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Celebrate the New Year in Australia

What better way to ring in the New Year than to relax on an island resort, explore vibrant metropolises, go on an adventure in a majestic mountain region and celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Your journey begins on the exclusive Lizard Island, renowned for its powdery white beaches and spectacular diving. Then get to know Melbourne, Australia’s second largest and most eclectic city. Next, experience Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley nestled deep in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. Finally, complete your Aussie journey by experiencing New Year’s Eve on a private cruise around the famed Sydney Harbour.

Trip Type: Cosmopolitan, Family, Sun & Sand

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Day By Day

Day 1 – USA to Cairns
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 Cairns
Your driver will be waiting for you in the baggage claim area to transfer you by private vehicle from Cairns Airport to Shangri-La Hotel located alongside the Trinity Wharf in the heart of Cairns.

Shangri-La Cairns offers the service and luxury of a five-star hotel as well as the tropical beauty of the North Queensland area.

Starting Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina

Day 4 – Cairns to Lizard Island
Hartley's Breakfast with the Koalas
Begin your morning with a breakfast at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy your delicious cooked breakfast on the relaxing deck overlooking Hartley's Lagoon. A wildlife keeper will be on the deck between 9:00am & 9:30am with a Koala. After breakfast, you can enjoy all the wildlife presentations at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, plus a boat cruise on Hartley's Lagoon.

Flight Transfer to Lizard Island
You will be transferred from Hartley's to the airport for a flight transfer from Cairns to Lizard Island.

Lizard Island, Australia's most northern island resort, is renowned for both diving, especially the 'Cod Hole' where you can see huge Moray Eels and the famous Potato Cod, and game fishing for Black Marlin. Located on the Inner Great Barrier Reef (170miles north of Cairns), Lizard Island offers a private paradise in an exclusive environment.

The lodge appeals to discerning guests wanting to combine a nature experience with daytime water-based activities. Guests may choose as much privacy as they want; the activity generally centers around the main lodge building, with an intimate tropical atmosphere. You may choose from dining indoors or al fresco on the verandah overlooking the majestic waters of Anchor Bay. For a romantic interlude, dine on the beach by the soft light of the moon, enhanced by the delicate flicker of flares.

Starting Accommodation: Lizard Island (B, D)

Day 5 – Activities on Lizard Island
Renowned for its powdery white sand beaches and spectacular diving opportunities, Lizard Island takes pride in being one of only a few to be nestled right on the Great Barrier Reef. While the fish may not respect your privacy, rest assured the staff on the island will. Lizard Island seamlessly blends indoors and out in an elegant open plan design - the essence of stylish Australian beachside living.

Lizard offers some of the best diving in the world, and with its enviable location right on the reef, you can be sure diving opportunities abound around this marine national park. Snorkelers are rewarded with coral gardens, brightly colored tropical fish and giant clams just moments from the island's beaches. Discover secluded, pristine beaches by foot or by motorized dinghy with a gourmet picnic just for two. Try a gentle bush walk, sailing, fishing or a glass bottom boat trip, or perhaps indulge in the serenity of a treatment at the luxurious Azure Spa. Lizard is island luxury at its finest.

Wet Season
As the region is totally tropical (being 16 degrees south of the equator), summer is generally much warmer and subject to high seasonal rainfall from December to April. Heavy intermittent downpours followed by long periods of sunshine are the most characteristic aspect of our weather at this time of year. Daily averages are 84-90 F. Tropical Cyclones may also affect the area during this time.

Starting Accommodation: Lizard Island (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Day at Leisure, Lizard Island
An additional day to relax on the white beaches, explore the Great Barrier Reef or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment. 

Starting Accommodation: Lizard Island (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Lizard Island to Melbourne (via Cairns)
Flight Transfers from Lizard Island to Cairns and Cairns to Melbourne.

A driver will meet you in baggage claim to transfer you by private vehicle from Melbourne Airport to the city.

Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, is second to none when it comes to fashion, festivals and sports. 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.

Go in search for 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 blend in Yarra Valley. It is the closest wine region to any major Australian city, just an hour out of the city but world's away from the bustling streets of Melbourne.

Crown Towers Hotel
The five-star Crown Towers hotel is ideally located on the banks of the Yarra River which is a short stroll from the vibrant central business district and arts precinct.

As a Swain Destinations preferred guest, your special amenities include a complimentary upgrade to the next room category (subject to availability), a bottle of Australian sparkling wine on arrival, late check out to 1:00 pm (subject to availability at time of stay), and complimentary access to the Crystal Club for two guests per room. Benefits of the Crystal Club include the exclusive lounge on the 3rd floor, private check-in and check-out, breakfast in the lounge, afternoon tea, wireless connectivity and complimentary evening drinks and canapés from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Starting Accommodation: Crown Towers (B)

Day 8 – Day at Leisure, Melbourne
At your leisure to enjoy Melbourne. 

Public Holiday - Christmas Day
Please note that many restaurants, tours, attractions and services or shops will be closed.

Starting Accommodation: Crown Towers (B)

Day 9 – Boroughs of Melbourne, Half Day Tour
Mid-morning, depart from your hotel, and get to know your guide as you get a taste of inner Melbourne. Then, venture beyond the charms of the inner city, along lovely tree lined St. Kilda Boulevard, past the Arts precinct and Royal Botanical Gardens. Seaside St. Kilda has a character all its own, with influences from Eastern Europe to 80's punk rock; think Coney Island meets New Orleans meets Australia. See one of the world's oldest roller coasters and sample one of Melbourne's best cheesecakes. Leaving St. Kilda, drive along the coast to South Melbourne. Take a walk through the the South Melbourne market and taste the famous dim sim a local delicacy. Head on through the sports precinct to the city's North East to experience it's once industrial heart. Richmond, Collingwood and Fitzroy have emerged from the humblest of pasts to become some of Melbourne's greatest treasures.

