20 Days
Duration
Sydney Cairns
Location

Travelling from Sydney 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 Mick Freestyle Tour is for you!

This trip is an extension of the popular Mick Freestyle Pass – but it includes your first nights accommodation in every stop as well as the top tours on your route – like Fraser Island, Whitsundays and even the Blue Mountains.

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. You can even treat the Mick Freestyle Tour as a set itinerary and sit back and enjoy the East Coast.

Travelling between Sydney 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 Byron Bay, 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 River Retreat Tipi Camp, Tully Rainforest Experience and Barrington Tops National Park – so you get to see an alternative side to the usual backpacker trail.

Alongside that are some awesome included activities – like Hunter Valley wine tasting, a visit to a Koala Hospital, ocean rafting and snorkelling.

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 surf longer in Spot X? No worries!

Found work sailing on the Whitsundays? Easy as!

Make the most of the East Coast, and meet some new buddies – the Stray Australia Freestyle Tours are the way forward!

 

1

Day 1

Sydney (Arrival Day)

Check into your central located hostel and get ready for your epic East Coast adventure.

Accommodation included: Central Sydney accommodation

Meals included: n/a

Activities included; n/a

Optional activities; Bondi to Coogee beach walk, explore King Street Wharf, Royal Botanic Gardens, Taronga Zoo

2

Day 2

Blue Mountains Day Trip

Meet: 7.30am Wake Up! Hostel, Sydney Central (please be ready waiting 15minutes prior to departure).

Prepare for an epic day of adventure to see some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia. Our first stop out of Sydney is at Euroka to spot wild kangaroos and other wildlife in a natural clearing. Next, we stop off in the local town Glenbrook for a coffee/snack break. We then have a 1.5-hour hike to the stunning Wentworth Falls and viewpoints of the beautiful Jamison Valley. Enjoy a light picnic lunch and then trek to a remote waterfall and lookout. We head up to view the famous 3 Sisters lookout to take a couple of selfies, before driving back to central Sydney for a well-earned drink (beer/wine or soft drink).

Accommodation included: Central Sydney accommodation

Meals included: L

Activities included: Blue Mountains day trip- guided walk, wildlife spotting

Optional activities: n/a

3

Day 3

Sydney to Barrington Tops (Strademark Stop)

Meet: Wake Up! Hostel at 8am (please be ready waiting 15 minutes prior to departure).

We depart the big city and head to the Hunter Valley wine area for a tasting at one of Australia’s most famous vineyards. We then travel through the backcountry to our stunning stop on the edge of Barrington Tops National Park (a World Heritage Listed Area). We stay in our own private lodge overlooking the Barrington River. You’ll spend the afternoon tubing down the river and then in the evening have a few drinks and relax in the hot tub.

Accommodation included: Lodge at Barrington Tops

Meals included: D

Activities included: River tubing, wine tasting

Optional activities: n/a

4

Day 4

Barrington Tops to Spot X Surf Camp

Meet: At the lodge

Wake up in the morning and enjoy breakfast with an amazing view. We then head north, with a break to visit a koala hospital to learn about their efforts in preserving koalas, and then stop at a nature reserve to spot wild kangaroos hopping along the incredible coastline. We arrive at our waterfront accommodation at Spot X in the early evening where you’ll have dinner at camp.

Accommodation included: Spot X accommodation

Meals included: B, D

Activities included: Koala hospital visit, wildlife spotting

Optional activities: n/a

5

Day 5

Spot X Surf Camp to River Retreat (Strademark Stop)

Meet: At the Stray bus

This morning take part in a fun group lesson, learning the basics of surfing. If you love the beach or are keen to hone in your surf skills, we recommend staying longer to do a Surf & Stay. In the afternoon we travel to our River Retreat and go for a guided canoeing trip, spotting wildlife along the way.  In the evening have an Aussie BBQ, learn how to cook some damper and toast marshmallows around the campfire.  We sleep in wilderness cabins or in swags under the stars.

