22 day Australia East Coast Adventure Tour

The Perfect Australia Small Group Tour

for your Gap Year and Backpacking adventure

In 22 days you will see more, travel more, do more and experience more of the east coast of Australia with an amazing experienced local guide, like minded travellers and a tour designed to embrace the coast’s full diversity. Each day will be filled with new experiences, from the adventurous, such as participating in surf lessons, sea-kayaking and sailing to the ‘fun & relaxed’, like meeting local Aussies known for their incredible hospitality, hiking in Australian natural wonderlands and enjoying a beach party or two, cumulating in nearly 4 weeks of simply majestic memories!

Surf camps, hikes, snorkelling amongst rainbow-coloured fish on coral reefs, sailing in warm winds on turquoise oceans under summer suns, and safaris amongst the rainforests. From Australia has some of the most awesome wild nature anywhere in the world. From crazy animals like emus and kangaroos that can’t walk backwards, to cuddly koalas, or venomous snakes and spiders.

The wild landscape covers everything from beautiful downtown sandy beaches to, to remote mountain ranges that get covered in snow in the winter and of course in to massive outback which has miles and miles of red sand and nothingness. We promise that this is a trip you will never forget. There is a reason why the east coast of Australia is a favourite destination amongst gap year travellers and backpackers and we look forward to sharing the very best parts of it with you!

At a glance

From: £2,995

Big city Sydney to hip surf Australia

You’ll start your amazing adventure in the vibrant heart of Australia, Sydney, with a harbour cruise and exploring the centre and sightseeing the iconic harbour & monuments which make this a truly unique city, including the amazing coastal walk between Bronte and Bondi beaches. After exploring Sydney, you move up the coast where we learn to surf at Spot X, where our great team of local surf instructors will introduce you to one of Australia’s national sports – Surfing! There is plenty of time to practice your surf skills as we stop at the ultra hip Byron Bay and appropriately named Surfers Paradise.

  • Snap an insta worthy photo in front of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour bridge
  • Walk down the white sandy beaches of Bronte and Bondi Beach
  • Learn to ride the waves at the surf camp Spot X
  • Visit Australia’s most eastern point at Byron Bay
  • Revel in the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast
Sun, surf and beach exploration

From the Gold Coast, we pass the big city of Brisbane, Australia’s most liveable city, before heading to Hervey Bay and the gateway to one of the highlights of your trip, a two-night expedition to Fraser Island. Jokingly known as the world’s most dangerous island, with natural tropical forests and a great stay in our beachside cabins, this island is a wonderful wilderness playground for 4×4 driving on sandy beaches and swimming in over 100 freshwater lakes.

Before journeying north to Airlie Beach and the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands we will:

  • Explore Brisbane
  • Stay 2 nights on the world’s largest sand island – Fraser Island.
  • Swim in crystal clear Lake Mackenzie and float a rubber tube down Eli Creek
  • 4WD on the famous beaches
Whitsunday Islands; Golden Beaches to Magnetic Island

From Airlie Beach, our journey takes us sailing in the incredible Whitsunday Islands – a network of 74 mostly uninhabited islands characterised by golden sands, clear warm water, dense island rainforests & long sun drenched days.

We’ll hike and swim, snorkel, and of course drink cocktails in the sun falling asleep under a star laden sky. This is paradise uninterrupted as we cruise the islands at a relaxed pace aboard our own charted boat. Then it is on to Magnetic Island for a change of pace as we approach the tropical far north. Whether you choose to laze by the pool or explore a completely different coastal feel on a local discovery tour.

Tropical Far North

We continue our adventures in Cairns where we encourage you to explore the cultural diversity of this northern coastal city and appreciate the sheer magnitude of rainforests which creep towards the open ocean. We go on a rainforest safari to Cape Tribulation through the dense canopy of the Daintree Rainforest, and a day out on the outer Great Barrier Reef – an epic and iconic finale to some amazing days of travelling and exploring the best of Australia’s East coast.

