Stray Sydney to Cairns 21 day 20 night

On Discount !

From $5345

Fast facts

  • Depart Sydney Finish Cairns
  • 21 day 20 night Adventure
  • includes 14 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • Accommodation dorm style
  • Includes Whitsundays & Fraser island

Dont go astray! Travel with Stray Australia on the epic 21 day East Coast adventure visiting the must see destinations down under.

Above all, our largest and best tour. The Stray Sydney to Cairns 21-Day Emu Tour will take you on a long journey up the East Coast. The Emu is the ideal travel companion to lead you from Sydney all the way up to tropical Cairns. You’ll visit glistening beaches and beautiful rainforests, Interact with cheeky wildlife, and meet welcoming locals. And find some off-the-beaten-path destinations that aren’t on the typical tourist route. You’ll experience all that Australia has to offer in style while traveling with a local guide. Who will share their insider knowledge and a group of like-minded travelers who will become lifelong friends.


Stray Private Coach Small Group

Firstly, take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery, and let someone else do the driving. Only Stray travels by private, air-conditioned bus. All the way from Sydney to Cairns, with a maximum of 24 onboard for your comfort.  See more and do more along the way with stops for walks, waterfalls, swimming holes, food, and wine tasting!

Stray Guide

So much more than just your tour guide: expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support, and local insider knowledge. because they know every inch of this country. You can’t get this from a Google search!

Stray Accommodation

20 nights are included. Your accommodation is in 4-6 shared dorms in a range of hostels, backpacker resorts, and eco-lodges. Also apart from 2 nights K’Gari or Fraser Island (safari tents) and 2 nights Whitsunday Sailing (shared dorms or sections onboard yacht),

Stray Meals

24 meals included: 13 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 7 Dinners

Top rated Experiences

Waterfalls, canoeing, sailing, wildlife spotting! There are so many awesome inclusions with this Tour and we can’t wait for you to experience them:

  • Above all discover your inner wine connoisseur at Hunter Valley. And taste award-winning samples fresh from the vineyard
  • Catch a glimpse of local wildlife and snap the amazing views at Port Stephens
  • Get a closer look at Australia’s laziest (and cutest) marsupials at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
  • Visit the quirky towns of Bellingen, Eumundi and Kuranda
  • Connect and gain an understanding of the incredible Aboriginal Culture through a bush walk and cultural experience
  • Centre yourself with a yoga class in laid-back Byron Bay
  • Drop into the iconic Surfers Paradise and a local conservation park
  • Spend a night exploring the buzzing riverside city of Brisbane
  • Have free time in Byron, Noosa and Cairns to relax or explore at your own pace on another great day.
  • Embark on a 3-day 4WD Safari to K’Gari/Fraser Island. Camp under the stars, visit a shipwreck and swim in crystal clear waters before enjoying sundowners at sunset
  • Also visit the Mon Repos Turtle Centre to discover how incredible turtles really are. And taste some of Bundaberg‘s famous rum
  • Explore the breath-taking Whitsunday Islands during a 2-days/2-night sailing trip. Snorkel over vibrant fringing reefs and visit some of the world’s most pristine beaches
  • Discover the magic of the Atherton Tablelands – from amazing waterfalls and lush rainforest to a pristine crater lake!
  • Go for a moonlit paddle through the rainforest to stargaze and spot wildlife
  • Enjoy the relaxed Cairns lifestyle and the fun nightlife that it’s famous for!


  • 27 February (last seats available)
  • 10 April
  • 8 May
  • 5 June
  • 10 July
  • 7 August
  • 4 September
  • 9 & 23 October


Stray are the experts in taking you off the beaten track
We’re all about finding one-of-a-kind experiences and immersing you in the REAL Australia.

Our epic Sydney to Cairns driver guides will ensure you get the most out of your trip. 
Tick off your East Coast bucket list with ease and be introduced to places you wouldn’t discover on your own.

Travel with Stray is about creating lasting connections and sharing experiences. 
Stray travellers are open minded adventurers who make the most of every moment.

We aim to leave Australia better than we found it, supporting local communities and protecting our environment.
Travel with us and together we can make a positive change.

Monday Arrive Sydney

​​G’day and welcome to your epic East Coast adventure. Your tour begins in Sydney with a day to yourself to explore the city sights and world famous landmarks. If you’ve just flown in, we recommend taking the train from the airport to Central Station. Your accommodation is conveniently located straight across the road. Check into the hostel anytime after 2pm, and why not begin your trip with a delicious cocktail? head down to Circular Quay and the Opera Bar. Located at the base of the Opera House, with views of the Harbour Bridge. You’ll get all the iconic Sydney pics you can dream of. At 7pm head down to the hostel bar for pizza night. To meet your Stray guide and travel mates for the next few weeks.


