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Best Hotels in Australia on the East Coast

Australia is pitched as the “lucky country”. Surrounded by wonderous stretches of gorgeous coastline, paradise islands, golden beaches, lush rainforests and beautiful sunny days. ‘My Country’ by poet Dorothea MacKellar written in 1908 reminds us ‘Australians’ of the reality of living in this often harsh, unforgiving and ruthless land.

Every country has its share of struggles, and although Australia does experience some extreme weather events, it is still a place like no other. What most visitors to Australia have a hard time understanding is the size of it. That’s why it is essential to break Australia up into multiple visits.

Weather in Australia

Best time to visit the East Coast of Australia is in the off-seasons between March – May and September – November. Although, the most popular time for holiday-makers is from December to February, it is very hot, can be humid and summer storms and heavy rain events are common especially in Far North Queensland. Travelling outside of peak times is cheaper, less crowded and the weather is more ideal on the east coast of Australia.

Ultimate Travel Itinerary on East Coast Australia

Most visitors to a new country have limited time and the last thing you want to do on holiday is spend too much of your time in transit. Australia has the sixth longest coastline in the world. Either choose to explore the West or East Coast of Australia. Both coastlines offer a unique and different experience. In this article, I am going to hone in on my favourite hotels on Australia’s East Coast.

Cairns to Melbourne | Melbourne to Cairns

Follow this East Coast Australia map of hotels like an itinerary or expert travel guide. Each hotel recommendation is based on location, comforts, restaurants, picturesque views and activities to do. Ideally, plan to stay 2 or 3 days at each hotel on the list. 

Let’s start the journey from Cairns in Far North Queensland and end in Melbourne Victoria. That way, no matter which airport in Australia you arrive at, you have a starting point in either direction along the East Coast of Australia.

East Coast Hotels Australia
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Riley Crystalbrook Collection | Cairns Queensland

Riley is part of the Cairns Crystalbrook Collection of new luxury hotels and resorts in Australia.  Bailey and Flynn are part of the group and within walking distance of Riley.  Like brothers, each of these Cairns hotels share many similarities, but each is also unique and retains its individual personality.

This 5-star property is centrally located at the northern end of Cairns iconic oceanfront Esplanade. Not only this, just a short distance from Cairns Civic Theatre, Centre of Contemporary Arts, a 10-minute walk from the Great Barrier Reef Departure Terminal and a 7-minute drive from Cairns Botanic Gardens. Furthermore, Cairns International Airport is just 5 km from the hotel.

The Riley features 311 stylish rooms and suites, three restaurants and bars including Cairns’ highest rooftop bar, Rocco. The expansive lagoon pool and private beach, Eléme Day Spa and a 24-hour fitness centre provide the perfect vacation mix. Most of Riley’s contemporary rooms and suites have spacious balconies. Family rooms have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, while suites and rooms have a combo of urban, resort and sea views.

Each room features its own Apple iPad control centre, a 55-inch Smart TV, video streaming, access to hundreds of complimentary movies and box sets, blackout blinds, a rainforest shower head and Nespresso coffee machine with recyclable pods. All public and in-room areas are equipped with free Wi-Fi.

Niramayaarchitecturally designed and self-contained 1 to 4-bedroom villas nestled in the natural beauty of Far North Queensland. Luxury Port Douglas accommodation set amongst 15 hectares of lush tropical gardens, private courtyards and lilypad dotted lakes. Niramaya is luxurious and intensely private. Indulge your body with a soothing massage or unwind with a few laps in the infinity-edge pool.

Take a short stroll to Four Mile Beach, which leads to the chic village of Port Douglas. Port Douglas is a small picturesque town, yet it is a playground for the rich and famous. Located an hour’s drive north of Cairns International airport and a stone’s throw from the World Heritage-listed Daintree and Cape Tribulation rainforest and Great Barrier Reef.

Beach Club

Imagine walking on pure white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees under a bright blue sky. That’s Hamilton Island and the beautiful Whitsunday Islands!

The world-famous Whitsundays is dotted by 74 idyllic islands of which only 8 are inhabited, including Hamilton Island. Each island floats between the central Queensland coast and Great Barrier Reef. Boasting pristine beaches and an ideal location for dive and snorkel enthusiasts. In fact, it has been voted as one of the most beautiful sailing destinations in the world.

East Coast Oceanfront Resort

Enjoy direct access to Catseye Beach from your oceanfront resort accommodation. Complimentary à la carte breakfast at Beach Club restaurant included every day of your stay. Take a dip in the infinite-edge pool or lie back in a hammock on the private beach at this adult only (18+) resort. Get treated like royalty with VIP chauffeur services around the island which includes return transfers to Hamilton Island marina and airport.

Beach Club guests receive priority access to Spa Qualia and nearby Sports Club. Free WiFi access in-rooms and at selected hotpots locations across Hamilton Island. Surrounded by tropical palms, white beaches, the Beach Club is the perfect base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and world-famous Whitehaven Beach.

How to Get to Hamilton Island from Cairns?

Qantas, the world’s safest airline offers direct flights to Hamilton Island from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. You may find it quicker and cheaper to fly from Cairns to Brisbane for a few days then Hamilton Island. Although, you may feel like you are back tracking during your East Coast trip, it is crucial that you are aware of flight limitations and plan the best travel route in the quickest time.

The Fantauzzo Art Series Hotel

The Fantauzzo is an imposing fusion of nature, art and architecture. Located beneath the iconic Story Bridge in Brisbane CBD and within the revitalised Howard Smith Wharves hub. The 6-storey hotel is inspired by Vincent Fantauzzo, an acclaimed Melbourne-based portrait artist well-known for his award-winning portraits of Heath Ledger (actor), Matt Moran (chef), Baz Luhrmann (film producer) and his son, Luca. Each of the 166 suites are well appointed and feature original artworks and giclee prints.

Spectacular views of the Brisbane River and Skyline, abound from the rooftop pool and cocktail bar. Brisbane’s’ Fantauzzo Hotel is in a stellar location and in close proximity to Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Southbank, Convention Centre, Performing Arts, Treasury Casino, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, New Farm Park, Brisbane River Cat Ferries and Queen Street Mall shopping precinct.

Best Hotels Along East Coast Australia | Cairns to Melbourne
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Sydney’s Best Hotel Locations

Popular areas to stay in Sydney for first time visitors are Sydney CBD or Darling Harbour. Both areas are great choices but offer totally different experiences.

The main tourist attractions are set around the Sydney Harbour Bridge waterfront precinct and within walking distance of the Opera House, The Rocks and Royal Botanic Gardens. Darling Harbour is close to Sydney’s museums, theatres, Chinatown, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and a 15-minute walk from The Star Casino.

Woolloomooloo Accommodation | Sydney Harbourside

Ovolo Woolloomooloo is a 5-star hotel, next to the Royal Botanical Gardens and a 15-minute walk from the Sydney Opera House. A great choice for travellers interested in walking, beaches and sightseeing. It is close to the heart of Sydney CBD but yet in a peaceful wharf location.

The luxury 5-star waterfront hotel occupies the front half of the heritage-listed Finger Wharf with breathtaking vistas and home to some of Sydney’s best eating establishments.

Accommodation options include private rooms and loft suites decorated with luxurious bedding and ultra-modern furnishings. Each has a free minibar, Wi-Fi and access to fitness centre, indoor pool and complimentary self-service laundry throughout your stay.

The Lo Lounge is a stylish multi-purpose social area created for hotel guests to work or relax. Available 24-hours a day, guests can grab barista coffee, daily newspapers and enjoy all-day nibbles and refreshments.

Woolloomooloo | Nearby Attractions

Just a short stroll away is Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Artspace, St Mary’s CathedralAndrew Charlton Pool. One of Sydney’s best swimming and sunbathing facilities offering stunning harbour views and a relaxing atmosphere.

Lancemore Crossley St. | Melbourne Victoria (Opening Late 2020)

Best Hotels Along East Coast Australia | Cairns to Melbourne
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Lancemore Crossley St is right in the centre of Melbourne, 300 metres from Princess Theatre. Other popular points of interest include State Library of Victoria, Federation Square and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Hotel Lancemore Crossley St is right in the centre of Melbourne and 300 metres from the Princess Theatre. It is currently undergoing a $10M transformation and opens late 2020. Situated in an iconic laneway, it is a pinnacle location highlighting Melbournian culture and award-winning restaurants such as Becco, Gingerboy and Pellegrinis.

This exciting boutique hotel development features 113 private rooms of various room types plus a stunning rooftop terrace boasting breathtaking skyline views. It’s a melting pot of arts, culture, food, and fashion, yet the hotel radiates serenity and authenticity.

 Lancemore has become a highly respected boutique hotel operator in Australia, recognised globally as the most awarded hotel group in Australia in Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards.

Aussie Craft Beers | Spirits | Wines

Along the way, you’ll have the chance to drink some of Australia’s best craft beers, spirits and wines as well as dine in world-class restaurants.

Australians are a friendly bunch, who equally love where they live and thrive on sharing tips on the best places to visit and eat on the East Coast of Australia.

Being raised in Brisbane and having taken several road trips on the East Coast, I have loads of knowledge and useful information to share with you. In this East Coast Hotel trip planner, we have covered the best hotels to stay on the East Coast in an easy to follow itinerary. 

I have a feeling that you’ll love this East Coast road trip just as much as me.

Disclosure: We use affiliate links to monetise our content.  We may receive a commission on products or services that you purchase through clicking on links within this blog.

Travel Planning Resources

Packing Checklist

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Book Your Flight

eDreams AU is my favourite airline search engine for booking both my domestic and international flights. Also check out my pro tips on how to find the best and cheapest flights in my Go Travel eBook.

Rent A Car

RentalCars.com is where you will find the right car in the right place at the right price. It’s the best car rental site for comparing prices and offers.

Book Accommodation

My go-to-online accommodation search engine is Booking.com. With over 830,000 hotels, apartments, villas, resorts, guest houses and B&Bs, you will be spoilt for choice. They offer great rates, *free cancellation, no reservation fees and best prices are guaranteed. Through the booking site you have access to customer reviews, special offers and great deals. Plus, each accommodation is shown by location and photos, so you know exactly what to expect.

Save $35 with this Airbnb coupon code and learn the best way to find cheap Airbnb accommodation around the world. Check my Go Travel eBook for more accommodation pro tips.

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