  • Explore the cultural diversity of Cairns
  • Snorkel, dive or just swim at the world’s largest reef – The Great Barrier Reef home to over 1500 species of fish!
  • Change the pace up with an adventurous rainforest safari to Cape Tribulation
  • Skydive, white water raft or bungy jump to end your trip with a serious adrenalin kick
  • Stay longer and get your dive certification

Finally your big Australian journey begins. We all meet in the reception of our designated hostel around 4pm where for most this will be the first time meeting the group and guide. Some of you may have already met if you have been in Sydney for a few days taking advantage of our pre-tour trips to the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley.

There is just enough time to slide in to the Side Bar and have a quick beer or soda and ask all those last minute questions – should I have bought an umbrella? (no!) What time does the 11am bus leave?

Then we are picked up and transferred to the man-o-war steps to meet a scheduled departure for a Sunset and Sparkle Sydney harbour Cruise. This is a small group cruise on Sydney Harbour taking in the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. You will enjoy 360° uninterrupted views of the most beautiful harbour and cityscape in the world. With indoor and outdoor areas for viewing the harbour’s beauty, watch as the sun sets and the city reveals it’s lights. Enjoy a grazing platter and a beverage (non-alcoholic), with the option to BYO alcoholic beverages on board, and spend time cruising and relaxing, as you Sea Sydney Harbour on a boat! It is great opportunity for us to get to know each other.

The hour on board goes really quickly so we head back to the hostel for an early night (ah ha) before our big trip starts proper – or ok twist my rubber arm, I will come for just one drink at the hostel bar.

Arriving in Australia

This evening we will catching an overnight intercity coach to our surf camp, but not until we have worked our legs out with a big walking tour of Sydney. We will use local transport to jump on and off while we explore Sydney, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Macquaries Chair and then we go the lovely coastal hike from Bronte Beach to Bondi (approximately 3 kms). There is time to swim at the beaches and grab lunch at a local cafe before we catch local transport back to the hostel.

Back at the hostel there is a lounge, kitchen, and bathroom/shower facilities where we can freshen up before the overnight bus journey.

(Breakfast included)

Exploring Sydney

It feels fantastic to get off the bus when we arrive in Spot X Surf Camp and the amazing crew immediately pick us up and fill us full of breakfast before we head out for first surfing lesson. The waters at Spot X are super warm with just the “right” surf for learning in.

Back on beach everything is taken care of with lunch and dinner provided. You are free this afternoon to do as you please – relax on the beach, try surfing again if you are already addicted have a snooze in beach side cabins and teepees.

Your stay included 3 surf lessons with the gnarly dude qualified instructors.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Spot X - Surf Camp

Today things are starting to feel normal Aussie style. Wake up as the sun rises over Australia’s east coast with the sounds of the waves lapping the shore line just meters from your accommodation; the weather is already super warm, start the day with a good breakfast, then hit the beach and the surf. Today we have included two more surf lessons with the professional guides at Spot X to really get you setup for the rest of your East Coast adventure.

Tonight we enjoy traditional Aussie dinner (you mean BBQ mate) around an open camp fire.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Sun, Surfing & Camp Fires

We are sorry but no, you can’t stay at Surf Camp forever. In fact, we are up super early (Sparrow’s fart as they say in Australia) to catch our bus to Byron Bay. An early start means an early arrival in the ultra-hip cool beach town of Byron Bay.

We have a lot of time ahead of us to discover the arts and crafts markets, visit cafes, walk to the lighthouse, which is at Australia’s most eastern point, and explore some of the beaches that make Byron Bay so popular. At the still-active Byron Bay lighthouse, you can explore the maritime museum and interpretive space.

Today your fabulous U.Guide will be preparing your own speciality dishes for dinner back at the hostel.

There is the option to skydive in one of Australia’s most awesome spots of kayaking out in search of the local bottlenose dolphins. There is free-time tomorrow also to do these activities.

