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 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
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 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.