Cairns to Brisbane

Jump on the Share Bus from Cairns to travel with a bunch of other backpackers between Cairns and Brisbane to see the biggest highlights of the East Coast. This is the stuff of backpacker dreams, take the opportunity to 4WD Fraser Island, kayak in the Whitsundays, see incredible beaches, mountains, rainforest and animals.  Think Noosa, Sunshine Coast, and incredible islands, beaches and towns.

This trip goes for 17 days and 16 nights. The destination is set, but the route is not – take control of your own adventure!

See some incredible waterfalls near Cairns then head south swimming, surfing, hiking throughout the wonderful nature and beaches. Don’t forget Magnetic Island and Mission beach! Once in Airlie Beach you can look into taking a water taxi to an island in the Whitsundays to camp overnight and explore the area by kayak. You could even go for a surf at Agnes Waters or hang out with some kangaroos at a beach at sunrise. Keep heading south as you explore the coastline and stop at beaches to swim. We’ll get you a sweet deal on shared 4WD hire to see Fraser Island, so you can head over there to drive along the beach, tube down a creek, or spot the shipwrecks (and dingoes!).  Or you can stay on the mainland to chill out at Rainbow Beach. Finish up by seeing some incredible hinterland, rainforest and beaches as you travel the Sunshine Coast and stop by Noosa. From Noosa you’ll head towards Brisbane where you can check into a hostel (on us) and celebrate the end of your trip.

Expect to get fit with lots of hiking, snorkeling and exercise as you appreciate the natural sights. This is a no-frills adventure – you’ll be setting up your own tents, sharing the driving, cooking your own dinner and sharing your tent with another person. The target age group is 18-35.

Things to note

Please note this is a minibus rental, not a guided tour. You rent a seat on the bus. We provide a recommended itinerary to help guide you. You will rent your seat as either a ‘driver’ or ‘non-driver’. Non-drivers must never drive. Drivers can share driving and must be aged 21+ A few days before your trip you will be given a full guide book with free activities, paid activities, recommended campsites to visit, access to discounts, as well as recommended sights to see. Please bring your own water bottle, sunscreen and torch. However please limit your luggage to about 20kg – 1 big bag, and one day bag/small backpack. The minibus seats 12, anyone with a regular driver’s license can drive it. There is a trailer attached with all camping equipment and space for your bags. Be prepared to mostly free camp! Trip Highlights

  • Explore national parks, awesome hiking tracks, and see some of the most famous beaches
  • Do Fraser Island and Whitsundays cheaply! Sharing the rental of a 4WD for Fraser and taking a water taxi to camp on an island for Whitsundays
  • Beaches with palm trees, koalas, and snorkel opportunities at chilled out Magnetic Island
  • Both rainforest and beach available to explore all throughout Australia’s north!


General inclusions

  • Your Toyota Hiace Minibus, to drive to the places you choose (but not on 4WD roads!)
  • Fully equipped trailer with everything you need for camping, cooking, and fun (equipment list)
  • Consumables such as: toilet paper, oil, salt and pepper, gas, bin bags etc
  • Recommended itinerary (but you have freedom!)
  • Guidebook (for activities and camping locations – both free and pay sites)
  • Fuel consumption for unlimited km
  • Comprehensive insurance with roadside assistance
  • Special discounts on activities and accomodation
  • National Park Entries

Trip-specific inclusions

  • Last night accomodation – hostel
  • Snorkelling gear (Great for Whitsundays and Magnetic Island)
  • Access to great discounts for shared 4WD hire; and to visit the Whitsundays


  • Most accommodation: although you can choose to stay at plenty of free camps, or budget pay camps
  • Food: We will give you all the equipment you need to cook what you like!
  • Sleeping bag: bring your own for hygiene reasons
  • Guide: it’s just you and fellow “rentees” driving this minibus. Enjoy!

Recommended itinerary

We’ve not quite finalised the day-by-day itinerary, so watch this space. But don’t worry you will get to see:
– Glasshouse Mountains
– Sunshine Coast
– Noosa + Hinterland
– Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island
– Agnes Water
– Cape Hillsborough
– Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays
– Townsville and Magnetic Island
– Mission Beach
– Atherton Tablelands and Waterfalls near Cairns
– Cairns
But if there’s anything extra you want to see, the itinerary is totally flexible so just let your busmates know and you should be able to stop and see it!

Trip details

Cairns to Brisbane

Trip length: 17 days

Early bird: $574 (4+ weeks before Start date)
Full fee: $597

Start date:

  • 28th May 2020
  • 11th July 2020
  • 24th August 2020
  • 7th October 2020


Discounts are available:

if you book more than 4 weeks in advance
for groups of friends travelling together
if you want to stay on the Share Bus for more than one trip

Please send us an email for details and to ask for your discount eligibility.

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