Day 1 – USA to Sydney
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 Sydney, Australia
On arrival into Sydney you will need to clear customs and make your way through the main arrivals hall from where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Sydney – Australia’s premier city is the oldest settlement in Australia, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country’s capital in everything but name. Built on the shores of the stunning Port Jackson, you would have to die and go to heaven before you see a more spectacular setting for a city. It’s a vital, self-regarding metropolis, exuding both a devil-may-care urbanity and a slavish obsession with global fads. The Sydney area was the ancestral home of the Daruk tribe, whose territory extended from Botany Bay to Pittwater.
There are some 2000 Aboriginal rock engraving sites in the Sydney area, and many of Sydney’s suburbs have Aboriginal names. The city of Sydney began life as a penal colony in 1788 and for the next 60 years received the unwanted, persecuted and criminal elements of British society. Despite its brutal beginnings, the city's mixture of pragmatic egalitarianism and plain indifference has transformed it into a thriving multicultural society. Sydney now attracts the majority of Australia’s immigrants and the city's predominantly Anglo-Irish heritage has been revitalized by large influxes of Italian, Lebanese, Turkish, Greek, Chinese and Vietnamese.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Sydney City Tour
Sydney truly is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its spectacular harbor setting, fascinating convict history, bustling downtown area and an exciting blend of architecture, ranging from convict built early colonial style reflecting our heritage, through to the world famous Sydney Opera House.
Enjoy a city sights tour, which will provide you with an introduction to the highlights of this fabulous city, giving you a taste of what you may wish to further explore during your stay.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – At leisure, Sydney
At your leisure to explore Sydney. Most of the major attractions of the city are within easy walking distance of your accommodation - Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Centrepoint Tower, Circular Quay, The Rocks etc.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Sydney to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Uluru Sunset Tour
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Uluru. Upon arrival, transfer to your accommodation via the courtesy airport shuttle bus.
Uluru, in the heart of the Red Centre, has a desert climate – mostly dry, with brilliant blue skies all year. Autumn and spring will give you sunny days with cloudless skies and crisp, cool nights which is the perfect kind of weather for exploring the sights by foot or in the comfort of a vehicle. Summer is the time when Central Australia is at its most vivid, with hot days and balmy nights. December through February are the hottest months – usually more that 95º Fahrenheit – so take a hat and sunscreen.
Witness the specter of Uluru rise from the sand dunes to demonstrate its enormity and presence. Short walks will bring you close to this wonderful and powerful place. Drive around the base to the entrance of the Mutitjulu Waterhole, a semi-permanent watercourse nestled in the contours of Uluru and learn about the Creation stories. See the rock art and then head over to the new Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area with Kata Tjuta in the background.Starting Accommodation:
Outback Pioneer Hotel (B)
Day 7 – Sounds of Silence
Tonight is an outback dining experience to remember, with Desert Oaks framing the view, the sounds of the didgeridoo, the taste of outback cuisine, the ‘sounds of silence’ and the Milky Way.
Journey into the desert and see the brilliant outback sunset over Kata Tjuta. Enjoy a three course meal prepared before we dim the lanterns and listen to the sounds of the great outback. Look up to see the brilliant southern skies, the Milky Way gleaming amongst stars and constellations.Kata Tjuta Sunrise tour
Travel through the landscape to the entrance of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From there is it a 25 mile journey through the desert landscape to the mighty rock formation. On arrival at the viewing area you will walk to the best vantage point to see the 36 domes that comprise this amazing icon. You will then make our way to the western side of Kata Tjuta where you journey between the domes for a walk up Walpa Gorge, named for the wind (Walpa) that whistles between the massive domes. As you stroll between these mighty conglomerate rock walls your guide explains how the environment and the geology has evolved over millions of years. This is an afternoon tour of approximately 3.5 hours.Starting Accommodation:
Outback Pioneer Hotel (D)
Day 8 – Ayers Rock to Cairns
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairns. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The heart of the tropical north, Cairns offers great access to reef and islands and is a perfect base for exploring the wider region. With 600 day tours departing the city daily there is plenty to do.Starting Accommodation:
Cairns Colonial Club (B)
Day 9 – Great Barrier Reef Tour
This morning, transfer to the wharf for your full-day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. You will have four hours at the reef site, to explore what makes the Great Barrier Reef one of the wonders of the world.
The day trip has been designed with the water enthusiast or novice alike - snorkel gear and instruction is provided for all guests, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible vessel, just one meter underwater.
Introductory and certified dives are run in conjunction with snorkeling day trips at an additional cost, and guided snorkel trips with a marine biologist are also available for a nominal fee. A tempting hot and cold buffet lunch is included, as well as morning and afternoon tea on board.Starting Accommodation:
Cairns Colonial Club (B, L)
Day 10 – At leisure, Cairns
Cairns is the gateway to Tropical Far North Queensland, a region of contrasts and surprises. It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, palm-fringed isolated beaches, Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands, World Heritage listed rainforests and the sun burnt outback. This dynamic area serves as a diverse hub for many attractions and activities of the Tropical North. Apart from the major tourism attractions of the Reef and Rainforest, there are many adventure sports such as white water rafting and bungee jumping, as well as other activities such as golf and trail riding.Starting Accommodation:
Cairns Colonial Club
Day 11 – Daintree Rainforest Tour
Cross the Daintree River and continue to the Daintree Environmental Centre for morning tea. Here an expert guide will take you on a boardwalk whilst explaining some of the fascinating secrets of one of the world's oldest rainforests. After the walk, you may obtain a closer look at life in the rainforest by ascending the Rainforest Canopy Tower.
Continue to Cape Tribulation Beach while your guide explains the rich history of the area. Walk the beach or boardwalk and relax in this tranquil outdoor environment, before heading for lunch in a rainforest setting. During the afternoon stop to enjoy the panoramic view from Alexandra Lookout.
Re-crossing the river, join a calm water cruise of this important waterway – your guide will point out the different types of wildlife and plants that make their home along the river. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive and fearsome Estuarine Saltwater Crocodile!
The cruise ends in Daintree Village, where you will board the coach for the return journey to Cairns, stopping enroute at beautiful Mossman Gorge.Starting Accommodation:
Cairns Colonial Club (L)
Day 12 – Cairns to USA (Via Sydney)
You will be met and transferred to the airport for your departure flights.