Australia: Aussie Adventure
Home to Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef and the iconic Sydney Opera House, Australia is known by its inhabitants as the “Lucky Country” and for good reason. This vast nation is rich in cultural and diversity, blessed with stunning natural beauty and home to warm and friendly people with infectious easy-going vitality. From the tropical northern frontier town of Darwin to the chilly southern sandstone city of Hobart, adventures in Australia are as vast as the horizons.
Dates on request
Suggested Itinerary by Air
UK – Departure
Fly from the UK to Sydney, Australia.
Sydney – Arrival
On arrival Sydney Airport, you will be met by a guide and transferred to your hotel. Bursting with character, Sydney is a vibrant city catering to all your desires whether you seek exhilaration, exploration or relaxation. Discover Sydney’s unique blend of dining, shopping and recreation options in one of the world’s most attractive city environments. Sydney’s sparkling harbour is the jewel in the city’s crown. It’s flanked by golden beaches and bushland, and is home to one of the most famous bridges in the world. You will have the day at leisure to relax after your long journey.
City Tour and Harbour Cruise
This morning, after breakfast you will enjoy a highlights tour capturing the history of Sydney, stunning architecture, spectacular harbour views and the world famous Bondi Beach. Pass through the historical Rocks area and Circular Quay as you learn about the history and significance of the area. View the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a chair specially designed for the governor’s wife to look out over the harbour. Travel via Watson Bay and stop at “The Gap”, for fantastic views and photo opportunities before arriving at world famous Bondi Beach. Return to the city, passing the exclusive suburbs of Double Bay and Rose Bay. The splendour and sights of Sydney Harbour will be set before your eyes as you cruise past the major harbour attractions on board the magnificent Magistic Cruises fleet. Disembark the cruise at Circular Quay for a short stroll over to Sydney Opera House. E
After breakfast, meet your local guide at the hotel and enjoy a fully-escorted tour to travel through the western suburbs of Sydney into the rugged beauty of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. En-route you will visit the Blue Mountains Featherdale Wildlife Park for an ultimate interactive wildlife experience and Aboriginal culture. Feed a kangaroo, wallaby or emu or enjoy a face -to- face encounter and have a photo with one of our friendly koalas. Learn about wombats, cassowaries, crocodiles as you meander through one of Australia’s largest private collections of Australian native animals and birdlife. Blue Mountains is a natural wonderland of untamed bush, spectacular rock formations and native wildlife. See magnificent steep valleys, canyons and the famous cliff formation “The Three Sisters”. The views reach to the horizon, waterfalls plummet to the valleys below and there are numerous lookouts and other places where you feel one with nature.
Sydney to Canberra
Today, you are leaving Sydney and will enjoy a comprehensive tour of Australia’s national capital, Canberra. Standing as a symbol of the nation’s prosperity, take in all of the highlights of this ultra modern city. See contemporary architecture set amid many gardens and parks. Enjoy a guided tour through Parliament House and the renowned National Museum before viewing the fascinating foreign embassies. Travel to the summit of Mt Ainslie and view the city and surrounding landscape. Heading South past Wollongong, New South Wales’ third-largest city. Then drive through the Southern Highlands known for their rugged mountain ranges, rolling green hills and plunging waterfalls. Arrive in Canberra and check in to your hotel.
Canberra to Melbourne
After breakfast at hotel, depart Canberra and pass through the town of Yass, surrounded by beautiful, rich, rolling countryside. Just outside the town of Gundagai you see the “Dog on the Tucker Box” a monument to pioneers and their dogs, then continue on the Hume Highway to Albury before you travel to Beechworth, one of Victoria’s best preserved and most beautiful gold towns, magnificently sited in the foothills of the Alps. Pass through Glenrowan, the famous site of the defeat of Ned Kelly and his gang by the police in 1880. Drive through the beautiful Goulburn Valley to reach Melbourne. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and a cultural hub, is known for the good things in life – fashion, food, entertainment and sport. This is a city of style, architecture, trams, theatres and art. Spend time in some of Melbourne’s diverse precincts and explore the hidden treasures in Melbourne’s famous lanes and historic arcades and experience the many different ways of enjoying life along the Yarra River. Known as a style-setter, Melbourne is home to some of the best shopping and nightlife in Australia, a non-stop program of film and food festivals, cutting edge design and architecture, and major art exhibitions and musical extravaganzas. Arrive in Melbourne in the evening and check in your hotel.
City Tour & Melbourne Colonial Tramcar Experience
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Melbourne. View the fine examples of Melbourne’s architectural splendour such as the Town Hall, the opulent St.Paul’s Cathedral, Princess and Regent Theatres, and Federation Square. Dining in Melbourne can be a fabulous experience, especially aboard the fleet of historical trams that have become The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. These glossy, burgundy restaurants on wheels are the first travelling tramcar restaurants in the world and ensure a delightful innovative approach to dining. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.
