100 things to do east coast Australia this summer 2022/2023. Backpacking and hostel tips

100 Things To Do On Australia’s East Coast This Summer

We’ve unpacked 100 things to do across the east coast of Australia this summer! From Melbourne and Sydney, to Byron Bay, Brisbane and Cairns, add these must-do experiences to your Aussie bucket list.


Last updated: November 2022


Sydney & surrounds

  1. Do a day trip to the Blue Mountains
  2. Catch the ferry and do a hike at Royal National Park
  3. Revel in the Mardi Gras Parade
  4. Take a road trip from Sydney to Byron Bay
  5. Take part in Wake Up’s Hostel Activities – complimentary for all guests
  6. Have dinner at Spice Alley
  7. Walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee (included in our hostel activities for guests)
  8. See the Darling Harbour fireworks
  9. Dance the night away at a themed night at Side Bar
  10. Have drinks at Opera Bar
  11. Stretch out with a rooftop yoga class, directly in front of Bondi Beach – free for guests at Wake Up! Bondi Beach 
  12. Drink margaritas at Salty’s Bondi
  13. Do the Spit to Manly walk
  14. Fill your camera roll with photos of the Sydney Opera House
  15. Swim at Bondi Icebergs 
  16. Take a public ferry ride
  17. Walk around Grounds of Alexandria
  18. Check out the Glebe Markets (or join our free Glebe Markets walking tour to make new hostel friends while you’re at it!)
  19. Watch a movie at Westpac’s OpenAir Cinema in front of the Opera House
  20. Catch a show at the Sydney Festival (we have our eyes on Werk It)
  21. Eat delicious Asian street food at the Chinatown Night Markets
  22. Swim at all the beaches and ocean pools
  23. Have fresh fish at the Sydney Fish Market
  24. Immerse your senses at the incredible Van Gogh Alive gallery experience
  25. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge (free)
  26. Have a picnic at Centennial Park, Cremorne Reserve, on the beach… anywhere!
  27. Go kayaking or stand up paddleboarding 
  28. Walk around Royal Botanic Garden and soak up the sights from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (you’ll go here on our free guided City Walk at Wake Up!)
  29. Go on a guided snorkelling tour at Bondi


  • Wake Up! Sydney Central
  • Wake Up! Bondi Beach

NSW South Coast

  1. Learn to surf with the legends at Surf Camp Australia 
  2. See kangaroos catching waves on the beach at Pebbly Beach
  3. Soak up the beach and brilliantly-white sand at Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay
  4. Drive along Sea Cliff Bridge on the Grand Pacific Drive


  • Surf Camp Australia

Central Coast

  1. Go quad biking at the Worimi Conservation Lands in Port Stephens
  2. Climb the Tomaree Head Summit walk for epic views
  3. Hike the Coastal Walk at Bouddi National Park on a day trip
  4. Drink wine in the Hunter Valley
  5. Pub crawl in Newcastle
Wake Up! Hostels provides award winning backpacker accommodation in Sydney, Bondi Beach and Byron Bay. Australia's top hostel and affordable accommodation.

Byron Bay & Surrounds

  1. Enjoy dinner and live music at Treehouse
  2. Get your dancing shoes on at the Piano Bar at Great Northern Hotel
  3. Mooch and meander around the shops in the town centre and Arts & Industrial Estate
  4. Take up a surf lesson
  5. Wake up early for a Sunrise Lighthouse Tour (included in your stay at Wake Up!)
  6. Enjoy Happy Hour at Miss Margarita
  7. Take a day trip to the hippy town of Nimbin
  8. Flow to a free yoga class in Wake Up’s private yoga tent – one of our complimentary hostel activities
  9. Feel the energy at one of the world’s biggest crystal sanctuaries, Crystal Castle
  10. Take a dip underneath a waterfall at Killen Falls or Minyon Falls
  11. Dance the night away at Rails and Woody’s
  12. Bike ride around Byron Bay with Wake Up’s affordable bike hire
  13. Have a sunset picnic on the beach
  14. Take some day trips out to Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads
  15. Make friends and meet other travellers at Wake Up! Byron Bay’s complimentary Wine & Cheese Night


  • Wake Up! Byron Bay


Gold Coast, Brisbane, Noosa

  1. Paddleboard along Noosa River
  2. Have dinner and drinks at The Mexican Joint
  3. Hike through Noosa National Park
  4. Browse through the open-air Eumundi Markets
  5. Shop along and around Hastings Street
  6. Kayak the Noosa Everglades
  7. Spend time at Australia Zoo (made famous by the late Steve Irwin and his wife Terri)
  8. Take a dolphin and snorkelling tour of Moreton Island
  9. Hold a koala at Lone Pine Sanctuary
  10. Canoe down the Brisbane River
  11. Have drinks and go bar-hopping in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley
  12. Swim at Streets Beach
  13. Head to Cali Beach Pool Club for drinks and DJs
  14. Grab drinks and a meal at Burleigh Pavillion
  15. Visit Australia’s tallest Building, Sky Point
  16. Have a fun day out at the Warner Bros Movie World theme park


  • Brisbane Quarters Hostel, Brisbane
  • Bounce Backpackers, Noosa

North-East Queensland (including Cairns, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Whitsundays)

  1. Great Barrier Reef Scuba Dive
  2. Cape Tribulation
  3. Drinks and food at Howling Jays
  4. Night out at Salt House
  5. Skydive at Mission Beach
  6. Frolic under the sun at The Splash Bar at Ville Resort in Townsville
  7. Drive the Waterfall Circuit to Milla Milla Falls, Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls
  8. Go bungee jumping in Cairns
  9. Drive Barbie Cars or Topless Jeep Wranglers around Magnetic Island
  10. Feed rock wallabies and spot koalas in the treetops at Magnetic Island
  11. Sail and socialise with a True Blue Sailing experience in the Whitsundays
  12. Take a helicopter scenic flight from Airlie Beach
  13. Have drinks, a swim and unrestricted ocean views at Coral Sea Marina Resort’s pool and bar
  14. Do a boat tour of the Whitsundays from Airlie Beach
  15. Have a day of adrenaline and snorkelling with Ocean Rafting
  16. Take a pic of the Rainbow Steps at Rainbow Beach
  17. Explore Fraser Island on an overnight tour


  • Nomads, Magnetic Island
  • Bounce Backpackers, Cairns
  • Base/Nomads Hostel, Airlie Beach


Melbourne & surrounds

  1. Drive along the Great Ocean Road or do a day tour (extend by plugging Melbourne to Sydney road trip
  2. Take a photo at the Brighton Beach Boxes
  3. Drink and party at St Kilda’s beach bars
  4. Play Boozy Bingo at Base Hostel
  5. Catch a movie at the Moonlight Cinema in the Botanic Gardens
  6. See the world’s largest little penguin colony at Phillip Island
  7. Take in the view from Melbourne Skydeck
  8. Meander through the city’s laneways, including the famous Hosier Lane
  9. Grab a Ground Pass to the Australian Open
  10. Get your Aussie music education at the Australian Music Vault museum
  11. Grab drinks on a pop-up floating bar at Arbory Afloat
  12. Hit the waves at URBNSRF – a city surf park
  13. Experience the Summer Night Markets at the city’s most iconic market, Queen Victoria Market
  14. Have fun at a summer festival, like St Kilda Festival, Falls Festival, Meredith Music Festival and Laneway Festival.

east coast australia

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