Revealing sprawling red desert landscapes, the turquoise tropical waters the Great Barrier Reef, and buzzy cosmopolitan cities, this diverse itinerary is one that ticks all the boxes. Wander through Melbourne’s lively cobblestoned laneways, share a gourmet barbecue with a local family in Alice Springs, and feel the heartbeat of the ancient Red Centre on an unforgettable journey.
Day 1 : Melbourne
Get to know your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening at a Welcome Reception and dinner at a restaurant by the waterfront.
Hotel Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 3 nights
Day 2 : Melbourne
Explore Melbourne on a city sights tour this morning, then discover its gracious arcades, eclectic laneways and vibrant street art on a private walking tour. The rest of the day is at your leisure. You might like to take an optional experience to Phillip Island to see the famous Penguin Parade, where the world’s smallest penguins return from the ocean and waddle endearingly up the wide beach to their sand-dune burrows. Or you may prefer to simply relax, explore the galleries, or experience some of the city’s celebrated eateries.
Day 3 : Melbourne
Today is free for you to further explore the delights of Melbourne. Alternatively, you could take an optional experience along the renowned Great Ocean Road to discover a stunning coastline and the towering limestone arches of the Twelve Apostles. In the evening, you might like to take in a production at one of Melbourne’s renowned theaters.
Day 4 : Melbourne - Alice Springs
Fly to Alice Springs this morning and visit the unique School of the Air to learn how this school-with-a-difference delivers education to children living in remote outback areas. Pause at the headquarters of the iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service, celebrated for providing a ‘mantle of safety’ in the outback for almost a century. This evening, join the Falzon family at Earth Sanctuary World Nature Center for a home-cooked gourmet Be My Guest BBQ dinner. Later, listen as brothers Tom and Danny speak of their passion for ecology, astronomy and local culture.
Hotel Mercure Alice Springs Resort
Day 5 : Alice Springs - Uluru
Travel through the red quartzite peaks and gorges of the rugged West MacDonnell Ranges today, then spend the afternoon relaxing or enjoying your resort’s facilities. Sparkling wine is served this evening as you watch the sun set behind the massive sandstone monolith of Uluru.
Hotel Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, 2 nights
Day 6 : Uluru & Kata Tjuta
This morning, witness the magical Uluru sunrise, then tour the caves at the base of Uluru and marvel at the ancient rock art to be found there. Later, travel over red desert plains to Kata Tjuta, and take a walk at Walpa Gorge through two of the tallest domes of this majestic rock formation. Enjoy sparkling wine with your travelling companions as the sun sets over Kata Tjuta.
Day 7 : Uluru - Cairns
Rise early to experience the ethereal Field of Light art installation. Wander through the paths surrounding 50,000 hand-crafted frosted glass spheres of light. As the sun rises, join your fellow travellers on top of a sand dune to watch the desert awakening over Uluru. Meet an Indigenous artist for a fun introduction to Western Desert Art. Your Anangu artist will provide you with cultural insights, explaining the meanings of local totems and assisting you to complete your own painting to take home as a memento of your experience. In the afternoon board your flight to tropical Cairns.
Hotel Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, 3 nights
Day 8 : Cairns
Today is free for you to pursue your own interests in this vibrant tropical city. You may choose to gain some insights into Indigenous culture at the award-winning Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, or travel to Kuranda, the ‘village in the rainforest’ on the historic Scenic Rail. Alternatively, just relax and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Day 9 : Great Barrier Reef
Board a sleek, high-speed catamaran today and cruise out to the natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling (equipment provided) or view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board before you return to Cairns. After some time to relax, join your travelling companions for an evening meal overlooking the Cairns waterfront.
Day 10 : Cairns - Sydney
After a leisurely start, this afternoon fly on to Sydney, where your evening is at leisure.
Hotel Intercontinental Hotel Sydney, 3 nights
Day 11 : Sydney
Visit legendary Bondi Beach then head to the iconic Sydney Opera House for a privately guided tour with a local guide. Enjoy lunch aboard one of Sydney Harbour’s premier cruise vessels, then spend the rest of your day exploring the city at your leisure.
Day 12 : Sydney
Today is yours for further exploration of Sydney. The energetic might tackle the iconic Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb, or perhaps you’d prefer to take an excursion to the majestic Blue Mountains to see the soaring Three Sisters rock formation. Celebrate your vacation with your Travel Director and companions at a Farewell Dinner.
Day 13 : Sydney
Say farewell when your vacation comes to an end this morning after breakfast.