Yarra Valley & Dandenong
After breakfast at hotel, hit the road on one of the most scenic routes in Victoria; the views, lush forest and the native birds in the Dandenong Ranges. Sample fine wine and produce, and spot Australian wildlife against a stunning backdrop. The picturesque wine country of the Yarra Valley which is located a short drive from Melbourne, dates back to 1838. Pioneering the Victorian wine industry, it is today considered one of the best wine regions in the world. Enjoy and tantalise your taste buds at some of the renowned wineries where you may sample some of the local wines. Board the Puffing Billy, a historic steam train, and enjoy the mountain scenery and panoramic views which pass by your carriage window. Enjoy a wine tasting at the Dominique Portet Winery is in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Afterwards, head to Healesville Sanctuary, renowned as the best place in the world to see Australian animals in their natural habitats. Koalas, dingoes, kangaroos and the unique platypus are just a few of the 200 species of Australian wildlife flourishing in a beautiful bushland environment of towering gum trees and lush tree ferns.
Melbourne to Adelaide
After breakfast, bid farewell to Melbourne and enjoy one of the world’s great coastal drives, with its dramatic scenery of striking contrasts. The region boasts powerful seas, golden beaches, peaceful townships, giant cliffs and lush forests. Inspect the fascinating information centre and see the amazing Twelve Apostles limestone stacks rising dramatically from the Southern Ocean. Explore Tower Hill Reserve, an enormous volcanic crater rimmed by beds of volcanic ash. Travel to the historic fishing village of Port Fairy, one of the state’s earliest settled coastal villages: step back in time in with its old whitewashed cottages, quaint shops and a pub on nearly every corner.
Mt. Gambier to Adelaide
This morning before departing Mt.Gambier see the famous Blue Lake situated in an extinct volcano. Travel through the Adelaide Hills to the historic town of Hahndorf. Discover the craft stores, galleries and museums at leisure. Taste the German flavours of the region and the many produce stores or sample some fine Adelaide Hills wines. By late evening you arrive in Adelaide, city of great visual harmony and has a classical elegant style, superbly set beside the River Torrens between the Adelaide Hills and waters of Gulf St Vincent. The wine and festival capital of Australia is a place to experience the buzz, culture and convenience of a big city without the frustrations. And because Adelaide is known as the 20-minute city, you can experience it all on a series of easy short walks.
Explore Adelaide on a guided city tour. This is a delightful introduction to this beautiful city including the impressive North Terrace, views from Montefiore Hill and stately homes of North Adelaide. The city centre, surrounded by parklands, is a charming blend of historic buildings, wide streets, groovy shops, street cafes and restaurants.
Kangaroo Island, Adelaide
Enjoy a scenic coach trip to Cape Jervis to connect with the ferry crossing to Kangaroo Island. On arrival on Kangaroo Island, drive to the Seal Bay Conservation Park. Here you can walk on the beach among a colony of rare and wild Australian Sea Lions with a National Parks Ranger. Spend the afternoon at Flinders Chase National Park, renowned as a sanctuary for native Australian animals including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and echidnas. The tour of the park will take you to the rugged southern coastline for a walk on Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch. Your final stop will see you walking among the eucalyptus looking for Koalas at Hanson Bay Sanctuary.
Adelaide to Alice Springs
This morning is at leisure before transferring to Adelaide Airport for your flight to Alice Springs. Over the decades, Alice Springs has transformed itself from a simple telegraph station to a bustling and modern town with its many old buildings making way for shopping plazas, hotels and offices. Australia’s magnificent outback with all of its natural wonders, however, remain just around the corner from Alice Springs which still retains its unique atmosphere while providing you with a place to rest and recharge after a few days of travelling. Upon arrival in Alice Springs complete a City Sights tour of the town, enjoy panoramic views and rugged West Mac Donnell Ranges from Anzac Hill. Visit the School Of The Air (or as they call it the biggest classroom in the world), and for children living in isolated communities and cattle stations around the Territory; it is the only classroom they know. Interpretive displays demonstrate the important role it has in the Outback and on school days you can hear lessons being broadcast.
Alice Spring to Kings Canyon
After breakfast at hotel, depart Alice Springs and travel through the red desert sands to Kings Canyon via Lasseter Highway and Luritja Road. Arrive at Kings Canyon Resort, a true wilderness oasis located 330 kilometres from Alice Springs. You will arrive at Kings Canyon by late afternoon. Watarrka National Park is home to Kings Canyon. Coming from the Aboriginal word referring to the umbrella bush that thrives here, Watarrka National Park has been home to the Luritja people for over 20,000 years. Situated on the western edge of the George Gill Ranges, Kings Canyon is a huge formation of weathered rocks and waterholes.
Kings Canyon to Ayers Rocks
After breakfast at hotel, visit the Kings Canyon. A walk to the rim of Kings Canyon is for the more energetic. You will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the towering orange walls. Continue through the domed rock formation of the “Lost City” and descend into the lush valley where the “Garden of Eden” is found. Continue travelling to Ayers Rock and along the way stop at the Mount Connor lookout off Lassiter Highway to take in the view of Mount Connor. Then drive further until you reach Ayers Rock – or Uluru, as the locals call it. World Heritage-listed Uluru is one of Australia’s most iconic symbols. Located in the heart of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre, Uluru is an ancient landscape, rich in Australian indigenous culture and spirituality. Take a walk into Walpa Gorge and learn of the flora and fauna of the region. Return to a special vantage point from which to view Uluru at sunset. Witness a display of colours from gentle, dusky blues and purples to fierce oranges and reds, glowing with the last remnants of the day.
Uluru Sunrise & Base Tour
Today, rise early to watch the day’s first light illuminate Uluru in a fantastic array of ever changing colours. On the tour around the base of the rock, see ancient rock-paintings, water holes and hear stories of Aboriginal legends. Travel to the Cultural Centre and Maruku Arts and Craft Coop to learn more of this ancient culture. Enjoy breakfast at the Ininti Cafe, in the upstairs dining area with stunning views of Uluru. Enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure before your flight to Cairns. Cairns is your gateway to this vibrant region. Cairns will be your base as you explore the lush tropical rainforest, cosy villages, tropical islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef, Cairns
Set sail aboard a luxury sailing catamaran for a day to remember to Michaelmas Cay – a low lying vegetated sand cay encircled by a spectacular fringing reef, a National Park and a protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. Snorkelling is fun and a great way to experience the many treasures of the Great Barrier Reef! With easy access from the beach at Michaelmas Cay, you can enjoy the reef, quietly drifting over the myriad of corals and colourful fish.
Cape Tribulation & Daintree
After breakfast, meet your local guide to travel to the National Park Cape Tribulation. Discover the rainforests of the Daintree, the unspoilt beaches of Cape Tribulation and stunning swimming lagoons. Spot local wildlife including the infamous salt-water crocodile on a river cruise and learn more about the fantastic rainforest that canopies the river. This is where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy lunch at Daintree Tea House – rainforest dining at its very best. At the Mossman Gorge, you will be welcomed with a traditional ‘smoking’ ceremony that cleanses and wards off bad spirits. The walk then meanders through stunning rainforest and takes in traditional huts or humpies. The experienced interpretive Indigenous guides demonstrate traditional plant use, identify bush food sources and provide an enchanting narrative of the rainforest and their special relationship with this unique tropical environment. A stop at ‘the Beach’, gives visitors the opportunity for a refreshing swim in this water hole, where your guide demonstrates traditions like making bush soaps and ochre painting.
Kuranda Scenic Rail
Kuranda is the aboriginal word for ‘village in the rainforest’, and over the years Kuranda has taken on a distinctive character as a popular destination in its own right. Kuranda is famous for having the biggest and most frequent art and craft markets in Tropical North Queensland, with exotically handcrafted goods and Aboriginal artifacts. It also boasts Australia’s biggest butterfly display which is home to exotic species such as the brilliant blue Ulysses and the Red Lace Wings butterfly that flash their presence as smaller and camouflaged species feed on the tropical flowers and trees of their expansive sanctuary. The original Kuranda Scenic Railway offers the old world charm of travelling in authentic timber carriages, gently meandering past breathtaking scenery. A spectacular journey comprising unsurpassed views of dense rainforest, steep ravines and picturesque waterfalls within the world heritage listed Barron Gorge National Park. Skyrail is a unique rainforest experience taking you on an unforgettable journey over and through World Heritage listed rainforest. Spanning 7.5kms in the Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway glides just metres over the canopy, its comfortable six person gondola cabins providing spectacular views of the rainforest, tropical Cairns, the Coral Sea and lush Cairns Highlands and includes time at two mid-stations. At Red Peak Station, Skyrail’s Rangers provide guided boardwalk tours sharing their knowledge on these ancient tropical forests, amongst giant buttress roots, ancient Kauri Pines and climbing wait-a-while palms.
After breakfast at the hotel, you have the day at leisure. You are free to relax or explore Cairns. You can visit the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Worlds Heritage Rainforest or take a stroll around the town, you will find brilliant cafes, bustling markets and plenty of beaches nearby.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before your transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
UK – Arrival
Arrive back in the UK.
Thanks to Australia’s location in the Southern Hemisphere, the warmest weather and peak tourist season falls between December and February. Consequently,low season starts in May and lasts through August.