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Home. Sydney to Cairns - 1 Month

Sydney to Cairns - 1 Month

How long should I take to travel from Sydney to Cairns? 

The main destinations between Sydney and Cairns can be ticked off in less than 3 weeks, but ideally a month (or more!) to travel Australia's most popular stretch of coast will be a far better travel experience.

Besides, you've come all this way - you want to see the good stuff right? 

The East Coast of Australia is best known for the Great Barrier Reef, the incredible Whitsunday Islands, the hippy beach town of Byron Bay, the Gold Coast, and of course Australia's capital city - oh wait, Sydney's not the capital? Well that makes no sense because it's probably the best city in the world! 

Sydney Gallery Image


The East Coast is also home to some incredible, less known destinations where you can have some pretty unique experiences!

  • Search for platypus at Barrington Tops National Park
  • See kangaroos hopping along the beach at Emerald Beach 
  • See rainbow coloured sands at Carlo Sand Blow 
  • Swim with manta rays and sea turtles at Great Keppel Island 
  • Spot wild koalas snoozing in the trees on Magnetic Island 

Australia's East Coast holds loads of hidden gems, if you just know where to look for them. 

Luckily we do!

We've put together an epic itinerary that covers all of the highlights (some places you will know about, and some you wont fall in love with until you get there). 


Our favourite East Coast Tour


The itinerary we've designed takes a minimum of 24 days, but if you've managed to secure more time off, why not take a bit longer? 

Our tours are pretty unique and are flexible - allowing you to extend your stay at any destination on the route! 

We have 3 departures a week, so you can just join the next tour coming through when you're ready.  

Stray Australia East Coast Highlights


Places you could spend more time 

Magnetic Island Hike

Sydney - This is the first stop on the itinerary and the tour includes a day trip to the epic Blue Mountains, but if you've got a bit more time, you could easily hang out in Sydney for a bit longer. Sydney can be an expensive city for a backpacker, so we've put together a list of 30 of our favourite free things to do in Sydney.

Gold Coast - Our tours don't stop overnight in the Goldie, so if you want to experience the crazy nightlife of Surfers Paradise, take a look at some fancy mansions (and daydream about how one day you'll live here), or check out some theme parks, you can hop off the tour here.

Brisbane - Our tours don't stop overnight in Brisbane, so if you're interested in checking out a bit of Australian culture, this is a great place to extend your stay. In Brisbane you'll fine the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Old Government House, the Streets Beach and plenty of great places to eat. 

Cairns - Save some time to spend in Cairns after the tour ends to take a day trip out to explore the Great Barrier Reef. It's one of the seven wonders of the world, and an Aussie Must Do. 


Getting around 

Stray Australia Bus at Barrington Tops Small version

Australia is MASSIVE. Driving a rental car is not the most comfortable way to travel these long distances. 

Travel with us! :) 

We travel road trip style in our private buses between Sydney and Rainbow Beach.

This means we can get off the highways, into the national parks, stop where we want, play our own tunes, and have some fun along the way.

Your Driver Guide will take you wine tasting in Hunter Valley, stop at a Koala Hospital, take you swimming in the Angourie Blue Pools and pull over when we see a great photo opportunity. Stray Driver Guides are also known for their entertaining commentary, loveable nature and great advice. 

After Rainbow Beach, we cover the long stretches by train.

The trains are great! They have comfortable, leather reclining seats, a dining carriage where you can get a cold beer and a surprisingly good pizza. There are toilets and showers so when you arrive you feel nice and fresh! Our In Location expert guides meet you at the train station and take you to your accommodation, get you settled in and sorted before showing you around. Our guides are experts on the local area. They'll take you hiking, show you the best places to eat and drink and point out the local highlights. They know when the turtles are breeding, the humpback whales are migrating, and the best places to swim. 


Who travels with Stray? 

Fraser Island Shipwreck

Stray travellers are sociable, independent, crave adventure, like a good night out but are excited to get up in the morning and see what the day has in store. 

Most of our travellers are 18-24, the rest are 25-35. We get a few awesome 35+ who are young at heart and believe you're only as young as the people you hang out with. 


Are we a good match? 

If you're after a travel experience that allows you to meet lots of other backpackers, experience Australia like a local and have a fun trip without the stress, come and Stray with us! 

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