Day 1 – Fly 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
Your driver will meet you after you have collected your luggage and cleared Customs & Immigration. You will be transferred by private vehicle from Melbourne Airport to the city. Melbourne is Australia's second largest city (after Sydney), but 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. A major event in Melbourne spreads an addictive buzz through the city streets and you can be sure that locals and visitors alike will embrace the energy surrounding it.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Touring MelbourneBallooning & Yarra Valley Wine Experience
You will then be transported to the launch site where you may help with the launch, or stand back and take pictures. Then away we go, drifting gently over the countryside in our beautiful balloon. Let the breeze usher you along the corridors of grape vines and over the Yarra River as you take in the breathtaking views of mountains that surround the valley. Your flight will last for approximately one hour.
After we make our final landing and pack the balloon away, we head back to Rochford Winery to toast our morning's flight with a glass or two of Chandon whilst enjoying breakfast. After your balloon flight and breakfast Global Ballooning will take you to Yering Station to meet up with the Australian Wine Tour Company Tour. Your tour guide will teach you the finer points of wine tasting, what we like to call the 'Swirl, Sniff & Slurp' to ensure you get the most out of your afternoon of wine tasting. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable cellar door staff then take you through their range of benchmark award winning wines.
After lunch you will visit Yering Farm, a small family owned boutique winery. Yering Farm uses traditional wine making methods and offers a pioneering Australian ambience in the cellar door which has a fascinating display of antique wine making tools. Last stop of the day is Domaine Chandon, home to the Australian operations of French Champagne Company Moet et Chandon. After a tour of the winery where you will learn how sparkling wine is made enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and tasty light shared platters of cheese, relish and crusty breads.Progressive Degustation Walking Tour
Passion for food and wine is a tradition in this city; chefs are celebrities, and wine masters are finding a voice. Many of Melbourne's wine focused restaurants are off the main streets, where design of the dining experience is as important as the skills in the kitchen.
Enjoy an early evening walk discovering three unique restaurants and learn of the sommeliers' influences on menu's and cellaring choices. More than a wine tasting, this is a night to indulge in just a few of Melbourne's many epicurean establishments, and explore a relationship with the often silent hero's of the wine industry. Generous wine samples, food tastings, and special offers are included in your experience.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Foodies Journey through the Mornington Peninsula
Embrace the day with a stunning scenic coastal drive south of Melbourne and prepare to be constantly inspired and delighted by this diverse, boot-shaped region. Marvel at the panoramic views of the city, bay and peninsula from Arthurs Seat lookout before embarking on the next part of your journey.
Meet our highly regarded local chef for a private, culinary expedition through the Peninsula. Your journey changes seasonally (and almost daily) but you may do some of the following: meet cheese makers at a private goat dairy to discuss processes and techniques, press olives and learn about olive oil production, pick berries, visit Harry's mussel farm and collect fresh seafood, experience a working bakery, discover the joys of juicy hydroponic tomatoes, select premium quality quinces, learn about chocolate making or get involved in a spice blending class.
It's now back to the kitchen with your produce for an afternoon of fun with an intimate, hands on cooking class. Learn more about using local, seasonal ingredients and then feast on your hard work made entirely from produce from the Peninsula.
You will be returned to your accommodation. Your day includes morning tea, lunch, food & wine tasting, cooking class and produce. Please wear suitable closed shoes, and remember a warm jacket in winter!Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Koalas and Kangaroos, in the Wild
See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD! Interact with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full-day, fully-inclusive, private eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide. The park is home to a healthy population of wild koalas, which are researched and monitored to ensure the best possible sightings.
Take an easy walk through the gum trees, searching for koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and birds in their natural setting. Your Wildlife Guide will point out plants and features of interest, explain some of the history of the area and, where possible, introduce you to known, named Koalas that are part of the research project. Help collect important data, remove boneseed (a weed) and make a difference to the koala habitat.
The area is also of great significance to the local Aboriginal People of the Wathaurong Tribe. Many signs of their occupation remain, and the guide will share their knowledge with you. Though you will not meet any Aboriginal people on this tour, guides act with the knowledge, consent and support of the Wathaurong Community. A picnic lunch is usually served under the gum trees and includes gourmet sandwiches, fruit and cakes, and delicious Australian 'Billy Tea'.
At the end of the day, all participants will receive a certificate of thanks for helping wildlife, and an opportunity to stay in touch with each of the Koalas seen on the day.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Melbourne to Barossa Valley
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Barossa Valley.
