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23 Day Australian Discovery

23 days 22 nights
Sydney to Melbourne
from NZD$7,070pp
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Discover the very best of Australia on this 23-day self-drive tour. Featuring incredible inclusions such as sailing on the Great Barrier Reef, a tour of the Daintree Rainforest, a cruise on Sydney Harbour, driving the iconic Great Ocean Road, and plenty of opportunities to meet Australia's weird and wonderful native wildlife.

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Day One - Welcome to Sydney!
Tour day 1
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 1
Private Transfer from Sydney Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, a private transfer will collect you from Sydney Airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

Arrive into Sydney

Sydney is Australia's most famous city and with almost 20% of the country's population, is also Australia's largest city. Situated on the east coast of Australia it has beautiful white sand beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach and Manly Beach as well as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and of course, the Sydney Opera House. Rich in history, art, and food Sydney has something for everyone.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Darling Harbour
Accommodation type: Apartments
Located on King Street Wharf with views of the Harbour, Adina Apartment Hotel Darling Harbour offers an idyllic Sydney experience. One of Sydney’s entertainment hot spots, Darling Harbour dazzles with its countless bars, eateries and family-friendly attractions.

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Day Two - Enjoy a cruise on the harbour, before having the rest of the afternoon to explore Australia's biggest city
Tour day 2
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 2
Explore Sydney

Often mistaken as Australia's capital city, Sydney is a vibrant coastal city with plenty to see and do. Starting in Circular Quay you will catch your first views of the two big icons, Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From here you can catch one of the quintessential harbour ferries over to Manly Beach or Taronga Zoo, catching a glimpse of Kirribilli House, the Prime Minister's official Sydney residence, on the way over. Kirribilli is also home to one of Sydney's oldest markets at the Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre twice a month. It is known for its stalls of vintage clothing, arts, delicious street food and its lively community atmosphere - so if you are in town on a market day, you can't miss it. For a relaxing end to your day of exploration, your dinner options are aplenty. From high-end restaurants around Circular Quay that offer amazing views, to the Chinatown food courts and a broad range of eateries at Barangaroo, you will be spoiled for choice.

Sydney Harbour Discovery Cruise

Experience the vastness of Sydney Harbour with its many secluded beaches and spectacular sandstone cliffs. Visit one of Sydney Harbour National Park’s protected Islands; a hidden gem right in the middle of the harbour and discover natural bushland, once common around Sydney. Listen to commentary on the history of Sydney Harbour as well as details of the marine life that inhabits its sandy beaches, grassy sea beds and rocky shores. Enjoy a buffet-style Aussie BBQ lunch onboard including salad and vegetables - and all this with great views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Darling Harbour
Accommodation type: Apartments
Meals included: Lunch
Located on King Street Wharf with views of the Harbour, Adina Apartment Hotel Darling Harbour offers an idyllic Sydney experience. One of Sydney’s entertainment hot spots, Darling Harbour dazzles with its countless bars, eateries and family-friendly attractions.

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Day Three - Collect your rental car and head north to Port Stephens
Tour day 3
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 3
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Sydney to Port Stephens via Central Coast

After departing Sydney through the leafy northern suburbs, take the scenic route to the Central Coast. A popular stop on the way is the Australian Reptile Park, where you can see an array of local animals and even feed a kangaroo or cuddle a koala.
Continuing along the highway, you should take some time to explore the area with towns like Terrigal, Avoca Beach and The Entrance which are home to long sandy beaches, popular surf breaks, and great cafes and restaurants.
Continue north, skirting Lake Macquarie, Australia's largest coastal saltwater lake and pass Newcastle, the second biggest city in NSW, before arriving at Port Stephens.

Accommodation: Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort
Accommodation type: Resort 4 star
If you are in search of the ultimate chance to unwind, Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort is an ideal choice. Located in Salamander Bay and home to one of the largest swimming pools in Australia, the family-friendly resort includes an onsite gymnasium, heated spa, Japanese steam room, and tennis courts.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 193 kms / 120 miles : 2.4 hours

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Day Four - Explore Port Stephens
Tour day 4
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 4
Explore Port Stephens

Port Stephens is famous for its beautiful beaches, coastal walks, national parks, resident wild dolphins, and pristine waters. There are 26 sandy beaches, some sheltered in bays that are perfect for families as well as swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. The towering Stockton sand dunes are great for sandboarding, quad-biking and horseriding.

Dolphin Discovery Cruise

Port Stephens is home to over 160 resident bottlenose dolphins, and is known as the Dolphin Capital of Australia! These dolphin-watching tours have a high success rate of dolphin sightings and both inside and outside viewing areas. The skipper gives entertaining commentary about these incredible creatures throughout the cruise. Includes morning or afternoon tea depending on your departure time.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounter

Unlike the usual aquarium viewing through glass, at Irukandji you can meet the wildlife, pet them, feed them and even share the water with them! Wade with into the shallow water of the tropical lagoon in bare feet, being surrounded by many curious and friendly sharks & rays. Wearing your own clothes, you will mostly stay dry with only your feet and legs becoming wet. Stepping into the water with the animals, is a whole new level of excitement, fear and admiration.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - One Hour Quad Bike Tour with Sand Dune Adventures

Live the adventure that promises you a Quad Riding experience like no other with Sand Dune Adventures. Experience the magnificence of the Worimi Sand Dunes on Stockton Beach, riding safely from bush to beach with expert guides. This one-hour quad bike ride takes in the wonders of the highest sand dunes in the southern hemisphere, the glorious views of the sweeping coastline and a chance to learn about the history of the land.

Accommodation: Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort
Accommodation type: Resort 4 star
If you are in search of the ultimate chance to unwind, Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort is an ideal choice. Located in Salamander Bay and home to one of the largest swimming pools in Australia, the family-friendly resort includes an onsite gymnasium, heated spa, Japanese steam room, and tennis courts.

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Day Five - Continue along the Legendary Pacific Coast
Tour day 5
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 5
Port Stephens to Port Macquarie

Today's drive begins by following the bay around to the north to rejoin the Pacific Highway and cross the Karuah River. Your drive to Port Macquarie is along the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive, one of the state's most beautiful routes. If you aren't in a rush and feel like a detour to explore more of the coast, then you will be rewarded by a stop in Forster. Seafood lovers can relax here over a lazy lunch of freshly oysters while overlooking the water. Port Macquarie is your destination for the day and is home to 17 beaches, beautiful scenic walks, and the Koala Hospital. If time allows, we recommend the 9km Coastal Walk from town to Lighthouse Beach.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Port Macquarie Koala Hospital - suggested activity

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital was established in 1973 and is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility. The Hospital is a popular tourist attraction which welcomes thousands of national and international visitors every year. The Hospital is also a scientific research, training and education centre.
The Koala Hospital consists of exhibit enclosures, a treatment clinic, intensive care units and rehabilitation yards, many of which have trees for koalas to learn to climb as part of the rehabilitation process. There is also a Koalaseum - a museum for Koalas which provides information on koala evolution and biology and interactive displays so visitors can touch koala fur or look down a microscope at koala poos (scat).
Admission is free, so we recommend bringing some cash to donate to their valuable conservation work.

Accommodation: Mantra The Observatory
Accommodation type: Apartments
Sydney is yours for the taking when you stay at Mantra 2 Bond Street. With tourist attractions like Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour right on your doorstep. Take it all in as you overlook the Harbour from the rooftop's heated pool and spa.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 232 kms / 144 miles : 2.5 hours

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Day Six - Continue along the coast to the home of the Big Banana
Tour day 6
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 6
Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour

From Port Macquarie, head north on Pacific Highway. Around 30 minutes into your journey, you will pass the town of Kempsey. If you are a country music fan, or want learn about country music in Australia, you can stop in at the Slim Dusty Centre. Slim was a country music icon in Australia, and the museum covers his life, as well as costumes, images of Australian life and its people, as well as the music of some of Australia’s finest musicians.

Take a detour to the beautiful, relaxed riverside town of Bellingen and stop for a coffee in one of its lovely cafes, or a beer at the local brewery. From here you can also check out the Promised Lands on the Never Never River, a hidden gem with stunningly crystal-clear waters that you can swim in. Head a little further up the B78 highway to take a walk through the breathtaking Dorrigo National Park, and cool off at Dangar Falls just outside of the Dorrigo township.

