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Grand Circle

Want to know what makes Australia so special? The Grand Circle is definitely an itinerary for you. On this extraordinary 13 night whirlwind adventure you’ll hit all the hot spots. Start off in Adelaide where you will hang with the Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island. Experience one night on The Ghan train as you make your way to Alice Springs, home to the first settlement in Central Australia. Next we’re bound for Ayers Rock; the heart of the Australian Outback. Here you will relish in the beauty of the Outback, taking part in a sunset and sunrise tour, the perfect opportunity to experience the desert first hand. Your trip continues in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, and finally, Sydney. Give yourself some time to relax and enjoy a full-day excursion to the reef and a walking tour of Sydney, ideal ways to see these two beauties; a grand end to a great trip.

Trip Type: Cosmopolitan, Cultural, Rail, Romance & Honeymoon

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Day By Day

Day 1 – USA to Adelaide (via 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 Adelaide, Australia
Upon arrival into Sydney you will need to clear customs and make your way to the domestic terminal for your connecting flight to Adelaide. Upon arrival, transfer by shuttle service to your hotel.

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: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel

Day 4 – 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: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel (L)

Day 5 – At leisure, Adelaide
Adelaide is often regarded as the most beautiful city in Australia with its parklands surrounding the city and its unique walking mall. You have easy access to the famous Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine districts, beautiful beaches and the Mt Lofty Ranges and Cleland National Park.

This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.

Starting Accommodation: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel

Day 6 – Ghan Train (Adelaide to Alice Springs)
Transfer by shuttle service to the train station for your overnight train journey into the heart of the Australian outback.

A legendary journey on a legendary train. The Ghan is internationally recognized as one of the world's most famous long distance luxury 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.

Its 966 mile journey from Adelaide to Alice Springs takes 22 hours. And it’s truly a legendary experience to watch the vast Australian Outback unfold as you journey to the center.

Starting Accommodation: The Ghan (Gold Sleeper Cabin) (L, D)

Day 7 – Alice Springs
You will be met at the train station and transferred by shuttle service to your accommodation. The central Australian capital of Alice Springs is a pleasant combination of heritage and modern facilities. Within easy reach are colorful outback culture, ancient Dreamtime lore and fabulous nature. Alice Springs is a perfect base for an outback holiday, giving easy access to many natural wonders.

Alice Springs Town Tour
This afternoon you will join an informative tour of the Alice Springs town and its humble beginnings, with interesting and informative commentary. Sights visited include: The Royal Flying Doctor Base, School of the Air – the largest classroom in the world, and the historic Telegraph Station – the first settlement in Central Australia.

Visit the Panorama Guth Art Museum, depicting the wide expanses of Central Australia and a private Aboriginal artifacts collection. Enjoy the views from Anzac Hill before returning to your accommodation. All entry fees are included - travel is by mini-coach with Tailormade Tours.

Starting Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters (B)

Day 8 – Alice Springs to Ayers Rock
An early start this morning as you depart from your hotel bound for Ayers Rock. This coach ride takes about four and a half hours and truly gives you a great appreciation of the Australian Outback. You arrive in Ayers Rock in the afternoon and transfer to your hotel.

Uluru, in the heart of the Red Centre, has a desert climate - mostly dry, with brilliant blue skies all year. Autumn and spring will give you sunny days with cloudless skies and crisp, cool nights which is the perfect kind of weather for exploring the sights by foot or in the comfort of a vehicle. Summer is the time when Central Australia is at its most vivid, with hot days and balmy nights. December to February are the hottest months – so take a hat and sunscreen.

Uluru Sunset tour
Enjoy a sunrise trek around the 9 mile base trail of Uluru. Learn about the culture, geology and environment that is the essence of this amazing monolith. Along the trail you will witness sunrise, visit waterholes and the rock art sites of the ancients and learn of Uluru's cultural significance to the Anangu (local Aboriginal) people. Take time out to enjoy your picnic outback breakfast as you listen to the variety of desert noises from the surrounding environment.

