Do you have less time but still want to travel with LOKA? There are many more options as well.
Contact us for more routes on the East Coast.
Travel Day: Sydney — Barrington Tops (Special Stop)
MEET: outside Wake Up hostel at 8am or outside Nomads (if confirmed) at 8.10am
We depart the big city and head to the Hunter Valley wine area for a tasting at one of Australia’s most famous vineyards. We then travel through the backcountry to our stunning stop on the edge of Barrington Tops National Park (a World Heritage Listed Area). We stay in our own private lodge overlooking the Barrington River. You have the option to ride an inner tube down a scenic part of the river (additional cost), then in the evening have a few drinks and relax in the hot tub.
SLEEP: $60 for dinner, dorm bed and breakfast at Twistops Retreat.
Travel Day: Barrington Tops — Spot X Surf Camp
MEET: at the lodge
In the morning you can go mountain biking (additional cost) or go for a walk around the scenic property. We then head north, with a break to visit a Koala hospital to learn about their efforts in preserving Koalas, and at a nature reserve to spot wild kangaroos hopping along the incredible coastline. We arrive at our waterfront accommodation at Spot X in the early evening.
SLEEP: $60 for dinner, dorm bed and breakfast at Spot X
Travel Day: Spot X Surf Camp — River Retreat (Special Stop)
MEET: at Loka bus
We have the morning at leisure at Spot X. You can relax on the beach or we recommend taking part in a group surf lesson (additional cost) or hopping off to do a Surf & Stay. In the afternoon we travel to our River Retreat and go for a guided canoeing trip, spotting wildlife along the way. In the evening have an Aussie BBQ, learn how to cook some damper and toast marshmallows around the campfire. We sleep in wilderness cabins or in swags under the stars.
SLEEP: $50 for dorm bed/swag, dinner and breakfast at River Retreat.
Travel Day: River Retreat — Byron Bay
MEET: At Loka bus
We leave our camp early, hop in our bus and head up towards Byron Bay, Australia’s famous surf and arts town. We stop in the picturesque town of Yamba along the way for lunch where you can have a walk around or a swim in the Angourie Blue Pool. We have an orientation drive on the way to Byron Bay to help you get your bearings.
SLEEP: Your choice of Byron accom, you can book through the Loka web app.
Free Day in Byron Bay
Explore, learn to surf, party, do a dolphin kayak trip, visit the alternative town of Nimbin (additional costs), or just relax and take in the laidback, hippy vibe. We recommend taking a walk to the lighthouse to view the Australian mainland’s most easterly point.
SLEEP: Your choice of Byron accom, you can book via the Loka web app.
Travel Day: Byron Bay (via Gold Coast & Brisbane) - Noosa or Rainbow Beach
MEET: at the main bus stop on Jonson St or Arts Factory hostel (please confirm)
We cruise up to the New South Wales/Queensland border and hop out at Danger Point to stretch our legs and check out the view of one of Australia’s best surf spots Snapper Rocks. We then drive into Surfers Paradise, you may want to get off here to experience the sun, sand, tans and high-rises of Australia’s most developed beach area. We drive through Brisbane (pick up and drop off travellers in the city centre) then travel on to the upmarket beach resort town of Noosa. Hop off here or continue onto Rainbow Beach for the night. Rainbow Beach and Noosa are both departure points for Fraser Island (a backpacker must-do). At Rainbow Beach we take a walk up to Carlo Sand Blow for sunset.
SLEEP: Your choice of Noosa or Rainbow Beach accom, you can book via the Loka web app.
Travel Day: Rainbow Beach (via Noosa) — Emu Park
MEET: outside Dingos/Frasers at Rainbow Beach, or outside Nomads at Noosa
We hop in our bus in Rainbow Beach and head to Tin Can Bay to see wild dolphins up close. We then head back to Noosa where we have a couple of hours to check out the beach, markets or chill, before picking up some more Loka travellers and driving to Cooroy to start our first train journey. We travel to Rockhampton then get met by a private bus, which takes us to Emus Beach Resort. We get welcomed onto the resort and find out more about our options for the next day or so. We have an awesome Loka Treasure Island option, which includes accommodation, return ferry transfers to Great Keppel Island, Treasure Hunt, Bluff Point Turtle Walk, and evening meal on the second day; or you can choose to just pay for your bed only and do your own thing.