Perhaps the most Germanic region in Australia, the Barossa Valley combines old world charm with world class wine. Luxury labels, including Penfolds, Henschke, and Rockfords, are proudly displayed next to smoked meats, pastries and freshly baked breads. Producing nearly one-fourth of the nation's wine is hard work and locals wind down with day trips to the historic hamlet of Bethany, cycling through the valleys of grapevines or hosting the boisterous Barossa Vintage Festival. It is an impressive liquid lineup with renowned labels such as Jacob's Creek starring regularly on dinner tables the world over. At the other extreme this is the home to every auctioneer and collector's dream, the hallowed turf that produces none other than Penfold's Grange Hermitage. Why not experience the best of the wine growing region with A Taste of South Australia. Their expert guides ooze information that will educate you on this spectacularly scenic locale as well as tantalize your taste buds with some locally grown gourmet foods.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – The Louise - Hentley Farm Experience
Set below the rolling hills on the banks of Greenock Creek, just ten minutes from The Louise, Hentley Farm is a boutique, single-estate vineyard that produces distinctive wines reflective of the exceptional site. As a guest of The Louise, Hentley Farm will be pleased to extend to you an invitation normally reserved exclusively for their top level wine club members.
This excursion is a hosted experience in which you and your companions will discover the life journey of a luxury wine: from terroir to vine to barrel to glass. Start by taking a walk through their on-premise vineyard, discussing growing techniques with a knowledgeable guide, then taste your way through barrel samples in the winery before wandering over to Hentley Farm's gloriously restored barn. There, you will be treated to a memorable four-course lunch prepared by chef Lachlan Colwill (former chef of highly regarded Adelaide restaurant, The Manse), complemented with a selection of Hentley Farm's luxury wine range. Hentley Farm is one of the Barossa's newest winemaking operations, and within a short time has earned a reputation for its wines and for the experience of visiting its boutique site in the Western Barossa. Transfers are not included, if required these may be arranged at additional cost.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Private Food & Wine Heritage Tour
Your tour today offers a cultural journey of the Barossa, with a focus on the historical wineries (large, medium & boutique). With over 70 cellar doors in the Barossa open to the public, this private tour is able to provide some flexibility as to wineries visited - discussing each day with the participants to make sure special interests are catered to as best as possible.
The day will include visits to up to give wineries, including a historical winery tour & tasting at Seppeltsfield Winery and a local produce platter lunch. Enjoy the services of an informative and experienced Barossa driver/wine guide, with a driving tour of the Barossa's early villages and towns, a visit and tasting at the Barossa Valley Cheese Company and spectacular views from lookouts over the Barossa Valley.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Barossa Valley to Kangaroo Island (with touring)
You will be met by your driver and transferred from the Barossa Valley region To Adelaide (approximately 1 to 1.5 hours' drive). Today's transfer will include up to 3 hours of sightseeing with a visit to a winery and wine tasting.
As Australia's third largest island, Kangaroo Island is just 100 miles long by 35 miles wide. The Island boasts outstanding natural beauty and its relative isolation since European settlement has ensured an abundance of wildlife in a stunning and protected natural environment. With 21 national and conservation parks covering more than 30 per cent of the Island's total area, Kangaroo Island has established itself as a premiere destination for nature lovers of all types. Starting Accommodation:
Southern Ocean Lodge (B, D)
Day 11 – Kangaroo Island Private Touring
At Swain Destinations, we have gathered our favorite partners to deliver an exceptional experience which delivers the best of Kangaroo Island as part of the ultimate Australian food and wine journey. Your private guide will share two fun and interesting days showcasing the best of nature, landscape, local produce, wine and elegant hospitality.
Australia’s Kangaroo Island offers a chance to see the Australia you have dreamed of: spectacular coastal landscapes; deserted white sandy beaches; all those unusual wild animals like koalas and kangaroos; sheep and cattle farms; red dirt roads; the freshest seafood and local produce; and of course the finest wines - all rolled in with the friendliest local guides and luxurious cliff-top accommodations at Australia’s finest luxury property Southern Ocean Lodge.
Your morning will be filled with some of the most iconic coastal landscapes Australia possesses - places like Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch. All the while your sharp-eyed guide will point out kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, fur-seals and any number of birds. Break for morning tea - a legacy of our colonial past we have retained with lip-smacking relish: fresh ground coffee; loose-leaf tea and some home made snacks to die for!
Lunch will be an elegant affair in the wilderness: white linen; simple fresh fish and salads; hot bread rolls and of course a choice of local wines paired with the food for mutual benefit. After lunch there is a chance to meet some of the producers at Two Wheeler Creek. This diverse farm produces lamb; a range of wines which you are welcome to taste; native spices and a delicious Australian native crayfish known as marron. Return to Southern Ocean Lodge for some time out or join other guests for sunset drinks as kangaroos come out to graze. Dinner will be in the Great Room with a tasting-style menu.
