Day 1 – USA to Melbourne
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 Melbourne, Australia
On arrival into Melbourne you will need to clear customs and make your way through the main arrivals hall from where you will either catch a taxi into the city or be transferred to your accommodation.
At first glance, Melbourne may resemble any other modern city with its skyline full of concrete and glass. However, if you look a little closer, you'll find the real Melbourne, a city of unique charm. There are the clanging trams (street cars), swanky boutiques, friendly taxi drivers, Australian Rules Football, fickle weather and ‘BYO’s’, by the hundred (restaurants to which you bring your own liquor or wine).
Add to this, Melbourne's traditional virtues of tree lined boulevards, glorious parks, elegant buildings and imposing Victorian Banks and Churches, and of course the giant Melbourne Cricket Ground and you’ll have some idea of the city.
Melbourne has become a polyglot society with a huge diversity of cultures, Italian, Greek, East European, Middle Eastern and Asian. This diversity is reflected in the food styles, the lifestyle, and even the language spoken in the street.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Promenade Melbourne
Day 4 – Koalas and Kangaroos, in the Wild
See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD! Interact with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full day, fully inclusive small group eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide.
Take an easy walk through the gum trees, searching for koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and birds in their natural setting. Your Wildlife Guide will point out plants and features of interest, explain some of the history of the area and, where possible, introduce you to known, named Koalas that are part of the research project. Help collect important data, remove Boneseed (a weed) and make a difference to koala habitat.
The area is also of great significance to the local Aboriginal People of the Wathaurong Tribe. Many signs of their occupation remain, and the guide will share their knowledge with you. Though you will not meet any Aboriginal People on this tour, guides act with the knowledge, consent and support of the Wathaurong Community. A picnic lunch is usually served under the gum trees and includes gourmet sandwiches, fruit and cakes, and delicious Australian 'Billy tea'.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Promenade Melbourne
Day 5 – Lanes & Arcades Walking Tour
Have you ever been to a city and wondered what all the fuss was about? Or wasted time trying to find that cool local café you were told of, then ended up missing everything? Melbourne's arcades and laneways hide many of these answers. Join this indulgent morning walk through Melbourne's beautiful back streets, and become orientated in the life of the city that locals love.
Discover local designers and specialty retailers that often are only found in the city. Some of the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, architecture, and historical tales are found in these walkways, there is something for everyone, locals and visitors alike. Morning tea is included as well as lunch with a glass of wine.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Promenade Melbourne (L)
Day 6 – Melbourne to Apollo Bay
This morning you will pick up your rental car for your drive to some of Victoria's most beautiful locales.
Leave Melbourne for the coastal towns of Victoria, following the Westgate Bridge out of the city towards Torquay, this is where the Great Ocean Road begins its journey westward. From Lorne to Apollo Bay the hills begin to slope more gently towards the sea and give way to some breathtaking scenery of wide sandy beaches backed by the rolling green Otway hills, providing many photo opportunities before reaching Apollo Bay.Starting Accommodation:
Beacon Point Ocean View Villas
Day 7 – Apollo Bay to Port Fairy
At your leisure depart Apollo Bay and continue along the Great Ocean Road, traveling through the Otway National Park towards Port Campbell. Some places of interest along the way are the quaint town of Koroit, where Irish immigrant farmers originally settled. Port Fairy is one of Victoria's earliest seaports and many homes and other buildings of last century still remain.Starting Accommodation:
The Victoria Apartments
Day 8 – Port Fairy to The Grampians
From Port Fairy, the Great Southern Touring Route turns north, away from the coast and towards the natural beauty of the Grampians mountain range. Dunkeld is a beautiful village on the edge of the Grampians. To survey the beauty of the region follow the trail joining Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt, the highest peak in the southern Grampians. The Grampians National Park is famous for some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia and is the perfect place for both relaxation and adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Royal Mail Hotel (B)
Day 9 – The Grampians to Ballarat
Today you will drive from the Grampians to Ballarat. Ballarat is Victoria's second largest regional center, with a cosmopolitan lifestyle mixed with the charm and heritage of the gold rush era.Starting Accommodation:
Craig's Royal Hotel (B)
Day 10 – Ballarat to Melbourne
Today you will drive from Ballarat to Melbourne. Once you arrive you will drop off your rental car. The rest of the day is at your leisure to enjoy Melbourne before your trip comes to a close. Starting Accommodation:
Crown Promenade Melbourne
Day 11 – Melbourne to USA
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight to the USA.