11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia

Tripoto
1st Jun 2014

Byron Bay

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Brisbane

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Cairns

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Frazer Island

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Magnetic Island

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Mission Beach

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Noosa

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Surfer's Paradise

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Sydney

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Whitsunday Islands

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

Yamba

Photo of 11 Best Places on the East Coast of Australia by Jeremy

I’ve been almost everywhere along the east coast of Australia. This includes every place you should visit and every place nobody ever should. Over nine weeks I backpacked my way through 22 cities and towns from Sydney, NSW to Cairns, QLD. This means I only got to spend a few days in each place when, in fact, I could have spent more time in fewer places. The guide books I read had a way of making me feel like every stop on the east coast was worth a visit but, as it turns out, that’s not entirely true. Don’t get me wrong–I love Australia, but if you’ve got a limited amount of time, stick to the following cities!

1) Sydney

2) Yamba

3) Byron Bay

4) Surfer’s Paradise

5) Brisbane

6) Noosa

7) Fraser Island

8) Whitsunday Islands

9) Magnetic Island

10) Mission Beach

11) Cairns

But prepare to party hard!

Originally published on Travel Freak.

Of course, Sydney, the most famous of all Australian cities, is a must visit. It spans multiple boroughs, each one offering something entirely different.
Photo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia by Jeremy
A small, lesser-known town on the east coast with an immense amount of charm. The beaches are breathtaking and the views I was lucky enough to witness were some of the best I’ve evern seen. Yamba is also known, within the right crowds, to provide some of the best surf on the east coast. Most other people just haven’t heard that yet. Be sure to sign up for ‘Shanes Ten-Buck Tour’ at the local YHA hostel.
Photo of Yamba, New South Wales, Australia by Jeremy
A party town and a beautiful beach make this a great stop for backpackers. Be prepared to spend some money on a few blurry nights!
Photo of Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia by Jeremy
Very touristy but it’s a must visit. Lots of shopping and beach bodies everywhere. Despite its name, there are better places along the coast to surf.
Photo of Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
Great nights out in Fortitude Valley, and enjoy a ride up the river. Culture abounds in Brisbane, too, making it a must-see destination in Australia.
Photo of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
A small, quaint town offering magnificent views, some really nice hikes and loads of boutiques along the esplanade. The beach here was one of my favorites.
Photo of Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
Be sure to do a 4WD tour of Fraser Island. Spend three days and two nights driving along the beach, through the water and over obstacles with a group of seven others in your vehicle. The tour companies provide you with menus, food, tents and every other necessity. Definitely one of the highlights of my trip.
Photo of Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
Whitehaven Beach is a beach unlike any you’ve ever seen before. A cruise through the islands will take you there and possibly elsewhere, depending on the vessel. You can dive or snorkel along the way, creating a fulfilling experience. I’d recommend a smaller boat with fewer people–larger boats become more commercialized and a bit less personal.
Photo of Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
A tiny little island (seven minutes from end-to-end on a scooter) off the coast of Townsville. Some fantastic hiking and walks, remnants of World War II barracks and a beautiful beach made this one of my favorite stops along the way!
Photo of Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
Stop by Mission Beach if you’re interested in skydiving. It’s one of the only places you can land on the beach and the views from 14,000 feet in the air are spectacular!
Photo of Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
Backpacker central! There’s lots to do from Cairns but not much to do in Cairns. It’s the jump-off point for diving on the Great Barrier Reef as well as other day trips to surrounding areas like Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands.
Photo of Cairns, Queensland, Australia by Jeremy
23 Comment(s)
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Good article, Jeremy. I backpacked to all these beautiful places except Yamba, Magnetic island and Mission beach. Planning to travel to Whitsundays again in 2 weeks as its wonderful sailing around islands to the best beach in the world. Lots of good spots to snorkel. Cairns is jump off point to see Daintree forest and river with crocodiles on a boat which I did and Cape tribulation where the oldest rainforest touches the reef, two world heritage sites indeed. Will be visitng Townsville and won't miss Magnetic island. I preferred to travel north of Cairns to Kuranada and Daintree forest so Mission beach awaits for later time. Byron Bay is one of my favorites, been there many times as I live near Brisbane. Australia provides wide variety of culture with modern Surfers Paradise to the laidback Byron Bay. Waiting for my Townsville trip to complete the east coast ☺. You can follow my world travels on my instagram- gnkrb4u.
Wed 05 24 17, 16:30 · Reply · Report
This was a very interesting article ! You can find travel articles in top10places.com too Here are the to 10 places to visit in Australia
Thu 05 18 17, 04:04 · Reply · Report
This was a very interesting article ! You can find travel articles in top10places.com too Here are the to 10 places to visit in Australia
Thu 05 18 17, 04:04 · Reply · Report
The beach photographs of Australia have always made me admire them and east coast Australia has long been in my wish list. Can you give me a few more links of where to find some more details to plan for a complete trip to this region.
Sun 01 10 16, 21:03 · Reply · Report
Hi Jeremy! I am so, so impressed with everything starting from your bio to the photographs you have given. I also envy you till some point because I am really not a free soul like you though I love to travel. I had once planned unsuccessfully for a trip to the places to visit in Australia east coast but sadly had to cancel my trip.
Sun 01 10 16, 20:18 · Reply (1) · Report
Do you live in Australia? I can plan very economical trips for you. I traveled solo to many places in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Malaysia and Kenya
Wed 05 24 17, 16:38 · Report
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