Australia: From Koalas to Kangaroos

A 15 day 12 Night Australian adventure

DEPART FROM HOME

Head from your home city to LAX as you begin discovering the new, adventurous you. The group will gather here and all leave Los Angeles Airport on a flight bound for  Australia. As you cross the international date line, you will skip ahead one day and arrive in Melbourne,.

If you are an adventurer at heart, here is the perfect opportunity to reinvent your life. Fly to Australia and get a chance to see the full spectrum of its grandeur. Start with the cultural and natural wealth of its wild outback regions and the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy iconic sights like the Australian Rainforest, colorful birds and Australian wildlife like nothing you’ve ever imagined. Enjoy the indigenous cultures who live in these regions, and celebrate their native traditions, music, and stories. From there, head to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, and learn why it was famed diver Jacques Cousteau’s favorite place in the world. Just as you get your fill of the beauty of Australia’s wild lands, you will return to the city of Sydney. Spend a few more days soaking in the metropolitan culture that Sydney has to offer, before either heading home or departing on our guided tour of New Zealand. Don’t let another year go by wishing you could see the world. Instead, plan on it.

DAY 1 – 2

Flight to Melbourne Australia

Day 3: Melbourne

Arrive to Australia/Melbourne

After clearing customs and immigration proceed to the arrivals hall where you will be met by your local tour Driver/Guide who will accompany you throughout your visit in Melbourne.  It’s summer here, so enjoy being away from the chilly winter winds, and bask once again in the warm, summer climate. Enjoy getting to know your new travel companions as you acclimate to the time and the climate. Join us for a group dinner while you chat about yourselves, and ask questions about the upcoming trip. After dinner, take some time to look upward. The skies are lovely and dark here, so stargazers will enjoy learning the southern constellations

Overnight: Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Hotel 
Meals: B,D

DAY 4: Melbourne City tour

Experience the sights of cosmopolitan Melbourne. See Parliament House, Queen Victoria Market and visit the Royal Botanic Gardens. Travel to the Maru Koala & Animal Park to get up close to koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils and other native animals. View the Nobbies rock formations overlooking one of the most treacherous oceans in the world, Bass Strait.

Tonight, you’ll board the Puffing Billy Steam train. Sit back and take in the magnificent landscape of lush forests and fern gullies before the train travels across the most iconic Puffing Billy landmark – the historic Trestle Bridge. In the rustic informality of the ‘Nobelious Packing Shed’, you’ll enjoy a three course meal, good company and live music with your fellow travellers.

Overnight: Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Hotel 
Meals: B, D

DAY 5: Great Ocean Road stretches 550 km along the southern coast of Victoria.

Admire panoramic views of the Melbourne city skyline before travelling along Victoria’s famous Great Ocean Road. Drive through the beautiful coastal towns of Lorne and Wye River and see spectacular Cape Patton. Arrive at the beautiful white sandy beaches of Apollo Bay at lunchtime, then drive through lush tree-fern gullies and towering mountain-ash rainforests of the Otway National Park. Admire the stone monoliths of the Twelve Apostles and enjoy the amazing shipwreck story of survival of the Loch Ard and visit its famous Gorge and Razorback Lookout. Visit the rock known as London Bridge, parts of which have collapsed in recent years, before your journey back to Melbourne.

Overnight: Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Hotel 
Meals: B,L

DAY 6: Melbourne Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade

Morning at leisure.

We will gather at the hotel around 3:00 to head to the Phillip Island area. This afternoon, we will depart the busy city and suburbs, traveling out into the rural countryside to visit Australia’s most popular wildlife attraction and home to the one of the largest Little Penguin colonies in the world. The Little Penguin is the world’s smallest penguin and the Penguin Parade is the best place to experience this natural phenomenon. Every sunset, wild Little Penguins emerge from the sea and waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows.

Overnight: Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Hotel 
Meals: B

DAY 7: Flight to Cairns

Transfer to the airport for your flight. Adventure is waiting for you in Cairns, the tourist capital of tropical North Queensland and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. From the blue waters of the Coral Sea and the diverse marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, to the flora of the tropical rain forests and the cool inland tablelands, Cairns has a wealth of natural beauty to behold. Later this afternoon put on your walking shoes and join your Tour Manager for a walk on the waterfront boardwalk. One of the focal points of this city is the vast saltwater swimming lagoon shaped to the State of Queensland with its whimsical steel fish sculptures and sandy beach. Wander along the Esplanade or walkways adjacent to the boardwalk and park areas for a variety of restaurants and shopping. This evening we will gather for dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Cairns, Rydges Esplanade
Meals: B,D