Accommodation included: Wake Up Sydney or similar

Optional activities: Bondi to Coogee beach walk, visit Darling Harbour, explore King Street Wharf, Royal Botanic Gardens, Taronga Zoo, walk around the Opera House and the Rocks, the oldest area of Sydney. You can also take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly.

Meal options: Head down to the hostel bar for Pizza Night

Tuesday Sydney to Port Stephens

We depart the harbour city this morning and make our way north to the Hunter Valley wine region. Where we’ll taste some of the local wine and cheese before continuing through to Port Stephens. Our destination for the night.

We’ll be staying at the Surfside hostel, set on 6 acres of natural bushland, with kangaroos and wallabies on site. This boutique accommodation is about creating a relaxing experience in an environmentally conscious way. They’ve used wood and glass to maximise light and ensured all development encompasses the natural flora and fauna. 

Once we’ve checked in, you can explore the area, relax, or head to the beach for a swim.

Tonight, we’ll enjoy a classic Aussie BBQ dinner and get to know each other – anyone have a good icebreaker?

Accommodation: Surfside Hostel

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Meals included: BBQ Dinner

Included activity: Wine and Cheese Tasting

Free activities: Wildlife spotting at our accommodation, Swim or walk at the beach

Wednesday Sydney to Port Macquarie

This morning either enjoy a relaxing sleep in, or get up bright and early and jump in a 4WD bus. To partake in some first-class sandboarding down the Stockton Sand Dunes (optional expense). The local guide will teach you how to safely sandboard. As well as inform you all about the amazing area and the rich aboriginal history of the region.

Depending on the conditions, we can go for a walk to the summit of Tomaree Head. Which stands at 161 metres above the Port Stephens entrance. This short 2.2km return track offers breathtaking views of the coastline and panoramic views of Yacaaba Head, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands. As well as Zenith, Wreck and Box Beaches, Fingal Island and Point Stephens Lighthouse. You might even be lucky enough to see some dolphins (and if it’s May – September, you could see Whales!).

Late morning, we’ll pack up and move on to our next overnight stop, Port Macquarie. We’ll have lunch on the way before visiting the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Where we’ll 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.

Accommodation: Port Macquarie YHA or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Optional paid activities: Sandboarding 

Meals included: Breakfast

Included activity: Koala Hospital visit

Free activities: Sleep in, swim, relax on the beach, Headland Walk

Thursday Port Macquarie to Byron Bay

Today we’re heading to the iconic surfing town of Byron Bay, known for its relaxed vibes and no worries attitude. On the way to Byron, we’ll stop at the historic and hipster town of Bellingen to get some lunch, followed by a special Aboriginal experience learning about the First Nations people of Australia. 

Your Cultural Experience takes place at an important cultural site of the Gumbaynggirr people, the stunning location of “Niigi Niigi” (Sealy Lookout) within the Orara East State Forest. You’ll go for a 2-hour tour and see 360 degree views, as well as getting the opportunity to immerse yourself in culture through stories, songs, language and the uses of native plants. By taking part in the experience, you’re making a direct contribution to the revitalisation of Gumbaynggirr language and culture. This will be an unforgettable cultural experience with an emphasis on authentic connection and contributing to helping a community regain their culture and identity.

When we arrive in Byron Bay, we’ll take you on an orientation drive around town to help you get your bearings, showing you points of interest and the top spots for food, shopping and nightlife. For the next few nights we’re staying at boutique hostel The Surf House, located right in the heart of Byron and just a couple of hundred metres from the main beach – heaven!

Accommodation: The Surf House or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants, BBQ at the rooftop of the hostel

Meals included: Breakfast

Included activities: Historic town and Aboriginal Cultural Experience

Friday Byron Bay Free Day

Today you have a full day in Byron Bay to “cheer up, slow down, and chill out” as the town’s famous welcome sign instructs. Start your day off with a morning yoga class on the rooftop of your hostel and then spend your day exploring the laidback hippy town.

You can walk to Cape Byron Lighthouse, mainland Australia’s most easterly point, or check out the many eclectic boutiques and cafes around town. You could join a sea kayaking or snorkel trip and search for dolphins and other marine life, or even go for an iconic Australian activity – learning to surf.

