Australia’s East Coast – A 10-Day Itinerary!

Everyone knows Australia is big but it isn’t until you travel around the country that the realisation of just how big it is sinks in. A popular route is to travel the east coast from Melbourne to Cairns, a distance of over between 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers depending on the route you take and a journey that would take over 32 hours to drive. That means missing out on some of Australia’s best hot spots.

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Image by Gillian Morris. All rights reserved.

To give a taste of what there is on offer here is a guide to a small part of that route, Sydney to Brisbane in 10 days.

Day 1 EXPLORE THE STREETS OF SYDNEY

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Image Source: Pixabay

Get your bearings in Sydney by walking around the city. Visit Circular Quay and see two of the city’s iconic attractions, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. For thrill seekers different bridge climbs are available. In the evening, head to Darling Harbor for dinner and drinks and enjoy the views as the city lights reflect in the calm water of the wharf.

Cost: Bridge climb from $153-$178AUD($113-$131USD)

Day 2 EXPERIENCE SYDNEY BY BOAT AND BUS

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Image Source: Pixabay

Another fabulous way to experience Sydney and the surrounding area is to take the Sydney Harbour Eco Hopper, a hop-on-and-off ferry service to Manly Bay stopping at Taronga Zoo, Fort Denison, a former defence fort where you can have lunch in the cafe, and Watson’s Bay where you can relax on the beach or take a walk and enjoy the spectacular views. If boats don’t appeal, the Sydney and Bondi Explorer Bus Tour stops at various points around the city, such as The Rocks for souvenir and craft shops, pubs and art, Chinatown and the infamous Bondi Beach.

Cost: Ferry and Bus Tours $34AUD ($25USD)

Day 3 TAKE A TRIP TO THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

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Image Source: Pixabay

Just two hours by train from Sydney is the stunningly beautiful Blue Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with valleys that stretch for miles and bush walks that meander from the top of the cliffs to the bottom of the gorges. There are many lookout points from which to enjoy the impressive scenery, including an iconic rock formation called the Three Sisters.

Cost: A single fare, off peak from Central to Katoomba $6UAD ($5USD)

Day 4 ENJOY THE NATURAL WONDERS OF PORT MACQUARIE

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Image Source: Wikipedia. By Nathanhb98 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43066294

With two flights daily from Sydney to Port Macquarie the journey is quick and easy, but the better way to travel is by Greyhound coach in order to see some more of Australia’s beautiful eastern seaboard. Port Macquarie is home to a breathtaking coastline where boardwalks make it easier to walk and take in the scenery. Whale watching tours are available from May to November when humpback whales make their way north to warmer waters. Learn about Port Macquarie’s convict past at the museum or visit the Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park for up close and personal encounters with some of Australia’s animals.

Cost: Greyhound coach $55AUD ($41USD); Port Macquarie Museum $7AUD ($6USD); Billabong Koala and Wildlife park $28.50AUD ($21USD)

Day 5-6 WATERFALLS AND BIRDWATCHING IN COFFS HARBOUR

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Image Source: Pixabay

Jump back on the Greyhound coach and travel north to Coffs Harbour, full of rainforests,
national parks and beaches. Take the easy walking track to visit the magnificent Bangalore Falls or have a picnic in the forest and swim in the crystal clear water of Urumbilum River. Go fishing in Bongil Bongil National Park and have a barbeque on the beach or, for more active holidaymakers, try mountain biking through the forest trails or kayaking along the Bonville Creek. There’s also 165 species of birds that live in the park, so this is a fabulous spot for avid birdwatchers.

Cost: Greyhound coach $38UAD ($28USD)

Day 7-8 WATCH THE SUNRISE IN BYRON BAY

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Image Source: Pixabay

Take the bus or train to Byron Bay to relax on its dazzling beaches where surfers ride the huge waves or take an overnight trip to Mount Warning for camping under the stars before watching the sun rise over the mountains. Walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse along the scenic coastal bushland and gaze over the ocean at Australia’s most easterly point for the chance of spotting dolphins and turtles. Go horseriding in Lennox Heads and feel the sea breeze while galloping along the beach that stretches for miles ahead.

Cost: Train $35AUD ($26USD); Bus $48 ($36USD); Mount Warning trip $189AUD ($140USD); Horseriding $100AUD for an hour and a half ($74USD)

Day 9-10 ART, BEACH AND ZOO IN BRISBANE

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Image Source: Pixabay

Upon arrival in Brisbane by train, two days may not be enough time because there is plenty to keep visitors occupied in Queensland’s capital city. Art enthusiasts will love the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art both of which have an interesting range of art and exhibitions. Go to South Bank Parklands for a delicious lunch or walk through the flowering bougainvilleas of the Arbour before relaxing under a tree next to Streets Beach. For animal lovers, take a trip to Australia Zoo near the Glasshouse Mountains for animal encounters and guided tours. Learn how Steve Irwin’s dream of educating people about animal conservation has become a reality.

Cost: Train from $29AUD ($22USD); Australia Zoo $59AUD ($44USD)

This article was contributed to Tripdukaan by Gill Morris (www.talkingthailand.co.uk)

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