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, Victoria
Your driver will be waiting to transfer you from Melbourne International Airport to your city accommodation.Crown Towers Hotel, Melbourne
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. With 500 rooms and suites, convention and meeting facilities, business centers and the luxurious Crown Spa, it is the perfect destination for travelers.
Studio rooms feature custom designed linen, original artwork and spacious marble bathrooms, resulting is pure opulence. Each room boasts the latest technology available including a large plasma screen with laptop, DVD or MP3 player input, iPod docking station and Video on Demand interactive system, creating an environment ideal for relaxation or recreation.
Day 4 – 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 cellar 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 included at three venues during the evening.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Melbourne to Yarra Valley
Today, you will pick up your Budget rental vehicle and make your way to Yarra Valley. At your leisure, take the Maroondah Highway out of Melbourne towards The Yarra Valley; a region of over 55 world class wineries, set amidst a backdrop of mist covered hills. The Yarra Valley region is ideal for a day trip or short break from Melbourne to visit Victoria's famous region of winery tours, farmer's markets, restaurants and boutique accommodations. Please allow about an hour for this 31 mile drive.Chateau Yering
This heritage listed Victorian mansion on 250 acres, borders the Yarra River and is set amidst established gardens dating from 1854. The luxury period accommodation and award winning Eleonore's Restaurant boast some of the best rural vistas in Victoria, whilst the lounges and sitting room are a showcase for fine paintings and antique furniture.
The accommodation at Chateau Yering consists of 32 suites individually decorated with different color schemes. Word has spread quickly of the high standard of food and accommodation. Chateau Yering is about an hour's scenic drive from Melbourne.
The Mountain Suite offers very spacious accommodation, with 38 square meters of space and a king-sized bed. Each room is individually decorated with outdoor areas, with an emphasis on the majestic ambiance, comfort and style. With antique furnishings and a marble en-suite that has a claw-foot bath and separate shower, this elegant room is sheer luxury.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Yarra Valley Ballooning & Wine Experience Tour
Meet at Balgownie Estate half an hour before sunrise. Whilst having a cup of tea or coffee your pilot will give you a short briefing. You will then be transported to the launch site where you may help with the launch, or stand back and take pictures. Then away you go, drifting gently over the countryside in the 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 making the final landing, pack the balloon away then head back to Balgownie Estate for a light breakfast.
After your balloon flight and breakfast, Global Ballooning will take you to meet up with the Australian Wine Tour Company Tour. Learn how to 'swirl, sniff & slurp', as you taste some of Punt Road's award winning Australian wines. Indulge in guided tasting sessions, and make your selection of wine for lunch and take your complimentary glass of wine to the restaurant with its magnificent vineyard views. Lunch includes main meal, a glass of Balgownie Estate wine & tea or coffee.
After lunch, head to Yering Farm. The old hay shed, situated at the top of the hill overlooking stunning views, has been converted into a charming rustic Cellar Door, oozing with character. The Cellar Door proudly showcases antique cooper tools used by pioneer winemakers over a century ago. A fantastic environment to enjoy superb wines made with traditional wine making techniques. Finally, a visit to Domaine Chandon. French Champagne company Moet & Chandon's Australian production house Domain Chandon is the perfect way to finish the day with a guided tour through the winery that shows how the wine is made followed by a relaxing glass of Australia's best bubbly with tasty light platters and a view that will leave you in awe.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Yarra Valley to Mornington Peninsula
Travel through Dandenong and Frankston on to Mornington Peninsula. Stylish Sorrento and Portsea are filled with antique shops, galleries, cafes, and numerous walking trails. Arrive in Mornington, a longtime favorite destination for lazy beachside getaways that come with green hinterlands and wild ocean beaches on the side.
