Day 1 – USA to Sydney
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 Sydney, Australia
On arrival into Sydney you will need to clear customs and make your way through the main arrivals hall from where 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:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 4 – Sydney Harbour Cruise
The Sydney Harbor Bridge, the world renowned Opera House and Mrs. Macquaries Chair are just some of the sights you will see when cruising on Sydney’s famous harbor. Discover the stories of Sydney Harbour under the spell of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The cruise includes a fun and personalized commentary on the sights, people, history and development of the world's most beautiful harbor city. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with biscuits, before returning to dock at Circular Quay. This is a unique way to see the highlights of this fabulous city.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour (L)
Day 5 – Drive Sydney to the Hunter Valley
Collect your vehicle from the city depot for your drive to the Hunter Valley. Allow at least two hours for this drive.
The Hunter Valley conjures up images of lazy days, wine-tasting at the cellar door, and romantic retreats set in quaint farming country. With national parks and historic settlements, you can’t go wrong.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – At leisure, Hunter Valley
Its not only fine wines that are produced in Hunter; it also offers a visual feast for lovers of contemporary and traditional art and craft. Browse through galleries full of antiques, art and beautifully crafted pieces to help you remember your Hunter Valley liaison.
Pick up a piece of distinctive jewelry, sculpture, fine glasswork, an oil painting depicting a local scene or a tasteful knick-knack as a gift. The taste buds are not neglected with gourmet eateries offering specialty cheeses, chocolates, breads, pastries, jams, mustards and chutneys – and plenty of wine to wash it down!Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Sydney to Adelaide
Head back to Sydney from the Hunter Valley and return your vehicle to Sydney airport before boarding your flight to Adelaide. Transfer to your hotel upon arrival.
The capital of South Australia, Adelaide is nestled between the sea and hills. It is a graceful city of wide streets, elegant buildings and parkland. Adelaide is compact and easy to walk around. It is known for its refinement and has a charm and grace that shows in sophisticated wining and dining, and beautiful architecture that has been well-preserved. The state of South Australia is home to some of the freshest food and finest wines in Australia. Adelaide has a reputation for innovative, affordable cuisine which, when combined with local wines, is a memorable experience.
Regardless of the season, the Adelaide Hills offer a welcome respite in country air. Investigate historic townships and enjoy heritage accommodation properties with stunning gardens. Adelaide has a great reputation for its art and culture. The Adelaide Festival of Arts and associated Fringe Festival generate a constant energy in the city. The Festival Centre on King William Road is the hub of opera, theatre and orchestra. For visual arts, the Art Gallery of South Australia is a must for its collection of Aboriginal works, Australian 19th century paintings and a collection of Rodins. Several galleries specialize in indigenous art and Melbourne Street is the place for antiques.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Kangaroo Island Tour
Today you will take the brief flight to Kangaroo Island for a full day of touring. Highlights will include a visit to Seal Bay, where you can walk with a Park Ranger amongst a colony of rare Australian Sea Lions resting on the beach after their long fishing expeditions.
Discover the Island’s most renowned park, Flinders Chase National Park, a sanctuary for numerous native Australian animals including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and Cape Barren Geese. On the southern tip of Flinders Chase National Park are Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch, both providing great photographic opportunities.
Return to Kingscote for your return fight to Adelaide. Today’s excursion includes round trip air, full day touring, National Park fees and lunch.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Barossa Valley Tour
Savor the Barossa Valley, a wonderful mix of German wine growers in a watered Australian Valley, with villages dotting the countryside! Travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle on a tour that provides the unique flavors of premium wineries, a sumptuous lunch and an insight into the rich history and current lifestyle of this world renowned region.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Adelaide to Launceston (Via Melbourne)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Launceston. Upon arrival pick up your rental vehicle at the airport depot and commence your scenic drive to Cradle Mountain.
This is a two hour drive, although if you have time to spare there are some interesting places to see and scenery to enjoy all along the way.Starting Accommodation:
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village
Day 11 – At leisure, Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain National Park has two main focal points: the northern one is Cradle Mountain (about 37 miles south of Burnie) and the southern one is Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St Clair (about 31 miles southeast of Cradle Mountain). The park's total size is about 161,000 hectares (397,840 acres) and it covers some of Tasmania’s highest country. It is famous for its lakes, peaks, rainforest and moorland. Tasmania's highest mountain is here - Mount Ossa (5,305 feet) - and the island's best known walking track – the Overland Track (53 miles), which takes about five days to walk.
To venture into the wilderness is a personal adventure, an experience that lasts beyond the ‘here and now’. Cradle Mountain is one of those experiences - walk the many trails that make up the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, feed the tame wallabies, take a scenic flight, or a guided walk or maybe just sit back and contemplate.Starting Accommodation:
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village (B)
Day 12 – Launceston to Melbourne
Depart Cradle Mountain and drive to Launceston. Return your rental car at the airport depot before boarding your flight to Melbourne. On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel.
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria and a cultural hub, is known for the good things in life - fashion, food, entertainment and sport. This is a city of style, architecture, trams, theatres and art. The influence of decades of immigration from all over the world has made Melbourne a paradise for those who love food and wine.
Whole streets are dedicated to food, whether it is Indian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, or a host of other styles. You can't miss the world-class wines either. You’ll barely meet a visitor who hasn’t fallen in love with Melbourne; rattling trams, parklands singing with blackbirds, stately architecture and palm trees.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.
The tour is vehicle-based, with short walks during the day; includes a substantial bush picnic lunch and pick up/drop off to Melbourne city between 4 and 5pm. NOTE: this itinerary is an indication only, due to conditions on the day it can change slightly to maximize wildlife viewing opportunities.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Yarra Valley Wineries Day Tour
Renowned for its quality wines, specialty foods and breathtaking scenery, the Yarra Valley is the ideal place to enjoy a day away from the city. Depart Melbourne for the Yarra Valley - it is about an hour to Punt Road Wines, a winery with a rich history and the ideal place to sample a selection of exciting wines that reflect the earthiness and personality of the Yarra Valley. You will start the day learning how to swirl, sniff, and sip; which prepares you to taste some of Punt Road's award winning Australian wines. Heading to Balgownie Estate, you indulge in a guided tasting session at their tasting table. Make your selection of wine for lunch and take your complimentary glass of wine to the restaurant with its magnificent vineyard views. Lunch includes the main meal, a glass of Balgownie Estate wine and tea or coffee. After lunch, head to Yering Farm. The old hay shed, situated at the top of the hill overlooking stunning views, has been converted into a charming rustic Cellar Door that oozes with character. The Cellar Door proudly showcases antique cooper tools used by pioneer wine-makers over a century ago. It's a fantastic environment to enjoy superb wines made with traditional wine-making techniques. Finally, there's a visit to Domaine Chandon. This is French Champagne company Moet and Chandon&;s Australian production house Domain Chandon is the perfect way to finish the day with a guided tour through the winery that shows how the wine is made. Enjoy a relaxing glass of Australia's best bubbly and a view that will leave you in awe.Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Melbourne to USA
You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.