After breakfast your guide will collect you for more personalised exploring. Start by sharing a beach with Australian sea-lions and learn about their seafood feasts interspersed with a little snoozing on the sand - a great life if you can out swim at great white shark! Head inland to a family honey farm where you can taste a delicious array of honeys from the Eucalyptus trees for which Australia is famous. Next is a farm with a difference - where they milk sheep and make flavoursome cheeses and yoghurts.
Lunch will be a picnic amongst the gum trees where just maybe there is a koala snoozing somewhere overhead. After lunch take a private tour and tasting in the barrel room at Islander Estate Vineyard where Bordeaux vigneron Jacques Lurton brings the best of old and new world wine-making techniques together in a beautiful boutique property high above the Cygnet Valley. From here, depending on time and stamina, it is either straight back to the Lodge or a meander along the north coast to explore some new landscapes.Starting Accommodation:
Southern Ocean Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 12 – Kangaroo Island Private Touring
A private tour visiting the pure source of Kangaroo Island's extraordinary food. Discover the diversity of the produce, the passion of the producers, and experience the "paddock to plate" phenomenon. This full day can incorporate seafood, artisan cheeses, honey, free-range eggs, marron, native spices, yogurt and excellent wine. Please note, there are several touring options available for different interests and your private tour can be changed or catered to your individual tastes.Starting Accommodation:
Southern Ocean Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 13 – Kangaroo Island to Sydney
Today you will be transferred from Southern Ocean Lodge to your Sydney hotel via Adelaide.
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 manmade 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.
A dinner reservation will be made for you at one of Sydney's fine dining establishments.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Sydney Harbour Long Lunch Cruise
Today, cruise on a luxury cruiser as you discover the beauty of Sydney Harbor and dine at iconic restaurants on a progressive long lunch. You will cruise past all of Sydney Harbors famous icons and harbor-side mansions, enjoy a progressive lunch at selected waterside restaurants with beverages included on board for the duration of the harbor cruise.
Depart from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay for the cruise out to Watson's Bay for appetizers at Doyles on the Beach restaurant. From here, cruise around Middle Head and into the Middle Harbor, to arrive at Balmoral for lunch at The Public Dining Room. Your main course includes a choice of menu item and beverages. After lunch, cruise past the Spit Bridge whilst indulging on your dessert and cheese platters with wines to match, before the return to the main harbor where guests can sight-see or stop for a swim. Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Wine Lover's Private Tour
You will be met at your hotel by your private driver/guide and taken to the Hunter Valley, a journey of around 2 hours. On arrival in the wine district the fun begins at Petersens Champagne House where we have arranged a private tasting of locally produced champagnes and cheeses, then it's onto the multi award winning Scaborough Wines for tastings. We then move to the famous Tyrell's Winery for more tastings, and if time permits a brief visit to Audrey Williams wines for more tastings.
Lunch with a difference as we head to the Hunter Resort for a special 2-course Tasting Plate lunch accompanied by specially selected wines. Lunch is followed by a personalized wine tutorial and winery tour hosted by the Cellermaster who upon completion of the tutorial will present you with your personal 'Wine Appreciation Certificate' from the Hunter Valley Wine School, a fitting memoir and wonderful future discussion point. We then commence our journey back to Sydney, but not before a stop at Hungerford Hill winery to sample some superb dessert wines before finally arriving back at your hotel around 6.00pm. Your tour includes private transportation for the day, services of an experienced driver/guide, wine tastings as described, 2 course lunch and Hunter Valley Wine School tutorial and certificate.Starting Accommodation:
Day 16 – Touring SydneyThe Rocks Dreaming Tour
Be touched by the most ancient human culture on earth in a 90-minute leisurely walkabout with an Aboriginal guide in The Rocks, and journey into DreamTime, the culture of Aboriginal People. This tour experience is Aboriginal owned and was developed by Margret Campbell, a Dunghutti-Jerrinjah woman. The tour is led by Aboriginal guides who have her permission to share their cultural knowledge. The tour gives you the opportunity to discover how the ancient Aboriginal Dreaming is still alive within the modern Sydney landscape and how the billion-year old harbor, marine environment, sandstone strata, waterways, flora and fauna influenced how Aboriginal People lived in the area. Afterwards, make your way back to the Sydney Harbour where you'll embark on the iconic Bridge Climb.BridgeClimb
The Bridge Climb 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 one of Bridge Climb's professional Climb Leaders 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! After your Bridge Climb enjoy a lunch reservation at Icebergs overlooking Bondi Beach.Starting Accommodation:
Day 17 – Sydney to USA
Today you will transfer to the airport for your departure flight to the USA. (B)