12 Days (Min)
Duration
Byron Bay > Cairns
Location

Travelling from Bryon Bay to Cairns and want the flexibility of a hop on, hop off bus pass but with the opportunity to meet heaps of new travel buddies and have an awesome guide help you out?

Well then the Stray Australia Kat Freestyle Tour is for you.

An extension of the Kat Freestyle Pass – this also includes your first nights accommodation in each stop as well as some of the top tours like Fraser Island and The Whitsunday, so you can treat it as a mini tour!

Stray Australia (formally Loka Travel) is one of the freshest and best ways to travel the East Coast of Australia – combining all the ease and fun of an organised tour with the flexibility of a hop on, hop off bus pass.

Travelling between Byron Bay and Cairns on the Stray Australia mini buses (max 24 passengers) you’ll stop off at all the must see destinations along the East Coast – including spots like Rainbow Beach (for access to Fraser Island), Airlie Beach (for access to The Whitsunday Islands) and Magnetic Island.

Stray Australia packages in some unique stops too – like the exclusive Indigenous Camp and Barrington Tops National Park – so you get to see an alternative side to the usual backpacker trail.

Manage your travel plan with the Stray Travel app and with up to 12 months to complete your trip you can extend your stay in any stop and explore some more.

Want to party longer in Airlie Beach? No worries!

Love kicking back on Magnetic Island? Easy!

Make the most of the East Coast, tailor it to suit your needs and meet some new buddies – the Stray Australia Freestyle Tours are the way forward!

 

1

Day 1

Byron Bay (Arrival Day)

Check into your Byron Bay accommodation and prepare for your upcoming adventure.  We recommend taking a walk to the lighthouse to view the Australian mainland’s most easterly point for sunset. 

Accommodation included: Byron Bay accommodation

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: n/a

Optional activities: Surf lessons, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, Nimbin day trip, etc.

2

Day 2

Byron Bay to Noosa or Rainbow Beach 

Meet: Main bus stop on Jonson St, Wake Up hostel or Arts Factory hostel (please confirm in advance)

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 Rocks. We then drive into Surfers Paradise where you may want to get off to experience the sun, sand, tans and high-rises of Australia’s most developed beach area. We drive through Brisbane (to pick up and drop off travellers in the city centre) then onto the upmarket beach resort town of Noosa.  Hop-off here or continue onto Rainbow Beach to start your Fraser Island adventure (make sure you’ve booked in the dates in advance).  Once you’ve checked-in, you’ll have a safety briefing for your 4WD trip that starts the following morning.

Accommodation: Rainbow Beach accommodation

Meals included: N/A

Activities included:  Danger Point border crossing

Optional activities: Hop-off on the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Noosa.

3-4

Day 3-4

Fraser Island

Wake up early on Rainbow Beach and head out for your 3 days and 2 nights on Fraser Island. Whilst on Fraser you’ll experience the largest sand island in the world, go on a 4WD expedition, explore the island and check out incredible sites to snap epic pictures, swim in lakes, natural pools and the ocean all in paradise. 

Accommodation: Fraser Island accommodation

Meals included: 2 D, 1 B, 1 L

Activities included: 4WD tour, guided island tour

Optional activities: Walks, swimming

5

Day 5

Fraser Island to Rainbow Beach 

Today you’ll spend the morning walking through magical sand dunes and soaking up the sun. You’ll return back to Rainbow Beach in the early afternoon. We recommend taking a walk up to Carlo Sand Blow for sunset.

Accommodation: Rainbow Beach accommodation

Meals included: 1 B, 1 L

Activities included: Beach walk

Optional activities: Carlo Sand Blow sunset walk

6

Day 6

Rainbow Beach to Emu Park (Strademark Stop)

We have the morning to relax or do your choice of activities (extra cost), before heading to the train station to start our first train journey. We travel to Rockhampton then are met by a private bus, which takes us to Emu’s Beach Resort. We are welcomed onto the resort and find out more about tomorrow’s Treasure Island Adventure on Great Keppel Island.  

Accommodation: Emu’s Beach Resort

Meals included: N/A

Activities included: N/A

Optional activities: Wild dolphin centre or sandboarding.

7

Day 7

Emu Park to Airlie Beach (Overnight Train)

Meet: Emu’s Beach Resort 

This morning we head to a tropical paradise like nowhere else on our Treasure Island Adventure.  Our destination, Great Keppel Island, is located on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef with untouched coral, turtles, reef fish and manta rays all straight off the beach.  Relax or have a go at snorkelling or kayaking (additional cost) before exploring the island.  We have dinner at Emu’s Beach Resort before we catch the train in the evening and travel overnight to Airlie Beach – the gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

Accommodation: Overnight train 

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: Treasure Island Adventure

Optional activities: Snorkeling or kayaking

8

Day 8

Airlie Beach & Whitsunday Islands

Meet: 8.30am Abell Point Marina

We arrive into Airlie Beach early in time for you to set out on a day trip to the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands (Note: you can do the Whitsunday day tour on a later day if you wish to relax for a day or two first). These picturesque islands are set in the Great Barrier Reef and are home to some of the world’s most pristine beaches. You’ll go on an epic adventure where you’ll visit Whitehaven beach and sail around the reef with various stops to get out and swim/snorkel, seeing plenty of marine life along the way.

