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 the Mornington Peninsula
You will be transferred by private vehicle from Melbourne Airport to the Mornington Peninsula. The drive will take around 1.5 to 2 hours. Jackalope Hotel
Set on a pristine winery amid the world-renowned Mornington Peninsula wine region, the Jackalope hotel is framed by picturesque Willow Creek Vineyard acreage. Fertile grazing land for over 100 years prior, the 11-hectare Willow Creek Vineyard was planted in 1989 and has become renowned for its single vineyard wines. The Jackalope provides guests with ample opportunity to not only drink in the gorgeous scenery but also taste the Peninsula's best wines, food and pastoral pleasures at the hotel's onsite winery restaurant, the Rare Hare.
Yet another dining option onsite is the Doot Doot restaurant which offers an ever-evolving five-course tasting menu drawing on seasonal offerings from the hotel's kitchen garden and select Mornington Peninsula producers. Stylish as well as tasty, the restaurant is lit with 10,000 lamp chandelier that creates the surreal sensation of fermenting wine bubbling above.
The Jackalope's rooms and suites off an absolute in-room reverie. Interiors are lavished with custom-made comforts, while floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect the rooms contemporary design with its country entwine. And just beyond the windows the vineyard awaits.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Day at Leisure
Today is at your leisure to explore the Mornington Peninsula and Jackalope Hotel. Starting Accommodation:
Jackalope Hotel (B)
Day 5 – Mornington Peninsula to Melbourne City
Your driver will meet you near the front entrance of your accommodation. You will be transferred by private vehicle from the Mornington Peninsula area to Melbourne city. The 65 mile drive will take around 1.5 hours.
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 which spreads an addictive buzz through the city streets. 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.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – 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, private 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 our 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 we often get close enough to take photographs and observe their complex social life. The natural environments we visit are also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honey-eaters, 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.
On this tour you are saving wild koalas. Your tour cost includes a donation to the Koala Clancy Foundation to plant a koala tree on your behalf. Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Melbourne to Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Your driver will meet you near the front lobby area of your accommodation. You will be transferred by private vehicle from the city to Melbourne Airport.Fly Melbourne to Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Longitude 131° is the first of its kind in Australia and takes camping to a new level, combining an Outback experience with five-star luxury. The unique campground features elevated safari-style luxury tents with stone floors, beautiful linens and premium fixtures in the bathrooms. Modeled after South African safari camps, Longitude 131° offers a true safari experience in the 'Red Centre' - an unprecedented way to explore the rugged Outback, but still enjoy the comforts of a five-star hotel.
Each of the 15 elevated luxury tents offers unparalleled views of Uluru and the unique interiors pay homage to an early Australian pioneer with a mix of classic colonial and contemporary pieces. Meticulously designed to remain cool in summer and warm in winter, the immaculately appointed dwellings comprise of lavish king or twin beds, floor to ceiling windows for viewing the sunrise and sunset, complimentary in-suite bar, iPad with entertainment, wireless internet, spacious bathroom with bathrobes and premium amenities, and twice daily housekeeping including turn down service.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Day at Leisure
Today is your day at leisure to enjoy Longitude 131° and Uluru (Ayers Rock). Longitude 131° - Signature Experiences
An exceptional touring program designed especially for guests of Longitude 131° is included in the wilderness experience and a personalized itinerary is presented upon arrival. Signature Experiences with lodge naturalist guides are shared with fellow guests in custom touring vehicles. Expeditions operate at scheduled times on a rotating basis, dependent on day of arrival, with timing subject to sunrise and sunset times which vary throughout the year, according to the seasons and weather permitting. For short stays at Longitude 131°, some tours and excursions may not be offered or available during your stay.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Day at Leisure
Today is at your leisure to enjoy any of the Signature Experiences Longitude 131° has to offer.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – The Ghan - Alice Springs to Darwin
A complimentary 4WD transfer will take you from Longitude 131°, to Ayers Rock Airport.Fly Uluru (Ayers Rock) to Alice Springs
