14 Days: Reef & Sunshine Coast Road Trip [ST-RT2039]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Brisbane (2 Nights), Noosa (1), Fraser Island (2), Rockhampton (1), Airlie Beach (2), Townsville (1), Cairns (3)
  • USA Domestic Flights are not included in pricing. Please inquire for flight pricing to be included
  • International Flights (not included - can be included on request - see detailed pricing below) - Los Angeles to Brisbane (Return)
  • Australian Domestic Flight - Cairns to Brisbane
  • Shuttle Transfers - Brisbane Airport to Accommodation, Cairns Accommodation to Airport
  • Car Hire - 7 Day Car Rental for pick-up at Brisbane City Location and drop-off at Cairns City Location
  • Rental Car Hires are base rate only and do not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees
  • Overnight Secure Car Parking - 2 Nights at River Heads Jetty
  • Ferry Transfers - River Heads Jetty to Fraser Island (Return)
  • Day Tour - Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise
  • All other Day Tours listed are Optional (Not Included)
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (additional US$15.00 per person)
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs
Itinerary Details
Day 1 - International Flight, Los Angeles to Brisbane (can be included on request)

Travel by international air to your destination.

International air to your destination is not included in the starting price. If you requested international air, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

Day 2 - Shuttle Transfer, Brisbane Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Brisbane, Australia.

Luggage is limited to 2 suitcases per person. Excess luggage, surfboards & bicycles will be carried at a rate of $10.00 AUD per item. All luggage must be clearly labelled by the passenger, including name and full address.

Days 2 to 4 - 2 Nights Accommodation in Brisbane

Travel to your accommodation in Brisbane, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Set in Spring Hill on the doorstep of Brisbane’s vibrant CBD, this stylish hotel takes its design cues from celebrated Australian abstract artist, Michael Johnson.

Your luxury boutique hotel hosts a myriad of features including 97 self-contained, open-plan suites and two elegant penthouses, a large pool with a sundeck and gymnasium. The guest experience is further complimented with onsite restaurant and bar, artworks, in-house art libraries and a dedicated art channel.

Set in Spring Hill, less than a mile from the CBD, you’ll have access to the best galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars and shopping in Spring Hill, the city center and entertainment hot-spot, Fortitude Valley. For those wanting to adventure a little further afield, Smart Cars and Bicycles are available for rent.

For a day out on the water, try kayaking on the river or catch the City Hopper Ferry to various riverside attractions including the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane Art Gallery, Maritime Museum and South Bank Brisbane’s very own inner city beach with swimming lagoons that you can enjoy perfect for the whole family and a way to cool off from the Queensland heat during the warmer months.

To get out into nature, the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and Roma Street Parklands offer lots of wide green open spaces, with grassy areas to sit and enjoy a picnic, walking tracks and wildlife including native lizards, birds and insect species. Soak in a panoramic vista of Brisbane City from the Wheel of Brisbane, or for those who are a little more adventurous the Story Bridge Climb will take you 262m feet above sea level for the ultimate view.

When it comes to shopping Brisbane offers a number of options including the Queen Street Mall and Fortitude Valley, with an extensive assortment of retail and entertainment stores. Treasury Casino is not far from the hotel, with some great shows and restaurants.

Discover the Eagle Street Pier with its collection of restaurants, bars and cafés, is a great place to eat and enjoy the scenery. Home also to the Riverside Craft Markets, held each Sunday, you can meet up with friends to share a meal before taking a walk along the pier and browsing the local crafts on showcase.

Day 3 - Free Day to Explore Brisbane

Today you’ll have the day free to Explore Brisbane. We suggest you use this opportunity to take in the sights of this beautiful city. Perhaps purchase a few souvenirs for family or friends back home.

Brisbane is a vibrant city with many activities and sights to enjoy within walking distance from your hotel. Visit the South Bank precinct, full of fantastic riverside restaurants, home of renowned art galleries including the Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Museum, sky-high views from The Wheel of Brisbane, as well as parklands that feature family friendly urban beach pools with expansive city views. Experience the beauty of Brisbane from the river CityCat ferries, and hop on and off at riverside neighborhoods such as the cultural Powerhouse precinct, and festive dining and beverages found at the new Howard Smith Wharves precinct. A must see for all visitors to Brisbane, Mt Coot-tha’s “Brisbane Lookout” offers spectacular panoramic views over the city all the way to Moreton Bay. Walking tracks are abundant through the National Park and the Lookout itself showcases a historical timeline of this iconic destination.
Photo Credit: Brisbane Marketing

Optinal Day Tour (Not Included), Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo (Small Group)

Today you’ll visit the world-renowned Australia Zoo, made famous by Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. You’ll travel in style and comfort with a small group in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle that will pick you up and drop you off right at your hotel.

