Our Mick Tour takes you on an epic journey up the East Coast. From Sydney to Cairns, we’ll show you all the hot spots in between, plus some perfect hidden gems. See the route here.
Freestyle Tour Inclusions:
You'll be travelling up the coast on a mix of our Stray buses, comfortable trains and ferry.
Local Tour Guide
Far more than just a guide - expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide.
19 nights accommodation including 1 overnight train.
20 meals included.
(Any dietary requirements or allergies must be advised upon booking so they can be catered to where possible)
Top rated activities
Our Mick Freestyle Tour has heaps of awesome activity inclusions:
- 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 4WD tagalong tour
- Treasure Island Adventure at Emu Park
- Airlie Orientation Walk
- 2-Day / 1-Night Whitsunday Sailing Adventure
- Forts Walk on Magnetic Island
- Rainforest Experience, Tully Gorge National Park Rainforest
Not Included: Additional meals and activities to the ones included above. This is not a fixed itinerary tour so depending on which day you depart you may need to pay for 1- 2 additional nights accommodation in some locations. The cost of additional accommodation outside of the 19 nights is not included, but can easily be booked with your guide or on the Stray Mate app.
Is this trip right for you?
✓ Do you want to explore with a group of like-minded travellers?
✓ Do you want to take the pressure off, kick back relax and let someone else organise your transport?
✓ Do you want to explore ALL of Australia's East Coast and visit some of those harder to reach, remote destinations?
✓ Do you want your accommodation, some activities and some meals pre-paid for?
✓ Do you want to start in Sydney and finish in Cairns?
The Mick Freestyle Tour is a 'beaut' choice for you!
More inclusions combined with the same flexibility to hop off anywhere along our route!
Our mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more. 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended.
- Barrington Tops - Go tubing down the river and then relax in a giant hot tub on the edge of a national park with your fellow Stray Mates!
- River Retreat - Head out on canoes to spot wildlife, before cooking a group BBQ under the stars.
- Spot X - Shaka brah! There really is no better place to learn to surf and catch some waves along the East Coast.
- Emu Park - Snorkels at the ready... Emu Park is the gateway to the incredible Great Keppel Island, home to some of the most diverse marine wildlife on the East Coast.
- Tully Rainforest Experience - Get off the grid in the world heritage Tully National Park, chase waterfalls and tell stories around the campfire.
- All the activities/accommodation listed are open-dated, please contact Stray’s reservations team ([email protected]) at least 48 hours prior to arrival to confirm your bookings. For Fraser Island and Whitsunday Sailing trip bookings, we recommend booking at least 7 days in advance to guarantee your spot.
- You can break your journey at any of the stops through any of the travel days and just connect with a later Stray bus or rail departure (guided or unguided). You can pre-book your own accommodation via our Stray Mate App or your guide will help book it for you.
- If travellers choose to hop-off and extend their stay in any location, all additional accommodation, meals and activities are at their own expense.
Get inspired and start planning your trip!
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All transport including the Stray bus between Sydney and Rainbow Beach/
and Cairns, local transfers an
d return Magnetic Island ferry
20 meals, 1
nights’ accommodation including 1 overnight train
Guidance from local guide
ccess to Stray Mate a
Blue Mountains Day Trip
Wine tasting Hunter Valley
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
Mick Freestyle Tour: Sydney > Cairns 18/19
- Wednesday (Minimum 22 days, 1 extra free day in Rainbow Beach, Airlie Beach & Magnetic Island)
- Friday (Minimum 23 days, 2 free days in Rainbow Beach, free day in Airlie Beach & Tully)
- Saturday (Minimum 22 days, extra free day in Sydney, Airlie Beach & Tully)
For trips purchased after August 15 and beginning after Oct 1 2019:
- Monday (Minimum 24 days)
- Friday (Minimum 24 days)
The first day of your tour is your first night accommodation in Sydney. All tours include 2 nights accommodation in Sydney and a day trip to Blue Mountains.
The itinerary below is for the current season. Given the nature of our trips and lack of control over weather, what we do each day may occasionally vary.
