Brisbane to Cairns
Experience Queensland at its best with this Brisbane to Cairns Travel Pass. Visit the well-known highlights of Noosa, Airlie Beach and Magnetic Island combined with guidance, flexibility and access to amazing experiences in remote rainforest and on an Aussie farm.
All transport including Loka buses between Brisbane and Cooroy, fast trains between Cooroy and Cairns, and return Magnetic Island Ferry
These are all the places that we travel to on the Loka Stu Travel Pass – our overnight stops are highlighted in bold, however you can hop off at any other location.
Brisbane / Noosa or Rainbow Beach (to access Fraser Island) / Cooroy / Miriam Vale (hop off the train here to access 1770 & Agnes Water) / Rockhampton / Country Campout / Emu Park / Proserpine / Airlie Beach (to access Whitsunday Islands) / Townsville / Magnetic Island / Tully / Cairns
Travel Day: Brisbane – Noosa or Rainbow Beach
MEET: outside Base Central or Bunk Backpackers (please confirm).
We pick you up in Brisbane 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) — Country Campout
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, pick up passengers, and then drive to Cooroy where we hop on the train. We travel to Rockhampton then get met by a local bus, which takes you to our options of a remote farm stay for the night (traditional swagman’s dinner around the campfire, sleep in swags, breakfast, morning farm tour, and dinner at Emus Beach Resort the next night – for an inclusive price of $75) or you can stay the night at Emus Beach Resort and self-cater.
SLEEP: Country Campout experience for $75 or dorm at Emus Beach resort for $30.
Travel Day/Night: Country Campout— OVERNIGHT TRAIN — Airlie Beach
MEET: At the farm or Emus Beach Resort
If you have stayed on the farm, we take a walk around the property and visit a sacred Indigenous site at the base of Mount Wheeler. We then head to the beautiful, little coastal town of Emu Park. In the afternoon you can just relax around the resort pool, go on a turtle-spotting walk (seasonal), or visit the local crocodile farm (additional cost). We catch the train in the evening and travel overnight to Airlie Beach. It is a modern train with large reclining seats, a bar and a dining carriage. We get into a town called Proserpine in the morning then take a local bus in 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.
*NOTE: Usually a dorm bed will cost between $24 – $45 per person depending on the size of the dorm and time of year (averaging $32 per person per night), a twin/double option will range from $75 – $180 (averaging $100 per room). You can pre-book your accommodation through Loka’s web app, you just pay a deposit to reserve your spot and pay the remainder direct to the operator. At most locations you are welcome to stay where you like, however please be aware of Loka’s set departure points as outlined by the meeting place on the travel days. For a full list of these points, you can download the pdf from the Timetable section.
NEED TO KNOW
+ Passes are valid for up to 12 months from your date of departure. You can hop on and off anywhere at any of our overnight stops and key activity stops for the total validity of the pass. You have up to 12 months from your date of purchase to start your Loka pass.
+ Travel is in our own 24 seat mini coaches between Brisbane and Rainbow Beach/Cooroy, and local bus and fast trains (with toilets, showers and a dining carriage) between Rainbow Beach/Cooroy and Cairns. We also include the return ferry to Magnetic Island in northbound passes.
+ Our guides travel on all routes on the set departure days. You can travel on the train on other days without a guide, however you can only access our unique transfers and activities when travelling with the guide.
+ There is a minimum of 2 departures per week (up to 5 in summer) over all routes. For specific departure days and times please see our timetable below.