From here, continue up the Pacific Highway on to Coffs Harbour. Home to the iconic Big Banana, Australia's first "big thing" built back in 1964. Stop at the cafe for a coffee or banana split, or head into town to take a stroll on the Coffs Harbour Jetty.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Stand Up Paddle Tour with Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours

This stand-up paddle tour takes guests on a cultural journey showcasing the local Gumbaynggirr language, bush tucker and Dreaming stories while paddling through the unspoilt Solitary Islands Marine Park. Your tour guides, who are all Gumbaynggirr or Aboriginal people who have strong ties to Gumbaynggirr country, are direct descendants of the world's first stand-up paddlers. Throughout your tour they will teach you about local Gumbaynggirr stories, language, and even help you find bush delicacies that you can sample, including lemon myrtle, yams and native sarsaparilla.

Accommodation: BreakFree Aanuka Beach
Accommodation type: Apartments
Positioned on the stunning Northern New South Wales Coastline, BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort offers everything you need in your Coffs Harbour accommodation, with recreation and relaxation all rolled into one, making for a delightful beach escape.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 142 kms / 88 miles : 1.4 hours

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Day Seven - Continue north to Queensland and the bright lights of the Gold Coast
Tour day 7
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 7
Coffs Harbour to Surfers Paradise

From Coffs Harbour, snake along the coast for 120km until you reach signs for Yamba. This sleepy hamlet has beaches that rival those of Byron Bay but remains a little more low-profile. Take a stroll on one of the beautiful beaches, or head to the Pacific Hotel for some great views.
From Yamba, return to the Pacific Highway and continue to head north. If you want an opportunity to see another Australian "big thing", take a short detour into Ballina to see the Big Prawn.
From here, continue through to Byron Bay, famous for surfers, social media influences, and health retreats. Stop off at the Byron Bay Lighthouse, perched on Australia's easternmost point. The final part of your journey from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast will see you crossing state lines from New South Wales to Queensland.
Travel past Coolangatta, a surf and diving mecca revered for its unpretentious culture and bountiful array of aquatic life and continue onto Surfers Paradise, famed for its white-sand beaches, theme parks, and shopping.

Accommodation: Mantra Broadbeach on the Park
Accommodation type: Apartments
Mantra Broadbeach on the Park offers stylish accommodation just metres from the Gold Coast's best beaches, restaurants, nightlife and shopping malls.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 309 kms / 192 miles : 3.3 hours

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Day Eight - A free day to explore the Gold Coast before a rainforest and glow worm tour this evening
Tour day 8
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 8
Explore the Gold Coast

Famed for its beaches, including the world-renowned Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast has plenty to offer away from the sand and sea. In order to make the most of your free day make sure you include some of the following:

Beach hop between Coolangatta and Currumbin or take a surf lesson at Get Wet Surf School from The Spit and Surfers Paradise. Consider heading over to Wave Break Island with Queensland Scuba Diving and experience the fantastic snorkeling and diving. For the more experienced surfers, head to Burleigh Heads. This beach often has whales from April to September. 

If thrills are what you are after, head to any one of Gold Coast's world-class theme parks. Holoverse, Wet 'n' Wild, Sea World, Infinity Attraction and Topgolf Gold Coast are just a few.

For those looking for wildlife encounters, look no further than Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This iconic park gives its visitors the opportunity to wander through open animal enclosures, feed kangaroos and befriend cuddly koalas. It's newest precinct is home to lemurs, cotton-top tamarins, red pandas, capybaras, and exotic birds and reptiles. As a non-profit organisation, all proceeds are put back into wildlife and conservation programs.

Feeling a bit peckish? Rick Shores and the Fish House are popular spots at Burleigh Heads for lunch and dinner. If you're hoping for a craft beer experience, have a pint of one of the award-winning beers from Burleigh Brewing Company, Black Hops, Fortitude Brewing Co., Balter or Lost Palms Brewing Company.

