Day 1 – USA to Sydney
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Your journey begins from Los Angeles with Qantas Economy Class airfare to Sydney.
The new Qantas Economy has ergonomically designed seats with enhanced cushioning and netted footrests for passenger comfort. Passengers receive their own comfort kit, blanket and pillow. The new economy dining experience provides bigger meals and more choice plus passengers receive a continuous refreshment service along with access to the self-service snack bar during the flight.
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
Welcome to Sydney, Australia. On arrival, you will be met by your driver and transfer to your accommodations.
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.
It is Sydney's manmade wonders, however, that draw most visitors. The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are the most photographed icons on the continent. Choose a Seaplane Safari experience and enjoy a bird's eye view of the Opera House's signature sails.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Sydney Supreme City Sights Tour
Depart your Sydney hotel to discover the fabulous city of Sydney. We begin the morning traveling through the business district and shopping areas. See Darling Harbour and the vibrant China Town, then drive along Oxford Street with its trendy terrace houses and boutique fashion shops. See Centennial Park, a 220 hectare urban parkland in Eastern Sydney. Reaching the coast we will see the beaches of Bronte, Tamarama and then on to explore the famous Bondi Beach, where we stop to spend 30 minutes to walk the promenade and enjoy a coffee overlooking the beach.
We then continue along the coastal drive past Macquarie Lighthouse to experience the spectacular views from the Southern Headland at the entrance to Sydney Harbour. We visit Watson's Bay before following the harbor foreshore back into Sydney, passing some of Australia's most exclusive waterfront suburbs where harbor mansions may be seen. Driving through Vaucluse, Double Bay and the colorful Kings Cross, we continue to Woolloomooloo and see the famous Harry's Café De Wheels. Visit Mrs Macquarie's Chair, and return to the CBD via Saint Mary's Cathedral, Historic Convict buildings, State Parliament House and the historical Rocks district. Next we cross the spectacular Sydney Harbour Bridge onto AQUA for lunch - two course with soup or salad then main course choice of steak, fish or vegetarian. A complimentary glass of wine or beer is included, with additional beverages available for purchase.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Luxury Sailing on Sydney Harbour
A hotel pick up can be arranged from a CBD city hotel only, otherwise please make your own way to the Aquarium Pontoon at Darling Harbour Aquarium Wharf for a 10:00AM departure.
Depart Darling Harbour by luxury yacht, to cruise under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, viewing the Opera House, Circular Quay and the Rocks - a great spot for taking a few photographs! Continue past Farm Cove, Mrs. Macquaries Chair and Fort Denison. After hoisting the sails and turning off the engine, sail past the exclusive suburbs of Sydney viewing the spectacular private homes at Darling Point, Point Piper and Vaucluse as well as the national parks of Clarke and Shark Islands.
Cruise along Watsons Bay and the famous 'Doyles' beachside restaurant. Crossing the Harbour Heads we look out over the Pacific Ocean, then find a peaceful bay to drop anchor and relax, perhaps enjoy a drink while lunch is prepared. Dining on-board is a delicious lunch of sushi to start, chicken with sweet chili sauce, prawns & scallops on a bed of spinach, bread, soft drinks or Australian wines and beers, and dessert to follow. After lunch, head back towards the Harbour, returning to Darling Harbour Aquarium Wharf at approximately 3:00PM. Make your own way back to your hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Sydney to Perth
Today you will fly from Sydney to Perth, and then onwards to Margaret River, Western Australia. On arrival, you will be met by your driver and taken to your accommodations.
No trip to Western Australia is complete without a pit stop at Margaret River. Originally a chilled out surfie town, Margaret River has evolved into the ultimate smorgasbord of good food, fine wine and spectacular scenery - just a three-and-a-half hour drive south of Perth. There's a fine supply of world-class wineries, boutique breweries, and restaurants overlooking sweeping vineyards and surf breaks. The wine is definitely top notch - the region produces less than one per cent of Australian wine, but over 15 per cent of the country's premium wine. And with 60 plus wineries to choose from, you won't be stuck for choice.
Teamed with a thriving arts scene - there's just about an art or craft gallery on every corner - it's the perfect place to soak up some West Australian culture and pick up a souvenir or two. But don't let all that indulgence weigh you down - get set for some adventure. Explore networks of underground caves, a rugged coastline, squeaky-clean sandy beaches, turquoise water, towering forests and bush and coastal walk trails. Watching the locals take on awe-inspiring breakers at world-class surf break, Surfers Point, is gripping stuff. The more active can have a go at rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, whale watching, or even throw in a line and try your luck catching some local snapper.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Margaret Best of the Best Wine Tour
The Best of the Best Wine Tour takes the classic wine tour to a whole new level, and is regarded as one of the best wine tour experiences in Australia. Discover how Cape Mentelle put Margaret River on the world wine map on a personal introduction to their oldest vineyard and working winery. The highlight of your day will be a degustation-style wine matching lunch, which is served inside the Cabernet Sauvignon barrel room.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Margaret River Discovery Tour
Our day begins with a paddle along the still waters of the Margaret River. Spot the magnificent Baudins Cockatoos in the towering eucalyptus trees before we make our way to a local waterfall to reveal Marron and freshwater mussels and absorb the Aboriginal significance of the region.