Accommodation: The Surf House or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Optional paid activities: Surf lesson, dolphin kayak, skydive

Included activity: Morning yoga class

Free activities: Walk to the lighthouse, swim, relax on the beach, check out the shops and cafes, free surfboard hire

Saturday Byron Bay Free Day

You lucky thing – you have ANOTHER free day to explore Byron Bay today. Tick off any activities you didn’t get the chance to do yesterday, or pass the day wandering the township or relaxing on the beach. Hone your surf skills with more lessons or borrow one of the free surfboards at your hostel to try it out by yourself.

If you’re a foodie, we assure you that eating your way around Byron is an experience in itself.  There are heaps of vegetarian and vegan options available, a couple of our favourites are the Cardamom Pod for lunch and No Bones for dinner, both of which are super close to your hostel. This evening, head to the Saturday twilight markets for some live music and lots of boutique stalls showcasing local arts, crafts and some incredible food.

Accommodation: The Surf House or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants.  We recommend trying one of the many great vegan options!

Optional paid activities: Surf lesson, dolphin kayak, snorkel or dive, skydive

Free activities: Walk to the lighthouse, swim, relax on the beach, check out the shops and cafes

Sunday Byron Bay to Brisbane Via Surfers Paradise

This morning, meet your guide and group outside the Surf House hostel at 8:50am. Then we’ll jump on the Stray bus and depart north across the NSW border to Queensland, and head to the famous Surfers Paradise where we’ll stretch our legs and grab some lunch. We’ll then head to a nearby nature reserve to spot some wild kangaroos, before continuing to Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland for the night. And head down to Southbank for a walk along the Brisbane River and then check out some of the many bars and restaurants.  We’ll then head to a nearby nature reserve to spot some wild kangaroos, before continuing to Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland for the night. We’ll head down to Southbank for a walk along the Brisbane River and then check out some of the many bars and restaurants.


Accommodation: Brisbane YHA or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Free activities: Visit Surfers Paradise, kangaroo spotting, catch the Brisbane city ferry

Monday Brisbane to Noosa

It’s a relaxed departure today as we leave Brisbane mid-morning and make our way north to Noosa. We’ll stop along the way for lunch and a walk to see incredible views of Noosa and Noosa headlands before arriving at our accommodation in the afternoon.

Our Noosa accommodation is less of a hostel and more of a resort, with a pool and a licensed cafe (did someone say poolside margaritas?) as well as designer dorms with privacy screens and USB charging points. This evening, we’ll grab a drink at the bar and make plans to head and explore Noosa.

Accommodation: Bounce Noosa

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, dinner at hostel

Meals included: Breakfast, drink on arrival

Free activities: Swim, walks, lookouts

Tuesday Noosa Free Day

Today you have a completely free day to spend doing whatever you like. Explore the Everglades by kayak, or book a skydive and see Noosa and surroundings from above. Grab a sun lounger and get some much needed R&R, go for a walk around the incredible headland, visit the beach or have a long, lazy lunch in the sun because you deserve it. The Noosa Surf Club is one of our faves so if you’d like to go out for dinner, you can’t go wrong with a local hotspot!


Accommodation: Bounce Noosa

Optional paid activities:  Everglades Kayak, Skydive, Surf Lesson

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Free activities: Chilling by the resort pool, going for a walk in the National Park, visiting the famous beach or checking out the local boutiques and cafes

Wednseday Noosa to K’Gari( Fraser island)

It’s an early start this morning as you head out for your 3-day, 2-night K’Gari (Fraser Island) adventure. During this amazing experience you’ll explore the largest sand island in the world on a 4WD expedition, see the magical Lake Boorangoora (Mckenzie), discover towering rainforests, spot a wild dingo, cruise along endless sandy beaches and lose yourself in the magic of stargazing. If you fancy learning how to drive a 4WD, you can do that! This is going to be one of the best experiences of your whole trip and is definitely the best way to explore this world-heritage listed National Park.

After a bus, ferry and 4WD transfer, you’ll arrive at Beach Camp on K’gari (your accommodation for the next 2 nights). You’ll have some tasty lunch and then you can check out the camp which has a kitchen and a deck with ocean views. We’ll then head out for your first adventure to see some of the Island highlights. This evening, you’ll arrive back at camp to enjoy dinner, share stories, play the didgeridoo around the campfire and engage in some mind-blowing stargazing. Tonight, you’ll be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves as you settle into your safari tent (which includes a comfy mattress and hotel quality linens).

