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East Coast Australia Tours & Vacations | Plus 15 Travel Tips

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If you’re moving or have moved to Australia, doing an Australia East Coast Tour is a MUST. This bucket list trip allows you to visit some of Australia’s most beautiful coastal locations and Islands, such as Noosa, Byron Bay, Hamilton Island, Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and much more.

Let’s discuss travelling the East Coast, including different travel options, must-see locations, must-do activities and how to do it on a budget.

This article is brought you by my tour sponsor CheapAZ Travel. A site wide discount exclusivly for Irish Around Oz readers is available using the coupon code below. But I have also included some Australia East Coast Travel Tips.

  • If you do decide to book any of the tours mentioned in this post, be sure to use the code IRISHAROUNDOZ at checkout, and you will get an additional discount. Win-Win! It is site-wide.  

There is no set of rules to follow when travelling the East Coast, but it’s always useful to have some tips & advice before taking off.

Australia East Coast Tours And Travel Tips

Australia East Coast Tours

Scenic landscape view of Mission Beach,Queensland, Australia 🤗

  1. Most popular starting point: The most popular section of the East Coast that Backpackers love to explore is between Cairns and Sydney.
  2. Many also begin their journey in Cairns & finish in Brisbane or vice versa. If you don’t have your own vehicle to travel the East Coast, your options are either ride share, campervan rentals, car rentals, or take a bus/coach.
  3. The most convenient thing about campervan rentals is that you have your transport & accommodation in one. If opting for a ride share, car rentals, or bus pass, you can stay in hostels or other accommodations along the way.
  4. Cairns is a very popular starting point for people travelling the East Coast. It offers a great bar scene and nightlife while also providing activities such as snorkelling/scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, the Kuranda scenic railway & day trips to Port Douglas.
  5. After enjoying your few days in Cairns, hopefully not too hungover, you can make your way down to Townsville, stopping at Josephine Falls in Wooroonooran National Park & Mission Beach for some beautiful scenery and activities to break up the journey.
  6. Townsville is a beautiful coastal town where you can jump aboard a ferry to Magnetic Island. Magnetic Island is a must on anyone’s East Coast adventure. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, such as Horseshoe Bay, Radical Bay & Nelly Bay.
  7. You can rent Barbie cars to explore the island, or you can get your step count up and do it on foot.
  8. Forts Walk is a very popular hike on the island where you can take in the views of the island, and it is likely you’ll see a lot of koalas.
  9. From Maggie Island, the next big stop is Airlie Beach, known for its famous boat tours around the Whitsundays. After exploring the Whitsundays, you can make the long drive to Rainbow Beach, stopping at Bundaberg if you want to break up the journey.
  10. Rainbow Beach is the starting point for many K’Gari (Fraser Island) tours, such as Pippies, Dingos, K’Gari Safari & many more. K’Gari (Fraser Island) is the ultimate way to get a feel for the east coast, learn about the island’s history, visit its many lakes & pools & see the wildlife the Island has to offer, such as Dingos, sharks, manta rays and whales.
  11. But wait! There’s more, believe it or not! You can then make your way to Noosa, where you can do a safari & canoe down one of the world’s two Everglades.

    Noosa river, Australia on East Coast Australia tours

    You can see why people East Coast Australia tours are so popular! 👀

  12. You can also enjoy the coastal walk & visit the fairy pools where you might spot some dolphins & whales.
  13. Noosa has many beautiful places to eat, so be sure to treat yourself somewhere nice. Noosa is a quick drive to Australia Zoo, where you can spend a day immersing yourself in Australian wildlife & wildlife from around the world.
  14. Once you’ve seen all the Zoo offers, you are on a quick drive to the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Surfers Paradise & Byron Bay, where many chose to finish their East Coast adventure. It’s good to remember that this trip can also be done going up the coast.
  15. The final tip is once you start travelling, you will likely meet or speak to others who will give you EVEN more travel tips!

Budget Tips:

  • For solo travellers, economical options include a bus pass and a standard-rate bed hopper pass for hostels.
  • Couples and friend groups might find better value and freedom with a campervan or car rental.

 If you want to see more of what you can do in each location, click the links below, which show everything each beautiful stop has to offer.

You can use our exclusive discount code MOVINGTOOZ for a discount on all tours, trips, campervan rentals, bus passes, and bed hopper passes on the Cheap Az Travel website. Or if messaging on Instagram for a quote, ask them to apply the MOVINGTOOZ discount.

Australia East Coast Tours And Vacations:

Cairns Attractions 

Mission Beach Attractions

Magnetic Island Tours

Whitsunday Islands Tours

K’Gari (Fraser Island) Tours

Noosa Tours

Bus passes

Bed Hopper Pass

East Coast packages

Campervan Rentals

Whichever one of these Australia East Coast tours you decide to book will be an experience of a lifetime. I spoke with the team and they told me it is a mix between people picking and choosing or booking the entire trip with CheapAZTravel! But don’t forget as an Irish Around Oz reader and follower you can get an exclusive discount. Just use IRISHAROUNDOZ at coupon or even call them up they will still honour the discount.

Thanks for reading and good luck on your East Coast trip!


Ah go on, give it a share!