Our gourmet lunch of regional produce is served in the barrel room at the region's emerging superstar winery, Fraser Gallop Estate. Australian Winemaker of the Year, Clive Otto, is likely to drop by and tell us about their upcoming vintage. We finish the day with some 4WD action into the bush to discover the remote Willyabrup Cliffs and a short, guided walk on the famous Cape to Cape Track. High above the ocean, your efforts are often rewarded with views of breaching whales, dolphins and wild flowers (seasonal).
The day includes; Gourmet lunch of regional produce among the barrels at a working winery, 4WD adventure and short hike on the Cape Track (including the Wilyabrup Cliffs), Taste some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in the region and canoeing on the tranquil Margaret River (optional, no extra cost and you won't get wet or dirty!)Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Margaret River to Perth
Today you will fly from Margaret River to Perth. Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your accommodations.
Perth, the go-ahead capital of Western Australia, gives a feeling of space and light - set on the banks of the sparkling Swan River, a few miles from the magnificent beaches of the Indian Ocean. And a short way downstream is the vibrant, historic port city of Fremantle. Attractions include the Perth Mint where visitors can see how coins are made, located in the city center is the Art Gallery of Western Australia housing a collection of Aboriginal art, Australian and international paintings. The Scitech Discovery Centre is a unique hands-on minds-on science and technology center. Outdoor activities include picnics in Kings Park with its walking trails and a 12-hectare botanical garden, famous for its spring wildflower displays. The park is a pleasant walk from the center of Perth and is well served by public transport and the Perth Tram. Also visit some of the magnificent white-sand, Indian Ocean surfing beaches. The closest is City Beach, but Cottesloe, Floreat, Scarborough, and Sorrento are also popular. Fremantle, 18 kilometers south-west of Perth is a colorful, busy port at the mouth of the Swan River, easily accessible by bus, train, ferry and taxi. Attractions include the Fremantle Arts Centre, the Maritime Museum, the Round House, the market and the lively town center affectionately known as the cappuccino strip.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Pinnacles Desert 4WD Excursion
After stopping at Caversham Wildlife Park in the Swan Valley to view koalas and hand feed kangaroos, travel to the lobster fishing town of Cervantes for lunch. A stop is made at the Lobster Shack for an informative talk about the lobster industry, followed by a self-guided tour through the purpose built factory.
Then it's onwards to the mystical Pinnacles Desert for an easy paced walk through the fascinating landscape where you will be in awe at the sheer size and number of these spires. Afterwards enjoy a thrilling experience of sand boarding and 4-wheel driving over the vast sand dunes of Lancelin. Wildflower viewing stops are made in season (Sep-Nov). Return to Perth at approximately 7.30pm.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Perth to Melbourne
Today you will fly from Perth to Melbourne, Victoria. Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your accommodations.
Melbourne is Australia's second largest city (after Sydney), but is second to none when it comes to fashion, festivals and sport. Set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay, the city itself is laid out in a large rectangle. She boasts a lively, cosmopolitan pulse, sitting on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about three miles from the bay. Visitors come for its shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Residents stay for its cultural diversity, passion for the arts and enviable sports calendar. Melbourne is renowned for playing host to a number of nationally and internationally recognized events each year including the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and the ever impressive two mile horse race - the Melbourne Cup. A major event in Melbourne spreads an addictive buzz through the city streets and you can be sure that locals and visitors alike will embrace the energy surrounding it.
Explore the famous laneways and arcades of the city, catch a tram to trendy Southgate, rub shoulders with locals at the Queen Victoria Market or take in a show at the ornate Princess Theatre. For a break from the hustle and bustle, cruise along the Yarra River or head out to one of the many beautiful beaches just outside of the city. Go in search for the unique Australian animals like Koalas, Kangaroos and the Little Penguins, and see them in the wild just an hour or two outside Melbourne. Explore one of the premier wine regions in Australia exporting wines to the U.S. to find your blend in Yarra Valley. It is the closest wine region to any major Australian city, just an hour out of the city but world's away from the bustling streets of Melbourne.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Lanes and 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:
Day 13 – Koalas and Kangaroos, in the Wild
See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD! Walk with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full day, fully inclusive small group (maximum 10 people) eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide.
