The Ultimate 2 Week East Coast Itinerary

East Coast Australia is the TOP destination for travellers. It pretty much has something for everyone. 2 weeks may not seem like a long time, but let us tell you, you can fit in A LOT of experiences and activities in this time frame. It’s gonna be jam packed and it’s gonna be epic.

We are gonna show you exactly how and share our tips on:

  • How to fit in those epic bucketlist destinations
  • Where to go to visit Fraser Island and the Whitsundays
  • How long to spend in each spot between Sydney and Cairns
  • And most importantly… how we can save you money $$$

From sky diving, to snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef to spending the night on a remote island, the East Coast has it allllll – it is winning with it’s list of insane trips and tours.

A little spontaneity and going with the flow is sweet, but when it comes to ticking off those bucket list experiences in just 2 weeks, life is made so much easier if you jump on a tour and book some activities – which we can help you with!

The route we’re about to chat about starts in Sydney and takes you all the way up to Cairns.

Let’s goooooooo….

Click images to see more.

Getting around

The big ol’ question – to travel by Greyhound coach or camper van?

Now this TOTALLY depends on your style of travel, vibe, budget and if you are travel solo or with a crew…

Greyhound 15 Day Whimit pass

The Whimit pass is ideal if you’re travelling for a shorter period of time as you can cover more ground. You can pop all over the place without being tied down to a certain route. So more time adventuring and less time planning.

Camper van

The benefits of travelling by camper are endless – complete and utter freedom to zoom around the insane ocean roads of Aussie, no late night awakenings from noisy hostel goers, and the ability to do what you want, when you want.

But, if you’ve only got 2 weeks, grabbing a bus pass or a camper would BOTH be epic options depending on your vibe and travel style… Choose the bus pass if you are a solo traveller, as you can just hop on and off as you please and go directly from place to place without having to factor in time for finding lifts or getting to and from the airport. Or choose to travel via camper if you are travelling with a crew or the other half and fancy abit of time to yourself and hitting the open road (just make sure you take into consideration how long the journeys are!)

Where to stay

The best bet, if you’re travelling by Greyhound, is to stay in hostels.

As you know how long you’ll be travelling, we’d recommend pre-booking the whole 2 weeks of travel so that you don’t have to worry about finding a bed on the night.

Check out our fave East Coast hostels here.

if you travel via campervan then you will be spoilt for choice with the amount of paid and free camping spots on the East Coast! If you are travelling over a busy period such as easter or christmas then we recommend to prebook. The app Wikicamps is super handy for finding campsites and seeing where they are on the map..

Why Book

with RatPack Travel?

  • Cheaper than booking direct

  • Free date changes

  • Personalised all the way

  • 5 star reputation

The route

Stop 1: Sydney

2 days in Sydney

What to do here: You’ve got to see those iconic sites. Head to Circular Quay to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Stroll around the Rocks and the Botanic Gardens and get a great view of the harbour from Mrs Maquarie’s Chair. Jump on the ferries or buses and check out bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Watsons Bay and Coogee Beach.

What to eat: Head to Surrey Hills to find hipster cafes and lush brunches.

Where to stay: Sydney Harbour YHA hostel

Then, hop on an overnight bus to Byron Bay or hit the road. It’s a long ride via bus (about 13 hours), so be sure to get a night journey. You don’t want to waste a day with travel.

 

Stop 2: Byron Bay

2 days in Byron Bay

The HOME of RatPack Travel, when you are in the Bay shoot us a WhatsApp and come and have some bants with the crew!

What to do here: Head to the beach, these beaches are like NO other.. Our faves are Main beach, Belongil, The Pass and Wategos. Enjoy the music scene, there are buskers everywhere on everyday, the legend that is Tones and I (Dance Monkey) used to busk regulary in the bay and the cre would watch her! Now is your chance to tick the big sky dive off your bucket list. And what better place to do it then the home of RatPack yewwwwww. You can also give surfing a go, head to the hippie town of Nimbin, Kayak with Dolphins and do the epic hike up to the Lighthouse.

