Australia | Traversing Australia’s Outback, Coast, and Bush

Australia | Traversing Australia’s Outback, Coast, and Bush

About this trip

Experience the best of Australia on this 13-day adventure. See the iconic skyline of Sydney on a harbor cruise, and take in the sprawling vistas of the Blue Mountains. Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef, step into the Daintree Rainforest, and stroll along the shores of Cape Tribulation. Discover the spiritual significance of enormous sandstone formations in the red-desert Outback, and witness the “Penguin Parade” on Phillip Island. No matter the landscape, you’ll enjoy active days, come face-to-face with Australia’s unique fauna, and learn more about the people who call this striking country home.

Highlights

  • Go off the beaten path to witness hazy blue forests, rock formations, and waterfalls in Blue Mountains National Park.
  • Snorkel the colorful underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Explore Daintree, the oldest rainforest in the world, during hikes, a river cruise, and an off-road vehicle safari.
  • Venture into the heart of the Outback to Uluru and learn about the monolith’s cultural and spiritual significance to local Aboriginal people.
  • Observe Australian wildlife such as koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, penguins, crocodiles, and cassowaries during excursions to a variety of habitats.
11 Travelers

Land Cost

$6,795 - Jul 1, 2020 - Mar 31, 2022

$7,095 - Apr 1 - Dec 31, 2022

Book 10 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

16 Travelers

Land Cost

$6,195 - Jul 1, 2020 - Mar 31, 2022

$6,395 - Apr 1 - Dec 31, 2022

Book 15 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

Depart USA.

Day 1

Departure from your home city.

En Route

Day 2

Sydney

Day 3

On arrival early this morning at Sydney International Airport, proceed through Immigration & Customs formalities, and to the Arrivals Hall. You will then transfer by private vehicle to your hotel, located in Sydney's Central Business District. Your room has been pre-registered for immediate occupancy. Early this afternoon, walk from your hotel to Circular Quay to check in for the Captain Cook Harbor Story Cruise on Sydney Harbor. Experience the most beautiful harbor in the world, aboard a premium vessel specially designed for Sydney, all accompanied with coffee to order, fine teas and a delicious sweet selection. The cruise will include views of Sydney's iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens, Garden Island Naval base, Taronga Zoo, Government House, palatial waterfront homes, Fort Denison and more. On return to Circular Quay, make your way back to your hotel.

Overnight at Grace Hotel

Sydney

Day 4

The Blue Mountains National Park is one of seven national parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area with sandstone outcrops, deep ravines, hazy blue eucalypt forests and stunning views. Today your guide will take you off the beaten track to visit remote lookout locations and discuss the history, flora and fauna of this magnificent region. The first stop of the day is at Calmsley Hill, a working farm also home to Kangaroo, Emu, Wombat and Koala. Enjoy morning tea and time to wander at leisure. Continue to ascend the Blue Mountains via the highway, visit a stunning outlook over the Jamison Valley. Continuing on arrive at Eaglehawk Lookout, a remote lookout point away from the crowds for views of the famous Three Sisters rock formation. Lunch is at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, in this relaxed venue with stunning views enjoy a 2 course lunch (beverages are at an additional expense). After lunch visit Govetts Leap to view the magnificent waterfall as it drops 590ft to the base of the cliff. We then stop at an additional remote lookout location for spectacular views before the last stop at the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens where there's time for a short inspection of the flora including the ancient Wollemi Pine (Wollemia Nobilis). Return to Sydney early this evening.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Grace Hotel

Brisbane

Day 5

After breakfast, check out and transfer to Sydney Domestic Airport for your flight to Brisbane. On arrival at Brisbane Airport you will be transferred to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. The two hour drive from Brisbane takes you through open farmland and eucalyptus woodland, then into south-east Queensland's coastal mountain range. Here see the magnificent Lamington National Park which encompasses Australia's most extensive remaining tract of sub-tropical rainforest and one of its richest wildlife areas. Sitting on a plateau, amongst mountain peaks, cliffs and gorges, lies O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. Check-in on arrival, and spend the remainder of the day exploring your surroundings. Close to the Retreat you'll meet Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots, and you might even see the striking Regent and Satin Bowerbirds. You may wish to walk along the rainforest trail down to the ancient "Wishing Tree," an Antarctic Beech, for a chance to spot Bassian Thrush, Brown Thornbill, and more Logrunners. Through open re-growth, you can look for both Variegated and Superb Fairy-Wrens. Enjoy watching the Pademelons, a type of small marsupial, from the deck of the Sunset Lounge before dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Cairns

Day 5

After an early breakfast, transfer to the Sydney Airport for your flight to Cairns, in tropical north Queensland. On arrival at Cairns Airport, transfer to your hotel, located on the Esplanade. You will have the remainder of the day to explore your new surroundings.