Public Holiday - Boxing Day
Please note that many restaurants, tours, attractions and services or shops will be closed.

Starting Accommodation: Crown Towers (B)

Day 10 – Melbourne to Blue Mountains (via Sydney)
Take a private vehicle to the Melbourne Airport where you will fly to Sydney.

A driver will meet you at the Sydney Airport for the drive to Wolgan Valley. Travel through the famous Blue Mountains, passing by quaint old villages and apple orchards. Continuing the drive, pass through the townships of Bell and Lithgow before heading east and entering the Wolgan Valley. Marvel at the sheer rock escarpments and rugged geography of this unique landscape. On arrival you will be met by Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley staff for an introduction to your Wolgan Valley experience.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is nestled between the scenic Wollemi National Park and the Gardens of Stone National Park. The Wolgan River twists and turns through the valley, creating a stark contrast of soft rolling hills and jagged sandstone cliffs. The World Heritage listed Blue Mountains rise against the horizon, providing a backdrop that can't be found anywhere else. Three types of villas are available to guests, featuring private pools, crackling wood fireplaces, and landscaped gardens. The resort draws inspiration from its homestead roots, incorporating traditional design with modern amenities and natural elements.

Your stay includes gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, all non-alcoholic beverages, a selected range of regional wines and beer with meals, and two on-site nature based activities per person per day.

Starting Accommodation: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (B, D)

Day 11 – Activities at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley's engaging Field Guides are able to offer inspiring suggestions in which to see Wolgan Valley and the surrounding Blue Mountains region. Choose from hiking nature trails, exploring the countryside on horseback, touring by four-wheel drive, mountain biking through forests, or star gazing in the dead of night. These are just some of the many adventures awaiting those with a love for Australia's great outdoors. Some of these activities incur an additional cost as noted.

Starting Accommodation: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (B, L, D)

Day 12 – Day at Leisure, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
This is an additional day to enjoy the activities and excursions that Wolgan Valley has to offer.

Starting Accommodation: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (B, L, D)

Day 13 – Wolgan Valley to Sydney
Depart Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley for your transfer back to Sydney.

Sydney is the oldest settlement in Australia, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country's capital in everything but name. Even 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 beautiful beach and Eucalyptus embrace the endless bays of Sydney Harbour.

It is Sydney's man-made wonders, however, that draw the most visitors. The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are the most photographed icons on the continent.

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is just a stroll away from the harbor and the Opera House, and lies in the center of Sydney's business district. The hotel is well known for its impeccable service, comfortable rooms, and impressive views of the city and the harbor.

Starting Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney (B)

Day 14 – New Year's Eve Luxury Cruise
Tonight, experience one of the most incredible sights in the world, New Year's Eve on the Sydney Harbour. Celebrate New Year's Eve aboard The Boat, a 95 foot Motor Yacht and experience what it is like to cruise like a local on one of the most spectacular harbors in the world, with your friendly, local Australian hosts.

The cruise embarks at 7:15 pm, starting off with canapés and Aussie wine and beer as you leisurely cruise Sydney Harbour. The Captain brings you to the perfect area to drop anchor where you will enjoy drinks and dining (buffet style). Come 9 pm, the Family Fireworks show begins over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, lighting up the harbor. Beautifully choreographed, the fireworks fire from barges around Sydney Harbour coupled with special pyrotechnic effects.

After the Family Fireworks show, continue to enjoy the fine food and drinks, while the Harbour of Light Parade puts on an exciting visual as a lead up to the world's most famous fireworks' display. With champagne in hand, the countdown begins for the Sydney Harbour Firework show at midnight to welcome the New Year!

Return to the Walsh Bay dock is 12:30 am (approximately). This truly is a once in a lifetime experience - a very special Celebration Cruise - limited to 40 adult guests from North America.

Starting Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney (B, D)

Day 15 – Sydney Harbour 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: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney (B)

Day 16 – Sydney in Style, Half Day Tour
Travel through the business district and shopping areas, see Darling Harbour and the vibrant China Town and drive along Oxford Street with its trendy terrace houses and boutique fashion shops. See Centennial Park, a 220 hectare urban parkland in Eastern Sydney. Reaching the coastline, we see Bronte, Tamarama, and then the famous Bondi Beach. Spend 30 minutes walking the promenade or enjoying a coffee overlooking the beach.

Continue along the coastal drive past Macquarie Lighthouse to the Southern Headland of Sydney Harbour. Visit Watsons Bay before following the harbor foreshore towards Sydney City, passing some of Australia's most exclusive waterfront suburbs. This day you'll get to know all the incredible sides of Sydney.

The rest of the day is at your leisure to experience the rest of what Sydney has to offer.

Starting Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney (B)

Day 17 – Sydney to USA
This morning you will be met and transferred to the airport for your departure flight to the USA. (B)

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CairnsShangri-La Hotel, The Marina
Lizard IslandLizard Island
MelbourneCrown Towers
Blue MountainsEmirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
SydneyFour Seasons Hotel, Sydney


Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.

Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD based on four adults traveling sharing two rooms. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Any alteration of this itinerary may result in a price change. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: