Capture the highlights of central and eastern Australia with this 11 day scenic tour across Australia. Arrive in the heaving metropolis of Sydney and see the famous city's highlights, then retreat inland for a day to the stunning Blue Mountains. Fly right into the spiritual heart of Australia and marvel at the wonders of the 'red centre', immersing yourself in the culture of the world's oldest known civilisation. Visit the vibrant, artsy and culture-infused city of Melbourne before journeying along the iconic Great Ocean Road, witnessing its breathtaking natural landscape.Wildlife & nature
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.
On arrival, a private transfer will collect you from Sydney Airport and transfer you to your accommodation.
Visit the historic Rocks area and hear of early convict history. Marvel at 18th century sandstone architecture such as NSW Parliament House, Rum Hospital, Hyde Park Barracks and St Mary’s Cathedral. Head to Mrs. Macquaries Point, to enjoy magnificent views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Continue through Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, home to the rich and famous. Travelling along the coves and shores of one of the world's most impressive harbours, You will pass through areas such as Kings Cross, Double Bay, and Rose Bay before arriving at Watsons Bay. Here, you will have the option of a short coastal walk with views of the South Pacific Ocean and the entrance to Sydney Harbour.
Visit the Bondi beachfront promenade, put your toes in the sand, enjoy a coffee or cool drink (at your own cost). See bronzed Aussie lifesavers and surfers riding the waves of Bondi. Continue on to Tamarama and Bronte beaches before returning to the city via Centennial Park and Paddington, a trendy district with its elegant terrace houses and boutique shops along Oxford Street. Finishing in Darling Harbour, you will board your Sydney Harbour lunch cruise. 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.
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.
One of Sydney’s most recent and ambitious renewal projects, Barangaroo belies very little of its former life as an industrial container terminal. Weaving along the water’s edge, the precinct is bursting with incredible eateries, parklands, exciting shopping, cultural experiences, and the six-star Crown Hotel. Coming from Walsh Bay, begin your exploration by dipping into Barangaroo Reserve.
This large landscaped green space provides beautiful vantage points, lovely lawns, and the purpose-built Cutaway event space. Not to be missed is the important audio-visual artwork Wellama, which welcomes visitors to Gadigal country, and the multimedia Indigenous experience Ngangamay, embedded in the sandstone and accessed via a downloadable app, that honours Barangaroo, the powerful Aboriginal woman after whom the precinct is named.
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.
Depart Sydney today and fly over the striking desert to Yulara, the heart of Australia's 'red centre'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The mountain retreat of Kuranda Village is nestled into the world's oldest living tropical rainforest, just 25 kilometres northwest of Cairns. The tiny town is a vivid mix of quirkiness, interesting characters and natural beauty all perched atop a mountain. The colourful village is accessible by either driving up the mountain range, travelling up in the Skyrail Cableway, or winding through the Barron Gorge on board the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Once you are here, there are a range of things to experience. To get your fix of retail therapy, head to the Kuranda Markets and quaint stores throughout the village. Experience the surrounding nature on a river cruise, and get friendly with the local wildlife at the Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld Kuranda.
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. 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.
At Birdworld Kuranda you can immerse yourself in one of the most unique wildlife attractions of Tropical North Queensland. Birdworld Kuranda replicates the natural habitats of almost 60 native and exotic species that roam the unique rainforest habitat we’ve created. There’s handfeeding and photo opportunities so make sure you bring your camera.
Depart your tropical paradise and fly to the vibrant, artsy and culture-infused city of Melbourne.
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 modern and Indigenous Australian art. As a 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!
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.
At Melbourne Skydeck, the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing attraction, the city of Melbourne comes alive in front of your eyes when you take it all in from nearly 300 metres high. It’s Melbourne on another level. The Skydeck experience features Bar 88, in association with Bollinger, operated by the Eureka 89 team. With 360° panoramic views all day and night, you can relax and enjoy all of Melbourne’s legendary views with a delicious snack and cool drink.
This experience includes access to two unique experiences; a world-first, the Edge suspends daring guests in a transparent glass cube that projects out from Melbourne Skydeck, leaving them suspended nearly 300 metres above the streets of Melbourne. Melbourne Skydeck’s virtual reality (VR) Plank Experience is so compelling it convinces even the bravest contenders they’re balancing on a narrow plank at dizzying heights above Melbourne.
With two feet firmly planted on the ground, feel the slight wobble of the thin Plank and with your VR headset on, feel the excitement as you’re transported 285 metres above Melbourne city. Edge your way slowly along the Plank – watch out for those pesky pigeons and try not to fall – before taking the plunge and ‘ziplining’ through the parks and streets of Melbourne.
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.
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!