Fun Down Under - Australia East Coast Mini Gap
6 weeks from £2,184 (was £2,299)
- Have fun meeting new people and discovering the best of Sydney and Cairns
- Learn to surf with professional instructors in Port Stephens and Spot X
- Travel along Australia's east coast with a flexible hop-on hop-off bus pass
- Sail around the beautiful Whitsundays on your own maxi yacht
- Try out hot air ballooning and white water rafting in Cairns
- Dive and snorkel at world wonder, the Great Barrier Reef
Not everyone has a year or more to travel the world, which is why a combination tour of several different trips to make up a mini gap adventure is such a great idea! Especially as it means you can tailor-make your travels to suit your own time and budget. Our fantastic Australia Mini Gap combines four of our most popular Australian tours and takes you the length of the country's beautiful east coast, from Sydney to Cairns (or the other way around). You'll get to live it up in two of Australia's most exciting cities, trying out a range of activities from hot air ballooning to jet boating, and then make your way along Australia's glittering coast, stopping at incredible destinations on the way, including a sailing trip to the Whitsundays and a magical Fraser Island experience.
**The Fun Down Under - East Coast Mini Gap is designed for the flexible traveller who is looking to travel Australia in their own time without a set daily itinerary. We can tailor make an itinerary to create your dream trip! Please call us on 01892 277 040 and we will be happy to help you put together the perfect trip for you**
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
Our combination trips are designed to give you the best travel experience possible, but it's your travel experience, so if you'd like to swap in another trip to mix things up a bit, or if you'd like to change the order that you do each trip in, that's absolutely fine. Let us know how we can arrange the best trip for you and we'll make it happen!
Sydney Intro (9 days)
Day 1: Arrival
Your adventure begins here! Arriving at Sydney, our friendly team will meet you at the airport and take you to your city centre accommodation. Depending on the time you arrive, you might want to take a look around the city or chill out in the hostel bar before meeting the rest of your group at a welcome meeting this evening.
Day 2: Orientation & Jet Boating
We'll go on a city orientation today, to get our bearings and work out where all the important things are – best bars, restaurants, that sort of thing! As well as heading down to the oh-so glamorous Sydney Harbour for an incredible jet boating experience.
Day 3: Private Sydney Harbour Cruise
You'll have a pretty chilled day today, so hang out in the city with your new friends, or chat to the team about their recommendations for further travels and the best things to do on Australia's East Coast. This afternoon we'll head back to the harbour for a private boat cruise.
Day 4: Bondi Beach
Today we'll head down to Sydney's famous Bondi Beach to chill out on the sands before taking the scenic walk along the coast to Coogee. On route, we'll stop to take a dip in the sea and to play volley ball on a quiet beach before reaching Coogee and rounding off our day with a beach barbecue and drinks.
Day 5: Port Stephens
Making our way to the picturesque coastal town of Port Stephens today, we'll stop at a secluded bay on route and learn to ride the waves with qualified surf pros. This evening, we'll enjoy a proper Aussie BBQ and sit around the fire on the beach.
Please note, winter months (June, July, and August) aren't great for surfing, so if you're travelling during these months, we'll go on a brewery tour in Port Stephens instead.
Day 6: Sand Boarding & Dolphin Watching
Feed wild kangaroos and spot koalas this morning before hitting the biggest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere for a sand boarding session. This afternoon, we'll board a private boat for a dolphin cruise. We'll make our way back to Sydney later on, to enjoy a night out on the town.
Day 7-8: Free Time in Sydney
You'll have some free time in Sydney over the next couple of days, which is a great opportunity for you to get together with your new friends to explore the city for yourselves. You could go trekking in the city's spectacular Blue Mountains, go on a Sydney Opera House tour, climb across the harbour bridge, or simply chill out in the Royal Botanic Gardens. On day 8, we'll head out as a group in the evening for a buffet dinner at Australia's highest revolving restaurant.
Day 9: Onwards
There are no activities scheduled for day nine, so you're free to head off on the next leg of your trip. If you're sticking around in Sydney for a couple of days, ask the team for their recommendations on what to see and do.
East Coast Bus Pass (13 days-12 months)
How your travel pass works
You can use your bus pass in one of two ways. Treat it as a tour, and complete the entire route in 13 days or, if you have more time to spend travelling, spend up to 12 months getting to know Australia's east coast really well. We'd recommend something between the two to make the most of your trip. If you're doing the tour in 13 days, this is what your itinerary will look like:
Day 1: Sydney to Barrington Tops
From Sydney, you'll travel to Barrington Tops with a stop on the way at Hunter Valley for a wine tasting session. At Barrington Tops, you'll get to explore the national park, go river tubing (at an additional cost) or, if you book into our recommended accommodation, relax in the hot tub. 60AUD/£35 for one night’s accommodation, dinner and breakfast.
Day 2: Barrington Tops to Spot X Surf Camp
Spend some time getting to know Barrington Tops on two wheels before visiting a koala hospital and nature reserve. This afternoon, we'll make the journey to Spot X Surf Camp. 60AUD/£35 for one night’s accommodation at Spot X including dinner and breakfast.
Day 3: Spot X Surf Camp to River Retreat
This morning, take part in a group surfing lesson (additional cost), or lay back and take it easy on the beach. We'll travel to our beautiful River Retreat later and enjoy a group canoeing trip. This evening, we'll sit around the campfire and get a cooking lesson on the barbecue! 50AUD/£30 for one night’s accommodation, dinner and breakfast.
Days 4-5: River Retreat to Byron Bay
Making our way to Byron Bay we'll stop at Yamba, a gorgeous coastal town, for some lunch. We'll get to dangle our feet in the refreshing waters of the Angourie Blue Pool before making the rest of the journey to Byron. On arrival, we'll take an orientation walk through town, but the rest of your time is yours to explore as you see fit. Put your newfound surf skills to the test, go on a dolphin kayaking trip, or soak up the bohemian vibes in town.
Day 6: Byron Bay to Noosa or Rainbow Beach
From New South Wales, we'll cross states into Queensland and pitch up at Danger Point to watch the amazing surfers at Snapper Rocks, then we'll make our way to Surfer's Paradise, and then on to Brisbane to check out the city's golden sands and botanic gardens before heading off to Noosa or Rainbow beach.
Day 7: Noosa/Rainbow Beach to Emu Park
First stop today is at Tin Can Bay for a bit of dolphin spotting before heading back to Noosa to spend some time on the beach. Later, we'll make the journey to Emus Beach Resort where you'll have the opportunity to go on a Treasure Island tour of Great Keppel Island or just chill out and do your own thing. 99AUD/£58 for the Treasure Island tour and accommodation, or 35AUD/£20 just for accommodation.
Days 8-9: Emu Park, then overnight train to Airlie Beach
You'll get some free time today at Emus Beach Resort before catching an overnight train to Airlie Beach. The next morning, go on a walking tour to get to know the area better, then try out a whole range of different optional activities.
Days 10-11: Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island is the next stop on our list and today we'll be setting off early to make the journey by bus, train, and ferry. Almost 50% of the island is national park landscape, so explore the area with a guided tour or simply soak up some sunshine and relax by the pool.
Day 12: Magnetic Island to Tully
We'll make our way back to the mainland today, to our next destination, Tully. You'll have the option of staying in one of the local historic pubs or camping out in the national park with our brilliant Rainforest Experience – a unique opportunity to go on a rainforest trek and sleep under the stars. 120AUD/£70 for the Rainforest Experience in Tully Gorge National Park, or 35AUD/£20 for a night at a historic pub.
Day 13: Tully to Cairns
Travelling from Tully to Cairns today, we'll make the journey by train, arriving by the afternoon. You'll get to take a good look around the city and get your bearings before heading out in the evening for an end of programme party before joining the next trip on the itinerary.
Please note that we will book the pass as open dated, so you can decide the date that you want to start the pass. You will need to confirm the date you wish to start the pass visa the booking app at least 24 hours before you want to start.
Fraser Island & Whitsundays (8 days)
Day 1: Rainbow Beach
Head to Rainbow Beach and meet the rest of your group at today's welcome meeting at your accommodation at 4pm. After introductions and a briefing on the next few day's activities, you'll be able to chill out by the pool with a few drinks.
Day 2: Rainbow Beach to Fraser Island
Get excited about Fraser Island this morning as we climb aboard our trusty 4x4s and take a fun drive across 75 Mile Beach and head to Lake McKenzie. Tonight we'll be sleeping under the incredible night sky, so enjoy some barbecue food and warm up around the fire before hitting the hay.
Day 3: Fraser Island
Time to head out and explore our fantastic surroundings with a guided tour of Eli Creek and a trip to the Maheno ship wreck. Afterwards, we'll take a look around Indian Head and then spend some time in the bubbling waters of the Champagne Pools.
Day 4: Fraser Island to Rainbow Beach
You'll get to enjoy another adventurous day today as we make our way over to beautiful Rainbow Gorge and Lake Wabby. After a day of discovery, we'll make the trip back to Rainbow Beach for a relaxed evening with the rest of the group.
Day 5: Goodbye Rainbow Beach
Wake up bright and early to catch the sunrise over Rainbow Beach (highly recommended) before saying your goodbyes to the group and making your way to the jetty for your Whitsundays sailing experience.
Whitsundays Yacht Sailing
Day 1: Set Sail
Step aboard your gorgeous maxi yacht before setting sail and taking to the waves with the rest of your group this afternoon. Sun it up on the deck or, if you fancy yourself a bit of a sailor, why not get some of the crew to show you the ropes and help steer the yacht to the Whitsunday islands? You'll get to dine in style tonight, with a meal served on deck.
Day 2: Island Yachting
Enjoy breakfast on deck this morning before sailing around the stunning Whitsunday coastline. On our way, we'll stop at some fantastic snorkelling spots on route to Whitehaven Beach. On shore, we'll chill out with lunch, swimming, and sunning ourselves as our main activities. Enjoy drinks on deck this evening.
Day 3: Back to the mainland
Today marks the last day of our sailing experience. We'll make the journey back to the mainland and get ready for the next adventure in Cairns.
Explore Cairns (7 days)
Spend seven days discovering Cairns and take part in four awesome activities for a real travel experience. Each activity is run as an individual day excursion, so you won't necessarily be with the same group of people each day. Please use the following itinerary as guidance only.
Day 1: Cairns
Welcome to Cairns! There's plenty to do in this big city, so once you've got yourself checked into your accommodation, why not head out and try some of the fun activities on offer?
Day 2: White Water Rafting
With an early 6:30am start to the day, we'll be hitting the rapids of the fierce Tully River for an unmissable white water rafting experience. Afterwards, you'll get to enjoy a barbecue on the riverbanks as a well-earned reward!
Day 3: Atherton Tablelands Tour
We’ll be heading out this morning into the stunning Atherton Tablelands for an incredible tour of some of Queensland’s best scenery! Explore the lush rainforest, get to swim in amazing waterfalls, like the famous Millaa Millaa waterfall, and cool off in clear jungle swimming pools.
Day 4: Balloon Flight
Today you're in for a treat as you lift off in a huge balloon and fly above the incredible Atherton Tablelands – a unique mix of tropical rainforest, wetlands, and savanna. Your experience lasts around 30 minutes, so spend the rest of your day exploring more of Cairns.
Day 5: The Great Barrier Reef
We'll jump onboard a catamaran this morning to make our way out to the Great Barrier Reef for a full day of diving and snorkelling through the largest living organism in the world. You'll get to experience dives at a number of different reef sites, enjoying a buffet lunch in the afternoon.
Day 6: Free Day in Cairns
Spend time ticking some must-do activities off your list today. Cairns is full to the brim with exciting things to see and do, so indulge your inner adventurer! You could go on a glass-bottom boat tour, take a helicopter ride over Daintree Rainforest, or take a trip to Josephine Falls.
Day 7: Farewell
With no activities planned today, you're free to depart any time. It's well worth spending some more time in Cairns if you can, but if you're flying home make sure you allow plenty of time to get to the airport.
Please note that all activities, inclusions and itineraries are subject to change.
This trip is specifically designed for the flexible traveller who wishes to experience Australia at their own pace. This trip can be customised to suit you, simply pick and choose your favourite trips and destinations and we can put them together to create your perfect trip! We also offer trips which travel through Australia on a set time frame. Contact us for details.
- Personal meet and greet at Sydney Airport with transfer on arrival
- 8 nights’ accommodation
- Welcome meeting
- The support of a friendly and helpful group leader
- Full orientation session
- Free Wi-fi
- BBQ on days 3 and 5, and lunch on day 6
- Jet boating in Sydney Harbour
- Private Sydney Harbour cruise
- Transfers between all site visits included in the itinerary
- Bondi Beach to Coogee coastal walk and snorkelling
- Surfing lesson near Port Stephens
- Dolphin boat trip at Port Stephens
- Farewell dinner at revolving restaurant in Sydney
East Coast Travel Pass
- Flexible hop-on hop-off Sydney to Cairns travel pass for up to 12 months' travel
- All transport
- Local guide and app
- Wine tasting in Hunter Valley
- Barrington Tops National Park visit
- Koala hospital visit, Port Macquarie
- Kangaroo spotting, Emerald Beach
- Canoeing experience, River Retreat
- Angourie Blue Pools, Yamba
- Byron Bay orientation drive
- Danger Point Border Crossing walk
- Carlo Sand Blow Walk, Rainbow Beach
- Dolphin Centre entry, Tin Can Bay
- Bluff Point walk at Emu Park
- Airlie Orientation Walk
- Forts Walk at Magnetic Island
- Tully Gorge National Park Rainforest
- Help arranging accommodation
Fraser Island & Whitsundays
- 4x4 camping experience
- 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
- All camping and cooking equipment
- Safety briefing and driver training
- 75 Mile Beach and Lake McKenzie visit
- Eli Creek, Maheno shipwreck, Indian Head, and Champagne Pools visit
- Rainbow Gorge and Lake Wabby visit
- 2 nights' accommodation onboard a maxi yacht
- 3 days' sailing experience
- 2 breakfasts, 1 lunches, 2 dinners
- Whitehaven Beach visit
- Snorkelling gear
- All marine and national park fees
- Arrival transfer between 8am and 8pm on start date
- 6 nights' multishare dorm accommodation
- White water rafting on Tully River
- Atherton Tablelands day tour
- Hot air ballooning
- Day snorkelling trip to Great Barrier Reef
- Most local transfers
- 3 Lunches and 1 morning tea over 4 days
- 24/7 emergency support
- Travel insurance
- Some accommodation
- Some meals and drinks
- Optional activities
- Return airport transfer
You'll be staying in a lively hostel in the heart of Sydney during your intro tour. You’ll share a dorm-style room with 7-9 others, with access to shared areas, free Wi-fi, and your own locker. On day 5 you'll stay in a comfortable bush bungalow in Port Stephens.
