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12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest

12 days 11 nights
Sydney to Cairns
from NZD$6,389pp
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Tour summary and feature with map

Journey along the Pacific Coast on this 12 day tour from Sydney to Cairns. Discover Australia's iconic white sand beaches, lush rainforests, and unique wildlife. You'll have time to experience incredible locations like K'gari (Fraser Island), Surfers Paradise, and of course, the Great Barrier Reef with plenty of stops along the way to pique your interest.

This Tour Also Features

  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

  • Great Barrier Reef cruise

  • Langmorn Station tour

  • Sarina Sugar Shed tour

  • 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Day One - G'day and welcome to Sydney
Tour day 1
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 1
Sydney to Coffs Harbour

Welcome to Sydney! Start discovering the landscapes of Australia’s east coast as you travel northward 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 dinner with your newfound friends.

Accommodation: BreakFree Aanuka Beach
Accommodation type: Apartments
Meals included: Dinner
Positioned on the stunning Northern New South Wales Coastline, BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort offers everything you need in your Coffs Harbour accommodation, with recreation and relaxation all rolled into one, making for a delightful beach escape.

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Day Two - Head north, through the eastern-most point of Australia on your way to the Gold Coast
Tour day 2
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 2
Coffs Harbour to the Gold Coast

Journey to Cape Byron Lighthouse and enjoy superb views from Australia’s easternmost point over the Pacific Ocean. At the right time of year, you may be lucky enough to spot migrating whales frolicking off the coast. For lunch we recommend fresh fish and chips on the beach at Byron Bay, there’s nothing more Australian. Continue to the famous holiday destination, the Gold Coast where you’ll stay for the next two nights.

Accommodation: Novotel Surfers Paradise
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Meals included: Breakfast
At the heart of Surfers Paradise, surrounded by immaculate beaches, a spirited nightlife and fun-filled theme parks, is Novotel. Perfectly placed to allow you to make the most of this vibrant, friendly and popular Gold Coast holiday destination. A mere stroll from the beach, you can also easily make your way to dining, entertainment, arts and culture or the great outdoors.

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Day Three - Discover the white sand beaches of Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast region
Tour day 3
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 3
Gold Coast free time

Today you have the freedom to enjoy the Gold Coast in your own style with optional activities to choose from. 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.

Accommodation: Novotel Surfers Paradise
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Meals included: Breakfast
At the heart of Surfers Paradise, surrounded by immaculate beaches, a spirited nightlife and fun-filled theme parks, is Novotel. Perfectly placed to allow you to make the most of this vibrant, friendly and popular Gold Coast holiday destination. A mere stroll from the beach, you can also easily make your way to dining, entertainment, arts and culture or the great outdoors.

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Day Four - Travel to World-Heritage-listed K'gari, where tall rainforests grow on sand dunes
Tour day 4
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 4
Gold Coast to K'gari (Fraser Island)

Take in the landscape of rolling hills, surrounding mountain peaks and the coastline of the Sunshine Coast before arriving for a relaxed coastal vibe at Hervey Bay. This afternoon the ferry will take you across to the World Heritage Listed K’gari, also known as Fraser Island. Ground yourself back in nature on this sand island, your home for the next two nights.

Accommodation: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Kingfisher Bay Resort is the gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and is internationally renowned following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal visit, during their official Australian tour.

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Day Five - Explore K'gari
Tour day 5
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 5
K'gari (Fraser Island)

A day of discovery lies ahead as your 4WD tour takes you for a bumpy ride around the island’s must-see sites. Visit Lake McKenzie, ringed with magnificent white sandy beaches. Walk through the ancient rainforest at Central Station and Wanggoolba Creek with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees. Across the island to 75 Mile Beach, the sand highway will take you up the eastern coast to the Pinnacles Coloured Sands; cooling, calm waters of Eli Creek and the famous sinking Maheno Shipwreck.

Accommodation: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Kingfisher Bay Resort is the gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and is internationally renowned following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal visit, during their official Australian tour.

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Day Six - Experience a working cattle station on your way to Rockhampton
Tour day 6
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 6
K'gari (Fraser Island) to Rockhampton

The morning ferry will take you back to the mainland where it’s back on the coach and travelling through cattle country to 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 while you hear about the history of the station and what it is like to live and grow up on a cattle station! 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.

Accommodation: Quality Hotel Regent, Rockhampton
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
The 1914 Historical Heritage Listed TAFE College has been converted into a 4 1/2 Star 49 room hotel with conference and licensed restaurant facilities. The Quality Regent Hotel Rockhampton is part of the Choice group of quality hotels and offers superior accommodation and professional functions facilities in a premier position in the CBD. It is situated within walking distance to shops, businesses, restaurants and waterfront. Airport and Rail - only minutes drive away. We will cater to our guests every need to ensure their stay is most enjoyable.

