Discover the hidden heritage of Down Under as you travel to unique Aussie locations and link up with Aboriginal guides. Visit the chic city of Melbourne and explore her metropolitan highlights as well as encounter unique Aussie wildlife on the outskirts of the city. Marvel at the magnificent Ayers Rock, a sight sure to overwhelm all of your senses as you begin to understand why it's so treasured by the local cultures. End your adventure in the iconic city of Sydney as you explore the famed sights and landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Trip Type: Adventure, Cultural, Family, Romance & Honeymoon
Day By Day
Day 1 – Arrive in Melbourne
Melbourne is Australia's second largest city (after Sydney), 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 2 – Aboriginal Melbourne: Past and Present
This tour is an informative and unique way to discover Melbourne’s past and present through the eyes of its First Nations people. Melbourne’s urban center encompasses high rise buildings, beautiful gardens, and iconic landmarks. Underneath this modern cityscape lie incredible stories of Aboriginal culture, beliefs and the history of Australia’s First Nations people and their modern community that exists today. Join a tour of Melbourne old and new; an engaging city experience that respectfully discovers Indigenous Melbourne and its transformation over the centuries into a global multicultural city.
Led by a local Aboriginal host, embark on a cultural journey discovering Melbourne’s various Aboriginal nations and clans. Walk along the city’s main artery, Birrarung (the Yarra River), historically a major food source for Aboriginal people. Understand the significance of local sites such as where the present-day Melbourne Cricket Ground stands – once a gathering place of the Kulin Nation, and the nearby scar tree whose bark was used for the creation of canoes and shelters.
With your guide, travel to the eccentric suburb of Fitzroy for lunch at Charcoal Lane, a social enterprise aiming to provide young Aboriginal people with the skills and mentoring to enter, develop and grow within the workforce. Meet the chef as they join you at your table with a native tasting plate and explain the Australian ingredients incorporated into your dining experience. Stroll along Gertrude Street observing sites of historical importance to the Aboriginal community alongside striking murals. Continue exploring the city of Melbourne and its icons, hidden laneways filled with street art, a bustling dining scene with highly sought after restaurants and lively bars, as well as the peaceful parks and gardens that surround this contemporary town.Starting Accommodation:
Day 3 – 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 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.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Melbourne to Adelaide
Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your accommodation to Melbourne Airport.
Takeoff to Adelaide and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Kangaroo Island - One Day Adventure
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. Today you will get an introduction to Island life - where things take time. Where drivers wave as they go by - or even stop you for a chat. Have a 'cuppa' with home-made refreshments and perhaps walk down a country track through tall Eucalyptus trees where koalas snooze overhead.
Start the morning at Emu bay, looking for kangaroos before enjoying morning tea at the jetty. Heading inland, stop at Duck Lagoon, seeking out koalas and birds, then joining the Historic Eucalyptus distillery interpretive walk. Lunch is at Cygnet Park, before heading to Seal Bay, where you may walk with your guide among Australian sea lions on the sandy beach. Watch pups nursing, or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology. The remainder of the afternoon is spent exploring more of the southeast region of D’Estrees Bay before returning to Kingscote for your flight back to Adelaide.Starting Accommodation:
Mayfair Hotel Meals:
Day 6 – Classic Adelaide - Culture and Heritage
Explore the Cultural Boulevard, walking among the statuesque government and university buildings. Visit the renowned Art Gallery with Rodin Sculptures and Museum with its unique desert garden; all the buildings have stories to tell. Visit Artlab to view the talented team that is restoring historic paintings, books and fabrics. Enjoy visits of little streets and lanes while indulging in a taste of fine chocolate from famous icon producer, Haighs. Visit South Australia's own Jurlique store, discovering hidden secrets along the way, which only a local would know. Wander past the historic Queen Adelaide Club; Adelaide Club home to Adelaide's elite. Perhaps complete the four-hour tour in a picturesque atmosphere with a tasty lunch at South Australia's Art Gallery.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Adelaide to Alice Springs - The Ghan Train
Step aboard the legendary Ghan and take time acquainting yourself with the friendly staff and your comfortable private cabin. Once you've settled in and the big wheels start turning, make your way to the classically styled Queen Adelaide Restaurant carriage for a delicious lunch, accompanied by your choice of fine wines. With all meals and beverages included in your Platinum or Gold Service fare, you can afford to leave your credit card tucked away in your cabin.
Watch the rolling pastoral lands of South Australia merge into rugged mallee scrub. Marvel as the spectacular Flinders Ranges disappear into the horizon, all the while enjoying the solitude of your cabin, reading or catching up on your favorite podcast, then mingling with fellow travellers in the Lounge car for afternoon tea. A three course meal in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant is bound to satisfy and as darkness falls outside the train's windows, talk inevitably turns to the impressive outback gourmet menu. Entrees include a South Australian Regional Seafood Tasting Plate, a succulent rack of lamb for mains, and your choice of desserts including a regional cheese plate with Barossa Valley brie, Limestone Coast clothed cheddar and Lobethal goat blue. The selection of wines is equally outstanding and staff are expert in helping you find the perfect drop to match your meal.
For those with a little steam left in the engine, make new friends in the Lounge or if all that mouthwatering food and sightseeing has taken it out of you, head back to your cabin for a good night's sleep in anticipation of a striking outback sunrise.Starting Accommodation:
The Ghan (Platinum Cabin) Meals:
Day 8 – Arrival in Alice Springs
Wake up with a coffee or juice and witness an unforgettable outback sunrise at our new morning stop in Marla in the remote reaches of SA. For those travelling Southbound, you'll be treated to an amazing showcase of outback stars in Manguri, a remote town around 40kms from Coober Pedy.
Back on board, it's time for brunch. Enjoy a light bite from the extensive menu or order something a little more substantial - perhaps a full breakfast complete with eggs just the way you like them. And while you're in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant why not try the Belgium chocolate waffle with strawberries, chocolate saucy and double cream? You are on holiday after all! After a few more coffees, fresh juices and more incredible outback scenery, you'll be arriving in iconic Alice Springs.
Here you can glimpse the history of yesteryear, the thriving culture and unique lifestyle of today. Visit local landmarks, or take a front row seat at a spectacular bird show at the Desert Park. To fully appreciate this breathtaking part of Australia, you might like to take a helicopter ride over the ancient MacDonnell Ranges. Experience this 300 million year old mountain range's unique beauty with 360 degree views. Alternatively experience a serene camel ride across incredible ochre land or continue further into the interior of Australia and visit the iconic Uluru and Kata Juta.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Alice Springs to Ayers Rock and SEIT Uluru and Sunset Tour
Travel through the landscape to the entrance of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From this point, it is only a matter of minutes before the spectre of Uluru rises from the sand dunes to demonstrate its enormity and presence - the first stop allows you a photographic opportunity of this amazing icon. With Uluru looming in front, walk with your guide to a place of tranquility at the base. The closer you wander, the more you surrender to the realization of the sheer size of this monolith. Driving around the base, immerse yourself in the area. Stops are made for a short walk into Mutitjulu Waterhole. There, you will visit rock-art sites and the local waterhole with your guide to learn of Uluru's significance to the Anangu (local Aboriginal people). As you continue the drive around the rest of the base, experience the Mala walk before adjourning to the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area where you will observe a sunset from a different perspective over Uluru with Kata Tjuta in the distance. Enjoy sparkling wine and light refreshments. Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – SEIT Kata Tjuta Sunrise Tour and A Night at Field of Light
Revel in the early morning serenity of a truly spiritual place as the sunrise colors change on Kata Tjuta. Enjoy an outback picnic breakfast. Learn about this diverse environment while walking between the mighty conglomerate rock walls and into Walpa Gorge. Hear how the many domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years. Take time to listen to the wind (Walpa) far above and view the scale of the rock walls that surround you. The spirituality of this amazing location embraces everyone who ventures here.
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. Take a lasting look back at Field of Light from the dune top viewing area before boarding the return transfer to your accommodation.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Ayers Rock to Cairns
Travel from Ayers Rock to Cairns.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Daintree Dreaming - Traditional Aboriginal Fishing with Ngadiku Walk
Travel along one of Australia's most scenic coastal drives as you head north of Port Douglas to Cooya Beach (Kuku Kuku). This special place is a traditional fishing ground of the Kuku Yalanji people and has three diverse ecosystems - beaches, mangroves and coastal reefs. Join a member of the Kubirri Warra clan on their daily journey through these ecosystems to spear and gather food for their family. You will be introduced to their traditional fishing and gathering techniques that have been passed down through generations and are still used today by their people.
Next, travel to the Mossman Gorge Centre for lunch in their café before joining the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk that will be conducted by a local indigenous guide. Ngadiku (Nar-di-gul) means stories and legends from a long time ago in local Kuku Yalanji language. You are greeted with a traditional smoking ceremony conducted by the Aboriginal people with a specialized cultural knowledge to welcome people to their land. During the 90-minute guided walk your experienced indigenous guide demonstrates traditional plant use, identifies bush food and traditions like making bush soaps & ochre paint. The walk meanders through stunning rainforest while your guide provides an enchanting narrative of the Rainforest and the Kuku Yalanji’s special relationship with this unique environment. Return to the vehicle for your transfer back to your accommodation after a unique day of cultural discovery.
The small group tour (maximum of 16) includes the two-hour coastal and mangrove walk, morning tea and lunch, a 'Welcome to Country' ceremony and the Aboriginal guided Ngadiku Walk at Mossman Gorge.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Sailaway - Outer Reef Mackay Cay
The adventure starts with an early departure from Port Douglas Marina. Sit back and relax on the beautiful yacht and set sail to the Coral Cays of Mackay or Undine Reefs. You will enjoy an authentic sailing experience, following the coastline and views of the Daintree mountains.
Once at the protected sites at the Coral Cays, nature activities will include snorkeling over the pristine coral reef with a qualified marine biologist offering reef interpretation on a guided snorkel tour. A glass bottom boat coral viewing tour is also on offer. Premium reef sites showcase abundant marine life, including encounters with turtles and an amazing display of giant clam gardens, beautiful corals and a wide variety of fish.
Exploring the white sands of the coral cays will relax the mind. Soak up the sun, peace and tranquility and swim in turquoise clear waters. Small numbers of guests ensure personal interactive communication with experience guides.
A tropical buffet lunch, morning and afternoon teas & coffees, supplied by local plantations, will compliment a day of adventure and relaxation. Expert guiding and 1st class services are all included from helpful, friendly crew.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Cairns to Sydney
Takeoff to Sydney and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Totally Sydney - Bondi to Manly
This full day tour maximizes a visit to Sydney. Rich with experiences, it is also a relaxing and rewarding day. Experience the 'Sydney Icons' on both sides of the harbor, through the eyes of someone who lives there.
The moment your Just Sydney Tours guide collects you from your hotel, the 'Totally Sydney' tour delivers a sensational day of historic landmarks, cultural spaces, superlative views, delightful lunch and hidden local treasures. Hear about Sydney's early history gliding through the historic 'Rocks' area. Always on show, Australia's twin global icons - The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Reflect on stories and enjoy views of Sydney's colonial past as you travel on historic Macquarie Street past Parliament House, St Mary's Cathedral, old Mint building and Hyde Park Barracks. Next the Royal Botanic Gardens, with time for a stroll and great photo opportunities. A panorama of Opera House, Bridge, Fort Denison, ferries and yachts. Chance a meeting with a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo or couple of Lorikeets on your way to Woolloomooloo.
Next up, the heritage terraces of Paddington and Woollahra with their 'Sydney Lace'. Home to art galleries, boutiques, antique shops and many of Sydney's finest providores. A stop is made at a local cafe where it is just the locals and a great barista. Bondi Beach is on every visitor's to-do list. Check out the historic pavilion where swimming was first sanctioned in 1905. Take a short stroll on part of the world famous Sydney Coastal Walk from Tamarama Beach back along the cliff walk. Motor across the Sydney Harbor Bridge to the stunning vistas from Middle Head and Mosman, a leafy and prosperous residential area with hidden inner harbor beaches. Relax over lunch in a local restaurant. Next, travel to Manly Beach, home of Surf-boarding in Australia, before travelling up to the North Head Sanctuary. Your guide escorts you to the Manly Ferry for a cruise back to Circular Quay where your tour ends.Starting Accommodation:
Day 16 – Sydney Opera House Tour and Dinner Package
Meet your guide for a VIP evening tour of the Sydney Opera House, indulge on Premium Australian produce and wine at the spectacular Bennelong Restaurant, indulge in a 2 course pre-theatre meal with 2 paired wines to create the ultimate Sydney Opera House experience.Starting Accommodation:
Day 17 – Depart Sydney
Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your accommodation to Sydney International Airport.
Package Level: Deluxe
|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. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Price does not include airfare unless otherwise stated. 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. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. 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: www.swaindestinations.com/terms