Day 1 – USA to Sydney
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.
Day 3 – Welcome to Sydney, Australia
On arrival into Sydney you will need to clear customs and make your way through the main arrivals hall from where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Sydney – Australia's premier city is the oldest settlement in Australia, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country's capital in everything but name. Built on the shores of the stunning Port Jackson, you would have to die and go to heaven before you see a more spectacular setting for a city. It's a vital, self-regarding metropolis, exuding both a devil-may-care urbanity and a slavish obsession with global fads. The Sydney area was the ancestral home of the Daruk tribe, whose territory extended from Botany Bay to Pittwater.
There are some 2000 Aboriginal rock engraving sites in the Sydney area, and many of Sydney's suburbs have Aboriginal names. The city of Sydney began life as a penal colony in 1788 and for the next 60 years received the unwanted, persecuted and criminal elements of British society. Despite its brutal beginnings, the city's mixture of pragmatic egalitarianism and plain indifference has transformed it into a thriving multicultural society. Sydney now attracts the majority of Australia's immigrants and the city's predominantly Anglo-Irish heritage has been revitalized by large influxes of Italian, Lebanese, Turkish, Greek, Chinese and Vietnamese.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Blue Mountains Tour
On today’s Blue Mountains excursion, we stop at a Wildlife Park, where you have the opportunity to have your photo taken with a koala, and to see Australian animals and reptiles, such as crocodiles, kangaroos, goannas and possums. At the Blue Mountains National Park, enjoy a stroll through the bush, a visit to historic Katoomba, and time an optional ride on the world's steepest railway, the Skyway Cable Car or the Sceniscender Cable Car (rides at own expense).
See scenic echo point, and learn about the 'blue haze' effect, giving the region its name. There are excellent photo opportunities of the Three Sisters rock formation, and spectacular views of Jamison and Megalong valleys, with a return to the city via Sydney's Olympic Site. Lunch is included today.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – At leisure, Sydney
At your leisure to explore the city of Sydney. It’s been said that Sydney never sleeps. In daylight hours the city buzzes with life and remains active long after workers have left their offices. All-night pubs, cutting-edge dance clubs, and gay reviews could keep you out until dawn. Fancy a late-night meal or a final coffee - that’s not a problem. Be seen on trendy Oxford Street from Darlinghurst to Paddington or try the Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf, Surry Hills, the quay or the Rocks. It’s too many choices, not too few, that make the decision hard!
During your stay ideally you should take a harbor cruise around one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, maybe take a short trip to one of the wildlife parks to see the unique animals Australia has, climb to the top of the Harbour Bridge for some awesome views, and after all that, enjoy the great restaurants that Sydney has to offer. The local chefs take full advantage of the fresh seafood and produce.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Sydney to Hobart
Make your way to the airport for your flight to Hobart. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation.
Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, with its stunning harbor and historic buildings is one of the most attractive Australian cities. It’s the perfect first step for exploration of the southern part of the island state. Hobart blends heritage and lifestyle, scenery and culture. It’s a place of mellow sandstone, al fresco cafes, art, music and theatre. Graceful old trees shelter bright flowers in heritage parkland. Hobart is shaped by water. The suburbs hug the winding River Derwent and city buildings cluster to the docks. On the sparkling harbor, Antarctic supply vessels and liners mingle with sailing craft.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Port Arthur Tour
Travel along the trail of the early Australian convicts to the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur - Australia's foremost historic sight. During today’s tour, visit Eaglehawk Neck, Bush Mill Pioneer Logging museum and the Port Arthur Historic Site - with a guided tour and harbor cruise.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Drive Hobart to Strahan
Pick up your rental car and begin your adventure through Tasmania. Depart Hobart and travel to Mount Field National Park and Russell Falls, walk amongst the world's largest flowering trees and tallest hardwoods. You will then continue onto Derwent Bridge, Lake St. Clair, Queenstown and Strahan with numerous opportunities to take in the beauty of this area.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Gordon River Cruise
Departing from the main wharf in Strahan at 9am, your adventure begins with the journey across Macquarie Harbour to the mouth of the Gordon River. We enter the Gordon River, with its endless tracts of untouched rainforest reflected in the teal colored waters.
At Heritage Landing, disembark to stroll in the rainforest, re-boarding for the cruise to Sarah Island and the ruins of the infamously brutal penal colony. Pass a working fish farm; see if you can sight a salmon jumping within the pens. Weather permitting; we may have the opportunity to head out to the wild and often treacherous entrance to the harbor, Hells Gates. From here, your cruise will return to Strahan at around 2pm.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Drive Strahan to Cradle Mountain
From Strahan, drive north on the B27 to the coastal town of Zeehan. From here take the A10 north through Rosebury and then Tullah. If time allows, we suggest a stop in Tullah, where just 10 minutes from town is the start of the track to Tasmania's highest waterfall (Montezuma Falls), spilling 113 meters to the ground in a stunning wilderness enclave. Further north turn right at C132, driving east towards Cradle Mountain National Park.Starting Accommodation:
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village
Day 11 – At leisure, Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain National Park has two main focal points: the northern one is Cradle Mountain (about 37 miles south of Burnie) and the southern one is Australia's deepest lake, Lake St Clair (about 31 miles southeast of Cradle Mountain). The park's total size is about 161,000 hectares (397,840 acres) and it covers some of Tasmania's highest country. It is famous for its lakes, peaks, rainforest and moorland. Tasmania's highest mountain is here - Mount Ossa (5,305 feet) - and the island's best known walking track - the Overland Track (53 miles), which takes about five days to walk.
To venture into the wilderness is a personal adventure, an experience that lasts beyond the 'here and now'. Cradle Mountain is one of those experiences - walk the many trails that make up the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, feed the tame wallabies, take a scenic flight, or a guided walk or maybe just sit back and contemplate.Starting Accommodation:
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village
Day 12 – Launceston to Melbourne
Depart Cradle Mountain and drive to Launceston. Return your rental car at the airport depot before boarding your flight to Melbourne. On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel.
Melbourne, 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. The influence of decades of immigration from all over the world has made Melbourne a paradise for those who love food and wine.
Whole streets are dedicated to food, whether it is Indian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, or a host of other styles. You can't miss the world-class wines either. You’ll barely meet a visitor who hasn’t fallen in love with Melbourne. Rattling trams, parklands singing with blackbirds, stately architecture and palm trees - its like northern Europe on the Mediterranean.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Phillip Island Little Penguin Tour
See Port Phillip Bay and pass through bayside suburbs of Brighton and Frankston on the way to Phillip Island. Visit the koala sanctuary. An evening tour of the island includes coastal views of Seal Rock and the Nobbies.
Then witness the nightly ritual of the world famous Penguin Parade - see the fairy penguins march up the beach to their nests. Please note that photography of any kind (including video) is not allowed at the penguin parade. A stop is made in Cowes for dinner (own expense). Return to Melbourne around 11pm.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – At leisure, Melbourne
At your leisure to explore the very cosmopolitan city of Melbourne. The many attractions of the city vary from the spectacular parklands and gardens that surround the city, to the museums and festivals that are a continuing part of the city life. Excellent restaurants are on every corner and cater for every taste in the world. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions
Day 15 – Melbourne to USA
You will be met and transferred to the airport for your departure flight.