Australia Zoo on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, is nestled on over 70 acres of natural Australian bushland. Steve and Terri Irwin’s vision has always been to make Australia Zoo the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world, and there is no other zoo like Australia Zoo. The friendly and experienced zookeepers will expand your knowledge and passion, and the animals love to get up close and personal with everyone! There is always something new to see or do! This isn’t like many zoos you’ve encountered. The love and dedication to our planet’s wildlife is palpable in every corner of this seventy acres facility. In fact, many who “normally wouldn’t like zoos” have reported loving their experience at Steve Irwin’s Croc Zoo! There are stacks of wildlife action every day and plenty of exciting wildlife shows. Get your adrenaline pumping when you watch a massive Saltwater Crocodile launch a strike in the 5,000 seat Crocoseum and catch the thrilling free flight birds as they fly right over your head in this amazing stadium.
Daily – except Christmas Day
Departs 8:00am and returns 5:00pm (approx.)
– Pick up & drop off from your Noosa Hotel
– Day Admission into Australia Zoo
– At Least 6 hours to Explore Australia Zoo
Need to Know
Water is available on transport and snacks are available for purchase. Please wear comfortable, closed toe walking shoes. Bring insect repellent, sunscreen, hat and a camera! You may also bring swimwear and a towel for use at the waterpark.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - River Cruise and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Take an informative and entertaining river cruise down the Brisbane River followed by 2.5 hours at The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where you can hand feed kangaroos and emus.

This tour is an exceptional experience for nature enthusiasts. The cruise provides a scenic journey along the picturesque river, offering breathtaking views of the Australian landscape. The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can get up close and personal with adorable koalas and a variety of native wildlife. The knowledgeable guides provide fascinating insights into the animals and their conservation efforts. This tour is a perfect blend of relaxation and wildlife encounters, making it a must-do for anyone visiting Brisbane.

The koala sanctuary opened in 1927 as a safe refuge for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas, at a time when the species was being culled for the fur trade. The founder recognized something had to be done to help protect one of Australia’s most iconic species.

Daily except Christmas & Anzac Day
Boarding begins at 8:30am and Departs at 9:00am from Cultural Centre Pontoon
Tour ends at 2:45pm (approx.)

– Entry to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with 3 hours to explore
– River cruise with informative commentary
– Platypus House
– Opportunity to feed kangaroos or wallabies

Need to Know
Koala photos purchases/opportunities are available at the “Lone Pine Sanctuary Experience Hut” and availability will vary daily depending on the needs of the koalas. Meals/Snacks are available at own expense from the on-board cafe. There are 28 stairs required to climb from the boat to the sanctuary.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Morning Bicycle Tour (3.5 hours)

Enjoy a fully guided morning bike tour from a local’s perspective. This tour combines extensive knowledge of the city and combine historical sites and cultural attractions with a true insider’s guide to local bars, dining options, events and attractions.

This morning offers a scenic and leisurely ride around the best parts of the Brisbane River – which means no hills and no cars. The tour visits all of the main inner-city areas of Brisbane with regular stops to tell some stories and take photos.

The tour takes in the history and culture of the Kangaroo Point cliffs, stunning city views from the iconic Story Bridge, panoramic views of the Brisbane River from Wilson’s Lookout and the city from a local’s perspective in the tranquil riverside suburb of Newfarm.

After free time to explore Brisbane’s Cultural Hub, the Brisbane Powerhouse, the tour then stops for an extended morning tea break in one of Brisbane’s most beautiful parks – food and drinks included!

The tour continues along the famous Riverwalk, stopping at the riverside eating and drinking precinct of Eagle Street Pier, the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and then concluding at the Wheel of Brisbane in the beautiful Southbank Parklands.

Take this opportunity to get to know others on the tour as well as to ask your guide about anything to do with Brisbane. Whether it is about the best place to get some food or drink, where the best local live music is happening or the best way to spend a rainy day, they know it all and want to share it with you!


Monday – Saturday 9:30am – 1:00pm

Need to Know

– Must make your way to The Wheel of Brisbane for pick-up
– Can cater to children 12 months and up – Small children who aren’t able to ride will be provided with a upon request


– Tour Guide
– Bike Rental – Giant Sedona (hybrid)
– Helmet Rental
– Water
– Morning Tea by the River
– Sunscreen (if required)


Upgrade to a private tour

Insiders Tip: Tour of Brisbane by Ferry, Bus & Train - Hop-On Hop-Off

Get a ticket on the City Cat Ferry – it’s good for all day & lets you ride bus, train and ferry.

Include Mount Cootha as part of the zones you will cross – you can get off at a ferry stop and take a bus from there to Mount Cootha and take in some great city views. Be sure to do this earlier in the day since the buses stop running out to Mount Cootha later in the day.

Brisbane has a great public transportation system in place and free tours of both the Parliament House and the Botanical Gardens.

To check ferry timetables, please visit:

Photo Credit: Brisbane Marketing

Insider's Tip: Dining in Brisbane

Brisbane is known for its foodies atmosphere and culture, and won’t disappoint when you’re looking for a bite to eat.

If you’d like to take detour from the fresh seafood, why not stop at Chur Burger. Owned by Warren Turnbull, owner of the “Best Burger” restaurant in Sydney, Chur Burger has brought the award winning taste to Brisbane. At $10 a burger, it’s an afforable and mouth-watering meal.

If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter, make a quick stop in Monty’s Chocolates in Brisbane. This chocolate store is filled with exquisite chocolates from all over the world and the perfect afternoon snack on a warm day.

Photo Credit: Tourism Australia

Day 4 - Taxi from Brisbane Accommodation to Rental Car City Location, pay as you go

Taxi or ride share transfer as per your own arrangements (pay as you go).

Uber is available in most major cities.
Other Australian ride share options are:

Days 4 to 11- 7 Day Car Rental, for Brisbane to Cairns

Discover Australia as you travel by rental car for eigh days.

As part of your vacation self-drive Australia and explore our stunning landscapes, coastlines, regional towns and wildlife. Stop and meet the locals, maybe enjoy a counter meal at a local Aussie pub, or relax on the beach while sampling some takeaway fish & chips from the local deli or servo. During one of your rest stops try to spot a kangaroo, emu or even a Koala in the wild.

Please bring a valid American drivers license with you and be aware that the Australians drives on the left hand side of the road.

Base rate only paid by About Australia. GPS, Insurance, Premium Location Surcharge, Fuel and Fees to driver’s credit card.

Day 4 - Self Drive, Brisbane to Noosa

Enjoy your scenic self drive from Brisbane to the Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.

Click to view map

Bribie Island is the only Queensland island connected to the mainland by bridge. This allows easy access by car, about an hour and 20 minutes’ drive from the Brisbane Central Business District. Bribie Island showcases the natural beauty the Moreton Bay Region offers. To see some Australian wildlife, head to the Bribie Island National Park to find goannas, kangaroos, emus, kookaburras and migrating birds from Kakadu. If you explore the national parks, please make sure to take only photos, and leave only footprints.

The 11 gorgeous peaks of the Glass House Mountains are found in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. They are about a one-hour drive south of the Sunshine Coast’s main hub, Noosa, or an hour north of the state’s capital city, Brisbane. A natural playground of walking tracks, horse trails and abseiling locations, the mountains are also home to six small townships, linked by rail and country roads. You’ll also find the incredible Australia Zoo, founded by the famed “Crocodile Hunter”, Steve Irwin, and his family.

Australia Zoo, one hour north of Brisbane on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is home of The Crocodile Hunter ,Steve Irwin. Nestled on more than 110 acres and with more than 1200 amazing animals, it’s the most interactive conservation destination on the planet! You can cuddle a koala, feed their gorgeous kangaroos or even walk a wombat! Don’t miss the amazing African animals on their very own savannah, or head to South-East Asia to visit their majestic tigers and their gorgeous red panda. Take a trip to Bindi’s Island, where you can climb a three-storey treehouse, but look out! With that view, you might spot ring-tailed lemurs, giant Aldabra tortoises, colourful parrots and so much more.

Days 4 to 5 - 1 Night Accommodation in Noosa

Travel to your accommodation on the Sunshine Coast, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4 Star accommodation resort is located in the French Quarter and is the perfect place to enjoy the best of Noosa. The rustic charm of your private and exclusive resort is less than thirty metres from Main Beach, right on the lively Hastings Street and just a stroll from Noosa National Park. Your air conditioned accommodation boasts a heated lagoon-style pool, restaurant and bar so you can relax and enjoy your stay in Noosa. Stroll on the boardwalk from Main Beach that runs the entire length and winds through Little Cove and into the park. Perhaps relax at the resort and enjoy the meandering pathways framed by beautiful gardens and shaded by palm trees or enjoy the sophisticated café society of Hastings Street.

Insider's Tip: Noosa Dining

While in Noosa be sure to grab lunch and dinner at a few of the local restaurants. The Sunshine Coast is food-obsessed! Noosa, especially is a foodie’s dream. Walk down the main drag on Hashing St. and you’ll find a wealth of top-quality eateries, serving Italian, modern Australian, Asian fusion, summer-inspired cocktails and even nitrogen-fired ice cream.

Gympie Terrace and Thomas Street are also popular eat streets, with restaurants serving up tastes from around the world as well as contemporary Australian fare. Choose from relaxed, budget eateries and award winning restaurants or enjoy a seafood platter with stunning water views.

Looking for the best burger on the Sunshine Coast? Try Burger Bar, Jimmy Fox or Betty’s Burgers. For amazing Japanese and Shushi, head over to the Regional Restaurant of the Year, Wasabi on Noosa Head. Their fresh caught seafood and local produce make their 9 and 7 course meals an amazing experience.

Photo Credit: Tourism Australia

Day 5 - Self Drive from Noosa to Hervey Bay

Today you will explore the Sunshine Coast from Noosa to Hervey Bay.

If you are traveling on a Wednesday or Saturday stop off and visit the famous Eumundi Art and Craft markets. Eumundi is a 2 minute sidetrip (but allow 1hr to visit the markets). Hundreds of art and craft stalls scattered amongst the trees including food, fruit, teas, coffees, pastries, cheeses and more!

At Gympie, you have a choice to make. Continue the 1.5 hours to Hervey Bay or take the more pleasant and scenic journey through Toolara State Forest (adding just a few minutes to your trip). From this route, Rainbow Beach is an amazing side-trip (an extra 1/2 hour each way). You can take a ten minute walk out to the Carlso Sand Blow (a massive moving sand dune) and catch fantastic views over the bay on one side and the Glasshouse Mountains on the other side. It is about 1.5 hours from rainbow beach to Hervey Bay.

*Please note: If you are taking the ferry to Fraser Island on the same day, ensure you leave yourself enough time to arrive in Hervey Bay at least an hour before your ferry departure.