Evening Rainforest & Glow Worm Experience with Southern Cross Tours

Experience an exciting nighttime tour with stargazing, delicious dessert at a local restaurant and a fully guided rainforest walk to the waterfall. This is a great tour for you to discover the bio-network of rainforests and to experience nocturnal wildlife spotting. Journey to the peaceful and picturesque Gold Coast hinterland. A local mountain-top restaurant awaits you to serve tea, coffee or hot chocolate accompanied by a selection of delicious cakes.
With the knowledge of your guide, discover the lush forests of Tamborine National Park and spot native nocturnal wildlife. Everyone has a flashlight to light the walkway. At the end of the trail emerges Curtis Falls, a subtropical waterfall and habitat to the stars of the show, the ever-fascinating, glow worms.

Accommodation: Mantra Broadbeach on the Park
Accommodation type: Apartments
Mantra Broadbeach on the Park offers stylish accommodation just metres from the Gold Coast's best beaches, restaurants, nightlife and shopping malls.

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Day Nine - Gold Coast to Noosa
Tour day 9
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 9
Surfers Paradise to Noosa

The drive today is fairly straight forward, as you will drive along the M1 highway for most of your journey, bypassing the main city of Brisbane and continuing past the Brisbane Airport. Continue to head north from Brisbane and through the Glass House Mountains. Passing through Beerburrum State Forest you can take a detour to Beerwah, home of Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, where you can see over one hundred different species including crocodiles, Tasmanian devils, koalas, wombats and dingoes.
Continuing north through the Sunshine Coast, you will turn towards the coast at Eumundi - if you are driving through on a Wednesday or Saturday morning, stop in at the Eumundi markets for local food, arts and crafts.
From Eumundi, it's just 25 minutes to your destination, the beautiful coastal town of Noosa.

Accommodation: The Sebel Noosa
Accommodation type: Luxury apartments
Just moments from Noosa’s main beach and surrounded by world-class restaurants, cafes and boutique stores, The Sebel Noosa Hotel is an oasis in the heart of cosmopolitan Hastings Street. Enjoy all that Noosa has to offer, or stay in and relax among the hotel’s tropical surroundings. Each stylishly appointed apartment is complete with a fully equipped gourmet kitchen and laundry facilities.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 207 kms / 128 miles : 2.2 hours

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Day Ten - Explore K'gari - Fraser Island
Tour day 10
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 10
K’Gari (Fraser Island) Day Tour from Noosa

Discover for yourself why K’Gari (Fraser Island) is a World Heritage listed icon and a memorable highlight for many travellers! With ancient towering rain forest that grows from sand, crystal clear freshwater lakes inviting you to swim and unique Australian wildlife, K'gari (Fraser Island) is a wonder not to be missed.

Accommodation: The Sebel Noosa
Accommodation type: Luxury apartments
Just moments from Noosa’s main beach and surrounded by world-class restaurants, cafes and boutique stores, The Sebel Noosa Hotel is an oasis in the heart of cosmopolitan Hastings Street. Enjoy all that Noosa has to offer, or stay in and relax among the hotel’s tropical surroundings. Each stylishly appointed apartment is complete with a fully equipped gourmet kitchen and laundry facilities.

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Day Eleven - Free day to explore Noosa and the Sunshine Coast
Tour day 11
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 11
Explore Noosa and surrounds

Noosa is one of the most popular beachside holiday destinations in Australia for local and international tourists alike. You can spend your days relaxing on one of many local beaches or travel a little further to explore the stunning national parks. There are plenty of beautiful walking trails and bike paths and plenty of spots for you to have your own Aussie-style picnic by the beach.
After a long day of relaxing or exploring, Noosa has no shortage of great local cuisine, featuring fresh seafood (local Maroochydore prawns and Moreton Bay bugs are highly recommended) and lots of delicious locally grown produce.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - The Ginger Factory - Factory Tour and Tastings

Hear the story of how ginger is grown, harvested and turned into a delicious range of Buderim Ginger products. Finish the tour with a tasting and discover some of the best ginger in the world. This 40 minute tour takes you through the Buderim Ginger factory and gets you a behind the scenes insight to Ginger production. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sunshine Coast Hinterland Scenic Food & Wine Day Tour

This Sunshine Coast Hinterland Day Tour combines the stunning scenery of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with some of the region’s finest local produce. Taste your way through the region with a local cheese tasting in Maleny, a fabulous 2-Course lunch, cellar door wine tasting and a visit to the quaint Hinterland village of Montville, and finally a touch of luxury with a sample box of handmade Belgian Chocolate.

