In case you hadn’t noticed, Australia is an awfully big place. So big, in fact, that you’d need to come back a few times to see it all. Don’t have that kind of time? Hop aboard this 14-day trip down Australia’s east coast and make the most of the time you do have. Offering a solid mix of must-do experiences and uncommon adventures, you’ll learn to surf at Byron Bay, sail the Whitsundays, and trek through Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest. The best part: there’s still plenty more to come back for.
Arrive in Cairns at any time. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city. We will have a group meeting in the evening around 6:00 p.m. There will be a note at the front desk to let you know the precise time of the meeting. The note will also tell you what time to meet in the lobby in the morning, if you arrive too late for the meeting. If you miss this meeting, please don’t worry, your tour leader will go over everything with you in the morning.
If you arrive early, please see our optional activities section further down below.
Today we head north to Cape Tribulation. We will stop en route to explore Mossman Gorge and take an interpretive walk through the Daintree Rainforest. Follow the Aboriginal guide and learn about bush food, medicinal plants and the lasting relationship of the Kuku Yalanji people with their natural environment. Find out how to make bush soap, watch an ochre painting demonstration, and sample some bush tea.
Approximate travel time: 3.5 hrs by private vehicle
With a free day, opt for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef or to explore Daintree National Park. See our optional activities section further below for more details.
If you’ve ever dreamt of soaring high above a treetop canopy, now’s the time to make it happen. Pre-book the “Jungle Surfing Through The Daintree Rainforest” activity by emailing the GEEO team at [email protected] to include this option on your tour.
Today we return to Cairns in the afternoon with free time to explore this laid-back city. We highly recommend checking out the Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Approximate travel time: 3.5 hrs by private vehicle
Depart early for a full day of travel to reach Airlie Beach with time to explore the town. Airlie Beach is a relaxed Australian resort town on Queensland’s Whitsunday Coast. It’s a gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
Approximate travel time: 9 to 10 hrs by private vehicle
Enjoy a day sailing amidst some of the 74 tropical islands that make up the Whitsunday archipelago. The Whitsunday Islands are in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Spend the day sailing, then when it gets too hot, pull on a mask and snorkel (provided free of charge) and dive overboard to check out the variety of brightly colored marine plants, coral, and fish that thrive right in these warm tropical waters. We’ll also visit Whitehaven Beach.
(Note that fins are not provided in order to adhere with local coral conservation efforts.)
Fly to Brisbane and transfer to Byron Bay for two nights in this “hippie” paradise.
Approximate travel time: 2.5 hr by plane; 2.5 hrs by private vehicle
There’s plenty to see and do in Byron Bay, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like sea kayaking, yoga, and skydiving. Your tour leader has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!
The timing for this trip should line up with the the Splendour in the Grass music festival so you may want to purchase tickets well in advance if any of the musical acts are to your liking.
This morning we visit Byron Bay Harvest, which provides a unique Organic farm experience in the heart of Byron Bay. Come and experience this working organic farm and learn about organic farming practices in action. You’ll get to experience seeing where the produce you are eating comes from and be involved in picking and tasting the produce! The 2-hour Organic Farm experience includes a sit-down lunch and a tour of the farm with our organic farmer. (Note this activity might take place on Day 8 of the trip instead)
Then we head to the coastal township of Port Macquarie, featuring all the beauty of the beach set alongside gorgeous national parks. Enjoy an evening in Port Macquarie.
Approximate travel time: 5 hrs by private vehicle
This morning we visit the Koala Hospital and learn about these unique creatures. Later we settle in for a drive to the Blue Mountains.
Approximate travel time: 6-7 hrs by private vehicle
With charming Leura as our base, we will explore the major attractions of the Blue Mountains from sightseeing to bushwalking to cafés and more.
We start with a guided tour of Jenolan Caves, a protected feature of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. These limestone karst caves are the world’s oldest caves and are significant from both a scientific and sightseeing perspective.
We then go on a walk to take in some amazing lookouts over the Jamison Valley, via the iconic Three Sisters. Descend down the 900 step giant staircase to the valley floor. Walk amongst the beautiful forest to the steepest incline railway in the world — The Katoomba Scenic Railway. Opt to ride its 52-degrees angle or take the Scenic Cableway. If you’re keen for more walking, and time permitting, take the 900 stairs back up.