What to eat: The town is full of cute little eateries and healthy cafes but some of our favourites are, Byron Burgers, Byron Fresh, Combi, Dip Cafe, The Treehouse and the unreal sushi!

Where to stay: Backpackers Inn on the Beach, Cape Byron YHA or Nomads

Stop 3: Gold Coast

1 day in Gold Coast

What to do here: Head to the sky scraper lined beach at Surfers Paradise for a bit of chill out time or head over to Burleigh Heads for some epic city views and a dip in the lagoon. Fan of theme parks? Head to Movie World or Dream World to get your rollercoaster fix.

What to eat: Gold coast is known for its nightlife, so grab some goon and head out on the town for some food and drinks. You’ll find lots of good foodie deals here as there are alot chains and join a pub crawl for a true Surfers Paradise night out.

Where to stay: Bunk Hostel

 

Stop 4: Brisbane

1 day in Brisbane

What to do here: Stroll around the city, do a spot of shopping (or window shopping) and head over to South Bank to take a dip at the man-made beach. Jump on the FREE ferry and cruise up and down the river. Go to Australia Zoo. Check out the sunset from Mount Cootha

What to eat: There are loads of backpacker and happy hour foodie deals in Brisbane, or Brisvegas as it’s known. Pop over to the Eagle Street for some dinner under the city lights at the harbour, Southbank for pubs or head to Eat Street for Food truck central! If you are keen for a night out, head to Fortitude Valley where you will find plenty of clubs and bars…

Where to stay: Summerhouse Backpackers

Stop 5: Noosa

1 day in Noosa

What to do here: Take the National Park walk and if you’re lucky you might spot a wild koala. Get a sick shot at the Fairy Pools or try your hand at surfing. If you’ve got time, head to Noosa Spit which is essentially a natural lazy river.

Where to eat: You’ve gotta try Betty’s Burgers – they’re to die for! There are some awesome restaurants on Hastings Street, a little on the expensive side but worth it..

Where to stay: Flashpackers Noosa (Say hello to the crew for us they are legends!)

 

Stop 6: Fraser Island

Head to Rainbow Beach before setting off for 3 days on Fraser Island on a tour

What to do here: The question is, what isn’t there to do here!? Fraser is awesome! Lake Mckenzie is beaut, Lake Wabby is super cool. There’s an old ship wreck aka the Maheno, a natural lazy river, dingos and wildlife roaming around, driving on the beach and through the jungle, camp under the stars- the list is endless.

What to eat: You don’t need to worry about that (mainly because there are no restaurants on the island) You’ll get meals included in the tour, expect to pitch in and help with the cooking as part of the experience.

Where to stay: Again, camping accommodation is included on the tour. There is even the option to upgrade to a glamping experience on the epic Drop Bear tour!

Hop on the overnight bus to Airlie Beach. Again, it is a long one.

 

Stop 7: The Whitsundays

Head to Airlie Beach before setting off for 3 days on the Whitsundays.

What to do here: Feast your eyes (and your feet) on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world AKA Whitehaven Beach. Sail around the Southern Great Barrier Reef and catch an epic view at Hill Inlet look out. Snorkel on the reef during the tour and check out the unreal wildlife!

What to eat: Food will be included in the tour and even better, the crew cook it for you.

Where to stay: Get this… You’ll be staying on the ocean, on the boat, an experience like NO other…

 

Stop 8: Magnetic Island

Head to Townsville before setting off on the ferry to spend 3 days on Magnetic Island.

What to do here: Spot wild koalas along Forts Walk, get a 360 view of the island from the view points, hire a topless 4wd and cruise around the island, feed wild wallabies at sunset and visit all of the beaut beaches.

What to eat: Head to the hostel bar for happy hour and some epic food, the breakfast here is the ultimate hangover cure!

Where to stay: Base Hostel, we have an epic deal that includes your accomodation, ferry transfer, and some epic extras… read more about this deal here

 

The Final Stop: Cairns

3 days in Cairns

What to do here: The moment you’ve been waiting for – it’s Great Barrier Reef time, learn how to scuba dive or head on a snorkel tour of the reef. You can also visit the Atherton Tablelands which is full of waterfalls or head up to Cape Tribulation and check out the Daintree rainforest and spot the crocs on the Daintree River. if you’ve always fancied skydiving and landing on the beach then this is the spot, Mission Beach is just a short drive from Cairns. Fancy a bungy jump overlooking the rainforest? You can do that here too!

What to eat: Cairns is TOTAL backpacker central, so if you’re running low on cash at this point there’s a load of backpacker friendly bars and restaurants to pick from, make the most of the food deals in your hostel too!

Where to stay: Mad Monkey

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From our RatPackers

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I'm very happy with the help of the experienced Ratpack team in planning my Australia travels, 5 stars for their personal approach at no extra costs. They reached out to me by phone to advise me on where to go (and where not to go, also useful when having limited travel time) and gave tips on the best trips for Fraser Island and Whitsundays. I could book through them without having to pay anything for their service. Any questions they answered quickly via WhatsApp.

Phoebe McHugh
20 January 2023

Zan was amazing at walking me through all the van options available to hire in NZ. We were very last minute in organising our trip and Zan was so amazing and did all the hard work for us. He also reassured us with his inside knowledge of the van companies and knowing what vans were available for us to hire. I am so grateful for the hard work and extra effort the team went through to help us out in such short notice. Definitely will be using them again!

Tom Crane
20 January 2023

Massive help finding a deal for a camper that isn't even listed as available online. Great customer service from Mike: genuine, helpful and fair!

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18 January 2023

Tyla was so helpful getting our camper booked for New Zealand. Not only did she lock in a great deal for us she also gave us lots of advice and pointers from her own experience, which was really appreciated. Thank you so much Tyla! Would highly reccomend this service.

Johan Cornelissen
17 January 2023

Had a great experience with Mikey booking our caravan for New Zealand. A few quick phone calls and we had a van secured! RatPack Travel is super useful and saves you a lot of time and research, highly recommend.

Shai Saunders
13 January 2023

Quick and easy. Mikey was brilliant and helped us through every step of the way. After looking at countless websites Ratpack found us the best deal and we were saved so much stress. Would definitely recommend!

Pedro Moreira
12 January 2023

Jules was super helpful and managed to find a camping car matching our needs despite the limited availability! Amazing help and super nice attitude, you feel you are in good hands! We can certainly recommend Ratpack team!

Katie Millar
12 January 2023

Mikey made booking our campervans for our Australia and New Zealand trips so easy and straightforward. Can’t recommend enough!

Genesis Cherrie
11 January 2023

This is a great company that my dad stumbled across trying to help me book a camper for Aus travel. They helped me find and book a camper at a reduced price and talked through all the details. Easy and flexible communications and just lovely people. Jules helped me with everything, all the way from Europe- do recommend using them even for a further discount.

Neill Mitchell
10 January 2023

Very efficient and cost effective service. Everything was done in a timely manner. Pleased to have found RatPack Travel service.

phoebe davis
5 January 2023

Mike sorted me out start to finish made the process so easy After looking for days I couldn’t not go with this company best price around. Cheers again to Mike

Ciara Meekin
4 January 2023

Zan and Tyla were so helpful and friendly in our search for the perfect campervan to travel NZ! Would recommend booking with RatPack Travel to anyone. Bring on the adventure and thanks again!

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1 January 2023

Definitely recommend this service to another. Was looking to make a last minute RV booking which felt pretty much impossible to find an RV. Somehow ratpack performed some magic and found the only RV left in Queensland and made it all super easy for us to organise. Excellent service and lovely people over the phone. Thank you to Tyla in particular!

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22 December 2022

I highly recommend RatPack Travel. Tyla was super helpful and dedicated to helping me and my friends find a campervan that was the right fit. She was really informative and gave lots of great options for us. 10/10 service!! Can’t wait for our road trip!

Harriet Eggleston
21 December 2022

Tyla couldn’t have been more helpful, we’d have happily invited her on our trip 😂 I’d highly recommend using RatPack, 10/10

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