Click to View Map of Fastest Route
Click to View Map of Scenic Route
Click to View Map including Rainbow Beach

Photo Credit: Visit Sunshine Coast

Days 5 to 7 - Overnight Secure Parking for 2 Nights

Park your car in the secured overnight car park for 2 nights.

Days 5 to 7 - 2 Nights Accommodation on Fraser Island

Travel to your 4 star accommodation on Fraser Island, Australia, via Catamaran, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

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. It is the 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.

Beauty Spots Eco-Tour with stops at gorgeous Lake McKenzie, Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek, Pile Valley’s awe-inspiring Satinay and Brush Box forests, 75 Mile Beach’s famous highway, the Maheno shipwreck and the coloured sands of the Pinnacles and the relaxing fresh waters of Eli Creek. This tour includes a sumptuous buffet lunch and refreshments, so all you need to pack is your sunscreen, swimwear, and sense of adventure!

Return shuttle/ferry transfers from River Heads and/or Hervey Bay Airport to your Fraser Island accommodation.

Day 6 - Free Day to Explore Fraser Island

Spend the day to relax or explore Fraser Island

Just off the coast from Queensland’s Hervey Bay, is World Heritage Listed Fraser Island – the largest sand island in the world and the only place on the planet where rainforest grows on sand! Over 120 kilometres long and over 30 kilometres across at its widest point, the Island has developed over 800,000 years and is a unique natural environment.

Fraser Island boasts a wealth of natural attractions: pristine fresh water lakes such as McKenzie, Boomanjin, Allom and the spectacular Lake Wabby; crystal clear creeks – Eli Creek being the most well-known; Champagne Pools – wonderful swimming rock-pools; the amazing coloured sand formations known as The Cathedrals and the Central Station camping area and ranger station. On the eastern beach, near Happy Valley you will discover Fraser Island’s own shipwreck – The Maheno.

Photo Credit: Tourism Queensland

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Whale Watching Cruise

Wake up to an enchanting morning filled with a magical cruise and humpback whale watching.

Just like us, humpback whales vacation too! They book their holidays in Hervey Bay from early August to the end of October. During this time, about a thousand humpbacks spend anywhere from a day to two weeks relaxing and nurturing their calves in the sheltered lee of Fraser Island. Since the whales are taking time out from their migration, they provide some of the best whale watching in the world. As they come in close to the boat, they are easily seen in the clear waters of the bay. Marine rangers and skippers provide commentary and a multimedia presentation for a morning tea time you will not forget!

Daily, August 1st – October 15th
Departs 7:20am (approx.), Returns 12:00pm (approx.)

– Commentary and multimedia presentation from the marine rangers and skippers
– Morning tea
– National Park fee
– Foreign Language App. Guests can download the free App from the Apple Store or Google Play. Search for “Fraser Explorer Tours”

Need to Know
– Must be booked with a room/package at Kingfisher Bay Resort
– Children under 1 year of age are not permitted
– Please bring sunscreen, a hat, and a swimsuit (if swimming with the whales, additional cost applies). Wear comfortable clothing and footwear that you do not mind getting wet.
– Tours are subject to change or be cancelled due to weather or whale activity

Swim with the whales experience

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Fraser Island 4WD Off Road Adventure - Full Day

Fraser Island, Queensland (4WD Off Road Day Tour). Pristine Lakes, Rainforests and Beaches.

Day Tour of Fraser Island. See Teewah Coloured Sands (Cooloola National Park), Shipwreck Cherry Venture, Double Island Point, Freshwater Track or Wide Bay Carlo Sand Blow. Morning tea stop at Rainbow Beach (provided). See the 75 Mile Beach, Eurong and Happy Valley. Trek via 4WD through Inland Sandy Forest Tracks, swim (optional) and enjoy lunch (provided) at the crystal clear freshwater Lake McKenzie, Lake Garawongera or Eli Creek. Learn about Aboriginal life, culture and history. See ancient Satinay Trees, Kauri Forest and spectacular lush Rainforests.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Fraser Island Beauty Spots Tour

Full day 4WD tour of Fraser Island including morning or afternoon tea and buffet lunch.

Today, you will learn about the natural and cultural history of Fraser Island. Swim in the crystal-clear, blue waters of Lake McKenzie, the island’s most beautiful perched lake. From Central Station, walk along the banks of Wanggoolba Creek as it flows silently through the rainforest. Marvel at the tall, majestic satinay trees of Pile Valley. Drive along spectacular Seventy-Five Mile Beach. Stop to swim in the cool, fresh Eli Creek. This swift-flowing creek, the largest on the Eastern beach, spills 80 mega litres of water into the ocean every day. Visit the Maheno shipwreck and marvel at the coloured sands of the Pinnacles. See an ancient forest being uncovered as Stonetool Sand Blow moves across the island before returning to the resort.

Tour starts at 8:00am and returns at 4:30pm, daily.

Day 7 - Self Drive from Hervey Bay to Rockhampton

Today you’ll enter the Southern Great Barrier Reef region on your drive from Hervey Bay to Rockhampton.

Leave early in the morning and drive to Bundaberg. Gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and home to one of the largest turtle rookeries in the South Pacific, Bundaberg offers extraordinary wildlife encounters.

Spend some time in this interesting town before continuing your journey.
– You can swim all-year-round in the warm waters of Bargara, just 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of the city. With crowd-free waves, it’s also a great place to body surf or just splash about with the kids.
– Wander around the impressive old buildings in the centre of town or cool off in the shade of the Botanic Gardens. Two museums not to miss are the Bundaberg Railway Museum and the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, which celebrates the achievements of one of Australia’s greatest pioneer solo aviators, Bundaberg local Bert Hinkler.
– Join a ranger and watch marine turtles lay their eggs (from November to January) and baby hatchlings make their first journey to the sea (from January to March) on Mon Repos beach.
– Australia’s favorite spirit, Bundaberg Rum, is made from local sugar cane, and no visit to Bundy is complete without a taste test of the twice-voted best rum in the world..
– Visit local farms and markets to see why Bundaberg is a food lovers’ paradise. The town’s annual Winterfeast festival features a range of farm gate to plate experiences.
– See ancient Aboriginal rock art and plenty of native wildlife on a hike through the sandstone wilderness of Cania Gorge National Park.
– Head into sugarcane country around Childers and treat yourself to some local produce (the gourmet ice cream is much-loved), visit an open-air aviary or a reptile park.

Click to View Map of Fastest Route

Photo Credit: Visit Bundaberg

Days 7 to 8 - 1 Night Accommodation in Rockhampton

Travel to your 4-star hotel in the heart of Rockhampton for 1 night in the sunny hub of central Queensland.

Your comfortable accommodation sits within superb views of the Fitzroy River, featuring a beautiful outdoor pool, gym and 24 hour reception service.

Step into your clean and inviting guest room, equipped with everything you need for a relaxing stay. Kick off your shoes and unwind with a movie on the flat screen TV. Stream your favorite content and connect with loved ones back home with complimentary WiFi.

You’re also within minutes of cozy coffee shops and cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and museums. Stretch your legs on the Dr. Ray Wilson Place walk running along the Fitzroy River, or get some fresh air strolling the tropical lawns of the Rockhampton Botanical Gardens.

– Complimentary WiFi
– 24 hour reception
– Gym
– Outdoor pool
– Laundry facilities available at an extra cost

Day 8 - Self Drive from Rockhampton to Airlie Beach

Today you’ll enter the Whitsundays Islands region on your drive from Rockhampton to Airlie Beach.

Drive north on Bruce Highway. The drive is beautiful, but there aren’t many easy stops along the way. We recommend you power through this trip so you can have more time in Airlie Beach. Maybe take a break with a quick stop for ice cream at Flaggy Rock. Wander the historic Art Deco centre of Mackay, stretch your legs along the Bluewater Trail that runs beside the Pioneer River and through the city’s main sights, then dine on the freshest seafood from the Fish Market. Discover the tropical flora of the region in the expansive Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens.

Click to View Map

Photo Credit: Mackay Region

Days 8 to 10 - 2 Nights Accommodation in Airlie Beach

Travel to your accommodation in Airlie Beach, Australia, gateway location to the Whitsunday Islands whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Positioned on the absolute ocean front and just a short stroll via seaside boardwalk to the enchanting Airlie Beach village; with its relaxed atmosphere and collection of eclectic shops and cafes; lies your Airlie Beach accommodation. A stroll in the opposite direction crossing a separate boardwalk with the sea below is Abell Point Marina, your direct access to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 9 - Free Day to Explore Airlie Beach

Free time to rest, relax or explore Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is one of many departure points for the Great Barrier Reef and a gateway to Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands. Just north of Mackay and south of Townsville, is a coastal town of palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks and alfresco restaurants. Spend a few days exploring before you head off on your island holiday and you’ll find plenty of action, from sailing to scuba diving to skydiving. Take a seaplane for a picnic on the of Whitehaven Beach or learn to sail in clear waters. Airlie Beach is more than just an aquatic playground; nearby you’ll find tropical rainforest and waterfalls in Conway National Park.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Island Hopper Pass

Experience the Whitsundays at your leisure with the Island Hopper Pass. The pass gives you access to a fleet of high-speed vessels that cruise around the Whitsunday Islands transferring guests and day-trippers between Airlie Beach, Daydream Island & Hamilton Island.

Hop off on Hamilton Island and choose from a variety of activities. Maybe experience its natural beauty by exploring the island on foot. Discover secluded, sandy coves, climb to the top of the island for stunning views, or enjoy a picnic in one of the island’s many picnic spots. Stop by one of the main beaches on Hamilton Island, beautiful Catseye Beach. It is a perfect spot for relaxing, swimming, and enjoying a whole range of fun watersports. Maybe hire an iconic golf buggy for a convenient and fun way to get around the island – at your own pace. Or for a great activity the whole family will love, WILD LIFE Hamilton Island gives you the opportunity to get up close to some iconic Australian wildlife.

Hop off on Daydream Island and be sure to visit the Live Reef, an incredible man-man lagoon, and live reef, where visitors can experience the wonders of the deep without going far from the shore. Clownfish, stingrays, sharks and barramundi are just some of more than 100 species of marine fish that call the lagoons home. Over 60 species of natural corals add to this huge ecosystem that represents the lagoon habitats of the Great Barrier Reef.

This is a great option for people who like to do their own thing.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Long Island Excursion

Long Island is a superb destination for a day visit as you can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and
great facilities of the Resort. Head off to explore the island walking tracks or a mix of both.

