29 April 2017
Diverse red desert landscapes, cosmopolitan cities and the clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef make this holiday one that you will never forget. Wander through Melbourne’s eclectic laneways and see all the sights, meet the Falzon family in Alice Springs and feel the ancient heartbeat of the Red Centre, then snorkel on the reef before travelling to Sydney’s to see the famous opera house and bridge during a spectacular trip around the harbour.
On arrival in Melbourne you’ll be met by one of our tour representatives and taken to your hotel in the city. Relax after your journey then go out and see some of the sights before an evening meeting when you join your travel director and fellow travellers for a welcome reception and dinner on board Melbourne's famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. It's a great opportunity to get to know everyone in a unique setting and learn about all that you will be seeing and doing over the coming days.
Today after breakfast you explore Melbourne on a city sights tour then discover its eclectic little laneways, arcades, café society and fascinating street art on your private walking tour. The rest of your day is free for you to do as you please. You may like to take an optional trip out to Phillip Island to see the famous Penguin Parade on Summerland Beach in the evening or maybe you'd prefer to relax or even experience some of Melbourne's well-known food and culture and visit some of the famous sporting venues.
Today is free for you to explore the delights of Melbourne or take a trip out of the city. You may decide to take a full day optional tour to experience the beautiful Great Ocean Road to discover the stunning coastline and see the Twelve Apostles and other amazing rock formations. If you prefer you can head north out of the city and climb up mysterious Hanging Rock or maybe treat yourself to a theatre production or indulge in some world class fare at one of Melbourne's famous eateries.
Today you fly to Alice Springs. On arrival visit the School of the Air and hear how it delivers education to children living in remote areas. Next stop is the Royal Flying Doctor Service, where you'll learn how this facility provides a 'mantle of safety' to the people of the Outback. You’re invited this evening to join a discovery tour at Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre. Enjoy an Aussie barbecue dinner and afterwards hear from the Falzon brothers, Tom and Danny, about the sustainable lifestyle they have established.
One of the natural highlights of the tour today when you leave Alice Springs and 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. Then witness and photograph the striking colour changes of Ayers Rock at sunset while enjoying gourmet canapés and wine.
An early start this morning to experience the magical Uluru (Ayers Rock) sunrise. Afterwards, gain an insight into the traditional owners of the land, the Anangu, as you tour the caves at the base of the giant monolith discovering ancient rock art and hearing stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Later you travel through the desert plains to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) where you take a walk at Walpa Gorge and later experience a Kata Tjuta sunset while enjoying more sparkling wine and nibbles.
This morning after breakfast at the plush Ayers Rock Resort you join a local Aboriginal artist for a fun introduction to Western Desert Art. Your Anangu artist will explain the meanings of their totems, before assisting you to complete your own painting to take home as a memento of your experience of Dreamtime at Uluru. In the afternoon you say farewell to Ayers Rock when you are taken to the airport for your flight to Cairns, where you will be staying at the Hilton Hotel for the next three nights.
Get ready for an experience of a lifetime today when you board a high speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close, with equipment provided, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft, just one metre underwater. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns. This evening dinner has been arranged at Dundee's Restaurant on the Cairns waterfront.
A free day in Cairns to relax or go exploring. Perhaps take an optional trip to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to discover the secrets of this ancient culture through theatre, didgeridoo and firemaking demonstrations and the famous Tjapukai dance. You can also visit Hartley's Crocodile Adventures or travel to Kuranda, the 'village in the rainforest', on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and return to the lowlands above the breathtaking canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park through some of the oldest rainforest in the world on the Skyrail Cableway.
Spend time at Cairns Wildlife Dome, where you'll have the chance to see some Australian wildlife, including the cuddly koala. Maybe time for some more sightseeing or shopping in this ocean side city before flying to your final destination of the tour, the remarkable city of Sydney. On arrival you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel and the rest of the evening is free for you to explore on your own and sample some of the fine restaurants and buzzing nightlife.
A day of sightseeing around this stunning harbour city awaits. Join a local guide for a tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House before discovering Sydney's Eastern Suburbs and putting your feet in the sand on famous Bondi Beach. Then take to the water on a Captain Cook lunch cruise, sailing around the glistening harbour while you enjoy a fresh seasonal menu. Spend the rest of your day seeing the sights of your choice or relax and take a stroll around the harbour front and possibly watch a performance at the opera house.
Enjoy a full free day in exciting Sydney seeing more of the famous sights. Maybe take an optional experience and travel out to the nearby Blue Mountains to see the Three Sisters or for stunning views over the city climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge on an organised 'BridgeClimb' and receive a certificate and picture of your achievement. Then spend your last evening of the tour at a farewell dinner with your travel director and new-found friends at a local restaurant by the waterfront.
This morning after breakfast at your hotel, the Sheraton in trendy Darling Harbour, say goodbye to your fellow travellers as your memorable tour around Australia comes to an end. Possibly time for some more sightseeing or shopping before you are picked up and taken to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. This Australia Highlights tour is perfect for anyone wanting to see all the iconic sights Down Under while travelling in style and comfort.
Superior fr £2549pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated