Starts: Byron Bay 
Minimum Time: 
8 Days
Price: was $710 Now $604
Departs: Wed, Fri, Sun, (Mon from Nov – March)


Byron Bay to Cairns


An adventure from Byron Bay to Cairns, experience all the main highlights as well as off the beaten track Australia! Travel on Loka’s bus to Noosa or Rainbow Beach, then on fast, comfortable trains north to Cairns. You will experience authentic, local activities, a day and night on stunning Magnetic Island, and a remote rainforest experience.  Hop off in Noosa or Rainbow Beach for Fraser Island, and Airlie Beach to visit the famous Whitsundays.


  • All transport including the Loka bus between Byron Bay and Rainbow Beach/Cooroy, fast trains between Cooroy and Cairns, local transfers and return Magnetic Island ferry,
  • Guidance from local guide and access to Loka web app,
  • Byron Bay orientation drive,
  • Danger Point Border Crossing walk,
  • Carlo Sand Blow Walk, Rainbow Beach,
  • Dolphin Centre entry, Tin Can Bay,
  • Bluff Point walk at Emu Park,
  • Airlie Orientation Walk
  • Forts Walk at Magnetic Island,
  • Tully Gorge National Park Rainforest


These are all the places that we travel to on the Loka Kat Travel Pass – our overnight stops are highlighted in bold, however you can hop off at any other location.
Byron Bay / Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise) / Brisbane / Noosa or Rainbow Beach (to access Fraser Island) / 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


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 in advance).

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 Rocks. We then drive into Surfers Paradise, you may want to get off here to experience the sun, sand, tans and high-rises of Australia’s most developed beach area. 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 sunset.

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 to Tin Can Bay to see wild dolphins up close.  We then head back to Noosa where we have a couple of hours to check out the beach, markets or chill, before picking up some more Loka travellers and driving to Cooroy to start our first train journey. We travel to Rockhampton then get met by a private bus, which takes us to Emus Beach Resort.   We get welcomed onto the resort and find out more about our options for the next day or so.  We have an awesome Loka Treasure Island option, which includes accommodation, return ferry transfers to Great Keppel Island, Treasure Hunt, Bluff Point Turtle Walk, and evening meal on the second day; or you can choose to just pay for your bed only and do your own thing.

SLEEP: at Emus Beach resort.  Choose from Loka Treasure Island Experience for $99 or accom only for $35.


Travel Day/Night: Emu Park— OVERNIGHT TRAIN — Airlie Beach

MEET: At Emus Beach Resort

For those that have the Treasure Island package we depart early to head to the tropical paradise Great Keppel Island at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Relax or have a go at snorkeling or kayaking (extra cost) before taking part in the famous Loka Treasure Hunt. Follow the clues to win the treasure!  We head back to the mainland late afternoon with a quick stop to go on a walk to Bluff Point.  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.   We grab some breakfast when we arrive and your guide will give you a brief walking orientation tour of Airlie.
Note: Depending which day you depart Noosa/Rainbow you may have an extra day at Emu Park and you can choose to spend your 2nd night on Great Keppel Island.  If bad weather you can also choose to visit the local crocodile farm (additional cost).

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 beautiful ‘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 the ferry, travel by train to Tully – getting in at around lunchtime. You have the option of taking part in Loka’s exclusive Rainforest Experience for the special price of $120 or staying in Tully at a historic pub (for hostel prices).  For those keen to camp, we travel by bus into the amazing rainforest of Tully Gorge National Park.  Cool off with a swim in a beautiful swimming hole, before a BBQ dinner and stories about the campfire.

SLEEP: Rainforest Experience (camping / transfers / dinner / breakfast / activities for $120) or Mt Tyson Hotel for $35.

Travel Day: Tully – Cairns

MEET: Tully Train Station

We wake early at our rainforest camp for breakfast and then have an interpretative walk through the forest, learning about the traditional indigenous usage of the land.  We then head back to Tully and jump on the train to our final destination, Cairns. We arrive late afternoon, then get ready to party tonight to celebrate and farewell 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, we recommend doing one of the famous Tully rafting trips or going skydiving at Mission Beach on this day.

SLEEP: Your choice of Cairns accom, you can book via the Loka web app.


Note: Food and accommodation are not included in your Loka pass. You can break your journey at any of the stops through any of the travel days and just connect with a later Loka bus or rail departure (guided or unguided). You can pre-book your own accommodation via our web app or your guide will help book it for you, you will usually get a bed-only option (averaging $35 per person per night), or a twin/double option (averaging $100 per room).

*This itinerary and prices are valid until October 31st 2018, however are subject to change.


+ 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 Byron Bay and Noosa/Rainbow Beach, and local bus and fast trains (with toilets, showers and a dining carriage) between Noosa/Rainbow Beach and Cairns. We also include the return ferry to Magnetic Island.

+ 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 3 departures per week (up to 5 in summer) over all routes. For specific departure days and times please see our timetable below.


Feel free to email us if you have any questions about your itinerary or how the timetable works.


Short on cash?  You can pay off your Loka pass in instalments if you like!  Check out this page or contact us at yo@loka.travel for more info.