Check into your centrally located hostel and get ready for your epic East Coast adventure. Start the Tour in Sydney with a day to yourself to discover the city sights and world famous landmarks.
Prepare for a 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 to fuel up for 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).
We depart the big city early this morning to make our way to the Hunter Valley wine region for a tasting at an award-winning vineyard. From there, we carry on through the backcountry to our first stunning Strademark stop right on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops National Park. At our Stray exclusive accommodation overlooking the Barrington River, you’ll spend the afternoon river tubing on the mild rapids. Finish the day with a shared group dinner and a scenic soak in the massive hot tub.
We depart after breakfast and journey north through the remote countryside back towards the coast. Our next stop is the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where you can 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. After this, we head to Emerald Beach, an iconic kangaroo hangout, where if you’re lucky you can spot them hopping along the beach. We arrive at our beachfront overnight stop Spot X in the early evening, where you’ll have dinner at camp.
The morning at Spot X you’ll take part in a fun group lesson to learn the basics of surfing on some of the best beginner waves in Australia. If you love the beach or are keen to hone your surf skills, we recommend staying longer to do a Surf & Stay. We depart around midday, grabbing a bite to eat in town before travelling to our relaxing, rural River Retreat. Spend the afternoon on a guided canoe trip down the Nymboida River to learn about the area, which is home to amazing birds, snakes, and the incredibly shy platypus, and unwind with a refreshing dip in the river. This evening, we’ll gather round a bonfire and sleep in wilderness cabins or tents beneath the stars.
Next up - Byron Bay, known as the most chilled out town in Australia. On the way there, we stop in the picturesque seaside town of Yamba for lunch. We'll also visit the Angourie Blue Pool, an old quarry that was accidentally (and awesomely) filled by an underground spring, meaning you can now cool off in an epic fresh water pool right on the beach! Upon arriving in Byron Bay, we’ll take you on an orientation drive around town to help you get your bearings, showing you the points of interest and the top spots for food and shopping.
You have a full free day in Byron Bay to "cheer up, slow down, and chill out” as the town’s famous welcome sign instructs. And there is plenty to do in this laidback hippy town: practice your surfing skills down at the beach, walk to mainland Australia’s most easterly point at the Cape Byron Lighthouse, search for dolphins and other marine life on a sea kayaking trip, visit the alternative town of Nimbin (additional cost), or wander around town sampling the delicious food and beverages on offer.
This morning we cross the border from New South Wales into Queensland. Our destination today is Rainbow Beach, but those with more time might want to hop off and explore tourist hot spot Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Queensland's capital city of Brisbane, or the upmarket resort town of Noosa. Hop off in Noosa for the night 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 Fraser Island 4WD trip that starts the following morning. Afterwards, you'll welcome the chance to stretch your legs this evening with a walk to Carlo Sand Blow in Rainbow Beach to catch a gorgeous sunset.
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.
Please note: You will need to pay a $20 cash insurance fee & $10 linen fee to take part in this activity.
After breakfast we'll drive up to stunning Eli Creek, the largest freshwater creek on the East Coast of the Island, which carves its way through to the beach and pours 80 million litres of water a day into the Pacific Ocean. After spending some time here, we head up to the famous Maheno Shipwreck for photo ops and some history about this Fraser icon. After lunch and another stop or two, we head back to the camp for dinner and drinks.
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.
After stopping briefly to pick up those who stayed in Noosa, we depart from Cooroy on our first train journey of the trip. Kick back for a scenic train ride to Rockhampton, where we meet the bus and head to our next Strademark destination, Emu Park. After arrival at the resort, you'll find out more about tomorrow's Treasure Island Adventure on the stunning Great Keppel Island.
This morning you head to a tropical paradise on our Treasure Island Adventure. 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 snorkeling or kayaking (additional cost) before exploring the island in search of the perfect white sand beach. Tonight, we’ll gather together for dinner at Emu’s Beach Resort before we catch our first overnight train to Airlie Beach.
Note: Some trips may have an extra night at Emu Park (additional cost).
The train arrives in Airlie early in the morning, so we'll start by grabbing breakfast and doing a brief walking tour to help you get your bearings. Then you have the rest of your day free in Airlie Beach to do as you please. The best options are to check out one of the rainforest hikes, splash around in the lagoon to cool off, and meet your mates at the Strip for a couple of drinks at sunset. Airlie Beach is also the gateway to the famous Whitsunday Islands, another backpacker favourite.
Please Note: Some trips may have an extra night or two at Airlie Beach (extra cost).
Wake up early and head to the marina for the start of your 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 be up with the parakeets this morning with a medley of transport to catch today. Travelling by bus, train and ferry (oh my!) we arrive at our destination of Magnetic Island in the late morning. Nearly 50% of ‘Maggie Island’ is national park land, and it's chock-full of amazing beaches and abundant wildlife. Your guide will join you on a walk to the Forts Complex for incredible views of the island and the opportunity to see koalas in the wild. Then, you can do more exploring on your own, hire a 4WD to cruise around the island or just relax by the pool.
Note: Depending on which day you depart you may have a free day on Magnetic Island
We catch the ferry back to the mainland in the morning, and travel by train to Tully, arriving at lunch time. From here we embark on our Stray exclusive Rainforest Experience, travelling by bus into the heart of the stunning Tully Gorge National Park. We’ll cool off in a beautiful swimming hole this afternoon, before heading to our camp for a BBQ dinner and an evening sharing stories around the campfire.
Start your day with an early breakfast followed by an interpretative walk through the forest, learning about the traditional indigenous usage of the land. There is also the opportunity to go white water rafting on the mighty Tully River through World Heritage-listed rainforest. In the afternoon, we return to Tully to jump on the train to our final destination, Cairns. We arrive by late afternoon, so you'll have time to get ready to celebrate the final night of your epic East Coast adventure.
Note: Some trips may have an additional night in Tully.
Today is the last day of your Stray adventure, but there are still plenty of activities and things to do from Cairns. Be sure to ask your guide for recommendations!
Mick Freestyle Tour: Sydney > Cairns 18/19
Need to Know
Stray's operates a transport network using comfortable air conditioned buses and trains. The buses are driven by qualified, knowledgeable guides who will lead you on a true adventure around our carefully thought out route, offering the mix of iconic 'hot spots' and special 'off the beaten track' destinations we refer to as STRADEMARK places. Our guides also travel on the trains with you, helping make your trip as easy as possible.
Best of all you have total freedom to hop on and off at destinations along the way so you can spend more time in the places you love.
HOW DO YOU HOP ON AND OFF THE BUS/TRAINS?
‘Hop off’ the bus/trains anywhere along the route, even places in between the designated stops. Either plan to hop off in advance or do it spur of the moment – it’s up to you!
To hop back on, simply book your next travel date and pickup location through our Stray Mate app (you'll receive log in info after you've booked).
The buses run on a regular timetable with multiple departures a week so you can plan ahead too.
Your pass is valid for up to 12 months from your first day of travel, meaning you can hop on and off as often as you like for up to a year.
Please note: if you're heading to Magnetic Island your pass also includes ferry tickets
Short on time?
WHAT ABOUT ACCOMMODATION?
With Freestyle Tours, at all of Stray's overnight stops along the route, you'll have a dorm bed included at our preferred accommodation. Simply book with the Stray office to lock in your dates. Depending on which day you depart you may need to pay an extra night's accommodation in some locations, these are easily bookable via the Stray Mate app.If you choose to hop-off and stay a few nights, it is your responsibility to book those extra nights in. If you'd like a private room, ask your driver, but note, these are subject to availability on the day.
WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN I DO?
WHO TRAVELS WITH STRAY?
Our travellers are an energetic outgoing crowd who share a common objective: to have a great time! Most are aged between 18 - 30 although we have no maximum age because we believe age doesn't matter - it's more about having a thirst for adventure! We get a wide range of nationalities from all over the world with the majority from UK, Europe and America. Plenty of our travellers are travelling solo and some travel as part of a couple or group of friends.