Whitsundays, Fraser Island, The Great Barrier Reef - the East Coast of Australia is the country's most popular backpacker trail for a reason. Just about anyone can travel the entire East Coast. Hop on / hop off public buses operate daily and there is a HUGE choice for hostel accommodation in each backpacker hot spot.

But with so many Bucket List worthy destinations to choose from - planning your trip can sometimes be a little overwhelming! To ease the pressure - we have put together a list of our favourite Top 20 Epic East Coast Australia Experiences! The Must See's and the Must Do's. Check it out...

Must See East Coast Australia

1. Sail The Whitsunday Islands

74 islands make up the Whitsundays. One of these islands is home to Whitehaven Beach, voted in Trip Advisor's Top Beaches in the World. It has sand so pure you can clean your teeth with it. You'll also see the Great Barrier Reef and experience squeaky sand. The Whitsundays are all about overnight sailing tours, whether that's on party boats or racing yachts, with or without onboard Jacuzzis. Need we say more?

must see east coast whitsunday islands sailing
Sail the Whitsunday Islands

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2. Skydive with a Beach Landing

Mission Beach is a tiny rainforest town just south of Cairns. A Mission Beach skydive gives you amazing views of the Great Barrier Reef. Australia Skydive have dropzones all over Australia but this is one of our faves - land on the beach... awwww yeah!

epic east coast experiences skydiving
Go Skydiving with a beach landing

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3. 4WD & Camp on Fraser Island

World's BIGGEST sand island. Drive on beach highways (yes you will actually see speed signs along the beach). Fraser Island is home to the infamous Dingo. Enjoy BBQs, the stars, beach camping, a eucalyptus rainforest, lakes & natural swimming holes. You can even dig your own toilet - Paradise!

driving on fraser island
Experience 4 wheel driving and camping on Fraser Island

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4. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Beat the touristy Crowds and say hello to the Koalas at Lone Pine which is just outside of Brisbane. It's cheap and cheerful and well worth the money to visit The World's Largest & Oldest Koala Sanctuary.

must see places on east coast australia
Cuddle a Koala, or at least see one up close

By Andrew Thomas from Shrewsbury, UK [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Sunset at The Sydney Opera Bar

Ah Sydney: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Great Selfies, Live Music, Sunset Drinks (Tip: Head to the Scary Canary after the sun sets - you might get lucky)!

sunset at sydney opera house
You can't miss sunset at the Sydney Opera House

By Diliff (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

6. Cape Tribulation Road Trip

2 Hours North of Cairns is Cape Tribulation where 'The Rainforest meets the Reef". It's literally in the 'Middle of Nowhere'. Hire a campervan to drive up there or take a tour. Stay overnight to make the most of it. AMAZING. Tip: Watch out for Crocs!

road trip to cape tribulation
Take a road trip from Cairns to Cape Tribulation

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7. Island Life Festival on Magnetic Island

On the Beach - Epic DJs - at Base Magnetic Island.

8. Nimbin, Byron Bay

Inland from Byron Bay is Nimbin where you'll find: Weed, Hippies, Rainbow Shops, Waterfalls, Weird People, a Hemp Museum. Take a Tour with Grasshoppers or Hire a Campervan - A Must Do day trip from Byron Bay!

nimbin must see australia
Nimbin!

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9. Great Barrier Reef

Pretty much on everyones bucket list - The Great Barrier Reef, so big you can see it from space. Go snorkelling or do an introductory dive. Don't forget to look out for Nemo. Take a boat trip from Cairns! Did you know the Great Barrier Reef has its own letterbox?

great barrier reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one thing on everyones bucket list

By Wise Hok Wai Lum [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

10. Bungy Jump in the Rainforest

In Cairns, the adventure Capital of Australia. Go for a bungy jump and freefall or swing. Scary as Hell but so much fun at the AJ Hackett Bungy Site - YEWWW!

bungy jump in cairns
Do a Bungy Jump in the Rainforest

MartinRe at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

11. Great Ocean Road

Famous for a Reason. A trip down the Great Ocean Road includes the 12 Apostles, Otway Rainforest, Surf Beaches, Bell's Beach, Koala's. Voted 1 of the World's Greatest Drives!

great ocean road at sunset
The stunningly beautiful Great Ocean Road near Melbourne

This stunning picture is by Bunyip Tours

12. Penguin Parade, Phillip Island

100's of Tiny Penguins can be seen at Phillip Island. You can also enjoy the Surf Beaches. Only 1.5 Hours South of Melbourne.

13. Scooteroo 1770

A Cheapy but a Goody. Take a trip out on Harley Davidson Scooters and see Kangaroos and the Sunset. Town of 1770: Where the Surf Coast meet the Great Barrier Reef.

14. White Water Rafting, Cairns

Do it in Cairns. Go white water rafting literally in the middle of nowhere with no-one else around. Scary but Amazing!

raging thunder river rafting east coast experiences
Go white water rafting near Cairns

Image by Gary Bembridge - license

15. Bondi to Coogee Walk, Sydney

We all love freebies - one of the most beautiful walks in Australia - Check out the amazing Sydney coastline between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach

bronte beach bondi to coogee beach walk east coast australia
One of the best walks in Australia

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16. Great Keppel Island

Completely off the Beaten Track. Stay at Emu Park, go snorkelling. Do Something Different in Paradise.

shelving beach great keppel island
Great Keppel Island

By Stuart Edwards (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

17. Party on The Gold Coast

Cheesy - Crazy - Where the Locals Go - Theme Parks - Party - High Rises - Good Beach - Casino - Tacky but Fun.

gold coast
Party on the Gold Coast

By Petra [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

18. Kuranda Hippie Rainforest Village, Cairns

Kuranda is beautiful, head up on the SkyTrain, come back by Cable Car. Check out Barron Falls and spend time in this Hippie Village exploring the Markets.

kuranda scenic railway
Go on the Scenic Railway to Kuranda

By spaceodissey (originally posted to Flickr as The way to Kuranda) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

19. Learn to Surf Camp

Want to learn to surf? The best way to do it is on a surf camp! One Lesson is not enough, hit up our mates at Mojosurf and enjoy beach side living and amazing food. Learn to Surf Like a Pro.

learn to surf things you should know about australians
Learn to Surf with MojoSurf

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20. Party at Base

Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Magnetic Island - plus our Base Mates Aus wide - Ed Sheeran got lucky at our Brissie Bar - you can too!

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