23 February 2017
12 nights fr £3575ppIncludes flights
Embark on a thrilling escorted two-week tour & see the iconic
This wonderful 13 day tour of the stunning East coast beaches and Great Barrier Reef is a superb way to see lots of the best that Australia has to offer. Beginning in Cairns, gateway to one of the natural wonders of the world, you travel to beautiful Hamilton Island, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and down the Gold Coast ending in Sydney. Lots of fun action packed days and plenty of time to relax along the way.
Your Australian adventure begins when you arrive at Cairns. Today you meet your travel director and fellow travellers for an orientation tour of this laid back tropical city. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Cairns on your own or take an organised tour. This evening you can get to know each other over a drink and delicious meal featuring fresh seasonal produce at a local restaurant and discuss all that you will be seeing and doing over the next 12 days.
Today you board a high speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. The world heritage listed reef is the only living organism you can see from the moon and you’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling and view this natural living wonder up-close seeing the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and a semi- submersible craft. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon. Tonight why not take a stroll along the esplanade and check out the Cairns Night Market.
This morning travel through the high tropical plateau known as the Atherton Tablelands, where lush rainforests, waterfalls and lakes abound. Visit Lake Barrine to take a serene cruise on the calm waters. Next up visit Millaa Millaa Falls and the famous Curtain Fig Tree and keep an eye out for the spectacular Ulysses Butterfly. Before heading back to the coast, stop at Mungalli Creek Dairy to taste their biodynamic cheese and yogurt and sit down to a delicious afternoon tea. Overnight Mission Beach.
Today after breakfast you leave Mission Beach and travel down the coast towards tonight’s stopover in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef on spectacular Hamilton Island. You’ll visit Townsville where there’s time for a stroll along the Strand, then travel to Airlie Beach to catch the ferry to the island, one of 74 tropical islands that make up the Whitsundays. Here you’ll be surrounded by pristine beaches, and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life.
Today in paradise, it's time to let your hair down and relax. You may like to take a cruise to famous Whitehaven Beach or even strap on a snorkel and mask to spot turtles and other marine life on the fringing reef. You could choose to discover native Australian animals at the island’s wildlife park or grab a bite to eat at one of the island’s restaurant and watch the world go by. Whatever you do, at some stage grab a good book and sit back and relax by the resort pool.
Return to the mainland today and travel south through Mackay, Australia’s sugar capital, to Sarina for a guided tour through a miniature sugar mill and lunch. On your tour you’ll get a peak in to sugar cane processing and witness the distilling equipment in action. Afterwards you can taste some of the products made on site before sitting down for a light lunch. Continue to Rockhampton, Australia’s beef capital, where your night is free so why not try some local specialities at one of the town’s steakhouses.
Today after breakfast at you hotel you cross the Tropic of Capricorn and stop at Langmorn Station, a fully operational cattle station. A member of the Creed family will treat you to a guided tour of the property including their original family homestead, which was built in 1873. Enjoy morning tea in the garden in the company of the pet kangaroo before continuing to stunning Hervey Bay, gateway to Fraser Island, where you stay tonight.
A day of discovery lies ahead as you cross by ferry to explore the wonders of World Heritage listed Fraser Island. Visit Lake McKenzie, ringed with magnificent white sandy beaches. Walk through the ancient rainforest at Central Station with its huge satiny, scribbly gum and kauri trees. Enjoy lunch before your 4WD tour takes you to the coloured sands of Rainbow Beach and beyond on to the Sunshine Coast resort town of Noosa where you stay tonight.
Take time out to discover Noosa for yourself. Swim at Noosa Main Beach or venture a little further with an easy, spectacular walk along the headland through to Noosa National Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, you may like to hire a stand-up paddle board or even take a boat ride through the incredible Noosa Everglades, one of Australia’s most beautiful wilderness areas. You’ll love the dark waterways and myriad of wildlife along the Noosa River- it’s truly spectacular. Tonight choose one of the town’s eateries and dine on local delights.
Visit Australia Zoo, made famous by the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin and Bindi. Have a sneak peek in to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and see how Wildlife Warriors support the koala rehabilitation project, the country’s largest and busiest wildlife facility. Catch a show in the world famous Crocoseum and wander through the zoo’s fascinating grounds. It’s bound to be a wildlife experience you’ll never forget. Later, you travel to Brisbane for a sightseeing tour then continue to the Gold Coast.
Today you journey to Cape Byron Lighthouse and enjoy superb views from Australia’s eastern-most point over the Pacific Ocean. At the right time of year you may be lucky enough to spot migrating whales frolicking off the coast. Afterwards spend time discovering the relaxed bohemian vibe of Byron Bay. For lunch try some fresh fish and chips on the beach, there’s nothing more Australian. Then continue to beachside Coffs Harbour where you stay at the Opal Cove Resort.
You’ll visit the picturesque seaside Port Macquarie on the way to Sydney. Why not grab yourself a take away coffee and stroll along the waterfront in the sun. On arrival in Sydney you’ll have the chance to freshen up before you join your fellow travellers at Darling Harbour to enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the harbour city’s famous waterfront. Dine on fresh seasonal produce on your last evening of the tour. Tonight you will be staying at the Vibe Hotel.
Today your wonderful tour of Australia's East coast, Great Barrier Reef and beautiful islands comes to an end. After breakfast say farewell to your fellow travellers then see more of the city and its iconic sights before heading to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. You can always extend your holiday in Sydney because there is so much to see and do, including the famous opera house, the harbour bridge and Bondi Beach.
Superior fr £2504pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated