Day 1 – Fly 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 be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
It is no surprise that when the British first arrived in Sydney they named the area Botany Bay. Even today, with a population of over 4 million people and a reputation for fun rather than flora, one is still surrounded by bush land in this bustling city. Native Waratah wind their way through the historic Rocks area, palm trees frame long stretches of pristine beach, and Eucalyptus embrace the endless and beckoning bays of Sydney Harbour.
See the Harbour Bridge up close and personal by climbing the metal monolith and enjoy stunning 360-degree views of the glittering vista below with BridgeClimb as you climb to the top. Whether it is an early morning visit to the largest fish market in the southern hemisphere, or your very first surfing lesson on Bondi Beach, in this vibrant metropolis you will find no lack of energetic escapes and dynamic distractions. There are many ways to enjoy the harbor; on a small luxury motor cruiser or sailing yacht, to ferries that take you to Taronga Park Zoo or Manly, and the harbor suburbs. Bridge Climb
For those seeking excitement, the best view in town, and a special feeling of achievement, join the exhilarating climb of one of Sydney's most famous landmarks. On the thrilling and totally safe Bridge Climb adventure, you may ascend to the top of the Bridge and stand over 427 feet above sea level. The view is breathtaking and you'll also have a close encounter with one of Sydney's historical gems and an engineering wonder of the world. The pace of the climb is leisurely and follows stringent safety standards so you will feel comfortable throughout the experience. Starting Accommodation:
Harbour Rocks Hotel (B)
Day 4 – Blue Mountains Wildlife Discovery
A full day tour in a special 4WD vehicle with your experienced driver/guide. Depart Sydney via the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and past the 2000 Olympic Games site to the Blue Mountains National Park. We leave the main roads behind to travel deep into the bush and enjoy morning tea surrounded by kangaroos and kookaburras. Travel to Leura Village and stop at Echo Point to view the Three Sisters rock formation.
This afternoon, visit the thrilling Scenic Railway in Katoomba (optional). Ride the steepest passenger railway in the world (entry is at own expense) or enjoy a short walk to nearby Katoomba waterfalls & gallery. Then, travel into the back country of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. Enjoy awesome views, see waterfalls, and stretch your legs on a short bushwalk if you wish. We arrive at Sydney's premier Wildlife Park, pat koalas and see kangaroos up close, along with dingos, wombats and other Australian wildlife. Return to your Sydney hotel around 6pm. Lunch is included today.Starting Accommodation:
Harbour Rocks Hotel (B, L)
Day 5 – Sydney Lunch Cruise
Board the luxurious cruiser The City of Sydney for a delightful lunch cruise on one of the world's most beautiful harbors. A lively commentary on board provides you with knowledge of Australia's history as well as plans for its future. Depart from Jetty 6 at Circular Quay at 12.30pm for the 110-minute excursion, which includes a full buffet-style lunch.Starting Accommodation:
Harbour Rocks Hotel (B, L)
Day 6 – Sydney to Alice Springs
Today you will be transferred by private vehicle from your city accommodation to Sydney Airport.
“The Alice” is surprisingly stylish for a town that is smack in the middle of the Australian desert. Shopping malls and superior hotels abound, yet if you look hard enough you can still see reminders of the Red Centre’s awe-inspiring isolation.
It is the city’s seclusion that makes it so special to travelers and so ideal for unique flora and fauna, many of which are displayed at the superb Alice Springs Desert Park. Walk through aviaries as desert parrots chat overhead or try and spot the native carnivorous ghost bats in the endangered species exhibit. For fans of fangs, a visit to Alice Springs Reptile Centre is a must. Play with a python or thrill at the feel of a thorny devil lizard as it skitters across your palm. Alice Springs is replete with bush land characters that will have adventurers enthralled for days.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Around Alice & Kings Canyon
Departing Alice Springs at 2pm, we leave the tar and hit the dirt travelling directly to Kings Canyon via the famous Mereenie Loop Road, visiting varying sights along the way. On arrival at Kings Canyon Resort, check in to your 4 star hotel room and, time permitting, we will enjoy a sparkling wine with a selection of canapés whilst watching the amazing sunset on Carmichael Crag at the western end of Kings Canyon. Tonight, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Resort’s restaurant.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Kings Canyon and Uluru
Following breakfast we take a short drive to Kings Canyon for an early guided walk. The Rim Walk is botanically and spiritually rich, combined with astounding scenery such as the buttressed domes that surround the Amphitheatre, the Lost City and Garden of Eden. The walk takes approximately 3 hours requiring a good fitness level and for those wanting a softer option, there is the shorter and easier Kings Creek walk leading into the centre of the Canyon.
Following the walk we make our way to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, stopping at Willonga Well for lunch under the shade of mighty Desert Oaks with perhaps a glass or two of wine. On arrival at the
National Park, it’s a good time to stretch the legs at Kata Tjuta with the Walpa Gorge ‘Windy Gully’ walk, suitable for most fitness levels. Returning to the hotel, there’s time to prepare for the evening activities and for those partaking the Sounds of Silence Dinner (additional expense), you’ll be picked up from the hotel while the rest of us find a remote location to observe the famous changing colours of Uluru and Kata Tjuta at sunset, accompanied with canapés and wine or cool refreshments. After sunset we return to the hotel for a beautiful 3 course dinner and chat about the day’s events.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 9 – Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Alice Springs
We depart the Resort under darkness to a remote location to witness sunrise over the mighty monolith of Uluru and the domes of Kata Tjuta. Guests electing to climb Uluru will be given a breakfast box and taken directly to the base to commence their 2 - 2.5 hour climb (weather permitting) while those not climbing will return to the hotel for breakfast. Anangu discourage people from climbing Uluru.
We will rendezvous with guests that climbed Uluru to experience the wonderful walks around the base, learning of the creation myths and fascinating geology of Uluru.
We then commence our journey back, stopping at Curtin Springs Station for a typical Aussie BBQ lunch. We will return you to your hotel at approximately 5.30pm after three days of stunning beauty and adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Alice Springs to Sydney
Today you will transfer to the airport and make your way to Sydney.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Sydney to USA
Make your way to the airport for your departure flight to the USA.