Sparkling beaches, culturally vibrant cities, and famous national landmarks - welcome to East Coast Australia. 

Travelled by bucket-listers for decades, Australia’s east coast encompasses the very best this country has to offer whether that’s idyllic islands in tropical far north Queensland, Sydney’s cosmopolitan streets or incredible hiking trails across Victoria’s varied landscapes and the Gold Coast. From the towering cliffs along the Great Ocean Road to the sky-high trees in the Daintree Rainforest (and the 3,000km of extraordinary coastline in between), our East Coast Australia tours and holidays promise an action-packed road trip full of fascinating things to discover, soon-to-be lifelong friends, and memories you’ll remember forever.  

Our east coast Australia tours

8 Days From 1958

Discover K'gari (formerly Fraser Island), the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef, Mission...

7 Days From 1512

Travel from Sydney to Brisbane and soak up the best of Australia’s east coast beaches,...

5 Days From 1471

Take a five-day adventure tour through the coastal wilderness of Kuku Yalanji land,...

12 Days From 3303

12 days to uncover Queensland’s best, from Brisbane to K'gari (Fraser Island), the...

4 Days From 960

Cycle Victoria's High Country, from historic Beechworth to charming Bright. Follow the...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

14 Days From 3362

Travelling from Sydney to Cairns, soak up the best of Australia’s east coast beaches,...

18 Days From 4757

Travelling from Sydney to Cairns, soak up the best of Australia’s east coast beaches,...

7 Days From 1958

Explore the best of Queensland’s coast and islands on a 7-day adventure, including...

4 Days From 1020

Discover a wild world of valleys, waterfalls, canyons and creeks on a 4-day walking...

5 Days From 2255

Take a five-day Family tour through the coastal wilderness of Kuku Yalanji land, from...

5 Days From 1134

Step out and discover the national parks, mountains and wildlife of Queensland’s Scenic...

East coast Australia highlights

The iconic sight of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset.

Wander the streets of Sydney

It doesn’t get more iconic than Sydney with its distinctive Opera House, architecturally designed Harbour Bridge, shopping precincts, and internationally famed Bondi Beach so spending a few days in this pulsating place is a must-do on any east coast Australia tour. Bursting with thrilling things to do from dining at world-class restaurants to wandering through gardens full of native flora and fauna, Sydney promises endless excitement for the whole family. 

Two travellers cycling through the Victorian High Country underneath a clear, blue sky

Cycle the Victorian countryside

It’s no secret that Victoria is well known for its natural beauty and one of the best ways to immerse yourself in all that Mother Nature has to offer is to get off two feet and onto two wheels. From cycling along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail to pedalling through the gold-mining towns of Myrtleford and Beechworth, the Victorian High Country not only boasts one of the best Aussie wine regions but also the most breathtaking landscapes you’re ever likely to see. 

Swimmers snorkelling in the clear, blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef

Swim the Great Barrier Reef

You can’t travel to the east coast of Australia and not take some time to properly explore the marine landscape of the Great Barrier Reef. Globally recognised as a national wonder, this living organism is almost 2,000km long and 80km wide, running all the way from the tip of northern Queensland to Bundaberg in the state’s southeast. Choose from snorkelling or diving adventures to get up close and personal with colourful coral gardens and bright tropical fish.  

Traveller looking out over the landscape of the Blue Mountains during a hike.

Walk the epic Blue Mountains

Boasting the title of one of Australia’s most stunning mountain ranges, New South Wales’ Blue Mountains promise outstanding mountain top views and unique rock formations you’re not going to want to stop taking photos of (and rightly so). From discovering the magic of Wentworth Falls and enjoying a ride on the scenic railway to hiking past iconic sights such as the Three Sisters, Jamison Valley, and Echo Point, one visit to this epic landscape simply isn’t enough. 

Two travellers walking in the lush, dense greenery of the Daintree Rainforest

Discover the Daintree Rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest is a nature lover’s paradise and if you don’t believe us, all you have to do is read Sir David Attenborough's words describing the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site as “the most extraordinary place on Earth”. Whether you feel like traversing through the lush greenery and stumbling upon hidden gorges and cascading waterfalls or learning about the landscape from its First Nations inhabitants, the Kuku Yalanji people, the Daintree Rainforest can’t be missed. 

A group of travellers smiling at the camera with the Great Ocean Road coastline in the background

Explore the Great Ocean Road

It’s not often that a destination turns out to be just as good as the hype surrounding it, but the Great Ocean Road is one of those rare places. Characterised by its winding, coastal route along sandstone cliffs and concentrated rainforest hinterland, this stretch of road features many iconic stops along the way including the popular Twelve Apostles, the lighthouse at Airey’s Inlet, and Apollo Bay with its captivating ocean views and trendy restaurants full of freshly caught seafood. 

East coast Australia tour reviews

East Coast Australia FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

The weather on the east coast of Australia differs depending on which state you're travelling in with Queensland experiencing a tropical climate while New South Wales and Victoria enjoy a more humid, subtropical climate and a temperate oceanic climate respectively. This generally means that all states see warm to hot summers with temperatures exceeding 30°C+, a lot of rainfall throughout the year and cold to freezing winters where snow falls in some regions across all states. 

Click to read more about the weather on the east coast

It's extremely easy to get around the east coast of Australia, however, as the region spans 3,000km of coastline, travelling between destinations is not always quick and efficient. There are several airports located in different cities along the coast - namely Melbourne International Airport (MEL), Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD), and Brisbane International Airport (BNE) - that allows for relatively fast transportation between the major cities. There's also an extensive system of public transportation in the form of a train and bus network that has the ability to transport you from one destination along the coast to another. It's also extremely easy to drive between destinations with all major freeways connecting the states to one another regularly maintained and easily navigatable. 

Click to read more about getting around east coast Australia

Australia’s east coast is pretty massive and the landscapes are very diverse so chances are you'll need more than a pair of thongs, bathers, and some sunscreen for your trip. But whether you're going to the metropolitan city of Melbourne or snorkelling your way over the Great Barrier Reef, there are a few items we think are essential:

  • Reusable water bottle 

  • Daysack 

  • Suncream

  • Sunglasses (with UV protection)

  • Warm layers 

  • Insect repellent 

  • Portable power bank

  • Camera

  • Torch

  • Bathers 

  • Comfortable, sturdy footwear 

  • Thongs

  • Lightweight towel

Check out our ultimate packing list for Australia

East coast Australia is spoilt for choice when it comes to fantastic cities to spend a couple of days in - there's tropical Cairns, laneway-ridden Melbourne, and paradise-like Port Douglas just to name a few. While it's almost impossible to visit them all, here are a few of our favourites: 

  • Cairns
  • Melbourne
  • Port Douglas 
  • Byron Bay 
  • Sydney
  • Newcastle

The east coast of Australia spans 3,000km so it makes sense that the region would boat some of the country's best beaches. Some of these are even up there with the best beaches in the world (and we're not even exaggerating). See for yourself by working through our list of the best beaches on the east coast: 

  • Ellis Beach, Qld
  • Bondi Beach, NSW
  • Manly Beach, NSW
  • Whitehaven Beach, Qld
  • Port Macquarie, NSW

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

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