Airlie Beach, The Whitsundays, Rainbow Beach & Fraser Island – East Coast of Australia Roadtrip

After Magnetic Island, we drove our Spaceships Rentals Spacewagon  to Airlie Beach. I was so excited about this part of the trip because we were going on our Whitsunday’s trip from here! Airlie is so nice and has such a good vibe. It’s a long street full of pubs, restaurants and shops. I would recommend staying here for at least 2 days. There are loads of hostels on the Main Street too. There is a really cool man made lagoon on the water front too where you can swim, chill out on the sand or grass area or have a BBQ.

From here, we heading on our Whitsundays trip. We book our 2 night, 3 day boat trip with Sailing Whitsundays. We went on ‘Wings‘ and I loved it. We stayed on the boat, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, swam with turtles in Mackerel Bay, giant fish in Mantaray Bay, watched humpback whales breaching, spent a morning on Whitehaven Beach and saw the most amazing sunsets. The food was so good and plentiful and you were allowed to have a few drinks on board too. If you’re looking for more of a party boat, the Atlantic Clipper is meant to be very good. Day trips are available too but I would recommend a few days in the Whitsundays – Paradise!

Whitehaven Beach, swimming with turtles and amazing sunsets


When we got back, we had a long drive to Rainbow Beach. It was a 12 hour drive so we broke it up into a few days. The greyhound bus goes directly there. We drove all the way to Rockhampton and stayed there for the night. On the way, there are not many petrol stations so make sure to fill up before you go. In Rockhampton, you can visit the Botanic Gardens, Capricorn Caves or Mount Archer.

Another long long drive to Hervey Bay. This is such a lovely town too. Beautiful Beaches and very chill. We watched the sunset on the beach here! From here, you can go on whale watching tours and arrange trips to Fraser Island from here too.

Sunsets on Hervey Bay

Next stop was Rainbow Beach for our Fraser Island Tour. Rainbow Beach is a small town so I wouldn’t stay long there before/after your tour, unless you just want to chill on a Beach.

Rainbow Beach

We booked our Fraser Tour with Dingos Hostel. We spent 2 nights, 3 days camping on Fraser Island and driving the 4x4s.  We drove 300km on the Eastern Beach Highway, swam in Lake Mackenzie, Champagne Pools and Eli Creek, drive on 75 mile beach to Indian Head to see whales and Dolphins and trekked up to Lake Wabby. Pippies is another good company you can book with. It was a great 3 days, but if th camping life isn’t for you, there are glamping options too.


Top Tips:

  • Airlie/Whitsundays is better than Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef
  • Book your boat tour early for the Whitsundays as they will book out.
  • Bring insect repellant to Fraser
  • Check out Spaceships rentals if you’re planning a road trip in Australia. We rented with them and found them to be so good. They even have a free app that is so helpful!
  • Be careful driving at night, the kangaroos are more likely to be on the roads then.

Happy Travels,

Top Tip Traveller 🙂

Spaceships Roadtrips

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