Accommodation: Beach Camp K’gari (Fraser Island) Safari Tents*

*Between Oct-Nov 22 the groups will be staying in cabins rather than safari tents.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks

Included activities: K’gari adventure tour

Thursday K’Gari

This morning, wake up to the gorgeous golden sunrise over the ocean, enjoy breakfast and get ready for a fun-filled morning exploring K’gari and her hidden treasures. Enjoy lunch on the beach and then spend the afternoon discovering more lakes (there are over 100!) and epic views before arriving back to camp in time for another dinner under the stars and some fun evening activities.


Accommodation: Beach Camp K’gari (Fraser Island) in 2-3 share Safari Tents*

*Between Oct-Nov 22 the groups will be staying in cabins rather than safari tents.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks

Included activities: K’gari adventure tour

Friday K’gari to Bundaberg

After breakfast today you’ll hit the inland tracks to discover towering trees and take one last refreshing dip, enjoy lunch in the forest and then begin your journey back to the mainland, arriving into Rainbow Beach around mid-afternoon ready for your next journey north up to Bundaberg. 

Bundaberg is well-known for sugarcane, rum, ginger beer and more recently has been called the ‘Bundaberg Bowl’ for its reputation of growing and producing fresh food that’s served across the country. Your accommodation in Bundaberg is a relaxed eco-resort, this time you’ll be located by a nature reserve and have access to a spa, sauna, tennis courts and more!  Tonight we’ll have a group BBQ dinner and a chilled evening.

Bundaberg Rum Distillery

Accommodation: Kelly’s Eco Resort in villas or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks, BBQ Dinner 

Included activities: K’gari adventure tour

Saturday Bundaberg Free Day

It’s a day of exploring Bundaberg today! After breakfast we’ll head to the Mon Repos turtle centre for a wholesome morning learning all about these amazing animals. The centre supports the largest concentration of nesting mating turtles on the eastern Australian mainland.  You can grab a snack or lunch at the onsite indigenous inspired Gidji cafe.

In the afternoon we’ll head to the Bundaberg Rum Centre for a tour of their distillery and a tasting of their iconic rum. Or, if you’d prefer a full day out on the water and the chance to visit the Southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, your guide can book you onto the incredible Lady Musgrave Full Day Snorkel Tour for a day of snorkelling, a boat cruise, island walk and delicious food.

Accommodation: Kelly’s Eco Resort or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Optional paid activities: Lady Musgrave Full Day Snorkel Tour

Meals included: Breakfast

Included Activities:  Rum Tasting

Free activities: Checking out Bargara Beach

Sunday Bundaberg to Airlie Beach

Today is a big drive day to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the amazing Whitsunday Islands, so load up on the snacks, make sure your phone is charged and you’ve got some good tunes loaded up. We’ll make some stops to stretch our legs and see some sweet views along the way, arriving in Airlie in the evening.

Accommodation: Base Airlie Beach or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, bakery, restaurants

Meals included: Breakfast

Monday Airlie Beach to Whitsundays

This morning, enjoy a sleep in, take a stroll down to the Airlie lagoon for a dip and then check in and receive your briefing for your sailing trip. After lunch, head down to the marina to meet your crew and jump onboard a 76-foot, maxi sailing yacht which will be your home for the next two days. As you leave the marina and Airlie Beach behind you, watch your crew hoist the sails for an exhilarating cruise out to the Whitsunday Islands – part of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Once you arrive out around the Islands, jump in for a swim or snorkel amongst the fringing reef and then enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand on one of the crew’s favourite little beaches. In the evening relax on deck, have a few drinks, get to know the crew. Stargaze and let the calm waters gently rock you to sleep – for the adventurous, mats are provided to sleep on deck under the stars or if you prefer a bit more comfort, a bed awaits you below deck.

Accommodation: Open shared dorm style accommodation on a maxi sailing yacht

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes

Meals included: Afternoon Snacks, Dinner & Dessert (BYO drinks) 

Included activities: Sailing, snorkelling and exploring the Whitsunday Islands

Tuesday Whitsunday Islands

This morning you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in paradise, But as you wake up on a yacht surrounded by beautiful islands and enjoy a delicious breakfast on deck as you sail towards Whitsunday Island, home to the best beach in the world – Whitehaven Beach. You’ll disembark and enjoy a bush-walk to Hill Inlet Lookout and then spend the rest of the day exploring and relaxing on Whitehaven Beach. You can also go snorkelling today, enjoy a sunset beach session and another fun evening onboard with your group and the crew.

