All about the Kat Pass - Byron Bay To Cairns
Hop on hop off means you can choose your own adventure on the East Coast. You can be flexible and stop and stay in towns or destinations for a few days or weeks. Then get back on the tour and go a bit further. You do not have to complete the pass in a fixed time limit or with the same group of people the whole trip.
It's up to you how long you take to do this East Coast trip maybe 3 weeks maybe 3 months. This trip takes in the whole East Coast from Sydney to Cairns so book your pass....start it and then see what happens. Have no plans and just go with the flow. You'll travel with fun, like-minded people, and meet our amazing drivers and guides. It's your choice, your way. Our Byron Bay to Cairns tour departs often with a great mixture of international travellers on board. A perfect chance to make friends, see the East Coast of Australia and take your time to travel. We work with local operators and communities to create sustainable, authentic experiences with positive change for all. You can change your plans and itinerary. You can hop off in and stay longer at any of our stops along the way as you want for up to 12 months.
You will meet local Australians and other travellers, be part of our traveller community on and offline. We are continually hunting out and creating our own authentic, off the beaten track, stop-overs and activities that aren’t in the guidebooks or on TripAdvisor. Get the most out of your travels through local guides and Loka’s groundbreaking technology. Our fun and enthusiastic guides get involved with your travel experiences, and our unique technology provides destination info, activity/accommodation booking service, reviews from other travellers and the ability to book yourself on and off the Stray Australia bus/transport.
Smaller group sizes on the East Coast mean it’s easier to meet other travellers, you don’t feed herded around and it allows us to include connections to off the beaten track things which can’t be accessed by individuals travelling on public transport or with mainstream travel companies.
Kat Pass - Byron Bay To Cairns
Tour itinerary - 8 Days
Byron Bay (via Gold Coast & Brisbane) - Noosa or Rainbow Beach
MEET: at the main bus stop on Jonson St or Arts Factory hostel (please confirm)
We cruise up to the New South Wales/Queensland border and hop out at Danger Point to stretch our legs, and check out the view of one of Australia’s best surf spots Snapper Rock. Then drive into the Gold Coast, you may want to get off here to experience the sun, sand, tans and high-rises of Australia’s most developed beach resort. We drive through Brisbane (pick up and drop off travellers in the city centre) then travel on to the upmarket beach resort town of Noosa. Hop off here or continue onto Rainbow Beach for the night. Rainbow Beach and Noosa are both departure points for Fraser Island (a backpacker must-do). At Rainbow Beach we take a walk up to Carlo Sand Blow for either the sunset or sunrise.
SLEEP: Your choice of Noosa or Rainbow Beach accom*, you can book via the Loka web app.
Rainbow Beach (via Noosa) to Emu Park
MEET: outside Dingos/Frasers at Rainbow Beach, or outside Nomads at Noosa. We hop in our bus in Rainbow Beach and head to Tin Can Bay to see wild dolphins up close. We then head back to Noosa where we have a couple of hours to check out the beach, markets or chill, before picking up some more Loka travelers and driving to Cooroy to start our first train journey. We travel to Rockhampton then get met by a private bus, which takes us to Emus Beach Resort. We get welcomed into the resort and find out more about our options for the next day or so. We have an awesome Loka Treasure Island option, which includes accommodation, return ferry transfers to Great Keppel Island, Treasure Hunt, Bluff Point Turtle Walk, and evening meal on the second day; or you can choose to just pay for your bed only and do your own thing. SLEEP: at Emus Beach resort.
Emu Park overnight train to Airlie Beach
MEET: At Emus Beach Resort For those that have the Treasure Island package we depart early to head to the tropical paradise Great Keppel Island at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Relax or have a go at snorkeling or kayaking (extra cost) before taking part in the famous Loka Treasure Hunt. Follow the clues to win the treasure! We head back to the mainland late afternoon with a quick stop to go on a walk to Bluff Point. Have dinner at Emus Beach Resort before we catch the train in the evening and travel overnight to Airlie Beach – the gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. We grab some breakfast when we arrive and your guide will give you a brief walking orientation tour of Airlie. Note: Depending which day you depart Noosa/Rainbow you may have an extra day at Emu Park and you can choose to spend your 2nd night on Great Keppel Island. If bad weather you can also choose to visit the local crocodile farm (additional cost). SLEEP: Overnight train (price included), then your choice of Airlie accommodation.
Airlie Beach (via Townsville) - Magnetic Island
MEET: outside Base Backpackers
We start early with a local bus to the train, a ferry out to tropical ‘Maggie Island’, and a local transfer to the accommodation. There is much to explore on the island, as nearly 50% of it is National Park with amazing beaches and abundant wildlife. Your guide will join you on a walk around the Island; otherwise you can do more exploring or just relax by the pool. Note: Depending on which day you depart, you may have a free day to spend on Magnetic Island.
SLEEP: YHA Bungalow Bay or your choice of Magnetic Island accom*.
Magnetic Island (via Townsville) - Tully
MEET: at YHA Bungalow Bay reception or at the ferry terminal (please confirm).
We travel back to the mainland on a ferry, travel by train to Tully – getting in at around lunchtime. We hop off the train and head to the picturesque spot ‘Alligator’s Nest’ (no alligators thankfully). Enjoy a dip in the swimming hole, surrounded by tropical rainforest. We then head back to our accommodation – the historic Mt Tyson pub for the evening.
SLEEP: Mt Tyson hotel, $35 for accom only, $57 for Rainforest Experience (accom / transfers / champagne breakfast).
Tully - Cairns
In the morning we rise early to climb Mt Tyson, a mountain covered in lush rainforest, within the Tully Gorge National Park. It’s a four-hour round trip but worth it for the views. Afterwards enjoy a well-earned champagne breakfast back at the pub. We travel to Cairns by train arriving late afternoon, then get ready to party tonight for the end of your East Coast adventure. Note: Depending on which day you depart, you may have a free day/night to spend in Tully before heading to Cairns, if you are short on time you can skip this and head direct from Townsville to Cairns.
SLEEP: Your choice of Cairns accom, you can book via the Loka web app.
|Tour code: KAT|
Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays from Byron Bay.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays November to March
Minimum Time: 8 days
Important NotesThings you need to know about this tour
- You can break your journey at any of the stops through any of the travel days and just connect with a later Loka bus or rail departure (guided or unguided). You can book your own accommodation or your guide will book it for you, you will usually get a bed-only option (averaging $28 per person per night), a twin/double option (averaging $100 per room) or where, due to remoteness a package price is set up for bed, meals and activities where applicable.
- Travel passes are valid for travel in one direction over a route with each travel sector only being able to be used once.
- Passes are valid for the person whose name they were originally issued in and are non-transferrable.
- Passes are valid for twelve months from the date of your departure.
- Travel is in 24 seat mini coaches between Byron Bay and Noosa, and local bus and train (plus ferry to Magnetic Island) between Noosa and Cairns.
- Guides travel on all routes on the set departure days – but you can travel on the train on other days without a guide.
- You can only access the unique transfers and activities when travelling with the guide.
- There is a minimum of three departures per week over all routes.
- For specific departure days and times please see the Stray Australia timetable on the pass pages.
- Accommodation and meals are not included in the pass price.