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East coast Australia itinerary

Level Contributor
6 posts
9 reviews
East coast Australia itinerary

Hi

Me and my partner are planning to backpack from Cairns to Sydney in 5 weeks in October/November. My initial itinerary is:

Cairns - 5 nights

Townsville - 1 night - Magnetic island - 2 nights

Noosa - 3 nights

Airlie Beach - 4 nights

Brisbane - 5 nights

Gold Coast - 3 nights

Byron Bay - 4 nights

Sydney - 1 week inc blue mountains.

We plan to buy hop on hop off greyhound tickets for travel as we are on a budget. Will the itinerary be doable in 5 weeks?

11 replies to this topic
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
11,927 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

Airlie Beach is before Noosa, not after it. That should be possible in 5 weeks. Check out the Greyhound timetable for logistics. If you. An fit in a stop at Hervey Bay and visit Fraser Island. Etween AB and Noosa.

Start as early in October as you can before the wet, cyclone and stinger season starts in the North. At least you’re heading in the right direction!

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
11,889 posts
54 reviews
2. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

Yes, five weeks is very do-able for this itinerary.

You have a couple of very long bus journeys there, but that is the trouble with visiting a country that is also a continent.

As above, add Hervey Bay and Fraser Island, which is about 10 hours bus ride south of Airlie Beach, and a couple of hours north of Noosa.

The other long stretch will be Byron Bay to Sydney. If you have time for a day somewhere to break up that journey, there are plenty of other places to stop along the way, but prioritise Sydney if you are short on time.

Cheers.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12,127 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

And check out the backpacker forums on www.travellerspoint.com

Cairns - consider tours to Chillagoe Caves and Tablelands.

Consider Hervey Bay stop for Fraser Island tour (could do 2 nights here)

5 nights in Brisbane is a lot - could reduce to 2 nights

Gold Coast - could be skipped - are you interested in theme parks ?

The itinerary can be done in 5 weeks.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
223 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

This itinerary is doable. I think it will be important to consider what you want to do and see in each of the locations as to your timings though. For example, I personally would cut some of the nights in Brisbane and add this to Noosa/Fraser Island- but my interests might be completely different from yours so it’s really dependent on what you want to see.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
11,889 posts
54 reviews
5. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

Depending on your interests and whether you are willing to hire a car some out of town independant trips, then you can cut Brissie down to three nights.

Cheers.

australia
Level Contributor
146 posts
33 reviews
6. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

Definitely agree to cut days down to three in Brisbane unless you've got extra daytrips from there planned.

You could also cut a day off Noosa and Byron if needed (or keep as is and relax). Both are spectacular places to chill for a couple of days but you can definitely see most the highlights in 2 to 3 days,

I love the Gold Coast 3 nights is perfect

Add in Fraser Island if you can, even if just a day tour of Lake Mackenzie, Eli creek and Champagne pools

You mention being on a budget, I found Bookme website had great Cairns Reef cruise discounts

And hiring a car is my best budget tip for day trips. Most of our Australia's beauty is free, waterfalls, beaches etc so no need to pay for tour, just drive yourself

Have fun

Level Contributor
6 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

Thanks for all the suggestions! Due to the long bus journey we might fit Port Maquire or Newcastle in between Byron Bay and Sydney. We will also cut down Brisbane to possibly 3 nights.

Thanks Jo_cut I will definitely have a look at Bookme for reef cruises.

Sydney
Destination Expert
for Croatia
Level Contributor
17,801 posts
170 reviews
8. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

I it is good to be budget conscious, but be careful which reef cruise you choose. I don't know where you are coming from, but you don't want to end up with 2nd best reef experience. My recommendation is Wavelength out of Port Douglas or Seastar out of Cairns. I have never done Seastar, but hear good things about it. I have done Wavelength.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12,127 posts
34 reviews
9. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

And from Cairns go to the outer reef and not Green Island - spend a few extra dollars for Seastar as it will be worth it and you get lunch etc on the full day cruise.

Still think Brisbane can be just 2 nights. Not sure just a day in PM or Newcastle is worth it - go all the way to Sydney and spend the money you save here.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
223 posts
5 reviews
10. Re: East coast Australia itinerary

Agree with the above advice to not scrimp on the reef cruise if it means you will get a sub-par experience. Better to save the money elsewhere and go with one of the highly rated companies where you will see more intact areas of the reef and get a better experience. I went with Wavelength out of Port Douglas 10 years ago and it was fantastic- you can look up more recent reviews of companies when making your decision.

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