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Queensland East Coast Experience (Brisbane to Cairns) 8 nights

9 days/8 nights Brisbane - Noosa Heads - Hervey Bay - Rockhampton - Mackay - Airlie Beach - Townsville - Cairns.

Price from £591 per person

This self-drive tour of glorious Queensland includes 9 days car rental with Hertz Australia, 8 nights standard accommodation, meals indicated and daily driving notes. Price includes car pick up from downtown depot - supplements may apply from airport.

Brisbane – Noosa Heads – Hervey Bay – Rockhampton – Mackay – Airlie Beach – Townsville - Cairns

Prices depend on seasonality and based on twin share accommodation.

Optional Tour Supplements:-

Full day Fraser Explorer Day Tour ex Hervey from £80 per person

Full day Cruise Whitsundays Whitehaven Adventure & Hamilton Island ex Airlie Beach from £82 per person

Full day Beauty Spots Tour ex Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island from £80 per person

Supplement for 2 nights Mercure Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island and return catamaran transfers instead of 2 nights Mantra Hervey Bay from £32 per person twin share

DAY 1 BRISBANE – NOOSA (NM)

Pick up your HERTZ STANDARD AUTOMATIC rental car at the Brisbane City Depot or Brisbane Airport Depot and commence your drive to Noosa via the Bruce Highway.

NOOSA HEADS has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, coupled with the natural beauty of the area. The headland is a National Park and there are several walks meandering through it to the various attractions of Boiling Pot, Hell's Gates and Paradise Cave, to name a few. Noosa's boutiques and restaurants are first class, and there is no shortage of entertainment.

OVERNIGHT: Mantra French Quarter, Noosa Heads

DAY 2 NOOSA – HERVEY BAY (NM)

GYMPIE is the main entrance into the delights of Cooloola Beach, Great Sandy National Park and the glories of Fraser Island. At the Deep Creek Gold Fossicking Park you can explore an old goldmining site and pick, shovel or pan for gold.

MARYBOROUGH is one of Queensland’s oldest cities and was first settled in 1843. Many European immigrants arrived in the town during the second half of the nineteenth century. The splendid old houses have given Maryborough its reputation as one of the most beautiful historic towns in Queensland. This can be appreciated by following the Heritage Walk, which takes in 28 historic buildings in the central business district.

HERVEY BAY is full of history, beauty and attractions centred round sheltered waters and some 14 kilometres of golden beaches. Hervey Bay offers a colourful concentration of lifestyles and its waters are home to turtles, dolphins and dugongs. It is the whale watching capital of the world and the gateway to Fraser Island.

FRASER ISLAND is a unique part of the Fraser Coast region, and its unusual formation of sand and rainforest make it a special source of adventure for visitors to explore. Although well known amongst fishermen and 4WD enthusiasts, it is the history and Aboriginal culture that gives Fraser Island its individual character, expressed through wonderful coloured sand cliffs, unique fresh water lakes and diverse flora and wildlife.

DAY 3 HERVEY BAY

Full day at your leisure in Hervey Bay to explore the area or alternatively you may wish to take a full day tour to Fraser Island.

OVERNIGHT: Mantra Hervey Bay, Urangan

Optional Tour: Fraser Explorer Day Tour

A Fraser Explorer Tours coach will pick you up from your Hervey Bay hotel for your transfer to River Heads, the departure point of your tour. Upon arrival at Wanggoolba Creek, join your vehicle and learn about the natural and cultural history of Fraser Island with the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear, blue waters of Lake McKenzie, the island's most beautiful lake. Walk along the banks of Wanggoolba Creek, as it flows through the rainforest, from Central Station. Lunch is served at Eurong Beach Resort. Drive along spectacular Seventy-Five Mile beach and stop to swim in the fresh waters of Eli Creek. This swiftflowing creek, the largest on The Eastern Beach, spills 80 mega litres of fresh water into the ocean every day. Visit the wreck of the Maheno and marvel at the coloured sands of the Pinnacles. See an ancient forest being uncovered as Stonetool Sand Blow moves across the island. Return to Wanggoolba Creek to board the barge back to River Heads.

DAY 4 HERVEY BAY - ROCKHAMPTON (NM)

Depart Hervey Bay and travel to Torbanlea where you turn right onto the Bruce Highway. Continue through the towns of Childers, Gin Gin, Miriam Vale and Calliope to Rockhampton.

CHILDERS is a sugar town as well as a National Trust town. Even though a 1902 fire destroyed much of the town, many impressive Victorian buildings remain and are listed by the National Trust. A visit to the Pharmaceutical Museum containing the original cedar fixtures, a 1906 cash register and leather-bound prescription books is a must. At the Isis Sugar Mill you can see raw cane turned into familiar white sugar crystals.

GIN GIN is a pretty town, situated on the Bruce Highway. Attractions in town include the Historical Museum, the Currajong Gardens and the Moonara Craft Spinning Inn. East of Gin Gin on the Bundaberg road are the Mystery Craters. These strange sandstone formations were probably made by meteors.