Accommodation: The Sebel Noosa
Accommodation type: Luxury apartments
Just moments from Noosa’s main beach and surrounded by world-class restaurants, cafes and boutique stores, The Sebel Noosa Hotel is an oasis in the heart of cosmopolitan Hastings Street. Enjoy all that Noosa has to offer, or stay in and relax among the hotel’s tropical surroundings. Each stylishly appointed apartment is complete with a fully equipped gourmet kitchen and laundry facilities.

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Day Twelve - Noosa to Brisbane
Tour day 12
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 12
Noosa to Brisbane

Brisbane is an easy ninety-minute drive from Noosa. Begin the journey by travelling towards Eumundi, famous for its markets which operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays. From here, you will follow the Bruce Highway (M1) all the way to Brisbane. Along the way, you can stop in at the Yandina Ginger Factory for a tour and a tasting, see the Big Pineapple in Woombye, or visit the animals at Australia Zoo. You'll also get a great view of the Glass House Mountains just after Beerwah, and there are plenty of opportunities here to get out and stretch your legs.
Your destination, Brisbane is the largest city in Queensland and has been built around the Brisbane River, which winds its way through the middle of the city.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Return River Cruise and entry to Lone Pine Sanctuary

This popular cruise has been taking visitors to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for over 60 years and is a "must-do" experience while in Brisbane. The cruise travels through the city's most historic landscapes, iconic attractions, historical homesites and interesting wildlife habitats as you listen to an entertaining and informative commentary. Enjoy 3 hours exploring Lone Pine, before re-joining the cruise for a relaxing return journey on the river back to the city.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane
Accommodation type: Apartments
Immerse yourself in this grand historic building suitably in the center of Brisbane. The Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane is heritage-listed and artfully restored with a classic yet contemporary design. Located on George Street, the ground floor lobby space celebrates the building’s Art Deco origins. A stone’s throw from Queen Street Mall and Queen’s Wharf, or a brief stroll will find you in amongst buzzing Southbank’s cool bars, restaurants and parklands. The building has a wonderful and rich history. Initially built to accommodate the Queensland Government Savings Bank, it opened in 1922.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 130 kms / 81 miles : 1.6 hours

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Day Thirteen - Fly to Cairns and journey up to the Daintree Rainforest
Tour day 13
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 13
Qantas Domestic Flight - Brisbane to Cairns

General terms and conditions of carriage for this airfare are specified by Qantas. View here.

Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Cairns to Daintree

The best route north is the Captain Cook Highway (State Route 44). This drive offers countless opportunities to stop and admire the breathtaking views or walk along the beach. Just 20 minutes north of Cairns is Smithfield, home to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway where you can take a bird's eye view of the world's oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, or divert a little further to Kuranda for the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Continue north through Palm Cove and onto Port Douglas, stopping on the way at Rex Lookout for a 180-degree view over the Coral Sea, with views to Double Island to the south. Stretch your legs on Four Mile Beach and grab some lunch or a coffee before continuing your drive. Back on the highway, you will pass through Mossman as you head north on your journey into the Daintree Rainforest.

Accommodation: Daintree Wilderness Lodge
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Daintree Wilderness Lodge is surrounded on all sides by the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park and is ideally situated halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, in the very heart of the worlds oldest rainforest.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 104 kms / 65 miles : 1.5 hours

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Day Fourteen - Discover Aboriginal cultural connections in the Daintree Rainforest
Tour day 14
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 14
Ngana Kulkinga Dungay: We All Going Cape Tribulation Walkabout Cultural Adventures Full Day

Travel through Kuku Yalanji country, led by your local Aboriginal guide and learn about the culturally significant sights and local attractions between Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation including the World Heritage Daintree rainforest. Hear about the unique relationships the Kuku Yalanji people still have with their land and experience these diverse environments. Walk through the world’s oldest living rainforest, see the majestic Daintree River, and reach Cape Tribulation: where the rainforest meets the reef, explore coastal habitats learning about the environment, different foods and medicines utilized from nature, sample some bush tucker, swim at one of the pristine freshwater streams in the area before returning to your accommodation.

