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
A driver will meet you at the airport to transfer you to your accommodation. Crown Towers Hotel, Melbourne
At the glittering heart of Melbourne's world-class Crown Entertainment Complex is the luxurious Crown Towers Hotel. With a reputation for beautiful parks and gardens, wonderful shopping, spectacular special events and a rich tapestry of art and culinary fare, Melbourne is truly one of the world's most exciting cities.
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.Afternoon at Leisure
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 which spreads an addictive buzz through the city streets. You can be sure that locals and visitors alike will embrace the energy surrounding it.
Explore the famous lane ways and arcades of the city, catch a tram to trendy Southgate, rub shoulders with locals at the Queen Victoria Market or take in a show at the ornate Princess Theatre. For a break from the hustle and bustle, cruise along the Yarra River, or head out to one of the many beautiful beaches just outside of the city.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – 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 café you were told of, then ended up missing everything? Melbourne's arcades and lane ways 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:
Day 5 – Melbourne Ballooning & Yarra Valley Wine ExperienceMelbourne Ballooning
A sunrise balloon flight over Melbourne is a truly remarkable experience. In the early morning light, drift by the array of parks and gardens, and as the city comes to life you will look down on some of the iconic sporting venues such as the MCG, Melbourne Park and Albert Park racetrack.
Meet half an hour before first light. Your pilot provides a briefing, then you are transported to the launch site to either help with the launch, or stand back and take pictures. Away you go, drifting gently over the city of Melbourne in the beautiful balloon. Afterwards you will be transferred to the meeting point for your Yarra Valley Winery Tour. Yarra Valley Wine Experience
You will be dropped at St Paul's Cathedral in town, to meet up with the Australian Wine Tour Company group. Depart Melbourne for the Yarra Valley - it is about an hour to Punt Road Wines, a winery with a rich history and the ideal place to sample a selection of exciting wines that reflect the earthiness and personality of the Yarra Valley. You will start the day learning how to 'swirl, sniff & slurp', preparing you to taste some of Punt Road's award winning Australian wines. Heading to Balgownie Estate, indulge in a guided tasting session at their tasting table. 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 6 – Great Ocean Road Tour
This three day, small group tour gives you quality time to enjoy the wildlife and scenery of this magnificent area with your experienced nature guide.
See Kangaroos and Koalas in the wild! Watch the natural behavior of wild kangaroos, koalas and abundant bird life. Get involved in koala research with your Nature Guide. A delicious bush lunch is included. Walk amongst free ranging 'mobs' (groups) of wild kangaroos. Spot Emus, Cockatoos and other unique Australian wildlife on the grasslands, in the bush and around the billabongs of Melbourne's Western Plains. The Echidna Walkabout Koala Research Project ensures that on most days you have multiple sightings of these delightful creatures. During your journey, the guide will share with you the great significance of the Western Plains to Aboriginal People. Your accommodation tonight is at a B&B in the tiny outback town of Little River. (B, L)
Day 7 – Great Ocean Road - Day 2
See some of the world's most spectacular coastal scenery. Follow the Great Ocean Road to the surging surf coast, and walk in the magnificent rain forests of the Otway National Park. Your Nature Guide will explain the formation of these mighty forests. Travel through Port Campbell National Park, looking out for echidnas, wallabies, lizards and colorful birds which make their home in the coastal heath lands. Linger a while to take in some of nature's handiwork at the 12 Apostles and the Loch Ard Gorge. Hear stories about the terrible shipwrecks of the past. Dinner will be at tonight's B&B near Loch Ard Gorge. (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Great Ocean Road - Day 3
The expanse of the Western Plains - volcanoes and lakes in a great savannah. This morning, have one last look at the coast in the dramatic morning light before returning to Melbourne across the vast grasslands of the Western Plains. Created by intense volcanic activity over the past 2 million years, the 7,000 volcanoes of the Western Plains are now extinct but the resultant savannah is now pasture to the richest wool growing area on earth - a wonderful example of Australia's great range lands. Crown Towers Hotel, Melbourne
Return to Melbourne in the late afternoon for your stay at the Crown Towers Hotel, Melbourne. Deluxe Rooms are located from Level 5 to 15, with floor to ceiling windows offering sweeping views of the city skyline, Yarra River or picturesque Port Phillip Bay. Providing 484 square feet of luxuriously outfitted space each Deluxe Room features a stunning bathroom with double vanities and deep soaking bath, separate shower, walk-in dressing room, personal safe, two telephone lines and Video on Demand interactive system, i-Pod docking station and an in-built technology wall panel for laptops and high speed wireless internet access.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Melbourne to Uluru (Ayers Rock)
A driver will meet you at the front lobby area of your accommodation. You will be transferred to the Melbourne Airport for your flight to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Sails in the Desert Hotel
Named after the soaring white sails that crown its roof, Sails in the Desert Hotel is Ayers Rock Resort's premium hotel. The interior decor focuses on Aboriginal heritage and culture, with a gallery in the lobby, and significant artworks featured throughout the public areas and in the private rooms. Relax in beautifully appointed rooms, enjoy a cocktail in the lovely grounds, or sit back and relax under the magnificent white sails. There is a tennis court or the immaculate putting green for the energetic, or wander through the Mulgara Gallery and buy some local art. The Hotel also offers some great dining experiences with a choice of restaurants within the resort area.
The afternoon is at your leisure to explore the activities provided by the Ayers Rock Resort. Activities include guided garden walks, bush yarns, Indigenous art markets, spear and boomerang throwing and Wakagetti Cultural Dancers.SEIT Kata Tjuta Domes
Travel to Kata Tjuta where your guide will reveal the many attributes of this diverse environment. Arriving at Walpa Gorge you will walk between the mighty conglomerate domes and hear how these many domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Exploring Uluru (Ayers Rock)Uluru Sunrise & Segway
Enjoy a magical sunrise at Uluru with a light breakfast, tea and coffee. Then, in the morning light you will be led by the guide into Mutitjulu Waterhole. Cruise on your segway around the full six-mile base of Uluru.A Night at Field of Light
A night at Field of Light combines the award-winning 'Sounds of Silence' buffet BBQ dinner under the outback sky with the once-in-a-lifetime Field of Light art installation. With magnificent views of Uluru at sunset, a special three-course bush tucker menu, premium selection of Australian wines & beers, fascinating star talk and a self-guided walk through the Field of Light art installation, your 'A Night at Field of Light' experience is complete.
Your evening begins with a convenient hotel pick-up and transfer to the remote desert location with majestic views of Uluru. As the sun sets on the horizon to the music of a lone didgeridoo, enjoy gourmet canapés and chilled sparkling wine. As darkness falls and the colored lights of the 50,000 glass spheres gently come to life, join your table of fellow travelers for an exceptional three-course menu infused with bush tucker flavors. As the night ignites with countless stars, settle back and listen to the resident star talker decode the southern night sky.
The host will provide insights to the art installation that awaits you, before you're invited to immerse yourself in the Field of Light, its pathways glistening softly with rhythms of colored light, beckoning you to explore.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – SEIT Bush Tucker
Join your guide for an adventure into the outback bush environment and discover the importance of traditional bush food to the local people and meet some of the reptiles of the region. You will wander through country and learn how the local people lived in such a hot desert climate and survived on a variety of bush seeds and animals. Grind native seeds, try your hand at throwing a spear and taste a selection of these bush seeds traditional and contemporary. Meet the reptiles and learn about these amazing creatures that roam our desert landscape.
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore Uluru (Ayers Rock).Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Uluru (Ayers Rock) to Sydney
Refer to your hotel for the scheduled departure times of the AAT Kings courtesy shuttle to the airport before flying to Sydney.
A driver will meet you in Sydney to transfer you to your accommodation.Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney
The spectacular 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. Well known for its impeccable service, the hotel also features comfortable rooms and impressive views of the city and harbor.
The hotel offers 531 rooms & suites, elegantly decorated in a luxurious contemporary style. Views from the guest rooms include Sydney's most famous icons: the sunrise over the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House, the harbor, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour and beyond.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Exploring SydneyBridgeClimb - Day 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! Cruise Like a Local Luncheon
Treat yourself to Sydney Harbour's most sensational Cruise Like a Local Luncheon Cruise. A unique, four-hour cruise experience. Enjoy the company of a small group aboard a 52-foot motor yacht. Your personal captain & host will share the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore as you take in the sites of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a 3 course BBQ lunch with regional wines, local beers and 5-star service. Immerse yourself in all the activities that a smaller vessel offers including, swimming and fishing - or sit back, relax on the expansive sunbed and do nothing at all.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Day at Leisure
Today is at your leisure to explore one of Australia's most iconic cities.
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 man-made 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. Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Sydney to USA
You will be transferred by private vehicle from your city accommodation to Sydney Airport for your journey back to the USA.