East Coast Islands & Rainforest Tour • Freedom Destinations
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Gold Coast, Queensland
Kangaroo, Australia Zoo
Lake Mckenzie, Fraser Island
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Kuranada
Red Peak Lookout, Kuranda

East Coast Islands & Rainforest

12 day Escorted Tour - from £4260 £3620

With flights from £4870

Join this well-planned tour of Australia’s stunning East Coast, from Sydney to Cairns. A fascinating 1,500 mile journey of tropical discovery.


  • Spend two nights on the World Heritage Listed Fraser Island (K’gari)
  • Relax on the endless beaches of the Gold Coast
  • Take the opportunity to visit the beautiful Whitsunday Islands
  • Explore the lush rainforest of the Atherton Tablelands
  • Enjoy a glass bottom boat ride on the Great Barrier Reef


Save up to 15% on selected 2024 departures!

Please call for the best price and availability.


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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Sydney to Coffs Harbour

Start discovering the landscapes of Australia’s east coast as you travel northward from Sydney to the coastal town of Coffs Harbour. From your accommodation nestled amongst sprawling tropical gardens, 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 welcome reception and dinner with your Travel Director.

Hotel: BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort
Meals: Dinner

Please note, this tour departs early in the morning. Please speak with your Travel Consultant to arrange hotel accommodation in Sydney for the night before.

Day 2 - Gold Coast

Experience superb views over the Pacific Ocean this morning from Cape Byron, the easternmost point in Australia. You may spot migrating whales breaching not far offshore. A scenic coastal drive this afternoon takes you to the legendary holiday destination of the Gold Coast, where you’ll settle in for your two-night stay.

Hotel: Novotel Surfers Paradise
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - 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.

Hotel: Novotel Surfers Paradise
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - K'gari (Fraser Island)

Follow the waves north to Hervey Bay, the gateway to World Heritage-Listed K’gari (Fraser Island). The ferry ride across the strait is a highlight in itself, particularly during whale migration when these gentle giants come to the calm, protected waters to calve. Landing on K’gari, expect to see a lot of sand. This is, after all, the world’s largest sand island, and the only place in the world where rainforest grows from the sand.

Hotel: Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - K'gari

The island also has a really long sand highway, which you’ll get to zip along on a 4WD Fraser Island tour across 75 Mile Beach, all the way up the east coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands, calm Eli Creek and the Maheno shipwreck, which offers quite the photo op. Just when you thought the island couldn’t get any prettier, Lake McKenzie appears on the horizon, this dazzling patch of blue formed only with rainwater. It’s a hard act to follow, but the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek lives up to the challenge with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees.

Hotel: Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 6 - Rockhampton

Visit 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 afternoon tea in the garden in the company of the pet kangaroo! Cross the Tropic of Capricorn as you arrive in Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia. Your night is free so why not try some local beef at one of the town’s steakhouses.

Hotel: Quality Hotel Regent, Rockhampton
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 - Airlie Beach

Travel north to Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital, to the Sarina Sugar Shed, a miniature working sugar mill. On your tour you’ll get a peek into the sugar cane industry and witness sugar processing and distilling. You can taste test some of the products made on site before sitting down to a light lunch. Continue to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. Spend the next two nights in this vibrant coastal town where you will have free time to explore at your own pace.

Hotel: Mantra Club Croc Airlie Beach
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 8 - Airlie Beach

Today you have a choice. You can relax in Airlie Beach or enjoy optional experiences including a scenic helicopter flight over the iconic Heart Reef or cruise through the Whitsunday Islands to Whitehaven Beach, where you can kick back with a good book, take a swim, or try some of the fun beach activities.

Hotel: Mantra Club Croc Airlie Beach
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 - Cairns

Today you’ll head to Cairns along the Bruce Highway. Relax and take in the scenery as you travel through sugar cane fields and extensive farming land, nestled between the Coral Sea on one side and World Heritage rainforest on the other.

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton, Cairns
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 - Cairns

Travel through the high tropical plateau known as the Atherton Tablelands, with its lush rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and peaceful lakes. Visit Millaa Millaa Falls and the famous 500-year-old Curtain Fig Tree and keep an eye out for the magnificent Ulysses Butterfly. Spend some free time in Kuranda, ‘the village in the rainforest’, before travelling on the Rainforest Skyrail Cableway. Your six-person gondola will take you through and high above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park.

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton, Cairns
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 - Great Barrier Reef

Board a high-speed catamaran today and cruise out to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, the only living organism that can be seen from the moon. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling (equipment provided) or view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and glass bottom boat. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board, before you return in the late afternoon for a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and new-found friends.

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton, Cairns
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12 - Farewell from Cairns

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your tour comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Please speak with your Travel Consultant if you would like to book extra nights in Cairns or elsewher in Australia.

Meals: Breakfast

12 day Escorted Tour - from £4260 £3620

With flights from £4870

Save up to 15% on selected 2024 departures!


  • Add extra nights in Sydney or Cairns before or after your tour
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class
  • Add a stopover to Australia in Dubai, Singapore or another destination


  • Ask about our 9 day Gold Coast to Cairns escorted tour from £3420

Include this Escorted Tour in an Australia holiday designed for you

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All prices are per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin room and include meals shown. Seasonal supplements may apply. Please call Freedom Destinations to confirm departure dates and availability. Itinerary based on 2023 departures.

East Coast Islands & Rainforest route map

Your Touring Experience

We are proud to partner with AAT Kings to provide first class touring across Australia. Our experienced guides will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

  • Sightseeing, walks and activities
  • 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Luxury air conditioned coach travel
  • En suite hotel accommodation
  • Daily breakfast and meals shown
  • Extra night options
  • Return airport transfers

See more Australia escorted tours…

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Departure Dates

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To confirm availability call 0333 234 2889

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an Australia Expert on 0333 234 2889