Accommodation: Daintree Wilderness Lodge
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Daintree Wilderness Lodge is surrounded on all sides by the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park and is ideally situated halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, in the very heart of the worlds oldest rainforest.

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Day Fifteen - Head back down south to beachside Port Douglas
Tour day 15
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 15
Cape Tribulation to Port Douglas

The drive south from Cape Tribulation takes you out of the Daintree Rainforest, across the Daintree River on the ferry and down towards Kuranda State Forest. An hour and a half into your journey is Mossman Gorge, an interactive ecotourism experience that introduces visitors to the Daintree Rainforest and the Indigenous communities who have lived there for centuries.
Just 20 minutes further south is Port Douglas, a bustling tourist town with no shortage of cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Accommodation: Mantra Aqueous on Port
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is located in the exclusive beachside town of Port Douglas, with its nautical flavour and convenient location, Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or family holiday. Situated just off Macrossan Street, the hub of the village, providing the perfect base to explore Four Mile Beach, Mossman Gorge, the Daintree Rainforest. Or experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef where you can dive into the crystal clear waters and snorkel amongst tropical fish and coloured corals.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 82 kms / 51 miles : 1.7 hours

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Day Sixteen - Get out on the water to explore the Great Barrier Reef
Tour day 16
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 16
Mckay Cay Outer Reef Cruise

Immersed in the northern frontier of Great Barrier Reef, this is the perfect snorkelling and sailing adventure for a conservation-minded visitor. Ideally suited to those who can swim and have a spirit of fun and adventure. Discerning guests can enjoy an inspiring full-day experience at the absolutely stunning Mackay Coral Cay on the Great Barrier Reef in the most sustainable way!

Accommodation: Mantra Aqueous on Port
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is located in the exclusive beachside town of Port Douglas, with its nautical flavour and convenient location, Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or family holiday. Situated just off Macrossan Street, the hub of the village, providing the perfect base to explore Four Mile Beach, Mossman Gorge, the Daintree Rainforest. Or experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef where you can dive into the crystal clear waters and snorkel amongst tropical fish and coloured corals.

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Day Seventeen - Explore Port Douglas
Tour day 17
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 17
Explore Port Douglas

Port Douglas is a chic, yet relaxed seaside village with a plethora of restaurants and bars, as well as fantastic boutique shopping. The village is also the ideal base to explore three of Australia's most iconic natural attractions - the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and Cape Tribulation with an abundance of tours and day trips available.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is one of the longest continually operating tourist attractions in Australia. The business began in 1934 as a roadhouse for weary motorists. Legend has it the original owner Pop Evans entertained motorists by feeding Charlie the crocodile, while scones cooked in the woodstove. Eight decades later, Hartley’s world-famous Crocodile Attack Show is as popular as ever with daily presentations that strike a perfect balance between entertainment and education.

Accommodation: Mantra Aqueous on Port
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is located in the exclusive beachside town of Port Douglas, with its nautical flavour and convenient location, Mantra Aqueous Port Douglas is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or family holiday. Situated just off Macrossan Street, the hub of the village, providing the perfect base to explore Four Mile Beach, Mossman Gorge, the Daintree Rainforest. Or experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef where you can dive into the crystal clear waters and snorkel amongst tropical fish and coloured corals.

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Day Eighteen - Fly down to Melbourne
Tour day 18
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 18
Port Douglas to Cairns

This short 70km drive will take you down the Captain Cook Highway (State Route 44) to the beautiful city of Cairns. Consider picking up some groceries in Port Douglas and enjoy a picnic on one of the many stunning beaches along your drive. Pebbly Beach, located approximately 15km south of Port Douglas is a bit of a deviation from the standard sandy beaches of the tropical north but is beautiful nonetheless. As the name suggests, the beach is covered with smooth, tiny stones and is popular among motorists to stop and explore.
Your next stop on your drive south will be Rex Lookout, with panoramic views of the Coral Sea and views of Double Island to the south. If you want to experience crocodiles from a safe distance, pop into Hartley's Crocodile Adventures to see them and some other iconic Australian animals.
Further south, you will reach the beautiful coastal village of Palm Cove. Spend some time wandering the paperbark-lined streets dotted with boutique shops and artisan cafes and restaurants. Finally, pass through Smithfield before getting off the highway and heading into Cairns.