Accommodation: Airlie Beach accommodation 

Meals included: L

Activities included: Whitsunday Day Tour

Optional activities: n/a

9

Day 9

Airlie Beach to Magnetic Island

Meet: Outside Base Backpackers

We start early with a local bus to the train, a ferry out to beautiful ‘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 on Magnetic Island. 

Accommodation: Magnetic Island accommodation

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: Fort’s Walk

Optional activities: Wildlife Centre, 4WDing in barbie cars, diving

10

Day 10

Magnetic Island to Tully Rainforest (Strademark Stop)

Meet: YHA Bungalow Bay reception or at the ferry terminal (please confirm)

We travel back to the mainland on the ferry, travel by train to Tully – getting in at around lunchtime. After we get off at Tully, we go on to embark on Stray’s signature Rainforest Experience. We travel by bus into the amazing rainforest of Tully Gorge National Park. Cool off with a swim in a beautiful swimming hole before a BBQ dinner and stories around the campfire.   

Accommodation: Camping in tents 

Meals included: D

Activities included: Swimming, campfire 

Optional activities: N/A

11

Day 11

Tully to Cairns

Meet: Tully train station

We wake early at our rainforest camp for breakfast and then have an interpretative walk through the forest, learning about the traditional indigenous usage of the land.  We then head back to Tully and jump on the train to our final destination, Cairns. We arrive late afternoon, then get ready to party tonight to celebrate the final night of your epic East Coast adventure.

Accommodation: Central Cairns accommodation 

Meals included: B

Activities included: Interpretative walk through the rainforest

Optional activities: Tully Rafting

12

Day 12

Cairns

Meet: Tully train station

Today is the last day of your Stray adventure. Be sure to ask your guide for any recommendations on activities and things to do from Cairns.

Accommodation: n/a 

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: n/a

Optional activities: Bungy jumping, Great Barrier Reef dive/snorkel trip, skydive, Atherton Tablelands tour, Cape Tribulations tour

stray australia byron bay cairns kat pass hop on hop off bus freestyle network east coast tour

Minimum Duration: 12 Days // 11 Nights

Departs:  At least 3 times per week, year-round 

Blackout Periods: Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Departure Location: Byron Bay

Finish Location: Cairns

Group Size: Min 4 / Max 40

Transportation: Stray bus, comfortable train, Magnetic Island 

ferry and local transfers

Age Requirement: 18+, 16-17 with parental consent

What’s Included: 

  • All transport including the Stray bus between Byron Bay and Rainbow Beach/Cooroy, fast trains between Cooroy and Cairns, local transfers and return Magnetic Island ferry
  • 12 meals, 11 nights’ accommodation (includes 1 overnight train journey)
  • Danger Point Border Crossing walk
  • Carlo Sand Blow Walk, Rainbow Beach
  • 3 Day, 2 Night Fraser Island experience
  • Bluff Point walk at Emu Park
  • Treasure Island Adventure 
  • Airlie Orientation Walk
  • 1 Day Whitsunday Sailing Tour
  • Forts Walk at Magnetic Island
  • Tully Gorge National Park Rainforest Experience

What’s Not Included:

  • Most food
  • Additional accommodation in places where you hop-off to extend your stay

What to Bring:

  • Clothes (mainly light with some warm layers)
  • Walking shoes (sneakers/trainers)
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit & towel
  • Toiletries
  • Hat & sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Day-pack**
  • Water bottle
  • Waterproof jacket (shell)
  • Do NOT bring: Sleeping bag, sheets, blankets or pillow

** our trips are pretty active; you’ll need a day-pack to carry the essentials during activities and walks but you won’t have to carry your pack/suitcase that far

Notes:

  • Luggage restrictions:  A backpack or small/medium suitcase (up to 15kg) and a small daypack for day excursions.
  • Reconfirmation instructions: All the activities/accommodation listed are open-dated, please contact Stray’s reservations team (email hey@straytravel.com) at least 48 hours prior to arrival to confirm your bookings.  For Fraser Island and Whitsunday trip bookings, we recommend booking at least 7 days in advance to guarantee your spot.   In peak periods (e.g. Christmas/New Years Eve, Easter, School Holidays/Events) some accommodation may be subject to an additional surcharge or minimum number of nights.
  • Freestyle Tours include the first night’s accommodation at each destination, a selection of top-rated activities and some meals. Due to how Stray’s timetable works, travellers may have an additional night in certain places which will need to be booked and paid for in addition to the nights included in their tour. If travellers choose to hop-off and extend their stay in any location, all additional accommodation, meals and activities are at their own expense.   Additional accommodation and activities can be booked via the Stray Mate app.

This itinerary is a guide. Given the spontaneous nature of our trips and lack of control over Australia’s weather(!), what we do each day might occasionally vary.

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