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Get ready to uncover Queensland's many wonders. From the pure sands of Whitehaven Beach, there's so much laid-back beauty in this part of Australia. And that's before you head to Magnetic Island, taking epic coastal walks and meeting the local koalas, then ending on a high with an expedition to the Great Barrier Reef itself.Contiki acknowledges the Traditional and Torres Strait Island owners of the land, sea and waters of the spectacular Australian continent. As we explore this remarkable land, we recognise and respect their custodianship of a unique, ancient culture and country.
Airlie BeachHello Airlie Beach! This tropical paradise is the perfect place to kick off our adventure. Our trip starts at Base Backpackers where we'll meet our fellow adventurers.Accommodation: Base Backpackers (or similar)
Airlie BeachIs there anywhere in the world more beautiful than the Whitsundays? We think not. With 74 perfect islands at your fingertips, an open sea calling your name, today you'll get to explore one of the worlds most lusted-after holiday destinations with a day trip to the spotless Whitehaven Beach, including snorkelling. This is as close to heaven as you can find on planet earth.Accommodation: Nomads Airlie Beach (or similar)
Airlie BeachWe've got a free day in Airlie Beach today! This vibrant hub of the Whitsundays is ours to explore. We could get out onto the waters with an optional sea kayaking adventure, take to the sky with a Skydive over Australia's most beautiful drop zone or even a relaxing scenic flight over the Whitsunday islands including Whitehaven Beach and Heart Reef. For those looking for a more relaxed option, kick back on the beach sipping something sweet or explore the cute boutiques, bistros and alfresco restaurants that adorn the seafront. It's a hard life.Accommodation: Nomads Airlie Beach (or similar)
Airlie Beach to Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) via TownsvilleIs there anything better than the Whitsundays? We think our next destination definitely comes close! We'll board a train this morning heading for Townsville. Here we'll board the ferry to our next destination. Magnetic Island is an apt name for this captivating isle, with its coastal walking trails and gum trees teeming with lazy koala bears. We'll have plenty of time to explore, partake in watersports in the bright turqouise waters or meet some of the local marsupials. But this evening, we'll enjoy some champagne and watch the sun set over the bay.Accommodation: Nomads Magnetic Island (or similar)
Yunbenun (Magnetic Island)We have a whole day on this paradise island - lucky us! We'll waste no time meeting the locals, with a chance to eat an unlimited chef-cooked breakfast with some Koalas at Selina Koala Village. Then we can check out some of the walking trails - such as the Forts Walk which offers up stunning views of the Palm Island Group as well as WWII fortifications, and the chance to see more koalas in the wild- or enjoy some free time at Horseshoe bay, taking a dip on the azure waters and relaxing on the beach. See Magnetic Island's resident Rock Wallabies at dusk before a free evening, where we can watch the sunset and check out some of the local bars.Accommodation: Nomads Magnetic Island (or similar)
Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) to Gimuy (Cairns) via TownsvilleAfter breakfast this morning we'll say farewell to our koala friends and depart Magnetic Island on a ferry. But we'll never forget its singular beauty. Back in Townsville we won't hang around too long, as we're hopping on a train headed to Cairns, where we'll arrive late afternoon after a gloriously scenic journey along Australia's East Coast. Welcome to the city where rainforests meet reefs. We'll enjoy one of the most memorable meals you've ever experienced today with our interactive Bush Food MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® tutorial and dinner. An experienced chef will guide us through a history of Bush Food as you sample a variety of native spices and fruits, explaining their tastes, origins, and traditional uses before we enjoy our dinner, which features native game. It's an incredible cultural feast, and the perfect way to start our adventure in Cairns.Accommodation: Gilligans (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Gimuy (Cairns)Rise and shine, our entire day today is an unforgettable MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience, packed with history, heritage and natural beauty, as we enjoy a spectacular a day trip to the oldest tropical rainforest in the world: Daintree. With its ancient ferns and vibrant canopies, this place will take our breath away. There's a reason David Attenborough called it 'the most extraordinary place on earth.' As well as admiring the lush rainforest, we'll also meet the local Kuku Yalanji people and learn about their rich Aboriginal culture and history. We'll get the chance to view a smoking ceremony and take an art class with an Aboriginal artist. We'll also learn about ancient Dreamtime stories, local history and how these are shared through art. Then, we'll get to create our own unique souvenir to take home in the form of a canvas that tells our own stories. What a day; and we're not done yet.Accommodation: Gilligans (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Lunch
Gimuy (Cairns)Today you'll have the option to board a catamaran out to the reef to snorkel or dive in the crystal waters and gaze at the colourful coral and even more vibrant marine life. Back on board, the expert marine crew will tell us all there is to know about this stunning, but vulnerable, natural miracle.Accommodation: Gilligans (or similar)
End Gimuy (Cairns)Our adventure ends this afternoon, but not before we have a chance to escape our comfort zones and try some of the adventurous activities that Cairns is famous for. Anyone for bungy jumping?
- 2 Lunch (L)
- 2 Dinner (D)
- 5 Breakfast (B)
- Airlie Beach: Grab your new buddies, snorkel round the reef, see ‘the world’s best beach’ and eat lunch on a boat. A proper ‘pinch yourself’ moment.
- Whitsunday Islands: The Great Barrier Reef is home to nearly 9,000 species of sea creatures. This means it’ll impress even the saltiest ‘sea dogs’.
- Airlie Beach: Think you’ll catch some zzzzs on the train to Townsville? Think again. You won’t want to miss a moment.
- Townsville: Catch a boat from the mainland to Magnetic Island.
- Magnetic Island: Pack some comfy shoes and climb up to Hawking's Point for sundown. Yoga poses for Insta: optional.
- Magnetic Island: Go koala-spotting, see WWII fortifications, or just have a beer in the sun. There’s something for everyone on this trail.
- Magnetic Island: Mingle with Magnetic Island's resident Rock Wallabies at dusk. Just watch these cheeky little guys don’t steal your wallet!
- Magnetic Island: Catch a boat from Magnetic Island to the mainland. Wave goodbye to your new BFF Reggie the Koala and promise you’ll write.
- Townsville: Things heat up as the landscape gets even more tropical. Soak up the scenery on this train trip from Townsville to Cairns.
- Daintree Rainforest: Check out the oldest rainforest in the world, home to frogs, butterflies, bats and more.
Make Travel Matter®
- Magnetic Island: Enjoy a chef-cooked breakfast at Selina Koala Village, where you’ll meet these furry little guys and learn what makes them tick.
- Cairns: Eat like a local with this chef-guided bush food tutorial and dinner (thankfully, not a witchetty grub in sight!)
- Daintree Rainforest: Tour the world’s oldest rainforest with an expert. Sir David Attenborough called Daintree: ‘the most extraordinary place on earth’.
- Daintree Rainforest: Learn how ancient ‘Dreamtime’ stories were shared through art. Then unleash your inner Banksy and create a masterpiece at the Janbal Gallery.
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Prepare to spend more than usual on a Contiki tour.
We were lucky that the group of people with were good, but it was a large group tour and did have some of the downfalls of a trip of that nature, like frequent breaks for the bathroom, difficulty when eating out together, and getting things on and off the coach. The trip was still great and a good value for the money.
It was a good value and the experiences included were worth it. The only part that wasn't the best were the accommodations as it was hit and miss. Half of the hotels on the trip were okay, and the other half were really nice.
I had an amazing trip!
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