(Dinner included)

Byron Bay

Today is going to be a great day and is yours to hang out and recharge in Byron Bay. If you are looking for a bit of adventure then we recommend you pre-book either the awesome sea-kayaking or how about skydiving?  Byron Bay is one of the most popular jump zones in the world for a tandem skydive. There is loads other things to do in Byron such as grabbing an e-Bike and visiting Lightening Falls, snorkelling at Jullian Rocks or hiring a surf-board locally if you really have the bug. A hike out to some of the remote beaches you saw yesterday such as Wategoes to work on that tan is highly recommended!

Tonight once everyone is back from their respective adventures we will head in to Byron Bay and you are free to maybe try one of the restaurants or do some shopping and cook for yourself at the hostel.

(Breakfast included)

Byron Bay

This is more like it! Another relaxed start today and a slow breakfast organised by your loving U.Guide before we take a short bus trip north to Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast. Ritzy and glamorous the Gold Coast has everything you might want for shopping plus a beautiful white sand beach where you will see why it is aptly called Surfers Paradise.

We will head out for a walking tour of the area and you are free to explore as you please – check out the famous Surfers Paradise Beachfront markets on the esplanade. Maybe you have the bug and you just want to surf?!?! Your U.Guide can give you a hand to get hold of a surfboard locally. Alternatively there is the option to explore the canals around the city by standup paddle board (must be pre-booked).

(Breakfast included)

Gold Coast glitz and glamour

The first part of today’s scenic journey includes a short Greyhound bus ride from Surfers Paradise to Australia’s most liveable city – Brisbane. You’ll have an hour or so to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and explore the city close to the train station before departing on the midday bus to Hervey Bay. Keep your eyes open and on the coastline as this is a memorable trip in itself!

This evening join in with your travel mates to help your U.Guide to prepare a traditional Aussie BBQ for dinner this evening.

(Dinner included)

Journey from Surfers to Hervey Bay

It’s the early bird who catches the grub this morning as we have an early breakfast call before being picked up from the hostel for our Fraser Island tour.  You will have sorted your gear out the night before – leaving what you don’t need securely in the hostel and bringing just enough for the 3 days.

Of course, you will absolutely need your swimming costume because we are heading to the world’s largest sand island. First we will organise into the 4WDs (if you are over 21 you will have the option of driving), make a quick stop at the shops for snacks, coffee, and other things you might need, then we take the vehicles on a barge that will take us to Wangoolba Creek on Fraser Island.

We’ll 4WD across the island and up 75 mile beach to our accommodation, unpack our gear, and have a BBQ lunch. From basecamp we will explore amazing spots such as Eli Creek, Maheno Shipwreck, and Pinnacles or Lake Garrawongerra (depending on the tide). Plus there will be more than enough time for some afternoon relaxation. You can enjoy a drink, play some volleyball on the beach, or just take it easy. In the evening join in some fun local games and a night walk.

Please note that due to weather conditions, changing sand conditions, access closures the actual itinerary we follow on the island will be constantly changing and evolving.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Fraser Island

Today there is the option to get up early for a stunning sunrise walk – highly recommended – before sharing a continental breakfast. Then we’ll head to the beach to take our 4WDs to Indian Head and the Champagne Pools, with a stop at Lake Allom on the way.

We’ll have lunch at the Cathedrals before returning back to our basecamp mid afternoon. There will be free time for afternoon relaxation, a few drinks, and volleyball on the beach etc. Tonight is another great island dinner, more games, or go for a night walk on the beach.

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Fraser Island

This morning we stock up early with a hot breakfast to maximise our exploring energy. We will take the 4WDs for a day of sightseeing and adventure. We begin over at Lake Wabby, before heading out to Central Station, Pile Valley and Lake McKenzie or Lake Birrabeen.

We’ll have lunch at Eurong before heading back to Kingfisher Resort, where we’ll have snacks and afternoon drinks (not provided). You can also take a walk or swim in a bit of luxury at the resort while we’re there. We take the 4WDs back across the barge in the evening to get back to the mainland and our gear at Hervey Bay.

