Explore a number of Australia's key destinations on this 12-day tour of the east coast and central Australia. From the bustling cultural hotspot of Melbourne, take a day to explore the awe-inspiring natural wonders of the Great Ocean Road. Fly to the spiritual heart of Australia and explore the ancient lands that have been inhabited for over 60,000 years. Relax and enjoy the tropical city of Cairns and marine paradise of the Great Barrier Reef. Travel on to experience the heaving mecca of Australia's most iconic city, Sydney, before taking a step inland to journey through the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains wilderness and gaze out over breathtaking canyons, plunging waterfalls and eucalypt forests.BeachesWildlife & nature
On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside customs exit and delivered to your Melbourne accommodation.
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the state of Victoria. At the city's centre is the modern Federation Square development, with shopping, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art. As the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne has a hidden gem around every corner - Rich history, bustling laneways, rooftop bars, and world-class restaurants are just the beginning!
Melbourne is the cool, artsy capital of the state of Victoria. Renowned for its laneway art, cafes, bars, restaurants and museums, there is no shortage of things to do, see, eat and drink. Grab a coffee in Degraves Street, see the murals on Hosier Lane or Blender Lane, pop over to St Kilda and stroll along the promenade or visit one of the many museums. For a spot of retail therapy, catch the 86 or 96 tram from the CBD to the bohemian Brunswick Street shopping district for an eclectic mix of second hand vintage and high-end boutique stores. On the opposite side of the city, the Docklands open-air entertainment precinct boasts a myriad of public artwork, family fun activities such as glow in the dark mini golf, and a variety of dining options lining the marina. Get there easily on the free City Circle tram, or wander over the Bourke Street footbridge. To make the most of your time in Melbourne, we recommend taking a city tour to get true local insight into this vibrant city.
Within moments of Melbourne’s cultural Arts precinct, you are cruising through Melbourne’s picturesque gardens, parkland’s and some of the city's famous sporting arenas.
The Melbourne hidden bar culture is a unique part of Australia’s cultural capital. The difficult thing is just that – they’re hidden! This city makes you work to find its best bits, which is why you’ll find some of the best bars behind other venues, underneath laneways, or tucked into repurposed spaces.
Join an experienced guide and uncover four of these fascinating venues in one afternoon, and learn what makes each one special over a drink, or four (at your own expense). Speak with talented bartenders during this small-group experience, making sure to chat with them about what kinds of drinks you like to personalise your Melbourne Hidden Bars Tour even more.
Experience this majestic coastal drive in style with this small group and enjoy time to relax and fully appreciate the wonders of this world-famous touring route. Stay on the lookout for some very special animals including whales, dolphins, echidnas and bandicoots, you’ll also be taken to the best hiding spots for koalas and kangaroos in the wild. The first stop will be at Apollo Bay, a tranquil seaside town which is most noteworthy for its setting among the soft rolling hills. It offers a great selection of cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy some lunch (not included). Following this, you will enjoy a walk in the forest in the Otway Ranges. Cap the day off with a visit to the famous 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.
The Great Ocean Road is an iconic, must-do route that stretches along the south-eastern coast of Victoria, from famed surf capital Torquay, westward across to Allansford, just before the regional city Warrnambool. The Great Ocean Road tourist drive covers 243 kilometres of National Heritage listed area which hosts an abundance of awe-inspiring natural landscapes including the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge just to name a few. The road is also shouldered by the Great Otway National Park where you can explore rainforest walks, treetop walkways, waterfalls towering over fern-fringed pools and dramatic cliffs sheltering secluded beaches. Kennett River also hosts a rare opportunity to see koalas living in large numbers in their natural habitat, and is well worth the stop.
You will be picked up from your Melbourne accommodation and taken to the Melbourne Airport.
Today you will depart Melbourne and fly over the striking dessert to the 'red centre' of Australia.
Yulara is the resort township situated 10 minutes drive from the entry to Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park. This small outpost is the central hub that supports tourism around Uluru, but also helps to protect the fragile ecosystem and spiritual centre of Australia from modern human impact. Yulara hosts approximately 250,000 visitors each year in its range of accommodation ranging from glamping to poolside resorts. Take the opportunity during your visit to walk the path through desert vegetation to Imalung Lookout in the very centre of the village, providing stunning, uninterrupted views of Uluru.
