Itineraries East Coast Australia: Ultimate road trips for 2 to 6 weeks traveling along the coast!

Creating an itinerary for the east coast of Australia can be quite difficult. This coastline is very large and has more than enough sights to keep you entertained for months. In short, how do you choose a manageable itinerary along the east coast of Australia?

We have also written travel guides for a number of Australian hotspots. These travel guides are full of our travel experiences, photos, fun things to do and great hotels to sleep in. This gives you a good impression of a destination and what it is like to travel along the east coast of Australia.

Rainbow Beach 4x4 rentals takes you there

5 itineraries for an unforgettable road trip along the east coast of Australia!

Australia is a wonderful camping country to travel through. Camping facilities are plentiful. In many places, you will find opportunities to barbecue, shower or use a toilet for free. Along the road, you also have campgrounds where you can spend the night for free. In short, Australia is a perfect destination to discover the great outdoors by campervan.

Last year there have been heavy bush fires that have destroyed a lot of nature. Above Sydney, you hardly see (any) traces of these fires. The further you go southwards to Melbourne, the more consequences you will see from these forest fires. However, the coastal itinerary to Melbourne is still very impressive to make. So don’t be put off by this and just go on that road trip with the camper!

We’ve put together 5 itineraries to help you plan your Australian East Coast journey. Varying from 2 weeks to 2 months! In this way, you get some inspiration for planning your road trip and you immediately get an impression of how big Australia is regarding travel distances.

Travel blog Road trip East Coast Australia

East Coast Australia map: Highlights and top attractions for your road trip

To help you plan your trip, we’ve created a map showing almost all the sights and top attractions of Australia’s east coast. To keep this map lean, not all attractions are listed. Think of nature parks, special waterfalls, smaller coastal villages, etc. These places are mentioned in various travel blogs about Australia.

Travel blog. Map of top attractions of East Australia

Curious which hotels, hostels and accommodation we like in Australia? Then read our Australia hotels east coast blog!

5 great itineraries among the east coast of Australia per campervan

These 5 itineraries built up in terms of weeks. The first travel itinerary is for travellers who only have 2 weeks. The next itineraries are for backpackers who have more time available for exploring all the highlights of the gorgeous east coast of Australia.

1. Itinerary Sydney to Brisbane including a visit to Fraser Island | 2 weeks

Are you travelling along the east coast of Australia and do you want to include Byron Bay in your itinerary? Then consider travelling itinerary from Sydney to Brisbane on a two-week road trip! The highlights of this trip are:

Sydney – Blue Mountains – Hunters Valley – Port Macquarie – Byron Bay – Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast) – Noosa – Fraser Island  – Brisbane

East Coast Australia itinerary Sydney to Brisbane in 2 weeks.001

Read here our free travel guide for Brisbane: 12 cool things to do in just 2 days!

2. Itinerary Cairns to Sydney | 3+ weeks

Is diving in the Great Barrier Reef, sailing the Whitsundays and surfing in Byron Bay already at the top of your list of destinations to visit during your road trip through Australia? Then consider travelling from Cairns to Sydney on a 3-week road trip. In 3 weeks it is possible to make this beautiful itinerary along the coast. Highlights of this road trip by campervan are:

Cairns – Palm Cove – Great Barrier Reef – Whitsundays – Fraser Island – Sunshine Coast – Brisbane – Gold Coast – Byron Bay – Hunter Valley – Blue Mountains – Sydney

East Coast Australia Itinerary Cairns to Sydney in 3 weeks.001

Read here everything you need to know when visiting Fraser Island on a self-drive!

3. Itinerary Melbourne to Brisbane  | 4 weeks

Are you travelling along the east coast of Australia and want to drive the famous Great Ocean Road, discover vibrant Sydney and surf? Then consider traveling from Sydney to Brisbane on a 4-week road trip! This beautiful 4-week itinerary brings you along the coast, high cliffs, national parks, vineyards, golden beaches and impressive cities. Do you love nature parks and climbing as well? Then consider adding Grampians National Park, Great Otway National park or Springbrook National Park to this trip.

Melbourne – Great Ocean Road – Philip Island – Wilson Promontory/Mount Oberon – Jervisbaai – Sydney – Blue Mountains – Hunters Valley – Port Macquarie – Byron Bay – Gold Coast – Fraser Island  – Brisbane

East Coast Australia itinerary Melbourne to Brisbane in 4 weeks.001

Do you love surfing, hiking and shopping all together? Then, visit this lovely cozy village Noosa!

4. Itinerary Melbourne to Cairns | 6 weeks

This itinerary from Melbourne to Cairns takes you across the 3 states of the Australian east coast: Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. In this road trip, you will pass all the beautiful sights and top attractions the east coast has to offer. A possible 6-week itinerary per campervan could be:

Melbourne – Great Ocean Road – Yara Valley –Philip Island – Wilson Promontory/Mount Oberon – Sydney – Blue Mountains – Hunters Valley – Port Macquarie – Byron Bay – Gold Coast – Brisbane  – Sunshine Coast/Noosa – Fraser Island – Whitsundays  – Great Barrier Reef – Cairns

East Coast Australia itinerary Melbourne to Cairns in 6 weeks.001

Looking for the best hotspots in Byron Bay? Read here our travel guide about this amazing surf town including the best places to eat!

