10 highlights of the Australian East Coast

Updated: Feb 7


Sydney is typically the city you fly into when arriving in the magnificent country of Australia and with good reason.

Sydney is the largest city in Australia and it is known for its beautiful beaches, sailing trips and coastal walks, the vibrant and energetic cultural scene as well as the international population and of course Sydney is famous for the iconic Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

This beautiful city has so much to offer with such a diverse range of experiences. There's definitely something for everyone and its a must on your itinerary.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring the Sydney area was:

  • Enjoy a drink by the iconic Sydney Opera House

  • Go on a boat trip and cruise under The Harbour Bridge

  • Have dinner in China Town

  • Have fun at silent disco on a night

  • Relax and enjoy the laid back vibes at Bondi Beach

  • Swim at the famous Bondi Icebergs Pool

  • Take a coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee

  • Take a dip at Bronte Baths

  • Go on a whale watching tour and/or a dolphin cruise around Sydney Harbour

  • Catch the ferry to Manly

  • Go on a train ride to hike and explore the incredible Blue Mountains

  • Watch the sunset at Sea Cliff Bridge

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is known to be the hippie town of Australia and is packed with barefoot and long-haired surfers, smoothie bowl cafes, ethical and sustainable clothing brands and beautiful beaches. As soon as you set foot in this beautiful little town you feel the good vibes and laid back atmosphere. It's the best place to relax, chill out and really just enjoy the small moments of life. It has loads to offer and you can't miss out on this place when traveling up the East Coast.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Byron Bay was:

  • Chill out at one of the many beaches

  • Rent surfboards and catch waves with the locals at The Pass

  • Go snorkelling or diving at Julian Rocks

  • Enjoy the sunrise & sunset at Byron Bay Lighthouse

  • Walk the Cape Byron Track and enjoy the views of the most eastern point of Australia

  • Have a dinner picnic at the beach during sunset

  • Take a day trip to Nimbin

  • Stroll around town and shop the best of Byrons clothing brands

Surfers Paradise

Australia's famous Surfers Paradise Beach is located at the heart of Queensland's Gold Coast. It is what we call the Australian version of Miami. This city is known for its beautiful, two kilometres stretch of golden beaches, the high rise buildings and the city skyline. Surrounding the 70 kilometres of uninterrupted coastline is the rainforest. It's a great place to chill out at the beach, go surfing, go hiking in one of the many national parks and have a night out at the Main Street.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring the Gold Coast was:

  • Catching waves on a surfboard

  • Tanning at Surfers Paradise Beach

  • Strolling through the beach markets

  • Hit the bush walks in the rainforest


Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia and the capital in the state of Queensland. Brisbane is a modern city and you can definitely feel the city vibes. It might seem like a business district and a busy concrete jungle but underneath the surface there's heaps to do and lots of nice places to enjoy. This city is packed with free things to do around town, shopping opportunities, food and drinks and lots of city culture. And if you need a cityscape there's a little less busy in the South Bank area or you can take a trip to one of the big sandy islands just off the coast from the city.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Brisbane was:

  • Take a wander down at the Howard Smith Wharves

  • Watch the sunset over the city from Kangaroo Point Cliffs

  • Stroll through the Botanical Gardens

  • Catch the ferry for a day trip to Moreton Island

  • Soak in the view from Mount Coot-Tha Lookout by sundown

  • Explore the city centre

  • Chill out at the South Bank area

  • Have a local drafts beer at Brisbane Brewery Co

  • Go bar hopping in Fortitude Valley

  • Go on a boat tour on the river


Noosa is known for its beautiful beaches, colourful bays and picturesque coves. Noosa is a sophisticated, cosmopolitan holiday town surrounded by Noosa National Park and the coast. It's a perfect place to relax in the sun, go surfing, go hiking and enjoy food & drinks at one of the many local cafes or bars. Definitely worth a visit!

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Noosa was:

  • Hiking in Noosa National Park

  • Enjoy food & drinks at one of the many local cafes

  • Enjoy a day at the beach

  • Take a 3 day trip to the Great Sandy National Park also known as Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and is a UNESCO heritage site. This island is one of the top destinations in Australia. It's know for its unique sand dunes, shipwrecks located at the beach, its many crystal clear, blue lakes and its rainforest. This is not a place you wanna miss out on. Fraser is perfect for a two or three day trip with a few different accommodation types located on the island. The best way to explore the island is in a 4x4 and you'll be driving in deep sand on the beach and in between rainforests and lakes. Remember you aren't able to swim in the ocean because of dangerous marine life, only in the freshwater lakes located on the island. Also there's lots of dingoes at Fraser and you need to be careful around these wild dogs.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Fraser Island was:

  • Visit the S.S Maheno Shipwrecks

  • Take a dip in Lake Wabby

  • Relax at Lake McKenzie

  • Explore the Champagne Pools

  • Float with the stream in Eli Creek

  • Drive along Seventy-Five Mile Beach

Airlie Beach & Whitsundays

Airlie Beach is a small coastal town with a very laid back, typical Queensland vibe. It's basically a gateway to the world-famous Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. The Main Street is packed with accommodation, pubs, bars and nice cafes. This town offers the best access to the paradise looking islands Whitsundays and is a must visit on the East Coast. The best way to explore the Whitsunday Islands is by boat and preferably on an overnight boat tour to get the most out of your experience.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Airlie Beach:

  • Sailing around the Whitsundays

  • Scenic flight over Heart Reef

  • Enjoying a beer at on of the many pubs or bars

  • A night out after sailing around the Whitsundays

Our favourite things to do whilst being on Whitsundays:

  • Soak up the sun and the views at Whitehaven Beach

  • Visit the picturesque Hill Inlet

  • Watching the sun set on the horizon from the boat

  • Spotting marine life while snorkeling

  • Moments bonding with fellow travellers on the boat

Wooroonooran National Park

Wooroonooran National Park is a beautiful rainforest providing many hiking trails and circuits. It is mostly known for its misty mountains, stunning swimming holes and cascading waterfalls. If you wanna slide down the rocks at Josephine Falls, admire the rainforest surrounding Elinjaa Falls, read about the legend of Babinda Boulders and/or take a dip in Behana Gorge this is a must visit!

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Wooroonooran National Park was:

  • Have fun at Josephine Falls

  • Explore Babinda Boulders and the Devil's Pool

  • Take a dip in Elinjaa Falls

  • Swim in Behana Gorge


Cairns is a thriving hotspot for travellers in tropical North Queensland. It is known for its abundant marine life and is undoubtedly known to be the gateway to the worlds largest coral reef and most extraordinary wonder - The Great Barrier Reef. It's measuring 2011 kilometres in length and 72 kilometres across at its widest point making it a UNESCO Heritage Site and it can actually be seen from outer space. Cairns is also a gateway to one of the worlds best biologically diverse and oldest rainforests - The Daintree Rainforest.

Apart from natural wonders in this area Cairns is known to be a town filled with nightlife, adrenaline seekers, aboriginal culture and pure relaxation. During the day this town is the perfect place to chill out by the lagoon, seek out adrenalin rushing adventures like bungee jumping or skydiving, explore the surrounding nature and/or learn about aboriginal culture. During night time it is fun to visit the night markets, go on a pub crawl, have fun competing in night club events or simply just enjoy a dinner out in town whilst watching the sun set on the horizon.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Cairns was:

  • Diving and snorkelling in Great Barrier Reef

  • Take a trip out in the bush to Atherton Tablelands and flick your hair in Millaa Millaa Falls

  • Ride with the Kuranda Scenic Railway

  • Slender down the markets on Cairns Esplanade

  • Visit the night markets

  • Take a day trip to Fitzroy Island

  • Have an adrenaline rush with AJ Hackett

  • Relax at the Lagoon

  • Whitewater Rafting on the Tully River

  • Go on a pub crawl around town

  • Shop at Rusty's Market

Daintree National Park

Daintree National Park is the worlds oldest tropical rainforest and has the best biologically diverse eco system. It is estimated to be 180 million years old which is older than the Amazon Rainforest. This rainforest is a spectacular place and holds an extremely rare combination - the rainforest combines with the coast and its sandy beaches leading off shore to exceptional coral reefs. It's a special place to explore and it will definitely not disappoint with its magnificent scenery, aboriginal culture and diverse wildlife, mountain ranges, swimming holes, waterfalls and dense rainforest.

Our favourite things to do whilst exploring Daintree National Park was:

  • Jump on a river cruise down the Daintree River

  • Learn about indigenous culture

  • Watch the sunrise from the beach

  • Enjoy the view from Alexandra Lookout Point

  • Visit Cape Tribulation - where the rainforest meets the reef

  • Jungle Surfing through the tall trees

  • Cool off in Mossman Gorge

  • Soak up the view from The Rex Lookout Point

  • Explore and jump in the creeks and waterfalls

This was our top 10 list of places to explore on your East Coast Adventure. You can't miss out on these incredible experiences - there's everything from big urban cites to small surfer towns, from sailing adventures, underwater adventures and island hopping to lush rainforests and tropical beaches.

The Australian East Coast has it all.

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