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 property to spot some of the amazing wildlife. We then head north, stopping to visit a Koala hospital to learn about their efforts in preserving Koalas, before travelling onto our waterfront accommodation at the Spot X Surf Camp, arriving in the early evening.
SLEEP: $35 for shared accom 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). In the afternoon we travel to our River Retreat and go for a guided kayaking trip, spotting wildlife along the way. In the evening have a few drinks and toast marshmallows around the campfire. We sleep in beds in a tipi or swags under the stars. Note: in winter we stay in cabins.
SLEEP: $60 for camping/dorm bed, dinner and breakfast at River Retreat.
Travel Day: River Retreat — Byron Bay
MEET: At camp
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, visit the alternative town of Nimbin (additional cost), 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. We have an orientation drive on the way to Byron Bay to help you get your bearings.
SLEEP: Your choice of Byron accom.
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 Rock. Then drive into the Gold Coast, you may want to get off here to experience the sun, sand, tans and high-rises of Australia’s most developed beach resort. 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 either the sunset or sunrise.
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 back to Noosa to pick up more Loka travellers, and then drive to Cooroy where we hop on the train. We travel to Rockhampton then get met by a local bus, which takes us to the beautiful coastal town of Emu Park.
SLEEP: at Emus Beach resort for $35 or one of the activity/accom packages.
Travel Day/Night: Emu Park— OVERNIGHT TRAIN — Airlie Beach
MEET: At Emus Beach Resort
Today you can choose from options to relax at the resort, check out the local crocodile farm or head to the tropical paradise Great Keppel Island. 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.
Note: Depending which day you depart Noosa/Rainbow you may have an extra day at Emu Park.
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 tropical ‘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 a ferry, travel by train to Tully – getting in at around lunchtime. We hop off the train and head to the picturesque spot ‘Alligator’s Nest’ (no alligators thankfully). Enjoy a dip in the swimming hole, surrounded by tropical rainforest. We then head back to our accommodation – the historic Mt Tyson pub for the evening.
SLEEP: Mt Tyson hotel, $35 for accom only, $57 for Rainforest Experience (accom / transfers / champagne breakfast).
Travel Day: Tully – Cairns
MEET: Mt Tyson Hotel
In the morning we rise early to climb Mt Tyson, a mountain covered in lush rainforest, within the Tully Gorge National Park. It’s a four-hour round trip but worth it for the views. Afterwards enjoy a well-earned champagne breakfast back at the pub. We travel to Cairns by train arriving late afternoon, then get ready to party tonight for 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, if you are short on time you can skip this and head direct from Townsville to Cairns.
SLEEP: Your choice of Cairns accom, you can book via the Loka web app.
All transport including on the Loka bus, fast trains and Magnetic Island ferry
Guidance from local guide
Access to Loka web app
Wine tasting in the Hunter Valley
Guided walk at Barrington Tops National Park
Beachtime at Spot X Surf Camp
Walks at Rainbow Beach, Emu Park, Magnetic Island…
Mt Tyson hike, Tully
These are all the places that we travel to on the Loka Mick Travel Pass – our overnight stops are highlighted in bold, however you can hop off at any other location.
Sydney / Hunter Valley / Barrington Tops National Park / Spot X Surf Camp / River Retreat / Yamba / Byron Bay / Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise) / Brisbane / Noosa (to access Fraser Island) / Rainbow Beach / Cooroy / Miriam Vale (hop off the train here to access 1770 & Agnes Water) / Rockhampton / Emu Park / Proserpine / Airlie Beach (to access Whitsunday Islands) / Townsville / Magnetic Island / Tully / Cairns