Some meals will be provided during the Sydney Intro trip. On days 3 and 5 you'll enjoy beach barbecues, on day 6 you'll get lunch, and on day 8 you’ll get to enjoy a group dinner at Australia’s highest revolving restaurant.
East Coast Bus Pass
Accommodation isn't included during the East Coast Bus Pass trip, but your tour guide will be able to reserve recommended accommodation for you on route to be paid for in-country. You're free to find and book your own accommodation, too, which gives you the flexibility of staying for as long or short a time as you like in each destination.
Meals aren't included on this part of the trip, but each destination on route has a huge amount of different places to eat at, so you'll never be stuck for choice.
Fraser Island & Whitsundays
On Fraser Island, you'll spend 4 nights between campsites and hostels. During camping nights, you’ll stay in tents or traditional Aussie swags and sleep under the incredible Australian night sky. You'll share a tent with one or two others. Your hostel at Rainbow beach comes with a swimming pool and is clean and comfortable in a lovely area.
Your Fraser Island tour includes 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners, and will be prepared for you on a camp stove or barbecue.
You'll stay in cabins on your maxi yacht for 2 nights during the Whitsundays Yacht Sailing tour, which you'll share with members of the same sex from the group.
During your sailing experience, the crew will prepare 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners for you, which you’ll have the pleasure of eating on deck.
You'll spend 6 nights in a backpacker's hostel and share a dorm with other travellers in Cairns. You'll have access to shared common areas, including a kitchen, and will have access to free Wi-fi.
Most meals aren't included on this part of the trip, other than a barbecue lunch during your white water rafting experience, a picnic lunch during your kayaking tour of Fitzroy Island, and a buffet-style lunch during your Great Barrier Reef snorkelling trip.
Depending on which city you want to begin your Australia Mini Gap from, you can either arrange flights to Sydney International Airport (SYD) or Cairns International Airport (CNS) to arrive on your programme start date.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.
The minimum age for this trip is 18. This programme is a combination of our most popular East Coast Australian trips and is designed for travellers who are not constricted by a limited time frame. With the exception of the Sydney Intro, all trips are booked open-dated which means you have the ultimate flexibility and you don't have to choose selected dates until after your arrival in Australia! Perfect for the independent traveller! If you would prefer a set itinerary group tour please contact our travel advisors who will be happy to suggest some of our other amazing Australian adventures!
All visitors to Australia (except New Zealand residents) require a visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter: these must be obtained before departing. If you're planning on taking paid work whilst in Australia you'll need a Working Holiday Visa. Both types of visa application can be made online. It is your responsibility to make sure you are in receipt of the appropriate visa prior to travelling to Australia.
Will I Be Travelling As Part Of Group?
On each individual program you will be part of a group, but you are unlikely to be with the same people throughout the entire trip.
Can I Start Anytime, Or Are There Set Departure Months?
You can go whenever you like, as long as we have availability, we have regular start dates available to fit so you can fit your trip in with your plans.
Can I Change The Itinerary?
Yes, you can tailor make it to suit you. It is your trip afterall. Simply let us know your favourite trips and destinations and we can put them all together to create your perfect trip!
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
Yes! All our trips require you to be fully covered by travel insurance. You’ll need to make sure your policy covers all the activities you’re planning to take part in, and don’t forget to bring details of your policy with you on your travels. We can give you a travel insurance quote when you contact us to book – just ask one of our travel advisors.
Do I Have To Travel Through Australia In The Order Laid Out Above?
Not in the slightest! We put together itineraries to show you what you can expect, but when our trips are made up of a number of different tours, you're free to do them in whichever order you deem fit. For instance, you might want to incorporate other tours, like the Australia Outback Discovery into your trip, or combine a year of Paid Work in Australia with other programmes – it's really up to you.
What Do I Do About Accommodation When I Am Using The East Coast Travel Pass?
Accommodation isn't included during your East Coast Travel Pass, but our guides will be able to recommend and reserve accommodation for you – you just need to let them know. You'll also have the freedom to find your own accommodation at each stop, and stay longer in locations you love and skip places you're not so interested in.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.