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 from where you will either catch a taxi into the city or be 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
See kangaroos and koalas in the wild! In small groups this naturalist guided eco-tour gives you quality time to learn about wildlife and enjoy the wide open spaces of Australia. Watch the natural behavior of wild kangaroos, koalas and abundant birdlife. Get involved in koala research with your naturalist guide. Walk amongst free ranging “mobs” (groups) of wild kangaroos. Spot emus, cockatoos and other unique Australian wildlife on the grasslands, in the bush and around the billabongs of Melbourne’s Western Plains.
Visit an open forest in a National Park that is home to a large and healthy population of wild koalas. An ongoing Koala Research Project ensures that on most days there are multiple sightings of these delightful creatures.
Within easy reach from the center of the city of Melbourne, these environments provide the perfect introduction to Australia's unique wildlife and indigenous culture. During your journey your guide will share with you the great significance of the Western Plains to Aboriginal People. A delicious bush lunch is included.Starting Accommodation:
Rydges Melbourne (L)
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.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Melbourne to Adelaide
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Adelaide. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.
The gracious capital of South Australia, Adelaide is the City of Churches, orderly streets, manicured parks and superb restaurants, where cultures from all over the world have contributed to a vibrant, energetic community. Adelaide is today, an orderly, airy city ringed by beautiful parks and gardens and graced with elegant sandstone buildings and cottages. There are more restaurants per head of population than any other Australian city. From expensive bistros to the formal and exotic, most serve a range of outstanding local wines from the famous 'valleys' nearby. Home to over one million people, Adelaide is best explored on foot to properly experience the wealth of art galleries and museums, festivals, markets, cafe society and superb shopping.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
Depart from Adelaide airport for your short flight to Kangaroo Island. On arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation. The two days of touring tour shows you the sights and aromas of the Australian bush, close up wildlife encounters and stunning flora. Gourmet style picnic lunches are enjoyed in tranquil bush settings and overnight accommodation is included.
See and visit natural bush land sanctuaries rich in wildlife, dramatic coastlines, sea lion and fairy penguin colonies. Visits to the well-known Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks and Flinders Chase National Park are also highlights of the tour.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Kangaroo Island
Enjoy another day exploring Kangaroo Island before your tour ends at Kingscote airport on the afternoon of day two, for your return flight to Adelaide. Upon arrival you will transfer to your hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Fleurieu Peninsula tour
The Fleurieu has the land, the produce, the wildlife and its people living in harmony. Today's tour departs Adelaide and first heads south to the picturesque McLaren Vale wine region with over 50 small to medium wineries. It is situated near the coast, giving the area a distinctly Mediterranean feel. Tours of the McLaren Vale wine region feature some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. Wineries include Wirra Wirra, d'Arenberg, Coriole and the historic Hardy's winery. Other attractions include the Olive Grove and Medlow Fine Gels. Then, head south to the coastal town of Goolwa, once a thriving paddle steamer port. Enjoy lunch at a local cafe, then travel alongside the beach up to the mouth of the River, stopping at scenic lookouts in search of the Southern Right Whales that visit these shores with their newborn calves. Call into Victor Harbor and take a ride on Australia's only horse-drawn tram along the causeway, which links the mainland to Granite Island. Return to Adelaide late afternoon.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Adelaide to Ayers Rock (via Alice Springs)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ayers Rock. Upon arrival, you will be transferred 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 through February are the hottest months – usually more that 95º Fahrenheit – so take a hat and sunscreen.Uluru Sunset tour
Departing your accommodation at Yulara resort, today's excursion will 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 - our 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.
As you drive around the base, your guide takes you to the entrance of Mutitjulu Waterhole, a semi-permanent watercourse nestled in the contours of Uluru. Here, learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python) and their battle for control of Uluru as well as a number of other stories associated with other prominent Tjukurpa (Dreaming) stories. See the rock art of the ancients and learn how Uluru was, and still is, a significant location for teaching young Aboriginal people. We then adjourn to the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area where you will observe an uninterrupted view of Uluru with Kata Tjuta in the background.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – 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 have evolved over millions of years. This is an afternoon tour of approximately 3.5 hours.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Ayers Rock to Port Douglas
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Port Douglas. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation.