This exclusive dining experience combines the award-winning ‘Sounds of Silence’ dinner under the outback sky with the once-in-a-lifetime Field of Light art installation.
With magnificent views of Uluru at sunset, a three-course bush tucker menu, premium selection of Australian wines and 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.
More than just a photo opportunity, this national park holds the wisdom of ancient lands and their custodians - a living cultural landscape where the earth and its people exist as one. It is, of course, home to the awe-inspiring rock formation, Uluru. This natural feature is famous for the way the light plays on it during spectacular sunrises and sunsets and can be viewed from specially created viewing areas depending on the time of day you visit. If exploring geological marvels is a highlight for you, the domes of Kata Tjuta are just as spectacular as Uluru. The Anangu, the traditional owners of this land, believe that the physical landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta were shaped by ancestral beings who still exist here today. At the entrance of the park you will find the Cultural Centre, a free-form structure built entirely from locally-made mud bricks. Here you can learn about the Anangu, their culture and the area's natural environment. You can also marvel at traditional and contemporary art at the park's galleries, or check out the stunning art installation that overlooks the park, the Field of Light, after dark.
Experience the tranquillity of the pre-dawn land under a canopy of stars. Watch the amazing transformation of colours and life as the desert awakens with Uluru and Kata Tjuta as your backdrop. In the company of your expert guide, Desert Awakenings is designed to introduce you to the natural and cultural landscapes of this remarkable region.
Travel for one hour on friendly camels in the spectacular desert landscape. Bringing you closer to nature, the skilled cameleers share stories of the Territory.
Enjoy stunning views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta as you watch the colour change while the sun sets from atop a sand dune. Return to the farm at twilight to relax and enjoy Australian beer, wine, champagne and outback bush foods including their famous freshly baked beer bread damper.
A hotel transfer will meet you at your hotel reception and transfer you to the Ayres Rock Airport to meet your departing flight.
Today, depart the red centre and fly northeast to the very contrasting tropical city of Cairns.
Cairns was settled by Europeans in 1876 who arrived in search of gold. Modern-day Cairns is now seen as the city "where the rainforest meets the reef" as it is the gateway to both the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef for the many tourists that pass through each year.
The main tourist centre in town is along the Esplanade, which has a swimming lagoon, bustling weekend markets, and plenty of great food options.
On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside baggage carousel and delivered to your Cairns accommodation.
A Cairns dinner cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Board the sailing catamaran and enjoy an evening of calm water cruising on Trinity Inlet, taking in the sights and sounds of this tropical port city and its surrounds as they transition from day to night.
Cruise onboard luxury superyacht, Evolution, to the Outer Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. Over 4 and a half hours of reef time, you will visit two exclusive reef sites, providing plenty of time to snorkel, relax and sunbathe on one of Evolution's three spacious deck levels.
Snorkel or join a Semi-Submersible tour with live commentary from a marine expert or take advantage of Evolution’s extensive lounging areas to simply relax or soak up some tropical sun. Your day includes a delicious freshly cooked Aussie BBQ lunch consisting of fish, steak, a variety of salads and tasty ocean prawns. On the return trip to Cairns, you will board a helicopter, where your highly skilled pilot will share their local knowledge of the region while on the lookout for Turtles, Dolphins, Manta Rays, large schools of pelagic fish and even majestic Humpback Whales (Jul-Sep).
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, a World Heritage listed reef system comprising over 3000 individual reefs. This hugely biodiverse ecosystem is home to an abundance of marine life, coral cays and tropical islands surrounded by sun-drenched golden beaches. It has become one of the most highly sought after tourist destinations in the world, so there is no shortage of activities available to help you explore the stunning area, including snorkelling, diving, scenic flights, cruises and whale watching voyages. The Great Barrier Reef is usually accessed via the main ports of Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays and the tropical city of Cairns, although the coast of Far North Queensland harbours many other beautiful towns that provide tours to the reef.
Cairns is a laid back city with plenty of opportunities for adventure. You can take the Skyrail or Scenic Railway to Kuranda to explore the world's oldest continually surviving rainforest; journey by boat to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef to visit the largest coral reef system in the world, jump on a river rafting trip to get an adrenaline rush, visit one of the nearby islands, or simply relax and enjoy the Cairns Esplanade.