Breakfast- included
Overnight at Pacific Hotel Cairns

Brisbane

Day 6

This morning, after breakfast, enjoy a four-hour private tour with a guide from O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat to learn about the flora and fauna of Lamington National Park. This afternoon, continue your own exploration of the Retreat's surroundings.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Cairns

Day 6

After breakfast, walk a short distance from your hotel to the Reef Fleet Terminal and board the Ocean Spirit, a 105-foot sailing catamaran, for your day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Arrive at Michaelmas Cay, the largest of the local uninhabited coral cays. Here, you can snorkel in the cay's protected shallow waters, cruise in the semi-sub for a diver's view of the reef, watch the fish-feeding presentation, and observe the island bird life. Throughout the day, the "beach buggy shuttle" will transfer you between the Ocean Spirit and the beach. If you prefer a more leisurely day on the Great Barrier Reef, relax on the catamaran's spacious decks. Morning and afternoon tea, buffet lunch, snorkeling equipment, buoyancy vests, and lycra suits are all provided. On return to Cairns and Marlin Marina, walk the short distance back to your hotel.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Pacific Hotel Cairns

Cairns

Day 7

Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel, then meet your guide for your safari tour of Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. As this is a full-day tour, be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring hats, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a water bottle. Driving north along the scenic Captain Cook Highway, you'll learn about the history of the area and admire spectacular views of the coastline and Coral Sea. Stop for a guided river cruise on the Daintree River, where you will see estuarine crocodiles, mangrove forests, and endemic wildlife. Afterwards take in panoramic views along the Alexandra Range and take a guided tour of the ancient rainforest along elevated boardwalks. Search for the elusive, rare and totally unique Southern Cassowary as you learn about the flora and fauna of this particular habitat. After a barbecue lunch, hand feed Wallabies before your tour continues onto the 4WD Bloomfield Track to pristine Emmagen Creek, a hidden gem of the rainforest, where you'll have the opportunity to swim without any crowds. As you explore the creek area, enjoy tropical fruit snacks. Then head to Cape Tribulation Beach for a stroll along the beach and the boardwalk to the photography platform. After a brief refreshment stop, cross the Daintree River by cable ferry and begin the journey back to the hotel.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Pacific Hotel Cairns

Ayers Rock

Day 8

In the early morning, transfer to Cairns Domestic Airport for your flight to Ayers Rock in Central Australia. On arrival at Ayers Rock Airport, transfer to Yulara Village and your hotel. (Note that your room may not be available for check-in until 3 pm. However, the hotel's reception will be happy to store your luggage.) After check-in and lunch (at own expense), transfer to the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, the most profound and culturally significant monolith in Australia. Please wear covered shoes and bring at least one liter of water, a fly net screen, and a full-brimmed hat. As you enter the park, your first stop allows for a photographic opportunity of Uluru and its towering presence. Your guide will take you to the Mutitjulu Waterhole, where you will learn the creation stories of Liru (the poisonous snake) and Kuniya (the python) as well as other prominent Tjukurpa (Dreaming) stories. You will also see ancient Aboriginal rock art and learn how Uluru has always been a culturally and spiritually significant site for the local indigenous people. Then, you will head to the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area, where you can see an uninterrupted view of Uluru with Kata Tjuta behind it. Return to your hotel in the evening.

Overnight at Voyagers Desert Garden Resort

Adelaide

Day 9

Rise early this morning for your tour of Kata Tjuta. Please wear covered shoes, and bring at least one liter of water, a fly net screen, and a full-brimmed hat. As you drive toward the rock formation of Kata Tjuta, observe the sunrise colors changing on its surface and the surrounding desert landscape. Upon arrival at a viewing area, walk to the best vantage point to see the 36 domes that make up this spiritual site. Then, head to the western side of Kata Tjuta, where you will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy an outback picnic breakfast. Walk through Walpa Gorge (named for the wind, Walpa, that blows between the domes of Kata Tjuta), and learn about the geological history and cultural significance of this sacred ceremonial site. Return to your hotel, and enjoy free time in Yulara Village. Mid-afternoon, transfer to Ayers Rock Airport where you will check in for your flight to Adelaide, capital city of South Australia. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Adelaide city.