(Breakfast & lunch included)

Great Aussie Adventures

Today is a free day to relax, kick back or explore the town of Hervey Bay. We will also stock up on snack for our overnight bus to Airlie Beach.

We leave Hervey Bay in the evening with a plan to be in the awesome resort town of Airlie Beach in time for breakfast.

(Breakfast included)

Rest & Recharge in Hervey Bay

We arrive at Airlie Beach around 8:00 am as the town is just getting going. Dropping our luggage off at the hostel we will wander into the village and grab breakfast and look around. Today you are free to explore the coastal township or laze by the man-made lagoon which is fantastic for swimming.

For those with some extra energy, your U.Guide can help you find different activities which can be booked locally.

Remember to get some rest, because tomorrow we hit the Whitsunday Islands for another U.Special experience, sailing on a maxi yacht.

Airlie Beach

We check in at the amazing maxi sailing yacht Siska early for our two days sailing experience – sailing away in to the sunset never to be seen again. Well, sailing in to the Whitsunday Islands sunset anyway. Over the next 2 days/1 night you will have as much opportunity to be as active as you want. Soak away the island life on the front deck sipping a few beers, sleep under the stars (or in a cabin), or get involved in sailing the boat.

After departing the Coral Sea Marina the route our captain takes is dependent on weather and tides, but hey, what do we care – it is all beautiful. For the active ones (all of us) we hike up through the bush to Hill Inlet Lookout to get the insta-worthy photo of the famous Whitehaven Beach, before sinking our toes into the incredible silica sand – climb the driftwood tree, say hello to the local marine critters or try beach combing for shells. After more sailing in the afternoon we will aim to overnight in Tongue Bay in time for a pre-dinner drink before an amazing home cooked meal on board under the Queensland setting sun.

(Lunch & dinner included)

Whitsunday Island Sailing

Groundhog day – not really, but certainly, paradise found. We wake up in a stunning, calm Whitsunday Island bay and it’s time to kit up, as they say in Australia, with some snorkelling gear to go explore the fringing coral reefs. Swim amongst incredible marine and coral life and if we are lucky we might even meet up with a passing turtle.

Then it is time for morning tea and off sailing to explore some of the other amazing islands around the Whitsundays. Maybe you are keen on more snorkelling amongst the fringing Great Barrier Reef, just a swim or some serious beach time to work on the tan. We sail back to Airlie Beach that evening arriving around late-afternoon – enough time to get checked in to our hostel, where your guide will be waiting for you, ready to cook up a storm and a group meal, before heading into town for a bit of an after-party. Just suggesting!

(Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Whitehaven Beach - Sailing Whitsundays

You will find that the two days of sailing are quite energy-sapping, plus maybe a few of us danced on the tables a bit late last night, so today is a day to take care of the little things. Sleep in, do some laundry maybe, answer emails or social media. Then head down to the lagoon for a swim and some relaxing time. Today is really about recharging your batteries, getting some sleep, sun, and maybe a flash coffee at one of the many amazing cafes.

Tonight you can choose if you would like to try some of the restaurants in town or perhaps stock up at the supermarket and cook for yourself in the hostel.

(Breakfast included)

Airlie Beach

We are on the march north today heading to another U.Special experience staying on Magnetic Island. We catch the local bus in the morning from Airlie Beach to connect with a short ferry ride to the island itself from the city of Townsville.

Magnetic Island is a haven for wildlife with over 75% of the island declared a National Park. There are estimated to be over 1000 Koalas inhabiting the island. Of course, it is not good to cuddle them – but man they are so cute you just want to snuggle them up and take them home.

Magnetic Islands

Relax and chill in tropical island style. Today you can hang by the pool or try some of the great walks that are on the island. The 1.2 kilometre Hawkings Track is an amazing way to see the island. For those wanting to immerse in the incredible marine life around here we have the option of joining a local discovery tour where we can grab snorkelling gear, stand-up paddle boards, glass bottom boogie boards (yup, they are a thing) and head in to the marine reserve. We can even try our hand at catch and release fishing.

Magnetic Island chillin

It is our final bit travel day as we head to our last overnight stop of Cairns. After a leisurely start we catch a local bus to Cairns arriving just in time for dinner in the hostel or locally on the Esplanade.

Cairns is lively on any night of the week so maybe we have a wander around the night markets or try some of the unlimited number of bars in town. But, just because this is our last destination it is by far not the end of our experiences and tomorrow is another early start!!!


Today continues when we link up with a local guided tour to the UNESCO World Heritage area of the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation.

This is an incredibly scenic journey along the Great Barrier Reef driving from Cairns to Port Douglas, visiting the famous Wildlife Habitat, crossing the Daintree River by cable ferry, walking amongst the rainforest on a boardwalk, taking a boat cruise on the Daintree River and exploring Cape Tribulation Beach and Alexandra Lookout. All wrapped around a wonderful tropical lunch!

We return back to Cairns early evening and you are free to explore the town or have a meal at the hostel.

(Breakfast & lunch included)

Daintree and Cape Tribulation

Back on to the water today we are heading out on our penultimate day with a day trip to the marine wonderland of the outer Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelling in incredible clear waters amongst diverse marine life, from colourful corals to inquisitive Nemos, turtles, stingrays and giant Maori Wrasse fish. All equipment is provided.

With just a 90-minute boat trip on our fast boat from Cairns you will get to spend five hours exploring the the reef and visit two stunning dive sites. These are expertly chosen from our exclusive moorings on the Norman, Saxon and Hastings reefs to bring you the best quality conditions based on tide and weather.

Lunch, morning tea and afternoon are all provided on board and there is even fresh hot water showers for after your underwater adventures – how luxe is that?!?! For any qualified divers we have on board there is the chance to upgrade to scuba dives on board.

Like yesterday we arrive back in Cairns in the later afternoon with loads of time to explore, have a swim at the hostel or grab a drink on the Esplanade. Tonight is our last night with your U. Guide so maybe a bit of a boogey is in order?

(Breakfast, lunch, morning & afternoon tea included)

Great Barrier Reef

And with that, it is our last day together. Today we have a range of optional activities that we recommend to close out your incredible Australia adventure with. You can start your scuba diving course, go on a one-day tour to the Queensland hinterland and the Atherton Tablelands, skydive over the incredible rainforest with views over the Great Barrier Reef, white-water rafting on the famous Tully River, or how about a legendary brewery tour to check out the thriving craft beer scene in Cairns.

If all that sounds a bit much how about just lazing your day away at the lagoon or hostel pool – that sounds pretty good to us.

For many of you, this is not the end as you connect on with your U.Trips in Thailand, Bali, New Zealand or Fiji. For others, you might be staying in Cairns to complete your PADI Scuba Diving Certificate or getting involved in our awesome Marine Conservation Project.

(Breakfast included)

Cairns goodbyes

This itinerary is a guide only. Given the spontaneous nature of our trips, our lack of control over the weather,
and many other factors that can effect a group, where we go and what we do each day may vary.

Always included: 

  • Covered by the Travel Guarantee Fund in Denmark
  • 100% climate-neutral travel
  • Professional travel experts and local guides
  • We do all the planning for you
  • Personalized meetings before departure
  • 24/7 emergency telephone
  • Your own personal travel profile with program, add-ons, flight tickets etc.
  • Packing list and advice
  • Certification of participation
  • Advice and assistance with booking flights
  • Possibility of purchasing cancellation and travel insurance
  • All entrances and fees for experiences
  • All tour accommodation



