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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
    G’day, mate, and welcome to your Stray adventure! We depart the big city of Sydney early this morning and head to the Hunter Valley wine region for a tasting at an award-winning vineyard. From there, we carry on through the backcountry to our first stunning Strademark stop right on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops National Park. At our Stray exclusive accommodation overlooking the Barrington River, you can choose to go river tubing on the mild rapids, or play table tennis, pool and darts at the lodge. Finish the day with a shared group dinner and a scenic soak in the massive hot tub.

    Accommodation: Lodge at Barrington Tops (set price for bed, dinner and breakfast) Activities Included: Wine tasting
    Optional Paid Activities: River tubing
    Free Activities: Play games, relax in the hot tub
  • Travel Day Barrington Tops to Spot X Surf Camp
    We depart after breakfast and journey north through the remote countryside back towards the coast. Our next stop is the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where you can get a closer look at Australia’s laziest (and arguably cutest) marsupials. Check out the information centre to learn all about the hospital’s efforts to rehabilitate, protect and preserve the koalas. After this, we head to Emerald Beach, an iconic kangaroo hangout, where if you’re lucky you can spot them hopping along the beach. We arrive at our beachfront overnight stop Spot X in the early evening.

    Accommodation: Spot X Surf Camp (set price for bed, dinner and breakfast)
    Activities Included: Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, kangaroo spotting on Emerald Beach
  • Travel Day Spot X Surf Camp to River Retreat
    The morning at Spot X is all yours. Learn to surf in some of the best beginner waves in Australia, or for those who already know how to 'hang 10,' rent a board and show us what you can do! We recommend staying longer to do a Surf & Stay if you are keen to really hone your surf skills. You can also swim and chill out on the beach or sink into a hammock at the camp. We depart around midday, grabbing a bite to eat in town before travelling to our relaxing, rural River Retreat. Spend the afternoon on a guided canoe trip down the Nymboida River to learn about the area, which is home to amazing birds, snakes, and the incredibly shy platypus, and unwind with a refreshing dip in the river. This evening, we’ll gather round a bonfire and sleep in wilderness cabins or tents beneath the stars.

    Accommodation: River Retreat - cabins or camping
    Optional Paid Activities: Surf lesson, hop off at Spot X for a Surf & Stay
    Activities Included: Guided canoe trip (or bush walk if canoeing isn't possible)
    Free Activities: Swim in the river
  • Travel Day River Retreat to Byron Bay
    Next up - Byron Bay, known as the most chilled out town in Australia! On the way there, we stop in the picturesque seaside town of Yamba for lunch. We'll also visit the Angourie Blue Pool, an old quarry that was accidentally (and awesomely) filled by an underground spring, meaning you can now cool off in an epic fresh water pool right on the beach! Upon arriving in Byron Bay, we’ll take you on an orientation drive around town to help you get your bearings, showing you the points of interest and the top spots for food, shopping and nightlife.

    Accommodation: Your choice of Byron Bay hostel, book via Stray Mate
    Activities Included: Swim in Angourie Blue Pool, Byron Bay orientation drive
  • Free Day Byron Bay
    You have two full free days in Byron Bay to "cheer up, slow down, and chill out” as the town’s famous welcome sign instructs. And there is plenty to do in this laidback hippy town: practice your surfing skills down at the beach, walk to mainland Australia’s most easterly point at the Cape Byron Lighthouse, search for dolphins and other marine life on a sea kayaking trip, or visit the alternative town of Nimbin. Tonight, get out to experience Byron’s eclectic nightlife – there is always something going on!

    Accommodation: Your choice of hostel
    Optional Paid Activities: Surf lessons/hire, kayaking, Nimbin day trip, diving
    Free Activities: Walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse, relax on the beach, dance the night away!
  • Free Day Byron Bay
    You have another free day in Byron Bay today. Tick off any activities you didn’t get the chance to do yet, or pass the day wandering the township and exploring the many boutique shops and cafes. Eating your way around Byron is an experience in itself, and there are plenty of vegetarian options available!

    Accommodation: Your choice of hostel
    Optional Paid Activities: Surf lessons/hire, kayaking, Nimbin day trip, diving
    Free Activities: Walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse, relax on the beach, dance the night away!
  • Travel Day Byron Bay to Rainbow Beach
    This morning we cross the border from New South Wales into Queensland. Our destination today is Rainbow Beach, but those with more time might want to hop off and explore tourist hot spot Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Queensland's capital city of Brisbane, or the upmarket resort town of Noosa. After a big travel day, you'll welcome the chance to stretch your legs this evening with a walk to Carlo Sand Blow in Rainbow Beach to catch a gorgeous sunset. If you want to visit fantastic Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, you can depart from Noosa or Rainbow Beach.