Breakfast- included
Overnight at Majestic Roof Garden Hotel

Kingscote

Day 10

After breakfast, check out from the hotel and transfer to Adelaide Airport for your short flight to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. On arrival, you will be met by your local guide for a full day tour of Kangaroo Island. Enjoy a range of wildlife experiences with an elegant barbeque at a private lunchsite out in the bush. Your guide will also discuss the destructive fires on Kangaroo Island, the injured wildlife rehabilitation efforts, the regeneration of the flora, and conservation programs on Kangaroo Island. Have a cuppa with some home-made cakes before taking a walk down a country track through Eucalyptus trees where koalas snooze. Travel through some of the Island's best farming country to the north coast. At Lathami Conservation Park walk quietly through the bush with your guide. Look for wallabies which are almost extinct on the mainland, and a kangaroo found only on Kangaroo Island. Break for lunch and enjoy a delicious meal featuring King George whiting (local sea fish), fresh salads and fine South Australian wines at a private bush location.
At Seal Bay Conservation Park walk with your guide among Australian sealions on a beautiful sandy beach. Watch pups nursing, or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology. The remainder of the afternoon is spent exploring more of the south east region of the Island. Following the tour you will check into your rooms, then enjoy dinner in your hotel's restaurant.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Mercure Kangaroo Island

Melbourne

Day 11

Check out from your rooms after breakfast. You will be transferred to Kingscote Airport for your short flight to Adelaide. Continue on to Melbourne. On arrival at Melbourne Airport, you will be transferred by private vehicle to your hotel. Then meet your local guide for a brief walking tour of the laneways of Melbourne. These bustling, creative laneways are home to hole-in-the-wall cafés and bars, covert boutiques, and an ever-changing outdoor gallery of street art.

Breakfast- included
Overnight at Clarion Suites Gateway

Melbourne

Day 12

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then meet your guide for today's nature and wildlife tour. Please wear walking shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat, a water bottle that can be refilled during the day, plus a light rain jacket in case of inclement weather. Although this tour is vehicle-based, most of the day is spent outside the vehicle on a number of easy, flat terrain bushwalks so that you can get close to nature. You must be able to walk unassisted at least one mile on uneven dirt surfaces to ensure wildlife sightings. There may be up to five walks of this duration during the day. Travel just 45 minutes west of Melbourne, to the bushland of You Yangs Park. This area is of great significance to the local Aboriginal People of the Wathaurong Tribe; the granite rock formations of the You Yangs have served as a meeting place for Aboriginal People from all over southeastern Australia. The park is also home to a population of wild koalas that are researched and monitored to ensure the best possible sightings. Walk through the gum trees searching for koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, and birds in their natural setting. Your wildlife guide will introduce you to each koala as an individual, with a history, social life, and family. You will also learn about threats to koala habitats, how to approach koalas quietly, and how to watch them from a respectful distance without disturbing them. At one of five boneseed-removal sites, stop for a few minutes to improve the koala habitat by removing some of these noxious weeds. For lunch, enjoy a picnic served under the gum trees, including gourmet sandwiches, fruit and cakes, and Australian "Billy tea", the traditional tea of the swagmen. Leave the You Yangs and travel just 10 minutes to nearby Serendip Sanctuary. Drive, then walk through gum trees and across grasslands, seeking mobs of eastern grey kangaroos. They are wild and secretive, and with the help of your guide, you'll walk quietly along kangaroo tracks and use trees and bushes for shelter during your search. If you spot them before they see you, you'll be able to observe natural kangaroo social behavior. Or, they might see you first, and you'll witness the magnificent sight of a wild mob hopping-fast, powerful, and silent. Also look out for emus, and take a short walk to the billabong for a glimpse of the waterbirds that live there.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Clarion Suites Gateway

Departure

Day 13

After an early breakfast, check out from your hotel and transfer to Melbourne International Airport for your homebound flight.

Breakfast- included