Thinking of taking an East Coast Australia road trip soon?! You’re in the right place! Read on for the top east coast road trip spots and activities throughout Australia.
1) Start in Cairns
Being the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, you absolutely cannot miss Cairns on any East Coast Australia road trip! With over 2300 km of coral and other marine life, this opportunity is too good to pass up! After you’ve done your fair share of snorkeling (and/or diving), head a bit north to Daintree National Park, full of mountainous rainforest, gorges, and beaches. Did you know that Daintree is the oldest tropical rainforest in the world?! For quite spectacular views, take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a gondola ride over the rainforest.
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2) Go Sailing in the Whitsundays
Next up, the Whitsunday Islands, characterized by a dense rainforest, tons of hiking trails, and spectacular white sandy beaches. Don’t miss Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Whitsundays, snorkeling in some stinger suits (and with a massive stretch of coral and marine life, don’t miss it!), and laying out to get some sun. Most of the islands in the area are uninhabited, but consider staying in Airlie beach, the central hub of the Whitsundays.[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
3) Go Whale Watching in Hervey Bay
If you’re visiting the East Coast of Australia between July to November, you’re in for a treat. Whale watching boats go out daily to observe the humpback whale migration season, so don’t miss it! Hervey Bay is also a wonderful hub for exploring Fraser Island.[divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
4) Hang out on Fraser Island
If freshwater lakes, sand islands, and panoramic viewpoints are your thing, you have got to make a stop at Fraser Island (there’s tons of things to do here!). This huge island boasts over 120km of sandy beaches, and loads of beaches and swimming options at Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby, and lots of freshwater pools – a wonderful place to camp! Make sure to head to the island’s easternmost tip, Indian Head, for some of the best views from the whole island! In addition, visit the Cathedrals for their famous ribbons of colored sand![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
5) Resort it up in Noosa
It’s time to officially relax! This resort area on the southern Sunshine Coast has exactly that – tons of resorts to choose from, with beaches known for their heavy surf and tons of cute cafes and boutiques. Want to hit the trails? You’re in luck – a beautiful coastal trail runs north past the beaches, and you can even spot some koalas around Tea Tree Bay![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
Being the capital of Queensland, Brisbane is a spot that absolutely cannot be missed! And this city, being located on the Brisbane River, provides visitors ample scenic viewpoints! Don’t miss out on the Brisbane Botanical Garden, located in Mt. Coot-tha, as well as the Glass House Mountains, which are perfect for hiking if you absolutely love wonderful views![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
7) Gold Coast
Another area to check out known for it’s long sandy beaches, great surfing spots, and intense system of canals and waterways. Up for a day at a theme park?! You’re in luck! Dreamworld, Sea World, and Wet’n’Wild are all located along the Gold Coast! Hiking more your thing? Go check out the trails across Lamington National Parks, where you may even see some rare birds in the rainforest![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
8) Byron Bay
Another whale watching opportunity! Between June and November, you can see humpback whales from headland viewpoints, including Captain Cook Lookout. Another sites to include on your Byron Bay bucket list include Cape Byron Lighthouse, Cape Byron, and Wategos Beach![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
9) Last stop in Sydney
Phew, this East Coast Australia road trip is almost over! Sydney, being one of Australia’s largest cities, is a wonderful last stop! Don’t miss the epic Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbor, Circular Quay, Harbor Bridge, and the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden! Up for a thrill?! Head to the Skywalk, which offers 360 degree views of the city itself and surrounding suburbs. And trust me, even if time is running out, you can still do SO much with only 48 hours in Sydney![divider style=”thin” title=”” text_align=””]
If you have even more time, definitely head down a bit more south, as there are numerous gorgeous day trips to take from Melbourne, another Australian city not to miss!
What’s the best way to get around? Driving is definitely a top choice! And if you want to save some money and think you’ll be road tripping a lot throughout the years, buy a used campervan! You’ll save loads on accommodation costs, and many even have full kitchens!