Today we travel to Sydney and enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city. Opt to rent a bike, stroll the botanical gardens, or visit the iconic Opera House.
Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by private vehicle
You will have this whole day free to explore Sydney as you choose. See our optional activities list further below. Keep in mind this is winter and Sydney will be kind of chilly.
Today, you may depart Sydney at any time.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to [email protected] If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email [email protected] To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Our groups meet at the hotel we use for the first night of the trip. Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other than your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly, the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time and your transfer times back to the airport the next day. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
Getting to our hotel by taxi will cost approximately $24. The Cairns Airport Shuttle is $12 per person; busses leave the airport every 15-20 minutes.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office and after office hours emergency number
From outside Australia: +61 432 705 621
From within Australia: 0432 705 621
If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office,
they have a toll-free line within North America (or our regular direct line), which will connect you directly with their Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of their Operations department at the mobile number below.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Outside North America: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this program. Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Americans need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to travel to Australia. They cost $20 Australian dollars and can be easily purchased here: https://www.eta.homeaffairs.gov.au/ETAS3/etas. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.
The Australian currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD). Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Australia and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s), traveller’s cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in Australia in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is not customary in Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your tour leader) – do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip – but it certainly isn’t expected.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice.
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins in Cairns and ends in Sydney. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Cairns. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose. You can depart any time on the final day of the trip.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Australia uses a Type I plug, which has 2 or three angled flat prongs so you will need a plug adaptor. Australia’s voltage is mostly 230V. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
This trip will go from warm to cold as you move south, further away from the equator.
June to August marks the dry season in northern Queensland, so rainfall is at its lowest and temperatures are generally warm and sunny with high in the low 80s, high 70s F. This is the perfect time to swim, dive and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, sail the Whitsundays and explore the ancient Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation.
Byron Bay should be in the mid 60s F. Not exactly beach weather, but still very pleasant for being outside. Sydney is a stunning city whatever the season, so you can’t go wrong. July is the coolest month with average daytime temperatures of around 55 F.
Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.
See our price in the top right corner
Roughly $1200-$2,000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Please note: it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have emergency medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses.
Check with your doctor to see what you will need and what is covered by your insurance.
$20 for an ETA
Variable; at your personal discretion.
Please contact [email protected] to book any of the following activities. These must be booked in advance of your departure.
Slice through the waters of the iconic Byron Bay on this half-day kayaking adventure. Paddle past the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, see the Julian Rocks Marine Reserve, and ride the waves into shore. On top of it all, keep a close eye for dolphins and whales (in season) who call these waters home. Epic? Definitely.
Soar above the Daintree Rainforest, learning about the impressive flora and fauna of the world’s oldest surviving rainforest. This isn’t your typical ziplining tour: Slowly glide between platforms to take in the impressive views of the rainforest and Great Barrier Reef. Led by extremely knowledgeable guides, learn more about this stunning part of the world from the top of the canopy. Please note that passengers must weigh less than 120kg (265 lbs) to participate.
Admire the city from new perspectives with this Adrenaline Bundle. Start with a climb to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge – 134m (440 ft) above sea level! Learn the story of the bridge from an expert guide and soak in the epic views. Next, board a jet boat and enjoy the thrill of spins, slides, and fish tails, spotting iconic landmarks like the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, and Shark Island along the way. Book this Adrenaline Bundle and save on both activities.
Climb to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 134m (440 ft) above sea level, while an expert guide tells you stories about the history and construction of the bridge. The panoramic view of Sydney’s central city will take your breath away.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip.
Bungee Jumping- 179 AUD per person
Leave your fears at home and prepare to have your breath taken away as you jump from 164ft. Now’s the time to release your inner daredevil – what are you waiting for?
Minjin Swing- 129 AUD per person
Soar through the rainforest on the fastest jungle swing in the world. Suit up and be pulled to 150ft above the ground before flying over the canopy at a heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping 120km/hr. We can already hear your screams!
Skydiving- 2h-6h, 310-400 AUD per person
Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Cairns from an eagle’s perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high above the land and sea. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!
