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Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel Brisbane to Cairns Adventure

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Explore Australia’s sun-kissed east coast from Queensland's capital Brisbane to the tropical hub of Cairns on an epic oceanic trip that offers one coastal paradise after another. Take an off-road adventure across the undulating dunes of K'gari (formerly Fraser Island), snorkel through the dazzling tropical waters of Whitehaven Beach, flop and drop on the palm-fringed sands of laidback Mission Beach, soak up the energy and nightlife of Airlie Beach after sunset and explore colourful underwater worlds in your free time. On this eight-day road trip, you’ll get wet and wild in waterfalls and rainforests and salty and sandy on islands and beaches – what could be better?

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are some long travelling days on this trip, but it’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers.
    This trip includes an overnight train, which is super comfortable and features RailBeds, charging stations and USB ports. The overnight train is in RailBed class and is not accompanied by a tour leader. Should the train not operate due to track works or other factors outside of our control, it will be replaced with alternative transport and an additional overnight stay.
  • Multiple activities on this trip are subject to weather and water conditions and on occasion, may be cancelled for safety or operational reasons. In the case of cancellation, a suitable replacement activity will be utilised.
  • This trip is part of a combination tour, with other travellers joining from Sydney when you’re starting in Brisbane. It also forms part of a longer tour with extended exploration from Cairns. Talk to our travel agent about these options.
BeachesNational parksWildlife & nature

See what's included

  • Atherton Tablelands Highlights Tour
  • Ferry to K'Gari (Fraser Island)
  • K'Gari (Fraser Island) 4WD Tour
  • Great Barrier Reef Cruise and Snorkelling Adventure
  • Noosa National Park Visit
  • Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches
Tour map
Tour summary and feature

Guided Coach Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$3,780 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Brisbane, finishes in Cairns

8 days/7 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 26 times in the last 7 days

Tour full itinerary
ITINERARY
Aerial View of Brisbane

Welcome to Brisbane! Or Meanjin in the language of the Turrbal and Yuggera peoples, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which Brisbane is now located. Your adventure starts with a welcome meeting at 10 am. After, you’ll drive straight to Noosa Heads – a serene town in Queensland by the sea – where you can grab some lunch, relax on the beach or go shopping in the cute boutique shops. If you’d like, maybe use your free time here to do part of the Noosa Coastal Walk and look out for local flora and fauna. This afternoon, you’ll hit the road again for the coastal city of Hervey Bay, where you’ll spend the night.

Your travel time today will be approximately 3 hours. In Noosa you have time to complete a short walk along the coast if you wish. Choose from the Palm Grove Walk (Grade 3, 1.1km return/30 mins), Noosa Hill Walk (Grade 4, 2.8km return/90 mins), the 300m path to Boiling Point or Dolphin Point (1.2km one way) - both sealed and barrier free.

Staying in:

  • Cabins (1 night)

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Dingo on the Beach in Fraser Island

After breakfast this morning, you’ll head to the stunning K'gari (previously known as Fraser Island) by ferry for a day trip. The name change is a major milestone in a long-running campaign by the Butchulla people, whose original name for this place means ‘paradise’ – and you’ll soon see why. Set off on a 4WD adventure through the breathtaking landscape. Start off with an adventurous drive along 75 Mile Beach Road – one of the best coastal drives in the country. Take a refreshing dive into the crystal-clear water of Boorangoora (Lake McKenzie) – an island icon. The lake is world famous for its turquoise colours and delicate white, 92% pure silica sand. Take another dip, this time in the fresh waters of Eli Creek, then visit the Maheno shipwreck and the coloured sands of the pinnacles. From tropical dense rainforest to wild offshore waters, you’ll witness the contrasting fauna and terrain of this truly unique island as you venture across undulating dunes and vast golden beaches in search of the iconic outback creature – the dingo. Tonight, head back to Hervey Bay where you can rest and recharge. 

Please note that your day trip to K'gari today is on a join-in basis. Other travellers from outside our Intrepid group may join us.

Activities:

  • K'gari - Full day 4WD tour

Staying in:

  • Cabins (1 night)

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Children on Airlie Beach

Enjoy a free day in Hervey Bay today – one of the best sites for observing humpback whales during migration season. If the month is right, maybe spend the morning whale watching on the water, or rent a bike to cycle along the foreshore. Or you could take a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge, go kayaking or just enjoy one of the many gorgeous beaches nearby. Make sure you pick up some snacks for tonight's overnight train journey north on the famous 'Spirit of Queensland', from the train station at Maryborough West to Proserpine, just south-west of Airlie Beach, arriving early tomorrow morning.

Tonight you will take the 'Spirit of Queensland' overnight train to Proserpine. An Australian first, the revolutionary 'RailBed' is a spacious and comfortable seat by day that includes a state-of-the-art personal entertainment system, a 240v power point and a USB point. In the evening, the onboard team convert the seat to a lie-flat bed with all linen provided. The train journey will be unaccompanied by your leader. You'll say goodbye to your first leader at the train station tonight and your new trip leader will meet you at the other end upon arrival of the train in the morning. Please note that throughout the year scheduled railway track works may take place on the route from Hervey Bay to Airlie Beach. If the train happens not to run on your departure you will be driving with your leader instead, with an overnight in or around Gladstone. The total distance is around 900km, taking approximately 10 hours, split across two days. Please note that whale migration season is from July to October. Please choose your departure date accordingly if you would like to take advantage of the opportunity to see whales.