Long Island boasts a superb spa facility and has a comprehensive range of water sports options. Experience the magic of nature and the Australian bush on the 20km of varied length scenic walking tracks in the National Park. Enjoy hill top views, bush wildlife and palm fringed beaches. Or you can take to the water and explore the Coral Reef only 150 metres off shore.

Includes: Return coach transfers from local area accommodation to Abel Point Marina; Delicious Buffet Restaurant lunch; Short scenic cruise to Long Island Resort; Full use of Long Island resort facilities; Fabulous Walking Tracks; Club Spa option (available at extra cost); Motorised watersports, snorkelling and diving available at an additional cost.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Lady Enid Sailing - Full Day

Enjoy a luxury Whitsunday cruise especially created for adults. Romance is in the air aboard this rare Australian heritage yacht as you sail to pristine Whitehaven Beach and explore the Great Barrier Reef.

A true sailing experience through the Whitsunday Islands on board the luxury sports yacht Lady Enid. Departing from the Port of Airlie Marina, you are more than welcome to sit back and relax, or join in and learn how to hoist the sails.

Throughout the day, the attentive crew will be at your service, engaging in conversation about the history of Lady Enid and the Whitsunday Islands.

Barefoot luxury at its best, sailing to one of the world’s best beaches, Whitehaven Beach. Visiting Hill Inlet, swimming in the crystal clear waters of Whitehaven Beach, snorkeling pristine Whitsunday island reefs, beautiful memories will be made.

With a maximum of only 24 guests, well below our capacity of 36, and three crew at your service, you will want for nothing more.

The gourmet meals are certainly a feature of this Whitsunday experience, including morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. As you sail back into the sunset to Airlie Beach a glass of sparkling and antipasto will be served.

Lady Enid recreates that classic age of yachting enjoyed in the 1960’s when sailing was more about elegance and style than corporate sponsorship and carbon fiber.

The experience of sailing on this beautiful and rare classic Australian yacht gives as much to the day as the destination of Whitehaven Beach itself. Become involved as much or as little as you like, help set sails, take a turn on the helm or lean back and relax with your favorite book, listen to music or simply daydream and be beguiled at the uninterrupted beauty of the Whitsunday Islands.

Daily; Departs Coral Sea Marina at 7:30am

Highlights & Inclusions
– A Lady Enid crew person will greet you at your accommodation and transfer you to Coral Sea Marina (formally Abell Point Marina).
– Once the sails are set, morning tea will be served among the Whitsunday Islands.
– Fresh coffee, a beautiful selection of teas, hot chocolate and a fresh selection traditional morning tea favorites to delight a variety of taste buds.
– A snorkeling spot on one of the Whitsunday Island Reefs will ensure for a wonderful experience.
– Lady Enid will arrive at Tongue Bay, where you can walk to the lookout to view the beautiful swirling white sands and turquoise waters of Hill Inlet and then proceed down to Betty’s Beach at Whitehaven.
– Lunch is served on return to Lady Enid, a locally produced gourmet menu. Sail back to Airlie Beach with complimentary glass of sparkling and antipasto platter.
– Transfer back to your Airlie Beach accommodation.

Need to Know
Lady Enid is an Adult only (18+) experience.

Day 10 - Self Drive from Airlie Beach to Townsville

The road between Airlie Beach and Townsville winds through the verdant patchwork of sugar cane fields and rushing rivers. Maybe make a few stops to stretch your legs and explore the rural towns of Queensland.

Bowen is Australia’s mango capital so naturally it has a big mango that you can pose in front of. Bowen is a coastal rural town with wide streets, wooden Queenslander homes, a slow pace, and friendly locals. There are plenty of things to do in Bowen. Maybe checkout Bowen Hill Lookout, swim at Horseshoe Bay or enjoy a long lunch at Cove restaurant.

Home Hill is another great stop with a great selection of cafes and restaurants. Many travelers take a break here to walk across the Burdekin Bridge, the districts’ best known landmark – longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To walk across the famous landmark, park near the Lion’s Diorama at the southern approach to the bridge and head to the pedestrian walkway.

Once you reach Townsville, you’ll want to check out Magnetic Island. There are 18 daily ferry services that only take about 20 minutes to reach the island. Pre-European settlement, it was known as “Yunbenun” by the Island’s traditional inhabitants. When Captain Cook discovered the Island in 1770, he believed it had a magnetic force causing interference with his compass, hence the name Magnetic Island. Subsequent tests disproved his theory but the name remains.

Click to View Map

Photo Credit: Tourism Bowen

Days 10 to 11 - 1 Night Accommodation in Townsville

Travel to your accommodation in Townsville, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Located on Townsville’s sought after Palmer Street amongst an array of popular dining establishments, offering the perfect base from which to explore all this popular North Queensland town has to offer.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll to some of the best restaurants and cafes in the region and you’re also just a short drive to popular attractions like Townsville Marinas, Jupiter’s Casino or Reef HQ Aquarium, making Oaks Gateway on Palmer the ideal choice for a Townsville holiday for families, couples and individuals.

Day 11 - Self Drive from Townsville to Cairns

Head north along Bruce Highway. The area from Townsville to Cairns is known as the Green Way with Lush Rainforests. On the way, visit Mission Beach.

Running from Cairns to Cardwell, the Cassowary Coast is one of the undiscovered gems of Queensland, a quiet stretch of coastline bordered by the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Mission Beach (actually four separate towns spread along a 14km stretch of palm-fringed beach) is at its heart. Despite its popularity, the town has retained a dreamy, laid-back vibe and the welcoming locals are never outnumbered by tourists.

The area around Mission Beach is home to one of the highest concentrations of the endangered cassowary in Australia. These large flightless birds can be spotted walking through fields and gardens, and even occasionally swimming across rivers.

You’ll see lots of roadside fruit stalls around the region. Take what you like and leave your money in the honesty box. This region is the banana capital of Australia, so delicious bananas are usually plentiful.

The Mission Beach Markets are held on the first and third Sunday of the month right beside the beach, which has fantastic views of the offshore islands. You’ll find everything from local produce and plants to second-hand clothes, crafts, books and jewelry.

Click to View Map

Photo Credit: Mission Beach Tourism

Day 11 - Taxi from Cairns Rental Car City Location to Accommodation, pay as you go

Taxi or ride share transfer as per your own arrangements (pay as you go).

Uber is available in most major cities.
Other Australian ride share options are:

Days 11 to 14 - 3 Nights Accommodation in Cairns

Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 nights.

Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, wireless internet, Bushfire Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.

Day 12 - Day Tour, Great Barrier Reef Cruise

This Great Barrier Reef experience is perfect for swimmers with all levels of confidence! This all-weather platform offers a plethora of options to see the amazing under water wonderland that is the Great Barrier Reef!

Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, join a Marine Biologist on a Guided Snorkel safari, or go scuba diving (no experience necessary)

For those not confident in swimming, stay dry and view the reef from the semi-submersible reef viewer, glass bottom boat or underwater observatory or try a Helmet Dive for a scuba-style experience without getting your hair wet.

If simply relaxing & soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style then take time out on the spacious sundeck where you will also find the regions only reef-based massage therapist.  You’ll have plenty of time to do it all!


Daily, departs 9am, returns at 5pm (approx)

– All snorkelling equipment
– Buffet lunch
– Morning and afternoon tea
– On Board Marine Biology Presentation
– Fish Feeding and Identification Session with Marine Biologist
– Underwater Observatory
– Glass Bottom Boat Tour
– Semi Submarine Tour
– Use of Sundeck, Fresh Water Showers, & Changing Rooms
– Hot & Cold Buffet Lunch with Tea & Coffee

Need to Know

Guests are urged not to bring valuable items
Reef Macic will not operate on 25th of December 2023
All guest under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult
Lockers Available at Additional Cost

Diving, Cruise, Helicopter Flight

Day 13 - Free Day to Explore Cairns

Take the day and explore what could be considered the capital of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns!

A major outlet to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest amongst its many attractions, the tropical paradise of Cairns is sure to enchant you. With many area activities centrally located there’s enough to occupy everyone in the family because Cairns literally has it all! Have a visit to the Esplanade where you can experience all walks of life and make memories. With a nightlife that caters to singles and families alike you’re visit will be filled with so many things to do, so take a deep breath and have fun!

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Kuranda Rainforestation

A wonderful day awaits as you are transported on the historic Kuranda Scenic Rail to the famous village in the rainforest – Kuranda. Your Kuranda Boarding Pass ensures preferential seating, discounted entry into selected Kuranda attractions and a detailed map is also included. Rainforestation, set in 40 hectares of lush gardens, is your next stop. Board the amphibious Army Duck and enjoy the Koala & Wildlife Park. Transfer back to Kuranda, then it’s time to board Skyrail for your return journey.

Check in: A driver will check you in at your accommodation. You special Kuranda Boarding pass offerings pre-allocated seating on the Kuranda Scenic Rail and Skyrail, preferential seating on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, a detailed map of Kuranda, and discounted entry into selected Kuranda Attractions.

Kuranda Scenic Rail: At the scheduled time board the famous Kuranda Scenic Rail. An amazing journey awaits you as you travel one of the world’s most scenic rail routes, through hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges.

Kuranda Village: Once you arrive at beautiful Kuranda Station, you have ample time to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the Heritage Markets which operate daily.

Rainforestation: Your shuttle coach will transfer you to Rainforestation, set in 40 hectares of lush gardens and tropical rainforest, where a number of unique attractions await you. Board the unusual amphibious Army Duck for a different look at the rainforest. Also included in your tour is the Koala & Wildlife Park. The shuttle bus will then take you back to Kuranda.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Board Skyrail, an experience which takes you over the rainforest canopy with stops along the way allowing you to take a stroll or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Centre. Our hostess will meet you on completion of Skyrail and will assist with your return transfer to your accommodation.

Operates: Daily (Subject to black outs for Kuranda maintainance.) Pick-up Between 7:00-8:00am and at Return at 5:30pm (approximately).

Upgrade to Gold Class: Dedicated host service; Individual seating, lounge-style chairs; Quality refreshments including sparkling Australian wine, beer, orange juice, soft drink, ice water, mocktails, tea, coffee and appetisers and a chilled refresher towel during the journey; Ambient, historical décor, including timber look flooring, historical photographs and cedar interior; Kuranda Scenic Railway gift pack including Kuranda Scenic Railway badge, pen, postcard and postage; Souvenir trip guide

Optional Evening Event (Not Included) - Tjapukai Night Fire

More than just a dinner and show; Tjapukai Night Fire takes you on a magical adventure into the legends of Australia’s dreamtime.

Here you will enter another world as Australia’s Aboriginal culture is brought to life through a series of award winning performances as you feast on modern cuisine from the Far North. Settle in for a magical night of entertainment as you journey into a Dreamtime legend to discover the magic of Australia’s ancient Aboriginal culture.

Enjoy a welcome drink on arrival before the performers lead a didgeridoo blessing ceremony followed by a spectacular fire performance and cultural dance celebration.

If you’re keen, you can even take to the stage to learn a traditional dance yourself! This evening of entertainment is complemented by a delicious dinner, photo opportunity with the Tjapukai warriors & even time to shop in the retail gallery full of authentic souvenirs.

Operates Daily, except Christmas Day (December 25). Event is from 7:00pm – 10:00pm.

Need to Know Child pricing and family rates are available on request.

Inclusions Welcome Drink and Canapes; Delicious Buffet Dinner; Didgeridoo Journey; Fire-making Ceremony; Tjapukai Dance Performance; Fireside Farewell

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Hartley's Crocodile Adventure - Half Day

Make wise time of your stay in Cairns with a half-day tour to the best place to experience crocodiles in Tropical North Queensland with Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure!

This Croc Adventure provides an innovative approach to viewing and interacting with wildlife, enabling visitors to become immersed in a natural environment with safety. A series of timber boardwalks provide elevated viewing of wildlife as visitors journey through a range of natural habitats. It is home to a range of habitat types including melaleuca wetlands, riverine rainforest and eucalypt woodland. In this eco adventure you can cruise the lagoon which has guaranteed croc sightings with oppurtunities for great action photos of pole feedings. See the head shakes and death rolls of huge crocs at the Crocodile Attack Show and see some of the world’s most venomous smakes at the Snake Show. Explore the park’s abundance of wildlife which includes water birds, turtles, wallabies and cassowaries. If you’re brave enough, take a photo with you holding a crocodile! (Own expense)

Suggested Itinerary: Crocodile Feeding, optional Digital Photo Oppurtunity (Own expense), Wetlands Cruise, Snake Show & Crocodile Attack Show

Daily. Does not operate on Christmas Day or Cairns Iron Man.
AM Option Departs 8:30am, Returns 1:30pm (approx.)
PM Option Departs 12:30pm, Returns 4:45pm (approx.)

– Return hotel transfers
– Entry to Hartley’s Crocodile Park
– Park shows
– Wildlife information sheets
– 1 Lagoon Boat Cruise
– Scenic drive along Captian Cook Highway

Need to Know
Lunch is not included and is at own expense. Boat cruise is at a scheduled time allocated upon arrival.

– Breakfast with the Koalas Experience
– Koala Holding Photo Add-On

Insider's Tip: The Esplanade in Cairns

Experience the leisurely atmosphere at the playground for locals and tourists alike at The Esplanade in Cairns!

With so many activities available The Esplanade has always been a focal point for this city. This is a place that literally has everything! Take a stroll and do some bird watching on the boardwalk but as you enjoy the views don’t forget to stop off at Foreshore Promenade for a bite to eat at the many available restaurants. Access to The Lagoon is easy here which is set overlooking the Barrier Reef and Trinity inlet and features all year free swimming where you can take a dip in this filtered saltwater lagoon. Let the kids can play in the sandy edges and in the shallow waters while you lounge on the semi-shaded timber decks. For the kids, don’t miss out on the Trinity Bay foreshore playground “Muddy” with equipment for all ages. For the older kids, stop off at the Skate Park to see some skaters and BMXers in action! Whether you decide to take a morning jog, fly a kite or just relax in the large grassy areas for some lunch you will surely enjoy the tropical lifestyle!

If you happen to be in Cairns on a Saturday be sure to check out the Weekend Markets which feature only locally made arts and crafts, clothing and much more. While you’re there listen out for the live music and fun street characters. The market gets into full swing on the promenade (just by the lagoon) every Saturday between 8am – 4pm.

Lagoon Hours: All Year, 6am-9pm
Closed Wednesdays until midday for maintenance

Day 14 - Shuttle Transfer, Cairns Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your Cairns vacation accommodation to the Airport in Cairns, Australia.

Need to Know
Luggage Restrictions: 1 checked bag and 1 hand luggage is free of charge per person in the shuttle. Additional luggage is 10$ each. Strollers are free. Bikes need to be in a bike bag. Fishing rods need to be broken down and in a container.

Day 14 - Australian Domestic Flight, Cairns to Brisbane

Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Brisbane.

Day 14 - International Flight, Brisbane to Los Angeles (can be included on request)

Travel by international air to your destination.

International air to your destination is not included in the starting price. If you requested international air, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

  • a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability and seasonality. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
  • b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
  • c) An Infant (Lapchild) must be less than 2 years old on the date of departure. Infant must travel with at least one adult. An infant with a seat pays the price of a Child.
  • d) A Child must be aged between 2-11 years on the date of departure. Child must travel with at least one adult.