Port Douglas is a Cinderella city located just over a 1-hour drive from Cairns. Once a sleepy, seaside hamlet, today Port(as it's called by locals)has transformed into a trendy, tropical resort. In a town where the building code dictates that nothing is taller than the palm trees, sleek resorts, sparkling white marina toys, and chic restaurants line the streets, while celebrities stretch out on the golden sand of Four Mile Beach, tending to their tans. Although it is easy to get star struck by the Port's shiny veneer, the town still has remnants of its humble beginnings, and colonial buildings can be found lazing in the shadows of 5-star hotels. It is almost symbolic how the road into town passes through stoic sugar-cane fields before widening into streets lined by prim palm trees - imported no less.Starting Accommodation:
Peppers Beach Club
Day 13 – 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:
Peppers Beach Club (L)
Day 14 – Cultural Tour
Start your tour with a pick up from your accommodation spending the day with a local Aboriginal tour guide, learning about the amazing relationships the Kuku Yalanji still have with their land. All tours visit the majestic world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and explore the different environments that Tropical North Queensland has to offer. Learning about the natural environment, different bush foods and medicines utilized from nature, sample some seasonal bush tucker, and learn some of the history, culture and traditions of the local Aboriginal people and the area. To complete the adventure cool off in a pristine freshwater stream.Starting Accommodation:
Peppers Beach Club (L)
Day 15 – Hot Air Balloon Flight
Transfer by Hot Air coach to the departure location at Mareeba. Watch the crew prepare your balloon as the sun gently rises to unveil the surrounding beauty. Then, experience the fun and unique sensation of being in a hot air balloon that's flying gently over the Atherton Tablelands. During this 30-minute ride, enjoy the picturesque landscape at dawn and breathe in the wide open spaces. Hot Air has the largest fleet of Balloons in Australia with an engaging and highly trained crew to maximize the enjoyment of your balloon flight. It is recommended you wear layers of clothing; the morning air can be quite cool to start and much warmer by the time you land. Starting Accommodation:
Peppers Beach Club
Day 16 – Port Douglas 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:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 17 – Sydney Classic Bike Tour
The Sydney Classic is Bonza Bike Tour's most popular tour. You are taken to all of the iconic sights, and tons of the other sights you may miss on your own. Expert guides give you the information you need to get the most out of your trip to Sydney. You will be taken to see the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour (right next to the yachts themselves), the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, the Royal Botanic Gardens (including the Flying Foxes), Hyde Park, the Anzac War Memorial, China Town, Sydney Tower, Parliament House, Queen Victoria Building, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Art Gallery of NSW and over 30 more great attractions! There's even a stop to take in a warm, friendly pub as a half-way point (but not for too long, there's a lot to see on this tour, drinks will be at your own expense)! The excursion operates in all weather (rain ponchos are provided).Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 18 – BridgeClimb
BridgeClimb is a 3.5 hour guided journey to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It takes you along the outer arch of the bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 400 feet above Sydney Harbour. In climb groups of up to 14 people, you'll be led by a professional Bridge Climb leader on an adventure of the world's most recognizable bridge. The steady incline to the summit leaves you free to focus your attention on your Sydney experience, with opportunities to witness 360-degree views of Sydney, including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains and the Harbour city surrounds. When you reach the top you will have a sense of achievement that you will remember forever - you've conquered an Australian icon recognized the world over! The professional Climb Leaders will take pictures of you on the climb and at the end you will receive a commemorative Climber Certificate, a complimentary Climber Cap and group photograph, with all climbers in the group receiving an identical photo. For safety reasons climbers cannot take personal items onto the bridge (including cameras). Please note that refunds are not provided for voluntary cancellations. For climbers over 75 years of age, a certificate of fitness must be signed by a physician and presented at check in.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 19 – At leisure, Sydney
At your leisure to explore Sydney. Most of the major attractions of the city are within easy walking distance of your accommodation - Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Centrepoint Tower, Circular Quay, The Rocks etc.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 20 – Sydney to USA
You will be met and transferred to the airport for your departure flight.