  • Bus
  • Ferry
  • Boat
  • Jeep
  • Surfboard



  • Capture a photo with the iconic Sydney Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge as your backdrop
  • Tour the centre of metropolitan Sydney to the Rocks, Hyde Park, Parliament and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
  • Breathe in fresh air and warm breezes as you enjoy the famous Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
  • Surf, suntan or just relax on Sydneys famous Bondi Beach
  • Learn to surf with a surf camp at Spot X
  • Discover the iconic Byron Bay Lighthouse – the most eastern point in Australia
  • Party the night away with the in-crowd in Byron Bay.
  • Sun, sand, surf, sunbathing, boating, and of course shopping in Surfers Paradise.
  • Discover Fraser Island over 3 days staying on the island
  • Visit Lake Mckenzie, Maheno Shipwreck, Eli Creek and more.
  • Dive, snorkel and swim for 2 extended days from the decks of our own Whitsunday Island sailing boat
  • Interact with the marine life, and explore the famous beaches of the Whitsunday Islands
  • Discover the unique jungle life of the tropical north as we safari on a river cruise through the rainforests of Daintree National park to Cape Tribulation.
  • Visit the famous Wildlife Habitat in far-north Queensland
  • Wander the rainforest boardwalks to Alexandra Lookout and more!
  • And a massive 33 meals are included.

  • Remember to check up on the VISA requirements for Australia. We are happy to help you!
  • Your backpack should not weigh more than 15 kilos – This tour is designed to stay in central or unique locations which require transport by bus and train and often a small walk.
  • Remember cash and either a Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card
  • It is mandatory to have travel insurance when traveling with U. We are please to offer an amazing option though our travel insurance partner Gouda.

45 rapids ripping through a stunning rainforest-covered gorge create one hell of a ride guided by professional highly-qualified river guides. More info...
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Cairns is rapidly becoming a hotspot for Australian micro-brewing. Why not spend your last afternoon in Cairns with a walking brewery tour? More info...
£1,695 per person
Become a jackaroo/jillaroo. Everything you need including bank account, tax number, and training to get a job in rural Australia. More info...
£232 per person
Start your Working Holiday in Australia's biggest city, and get everything you need to not only get a job but get settled and earn some good travel money More info...
£232 per person
Get bank account, tax number, job hunting assistance and an amazing time getting settled in one of funkiest cities anywhere in the world. More info...
£34 per person
A twilight stand-up paddle board is the hidden gem of “the GC” and perhaps the ultimate to do something different and see how beautiful the region is. More info...
£255 per person
Australia is arguably the surf-capital of the world, so why not set yourselves up for a brilliant time in Australia by learning to surf. More info...
£75 per person
See why Sydney is one of the most liveable cities in the world as you ride through the beautiful parks, around the scenic harbour, and past all of the iconic Sydney sites. More info...
Join us on a beautiful day out heading just two hours north over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Port Stephens and north coast region. More info...
£200 per person
Byron Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world to do your tandem skydive. Toss yourself and your instructor out of the plane from 15.000 ft above sea level. More info...
Skydiving from 15,000 feet in Cairns is a once in a lifetime experience. This is the perfect cocktail of adrenaline to finish your Australia East Coast adventure. More info...
£43 per person
The highly qualified local guides will talk about the Byron Bay marine park as you paddle. Keep on the lookout for sea turtles as they come up for a breath of air. More info...
£95 per person
This day trip heads south from Sydney into the rolling countryside to skirt the mountainous Great Dividing Range to hit the stunning views of the South Coast. More info...
£91 per person
An amazing way to see the World Heritage area of the incredible Blue Mountains without the normal crowds, as the evening sun dips into a glorious sunset. More info...
£91 per person
Spend the full day exploring the world-renowned Blue Mountains, which is famous for its steep sandstone rock formations rising out of deep canyons. More info...

Combine or upgrade your trip with some of these trips

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Your expected footprint: 0.94 tons of CO2

(not including flights). Find out more about our commitment to net-zero travel and how you can lower your footprint.

Transport: 502kgs Approx. 2450 km at 21 kgs per 100km Accommodation: 299kgs Approx. 22 nights at 14kgs per night Optional activities: 30kgs Approx. average (2 activities) Food & drinks: 15kgs Approx. 700g per day Boats: 6kgs Approx. 298km at 19g per km

Your local investment: AUD$5,190

The average expected amount our U.Traveller’s spend that goes directly into the local economy.

Find out more about our love for supporting local businesses

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

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