Whitewater Rafting- 12h-12h30m, 138-210 AUD per person
Put on a helmet, grab a paddle and raft the Class 3 & 4 rapids of the mighty Tully River, considered the best rafting river in all Australia & New Zealand.
Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Railway- 116-171 AUD per person
Settle into a comfortable 6 seat gondola for a ride with a spectacular view along the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Pass over the canopy one of Australia’s tropical rainforests, so close to the tree tops it’s as if you could reach out and touch the leaves. After, ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway through a lush tropical paradise framed by rugged mountains, waterfalls and ravines back to Cairns. Travel on authentic timber carriages via hand-hewn tunnels and across towering bridges, through the awe-inspiring Barron Gorge. Experience the exotic beauty of North Queensland’s tropical rainforests, marvelling at the incredible array of plants and animals encountered all along the way.
Great Barrier Reef Visit- 149 AUD per person
Hop on a boat and head out to sea to reach the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Don a mask and opt to snorkel the largest coral reef in the world. Say g’day to Nemo, the clown fish, and some of the 1,500 other species of tropical fish that thrive in the warm waters off Australia’s east coast.
Daintree National Park Visit- Free
Step back in time in this lush tropical rainforest, reported to be more than 110 million years old! Bring your binoculars to spot some of the 430 species of birds, including the buff-breasted paradise kingfisher and flightless cassowary. On the ground, look for possums, bandicoots, echidna and musky rat kangaroo. Discover why the Aborigines consider this a spiritual place.
Daintree Rainforest Night Walk- 45 AUD per person
Once the sun goes down, grab a torch and head out into the jungle for a guided night walk. With your guide you’ll spot various critters who call this region home. Keep your eyes peeled for sleeping bats, birds, lizards and spiders as you listen to the sounds of the rainforest at night.
Cape Tribulation Horseback Riding- 2h-2h30m, 110 AUD per person
Hop in the saddle and explore the rainforest on your trusty steed. Ride through lush canopy floors and crystal clear streams, ending up on the stunning Myall beach. Cap off this adventure by galloping through the ocean spray!
Hinterland and Minyon Falls Tour- 139 AUD per person
Head inland to Nightcap National Park, a subtropical rainforest in part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, for a 2-hour guided walk through the rainforest to beautiful Minyon Falls. After a refreshing swim at the base of the 100m falls, visit the quaint town of Bangalow, the oldest town in the region and known for its historic storefronts. After perusing local shops and cafés, enjoy the drive back to Byron Bay, passing through historic towns and beautiful scenery. Locally sourced barbecue lunch included.
Whale Watching- 2h30m-3h, 89 AUD per person
Enjoy a thrilling excursion on the water in search of the magnificent Humpback whales. Between June and November, they migrate north from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to breed and birth in the tropics. See the distinctive flukes (tails), and also look for dolphins, turtles and a variety of sea birds.
Cape Byron Lighthouse Visit- 30m-2h, Free
Cape Byron Lighthouse is 3km (1.9 mi) northeast of Byron Bay. The popular white structure emits the most powerful light of all working lighthouses in the country, and it’s also located at the most easterly point of the Australian continent. Head up to the top of the tower to scan the ocean for whales (the Southern Cross University’s Whale Research Centre is located here).
Jet Boat Ride- 85 AUD per person
Want an adrenaline rush? A jet boat is the way to go. Hold on and get ready for a white-water thrill while gorgeous scenery whizzes past. Explore Sydney Harbour, jetting by the Opera House, Harbour Islands and more!
Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach Coastal Walk- Free
Go for a walk along one of the most iconic trails in Australia. Pass by secluded beaches, massive cliffs, and more breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean than imaginable – all before arriving at the world-famous Bondi Beach. From May to December, keep a keen eye on the ocean to try and spot migrating humpback whales.
Sydney Opera House Visit- 37-165 AUD per person
Stroll along the waterfront to admire Sydney’s most iconic landmark, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened by Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1973. Take a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site to discover its history, folklore, and more. Some two million people a year come to see concerts and cultural performances Opera House. Catch the boom of the grand organ–with more than 10,000 pipes, it took 10 years to build and is the largest mechanical organ in the world.