Day 1 – Arrive in Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Promenade Melbourne
Day 2 – 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.
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:
Crown Promenade Melbourne (L)
Day 3 – Lanes & Arcades Walking Tour & Melbourne At Leisure
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.
Later explore 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:
Crown Promenade Melbourne (L)
Day 4 – Travel to Adelaide
Takeoff to Adelaide and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Island Life Shared Day Tour
Tour Kangaroo Island in style in a 4WD air-conditioned vehicle with a naturalist guide. This morning you fly to Kangaroo Island - wear appropriate casual clothing, as you are met on arrival by your guide to go straight into the first day touring. Today you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Island Life – to spend some time at a slower pace, a more connected and grounded place. This is a chance to learn about the Kangaroo Island community, the environment and the landscape.
Head out through Wisanger - past salt lakes first exploited by sealers in the 1800s’. Travel the back roads - seeking out wallabies, kangaroos and other creatures in the bush. Stop for a home-baked morning tea at Emu Bay - a long white sand beach which is the center of community life through the summer and a welcome slice of solitude in winter. Travel inland to Cygnet River - the largest drainage basin on the Island which morphs from a dry river bed in summer to a broad flood-out in winter. This region provides habitat for koalas, many parrots and bush birds in a setting first settled in 1819.
Learn about the history of the Eucalyptus oil industry - perhaps the most original Australian product. Visit a private property amongst the redgum forest and enjoy a barbeque lunch. After lunch check out the feeding and breeding habitat of the critically endangered Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo before continuing to Seal Bay. At Seal Bay take a private guided tour into the colony of Australian sea-lions where you can learn about the feeding and breeding behavior of these photogenic creatures. End the day at D'Estrees Bay where opportunities include looking for osprey or other seabirds, learning about Wreckers' Beach or taking a walk around the marine lagoon at Wheaton's Beach. After your day of touring, you will be dropped off at your accommodation.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – East End Explorer Tour
Today is another full day of touring, taking you to the Dudley Peninsula which forms the east end of Kangaroo Island, and is a microcosm of the rest of the island. The north coast has hills rolling down to the sea and white sand beaches. Roadside vegetation forms an avenue overhead many of the narrow roads. Ice-age dunes and rugged limestone cliffs dominate the south coast, which is indented by high-energy beaches.
Start the day at Pennington Bay situated at the narrowest part of the Island. This Southern Ocean beach is a popular fishing and surf spot. Enjoy home-baked morning tea overlooking extensive wave-cut platforms and contrasting deep aqua water. Traveling east, enjoy endless views of the serene marine sanctuary which is Pelican Lagoon. Adjacent to the lagoon is an excellent kangaroo habitat and the tea-tree thickets harbor tammar wallabies sheltering from their constant predator - the wedge-tailed eagle.
The deep alluvial soils of Wilson River overlying limestone are perfect for grapevines. The team at False Cape Wines have a newly opened cellar door experience. Sample their range of wines and enjoy a local produce picnic overlooking the vines. Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, established in 1852, stands tall on an exposed headland. Explore the lighthouse precinct and the granite canyon known as ‘Devil's Kitchen’. This lighthouse shines a warning for sailors traversing the treacherous Backstair's Passage. The headland provides protection from ocean swells for Antechamber Bay. Take a walk on the long white sandy beach or seek out birds on the quiet backwaters of the Chapman River estuary. The final stop of the day is in Penneshaw, which has access via a 4WD trail known as Binney's Track. This runs adjacent to Baudin Conservation Park which provides habitat for a range of wildlife including glossy black-cockatoos, kangaroos, wallabies and echidnas. You will be dropped off after the tour at Kingscote airport for your flight back to Adelaide.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Fleurieu Food, Wine & Wildlife
The Fleurieu has the land, the produce, the wildlife and its people living in harmony - the aboriginal Kauna people enjoyed the unspoiled habitat in ancient times. The rolling vine-covered hills in the McLaren Vale region feed over 60 small, very individual wineries. The vineyards snake down to the tumbling surf on the coast, where sea creatures such as whales and penguins thrive. The area enjoys a Mediterranean type climate influenced by the St. Vincent's Gulf only 4 miles away.
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 hence the area has 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 and travel to scenic lookouts in search of the Southern Right Whales that visit these shores with their newborn calves (seasonal - May to October). 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 8 – Travel to Ayers Rock & Uluru & Sunset Tour
Takeoff to Ayers Rock and continue on the next stage of your adventure.
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 - 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. You will return to your accommodations at Yulara Resort. The tour duration is around 5 hours, and you will be travelling in a small group of up to just 12 people. It is recommended you wear covered shoes and bring bottled water, fly nets, sunscreen and a brimmed hat.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Kata Tjuta Sunrise 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.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 – Quicksilver Outer Reef Full Day Excursion
The Quicksilver vessel departs from Reef Marina for a fabulous full-day tour out to the Agincourt Reef, which is part of the spectacular Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Agincourt is the most southerly link in the chain of ribbon- like outer reefs on the extreme edge of continental Australia. Here, you will view some of the most beautiful reef life in Australia. The air-conditioned 30-meter Quicksilver cruises at 27 knots and can reach Agincourt in just 90 minutes. Once at the pontoon, you have the opportunity to snorkel, swim or scuba dive (extra expense) among the reef. You may also view the reef from glass-bottom boats and semi-submersible subs - a fantastic experience!Starting Accommodation:
Peppers Beach Club (L)
Day 12 – Walkabout Adventures - Ngana Julaymba Dungay
Start your tour with a pick up from your accommodation spending the day with a local Aboriginal tour guide, learning about culturally significant areas and the relationships the Kuku Yalanji still have with their land. Learn the history, culture and traditions of the local Aboriginal people and the area. Enjoy a walk through the rainforest and coastal habitats learning about the environment, different foods and medicines utilized from nature, sample some bush tucker, collect shellfish and try traditional Aboriginal hunting practices, have a go at spear throwing and if you are lucky, catch a mud crab. Complete the adventure by cooling off in a pristine freshwater stream.Starting Accommodation:
Peppers Beach Club (L)
Day 13 – Hot Air - Classic Balloon Flight - Dawn Experience & Day at Leisure in Port Douglas
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, flying gently over the Atherton Tablelands. During this 40-minute ride, enjoy the picturesque landscape at dawn and breathe in the wide open spaces.
Later explore Port Douglas, 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 14 – Travel to Sydney
Takeoff to Sydney and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 15 – The Sydney Classic Bicycle Tour & BridgeClimb Summit - Day Climb
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!
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 BridgeClimb 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.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 16 – Sydney At Leisure
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.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 17 – Depart Sydney
Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your accommodation to Sydney International Airport.