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 where you will be met and 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:
Day 4 – Koalas and Kangaroos, in the Wild
A one day cultural and nature tour where you may see and learn about native animals and plants both in the famous open-range grasslands of Serendip Sanctuary on the Western Plains and in the bushlands of Brisbane Ranges National Park. We search for kangaroos, koalas, birdlife and discover a rich Aboriginal heritage.
Departing from your city hotel, we travel the short distance to the western plains of Victoria - one of the largest volcanic plains on earth. Open grasslands stretch in all directions with the occasional extinct volcano or ancient mountain range rising steeply out of the plain.
The first stop is Serendip Sanctuary, an open range reservation for rare and endangered indigenous wildlife of the Western Plains. Run by the National Parks Service, Serendip plays a pivotal role in the conservation of some of Australia's rarest birds, including the Bustard, Brolga and Cape Barren Goose. Seek out the large free-range mobs of our tallest kangaroo, the Eastern-grey and family groups of the world's second largest bird, the Emu.
Enjoy a bush lunch before traveling to the Brisbane Ranges National Park, to walk a wide Savannah of grass, bush and wetlands searching for kangaroos and koalas. The park has a large population of wild Koalas and we very rarely miss out on sighting a number of these delightful creatures, we also visit places of importance to the Aboriginal people of the region.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – At leisure, Melbourne
At your leisure to explore the very cosmopolitan city of Melbourne. The many attractions of the city vary from the spectacular parklands and gardens that surround the city, to the museums and festivals that are a continuing part of the city life. Excellent restaurants are on every corner and cater to every taste in the world. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions
Day 6 – Melbourne to Hobart
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hobart, Tasmania. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.
Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, with its stunning harbor and historic buildings is one of the most attractive Australian cities. It’s the perfect first step for exploration of the southern part of the island state. Hobart blends heritage and lifestyle, scenery and culture. It’s a place of mellow sandstone, al fresco cafes, art, music and theatre.
Graceful old trees shelter bright flowers in heritage parkland. Hobart is shaped by water. The suburbs hug the winding River Derwent and city buildings cluster to the docks. On the sparkling harbor, Antarctic supply vessels and liners mingle with sailing craft.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Port Arthur Tour
Departing Hobart, travel along the trail of the early Australian convicts to the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur – Australia's foremost historic sight. During today’s tour, visit Eaglehawk Neck, Bush Mill Pioneer Logging museum and the Port Arthur Historic Site – with a guided tour and harbor cruise.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – At leisure, Hobart
Hobart, with a deep-water port and a maritime history, is Australia's second-oldest city. Founded in 1804, it straddles the Derwent River, with Mount Wellington as a magnificent backdrop to the city.
Salamanca Place, adjacent to Constitution Dock in the city center, features beautifully preserved sandstone warehouses from the city's first settlement, specialty shops, arts and crafts, cafes and restaurants. The Salamanca Market is held every Saturday morning and is renowned for local craft and fresh produce.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Hobart to Cairns
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairns. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation.
Cairns is the gateway to Tropical Far North Queensland, a region of contrasts and surprises. It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, palm-fringed isolated beaches, Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands, World Heritage listed rainforests and the sun burnt outback.
This dynamic area serves as a diverse hub for many attractions and activities of the Tropical North. Apart from the major tourism attractions of the Reef and Rainforest, there are many adventure sports such as white water rafting and bungy jumping, as well as other activities such as golf and trail riding.Starting Accommodation:
Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside
Day 10 – Great Barrier Reef Tour
This morning, transfer to the wharf for your full day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. You will have four hours at the reef site, to explore what makes the Great Barrier Reef one of the wonders of the world.
The day trip has been designed with the water enthusiast or novice alike - snorkel gear and instruction is provided for all guests, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible vessel, just one meter underwater.
Introductory and certified dives are run in conjunction with snorkeling day trips at an additional cost, and guided snorkel trips with a marine biologist are also available for a nominal fee. A tempting hot and cold buffet lunch is included, as well as morning and afternoon tea on board.Starting Accommodation:
Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside (L)
Day 11 – At leisure, Cairns
The major center in Tropical North Queensland is Cairns, a popular gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The city is fringed by lush rainforests and, to the north and south, are miles of white sandy beaches and turquoise oceans teeming with marine life. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions
Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside
Day 12 – Cairns to Sydney
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Sydney. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Sydney – Australia’s premier city is the oldest settlement in Australia, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country’s capital in everything but name. Built on the shores of the stunning Port Jackson, you would have to die and go to heaven before you see a more spectacular setting for a city. It’s a vital, self-regarding metropolis, exuding both a devil-may-care urbanity and a slavish obsession with global fads. The Sydney area was the ancestral home of the Daruk tribe, whose territory extended from Botany Bay to Pittwater.
There are some 2000 Aboriginal rock engraving sites in the Sydney area, and many of Sydney’s suburbs have Aboriginal names. The city of Sydney began life as a penal colony in 1788 and for the next 60 years received the unwanted, persecuted and criminal elements of British society.
Despite its brutal beginnings, the city’s mixture of pragmatic egalitarianism and plain indifference has transformed it into a thriving multicultural society. Sydney now attracts the majority of Australia’s immigrants and the city’s predominantly Anglo-Irish heritage has been revitalized by large influxes of Italian, Lebanese, Turkish, Greek, Chinese and Vietnamese.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Blue Mountains Tour
On today’s Blue Mountains excursion, stop at a Wildlife Park, where you have the opportunity to have your photo taken with a koala, and to see Australian animals and reptiles, such as crocodiles, kangaroos, goannas and possums. At the Blue Mountains National Park, enjoy a stroll through the bush, a visit to historic Katoomba, and time an optional ride on the world's steepest railway, the Skyway Cable Car or the Sceniscender Cable Car (rides at own expense).
See scenic echo point, and learn about the 'blue haze' effect, giving the region its name. There are excellent photo opportunities of the Three Sisters rock formation, and spectacular views of Jamison and Megalong valleys, with a return to the city via Sydney's Olympic Site. Lunch is included today.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – At leisure, Sydney
At your leisure to explore the city of Sydney. It’s been said that Sydney never sleeps. In daylight hours the city buzzes with life and remains active long after workers have left their offices. All-night pubs, cutting-edge dance clubs, and gay reviews could keep you out until dawn. Fancy a late-night meal or a final coffee - that’s not a problem. Be seen on trendy Oxford Street from Darlinghurst to Paddington or try the Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf, Surry Hills, the quay or the Rocks. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions
Day 15 – Sydney to USA
You will be met and transferred to the airport for your departure flight.