All about the Mick Pass - Sydney to Cairns

A Hop on hop off pass means you can choose your own adventure on the East Coast travelling from Sydney to Cairns.  Our mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more. 

An epic adventure taking in all the hot spots on tour from Sydney to Cairns, as well as some local secrets that end up being the highlight of your trip to Australia. Whether you’re excited to party in Byron Bay, learn to surf in Spot X or get tropical in Magnetic Island – this trip ticks all those bucket list boxes and so much more.

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 Sydney 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 Stray Australia’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.

Group travel on the East Coast means 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.


Mick Pass - Sydney to Cairns
Tour itinerary - 13 Days

  • Travel Day Sydney to Barrington Tops
    Meet the group at Wake up Hostel around 8am for departure. Outside Wake Up hostel at 8am or outside Nomads (if confirmed) at 8.10am We then head out of Sydney to the Hunter Valley wine region. Here we have a wine tasting at a vineyard, that is one of Australia's most famous. We then get out into the bush and head to Barrington Tops National Park. this is a stunning World Heritage Listed Area in New South Wales. We stay in our own private lodge overlooking the Barrington River. You have the option to the an tube ride own a scenic part of the river or go mountain biking (additional cost). Have a few drinks and relax in the hot tub in the evening. Tonight you sleep at Twistops Retreat.
  • Travel Day Barrington Tops to Spot X Surf Camp
    The morning will be spent exploring Barrington Tops National Park, spotting Kangaroos. We then head to the Koala hospital to learn how to conserve and protect Koalas in the wild in Australia. Travelling on the bus to Mojo Spot X Surf Camp, here you will stay in dorm accommodation at Spot X, expect to pay around $28 for the night.
  • Travel Day Spot X Surf Camp to River Retreat
    You will spend the morning taking part int he activity Spot X is so famous for; surfing. Have a surf lesson (optional) with the trained instructors and see if you can stand up on the board. In the afternoon we head to Solitary Islands Marine Park, you can go for lovely walk in the headlands or for a snorkel here. We arrive at the River Retreat in the evening where we stay at the Loka exclusive Tipi camp for the night. We have a few games and drinks in the evening and camp in the tipi or outside under the stars. During winter we stay at the local country pub.
  • Travel Day River Retreat to Byron Bay
    Its an early morning and off to bustling Byron Bay today. We stop in Yamba to have a long walk or if its warm enough a swim in Angourie Blue Pool. There are many accommodation options in Byron Bay and you can book them through the Loka App on your phone or with your guide.
  • Free Day Free Day in Byron Bay
    So much to see and do in Byron today you can take another surf lesson, visit Nimbin, or just relax and take in the hippy vibe of the town. We recommend walking to the lighthouse look out point,which is Australia's most easterly location.
  • Travel Day Byron Bay to Noosa or Rainbow Beach
    You will be crossing the New South Wales/ Queensland boarder today and checking out one of Australia's most famous surf spots Snapper Rock. We then head into the Gold Coast, you have the option to hop off here to visit Surfers Paradise. We carry on through to Brisbane for pick up and drop offs of passengers. Then we arrive in Noosa, which is an upmarket small town and ideal for a hop off for a few days. Or you can continue to Rainbow Beach. Both Noosa and Rainbow Beach are departure points for your Fraser Island tour.
  • Travel Day Rainbow Beach (via Noosa) to Emu Park
    You hop back on our bus in Rainbow Beach and head down to Noosa, pick up passengers, and then drive to Cooroy where you will hop on the first train of the trip.
    You will travel to Rockhampton then get met by a local bus, which takes us to the beautiful coastal town of Emu Park.
    Sleep tonight at Emus Beach resort for $35
  • Travel Day Emu Beach to Airlie Beach
    Today you can choose from options to relax at the resort, check out the local crocodile farm or head to the tropical paradise Great Keppel Island. 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.
    Note: Depending which day you depart Noosa/Rainbow you may have an extra day at Emu Park.
  • Travel Day Airlie Beach (via Townsville) to Magnetic Island
    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. Accommodation recommended in Magnetic Island will be the YHA and can be booked using the Loka App.
  • Travel Day Magnetic Island (via Townsville) to Tully
    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.
    You will sleep at the Mt Tyson hotel, $35 for accommodation only, $57 for Rainforest Experience (accommodation/transfers/champagne breakfast).
  • Travel Day Tully to 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. Afterward 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 directly from Townsville to Cairns. Stay at your choice of Cairns accommodation, you can book via the Loka web app.
Real Adventure Group Real People
Real Aussie Says:
This is our biggest and most popular East Coast package pass. Sydney to Cairns and everything in between! Experience real Australia at its best with stunning beaches, national parks, tropical islands, and authentic experiences such as wildlife spotting, a wilderness camp, and a night on the edge of a World Heritage Area!

Mick Pass - Sydney to Cairns Price information AUD per person



Tour code: MICK
Local fees payable
local fees

Departure information


Tuesday (Minimum 13 days, free day at Magnetic Island)
Wednesday (January - March only. Minimum 14 days, free days at Airlie Beach & Tully)
Friday (Minimum 13 days, free day at Magnetic Island)
Sunday (Minimum 14 days, free days at Emu Park and Tully)


This trip can also be run in reverse

More information

Important Notes

Things 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 Stray Australia 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 there is a package price for meals food 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 coaches between Sydney 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.
  • Accommodation and meals are not included in the pass price.

Similar Tours to Mick Pass - Sydney to Cairns

Hang out on Solitary Island, Magnetic Island

Nat Pass - Sydney to Byron Bay Return

Flexible hop on hop off pass from Sydney back to Sydney.

Start from Sydney and return to Sydney on this guided hop on hop off tour that will take you north to Byron Bay via Barrington Tops where you will go for a guided walk to spot platypus, snorkel in a marine reserve, chill out at Byron Bay and be able to get off and stay longer at Spot X Surf Camp to learn to surf.