    Accommodation: Your choice in either Noosa or Rainbow Beach
    Optional Paid Activities: Fraser Island tours - available from both Noosa & Rainbow Beach
    Activities Included: Walk to Carlo Sand Blow
  • Travel Day Rainbow Beach to Emu Park
    After stopping briefly to pick up those who stayed in Noosa, we depart from Cooroy on our first train journey of the trip. Kick back for a scenic train ride to Rockhampton, where we meet the bus and your Stray Guide to head to our next Strademark destination, Emu Park. While at Emu Park you’ll have the option to visit stunning Great Keppel Island, snorkel with turtles and hike to some secluded white sand beaches (extra cost); or you can choose to do your own thing!

    Please Note: Some trips may have an extra night at Emu Park.

    Accommodation: Emu’s Beach Resort
  • Travel Day Emu Park to Airlie Beach (Overnight Train)
    Today we recommend opting to visit the highlight of the area, Great Keppel Island, a tropical island paradise at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Catch the ferry for a day of snorkeling or kayaking (extra cost) before exploring the island itself in search of the perfect white sand beach for a little afternoon rest and relaxation. Tonight, we’ll gather together for dinner at Emu’s Beach Resort before we catch our first overnight train to Airlie Beach.

    Accommodation: Overnight train (included)
    Optional Paid Activities: Great Keppel Island, snorkeling or kayaking, lawn bowls
    Free Activities: Relax on the beach, swim, go for a walk
  • Free Day Airlie Beach
    The train arrives in Prosperine early in the morning. Your Airlie-based Stray Guide will meet you at the train and accompany you on the bus into Airlie Beach. They'll help you store your bags, and then grab breakfast (extra cost) and give you a brief orientation of the town to help you get your bearings. You'll have the rest of your day free in Airlie Beach to do as you please. Airlie Beach is the gateway to the famous Whitsunday Islands, another backpacker favourite. Many people choose to hop off here and do a multi-day sailing trip, but it is also possible to do a day tour. You can also choose to join your guide for a hike in the rainforest to see amazing almost 360-degree views of Airlie and the Whitsunday Islands.

    Accommodation: Your choice of central hostel
    Activities Included: Orientation walk, guided hike in the rainforest
    Optional Paid Activities: Whitsunday Islands tours, skydiving
    Free Activities: Swim in the lagoon
  • Travel Day Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island
    You'll be up with the parakeets this morning with a medley of transport to catch today. Travelling by bus, train and ferry (oh my!) we arrive at our destination of Magnetic Island in the late morning. Nearly 50% of ‘Maggie Island’ is national park land, and it's chock-full of amazing beaches and abundant wildlife. Your legendary local guide will meet you at the train station and then join you on a scenic walk to either the beautiful Radical Bay beach or the historic Forts Complex for incredible views and amazing photo opportunities. Join in the group pizza dinner tonight (extra cost).

    Please Note: Some trips may have an extra night at Magnetic Island.

    Accommodation: Your choice of hostel near the beach
    Activities Included: Fort Complex walk and/or Radical Bay walking tour
    Optional Paid Activities: Snorkelling, hire a 4WD, rent a kayak
    Free Activities: Swim, explore the island
  • Travel Day Magnetic Island to Rainforest Experience
    We catch the ferry back to the mainland in the morning, and travel by train to Tully, arriving at lunch time. From here you can join our Stray exclusive Rainforest Experience (additional cost) or continue on the train to Cairns. Those who choose the Rainforest Experience will travel by bus into the heart of the stunning Tully Gorge National Park. We’ll cool off in a beautiful swimming hole this afternoon, before heading to our camp for a BBQ dinner (included) and spend the evening sharing stories around the campfire.

    Accommodation: Camping at Rainforest Experience, or hostel in Cairns
    Optional Paid Activities: Rainforest Experience - includes dinner, breakfast, camping and activities
  • Travel Day Rainforest Experience to Cairns (via Tully)
    This morning you can take a guided walk through the forest to learn about the traditional indigenous usage of the land. In the afternoon, we jump on the train to our final destination, Cairns. We arrive by late afternoon, so you'll have time to get ready to celebrate the final night of your epic East Coast adventure. There's heaps to do in Cairns so check out your Stray Mate app for all the best options.

    Accommodation: Central hostel in Cairns
    Optional Paid Activities: White water rafting, skydiving, bungy jumping, Great Barrier Reef trips
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!

Special Deals

ON SALE!

 Usually $1265, Now $925
Get a FREE Dolphin Kayak in Byron Bay!
Offer valid from 1 October to 5 November 2019.

Mick Pass - Sydney to Cairns Price information AUD per person

Price

Description

Tour code: MICK
  $1265
Adult
  $915
Adult - 10 Day Flash Sale! Ends September 26th 2019
  $925
ON SALE Plus free Dolphin Kayak. Book before 5 November 2019.
Local fees payable
$120
local fees

Departure information

Starts

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)

Ends
Cairns


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.

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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.