Accommodation: Shared dorm cabins/sections on a maxi sailing yacht

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Snacks, Dinner & Dessert

Included activities: Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Lookout, bush-walk,sailing, snorkelling

Wednesday Whitsunday Islands to Magnetic Island

Enjoy your final morning on-board the yacht, have one last magical swim or snorkel, and then sail on back to Airlie Beach. This afternoon, we’ll jump back on the bus and head to Townsville.  We’ll then catch the ferry over to our next destination, Magnetic Island, in the late afternoon. Nearly 50% of ‘Maggie Island’ is national parkland, and it’s surrounded by amazing beaches and abundant wildlife. Your guide will fill you in on the activities you can do around the island over the next couple of days.

Accommodation: Selina or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Meals included: Breakfast, Morning Tea

Included Activities: Sailing, Snorkeling, Magnetic island ferry

Thursday: Magnetic Island Free Day

Today you will wake up in paradise and have a full free day to explore. This beautiful island is home to the historic Forts Complex, which you see in a scenic walk with your Guide. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with some incredible views over the island and ocean beyond. Spend the rest of your day relaxing on the secluded beaches, hiking through native bush or searching for wildlife! Top tip: stay alert and keep your eyes on the trees, Maggie Island is one of the best places in Australia to see koalas in the wild!

Accommodation:  Selina or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, bakery or cafes

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Free activities: Walk

Friday: Magnetic Island to Cairns via Atherton Tablelands

We’ll catch the ferry back to the mainland in the morning, and then we’ll get on the road again and head up to the stunning Atherton Tablelands. We’ll stop at the famous Millaa Millaa Falls along the way for a swim and some amazing photo ops.

We’ll go for a walk and a swim in Lake Eacham – a beautiful crater lake, and visit the heritage-listed Curtain Fig Tree, before making our way to Cairns. Tonight, we’re staying at an amazing resort with its own man-made beach! We’ll have a group dinner at the resort and then check out the legendary Cairns nightlife.

Accommodation: Gilligan’s Cairns or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Included activities: Magnetic Island ferry, swim, walk, waterfalls

Cairns Esplanade

Saturday Free day Cairns

Today is a completely free day. So if you have a few too many cocktails last night, enjoy a lazy sleep-in. And perhaps some hair-of-the-dog by the pool in the afternoon. If you’re ready for another day of adventure, why not book into a tour of Cape Tribulation? Or go to see the iconic Great Barrier Reef?

Accommodation: Gilligan’s Cairns or similar

Meal options: Self-cater, local cafes, restaurants

Optional Activities: Cape Tribulation day trip, bungy jump, Great Barrier Reef trip, skydive, rafting

Meals included: Breakfast

Free activities: Hang out at the amazing resort pool, walk the Esplanade, another option visit the Botanical gardens

Sunday Cairns

Today is the final day of your Stray adventure. Give a wave and a hug to your new friends and head off for the next leg of your adventure. Taking with you the most incredible memories and everything you’ve learned about Australia’s special culture and wildlife And of course, some classic Aussie lingo: G’day Mates!

Need to Know

  • Trip starts: Arrival day is on a Monday and we depart from Sydney on Tuesday morning.
  • Transport: Travel by private Stray bus, ferry and 4WD (K’Gari/Fraser Island), sailing yacht (Whitsundays).
  • Included meals: Any dietary requirements or allergies must be advised upon booking. So that they can be catered to where possible.
  • Guides: Additionally your Guide is your Bus Driver, Activity Organiser, Tour Guide, and friend. They’re always on hand to give you travel trips, advice and any help you need.
  • Stray Travellers: Find your tribe and make meaningful connections together with travellers from all over the world. The majority of our passengers are aged between 20-35 but there is no age limit!
  • But you just need to be reasonably fit and be young at heart! 70% of our travellers are travelling solo.
  • Stray Covid Safety Measures: Staff and operators we will be doing everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission. And we will be playing it safe with safety measures. Such as regular bus cleaning and disinfecting, and having hand sanitiser on the bus. If you would like a copy of our full COVID-19 Safety Plan,

Looking for another great adventure checkout Uluru

Looking for campervan or motorhome rentals? Compare the best companies and get the best price with our live booking engine.

Need some help? Contact us to get started.

Product Help Ref #37453

Our reviews

Our reviews

Stay up to date