5. Itinerary among the east coast, countryside and Alice Springs | 2 months

Do you have plenty of time for discovering Australia? Then consider exploring the entire East Coast and driving back to Melbourne via the mainland. In this 2-month round trip,  you come across the beautiful Alice Springs and Uluru. Besides, you have more options for free campgrounds in the countryside than along the coast. In this adventurous 2-month itinerary you will visit:

Melbourne –  Yara Valley – Philip Island – Wilson Promontory/Mount Oberon – Sydney – Blue Mountains – Hunters Valley – Port Macquarie – Byron Bay – Gold Coast – Brisbane  – Sunshine Coast/Noosa – Fraser Island – Whitsundays  – Great Barrier Reef – Cairns – Alice Springs – Grampians National Park – Great Ocean Road – Melbourne

Itinerary East Coast Australia and Alice Springs in 2 months.001

How expensive is a road trip through Australia? Read here our Australia travel budget blog!

Must-do activities for your road trip along the east coast of Australia!

These are 5 special things to do during your road trip along the east coast of Australia. These unique activities range from skydiving to sailing through Whitsundays. Below, 5 cool experiences for your journey along the east coast of Australia.

1 Skydiving and sailing to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns

Adventure junkies pay attention! Cairns is the place for skydiving in Australia! This is possible from €154.65 per person. Read here all about this adventure activity! Cairns is also a great base for visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Have you always wanted to visit this famous place? You can easily book a day tour by catamaran here. From €98.86 per person.

Australian Flag Boat

2. Rafting and discovering the Whitsundays!

Do you only have one day to explore Whitsundays from Arlie Beach? Then consider this cool day activity and go rafting, snorkelling and hiking in this energetic day-trip! From €92.50 per person. Click here for more information. Do you prefer to experience the Whitsundays by catamaran? This family-friendly activity can you book here! 

3. Day tour to Fraser Island from Hervey Bay

Not enough time or budget to discover Fraser Island by 4×4? You might consider visiting the largest sand island in the world on a day trip from Harvey Bay. This is possible from €105 per person. Click here for more information and availability.

Travel Guide Fraser best lakes on the island Lake McKenzie

4. Experience Coles Bay in Tasmania with a nice glass of wine on a cruise ship!

If you visit Tasmania you shouldn’t skip Coles Bay. A relaxed way to explore Coles Bay is by boat. During this tour, you will be pampered with drinks. This relaxing activity can be booked from €93.21 per person. Click here for more information.

5. Experience a hot air balloon ride in Alice Springs!

A special way to experience Alice Springs is by hot air balloon! This is possible from €166 per person. After this unforgettable flight, champagne is awaiting you. For more information about this special highlight of Australia click here!

sunset sydney

Best time to visit the east coast of Australia

The continent of Australia has 3 different climate zones. This makes it difficult to say what the best travel time for Australia is. If you visit the entire east coast of Australia you will not have nice weather everywhere.

The most popular travel time is from October to March. The most expensive month to travel is January when the whole of Australia also has a holiday too. Airlines, hotels and car rental companies charge high prices. Depending on your destination, you can expect temperatures in January between 20 and 40 degrees Celsius. In the north, you can encounter have rain showers since it is the rainy season.

The east coast of Australia borders 3 states. It is not possible to visit all states in the “best time”. Below, you find the best travel time by state:

  • Queensland (Brisbane and surrounding area): June to October
  • New South Wales (think Sydney and surrounding area): November through April
  • Victoria (think Melbourne and surrounding area): November to March

Tip: know that Australian seasons run opposite to those of Europe. If it is winter in Europe, then it is summer in Australia.

Spaceships Campervans and road tripping through east australia

Early bird discount: Book at least 3 months in advance and get a 5% discount on a Spaceships campervan! Click here for the deal and more information!

How long do you need for visiting the east coast of Australia?

From the Netherlands point of view, Australia is almost on the other side of the world. You don’t go there quickly. Besides, this continent is very large. In short, 2 weeks is really the minimum. In 3 to 4 weeks you have more time and you can travel at a slower pace. If you have more than 4 weeks, that is great and gives you plenty of space to explore this beautiful western country.

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itinerary east coast of australia from 2 weeks to 2 months from Cairns via Brisbane and Sydney to Melbourne

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  1. by Isabel Guerrero on 4 May 2022  18:59 Reply


    Great information thank you. We are an older couple, 60 and 55) and we are planning our first trip to Australia(and outside the USA and Mexico). My husband dream is to explore and see first hand kangaroos. We will be there in June 2023 and I read so much and still have so many doubts and questions. Where is the best place to do this? I read about Kangaroo Island (not seen in your blog; unless is known with a different name) Please advise and yes we will like to rent a campervan for part of the trip.
    Best of luck to you and husband.

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 11 May 2022  08:58 Reply

      Hi Isabel!
      Oh how nice that you will be visiting Australia! It is such a beautiful country! I am not sure what the very very very best place to do this is, but we can recommend Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. There they are tam and do not live in the wild. Other locations could be Yuraygir National park where you will be able to see many in the wild (don't approach them close by) and at North Strandbroke Island you might also see some in wild.

      Hopefully this helps?
      Kind regards,

    • by nicky on 10 July 2022  05:06 Reply

      Hola Isabel,
      We have kangaroos in many places around Australia - don't worry they are easy to see! Kangaroo Island is off the coast of South Australia, and though the name suggests it is a kangaroo haven, it is many things - beautiful and rugged. The only thing is, it was devastated by bushfires in 2019-20, so many animals were killed. Today it is growing back and welcoming visitors again. Good luck! A beautiful country.

  2. by Swetha on 4 August 2023  16:43 Reply

    I am reasearching for our trip to Australia, and your's is the bestest blog I have seen on this topic. You are amazing at what you do! Thanks a ton for easy to consume representation (image) and descriptions.

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 9 August 2023  08:56 Reply

      Ooo so happy to hear that we can help you!! Enjoy your trip and its preparations!

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