Eastern Australia Travel Guide

This travel guide covers all the essential information you need to know to plan your trip to Eastern Australia, including the top places to visit, food and drink scene, local customs, transportation options, and safety tips.

Welcome to Eastern Australia, a breathtaking region that stretches from the coastal city of Sydney to the tropical paradise of Cairns. This area is a must-see destination for anyone traveling to Australia, offering a unique blend of cultural landmarks, natural wonders, and outdoor adventures. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the best places to visit, things to do, and local tips to help you plan your ultimate Eastern Australia trip.

Introduction to Eastern Australia

Eastern Australia covers a vast area that includes the states of New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. The region is known for its diverse landscapes, ranging from the golden beaches of the Gold Coast to the rugged mountains of the Blue Mountains.

The best time to visit Eastern Australia is during the shoulder season from March to May or September to November, as the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. However, if you’re interested in witnessing the great migration of humpback whales, plan to visit between June and November.

List of Places to Visit in Eastern Australia

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Eastern Australia is home to several cultural landmarks that are worth visiting, including:

  • Sydney Opera House: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that is globally recognized as an architectural gem, featuring performances from world-renowned artists.
  • Australian Museum: The oldest museum in Australia provides a unique insight into the country’s natural history and indigenous culture.
  • Port Arthur Historic Site: A former penal colony turned open-air museum located in Tasmania that gives visitors a glimpse into the lives of convicts in the 19th century.

Natural Attractions of Eastern Australia: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Eastern Australia is also famous for its natural wonders, including:

  • Great Barrier Reef: The world’s largest coral reef system boasts an incredible diversity of marine life, perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving.
  • Blue Mountains National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that is just a short drive from Sydney, featuring stunning panoramic views, hiking trails, and waterfalls.
  • Fraser Island: The world’s largest sand island offers a unique experience of driving on sand roads, visiting freshwater lakes, and seeing wild dingos.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Eastern Australia

Eastern Australia has several hiking and biking routes that offer an opportunity to explore the region’s natural beauty.

  • Royal National Park Coastal Walk: This 30-kilometer trail is an excellent way to explore the coastline south of Sydney, passing through beaches, lookouts, and wild landscapes.
  • Cape Byron Walking Track: A 3.7-kilometer hike that passes through the Cape Byron Lighthouse, Australia’s most easterly point, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and coastal scenery.
  • Great Ocean Walk: A 104-kilometer trail along the Victorian coastline that offers scenic views of limestone cliffs, rock formations, and national parks.

Best Things to Do in Eastern Australia: Activities and Tours

Eastern Australia offers a wide range of activities and tours for visitors to enjoy, including:

  • Surfing on the Gold Coast: With more than 57 kilometers of pristine coastline, the Gold Coast is known as the surfing capital of Australia.
  • Wine tasting in the Hunter Valley: The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, offering tours and tastings of local wines and gourmet cuisine.
  • Hot air ballooning over the Yarra Valley: Admire the stunning landscapes of the Yarra Valley from high up in the sky for a truly unforgettable experience.

Week-Long Itinerary for Eastern Australia

Here’s a sample itinerary for a week-long trip to Eastern Australia:

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney, explore the city’s highlights, including the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and Bondi Beach.

Day 2-3: Head to the Blue Mountains for hiking, waterfall spotting, and wine tasting.

Day 4-5: Take a flight to Cairns and explore the Great Barrier Reef through snorkeling or scuba diving.

Day 6-7: Explore the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest tropical rainforest in the world, and take a scenic drive along the coast to the stunning beaches of Port Douglas.

Food and Drink Scene of Eastern Australia

Australia has a diverse food scene, influenced by its multicultural population and abundant natural resources. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages to try in Eastern Australia:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Meat pies: A savory pastry filled with minced meat, onion, and gravy, available at most bakeries in Australia.
  • Vegemite: An Australian spread made from yeast extract, enjoyed on toast or crackers.
  • Fish and chips: Deep-fried fish served with chips, a classic dish of seaside towns in Australia.

Local Beverages

  • Australian wines: The country is known for its world-class wine regions, including the Hunter Valley and the Yarra Valley.
  • Craft beer: Australia has a thriving craft beer scene, with breweries ranging from small-scale operations to large enterprises.
  • Flat white: A popular coffee drink in Australia, originating from New Zealand. The drink features a double shot of espresso with steamed milk, resulting in a creamy and rich coffee experience.