The distance of your trip today is 72 miles and the drive should take you about 2 hours. Jackalope Hotel
Set on a pristine winery amid the world-renowned Mornington Peninsula wine region, the Jackalope hotel is framed by picturesque Willow Creek Vineyard acreage. Fertile grazing land for over 100 years prior, the 11-hectare Willow Creek Vineyard was planted in 1989 and has become renowned for its single vineyard wines. The Jackalope provides guests with ample opportunity to not only drink in the gorgeous scenery but also taste the Peninsula's best wines, food and pastoral pleasures at the hotel's onsite winery restaurant, the Rare Hare.Starting Accommodation:
Jackalope Hotel (B)
Day 8 – Foodies Journey Through the Mornington Peninsula
Serious food lovers are in for a treat. Prepare to be constantly inspired and delighted by this diverse, boot-shaped region; you are now entering 'Foodie Heaven.' Our hosts own 27 acres of charming farm land with red fertile soil that allows them to grow and produce premium quality olives, grapes, herbs and veggies. They also raise sheep, chickens and fish, and turn amazing produce from local farmers into a range of delectable goodies. You'll get a whole new perspective on the concept of 'Paddock to Plate'.
Spend time in the kitchen with the chef; cooking in a wood fire oven, with wood collected from fallen timber on the property. What you do on the day depends on the season; you may try your hand at curing olives grown on the farm, create handmade sausages in natural skins, make mouth-watering gnocchi, master the art of sourdough bread, learn ways to cook with olives and olive oil, or successfully roast and make great coffee. Later you'll sit back, relax and enjoy the surrounds while eating and drinking some of the finest food and wine the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.
After lunch take a drive down the road to sample cool climate wines with one of our favorite wine makers, taste freshly made goats cheese from a local dairy or savor succulent strawberries and cherries from the fruit farms in the area. What more could a foodie want? Starting Accommodation:
Jackalope Hotel (B, L)
Day 9 – Mornington Peninsula to Barossa ValleyDrive Mornington to Melbourne
Take the Nepean Highway from Mornington through Portsea and Frankston, driving north towards Melbourne. The distance of your trip today is 58 miles and the drive should take you just under two hours.Melbourne International Airport to Barossa Valley
Your driver will be waiting for you in the baggage claim area. You will be transferred directly to your accommodation.The Louise
The Louise is a luxury vineyard retreat on a gentle hill, surrounded by acres of vines overlooking the world renowned Barossa Valley. With just fifteen suites, each with private terraces, soft contemporary furnishings and spacious en-suites, the romance of an idyllic vineyard hideaway is complete. Acclaimed on-site restaurant Appellation, offers seasonal cuisine nightly for casually elegant dining. One hour from Adelaide, The Louise is one of Australia's premier vineyard retreats.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – The Louise - Two Hands Flagship Experience
Two hands welcomes you on a vineyard experience like no other; to invite you to enjoy a personalized experience of tasting their acclaimed single vineyard wines in the exact vineyards from which they are produced. Travel through the Western ranges of the Barossa Valley and visit five of their most exceptional vineyard sites.
Your guide will collect you from the Louise and drive you to nearby Two Hands Cellar Door. Slip on a pair of boots and armed with a map, jump into the luxury Land Rover with your host for a drive to the Windmill Block in the sub-region of Stonewell. After a tasting of the wine made from the vines, venture along a dirt road to the Secret Block, then onto the Coach House vineyard in Greenock, followed by Wazza's Block in Seppeltsfield before heading to their largest estate vineyard, the Holy Grail. Once on top of the hill you will take in one of the most breathtaking vistas in the Barossa Valley region. Then, retreat to the beautiful setting under the 100 year old gum tree to taste the Single Vineyard Shiraz wines.
