The cute Koala is a total beach lover! Grab your towel, slap on your sunnies and journey up the East Coast from Sydney to Brisbane on this 8-Day Koala Tour. If you love beautiful port towns, long stretches of beach and you want to travel Australia in style then this is the tour for you. We’ll take you off the tourist trail with a local guide (who will share their insider knowledge) and a bunch of like-minded travellers (who will become lifelong friends) and explore everything that Aussie has to offer in style!
Only Stray travels by private, air-conditioned bus all the way from Sydney to Brisbane, with a maximum of 22 onboard for your comfort. See more and do more along the way with stops for walks, waterfalls, lookouts, food and wine tasting!
So much more than just your tour guide - expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge. They know every inch of this country. You can't get this from a google search!
7 nights included. Accommodation is in 4-6 shared dorms in a range of hostels, backpacker resorts and an eco-lodge.
4 meals included - 3 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner
Top Rated Experiences
From walks, a winery and wildlife spotting to beautiful beaches and a cultural experience, there are so many awesome inclusions with the Stray Koala Sydney to Brisbane Tour:
Discover your inner wine connoisseur at Hunter Valley and taste award-winning samples fresh from the vineyard
- Catch a glimpse of local wildlife and snap the amazing views at Port Stephens
- Get a closer look at Australia's laziest (and cutest) marsupials at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
- Visit the historic town of Bellingen
- Connect and gain an understanding of the incredible Aboriginal Culture through a bush walk and cultural experience
- Centre yourself with a yoga class in laid-back Byron Bay and enjoy a couple of days to explore at your own pace
- Drop into the iconic Surfers Paradise and a local conservation park
- Spend a night exploring the buzzing riverside city of Brisbane
2023 Tour Dates
- 9 & 23 October - GUARANTEED
- 6 November - GUARANTEED
- 27 November
2024 Tour Dates
- 8 January - GUARANTEED
- 22 January
- 5 & 19 February
- 4 March
- 8 April
- 6 May
- 3 June
- 15 July
- 12 August
- 9 September
- 14 & 28 October
- 11 & 25 November
What we're all about...
Stray are the experts in taking you off the beaten track.
We’re all about finding one-of-a-kind experiences and immersing you in the REAL Australia.
Our epic driver guides will ensure you get the most out of your trip.
Tick off your East Coast bucket list with ease and be introduced to places you wouldn’t discover on your own.
Travel is about creating lasting connections and sharing experiences.
Stray travellers are open minded adventurers who make the most of every moment.
We aim to leave Australia better than we found it, supporting local communities and protecting our environment.
Travel with us and together we can make a positive change.
Sydney to Brisbane: Koala Tour
Sydney Arrival Info
Check into the hostel anytime after 2pm. At 6.30pm head down to the hostel reception to meet your Stray guide and new travel mates.
DOWNLOAD FULL ITINERARY HERE
G’day and welcome to your epic East Coast adventure. Your tour begins in Sydney with a day to yourself to explore the city sights and world-famous landmarks. If you’ve just flown in, we recommend taking the train from the airport to Central Station, your accommodation is conveniently located straight across the road. Check into the hostel anytime after 2pm and if you’d like to begin your trip with a delicious cocktail (because wine-not?), head down to Circular Quay and the Opera Bar. Located at the base of the Opera House, with views of the Harbour Bridge, you’ll get all the iconic Sydney pics you can dream of. At 6.30pm head down to reception to meet your Stray guide and travel mates for the next few weeks.
Today we’ll say goodbye to Sydney as we depart the harbour city and make our way north to the Hunter Valley wine region where we’ll taste some of the local wine and cheese before continuing through to Port Stephens, our destination for the night.
We’ll be staying at the Surfside hostel, set on 6 acres of natural bushland, with kangaroos and wallabies on site. This boutique accommodation is about creating a relaxing experience in an environmentally conscious way so you can put your feet up and feel good about it! Once we’ve checked in, you can explore the area, relax, or head to the beach for a swim. If you’re interested, go for a walk around and check out the architecture of the place - they’ve used wood and glass to maximise light and all development incorporates the nature of the area.
Tonight, we’ll enjoy a classic Aussie BBQ dinner and get to know each other - anyone know a good icebreaker?
This morning you have the choice to either sleep in, join your Stray guide for a hike, or jump in a 4WD bus to take part in some first-class sandboarding down the Stockton Sand Dunes (optional expense). The local sandboarding guide will teach you how to safely sandboard and tell you all about the amazing area and the rich Aboriginal history of the region.
If you don’t want to sandboard, your guide will join you for a walk to the summit of Tomaree Head, which stands at 161 metres above the Port Stephens entrance. This short 2.2km return track offers breathtaking views of the coastline and panoramic views of Yacaaba Head, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands, as well as Zenith, Wreck and Box Beaches, Fingal Island and Point Stephens Lighthouse - you might even be lucky enough to see some dolphins (and if it’s May - September, you could see whales!).