Starting Accommodation: Desert Gardens

Day 9 – Kata Tjuta Sunrise Tour
Travel through the landscape to the entrance of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From there is it a 25 mile journey through the desert landscape to the mighty rock formation. On arrival at the viewing area you will walk to the best vantage point to see the 36 domes that comprise this amazing icon. You will then make our way to the western side of Kata Tjuta where you journey between the domes for a walk up Walpa Gorge, named for the wind (Walpa) that whistles between the massive domes. As you stroll between these mighty conglomerate rock walls your guide explains how the environment and the geology has evolved over millions of years. This is a morning tour of approximately 3.5 hours.

Starting Accommodation: Desert Gardens (B)

Day 10 – Ayers Rock to Cairns
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairns. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

The heart of the tropical north, Cairns offers great access to reef and islands and is a perfect base for exploring the wider region. With 600-day tours departing the city daily there is plenty to do.

Starting Accommodation: Pacific Hotel Cairns

Day 11 – 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: Pacific Hotel Cairns (L)

Day 12 – 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.

This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.

By night, Cairns has a wonderful range of restaurants, with seafood being the specialty of the area. Whatever your interests, the Cairns area has something to offer everyone.

Starting Accommodation: Pacific Hotel Cairns

Day 13 – Cairns to Sydney
Transfer to the airport by shuttle service for your flight to Sydney. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by shuttle to your accommodation.

Sydney, a dazzling, vibrant city built around one of the world’s most beautiful harbors, with scores of sparkling beaches within easy reach of its cosmopolitan heart – that’s Sydney, capital of New South Wales. Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest city, where the first settlers landed in 1788. Situated on Sydney harbor, adjacent to Circular Quay, The Rocks is the site of Australia’s first European settlement. Colorful streetscapes and elegantly restored buildings house a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment venues and specialty shops.

Starting Accommodation: PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

Day 14 – Rocks Walking Tour
The Rocks Walking Tours conduct 90 minute guided tours of Sydney’s Historic area known as ‘The Rocks’ at a relaxed pace in small manageable groups. The story of the first settlement of the colony of New South Wales in 1788 will be brought alive while you are entertained with stories of rascals, rats and restoration.

Tours include some of Sydney’s oldest dwellings, shops old and new, homes of the ‘well-to-do’ and the cottages of the working class. Still to be seen do the locals and sailors alike and the haunts of cut- throats and rogues once frequent the pubs and hotels. The many narrow alleyways, sandstone stairs and a beautiful church combine to weave a fascinating tapestry of life in past and present times.

Sydney Harbour lunch cruise
The Sydney Harbor Bridge, the world renowned Opera House, Mrs. Macquaries Chair… Just some of the sights you will see on when cruising on Sydney’s famous harbor. Cruise in air conditioned comfort as you glide effortlessly past some of the most wonderful sights in the world. Panoramic windows allow you to enjoy lunch without missing any of the Harbor sights. This is a unique way to see the highlights of this fabulous city.

Starting Accommodation: PARKROYAL Darling Harbour (L)

Day 15 – 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.

During your stay ideally you should take a harbor cruise around one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, maybe take a short trip to one of the wildlife parks to see the unique animals Australia has, climb to the top of the Harbour Bridge for some awesome views, and after all that, enjoy the great restaurants that Sydney has to offer. The local chefs take full advantage of the fresh seafood and produce.

Starting Accommodation: PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

Day 16 – Sydney to USA
You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

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Included Activities

Alice Springs Tour
Alice Springs Tour
Alice Springs
Length: Half-day, Full-day
Kangaroo Island Sealink
Kangaroo Island Sealink
Length: Full-day, Multi-day
Kata Tjuta Sunrise Tour
Kata Tjuta Sunrise Tour
Ayers Rock
Length: Half-day
Rocks Walking Tour
Rocks Walking Tour
Length: Half-day
Sydney Harbour Cruises
Sydney Harbour Cruises
Length: Half-day, Full-day


AdelaideMajestic Roof Garden HotelInterContinental Adelaide
Rail JourneysThe Ghan (Gold Sleeper Cabin)The Ghan (Platinum Cabin)
Alice SpringsCrowne Plaza Alice Springs LassetersDoubleTree by Hilton, Alice Springs
Uluru (Ayers Rock)Desert GardensSails in the Desert
CairnsPacific Hotel CairnsRiley Hotel
SydneyPARKROYAL Darling HarbourFour Seasons Hotel, Sydney


Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.

Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: www.swaindestinations.com/terms