Travel with a group of like-minded explorers on a guided tour of Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef, two of Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage sites!
Fraser Island is the biggest sand island in the world, created over millennia from sand drifting off of mainland Australia. You'll come to understand why the local Aboriginal people named it K’Gari, or paradise, as you explore freshwater lakes and creeks, giant sand dunes, and lush rainforest, among other natural treasures.
The next day, head further north to the lovely coastal town of 1770, your home base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. Take a full-day boat tour to Lady Musgrave Island on the Great Barrier Reef, where you can snorkel, swim with turtles, and discover the underwater world up close.
You will stay at beachside resorts in three locations, with your choice of a private room or shared accommodation. See Pricing for a range of lodging options. Each day, you’ll enjoy various included activities, as well as the chance to participate in optional activities (at own expense). Three breakfasts, two lunches, and three dinners are included.
Day 1: Gold Coast, Brisbane or Sunshine Coast – Fraser Island (L, D)
After pickup from a Gold Coast, Brisbane or Sunshine Coast designated location, your 4WD coach drives to the family-run Mammimo Gourmet Ice Cream. Start your trip on a sweet note as you lick fresh ice cream or sorbet (own expense) and watch a farm demo about sugarcane production. Afterward, get back on the road and head to Cooloola Recreation Area in Great Sandy National Park. Here you’ll spot kangaroos at Noosa North Shore and Teewah Beach. Depending on the tide, you may even get to explore Rainbow Beach by vehicle, and stop at Red Canyon.
After touring beautiful Cooloola, continue to the Fraser Island ferry. Once you arrive on Fraser Island, board a 4WD vehicle for a breezy ride down the sandy highway of Seventy-Five Mile Beach. Along the way, get out at Eli Creek for a dip. You can opt to walk upstream along a boardwalk then hop in the creek’s gentle waters and float back to the beach.
Next, hike along the rocky coast at Indian Head where you get great ocean views. You may catch sight of sharks, turtles, dolphins, rays, and even migrating humpback whales (July to November). Then continue by coach to the Maheno Shipwreck. Your guide provides a tasty picnic lunch at midday. As you drive, keep your eyes peeled for the island’s wild dingos!
Check in at Eurong Beach Resort for the evening, then have dinner at the resort’s restaurant. Afterward, have the option to take a guided night walk on the beach.
Overnight: Eurong Beach Resort, Fraser Island
Day 2: Fraser Island – Rainbow Beach (B)
After breakfast, drive to Pile Valley for a guided walk through the rainforest. Check out the satinay trees, famously resistant to termites and fire and thus popular for timber. Then learn about Fraser Island’s importance to the timber industry at Central Station, a former logging station. Stroll through towering ghost gums, pine trees and king ferns and enjoy the clear waters of Wanggoolba Creek.
Head to Lake Birrabeen for a swim and catch some sun on its sandy beach. Then take a scenic lake drive and end up at Seventy-Five Mile Beach. Have a late lunch (own expense) at Eurong Resort before catching the ferry back to the mainland in mid-afternoon.
After a short drive to Rainbow Beach, your guide will take you to your resort for the night. You’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure. Enjoy swimming or surfing at Rainbow Beach, and marvel at the spectacularly colorful sand. Your resort provides additional activities (own expense) and you can ask the desk for dining recommendations (own expense).
Overnight: Rainbow Beach Resort, Rainbow Beach
Day 3: Rainbow Beach – 1770 (D)
After an early breakfast (own expense), your coach picks you up from Rainbow Beach. After two hours, you will transfer to a second coach that takes you the remaining distance north to the small township of 1770, your home base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
Enjoy great views of the coast as you go, with a stop for lunch (own expense) in Bundaberg and a visit to Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo. Arrive by mid-afternoon to 1770 where you check in to your 5-star resort.
Once you’re settled, choose from a variety of optional activities (own expense) may include kayaking, surfing lessons, or an amphibious-vehicle cruise at sunset. Or simply relax at the pool or beach. In the evening, have dinner at the resort and the night at your leisure.
Overnight: Sandcastles 1770 Motel & Resort in 1770
Day 4: 1770 – Lady Musgrave Island (B, L, D)
In the morning, take an hour-long boat cruise to Lady Musgrave Island, on the Great Barrier Reef. Anchor at Coral Lagoon, a pristine paradise with several options for your day’s activities. Put on provided snorkel gear and dive in for a close look at vibrant fish and coral. You might even end up swimming along with turtles; a large population nest on Lady Musgrave Island. For more thrills, take a deep-sea fishing or scuba diving excursion (own expense), equipment included.
Prefer to stay dry? Watch the underwater world from a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat.
Enjoy lunch, morning and afternoon tea on board the boat. If conditions permit, end the day with a sunset tour. Then head back to the resort for dinner and an evening at your leisure.
Overnight: beach resort in the town of 1770
Day 5: 1770 – Gold Coast, Brisbane or Sunshine Coast (B)
Check out after breakfast and hit the beach to swim, snorkel, or take an optional surfing lesson (own expense). Afterward, depart from 1770 and head south. Stop for lunch in Bundaberg (own expense) and look for the Glasshouse Mountains as you drive. You will be returned to your starting point in the evening to end your tour.