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Experience the wonders of the land down under, journeying from sunny Sydney to the edge of the Great Barrier Reef and into the heart of the mystical Red Centre. Meet members of Australia’s indigenous community—the world’s oldest living culture—in Daintree Rainforest and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; get up close to fascinating marine creatures at a research aquarium founded by a National Geographic grantee; and cap off your adventure in quirky, colourful Melbourne.
Day 1 Sydney
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Sydney
Enjoy a traditional welcome ceremony this morning, followed by a guided tour of the historic Rocks district. This waterfront neighbourhood marks the spot of the first European settlement in Australia, and holds a spiritual significance for the area’s indigenous people. In the afternoon, board a private yacht for a sunset cruise and barbecue dinner on the Sydney Harbour, taking in views of the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Day 3 Sydney/Port Douglas
Fly to Cairns and travel up the scenic coastal road to Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Embark on an interpretive walk with an indigenous guide at the lush Mossman Gorge, learning about the traditional ways of life of the region’s Kuku Yalanji people. Continue to the resort town of Port Douglas, our home for the next two nights.
Day 4 Port Douglas
Enjoy a day of leisure in charming Port Douglas. Stroll the town’s boutique-lined streets and idyllic beaches, and opt to go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Day 5 Port Douglas/Cairns
Return to the tropical city of Cairns and visit James Cook University for a behind-the-scenes tour of its research aquarium, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic Grantee Dr Jamie Seymour. Get an up-close view of some of the aquarium’s fascinating creatures, from sea snakes to box jellyfish, and hear about the latest aquatic research from Jamie or one of his colleagues.
Day 6 Cairns
Spend the day on your own in beautiful Cairns, relaxing at the beach or setting out on an optional excursion. Choose to go scuba diving or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, which teems with thousands of marine species, or enjoy spectacular views along the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Day 7 Cairns/Uluru
Catch a flight to Uluru, in the heart of the Australian outback. Visit the Cultural Centre of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and learn about the beliefs and customs of the Anangu, the area’s traditional indigenous owners. Cap off the day with a glass of sparkling wine as you witness a crimson sunset over the fabled Uluru monolith.
Day 8 Uluru
Awake at dawn to take in an unforgettable sunrise over Uluru, then delve into a full-day exploration of the ancient, red-hued landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Set out on a guided walk around the base of the monolith, gaining insight into its sacred significance to the Anangu. Later, make your way to Kata Tjuta, Uluru’s neighbouring natural wonder. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore.
Day 9 Uluru/Melbourne
Enjoy one last sunrise over spectacular Uluru before catching a flight to Melbourne, known as the cultural capital of Australia.
Day 10 Melbourne
Spend the day exploring vibrant Melbourne. Set out on an optional excursion on the Great Ocean Road, one of the most picturesque coastal drives in the world; visit some of the region’s top wineries; or wander the city’s narrow cobbled lanes and alleys, discovering quirky cafés and colourful murals.
Day 11 Melbourne
Embark on a food tour of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller. Home to many thriving immigrant communities, Melbourne has long been considered one of Australia’s gastronomic hubs. On this foodie walk through the city’s famed laneways, we’ll enjoy lunch at three popular venues and experience a range of flavours and cuisines. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 12 Melbourne
Depart at any time.
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Tel: 01268 735301