The Great Tropical Drive

16 days - from £1,890

This holiday will take you on a journey through Australia’s vast landscapes, famous islands and stunning national parks. Discover the epic North-West coast as you make your way from Brisbane to the topical paradise of Cairns. Relax on the white sand beaches of Fraser Island, sail through the Whitsundays, trek through lush rainforests and bathe in the tranquil lagoon of Airlie Beach.

Highlights:

  • Visit magnificent Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island
  • Pass countless empty beaches, drive through rainforests and see unique wildlife
  • Laze at the beach in Rosslyn Bay
  • Embark on a 4WD bush adventure in Eungella National Park
  • Relax on the lovely Airlie Beach
  • Cruise the Whitsunday Islands and cool off in azur waters
  • Explore the endless walking tracks of Magnetic Island
  • Discover the many attractions in and around Cairns
  • Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a breathtaking journey on one of the world’s most scenic train routes

Please remember that this is a sample itinerary; we specialise in creating tailor-made holidays that are unique to you and your style.

Brisbane – Caloundra – Hervey Bay & Fraser Island – Rosslyn Bay – Eungella National Park – Airlie Beach & Whitsunday Islands Cruise – Townsville & Magnetic Island – Cairns & Kuranda.

Day 1 - G'Day Australia

Welcome to Brisbane, Queensland’s capital and second largest city. Upon arrival at Brisbane airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in the city. We have nothing prepared for you today, so you can relax and get accustomed to your new surroundings. If you feel energetic, a lovely way to explore Brisbane is by hopping onto on of the city’s ferries. (NEXT Hotel Brisbane, Standard room)

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Day 2 - Discover Brisbane

Discover “Brissie”, as the locals like to call their city, at your own pace today. For example, find one of the Brisbane Greeters, passionate volunteers leading small groups around the city telling stories and teaching them interesting facts about Brisbane, cool off in the lagoon at Streets Beach or visit the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. If you need a hug, take a train to Lone Pine, the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary.

Day 3 - The road trip begins

Pick up your rental car this morning and hit the road. Your first stop is Caloundra, only 1.5 hours from Brisbane, so you can get used to driving in Australia. The Oaks Oasis, your home for tonight, is a perfectly positioned resort just a short walk from the sparkling waters of Golden Beach. If you haven’t seen any kangaroos yet, you may want to to visit Australia Zoo, home of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin.

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Day 4 - From Caloundra to Hervey Bay

Pass Noosa and Tin Can Bay today during your 3-hours drive to Hervey Bay. Check into the Econo Lodge and enjoy the pretty coastal town’s long beaches, tourist shops, local cafes and pubs. Hervey Bay is widely known as a site for observing humpback whales during the July to November migration season. If you are interested, we would be happy to book an additional tour for you.

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Fraser Island

Day 5 - A day on Fraser Island

This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel. Today’s day tour takes you to the magnificent Fraser Island. Swim in Lake McKenzie, the island’s most beautiful lake, explore Pile Valley and Central Station, walk along the banks of Wanggoolba Creek and travel up famous Seventy – Five Mile Beach to see the coloured sands of the Pinnacles and the wreck of the cruise ship Maheno.

Day 6 - From Hervey Bay to Rosslyn Bay

Rise early this morning for your 5-hour drive to Rosslyn Bay. Your home for tonight, the Rosslyn Bay Resort & Spa, is the perfect place to relax after the long drive. Surrounded by windswept grass and fig trees the the Resort is located just across the road from beautiful Kemp beach. Keppel Bay Marina is only a few hundred meters away.

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Day 7 - From Rosslyn Bay to Eungella National Park

A 6-hour drive will lead you to Eungella National Park today. Check into the Broken River Mountain Resort, a certified Advanced Eco Tourism facility located at Eungella National Park. The resort, which is set on the banks of Broken River and surrounded by rainforest, is accessible by sealed road 85km due west of Mackay. Your stay at the resort includes guided tours and complimentary use of the daily shuttle drop off to one way walking trails in Eungella National Park.

