Your Bucket List for East Coast Australia

The East Coast of Australia is at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists. Between diving the Great Barrier Reef, sailing through the Whitsunday Islands and exploring Sydney – it’s not hard to see why.

There is so much to do along the East Coast, and only so much time (and money) you guys have. So we’ve compiled a list of our favourite “bucket-list worthy” activities, to make the selection process a little easier.

Visit the Great Barrier Reef


Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Finding Nemo? Dive in the Great Barrier Reef

Known as one of the wonders of the natural world, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world. There’s plenty of marine life to encounter and you might even find Nemo. Taking a tour from Cairns, you can snorkel or SCUBA dive this world heritage site looking for turtles, reef sharks, stingrays and so much more.

Sail the Whitsundays


The Whitsunday Islands
Get a glimpse of paradise in The Whitsunday Islands

With 74 islands that offer unreal snorkelling and spectacular views, how could the Whitsundays not be on your bucket list? Whether you want to party your way through or sail in style, there’s something for everyone in this magnificent collection of islands.

Some of our Stray Tours include an unforgettable 3 day/2 night trip to the Whitsundays – on a 76′ crewed ocean-going racing yacht. Sail through the islands by day, then sleep on deck under the stars or in the cosy cabin below decks at night.

Explore Fraser Island in a 4×4


Fraser Island 4 Wheel Drive Safari
A safari with a difference – by 4 Wheel Drive on Fraser Island

Ever driven a 4WD truck along 120km of sand beach? K’gari (Fraser Island) is the world’s largest sand island – so it’s a great way to explore. Most of us haven’t. In addition to the thrill of driving on a sand highway, you can enjoy the feeling of being off the beaten track with your new bffs, spotting dingos and exploring famous sites like Champagne Pools and the Maheno Shipwreck.

Walk on the wild side

A Koala in a tree
Nice to meet you, but I’m going back to sleep…

Australia is home to some of the most bizarre wildlife on the planet. From Kangaroos who can cover up to 9 metres in a single leap and would most definitely beat you in a fight, to adorable koalas, who are not bears but sleep up to 22 hours a day, and exclusively eat the least nutritious thing we can think of. You can also see brightly coloured birds, echidnas, snakes, lizards and of course some crazy big spiders.

Unwind in Byron Bay

On the beach at Byron Bay
Cheer Up, Slow Down & Chill Out at Byron Bay

For some, Byron Bay is known as the hippy home of Australia. To others, Byron Bay is a chance to party in paradise with perfect waves to surf and a bunch of cool bars. Whatever your vibe, this culture capital is a great place to relax, make friends and get into your groove.

Learn to Surf

2 Surfers in Australia
Hang Ten… learn to surf on your east coast Stray Tour

Speaking of surf, you can’t come to Australia without getting on a board and trying to hang ten. There are opportunities to surf on all our Australia east coast Stray Tours. The waves are notoriously relaxed for beginners and the awesome instructors will have you throwing up shakas in no time.

Get “That Shot” in Sydney

Sydney Harbour Bridge from the water
Sydney Harbour Bridge from the water

No, we don’t mean shots of booze but of course that is par for the backpacker course. If you come to Australia and don’t take a selfie with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background, did you even come to Australia? It’s a crazy experience to see for yourself something you’ve seen on TV a hundred times.

You can tick all of these bucket list items off on a Stray tour. If you’re keen to meet like-minded travellers, and explore the East Coast with the perfect mix of nature, beaches, socialising and activities, check out our amazing current tours and find out which one is right for you.

Posted in ,
Emily profile picture


Emily is a native creative nerd. This creative crew member's favourite stop is Bay of Islands.

We are so excited to be back on the road, getting you further off the beaten track along the Australian East Coast again! We are determined to make up for lost time and we’ve been busy creating some brand new tours for you!


21 days - start: Sydney | end: Cairns

Our 21-Day Emu Tour is our biggest and best tour, taking you on an epic journey up the East Coast. As Australia’s largest native bird, the Emu is the perfect companion to guide you from Sydney all the way up to tropical Cairns.


16 days - start: Byron Bay | end: Cairns

Our 16-Day Roo Tour will take you from vibrant Byron Bay to tropical Cairns. Possibly the most iconic of all Aussie animals is the playful kangaroo. The Roo lives life to the fullest and this 16-Day Tour is all about fun!


15 days - start: Brisbane | end: Cairns

Our 15-Day Dingo Tour will send you up the coast from Brisbane to Cairns. If you like to explore the best of the East Coast from rain forests and beaches to picturesque islands and destinations that are off the tourist trail then this tour is definitely for you.

Or check out these articles for more travel inspiration

Catch a Stray Bus Tour for the most amazing way to see Australia

Australia is big. In fact, it’s massive. It can be difficult to plan a tour or backpacking trip that takes in everything you want to see and experience. So catch a Stray Bus Tour for the best way to see […]

Read More

10 amazing things you must do on your east coast tour

A backpacking tour of Australia’s east coast is an unforgettable, mind-blowing experience, but how do you know what to see and do in such a huge area? Well, here are 10 amazing things you must do on your east coast […]

Read More

4 Simple yet Fun Card Games to Play to Kill Time when Travelling

A simple 52-card deck absolutely belongs in every backpack. Apart from being a fun solution to kill time, it is easy to carry and space-saving. Here are the best yet easy card games to play while travelling.

Read More
Scroll to Top