Late morning, we’ll pack up and move on to our next overnight stop, Port Macquarie. We’ll have lunch on the way before visiting the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where we’ll get a closer look at Australia’s laziest (and arguably cutest) marsupials. Check out the information centre to learn all about the hospital’s efforts to rehabilitate, protect and preserve the koalas.
Today we’re heading to the iconic surfing town of Byron Bay, known for its relaxed vibes and no worries attitude. On the way to Byron, we’ll stop at the historic and hipster town of Bellingen to get some lunch, followed by a special Aboriginal experience learning about the First Nations people of Australia.
Your Cultural Experience takes place at an important cultural site of the Gumbaynggirr people, the stunning location of “Niigi Niigi” (Sealy Lookout) within the Orara East State Forest. You’ll go for a 2-hour tour and see 360-degree views, as well as getting the opportunity to immerse yourself in culture through stories, songs, language and the uses of native plants. This will be an unforgettable cultural experience with an emphasis on authentic connection and contributing to helping a community regain their culture and identity.
Do More: By taking part in the experience, you’re making a direct contribution to the revitalisation of Gumbaynggirr language and culture with a percentage of the tour price going towards the local bilingual school to help foster cultural identity and education success.
When we arrive in Byron Bay, we’ll take you on an orientation drive around town to help you get your bearings, showing you points of interest and the top spots for food, shopping and nightlife. For the next few nights, we’re staying at boutique hostel The Surf House, located right in the heart of Byron and just a couple of hundred metres from the main beach - heaven!
Today you have a full day in Byron Bay to really embrace the Byron Bay motto: "cheer up, slow down, and chill out”. Start your day off with a morning yoga class on the rooftop of your hostel and then spend your day exploring the laidback hippy town.
You can walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse, mainland Australia’s most easterly point, or check out the many eclectic boutiques and cafes around town. You could join a sea kayaking or snorkel trip and search for dolphins and other marine life, or even go for an iconic Australian activity - learning to surf.
You lucky thing - you have ANOTHER free day to explore Byron Bay today. Tick off any activities you didn’t get the chance to do yesterday or pass the day wandering the township or relaxing on the beach. Hone your surf skills with more lessons or borrow one of the free surfboards at your hostel to try it out by yourself.
If you’re a foodie then you’re in luck, as eating your way around Byron is an experience in itself. There are heaps of vegetarian and vegan options available, a couple of our favourites are the Cardamom Pod for lunch and No Bones for dinner, both of which are super close to your hostel. This evening, head to the Saturday twilight markets for some live music and lots of boutique stalls showcasing local arts, crafts and some incredible food.
This morning, meet your guide and group outside the Surf House hostel at 8:50am and we’ll depart north across the NSW border to Queensland, stopping for some lunch and a walk around the famous Surfers Paradise. Next, we’ll head to a nearby nature reserve to spot some wild kangaroos, before continuing to Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland for the night. This evening, we recommend going for a stroll down to Southbank for a walk along the Brisbane River and then check out some of the many bars and restaurants.
Today is the final day of your Stray adventure. After breakfast, give a wave and a hug to your new mates and head off for the next leg of your adventure, taking with you the most incredible memories, everything you’ve learned about Australia’s special culture and wildlife, and of course some classic Aussie lingo - G’DAY MATES!
Sydney to Brisbane: Koala Tour
Need to Know
- Trip starts: Arrival day is on a Monday and we depart from Sydney on Tuesday morning.
- Transport: Travel by private Stray bus
- Included meals: Any dietary requirements or allergies must be advised upon booking so that they can be catered to where possible.
- Guides: Your Guide is your Bus Driver, Activity Organiser, Tour Guide, and friend. They’re always on hand to give you travel trips, advice and any help you need.
- Stray Travellers: Find your tribe and make meaningful connections with travellers from all over the world. The majority of our passengers are aged between 20-35 but there is no age limit! You just need to be reasonably fit and be young at heart! 70% of our travellers are travelling solo.
- Covid Safety Measures: To minimise risk to our travellers, staff and operators we will be doing everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission and we will be playing it safe with safety measures such as regular bus cleaning and disinfecting, hand sanitiser on the bus.
If you would like a copy of our full WorkSafe COVID-19 Safety Plan, please email at [email protected]
- Payment Options: If you'd like to secure your place on the trip, but are a little bit short on cash, you can reserve a seat with a $200 deposit. Click 'Book Your Travel' and choose the deposit option in checkout. You then have 6 months to pay it off - too easy! Better yet - there's no admin fee. You can make payments when it suits you using our Extra Payments page. You just need to have paid for your trip in full 31 days before you start your travels.