My Mini Guide To Travelling The East Coast

My Mini Guide To Travelling The East Coast

The East Coast of Australia; 4000km of goon-filled fun and frolics. I’ve compiled a guide for the Ultimate East Coast Experience to help you navigate your way through the coast!

How much time will I need?

When it comes to traveling the East Coast, there is no definitive right or wrong duration. The most common timeframe is typically around 4-6 weeks, allowing ample opportunity to explore the key highlights without feeling rushed. However, I chose to embrace a slower pace and extended my journey to approximately 2 and a half months. Recognizing that this adventure was likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I wanted to savor every moment and fully immerse myself in the East Coast experience. Remarkably, even 1.5 years later, I have revisited my favorite parts of the East Coast and still have future plans to explore more of its wonders.

Ways to travel

When it comes to traveling along the East Coast, there are several options to choose from. The primary three methods are Campervan, Guided Tour, and Hop-on Hop-off Bus. Personally, I found that the hop-on hop-off bus was the ideal choice for me. It alleviated the stress of driving, the expenses associated with fuel, and the challenges of finding parking spaces (parallel parking certainly isn’t my strong suit!). Opting for the Greyhound bus service allowed me to simply sit back, relax, and disembark at my desired destinations whenever I pleased. It provided the flexibility and convenience I desired for a seamless and enjoyable journey.

Byron Bay

Undoubtedly, this particular spot along the East Coast holds a special place in my heart. Nestled by the beach, this charming town is an absolute haven for surfers. If you time it just right, you might even find yourself catching waves alongside playful dolphins during the early morning or evening sessions. It’s a truly surreal experience. For those who prefer a more relaxed encounter, I recommend trying kayaking with the dolphins—a serene and memorable adventure.

Another remarkable activity, and the best part is that it’s completely free, is embarking on the Cape Byron Walk to the lighthouse in Byron Bay. I highly recommend undertaking this journey during sunset (personally, I’m not an early riser), as it can be scorching hot during the midday sun. The walk offers breathtaking views, and you’ll bear witness to one of the most stunning sunsets imaginable—truly one of the most remarkable I’ve ever seen, with vibrant hues painting the sky. Moreover, you’ll have the chance to reach the easternmost point of Australia, an added bonus and a satisfying tick off the bucket list for those seeking such achievements.

Most Easterly point of Australia

Noosa & Fraser Island

Fraser Island, also known as K’gari, proudly holds the title of being the largest sand island globally, boasting an impressive 90-mile-long beach. The island offers a plethora of incredible trips for visitors to enjoy. Personally, I embarked on a camping excursion, despite my initial hesitation as a self-proclaimed princess reluctant to sleep on the ground amidst spiders. However, I soon discovered that camping on Fraser Island was an absolute blast! If I were to revisit, I might consider a tour with cabin accommodation, such as the Nomads Fraser tour. While camping is undoubtedly enjoyable, a close encounter with a wandering Huntsman spider has temporarily dissuaded me. Also, keep a keen eye out for the local inhabitants of Fraser, the Dingos!

Noosa itself is a delightful little town that warrants exploration. Located approximately an hour away, Australia Zoo, famously known as the home of the Crocodile Hunter, is an absolute must-visit. Even if it’s just to cuddle a koala (they are impossibly adorable!), the experience is well worth it. I’ll proudly admit to having done this three times! Noosa also offers the opportunity for stand-up paddleboarding, an incredibly fun activity that may reward you with sightings of fascinating wildlife as you glide across the water.

Cuddling a koala

Airlie Beach & the Whitsundays

When exploring the East Coast, one destination that absolutely cannot be missed is the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands. Undoubtedly, it holds the top spot as my favorite place and most memorable experience along the East Coast. Picture yourself sailing leisurely around the cluster of 74 islands that comprise the Whitsundays, enjoying a refreshing cold beer. It’s a moment of pure bliss. I can confidently say that I witnessed an abundance of marine life here, more than I have ever seen before, and the vibrant colors are truly unbelievable. If given the opportunity, make sure to indulge in snorkeling as well—it’s an experience you won’t want to miss. And let’s not forget the surreal beauty of Whitehaven Beach—an otherworldly paradise that will leave you in awe.

Also read: These Places Should Be On Your Australia Bucket List

Fun on Whitehaven beach

Magnetic Island

Once again, I find myself proclaiming another cherished spot along the coast—yet I have a strong suspicion that this sentiment will be repeated many times over! This particular island exudes an incredibly laid-back atmosphere that is simply infectious. A must-do activity is embarking on the Forts Walk, traversing the island and reaching its summit. The view from the top is nothing short of extraordinary, offering a 360-degree panorama that encompasses the entire island. Along the trail, you’ll also encounter numerous wild koalas adorning the trees, so be sure to keep a keen eye out for these adorable creatures. And let’s not forget the sheer delight of cruising around in a barbie car—where else can you experience such whimsical joy? In that moment, I felt a profound sense of fulfillment.

Magnetic Island barbie car


Cairns, a vibrant city known as the gateway to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, holds immense appeal as a tourist hotspot for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. Additionally, it serves as the ultimate hub for both exhilarating adventure activities and lively nightlife. With a plethora of backpacker bars dotting the streets, you can look forward to an affordable and unforgettable night out. When visiting Cairns, there are two essential experiences you must prioritize: snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and embarking on a waterfall adventure (pardon the reference!). Among the myriad of stunning waterfalls, my personal favorite would have to be Millaa Millaa Falls in the picturesque Atherton Tablelands. Does anyone recall Peter Andre’s iconic “Mysterious Girl” video? Well, that was filmed right there, amidst the enchanting waterfall scenes, along with the captivating Herbal Essences commercials. Don’t forget to capture the perfect hair flick photo as a memento of your visit!

Millaa Millaa falls

And now, for the grand finale of many travelers’ East Coast adventure: the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef, where snorkeling or scuba diving takes center stage. Having explored the Coast through snorkeling, I made the decision to challenge myself and try scuba diving while in Cairns. I must admit, it was a bit nerve-wracking, with a mental image of me clinging to the side of the boat, mustering the courage to dive down. However, I can honestly say that despite the initial fear, the experience was truly incredible! From encountering sharks and turtles to witnessing the graceful presence of rays and vibrant rainbow fish, it’s an experience that I wholeheartedly recommend to everyone. The Great Barrier Reef is a world of wonder that leaves a lasting impression on those who venture beneath its shimmering surface.

 Fitzroy Island

Want to travel the East Coast of Australia but not sure where to start? Get in touch for help and advice or check out the Australia East coast Adventure 30-Day package!

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Also read: East Coast VS West Coast Australia

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