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
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.
See the Harbour Bridge up close and personal by climbing the metal monolith and 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, to 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, 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:
Day 4 – Vivid Lighting the Sails Cruise and Vivid Evening
Be a part of Vivid with Sensational Sydney Cruises, your exclusive small group cruising specialist. Experience an exclusive & private cruise aboard a 52-foot Motor Cruiser, with maximum 30 passengers on board. Enjoy light canapés & unlimited beverages as you cruise the magnificent Sydney Harbour marvelling at the shoreside projections along the foreshore from Fort Denison, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Walsh Bay and Darling Harbour from the water.Vivid Sydney
Vivid Sydney is a unique annual event of light, music and ideas, a mesmerizing free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations, a cutting-edge contemporary music program and the spectacular illumination of Sydney's iconic architecture including the sails of Sydney Opera House.
Sydneysiders and visitors from around Australia and the world enjoy and interact with an array of immersive lighting experiences, live performances and inspiring ideas. Since 2009, creative industry leaders and artists have transformed the city into a breathtaking canvas of innovation and inspiration.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Self-Drive Sydney to Hunter Valley
At your leisure, for the 2-3 hour drive north from Sydney to the Hunter Valley. The Hunter, as it is called, is Australia’s largest wine region, with a viticultural history dating back to the early 1800’s. Known for varietals such as Semillon and Shiraz, it is home to numerous wineries, including world-renowned brands along with family-run boutique operations.
Stressed out Sydneysiders escape to this pastoral paradise where they can enjoy fine food and wine at a meandering pace. Discover charming wineries along tree-lined lanes as you trial cellar door specialties and often share tasting notes with the very creators of these fine vintages. Visit The Hunter Resort where the 2-hour Wine School promises an education of wine, leaving one with a newfound knowledge of winemaking - and tasting! Perhaps you may wish to soar above the quilted landscape on a sunrise balloon ride. The Hunter Valley is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite for peace and plenty.Starting Accommodation:
Spicers Vineyard Estate
Day 6 – At leisure, Hunter Valley
Treat your taste buds to a gastronomic getaway by visiting the Hunter Valley. Specialty shops selling cheeses and fudge are sandwiched between world-class wineries in a locale that seems worlds away but is conveniently less than two hours from Sydney's doorstep. Stressed out Sydneysiders escape to this pastoral paradise where they can enjoy fine food and wine at a meandering pace. Discover charming wineries along tree-lined lanes as you trial cellar door specialties and often share tasting notes with the very creators of these fine vintages.
If you're looking to learn about wines, perhaps visit The Hunter Valley Resort where the 2-hour Wine School promises an education of wine, leaving one with a newfound knowledge of winemaking - and tasting! Perhaps you may wish to soar above the quilted landscape on a sunrise balloon ride. The Hunter Valley is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite for peace and plenty.Starting Accommodation:
Spicers Vineyard Estate (B)
Day 7 – Self-Drive Drive Hunter Valley to Blue Mountains
Leave the Hunter Valley and travel through the townships of Branxton, Singleton and Windsor. From Windsor travel through Bell, then Mount Victoria past Blackheath and onto Katoomba, the main town in the breathtaking Blue Mountains. The major scenic attraction is Echo Point, from where the best views of the Jamison Valley and the magnificent Three Sisters rock formation are. The spectacular Wentworth Falls are also well worth a visit. Visit the quaint town of Leura for some boutique shopping and be sure to indulge at the chocolate shop. This drive is approximately 175 miles you should allow 4 hours.
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is Australia's most accessible wilderness. Stretching over one million hectares, the region is an inspiring and diverse mix of rainforest, blue-hazed valleys, golden stone escarpments, canyons, tall forests and windswept heathlands.
The fresh mountain air and the rocky beauty of the mountains create a sense of peace and space, but you challenge yourself too, climbing, caving, canoeing and hiking through the soaring terrain.The Blue Mountains Region also links Australia's centuries - old Aboriginal culture and is the perfect place to explore history old and new - visiting aboriginal cave paintings, the Three Sisters rock formation and sharing stories of the dreamtime with local Aboriginal guides.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – At leisure, Lilianfels
Lilianfels' historic house was built in 1890 as a summer residence for Sydney Chief Justice, Sir Frederick Darley. He hoped, when he conceived the plan, that spending time in the mountains would benefit his daughter, Lilian who was suffering from tuberculosis. Sadly, Lilian died before the house was completed but Darley named it in her honor. Set amidst expansive grounds, the accommodation has the feel of a country estate, with 86 rooms, a Lobby Lounge with open fireplaces, a library and a billiard rooms. At Lilianfels Blue Mountains there is plenty to do, but nothing you must do; enjoy being pampered at the health club, offering saunas, spas, steam rooms, massages, and beauty therapy. Or perhaps enjoy a leisurely stroll in the grounds and take in the fresh mountain air mixed with the scent of Eucalyptus.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Blue Mountains to Byron Bay
Today you will drive back to Sydney, taking in the spectacular scenery around you. View the Three Sisters at Katoomba as you gaze out towards Mount Solitary. Include a visit to the Jenolan Caves and the picturesque village of Leura during your drive.
Once in Sydney, drive to the airport for your onward flight to the Gold Coast. From there, you will be transferred less than one hour to Byron Bay. Welcome to Byron Bay
Bordered on one side by beautiful coastline and the other by magnificent rainforests, Byron Bay is ideally positioned as a center for relaxation and activity. Situated at the easternmost point in Australia, this stylish coastal village enjoys a subtropical climate with clean air, crystal clear water and pristine beaches.
Those wanting to experience the natural surroundings can partake in activities such as kayaking with the dolphins, snorkeling and scuba diving or head inland to discover world heritage national parks and lush rainforests. While the adventurous can try tandem skydiving, horse riding along the beach, hang gliding or windsurfing. Surfing is also popular and the beaches in Byron Bay offer some excellent options, even for beginners.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Byron Bay Tour
Enjoy a tour exploring the main attractions of Byron Bay. You will visit the famous little town of Bangalow (oldest white settlement in the area), Walk to the lighthouse walk and have your photo taken at Australia's most easterly point. Watch whales (June-October), dolphins and sea turtles along the coast. Enjoy Byron's world class beaches and have a delicious BBQ-style lunch at Byron's finest beach.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – At leisure, Byron Bay
This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own, take part in lodge activities or speak with our Travel Consultants about additional day excursions
Day 12 – Byron Bay to Sydney
Today you will leave Byron Bay and fly back to Sydney, via the Gold Coast. Upon arrival in Sydney, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your accommodations. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the city on your own.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Vivid Bridge Climb
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. During Vivid Sydney, the night climb will take groups of 14 to climb together and witness the dazzling display of light sculptures, installations and grand-scale projections visible from the Bridge. Groups climbing earlier in the evening will even get to witness the big “switch-on” moment - a spectacular sight. With the music pumping and city lights shining, experience the world’s largest festival of light, music, and ideas from the best vantage point in the city – the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It really is the best way to see Vivid.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Sydney to USA
Today you will depart Sydney for your return flight to the USA.