Day 1 – Fly USA to Victoria
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 Victoria, Australia
Welcome to Melbourne. Upon arrival, walk towards the baggage area to meet your driver who will be waiting with a Swain Destinations sign or a sign with your last name. Your driver will take you directly to Jackalope in the Mornington Peninsula.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. Yet another dining option onsite is the Doot Doot restaurant which offers an ever-evolving five-course tasting menu drawing on seasonal offerings from the hotel's kitchen garden and select Mornington Peninsula producers. Stylish as well as tasty, the restaurant is lit with 10,000 lamp chandelier that creates the surreal sensation of fermenting wine bubbling above. The Jackalope's rooms and suites off an absolute in-room reverie. Interiors are lavished with custom-made comforts, while floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect the rooms contemporary design with its country entwine. And just beyond the windows the vineyard awaits.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Foodie's 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 allows them to grow and produce premium quality olives, grapes, herbs and veggies. They also raise sheep, chickens and fish, and they 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-fired 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 surroundings 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 5 – Mornington Peninsula to Melbourne
Your driver will meet you near the front entrance of your accommodation. You will be transferred by private vehicle from Jackalope in the Mornington Peninsula area to Melbourne city.Crown Towers
Nowhere in the country, indeed the Southern Hemisphere, is there an entertainment complex with the excitement and style of Crown. 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.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Koalas and Kangaroos, In The Wild
See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD! Interact with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full-day, fully-inclusive, private eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide.
Walk through natural bush-land to meet wild koalas, then learn about each one's history and social life from your Wildlife Guide and Koala Researcher. Help create new koala habitat for future generations of baby koalas by participating in our Make a Home for Clancy Koala project. Join wild mobs of Kangaroos on the plains and in open forests. Their natural instinct is to flee humans, but with care we often get close enough to take photographs and observe their complex social life. The natural environments we visit are also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards. Your Wildlife Guide will help you find and understand them, and show you how to look for wildlife wherever you travel in Australia.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Day at Leisure
Today is at your leisure to explore all the city of Melbourne has to offer.
Melbourne is Australia's second largest city, but it 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. This is a major event that 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. Go in search of 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 Yarra Valley blend. It is the closest wine region to any major Australian city, just an hour out of the city, but worlds away from the bustling streets of Melbourne.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Melbourne to Flinders Ranges
Your driver will meet you near the front entrance/lobby area of your accommodation. You will be transferred by private vehicle from the city to Melbourne Airport which will transfer you to Adelaide. A transfer will take you to your accommodation.Starting Accommodation:
Arkaba Station's true luxury comes in the fact that its 60,000 acres are shared by just ten guests, taking the definition of exclusivity to a new level in Australia. Nestled among the ancient landscape of the Flinders Ranges, Arkaba Station is a genuine blend of conservation and tourism. Recognized as one of the most beautiful outback properties in the country, Arkaba's five-bedroom 1850s homestead provides the opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in the story of the bush - its ancient geology, diverse wildlife and the chance to get "hands on" with the conservation programs of the property. A team of expert field guides live and breathe the bush and through a mix of walks, open-top safari vehicles and sheer passion, they will open up the secrets of Arkaba and the Flinders Ranges. For the more active, Arkaba offers some of the best bush-walking in the country; for the soft adventurers, an open-top safari drive reveals vistas and secrets of the property in a different way, usually capped off with a sun-downer drink on top of the ranges, with the scale and grandeur of outback Australia laid out for miles around.
Day 9 – Activities at Arkaba Station
Explore Flinders Ranges at your leisure. Arkaba Station offers a variety of activities that showcase the region. 4WD Trips:
Arkaba's topography offers some of outback Australia's most breathtaking scenery, ranging from knife edge ridge tops through cypress pine country to red gum lined creek beds. Expert field guides pull together the incredible geological history, wildlife and pastoral heritage of this region with some spectacular four wheel drives and visits to some of the secret spots on the property and a chance to take in the sights and sounds of the bush.
For guests staying 3 nights or more at Arkaba Station it is possible to include a day trip into the neighboring Flinders Ranges National Park including a drive through the likes of Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges or a visit to the old mining town of Blinman and lunch at an outback pub hotel.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 10 – Activities at Flinders Ranges
Explore Flinders Ranges at your leisure. Arkaba Station offers a variety of activities that showcase the region. Starting Accommodation:
Wildlife Viewing: The station is home to an extraordinary variety of birdlife and wildlife. Red and Grey Kangaroos, Euros (Common Wallaroos) and Emus are regular sightings on the property and, for the more intrepid walkers, a couple of colonies of Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies reside in the Elder Range.
Arkaba Woolshed: Arkaba remains a working sheep station and offers an insight to life on a medium sized outback property and the vagaries that Australia’s climate imposes on farmers. The Arkaba woolshed was built in 1856 and is one of the finest of its kind anywhere in Australia. Shearing at Arkaba is usually in August each year.
The tracks and trails of the station are perfect country for mountain biking – from the more gentle inclines in the center of the property to the steeper angles in the foothills of the Elder Range. Mountain bikes are available for use to further explore the property in your free time.
(B, L, D)
Day 11 – Flinders Ranges to Barossa Valley
Transfer from Arkaba Station to your Barossa Valley 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 15 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 (open five nights per week, Friday through Tuesday). One hour from Adelaide, The Louise is one of Australia's premier vineyard retreats.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Two Hands Flagship Experience
Two Hands welcomes you on a vineyard experience like no other. You are invited to enjoy a personalized experience of tasting Two Hands' acclaimed single vineyard wines in the exact vineyards from which they are produced. You also 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 the 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 those vines, venture along a dirt road to the Secret Block. Then, go onto the Coach House vineyard in Greenock. That's followed by Wazza's Block in Seppeltsfield before you head 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 13 – Fly South Australia to USA
Today completes your journey through Victoria and South Australia. You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight to the USA. (B)