Accommodation included: Cabins or camping

Meals included: B

Activities included: Surf lesson, canoeing (or guided walk if bad weather)

Optional activities: Hop-off to extend your stay for a Surf & Stay

6

Day 6

River Retreat to Byron Bay 

Meet: At camp

We leave our camp early, hop on our bus and head up towards Byron Bay, Australia’s famous surf and arts town. We stop in the picturesque town of Yamba along the way for lunch where you can have a walk around or a swim in the Angourie Blue Pool.  We have an orientation drive on the way to Byron Bay to help you get your bearings.

Accommodation included: Byron Bay accommodation

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: Angourie Blue Pool swimming, Byron Bay orientation drive

Optional activities: n/a

7

Day 7

Full Day Byron Bay 

Today you’ll have the day to yourself to explore.  You can perfect your surfing skills, party, do a dolphin kayak trip, visit the alternative town of Nimbin (additional costs), or just relax and take in the laidback, hippy vibe.  We recommend taking a walk to the lighthouse to view the Australian mainland’s most easterly point. 

Accommodation included: Byron Bay accommodation

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: n/a

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

8

Day 8

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, you may want to get off here 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 with Stray).  Once you’ve checked-in, you’ll have a safety briefing for your 4WD trip that starts the following morning.

Accommodation: Noosa or Rainbow Beach accommodation

Meals included: N/A

Activities included:  Danger Point border crossing

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

9-10

Day 9-10

Fraser Island

Wake up early 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

11

Day 11

Fraser Island to Rainbow Beach/Noosa 

Today you’ll spend the morning walking through magical sand dunes and soaking up the sun. You’ll return back to Rainbow Beach (or Noosa) in the early afternoon. 

Accommodation: Noosa or Rainbow Beach accommodation

Meals included: 1 B, 1 L

Activities included: Beach walk

Optional activities: n/a

12

Day 12

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

13

Day 13

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 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. 

Note: Depending on which day you arrive into Emu Park, you may have an extra night / day (additional cost)

Accommodation: Overnight train 

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: Treasure Island Adventure

Optional activities: Snorkeling or kayaking

14

Day 14

Full Day Airlie Beach

We arrive off the overnight train early in the morning. We grab some breakfast and your guide will give you a brief walking orientation tour of Airlie.  Then you have the rest of your day free in Airlie Beach to relax.  Explore the town, go shopping or hang by the local lagoon.

Accommodation: Airlie Beach accommodation 

Meals included: n/a

Activities included: Orientation walk

Optional activities: Skydiving, swimming in the lagoon

15-16

Day 15-16

Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Islands

Meet: 8.30am Abell Point Marina

Wake up early and head down to the marina in time for a 2-day, 1-night adventure through the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands. 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 sailing adventure, spending the night at sea. 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. You’ll return back to Airlie Beach at the end of the second day to spend the night.

Accommodation: Overnight boat & central Airlie Beach accommodation

Meals included: 2L, 1D, 1B

Activities included: Sailing, snorkeling

Optional activities: n/a

17

Day 17

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: Diving, 4WDing in Barbie Cars

18

Day 18

Magnetic Island to Rainforest Experience (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

19

Day 19

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

20

Day 20

Cairns

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 sydney cairns mick pass hop on hop off bus freestyle network east coast

What’s Included: 

  • All transport including the Stray bus between Sydney and Rainbow Beach/Gympie, fast trains between Gympie and Cairns, local transfers and return Magnetic Island ferry
  • 20 meals, 19 nights’ accommodation including 1 overnight train
  • Guidance from local guide
  • Access to Stray Mate app
  • Blue Mountains Day Trip
  • Wine tasting Hunter Valley
  • River tubing, Barrington Tops National Park
  • Surf lesson, Spot X Surf Camp
  • Koala hospital visit, Port Macquarie
  • Kangaroo spotting, Emerald Beach
  • Canoeing experience, River Retreat
  • Angourie Blue Pools, Yamba
  • Byron Bay orientation drive
  • Danger Point Border Crossing walk
  • Carlo Sand Blow Walk, Rainbow Beach
  • 3 Day / 2 Night Fraser Island 
  • Treasure Island Adventure at Emu Park
  • Airlie Orientation Walk
  • 2 Day / 1 Night Sailing Adventure
  • Forts Walk at Magnetic Island
  • Tully Gorge National Park Rainforest

What’s Not Included:

  • Most meals
  • 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.

stray australia sydney cairns mick pass hop on hop off bus freestyle network east coast oz

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