Where to Stay in Eastern Australia: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Eastern Australia offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences, including:

  • Hotels: for those who prefer luxury and comfort, offering facilities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and spas.
  • Hostels: a budget-friendly option for backpackers and solo travelers, offering basic amenities such as shared dorms and communal areas.
  • Guesthouses: a blend of comfort and budget, offering private rooms with shared facilities.

What to Buy in Eastern Australia: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Some unique souvenirs and local products to bring home from Eastern Australia include:

  • Aboriginal artworks: Indigenous artworks are an essential part of Australian culture, featuring techniques such as dot painting and bark painting.
  • Macadamia nuts: A unique snack that is native to Australia, available in most gift shops and supermarkets.
  • Ugg boots: A cozy and practical delicacy of Australian footwear, available in several stores across the country.

Local Culture and Customs of Eastern Australia

In Eastern Australia, the culture is a blend of indigenous Australian and western influences. Some key customs and cultural practices to keep in mind include:

  • Respect for indigenous customs: Australia’s indigenous population has a strong culture and history, and it’s important to recognize and respect their customs.
  • Tipping: Tipping isn’t mandatory in Australia, and service charges are usually included in the bill.
  • Food and drink: Australians have a friendly and relaxed approach to food, often enjoying beach barbecues and casual dining.

Best Time to Visit Eastern Australia

The best time to visit Eastern Australia is during the shoulder season from March to May or September to November, as the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. However, if you’re interested in witnessing the great migration of humpback whales, plan to visit between June and November.

Do’s and Don’ts of Eastern Australia


  • Be respectful of indigenous customs and culture.
  • Pack for all weather conditions.
  • Take advantage of the coastal towns and beaches.


  • Swim where there are no lifeguards.
  • Touch or disturb wildlife.
  • Underestimate the strength of the Australian sun.

Safety and Health

Safety in Eastern Australia

Australia is generally a safe country to travel to, with low crime rates and friendly locals. However, it’s always best to take precautions, such as:

  • Keep valuables secure and out of sight.
  • Stay aware of surroundings in unfamiliar areas.
  • Follow safety guidelines for outdoor activities, such as wearing appropriate protective gear.

Health in Eastern Australia

Australia has a high standard of healthcare, and medical facilities are easily accessible in most major cities. However, it’s still essential to take precautions, such as:

  • Get a travel insurance that covers medical expenses.
  • Pack basic medication and remedies for minor illnesses.
  • Protect against mosquito-borne diseases by using repellent and wearing protective clothing.

Getting to Eastern Australia: Transportation Options and Logistics

Eastern Australia is easily accessible by plane, bus, or car. Here are some options to consider:

Airports Near Eastern Australia

  • Sydney Airport: The largest airport in Australia, serving both domestic and international flights.

  • Cairns Airport: The airport in Cairns is the main gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical north of the country.

  • Melbourne Airport: The second busiest airport in Australia, with direct flights to most major cities in the country.

Bus Stations Near Eastern Australia

  • Greyhound Australia: One of the largest bus companies in Australia, providing regular services to most major cities and towns.

  • Premier Motor Service: A popular bus company that operates between Sydney and Melbourne.

Other Options

  • Car rental: An excellent option for those who prefer to travel at their own pace and explore off the beaten track.

  • Train travel: While not as popular as other transportation modes, train travel is an excellent option for those who prefer a scenic and relaxed journey.

How to Get Around in Eastern Australia

Eastern Australia offers several transportation modes to get around the area, including:

  • Public transportation: Buses and trains operate in most major cities, with affordable and reliable services.

  • Car rental: An excellent option for those who prefer to travel at their own pace and explore off the beaten track.

  • Taxis and ride-sharing services: Uber and similar services are popular in the bigger cities, providing a convenient and reliable way to get around.

Where to Go Next from Eastern Australia: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

After exploring Eastern Australia, consider these nearby destinations and excursions:

  • Tasmania: This island state is known for its natural beauty and rugged landscapes, offering opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and food and drink tasting.

  • Kangaroo Island: This island off the coast of South Australia is famous for its wildlife, including kangaroos, seals, and koalas, and unique landscapes.

  • New Zealand: Just a short flight away, New Zealand offers a completely different experience of adventure and natural beauty, including stunning national parks and world-class hiking trails.


Eastern Australia is a magical destination that offers a unique blend of cultural landmarks, natural wonders, and outdoor adventures. In this guide, we’ve covered the top places to visit, best things to do, local customs and culture, transportation options and logistics, and safety and health tips to help make your journey to Eastern Australia as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a culture seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing escape, Eastern Australia has something for everyone.