DAY 8:  Green Island, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Start the day with  breakfast as you prepare for an excursion to the most famous coral reef in the world. We will board a high speed catamaran for an exciting excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. This immense series of 2,800 coral reefs are home to amazingly diverse marine life, ranging from the clownfish and blue tangs of Finding Nemo’s fame, to sea turtles, to the world’s most famous sharks, the Great Whites. When we arrive at Green Island, the choice is up to you. You will be able to explore the reef in many ways. You can watch for fish and wildlife, and learn about the different species below you on a glass bottom boat ride. There is a lovely stroll you can enjoy on the walking trail to take in the rainforest. For those who want to relax and bask in the sunshine, there are beaches to lay out and read, and some amazing spots to snorkel. You can even just watch the fish and sea turtles swim past from the pier. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, there are optional scuba tours, or an outer reef boating tour. Whether your tastes are calm or wild, the reef has something for everyone, and will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip. Remember to bring a swim suit and towel, sunscreen, hat and comfortable walking shoes and your camera. After returning to our hotel you will have the remainder of the day on your own.
Overnight: Cairns, Rydges Esplanade
Meals: BL

DAY 9:  Tjapukai – Skyrail – Kuranda

Visit the fascinating Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Australia’s largest indigenous cultural park which has been built in a spectacular rainforest setting. Discover this ancient culture through bush food lessons, didgeridoo demonstrations, movie theatres, fire making demonstrations and the famous Tjapukai Dance. A short distance from Tjapukai is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This will take you directly above the breathtaking canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park. En route to Kuranda, there are 2 stations where you can enjoy a walk through the rainforest and observe its beauty from spectacular lookouts. On arrival there is free time to explore the ‘village in the rainforest’ and its many attractions, including the Heritage Markets. After exploring, board the Kuranda train for a historic journey travelling through some of the oldest rainforest in the world. Passing the spectacular Stoney Creek Falls your journey winds through man-made tunnels, across bridges and around curves to arrive at its final destination, Freshwater Station.
Overnight: Cairns, Rydges Esplanade
Meals: B,

DAY 10: Cairns Hot Air Ballooning

We will rise early this morning for a Sun Rise hot air balloon ride. It is not often that 3rd Rock Adventures will ask you to rise this early…..but this is well worth the early hour. Experience the fun & unique sensation of being in a Hot Air Balloon, flying gently high above the Atherton Tablelands, Australia. The balloon takes off from Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands.  Enjoy the picturesque landscape at dawn, spend 30 minutes floating in your Hot Air Balloon, time to really breathe in the wide-open spaces!  After this breath taking Morning the rest of the day is yours at leisure.

Overnight: Cairns, Rydges Esplanade
Meals: B

DAY 11: Flight to Sydney

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Sydney. On arrival at Sydney Airport you’ll be transferred to your hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the fascinating harbour city. Maybe take a ferry ride on the harbour or explore the colourful Darling Harbour precinct.

Overnight: Sydney , Vibe Hotel
Meals: B

DAY 12: Full Day Sightseeing

There’s plenty to see on this tour through world -class Sydney. Enjoy stunning views from Milsons Point, Seaforth Lookout and Mrs. Macquarie’s chair. Relax at Manly and Bondi Beach before setting out on a lunch cruise on the glorious Sydney Harbour. Take in stunning harbour views on board the prestigious Captain Cook cruise ship MV Sydney 2000. The team on board will provide expert commentary on all the important sites and their history, while you enjoy a buffet lunch of fresh Australian seafood, tender prime meats and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Overnight: Sydney Vibe Hotel
Meals: B,L

DAY 13: Full Day Blue Mountains and Wildlife Park

After breakfast participate in a full day excursion to Featherdale Wildlife Park and the Blue Mountains. Featherdale is home to over 300 species of Australia’s diverse wildlife. Here, you may cuddle a Koala (a must-do for everyone visiting Australia!), feed the kangaroos, view the Fairy Penguins, and see the colorful Parrots, Cockatoos and Lorikeets. For wilderness and wildlife, the magnificent Blue Mountains region is a must see for any visitor to Sydney.Will take time for Lunch and then travel through quaint mountain villages, past spectacular lookouts, and through the rugged Australian Bush to Scenic World. Returning to the city in the late afternoon. This evening is for you to enjoy with Friends.
Overnight: Sydney Vibe Hotel
Meals: B,L

DAY 14: Full Day in Sydney

Leisure

There is much to see, and much to do in Sydney! Enjoy your leisure time traveling around the city independently. Be sure to linger in The Rocks area with its charming pubs, bistros, and galleries along the main streets and squares. Or, travel out to one of Sydney’s famous beaches for some fun in the sun with the locals. If you’re feeling adventurous, have the experience a lifetime on an optional invigorating climb to the top of the world-famous Sydney Harbor Bridge. This morning, a professional team of experienced climbers will escort you to the very top and will provide you with a lasting memento. The rest of the day is yours!

Perhaps you would like to do a bridge clime. Experience the climb of your life! Enjoy an invigorating climb to the top of the world-famous Sydney Harbor Bridge and admire panoramic views of the city and harbor below. A professional team of experienced climbers will escort you to the very top. A complimentary photo of your climb is included.

Tonight you will dine at the Sydney Tower Restaurant with spectacular views of Sydney.

Overnight: Sydney Vibe Hotel
Meals: B,D

DAY 15: En Route

Transfer to the airport in time to board your flights back home or Continue on to New Zealand with us

 

Starting as Low as $3,772.00

    • Limited to 20 People
    • Per person based on double occupancy
    • Single supplement $1,500. USD
    • Can be combined with the New Zealand tour for a Fabulous Down Under Vacation

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