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Day Seven - Discover and taste the spoils of the sugar cane capital, Sarina
Tour day 7
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 7
Rockhampton to Airlie Beach

Travel north to the sugar town of Sarina, Australia’s sugar capital, to Sarina Sugar Shed, a working miniature sugar mill. On your tour, you’ll get a peek into sugar cane processing and witness fully functioning sugar processing and distilling equipment in action. Afterwards, you can taste some of the products made on-site before sitting down for a light lunch. Continue to Airlie Beach, the gateway hub 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.

Accommodation: Mantra Club Croc
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Families, couples and groups will find Mantra Club Croc ideally positioned in the coastal town of Airlie Beach, within a five-minute drive of its lively hub. Centrally located on Shute Harbour Road, you’ll be set to experience the best of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations. Providing a glimpse into the region’s past, Mantra Club Croc’s traditional Queenslander exterior complements its modern interior and boasts a tropical carefree atmosphere throughout. Hotel rooms are refurbished with natural tones reflect the nearby coastline, coupled with modern features to ensure you are relaxed while on vacation.

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Day Eight - Relax by the beach or enjoy one of today's optional activities
Tour day 8
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 8
Airlie Beach free time

The Whitsunday Islands are a collection of 74 tropical islands with white sandy beaches and dense rainforest surrounded by The Great Barrier Reef. This tropical oasis offers numerous activities for all budgets and interests. With so many bucket list reasons to get up early, why not take an optional helicopter ride over Heart Reef or perhaps the famous Whitehaven Beach beckons. Take an optional cruise aboard a catamaran to this slice of paradise, where you can simply relax on the beach, take a swim, or get involved in some fun beach activities.

Accommodation: Mantra Club Croc
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Families, couples and groups will find Mantra Club Croc ideally positioned in the coastal town of Airlie Beach, within a five-minute drive of its lively hub. Centrally located on Shute Harbour Road, you’ll be set to experience the best of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations. Providing a glimpse into the region’s past, Mantra Club Croc’s traditional Queenslander exterior complements its modern interior and boasts a tropical carefree atmosphere throughout. Hotel rooms are refurbished with natural tones reflect the nearby coastline, coupled with modern features to ensure you are relaxed while on vacation.

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Day Nine - Travel through sugar cane fields on your way down to Cairns
Tour day 9
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 9
Airlie Beach to Cairns

Today we head north to Cairns along the Bruce Highway. Relax and take in the scenery as we travel through sugar cane fields and large farming lands with the ocean to one side and lush rainforests and mountains on the other. We’ll make a stop along the way at a town where you can soak up the relaxed lifestyle that tropical North Queensland has to offer.

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Boasting uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea, and a stunning natural setting amidst landscaped tropical gardens, the oceanfront DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns is just a short walk from the city center, and Cairns' business, retail and entertainment districts. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Cairns Esplanade, and is just moments from Cairns Lagoon and Cairns Casino.

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Day Ten - Explore the lush rainforests and waterfalls and get a birds eye view on the Skyrail
Tour day 10
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 10
Cairns

Before breakfast feel free to take a walk along the shore and feel the golden sand between your toes before you depart. Today you’ll travel through the high tropical plateau known as the Atherton Tablelands, where lush rainforests, waterfalls and lakes abound. Visit Millaa Millaa Falls and the famous Curtain Fig Tree. Keep an eye out for the spectacular Ulysses Butterfly while you’re there. Continue to Kuranda where you’ll stop around lunchtime. Enjoy some free time to explore this village in the rainforest. From Kuranda, you will take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway high above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park before arriving at your hotel in Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Boasting uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea, and a stunning natural setting amidst landscaped tropical gardens, the oceanfront DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns is just a short walk from the city center, and Cairns' business, retail and entertainment districts. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Cairns Esplanade, and is just moments from Cairns Lagoon and Cairns Casino.

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Day Eleven - Cruise out onto the Great Barrier Reef and discover the incredible world that lies beneath the surface
Tour day 11
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 11
The Great Barrier Reef

Board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. The world heritage listed reef is the only living organism you can see from the moon. Imagine that! You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling and view this natural living wonder up-close (equipment provided) and view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and the glass-bottom boat. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon. Tonight is your farewell dinner at a restaurant on Cairns Harbour.

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Boasting uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea, and a stunning natural setting amidst landscaped tropical gardens, the oceanfront DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns is just a short walk from the city center, and Cairns' business, retail and entertainment districts. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Cairns Esplanade, and is just moments from Cairns Lagoon and Cairns Casino.

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Day Twelve - Farewell from Cairns
Tour day 12
12 Day AAT Kings East Coast Islands & Rainforest - Day 12
Farewell from Cairns

Your wonderful holiday concludes after breakfast when you bid farewell to your fellow travellers.

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