SLEEP: at Emus Beach resort. Choose from Loka Treasure Island Experience for $99 or accom only for $35.
Travel Day/Night: Emu Park— OVERNIGHT TRAIN — Airlie Beach
MEET: At Emus Beach Resort
For those that have the Treasure Island package we depart early to head to the tropical paradise Great Keppel Island at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Relax or have a go at snorkeling or kayaking (extra cost) before taking part in the famous Loka Treasure Hunt. Follow the clues to win the treasure! We head back to the mainland late afternoon with a quick stop to go on a walk to Bluff Point. Have dinner at Emus Beach Resort before we catch the train in the evening and travel overnight to Airlie Beach – the gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. We grab some breakfast when we arrive and your guide will give you a brief walking orientation tour of Airlie.
Note: Depending which day you depart Noosa/Rainbow you may have an extra day at Emu Park and you can choose to spend your 2nd night on Great Keppel Island. If bad weather you can also choose to visit the local crocodile farm (additional cost).
SLEEP: Overnight train (price included), then your choice of Airlie accom.
Travel Day: Airlie Beach (via Townsville) — Magnetic Island
MEET: outside Base Backpackers
We start early with a local bus to the train, a ferry out to beautiful ‘Maggie Island’, and a local transfer to the accommodation. There is much to explore on the island, as nearly 50% of it is National Park with amazing beaches and abundant wildlife. Your guide will join you on a walk around the Island; otherwise you can do more exploring or just relax by the pool. Note: Depending on which day you depart, you may have a free day to spend on Magnetic Island.
SLEEP: YHA Bungalow Bay or your choice of Magnetic Island accom.
Travel Day: Magnetic Island (via Townsville) — Tully
MEET: at YHA Bungalow Bay reception or at the ferry terminal (please confirm).
We travel back to the mainland on the ferry, travel by train to Tully – getting in at around lunchtime. You have the option of taking part in Loka’s exclusive Rainforest Experience for the special price of $120 or staying in Tully at a historic pub (for hostel prices). For those keen to camp, we travel by bus into the amazing rainforest of Tully Gorge National Park. Cool off with a swim in a beautiful swimming hole, before a BBQ dinner and stories about the campfire.
SLEEP: Rainforest Experience (camping / transfers / dinner / breakfast / activities for $120) or Mt Tyson Hotel for $35.
Travel Day: Tully – Cairns
MEET: Tully Train Station
We wake early at our rainforest camp for breakfast and then have an interpretative walk through the forest, learning about the traditional indigenous usage of the land. We then head back to Tully and jump on the train to our final destination, Cairns. We arrive late afternoon, then get ready to party tonight to celebrate and farewell the end of your East Coast adventure. Note: Depending on which day you depart, you may have a free day/night to spend in Tully before heading to Cairns, we recommend doing one of the famous Tully rafting trips or going skydiving at Mission Beach on this day.
SLEEP: Your choice of Cairns accom, you can book via the Loka web app.
Your Loka pass has lots of inclusions, from wildlife spotting to wine tasting! You’ll be guided the whole route by some of our awesome local guides. Not only will these legends be your friends but they will also give you a hand in booking anything you need to on the way up!
Between A and B you'll be travelling by bus and train. By buying the Mick pass you'll no longer have to worry about your transport all the way up the coast as we've got you covered! This gives you extra chance to relax and enjoy all our included activities:
- All transport including the Loka bus between Sydney and Rainbow Beach/Cooroy, fast trains between Cooroy and Cairns, local transfers and return Magnetic Island ferry,
- Guidance from local guide and access to Loka web app,
- Wine tasting Hunter Valley,
- Barrington Tops National Park,
- 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,
- Dolphin Centre entry, Tin Can Bay,
- Bluff Point walk at Emu Park,
- Airlie Orientation Walk
- Forts Walk at Magnetic Island,
- Tully Gorge National Park Rainforest
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Accommodation and food are not included in your Loka pass. You can book your accommodation through our web-app along the way. We hold spots in our preferred locations so you’re guaranteed a bed.