn to dive. Magnetic Island is a short boat trip from the city of Townsville.

You never get bored on Magnetic Island and a few days is simply not enough. Grab an open-top 4WD and visit the hidden oasis of Balding Bay and the beautiful palm trees of Strand Park. Magnetic Island may not be exactly one of the “hidden places in Australia”, but it is not as much of a tourist hotspot as it should be!

Agnes Water & 1770

The town with the strange name, Seventeen Seventy, was the place where Captain Cook first landed, in the year 1770, effectively discovering the Australian state of Queensland. Today it is a beautiful beach resort with a sheltered beach plus Queensland’s most Northern surf beach, Agnes Waters.

The headland around Agnes Waters is preserved native scrub and bushland known as the Paperback Forest.1770 also serves as the launchpad for the incredible Lady Musgrave Island and the unique Coral Cay Island. Great off the beaten track places to explore with a day trip or overnight camping trip.

What more could you want on a tour of Australia?

You’ve probably already laced up your shoes and are halfway inside the plane, right? Australia never disappoints, so remember to polish your camera lens and get ready for experiences that excite and surprise. Just be sure to tell your friends and family that you’ll probably just extend by a month or two or three!

Trips to get you here

The incredible trip includes Surf Camp, amazing scenery, gourmet delights, and pristine beaches in NSW. Then its wildlife encounters, laid-back vibes, 4WD adventures, lush forests, vibrant coral reefs and the rich traditions of the First Nations people in Queensland.


An unforgettable NSW journey of breathtaking views and gourmet delights, from the mesmerizing Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley, a Koala Sanctuary, wild encounters with bottlenose dolphins, to the sandy shores of Port Stephens.


Learn to dive, become a certified diver and help to save the Great Barrier Reef, Australia! Be part of the solution and not the problem in one incredibly well-crafted volunteer based tour.

Master your surfing skills in just three days then, explore Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, a Koala Sanctuary, and scenic landscapes on this beachy, quick Aussie escapade.


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