Day 1 – Welcome to Melbourne, Australia
Upon arrival into Melbourne, you will need to clear customs and immigration, before making your way into the main arrivals hall.Starting Accommodation:
Day 2 – 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 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 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, 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.
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. As the Australian environment becomes hotter and drier, You Yangs koalas are seeking gum-tree forest close to water - but around the You Yangs that forest ceased to exist many years ago. Koala Clancy Foundation is partnering with farmers to plant millions of trees back along the rivers so that koalas have a safe place to live and breed in the coming years. Your contribution is appreciated - you cover the cost of a tree and someone to plant it.Starting Accommodation:
Day 3 – At leisure, Melbourne
Melbourne is Australia's second largest city (after Sydney), but it 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. This is a major event that 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 lane-ways 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 of 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 Yarra Valley blend. It is the closest wine region to any major Australian city, just an hour out of the city, but worlds away from the bustling streets of Melbourne.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Travel to Ayers Rock & A Night at Field of Light
Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your accommodation to Melbourne Airport.
A night at Field of Light combines the award-winning 'Sounds of Silence' buffet BBQ dinner under the outback sky with the once-in-a-lifetime Field of Light art installation. With magnificent views of Uluru at sunset, a special three-course bush tucker menu, premium selection of Australian wines & beers, fascinating star talk and a self-guided walk through the Field of Light art installation, your 'A Night at Field of Light' experience is complete.
Your evening begins with a convenient hotel pick-up and transfer to the remote desert location with majestic views of Uluru. As the sun sets on the horizon to the music of a lone didgeridoo, enjoy gourmet canapés and chilled sparkling wine. As darkness falls and the colored lights of the 50,000 glass spheres gently come to life, join your table of fellow travelers for an exceptional three-course menu infused with bush tucker flavors. As the night ignites with countless stars, settle back and listen to the resident star talker decode the southern night sky.
The host will provide insights to the art installation that awaits you, before you're invited to immerse yourself in the Field of Light, its pathways glistening softly with rhythms of colored light, beckoning you to explore. Take a lasting look back at Field of Light from the dune top viewing area before boarding the return transfer to Yulara Resort.
Long pants and enclosed shoes are strongly recommended for all guests. A moderate level of fitness is required as you are walking up and down a sand dune, and along an unsealed track. Guests are asked to walk solely within the lit pathways and must refrain from touching the art installation. No tripods are allowed within the Field of Light art installation.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Kata Tjuta Sunrise Tour & Uluru and Sunset Tour
Revel in the early morning serenity of a truly spiritual place as the sunrise colors change on Kata Tjuta. Enjoy an outback picnic breakfast. Learn about this diverse environment while walking between the mighty conglomerate rock walls and into Walpa Gorge. Hear how the many domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years. Take time to listen to the wind (Walpa) far above and view the scale of the rock walls that surround you. The spirituality of this amazing location embraces everyone who ventures here.
Later on travel through the landscape to the entrance of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From this point, it is only a matter of minutes before the spectre of Uluru rises from the sand dunes to demonstrate its enormity and presence - the first stop allows you a photographic opportunity of this amazing icon. With Uluru looming in front, walk with your guide to a place of tranquility at the base. The closer you wander, the more you surrender to the realization of the sheer size of this monolith. Driving around the base, immerse yourself in the area. Stops are made for a short walk into Mutitjulu Waterhole. There, you will visit rock-art sites and the local waterhole with your guide to learn of Uluru's significance to the Anangu (local Aboriginal people). As you continue the drive around the rest of the base, experience the Mala walk before adjourning to the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area where you will observe a sunset from a different perspective over Uluru with Kata Tjuta in the distance. Enjoy sparkling wine and light refreshments.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Travel to Cairns
Takeoff to Cairns and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Reef Magic - Marine World Cruise/Fly - Day Cruise with Heli Flight
Reef Magic Cruises has exclusive access to a stunning coral reef location selected for its superior water clarity, coral quality and overall diversity of marine life. Benefit from the local knowledge of a Cairns family owned company and the friendly Australian atmosphere for which Reef Magic is renowned. Depart from Cairns on a fast, stable catamaran that provides a smoother ride and reduced travel time. That leaves more of your day to experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef. The modern, fast catamarans are never filled to capacity, which ensures unmatched space, comfort and attentive service. The all-weather Marine World platform caters to all activity levels. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, go scuba diving (no experience necessary) or join the Marine Biologist on a Guided Snorkel safari. If you are not a confident swimmer, then stay dry and view the reef from the semi-submersible reef viewer, glass-bottom boat or underwater observatory. Try a Helmet Dive for a scuba-style experience without getting your hair wet, or soar above it all on a spectacular Reef Scenic Helicopter Flight (optional extras). With 5 hours at the reef, there is time to do it all. If simply relaxing and soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style, then take time out on the spacious sundeck where you will also find the region's only reef-based massage therapist. Return to Cairns via helicopter flight. Flights are subject to pilot's discretion, weather and air-traffic control. Passenger weights are required at time of booking. Your day includes unlimited snorkel with all equipment and instruction, semi-submersible tours, glass-bottom boat tours, underwater observatory, marine biologist presentation, hot and cold buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea and complimentary tea/coffee/water all day. Available at additional cost are wet-suit hire, prescription masks, guided snorkel tours, introductory or certified diving and helmet dives.Starting Accommodation:
Riley Hotel (L)
Day 8 – Half Day Daintree Rainforest Tour
Enjoy a privately guided tour with a professional guide traveling over the top of the Daintree Rainforest to the very edge of the 'Outback' to observe the native wildlife. The ecosystems experienced are from the Lowland Wet Tropics of the coastal strip through the upper forests and out to the very edge of the wonderful Eucalypt Savannah Outback. Odyssey Bound is able to take you into the wilderness of Cape York with a unique look at local culture and history. It offers an insight into the many creatures generally unseen. The early departure allows for encounters with creatures that would otherwise be missed. Traveling off the beaten track in areas not visited by the mainstream, this safari is ideal for people that simply seek to explore a little more than the normal day tours. The itinerary is always flexible to enable full enjoyment of 'life's little surprises.'Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Cairns At Leisure
Built on Trinity Inlet, the Coral Sea calls from the east while the rain-forest-clad Atherton Tablelands serenade from the west, making Cairns a nature lover's nirvana. The warmth of the tropical climate has fostered a vigorous outdoor lifestyle that's reflected in the architectural styles of open verandas and balconies, and extending to the most traditional of Australian cuisine - the barbecue. Dining is a high point of any vacation, and the cosmopolitan local restaurants, cafes and eateries offer an eclectic fare of Australian and international cuisine, the highlight of most menus being the region's mouth-watering fresh seafood and unusual tropical fruits. Head to the heart of the city, the Esplanade, and enjoy a cafe latte before contemplating an abundance of tour options.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Travel to Sydney
Takeoff to Sydney and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Sydney In Style Tour & Sydney Opera House Backstage Tour
Depart from your Sydney hotel to discover the fabulous city of Sydney. You will travel through the business district and shopping areas, see Darling Harbour and the vibrant China Town and 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 coastline, see Bronte and Tamarama, then go on to explore the famous Bondi Beach. Spend 30 minutes walking the promenade or enjoying a coffee overlooking the beach.
From here, continue along the coastal drive past Macquarie Lighthouse to the Southern Headland of Sydney Harbour. Visit Watsons Bay before following the harbor foreshore towards Sydney City. You pass some of Australia's most exclusive waterfront suburbs where harbor mansions may be seen. Drive through Vaucluse, Double Bay before reaching the colorful Kings Cross. Head through Woolloomooloo and see the famous Harry's Cafe De Wheels. Visit Sydney's Botanical Gardens and enjoy some spectacular Harbour Bridge and Opera House views. Return to Sydney's CBD via Saint Mary's Cathedral, historic convict buildings, State Parliament House and the historical quarter of the 'Rocks.' Visit Sydney's Observatory Hill for amazing views over Sydney Harbour to the Blue Mountains. Drop off back at your Sydney hotel, restaurant or other city location.
Venture behind the scenes in one of the world's truly great performing arts complexes and see where the magic is made! The Backstage Tour departs at 7:00am each morning to ensure visitors access to the 'inner sanctum areas' which are restricted during the day due to rehearsals and crews at work. The 90-minute tours are conducted by experienced guides who share some of the secrets of 'The House' and real-life dramas behind the curtain. Visitors may have the unique opportunity to stand on stage, where superstars have previously performed, stride the orchestra pit like a maestro, or relax in a star's dressing room. Explore the less glamorous parts too of the precincts of the stage hands and crew, such as scenery dock.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Sydney At Leisure & Cruise Like a Local Luncheon Cruise
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 man-made 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. See the Harbour Bridge up close and personal by climbing the metal monolith to 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, or ferries that take you to Taronga Park Zoo or Manly and the harbor suburbs. Take the Darling Harbour Rocket that connects Circular Quay to Darling Harbour where there are many restaurants and attractions such as The Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife World, The IMAX Theater and the Naval Museum. For a more leisurely afternoon, take a walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens and Hyde Park, or learn about Australia's National Gemstone, the Opal, at Altmann; Cherny or The National Opal Collection, right in the heart of the city on Pitt Street.
Spoil yourself to Sydney Harbour's most sensational Cruise Like a Local Luncheon Cruise. Step aboard a 52-foot motor yacht. This is a unique, private, four-hour cruise experience. Your personal captain and host will share the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore as you take in the sites of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a three-course BBQ lunch with regional wines, local beers and five-star service. Immerse yourself in all the activities that a private vessel offers, including swimming, fishing and kayaking/rowing the tender - or sit back and relax on the expansive sunbed and do nothing at all.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Depart Sydney
Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your accommodation to Sydney International Airport.