ROCKHAMPTON is the heart of the beef cattle country. Cammoo Caves, approximately 23km north of Rockhampton, are two cave systems, which are open to the public. Cave coral, fossils and gigantic tree roots can be inspected in these dry, limestone caves. A short distance away on the coast is Yeppoon the stepping-off place for visits to Great Keppel Island. Byfield State Forest just north of Yeppoon is a pleasant, secluded spot in a rainforest environment; at Cooberrie Park Flora and Fauna Centre visitors can cuddle a koala or feed a kangaroo; and Koorana Crocodile Farm offers something different. Mount Morgan is a historic township approximately 40km south of Rockhampton. Here you can tour through a 100-year-old mining town.

OVERNIGHT: Travelodge Rockhampton, Rockhampton

DAY 5 ROCKHAMPTON - MACKAY (NM)

Depart Rockhampton via the towns of Marlborough and Sarina to Mackay.

EUNGELLA NATIONAL PARK is situated 84km west of Mackay and is one of Queensland’s most spectacular parks, with cloud shrouded peaks, deep gorges and lush rainforest. Most of the park is inaccessible but the southern section, adjacent to the access road, is popular with campers and day visitors. The park can provide a special treat for visitors lucky enough to see one of the resident platypuses in the creek by the camping area. The park has graded tracks leading through rainforest to waterfalls and natural swimming pools.

MACKAY is surrounded by miles of sugarcane fields, which give the city its title of Sugar Capital of Australia. During the crushing season (July to November) Farleigh Mill, a working sugar mill, and Polstone Sugar Cane Farm offer tours. Mackay’s heritage walk takes in the Police Station, the Court House and Commonwealth Bank, buildings that are all over 100 years old and listed with the National Trust.

OVERNIGHT: Choice – Comfort Inn the Rose, Mackay

DAY 6 MACKAY - AIRLIE BEACH (NM)

PROSERPINE is a productive valley which was named after Proserpina, the Roman goddess of fertility, and supports a prosperous sugar industry. There is a pleasant hike to Cedar Creek in the rainforest-clad hills behind the town.

AIRLIE BEACH is a popular holiday resort, and Gateway to the Whitsunday Passage - home of hundreds of Barrier Reef Islands. The tropical island resorts of Hayman, Hamilton, Daydream and South Molle, to name a few of the 74 islands that are just off the coast of Whitsunday and which lie inside the Great Barrier Reef, are only some of the attractions of the area. Sunshine, blue water and sandy beaches are the theme of the Whitsundays.

OVERNIGHT: Mango House Resort, Airlie Beach (2 nights)

DAY 7 AIRLIE BEACH

Full day at leisure in Airlie Beach to explore the area or alternatively you may wish to take a full day tour of the Whitsunday Islands.

Optional Cruise: Whitehaven Adventure & Hamilton Island (Morning on Hamilton)

At 7.45am board your modern catamaran vessel to commence a Whitehaven Adventure and Hamilton Island cruise. Cruise across to Hamilton Island where you will have use of the complimentary shuttle bus service to explore different areas of Hamilton Island. Three different routes take you to different parts of the island. Enjoy pub lunch at Marina Tavern. After lunch re-board the Cruise Whitsundays vessel for the scenic cruise to Whitehaven Beach, along the way exploring the more remote beautiful bays, islands and beaches. Cruise past the beautiful coastline and soaring peaks, which is home to an amazing array of wildlife. Arrive at Whitehaven Beach with its crystal clear waters and pristine white silica sand. Wander along the beach to your own secluded stretch, laze on the beach or cool off in the azure waters. Your day includes swimming and beach sport activities.

DAY 8 AIRLIE BEACH - TOWNSVILLE (NM)

Depart Airlie Beach travelling back to Proserpine where you re-join the Bruce Highway and travel through the towns of Bower and Ayr to reach Townsville.

TOWNSVILLE is the second largest city in Queensland and main commercial centre of Northern Queensland. Castle Hill offers a panoramic view of Townsville. Great Barrier Reef Wonderland is one of the most popular attractions in Townsville and is well worth a visit with its walk-through underwater tunnel, giving a great all-round view of the coral and the fish.

OVERNIGHT: Mercure Inn Townsville, Townsville

DAY 9 TOWNSVILLE - CAIRNS (NM)

Depart Townsville today via the Bruce Highway and head towards Cairns via the towns of Ingham, Mission Beach and Innisfail.

INGHAM – The climate and soil were perfectly suited to the introduction of sugarcane back in the early 1870’s and Ingham continues to prosper from its sugar production. The region has a strong Italian and Spanish Basque background. The Wallaman Falls National Park with its 300 metre falls, bushwalks and spectacular rainforest and swimming and picnic spots is well worth a visit.

MISSION BEACH has fourteen kilometres of coastline and wide white sandy beaches met by rainforest.

INNISFAIL – The character of the district was established with the influx of migrants, mainly Italian, after World War I. The town and the area have retained that very cosmopolitan mix ever since. In the 1950’s Dr Alan Maruff started growing tea commercially at Nerada, west of Innisfail, and over the years the production of tea from the Nerada Plantation has continued to rise. Tours of the plantation are conducted regularly. At Mena Creek, south of Innisfail are the ruins of Paronella Park, a Spanish-style castle built by a migrant named Jose Paronella. There are also walks through rainforest and stands of bamboo and kauri pine to Mena Creek and Teresa Falls. Mt. Bartle Frere, north of the town, is the highest mountain in Queensland.

Return your vehicle to the Cairns Airport depot or Cairns city Hertz Depot.