Return to the cellar door to complete your vineyard experience, enjoy a long lunch of gourmet pizza direct from the wood fired oven, either in the private bake-house or on the picturesque terrace. As a guest of The Louise, you will also receive a gift - a personally selected Two Hands wine, to enjoy during your stay.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Barossa Valley to Kangaroo Island
You will be met by your driver and transferred to Adelaide Airport. From here, you will fly to Kangaroo Island. Upon arrival, a shared transfer will bring you to Southern Ocean Lodge.Southern Ocean Lodge
Southern Ocean Lodge provides a level of style and sophistication on Kangaroo Island. Set in natural bush land overlooking a spectacular section of coastline, the organic luxury of the contemporary Lodge will ensure guests have every opportunity to relax and explore the island's wonders with a dash of indulgence. Located at Hanson Bay on the island's southwest coast, the Lodge site adjoins both Flinders Chase and Cape Bouguer/Kelly Hill National Parks. Set back from a cliff above the pounding surf the sensitive design showcases a full frontal panorama and is within easy reach of all of Kangaroo Island's major attractions. Its location, stunning views, contemporary environmental design, locally sourced food and beverages, personalized interpretative activities and modern wellness spa will ensure its status as a South Australian icon.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 12 – Activities at Southern Ocean Lodge
Southern Ocean Lodge offers guests a complete Kangaroo Island experience. With selected guided island experiences included in the tariff, all guests enjoy a personalized experiential touring itinerary of the island's unique natural attractions. A range of signature activities are offered daily allowing guests to encounter rich and varied wildlife, indulge in world-class food and wine and discover the island's unique natural attractions, often with exclusive access and always with a touch of luxe. Rates include Signature Lodge Experiences. A menu of bespoke experiences provides further opportunity for exploration and excellent private charters are also available at additional cost. These are some of the options offered by the lodge (not all options are offered every day, information will be available at time of stay).
Wonders of Kangaroo Island is a half day experience, and a spectacular introduction to the island's wildlife, maritime heritage and stunning coastal landscapes. Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and a fur seal colony are just some of the trip highlights. Wander among the rare Cape Barren Geese and search the leafy eucalypts for a sleepy koala.
Seal Bay is home to Australia's third largest colony of Australian sea lions. Join a naturalist guide for an exclusive tour on the beach with these wild animals. Learn about their unique breeding cycle and the ongoing research programs implemented on site. After your up close and personal experience relax with morning tea at the picturesque Vivonne Bay.
The Coastal Clifftop Walk is a scenic walk starting on the Lodge's doorstep atop the limestone cliffs of Hanson Bay. This easy walk affords a bird's eye view of thundering waves crashing along the coastline. Stand on top of the cliff with the wind blowing, look out to sea and realize there is nothing but ocean between here and Antarctica. Experience and learn about local flora, fauna and coastline ecosystems. This is a photographer's dream.
Kangaroos & Kanapés. Soak up the history of the early island settlers at Grassdale, a historic island property reached by a short drive from the Lodge and where local wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies congregate to graze. Observe these creatures in their natural environment, sip premium South Australian beverages and nibble on a 'Kanapé' whilst the sun goes down on another magical day.
Discover the intriguing Natural Heritage of this wild island in the Baudin Lounge. This informative visual presentation hosted by resident naturalist staff provides insight into the island's discovery and natural history as well as giving an overview of its many spectacular attractions. Refresh with a sunset drink at the convivial Lodge Bar.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 13 – Kangaroo Island to Adelaide
Transfer from Southern Ocean Lodge to Kingscote Airport where you will fly to Adelaide. Upon arrival, your driver will meet you in the baggage claim area to transfer you to your city accommodation. Mayfair Hotel
The Mayfair Hotel is located right in the heart of the city at the corner of King William and Hindley Streets in the heritage-listed, beautifully renovated Colonial Mutual Life building. Complemented by a stunning 'jewel box' addition beautifully complementing the 'Romanesque' style building, the Mayfair Hotel is the gateway linking the recently refurbished Rundle Mall and Adelaide's exciting new Riverbank Entertainment Precinct. Offering luxury accommodation, contemporary dining and premium hotel facilities, the Mayfair Hotel also showcases the very best of South Australia, including innovative food and wine and quality locally made products and furnishings.Starting Accommodation:
Mayfair Hotel (B)
Day 14 – Adelaide to USA
Your driver will meet you near the front lobby area of your accommodation. You will be transferred by private vehicle from the city to Melbourne Airport for your flight to the USA.