Staying in:

  • Overnight train (1 night)

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View of Whitehaven Beach

Your new leader will meet you at Proserpine train station early this morning. Head to their favourite sunrise spot as a group – the best way to start your day – and watch the land come alive. Then, you’ll head for an optional breakfast and caffeine hit at a local café in Airlie Beach. Your day is free to explore this coastal paradise dotted with palm trees. This hub town of the popular Whitsundays has beer gardens, trendy cafes and a lawn-fringed swimming lagoon. Maybe stroll around and explore, visit some local swimming spots for a refreshing dip or find a seat at one of the many bars and watch the sun sparkle on the water. Get to know your new leader tonight with an optional group dinner. 

We request that our property in Airlie Beach prepare rooms in time for our arrival. However as we're arriving prior to normal check-in time this isn't always possible. This means we may not be able to check-in immediately on arrival. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination, or head straight for the pool or the beach. The Coral Beach trail is a Grade 3, 2.2km return/90 min walk in Conway National Park.

Staying in:

  • Holiday Apartments (1 night)

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Image of Cassowary

Today you’ll head out on a full-day tour to Whitehaven Beach, in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands and in the centre of the Great Barrier Reef. Start with a walk to the spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout, where you can take photos of the sweeping ocean views. Then, hit the water and go snorkelling at Border Island, Dumbell Island or one of the secret spots today's guide will show you. See coral reefs, colourful fish, turtles, clams and other marine life. Then, enjoy an included lunch and take a boat to the southern end of the 7 km stretch of Whitehaven Beach, taking the chance to kick back and relax in the sun after a day of outdoor adventures. Tonight, back in Airlie Beach, maybe head to one of the local bars for a cocktail (or two) and watch the sunset.

Please note that your day trip to Whitehaven Beach today is on a join-in basis. Other travellers from outside our Intrepid group may join us.

Activities:

  • Airlie Beach - Full day Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach & Great Barrier Reef tour

Staying in:

  • Holiday Apartments (1 night)

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Fish in Great Barrier Reef

This morning, you’ll hit the road again for a scenic road trip day to Townsville. Head to Castle Hill lookout when you arrive and take some photos of the gorgeous views of the town and ocean below. You’ll have some free time for lunch and to chill by the water. Carry on to Big Crystal Creek in the Paluma Range National Park, where you can take a stroll, swim in the creek or just relax among the sounds of local birdlife. This afternoon, you’ll head to Lucinda, where you’ll spend the night. Ask your leader for the best seaside spots for dinner and maybe enjoy a night walk to watch the sun go down.

Your travel time today will be approximately 6.5 hours.

Activities:

  • Paluma Range National Park - Crystal Creek
  • Townsville - Castle Hill Lookout

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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Muillaa Millaa Falls in Arherton Tablelands

This morning after breakfast, drive to Mungalla station, where you’ll meet the First Nations owners of the land – the Nywaigi people – and learn about their culture and history, including about the brutal conflicts with European settlers. The story you’ve been told will come to life as you visit an exhibition of pictures within the historic homestead. Then head out and explore the Mungalla wetlands in search of aquatic birdlife. Drive to Mission Beach this afternoon – a small coastal town with expansive beaches, palm trees and opportunities to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Stop in Tully along the way to stretch your legs, then ask your leader for the best way to spend your night.

Your travel time today will be approximately 2.5 hours.

Activities:

  • Mungalla Station - Nywaigi First Nations Guided Day Tour

Staying in:

  • Hotel (1 night)

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View of Cairns Lagoon

This morning after breakfast, drive to Millaa Millaa Falls for a nature walk and a quick swim in the cascades. Stop in for lunch at a local cafe near Atherton. Take the Curtain Fig boardwalk to see the iconic tree this park was named after – this park protects endangered mabi forest and a large green fig tree with extensive aerial roots that drop 15 m to the forest floor, forming a ‘curtain’. After, walk to Lake Eacham – the site of an old volcano and home to Australia’s largest python! Here, maybe take a swim (just keep an eye out for the resident freshwater crocodile). This afternoon, you’ll drive to Cairns, where your trip will come to an end at approximately 5pm. If you’d like to stay longer, just speak to your booking agent.

Your travel time today will be approximately 4 hours. The Curtain Fig boardwalk is a Grade 2, 180m circuit taking around 10 min. The Lake Eacham circuit track in Crater Lakes National Park is a Grade 2, 3km circuit taking around 1 hour.

Activities:

  • Atherton Tablelands - Curtain Tree boardwalk
  • Atherton Tablelands - Lake Eacham walk
  • Atherton Tablelands - Millaa Millaa Falls

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Jun 6, 2024
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Jun 20, 2024
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Sep 19, 2024
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Oct 3, 2024
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Oct 17, 2024
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Oct 31, 2024
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Nov 14, 2024
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Nov 28, 2024
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Dec 12, 2024
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Dec 19, 2024
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Jan 2, 2025
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Jan 30, 2025
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Feb 13, 2025
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Feb 20, 2025
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Mar 6, 2025
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NZD$3,970 NZD$4,630 Enquire
Mar 20, 2025
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Mar 27, 2025
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NZD$3,780 NZD$4,440 Enquire
Apr 5, 2025
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NZD$3,965 NZD$4,625 Enquire
Apr 19, 2025
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May 3, 2025
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May 17, 2025
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May 31, 2025
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NZD$4,165 NZD$4,825 Enquire
Jun 14, 2025
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Jun 28, 2025
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