The East Coast is Australia’s best loved and most travelled route. From the gleaming skyscrapers of Circular Quay in Sydney to the underwater wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef up in the north, the contrasting experiences on offer are second to none. Planning an east coast adventure can seem like a daunting task but we reckon we’ve managed to highlight the absolute must see destinations on any route from Sydney to the Whitsundays. You cannot pass these destinations by!
The Blue Mountains, Sydney’s backdoor wonderland
This stunning mountain range is within spitting distance (by Aussie standards) of the Sydney CBD reached in just under 2 hours by car, and are a grand introduction to the natural wonders of eastern Australia. Earning their name from the natural blue haze produced by their vast forests of eucalyptus trees, the Blue Mountains offer excellent hiking trails, stunning vistas including the famous Three Sisters rock formation, hikes past remote waterfalls and the chance to learn about the area’s ancient Aboriginal heritage. Check out our eco adventure tour to the Blue Mountains here!
Byron Bay, the counter-culture capital of Australia
This former hippie hang out still retains much of that alternative feel and faces one of the best beaches on the east coast. Spend your days learning to surf, people watching from one of the cool vegan cafes or take a hike to the most easterly point in Australia. Byron Bay, or “the Bay” as locals call it, has been the ground zero for Australian counter-culture for years. In keeping with its reputation, the town recently prevented McDonald’s from setting up shop, therefore retaining its independent character. Adventure Dudes run one fo the best tours to the Bay out there, including the chance to kayak with dolphins! https://www.baretravels.com.au/tours/adventure-dudes-byron-bay-adventure-weekend/
Noosa, a tropical town with a unique environment
This quaint little town brims with tropical charm and natural beauty, from its cute independent shops to the miles of white sand beaches, lakes and national parks that surround it. Noosa is also home to one of only two everglade environments in the world (the other being in Florida, USA). A serene kayak tour through the sun dappled waterways looking out for birds and other wildlife is a once in a lifetime experience, and the chance to cool off with a wild swim in the Noosa river. Kanu Kapers offers a superb self guided kayak journey through the everglades https://www.baretravels.com.au/tours/kanu-kapers-noosa-everglades-self-guided-kayak-adventure/
Fraser Island, where the dingo rules the beaches
This World-Heritage Listed sand island is the largest of its kind in the world and an absolute must do while you’re heading up north. The unique landscapes of Fraser include pristine rainwater fed lakes, endemic wildlife seen nowhere else (the Fraser Island dingo is the purest strain of dingo in Australia), endless miles of wild beaches and an eerie shipwreck past. Go hiking, camping, swimming and exploring on this gem of an island. You’ll need a 4WD vehicle to get around so join a guided tour or get help hiring your own vehicle with the friendly folks over at Drop Bear Adventures!
The Whitsunday Islands, where paradise is repeated 74 times over
The Whitsundays are the jewel in the crown of the east coast and cruising through the turquoise waters and untouched beauty of these magical islands is unparalleled. Snorkel and dive on the Great Barrier Reef, explore the islands on foot with a guide and learn about the creatures and plants that make the Whitsundays their home, or just kick back on deck and take in the stunning scenery. Whitsundays Sailing Adventures are the proud owners of an old world charm, polished timber sail boat, Summertime. With all the beauty of a classic boat combined with 21st century amenities, Summertime is the perfect vessel to guide you through the beauty of the Whitsundays. Check her out here!