To celebrate the launch of our new 30 day ePack, we've planned out the ultimate itinerary for 30 days on Australia’s East Coast just for you!
Welcome to stunning, shimmering Sydney. The world-famous gateway city to Australia is the perfect place to start off the trip of a lifetime. Base yourself at one of five central Sydney YHAs for the next three nights and enjoy everything the Harbour City has to offer.
After Sydney has swept you off your feet, it’s time for your first slice of R&R in the nearby Blue Mountains. On day four, drive or hop on the train and in two hours you’ll be in Katoomba, the main mountain town of the Blue Mountains. Before you do anything else, catch sunset at Echo Point, which looks out to the valley and the famous Three Sisters rock formation.
Head up the road and check in for two nights at Blue Mountains YHA. Cosy up next to the hostel fireplace or walk down Katoomba St to find dinner. Station Bar is known for its insanely good wood-fired pizzas and live music.
Wake up refreshed, breathe in the fresh Aussie mountain air and check out these top spots for your day in the Blue Mountains:
Enjoy a second night at Blue Mountains YHA after a big day outside, and get ready to start your journey north tomorrow.
The next few days involve gorgeous beaches, crazy coastal outlooks and Australia’s best surf towns. Say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of the big cities for a while, and get ready to live the beach bum life. Your next stop is Bellingen, the perfect place to call it a night after spending the good part of the day snaking up the stunning Pacific Highway.
Check in for one night at the laidback Bellingen YHA, sitting just inland of the coast amongst beautiful countryside. The alternative town is full of arts and crafts, coffee shops, markets and refreshing swimming holes to cool off in.
Your next destination, Coffs Harbour, is just a hop, skip and a jump away, just 35 minutes further north along the Pacific Highway.
Check in for two nights at Coffs Harbour YHA, right across the road from the harbour, beaches and restaurants. This little town is one of the coast’s best kept secrets, sitting neatly in between mountains and ocean, with plenty to do in a two day visit.
After two days in Coffs Harbour, it’s time to head north to Yamba, voted the number one town in Australia by Australian Traveller magazine in 2014! It’s one of Australia’s most famous surf breaks, according to ever surfer, ever.
Check in for one night at Yamba YHA, an honest-to-goodness family-run business famous for ‘Shane’s Yamba Tour’.
Now that you’ve experienced authentic Yamba, it’s time to head up the road to famous Byron Bay, the hippie and party town that has it all, and is just under two hours’ drive north.
Check in at your choice of two Byron Bay YHAs for three nights of pure backpacker bliss. This is THE meeting point for backpackers travelling Australia’s east coast, so soak it in.
After three days in Byron Bay, the time has come to move on (sigh) and continue the journey north (yay!). But before any of that can happen, one must go and recover in tranquil Nimbin. Just one hour inland of Byron Bay, Nimbin is a little hippy enclave surrounded by stunning hinterland.
Check in for one night at Nimbin Rox YHA, a hostel nestled in lush tropical gardens amidst 25 acres of the magical Nimbin Valley. Relax, rewind, recharge and get lost with the fairies.
Now that you’ve had some serious relaxation dude, follow the light towards the shimmering Gold Coast, just over one hour’s drive away.
Check in for one night at Coolangatta YHA, dip your toes in the sand and enjoy the world-class surf breaks.
After all these beach trips and nature breaks, it’s about time for another city destination. Bustling Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, sits right ahead, just over one hour’s drive north from Coolangatta.
Check in for three nights at Brisbane City YHA, which is perched high up on a hill and right in the middle of where it’s all happening.
Now that you’ve loaded up on all that Brissie has to offer, it’s time to hit the road again to nearby Noosa on the dazzling Sunshine Coast.
Check in for two nights at Noosa Heads YHA, a gorgeous heritage-listed guesthouse just 100 metres from Noosa’s Main Beach.
It’s time to hop on up to Hervey Bay, check in for the night at Hervey Bay YHA and get ready for a full on two-day overnight trip to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island departing tomorrow morning.
What you’ll see on Fraser Island:
You’ll get back late, so pop into Hervey Bay YHA again for the night, and ready for a flight in the morning.
Hightail it back to Brisbane and head straight to the Domestic Airport for a two and half hour flight to tropical Cairns, where you’ll spend the next three nights at Cairns Central YHA.
Phew, after three packed days of tropical adventure in Cairns, it’s time to escape south towards Mission Beach, where there’s less crowds and more tropical paradise all to yourself.
Rest your sleepy head at Mission Beach YHA for the next two nights of lounging or adventuring, whatever you please!
Okay, so maybe you didn’t get much of a chance to relax with all these incredible things to do. Your next stop is three hours south and a short ferry ride from the mainland city Townsville across the water to laidback Magnetic Island.
Check in for one night at Magnetic Island YHA, surrounded by koala-filled national park.
Your last stop on your ultimate east coast road-trip is ahead. All good things must come to an end, so you may as well go out with a bang. Hit the road south for three hours and find Airlie Beach, the gateway to the blissed out Whitsunday Islands.
What you’ll do in the Whitsundays:
Potter back onto the mainland with your sea legs, and finish up with one more night at Airlie Beach YHA. Relax, and take a look back at one of the best trips of your life.
Want to lock in discounted beds for your big trip? Stretch your backpacking budget with YHA's ePacks! These prepaid accommodation vouchers allow you to stay at YHA hostels across Australia from just $23 per night. Stay for up to 3 consecutive nights in one hostel. Simply choose the ePack that best suits the length of your trip and get booking!
Image credits: Destination NSW, Tourism and Events Queensland, Tall Ship Adventures