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Day 8 - Explore Eungella National Park

Apart from spotting platypus and over 225 different species of spectacular rainforest birds in their natural habitats, you can embark on 4WD bush adventures, take guided rainforest walks, or even arrange your own personalised national park tour. The resort 4WD will even take you to the one way walking track entrances allowing you to walk back to Broken River at your own pace through the amazing rainforest.

Day 9 - From Eungella to Airlie Beach

This morning, drive back onto the Bruce Highway which will lead you to Airlie Beach (driving time: 2.5 – 3 hours), the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. Check into the Airlie Beach Hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring the lovely town and its shops, cool off in the lagoon or laze at one of the beaches.

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Day 10 - Discover the world's most beautiful beach

Today, enjoy a leisurely cruise  along the full length of Whitehaven, across Hill Inlet to a landing point. From here a guided walk following the path and history of the Whitsunday traditional owners, the Ngaro people, will lead you to the lookout and that picture postcard view. If sea conditions permit, we will cross to nearby Esk Island, a scenic island that is rarely visited. On return to the southern end of Whitehaven you may choose to enjoy some other walks, wander along the beach, laze in the sun or cool off in the azure waters.

Day 11 - From Airlie Beach to Townsville

Today’s 3-hour drive will lead you to Townsville, Queensland’s third largest city. Check into your hotel, the City Oasis Inn, and explore the city at your own pace. For a spectacular sunset, drive up to the lookout to marvel at the scenery, which stretches all the way out to Magnetic Island. If you are a diver, you might be interested to book an additional day in Townsville and include a day trip to the SS Yongala Ship Wreck, one of the best dive sites in the world.

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Day 12 - A day on Magnetic Island

Explore Magnetic Island today – The return ferry ticket from Townville for your car is included. There are countless things to do: Take The Forts walk to spot a koala, see the World War II ruins and the amazing view of the Coral Sea; observe the rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay in Arcadia; snorkel the Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay self-guided Snorkel Trails or explore the endless walking tracks through the island’s National Parks. If you want to do what the locals would do, fire up the barbie and enjoy grilled sausages.

Cairns Esplanade

Day 13 - From Townsville to Cairns

A 4-5 hour drive will lead you to Cairns today. Check into the Tropical Heritage Cairns boutique hotel, a few streets back from the Esplanade and about a 10 minute walk into the heart of the CBD. Enjoy the rest of the day in the tropical city: Cairns Esplanade, lined in bars and restaurants, has a swimming lagoon, free of charge, if you want to cool off.

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Day 14 - Discover Cairns at your own pace

We have nothing planned for you today: If you haven’t seen enough of the Great Barrier Reef, there are great day trips from Cairns as well. Alternatively, laze at the beach in Palm Cove, drive up to Cape Tribulation or just relax at your hotel pool.

Day 15 - Kuranda - the village in the rainforest

Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a breathtaking journey on one of the world’s most scenic train routes. The journey will take you through hand-hewn tunnels and across bridges with amazing views. Stop at Barron Gorge to view the Falls before arriving at beautiful Kuranda station. Visit the picturesque village on Cairns’ tablelands before boarding the Skyrail and gliding over the Rainforest canopy back to Cairns.

Day 16 - Farewell Australia

Drop off your rental car today at Cairns airport before it is time to bid farewell to beautiful Australia. Safe travels!

DETAILS

This itinerary costs from £1,890 per person based on 2 sharing and includes all services and accommodation. Flights are not included.

We recommend booking international and domestic flights together in advance. Alternately, we can book flights on your behalf but a booking fee may apply.

Email or call (0207 112 0019) to get started.

INCLUDED

  • Prices start from £1,890 per person
  • Accommodation as per itinerary (excluding breakfast)
  • Transfers and excursions in small groups as per itinerary
  • Rental car including unlimited kilometres, damage cover (DC) for the vehicle and third party property, vehicle registration recovery (VRR), administration recovery, GST, Location Fee, Max Cover (which reduces excess to NIL) & GPS (tolls and petrol are not included)
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered