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Ultimate East Coast Australia Bucket List

ultimate East Coast Australia bucket list, Byron Bay Lighthouse, Byron bay Australia
Once you’ve had a taste of life down under you’ll never want to leave. Here’s my ultimate East Coast Australia bucket list: whether you’ve got a trip planned or it’s on your actual bucket list (if it’s not, maybe this post will convince you!), these incredible Aussie destinations are an absolute must. Get ready for a serious case of wanderlust…

Driving the East Coast on an epic roadie adventure

The East Coast of Australia was practically made for living the van life. Start or end in tropical Cairns and make your way down to beautiful Sydney, marvelling at perfect beaches, quirky towns, wildlife and awesome surf along the way. If you’ve got plenty of time, why not head all the way round to Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road?!
I began in Cairns and spent 3 gorgeous weeks falling in love. Most of the locations on my east coast Australia bucket list were places I had the joy of visiting. One or two I missed, which is just all the more excuse to go back…
ultimate East Coast Australia bucket list Byron Bay road trip
I cannot recommend booking a campervan and any of your East Coast excursions (Whitsundays, Fraser, Byron activities and sky diving – are you brave enough?!) with RatPack Travel.
Based in Byron Bay themselves, the small RatPack family can tell you everything there is to know about an epic East Coast adventure. Their planning knowledge is invaluable but most importantly, they’ll save you those all important pennies so you can adventure on for longer.
Sammy, a Brit down under and the brain behind Ratpack, was fed up of the way highstreet tour operators and rental companies extort customers. Instead, he escaped the corporate world for something different: a travel company that works tirelessly to be the best and cheapest out there.
For once, something that sounds too good to be true really isn’t. Booking via RatPack will get you the best value and quality tours and you’ll save at least 10% on any campervan booking, compared to going direct to a rental company.
Get in touch with the team via WhatsApp here or fill out this form. Don’t forget to download the free travel planner too!

The Ultimate East Coast Australia Bucket List


Explore Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest

Make like David Attenborough and explore Tropical North Queensland’s incredible Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest; a world heritage listed site where lush rainforest meets reef. Zip-line through the jungle, snorkel the reef, hunt for crocs and ride the famous Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Scuba Dive the Great Barrier Reef

If you’re a wannabe mermaid/man like me then the Great Barrier Reef – home to over 400 coral species and an abundance of marine life – is probably on your scuba bucket list. Unfortunately the reef has taken a tragic hit with climate change and bleaching spoiling much of this beloved natural wonder. If you want to see it, now is the time to don your fins before it’s too late.

Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef Things to do East Coast Australia

Land a Skydive on Mission Beach

Just south of Cairns, Mission Beach is a laid back town with sprawling beaches and a penance for extreme activities! It’s the only place you can land a skydive right on the sand. What are you waiting for?!

Sail the Whitsundays

Have I died and gone to heaven? Oh, nope, it’s just the Whitsundays. When you picture paradise, it’s this. Luscious forests, warm white sand and crystal turquoise waters make the Whitsundays the perfect place to earn your sea legs aboard a sailing boat. I stayed at a resort and it’s one of the only things I regret about my Australia trip; next time I’m back I’ll be hopping aboard a boat for sure.

Whitsundays ultimate East Coast Australia bucket list

Camp on K’Gari (Fraser Island)

World Heritage listed K’Gari is the world’s largest sand island and stretches over 120km off eastern Queensland’s coast. Keep an eye out for the locals, the dingos, as you cruise along in a 4WD, camp on the sand and snorkel in the serene blue. Don’t forget to climb Indian Head for panoramic views!

Explore Noosa National Park

Just north of Brisbane you’ll find Noosa. The town itself is charming and bouji; a sort of King’s Road meets Salcombe meets the Sunshine Coast. Boutiques, al-fresco dining and upscale accommodation meets surfer vibes, making this one of my favourite stops on the East Coast. Best of all, Noosa is home to an incredible National Park and must see sights including the famous Fairy Pools.

Noosa national park

Stop via Brisbane

One of Australia’s major cities, Brisbane is full of nightlife, foodie haunts and is even nearby home to the late, great Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. There’s also Moreton Island just 25km off shore with less than a hundred residents and the gorgeous gem that is North Stradbroke in Moreton Bay.

Ride a Wave at Surfer’s Paradise

Catch a wave or watch dolphins off of the jetty at the Gold Coast’s most famous seaside town; Surfer’s Paradise. High-rise skyline meets miles and miles of glistening sand whilst lively nightlife will keep you entertained long after you’ve rinsed off your surfboard.

Kayak with Dolphins in Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of my absolute highlights and a must on any east coast Australia bucket list. Lounge in the sun, surf awesome rips and chill out with the musicians at night. The next morning? Go kayaking with dolphins, scuba dive, sky dive or hike up to the Byron Bay Lighthouse and the Most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia. Basically, this relaxed little New South Wales town has it all.

ultimate East Coast Australia bucket list Byron Bay

Hike the Blue Mountains

Just outside of Sydney you’ll find the stunning Blue Mountains, given their name by the eucalyptus haze that engulfs the region. Sure, Katoomba is great as are the world famous Three Sisters, but if you want tourist-free views then make your way to Pulpit Rock.

Three Sisters Blue Mountains Sydney Australia

Take the Ferry to Manly

The ferry from Sydney’s Circular Quay across the harbour to Manly is one of the best, cheap, views you’ll possible get of the incredible Harbour Bridge and iconic Opera House. Manly is lovely, so there’s that too. Grab a seat near the side and enjoy the jaw-dropping views.

Swim at Sydney’s Icebergs Pool

This iconic swim club, carved into the rock face at Sydney’s eastern suburbs Bondi Beach, is probably the world’s most famous pool now. Best bit? You can swim in cool blue water for just $7. Be warned: filled by splashing ocean waves, it’s not called Icebergs for nothing…

ultimate East Coast Australia bucket list Sydney Icebergs Bondi Beach

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