Campervan Holiday Australia – Beaches, Reef and Forests

Campervan Holiday Australia

Most travellers to Australia enjoy getting out and exploring the vastness that is Australia. For an international traveller a self drive holiday along the east coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns offers the chance to explore beach towns, rainforests and the coral reef. The easiest way to do this trip is to hire a campervan from Sydney and drive all the way to Cairns in the far north. Campervan Holiday Australia-

What are the best places to visit and what do you need to plan in order to have a holiday like this. The first thing is that the distance is a long way, so this type of trip is best to do in a 14 day holiday or longer if you can afford the time. The second is probably to plan which experiences you personally want, as a family of four will want different experiences to a young couple travelling together. 

The east coast of Australia has a litany of great beach towns to enjoy and explore. Below is a list of the towns which have a good beach experience, hence are worth visiting on your trip. These towns all have different sorts of beaches, with some having protected beaches that are ideal for the family and some having open ocean beaches that are great for surfing and adventure. 

Beach Towns- Campervan Holiday Australia


  • Open ocean beaches
  • Working harbour 
  • Walking tours and plenty of town activities

Port Stephens  

  • Protected beaches and open ocean beaches
  • Marine park with 150 dolphins
  • Water activities: swimming, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, diving & fishing

South West Rocks

  • Protected beaches and open ocean beaches
  • Diving at Fish Rock caves
  • Smokey Cape Lighthouse

Lennox Heads 

  • Open ocean beaches 
  • National surfing reserve
  • Tea tree lined lake 
  • Classic waterside hotel 

Byron Bay

  • Protected beach and open ocean beaches
  • Cape Byron most easterly point in continental Australia 
  • Cape Byron lighthouse 
  • Water activities: swimming, surfing, diving, kayaking, paddle boarding

Gold Coast 

  • Open ocean beaches and protected waters at the broad water
  • Casino, restaurants, cafes, shopping
  • Amusement Parks: Dreamworld, white water world, Sea World, Movie World, Outback Adventure
  • Water Activities: surfing, swimming, diving, jet skiing, kayaking, sailing, fishing


  • Protected north facing beach and open ocean beaches around headland
  • Restaurants, Cafes, North Facing Beach 
  • National Park, Interconnected waterways of rivers and lakes
  • Access to the Great Sandy Region 

Airlie Beach 

  • Protected beaches
  • Easy access to Whitsunday Islands
  • Water Activities: sailing, fishing, diving and swimming 

Mission Beach 

  • Protected beaches
  • Views out over Dunk Island , Island ferry
  • Water Activities: fishing, white water rafting, diving tours

Cairns Beaches

  • Protected beaches and headlands
  • Easy access to Atherton tablelands and rainforest 
  • Restaurants, cafes and shopping
  • Tours and access to the reef

Port Douglas 

  • Protected beaches – wide sandy four mile beach 
  • Restaurants, cafes and shops
  • Marina with snorkelling, diving, sailing tours to the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef 

The Great Barrier Reef stretches from around Bundaberg all the way north to the tip of Queensland. Enjoying the reef can be done in one of several ways. There are multiple islands on the Great Barrier Reef where you can stay for a few nights and explore the reef. The other way to enjoy the reef is with a tour out to the reef from one of many places along the coast. Places to access the reef from include:


The city of Bundaberg offers access to the southernmost portion of the reef known as the Bunker group of islands. From Bundaberg you can fly to Lady Elliot Island and stay a few days at the eco-lodge. Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay island and offers visitors the chance to snorkel and dive on pristine coral reefs. It is also a turtle nesting ground.

Lady Musgrave Island is also accessible from Bundaberg on a day tour. The island is a coral island with a huge natural lagoon which provides the visitors with calm protected and shallow waters to snorkel swim and dive in. A visit to the island also provides for a glass bottom boat tour around the lagoon and a visit to the island itself. The island is home to thousands of nesting birds and is also a turtle nesting ground. 


Cairns is the main centre for tourists to visit in north Queensland and as such it provides many daily tours including reef tours. The tours out to the Barrier Reef include snorkel and dive trips, fishing trips and sailing tours. There are many options from the Cairns marina to visit the reef with. 

Port Douglas 

North of Cairns is the very attractive township of Port Douglas which has its own marina and also runs many tours out to the Barrier Reef for tourists. These tours include snorkel and diving trips along with sailing tours. 

The other way to visit the reef is to drive north of Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is the only area in Australia where you can snorkel off the beach to a coral reef. 

Tropical Rainforest 

The main area to see tropical rainforest in Australia is the Daintree which is north of Cairns. The Daintree is a world heritage listed tropical rainforest which can be visited on day trips from Port Douglas or Cairns. You can also stay longer as there are several eco lodges to stay at if you wish time within the rainforest itself.  

The other spot to visit rainforest from is the Gold Coast which has several rainforest national parks nestled in its hinterlands.  


The drive from Sydney to Cairns with Campervan Holiday Australia, and possibly past, is a long trip with many things to see and do. The trip is around 2400kms which is around 27 hours driving in total, so be sure to give yourself enough time to explore along the way. 



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