Walk through natural bush-land to meet wild koalas, then learn about each one's history and social life from your Wildlife Guide and Koala Researcher. Help create new koala habitat for future generations of baby koalas by participating in the 'Make a Home for Clancy' Koala project. Join wild mobs of Kangaroos on the plains and in open forests. Their natural instinct is to flee humans, but with care, you often get close enough to take photographs and observe their complex social life. The natural environments visited are also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards. Your Wildlife Guide will help you find and understand them, and show you how to look for wildlife wherever you travel in Australia.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Foodies Journey Through the Mornington Peninsula
Embrace the day with a stunning scenic coastal drive south of Melbourne and prepare to be constantly inspired and delighted by this diverse, boot-shaped region. Marvel at the panoramic views of the city, bay and peninsula from Arthurs Seat lookout before embarking on the next part of your journey.
Meet our highly regarded local chef for a private, culinary expedition through the Peninsula. Your journey changes seasonally (and almost daily) but you may do some of the following: meet cheese makers at a private goat dairy to discuss processes and techniques, press olives and learn about olive oil production, pick berries, visit Harry's mussel farm and collect fresh seafood, experience a working bakery, discover the joys of juicy hydroponic tomatoes, select premium quality quinces, learn about chocolate making or get involved in a spice blending class.
It's now back to the kitchen with your produce for an afternoon of fun with an intimate, hands on cooking class. Learn more about using local, seasonal ingredients and then feast on your hard work made entirely from produce from the Peninsula. You will be returned to your accommodation.
Your day includes morning tea, lunch, food & wine tasting, cooking class and produce. Please wear suitable closed shoes, and remember a warm jacket in winter!Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Melbourne to Tasmania
Today you will fly from Melbourne to Tasmania. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to Saffire, via private transfer.
Saffire Freycinet is a luxury coastal sanctuary on Tasmania's East Coast offering premium, boutique accommodation that is truly in touch with the beauty and depth of nature. With just twenty suites, Saffire is distinct in its design, exclusive in its features and set apart by its approach to tailored, one-on-one experiences and service. Saffire is also dedicated to providing unforgettable experiences, indulgent and self-selected dining options, inspiring accommodation spaces and an overall sense of wellbeing and relaxation.
The Freycinet Peninsula extends south-eastwards from Tasmania's coastline and is a fully protected national park, including the internationally acclaimed Wineglass Bay. Saffire is located on the inside of the gentle curve of sandy coastline that joins the peninsula to mainland Tasmania.
Saffire overlooks the wide expanses of Great Oyster Bay, where migrating whales and dolphins come to play; calamari and squid in-season spawn in the rocky outcrops; local farms produce fresh, succulent oysters in some of the world's cleanest waters; and fishing boats and trawlers bring in their daily catch of crayfish, scallops and deep sea fish, dripping and salty-sweet straight from the ocean.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 16 – Schouten Island half-day
Step aboard the Saffire vessel to enjoy a portion of the Schouten Island Signature Experience - exclusive to guests of Saffire. Schouten Island's vast and abundant eco-system has played a part in early Aboriginal settlement, and farming, mining and fishing in the area. Now, it is part of the Freycinet National Park, a rarely explored, wild, unpredictable, delicate and unforgettable place both above and below the sea. Be engaged by close-up interactions with soaring sea birds, playful marine mammals and a diversity of life on Tasmania's temperate reefs. The adventure also includes a visit to culturally significant sites of past and present inhabitants. Behold the beauty of Freycinet Peninsula and discover Schouten Island on this memorable three-hour adventure. Morning tea is included and prepared by the team of chefs at Saffire. Bookings essential, and note that this excursion will only operate with a minimum of four people. Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 17 – Bonorong Night Tour
Bonorong Park was established in 1981 and specializes in education, rehabilitation and release for orphaned and injured Tasmanian wildlife. This personal Night Tour allows guests to get closer to the amazing wildlife during the time they are most relaxed and active. During the excursion, you will observe native wildlife during their natural waking hours. Perhaps hand feed and pat a number of incredible Tasmanian species including tawny frogmouths, potoroos, sugar gliders, wombats, golden possums, kangaroos and more.
Enjoy an extensive session on Tasmanian Devils where you meet them, learn their names, hear their individual stories and little known facts about this amazing, and endangered species. There are great up-close photo opportunities, while you see the native wildlife and learn about the perils they face.Starting Accommodation:
Day 18 – Port Arthur & Richmond
After being collected from your accommodation this morning, we head east across the Tasman Bridge toward Australia's foremost historical site, Port Arthur. In the 19th century, Port Arthur was the British Empire's most dreaded and far flung penal settlement. We have morning tea, then take a guided walk through the site to learn its fascinating, if a little gruesome history. The tour includes a cruise around the Isle of the Dead where over 2000 free settlers and convicts are buried in a little over 2 acres. On our return ride, we stop at the blowhole, a unique geological formation along the Tasman Penninsula's spectacular coastline, and at the colonial village of Richmond with some time to wander through town at leisure. One of Australia's oldest towns, Richmond is known today for its high quality locally produced arts & crafts, the perfect place to pick up that gift for home. Starting Accommodation:
Day 19 – Hobart to USA via Melbourne
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Melbourne and onward flight to the USA. Call today and complete this itinerary with Swain Destinations exclusive international airfares. (B)