Australia Highlights, Melbourne to Sydney

13 Days | 12 Nights

Day 1: Arrive Melbourne

On arrival at Melbourne Airport you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a Welcome Reception with your Tour Director and fellow travelling companions.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza, Melbourne, 3 nights.

Day 2: Melbourne Sights

Enjoy a morning tour of Melbourne including the Royal Botanic Gardens, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Parliament House and the Shrine of Remembrance. This afternoon and evening are at leisure. B

Day 3: Melbourne ‘Free Time’

Today Melbourne is all yours to explore. You’ll have time to discover some of the secrets of this exceptional city – a myriad of cafés, galleries, museums, markets, restaurants, laneways and parks await you. If you wish to explore further afield you can join a tour to the famous Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, where you’ll watch the nightly ritual as the little penguins march up the sand to their nesting places. Or take the journey along the Great Ocean Road to see the famous Twelve Apostles. Visit the Yarra Valley’s wineries, the Dandenongs, Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary and Puffing Billy Steam Train or Sovereign Hill’s goldmine. Ask your Tour Director for details. B

Day 4: Melbourne – Alice Springs (Flight extra)

You will be transferred to Melbourne Airport for your early morning flight to Alice Springs. On arrival visit the School of the Air, which provides an educational facility for children living in remote areas. Next stop is the Royal Flying Doctor Service to see how this marvellous facility operates to provide a mantle of safety to the people of the outback. Visit the Telegraph Station. This historic reserve marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Top off the day with a panoramic view of Alice Springs and the surrounding ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

Hotel: Chifley Alice Springs Resort, Alice Springs. B D

Day 5: Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Travel through the West MacDonnell and James Ranges and pause to view majestic Atila (Mt. Conner) often mistaken for Uluru, before arriving at Ayers Rock Resort. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy the resort’s facilities. Later, travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Witness and photograph the striking colour changes of Uluru at sunset while enjoying a complimentary glass of sparkling wine.

Hotel: Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, 2 nights. B

Day 6: Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)

Rise early to view Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunrise. Watch the first rays of the sun set alight the Red Centre. Tour the caves at the base of Uluru and hear stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Later, visit the Uluru – Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre. This afternoon travel through the desert plains to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). The size and grandeur of these 36 massive domes of red conglomerate rock will amaze you. Take a walk through Walpa Gorge following the natural creek bed between two of the tallest domes. Celebrate the glorious sunset at Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. B

Day 7: Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Cairns (Flights extra)

This morning enjoy free time at Ayers Rock Resort. You will be transferred to Ayers Rock Airport for your flight to Cairns. On arrival at Cairns Airport you will be transferred to your hotel.

Hotel: Hilton Hotel, Cairns, 3 nights. B

Day 8: Great Barrier Reef

Cruise on a high-speed catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef. View the colourful coral and tropical fish from a semi-submersible vessel. Snorkelling gear is included (extra charge for scuba). Enjoy a reef education presentation on this living wonder and a tropical buffet lunch on board the pontoon. Return to Cairns in the late afternoon. B L

Day 9: Cairns ‘Free Time’

Today is at leisure in Cairns. Relax by the hotel pool or go shopping. You may like to join an optional tour to Kuranda including a scenic rail journey on the Kuranda Train and ride the Skyrail Cableway above the canopy of the rainforest or try hot air ballooning over the Atherton Tablelands. B

Day 10: Cairns – Sydney (Flights extra)

This morning encounter unique Australian animals at the Cairns Wildlife Dome. Later, you will be transferred to Cairns Airport for your flight to Sydney. On arrival in Sydney you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening is free for you to explore this exciting city. Perhaps take a stroll down to Circular Quay to view the panorama of the sparkling harbour surrounded by the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Hotel: The Grace Hotel, Sydney, 3 nights. B

Day 11: Sydney Sights & Harbour Cruise

This morning see the sights of Sydney. Tour the Sydney Opera House with a local Guide. See the Royal Botanic Gardens, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair and Kings Cross. Visit famous Bondi Beach for an iconic Australian experience. You’ll be greeted by a local surf lifesaver before you are invited to lunch at an Aussie institution, the Returned Servicemen’s Club (RSL), with its views over the Pacific Ocean. Your host will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club so you can learn a little about the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving. When you return to the city you’ll cruise on the glistening water of Sydney Harbour and then have the opportunity to discover Australia’s national gemstone – the opal. Later, why not visit the historic Rocks district at Circular Quay, which dates back to the time of the early settlers. B L

Day 12: Sydney ‘Free Time’

Explore the beautiful harbour city of Sydney further today. Perhaps take an optional tour to the Blue Mountains. Gather together this evening to celebrate your holiday at a Farewell Dinner with your Tour Director and new-found friends. B F D

Day 13: Depart Sydney

You will be transferred to Sydney Airport to connect with your onward flight.

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