The Ghan from Alice Springs to Darwin
The Ghan is internationally recognized as one of the world's most famous long distance trains. Named after the Afghan camel drivers who did so much to open up the heart of Australia last century, this magnificent train is of great historical significance to the nation. The journey from Alice Springs to Darwin takes 24 hours - so relax and watch the vast Australian Outback unfold as you journey from the desert of our 'Red Centre' to the tropical 'Top End'. (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Welcome to Darwin, AustraliaTransfer Ghan Train Arrival to Darwin
Hilton Darwin Hotel
Capturing the vibrant and multicultural character of the colorful Northern Territory capital, Hilton Darwin is one of the city's premier hotels. A central business district location just 20 minutes from the international airport positions, the hotel as the optimum point from which to explore Australia's unique and spectacular Top End. The Hilton Darwin is located in the heart of town with views over the Timor Sea. All major shops and business centers are within strolling distance and you have easy access to the sights and attractions in the surrounding areas. Starting Accommodation:
Hilton Darwin Hotel (B, L)
Day 12 – Indigenous Litchfield Tour
An early start from your Darwin accommodation, taking the back roads to the Finniss River and beyond, into Tess's family's country. Stop at the shady riverside stop and discover the resources available from this river country. One of todays' highlights will include a visit to the iconic Wangi Falls, its plunge pool a popular dry season swimming spot and a special place for indigenous women. Cool off with a swim or explore the nearby lush rainforest, home to a variety of birds and restless fruit bats. For the keen there may be an opportunity for a more strenuous walk around and over the falls.
You will discover seasonal bush foods and medicines used by local Aboriginal people for thousands of years. The guide shows how string is handmade from local plants and describe the relationship of Litchfield's landscape features to local indigenous culture. See and learn about the termites, and the huge housing complexes they build - termite mounds. Guests will be amazed at how indigenous people use these industrious creatures and their homes.
As exclusive visitors to beautiful Woolaning Spring (private family land), enjoy a freshly cooked lunch of wild caught barramundi, crocodile and kangaroo in nature's rainforest dining room. Take a therapeutic dip in the warm spring waters or explore the remains of Tess's family's sawmill camp.Starting Accommodation:
Hilton Darwin Hotel (L)
Day 13 – Darwin to Kakadu
Please meet your driver in the hotel lobby for your transfer to Wildman Wilderness Lodge.Wildman Wilderness Lodge
Wildman Wilderness Lodge rests in the Mary River wetlands on the edge of Kakadu National Park, about two hours away from Darwin in Australia's Top End. The emerald trees and vast plains are the perfect setting for safaris and nature walks. Sunset tours bring you closer to native birds and plants under a painted sky, and aboriginal rock art is waiting to be explored in the many ranges. The lodge is completely eco-friendly -- whether it be the tours, activities, or accommodations, everything about the Wildman Wilderness Lodge is environmentally safe and recycled. Comprised of a central lodge, 10 cabins, and 15 safari tents, each offers a high level of comfort and access to the natural habitat. The central lodge was designed to embody Top End architecture, allowing cool air to flow freely throughout the building. It holds a lounge bar and restaurant featuring Australian fare made with seasonal produce.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Wildman - Kakadu Day Tour
A full day tour to Kakadu National Park that visits Nourlangie Rock, and views the amazing Arnhem Land escarpment. Lunch is at Anbangbang billabong, with an afternoon visit to Barramundi Gorge. This tour does NOT include National Park Entry fee and final itinerary is subject to change dependent on weather conditions and accessibility within the National Park.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 15 – Wildman - Home Billabong Cruise
Enjoy a one-hour cruise along the Wildman Home Billabong, observing the wildlife found on a floodplain billabong. Allow 2 hours including travel time. Starting Accommodation:
Day 16 – Kakadu to Melbourne
Your private transfer will pick you up in the hotel lobby for your trip to Darwin. Fly Darwin to Melbourne
A driver will meet you to transfer you to your accommodation for the night.Crown Towers Hotel, Melbourne
The five-star Crown Towers hotel is ideally located on the banks of the Yarra River which is a short stroll from the vibrant central business district and arts precinct. With 500 rooms and suites, convention and meeting facilities, business centers and the luxurious Crown Spa, it is the perfect destination for travelers.Starting Accommodation:
Day 17 – Melbourne to USA
You will be transferred by private vehicle from your accommodation to the Melbourne Airport for your journey back to the USA.