Domestic Flight - Cairns to Melbourne

This cost for this flight is additional to your tour, we can book this flight for you.

Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne
Accommodation type: Apartments
In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 59 kms / 37 miles : 0.9 hours

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Day Nineteen - Taste your way through the wines of the Yarra Valley
Tour day 19
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 19
Yarra Valley Wineries Day Tour

Experience the delights of Victoria’s wine country on this Yarra Valley wine tour from Melbourne. With an informative wine guide who has extensive wine industry experience, you’ll visit four popular wineries: Balgownie Estate, Steels Gate Winery, Greenstone Vineyards, and Yering Farm. Enjoy plenty of tastings as well as a winery lunch while you learn about winemaking in Australia and admire the picturesque landscapes.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne
Accommodation type: Apartments
In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.

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Day Twenty - Begin your journey on the Great Ocean Road
Tour day 20
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 20
Melbourne to Lorne

Begin your journey by heading south to the picturesque town of Torquay, recognised as the surfing capital of Australia, thanks to the famous Bells Beach. Follow the coast from through Anglesea to Lorne, here we recommended a short detour to Erskine Falls. You can park close to the 30 metre cascading waterfall, or take a walk through the lush rainforest to stretch your legs.

Accommodation: Mantra Lorne
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
The only beachfront property in Lorne, Mantra Lorne offers wonderful accommodation in one of Australia's most sought after destinations, the Great Ocean Road. Built around the oldest guesthouse in Victoria, Mantra Lorne is now a part of the rich history of Lorne and the surrounding region.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 112 kms / 70 miles : 1.5 hours

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Day Twenty-one - Continue along the Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell
Tour day 21
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 21
Lorne to Port Fairy

Follow the Great Ocean Road along the coastline, past Apollo Bay and the Great Otway National Park to the iconic 12 Apostles, the most famous landmark on the Great Ocean Road. To wak out and view these formations you can park at the carpark and follow the paved path to the lookout, or to take some time and stretch your legs take the path down Gibson's steps to the beach. Descending down these 86 stairs carved into the cliff face, reaching the beach you are treated to a closeup view of these incredible rock formations.
From here, it's just a short drive to your destination for the night, Port Campbell. This small coastal town is home to cafes and restaurants with views of the beach, as well as vibrant shops and galleries to explore. Finish your day with a walk out to the Port Campbell Jetty and watch the waves crashing against the limestone cliffs.

Walk with Wildlife Tour with Wildlife Wonders

Immerse yourself in the wilds of the Otways at Wildlife Wonders, just 5km outside of Apollo Bay. Enjoy a 75-minute guided walk through the magical Otways bushland, where you'll discover lush tree-fern gullies, eucalypt woodlands and spectacular ocean vistas. Your conservationist guide will share with you the secrets of the bush and the plants and animals who call the Otways home.
All the profits from Wildlife Wonders go directly to the Conservation Ecology Centre, working to conserve the unique Australian plants and animals across the Otways.

Accommodation: Anchors Port Campbell
Accommodation type: Luxury apartments
These unique architect-designed villas, are nestled into the limestone hills above Port Campbell, situated on 30 acres, and boasting Southern Ocean vistas. They offer guests serenity in the tranquil environment of the rural surroundings. Relax in the spa or stay warm by the fireplace. Stylish décor adorns the villa, and the farm animals make for a rural experience.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 140 kms / 87 miles : 2.3 hours

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Day Twenty-two - Take the inland route back to Melbourne
Tour day 22
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 22
Port Campbell to Melbourne

Today you will head to Melbourne. Follow Cobden-Port Campbell Rd to Camperdown, where you will reach the junction for the Princes Highway (A1). Head east and the highway becomes the M1 Motorway as you pass Geelong and the Avalon Airport on your way into Melbourne.

Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne
Accommodation type: Apartments
In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 245 kms / 152 miles : 2.9 hours

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Day Twenty-three - Depart Melbourne today
Tour day 23
23 Day Australian Discovery - Day 23
Return your vehicle to Melbourne Airport

Explore more of Melbourne before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Farewell from Australia

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