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
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 – Koalas and Kangaroos, in the Wild
Depart Melbourne to travel just 45 minutes west to the bush land of You Yangs Park. 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 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 Serendip Open Range Sanctuary, drive, then walk through the gum trees and across grasslands in search of mobs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Also look out for curious Emus, and take a short walk to the billabong, home to large populations of water birds.
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. The tour is vehicle-based, with short walks during the day; includes a substantial picnic lunch and pick up/drop off to Melbourne city between 5 and 6pm. NOTE: This itinerary is an indication only, due to conditions on the day it can change slightly to maximize wildlife viewing opportunities.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Metropol (L)
Day 5 – Lanes & Arcades Walking Tour
Have you ever been to a city and wondered what all the fuss was about? Or wasted time trying to find that cool local cafe you were told of, then ended up missing everything? Melbourne's arcades and laneways hide many of these answers. Join this indulgent morning walk through Melbourne's beautiful back streets, and become orientated in the life of the city that locals love. Discover local designers and specialty retailers that often are only found in the city. Some of the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, architecture, and historical tales are found in these walkways, there is something for everyone, locals and visitors alike. Morning tea is included as well as lunch with a glass of wine.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Metropol (L)
Day 6 – Melbourne to Perth
This morning you will transfer to the airport for your flight from Melbourne to Perth. Perth, the go-ahead capital of Western Australia, gives a feeling of space and light - set on the banks of the sparkling Swan River, a few miles from the magnificent beaches of the Indian Ocean. And a short way downstream is the vibrant, historic port city of Fremantle. Attractions include the Perth Mint where visitors can see how coins are made, located in the city center is the Art Gallery of Western Australia housing a collection of Aboriginal art, Australian and international paintings. The Scitech Discovery Centre is a unique hands-on minds-on science and technology center.
Outdoor activities include picnics in Kings Park with its walking trails and a 12-hectare botanical garden, famous for its spring wildflower displays. The park is a pleasant walk from the center of Perth and is well served by public transport and the Perth Tram. Also visit some of the magnificent white-sand, Indian Ocean surfing beaches. The closest is City Beach, but Cottesloe, Floreat, Scarborough, and Sorrento are also popular. Fremantle, 18 kilometers south-west of Perth is a colorful, busy port at the mouth of the Swan River, easily accessible by bus, train, ferry and taxi. Attractions include the Fremantle Arts Centre, the Maritime Museum, the Round House, the market and the lively town center affectionately known as the cappuccino strip.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Margaret River Tour
Traveling south, a stop is made for morning tea (own expense) at the iconic Busselton Jetty, the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere. Continue south to the Margaret River region and visit a local winery, taste some of the very best wines of the region whilst gaining some insight in to the industry. Enjoy a platter lunch at the picturesque Bootleg Brewey - the Margaret Rivers first brewery. Next, head out to explore Mammoth Cave on a guided tour. Pass through the stunning Boranup Forest and be amazed at the size of these massive Karri trees. Afterwards, visit Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse the diving point between the Southern and Indian Oceans. Heading back towards Margaret River for a brief stop in the township where you have free time to stroll the main street.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Metropol (L)
Day 8 – Wave Rock Tour
Heading east, a stop is made for morning tea (own expense) at historic York, the first township founded in the Avon Valley. Visit the Dog Cemetery before arriving in Hyden. Then visit Hippo's Yawn, a rock formation which resembles a hippo yawning and stop at the Wildflower Shop for a buffet lunch.
After lunch, visit Wave Rock before a visit is made to The Humps and Mulka's Cave. Return to Perth via a different route and stop at the quaint country town of Babakin for afternoon tea (own expense) and wildflower viewing stops are made in season.Starting Accommodation:
Crown Metropol (L)
Day 9 – Indian Pacific Train
Leave Perth today and travel for the next day and two evenings aboard this famous Australian train. Delicious meals will be served for you on board, and entertainment is featured in the dining and lounge cars throughout the journey. Your epic journey will take you through the picturesque and fertile Avon Valley, the dusty goldfields around Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, across the vast, empty and ancient desert of the Nullarbor Plains, onto Adelaide.Starting Accommodation:
Indian Pacific (D)
Day 10 – Indian Pacific Train
Your epic journey will take you through the picturesque and fertile Avon Valley, the dusty goldfields around Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, across the vast, empty and ancient desert of the Nullarbor Plains, onto Adelaide.Starting Accommodation:
Indian Pacific (B, L, D)
Day 11 – At leisure, Adelaide
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:
Majestic Roof Garden Hotel
Day 12 – 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, in the center of the 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 6km away.
Today's tour departs Adelaide and first takes us south to the picturesque McLaren Vale Wine Region dotted 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.
We head south to the coastal town of Goolwa, once a thriving paddle steamer port. Then enjoy lunch at the charming Flying Fish Café overlooking the sea. After lunch we travel on the beach up to the Mouth of the River and travel to scenic lookouts in search of the Southern Right Whales that visit our shores with their newborn calves from June onwards. We 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. See the fascinating fairy penguins through an interpretive center or view them at dusk as they make their way back to the island. Return to Adelaide in the late afternoon.Starting Accommodation:
Majestic Roof Garden Hotel (L)
Day 13 – Kangaroo Island
This full day tour starts with a flight from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island. Meet your host on arrival who will be on hand through the day to introduce you to the lifestyle, culture and wildlife of this large and diverse Island. Start out in the Cygnet Valley which is great koala habitat. Enjoy a morning tea overlooking the Island's best farming country before taking a bushwalk through the habitat of kangaroos, wallabies and birdlife. Break for an elegant barbeque lunch with great local wines at a private lunch-site before heading on to Seal Bay. This beautiful sandy beach is home to some 1,000 Australian sea lions - walk with your guide Galapagos-style amongst them and learn about their lifestyle and ecology.Starting Accommodation:
Majestic Roof Garden Hotel (L)
Day 14 – Adelaide to Sydney
You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your onward flight to Sydney. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Sunny, sexy, sophisticated – Sydney basks as the shining star of the southern hemisphere. The stunning Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are the pride and joy, but there’s much more to offer.
Sydney’s sparkling harbor is the jewel in the city’s crown. It’s flanked by golden beaches and bush land, and is bisected by one of the most famous bridges in the world. Islands sprinkle its waters, and it’s crisscrossed by all manner of craft, from water taxis and yachts to tour boats and ferries.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 15 – Sydney TouringSydney Harbour Highlights Morning Tea Cruise
Sydney's harbor is home to a multitude of sensational attractions and experiences. With thousands of people visiting harbor attractions each week, you can skip the crowds & see it all from a well-appointed 54 foot cruiser.
Begin your day with a Sensational Sydney cruise that visits the harbor's stand out attractions. Take in the sights and delights with a small group of like-minded discerning travelers whilst navigating the waterways of Sydney Harbour. Your informative captain and crew will entertain you throughout your two hour morning cruise. Whilst at sea, enjoy a refreshing morning tea served with tea, coffee and juice.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. 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!Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 16 – The Rock Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour
Be touched by the most ancient human culture on earth in a 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.
The rest of the day is at your leisure to experience the rest of what Sydney has to offer.Starting Accommodation:
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Day 17 – Sydney to USA
This morning you will be met and transferred to the airport for your departure flight to the USA.