Experience this scenic journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to the 'village in the rainforest'. Your day begins in Cairns as you board the train for a morning departure. Travel through unsurpassed views of World Heritage-listed rainforest and waterfalls, including Stoney Creek Falls and the breathtaking Barron Gorge. You will wind your way through 15 tunnels and over 37 bridges on your journey before reaching Kuranda, where you will have several hours to explore the village. Visit the award-winning attractions Birdworld, Kuranda Koala Gardens and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. In the afternoon you will board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a journey up and over the rainforest canopy, back to the Skyrail terminal where you will be transported back to the Cairns railway station.
You will be picked up from your Cairns accommodation and taken to the Cairns Airport.
Today you will leave Cairns and fly across the border bound for the iconic, bustling city of Sydney.
On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside baggage carousel and delivered to your Sydney accommodation.
Enjoy a guided 2-2.5 hour leisurely walk around Sydney’s colonial district. Wander through hidden alleys and laneways and hear stories about the many characters and rogues that called The Rocks home. The arrival of the British in Australia in 1788 brought not only convicts but also their drinking habits from back home in England. And so began a way of life for both convicts and gaolers trying to survive a foreign land as “rum” provided not only entertainment and escape but became a form of currency in the colony.
Some of the stories you will learn about are the ‘six o’clock swill’, which pub is really Sydney’s first pub? What was the “Blow My Skull Off” cocktail that was popular with sailors in the 1800’s? And learn about Sydney’s first brewer.
The tour finishes at The Hero of Waterloo Hotel with a tour of the haunted cellar and an ice-cold beverage sharing stories around the bar.
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.
Step inside an iconic landmark. The Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks and this is your chance to truly get up-close. Run your hands over the world-famous shell tiles, take a seat in the elegant custom-made white birch timber chairs and marvel at the vaulted ceilings. Visit areas off-limits to the public and capture photographs from rare vantage points. Watch unforgettable moments from past Concert Hall performances, learning about the history and future of this world-famous hall in an immersive digital experience. Experience the future within a purpose-built venue that boasts heritage-inspired interiors, and state-of-the-art technology, including 270-degree visuals and surround sound.
From the jaw-dropping sweep of the sails to our soaring cathedral interiors, it is impossible to complete a tour of the Sydney Opera House without being compelled to look up.
Located on the lands of the Cadigal Peoples, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney are Australia's oldest scientific institution and one of the oldest botanic gardens in the Southern Hemisphere. Located just a short walk from Circular Quay and Hyde Park, the garden looks out over Sydney Harbour and has thousands of plant specimens. Wildlife in the garden includes colourful birds, fruit bats and water dragons. The Calyx is a world-class horticultural space, with changing exhibitions designed to capture your imagination.
Experience the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of Sydney, whilst scaling the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge on BridgeClimb’s original Climb experience. Feel on top of the world as you journey along the upper arch to the peak of an Australian icon, soaking in the stories from your expert Climb Leader and the sights of the Harbour and the City skyline that surround you.
Sydney harbour is like a sunset painting in progress. The aquamarine colours of Summer give way to the warm orange hues of Autumn before deepening to a magical Winter twilight blue. Year-round, sun-up or sun-down and everything in between, the colours of Sydney Harbour will welcome you onboard the evening Dinner Cruise. This is the perfect start to an evening or stunning end to an amazing day in the greatest city in the world.
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of seven national parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This wonderland of sandstone outcrops, deep ravines and hazy blue eucalypt forests boasts luxury retreats and stunning views. This guided day tour will take you off the beaten track to visit remote lookout locations and discuss the history, flora, and fauna of this magnificent region.
The World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains is a wilderness area showcasing ancient rock formations, vast canyons and waterfalls plummeting into valleys below. The breathtaking views over the region stretch to the hazy blue horizon, while the historic village towns nestled amongst the rainforest are dotted with tea rooms, cellar doors and breweries hosted by local producers. There is no shortage of adventure in the Blue Mountains with the rugged sandstone escarpments, underground caves and deep canyons providing the perfect playground for rock climbing, abseiling, canyoning and more. Of course, relaxation is also on the cards with a number of resorts, boutique guesthouses and day spas throughout.
You will be picked up from your Sydney accommodation and taken to the Sydney Airport.
Your tour comes to an end today, but if you are itching to explore more amazing sights, we can customise your holiday to include more days or additional destinations. Our trusted travel specialists can book transfers to your onward flight, and even assist in booking these flights for you. Our team can't wait to help you design your ultimate getaway!