DISCOVER THE BEST OF AUSTRALIA
SYDNEY – MELBOURNE – ADELAIDE - ALICE SPRINGS – ULURU – CAIRNS – GREAT BARRIER REEF
Includes train Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide - Alice Springs - Uluru - Katherine - Darwin
ESCORTED GROUP DEPARTURE: GRAND RAIL TOUR Commences Sydney 08 July, 2023 including Darwin and Kakadu National Park. Escorted subject to a minimum of 10 travelling.
Day 1. Saturday. ARRIVE SYDNEY
Arrive Sydney and you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Day 2. Sunday. SYDNEY (BL)
Enjoy a full day sightseeing in Australia’s largest and most vibrant city. Drive through the historic "Rocks" area and cross the Harbour Bridge to the North Shore beaches. Stroll along famous Manly Surf beach before returning to Sydney -to enjoy a cruise on Sydney Harbour with lunch included. This afternoon continue your sightseeing and see Cadmans cottage - Australia’s oldest house, the Opera House, Darling Harbour, Kings Cross, Bondi Beach, and the exclusive suburbs of Double Bay and Vaucluse.
Day 3. Monday WILDLIFE PARK AND BLUE MOUNTAINS. (B)
Visit a wildlife park to cuddle a koala, feed kangaroos, and see wombats, dingoes, crocodiles, penguins, and other Australian wildlife. Continue to the Blue Mountains with many scenic views along the way including Govetts Leap, Echo Point, the Three Sisters, and hear the ‘folk tales’ as you view the marvellous escarpments and ‘Australia’s Grand Canyon’. Optional rides on the Sceniscender and/or the world's steepest incline railway are available - own expense. Cruise along the Parramatta river to Darling Harbour or Circular Quay where the tour ends.
Day 4. Tuesday SYDNEY (B)
Free day to explore Sydney as you wish.
CANBERRA DAY TOUR
Drive south to Canberra - Australia's capital city. Enjoy a guided tour through Parliament House and the renowned National Museum, visit Mt Ainslie, for a panoramic view over the city, see Lake Burley Griffen, Captain Cook Memorial Fountain, Commonwealth Park, High Court, and drive through the embassy and residential areas. Return to Sydney around 9pm. Extra cost $NZ250
Your choice of either full day tour
(A) Hunter Valley wineries including tasting and lunch... $NZ280
(B) Hunter Valley Gardens including lunch...$NZ280
Day 5. Wednesday SYDNEY - MELBOURNE. (B)
Make your way to the rail station. Join the Countrylink XPT express departing 7.35am and travel south through New South Wales and Victoria. 1st class seats provided. Arrival Melbourne is scheduled for 6.30pm. Make your way to your accommodation.
Note: You are welcome to fly this sector if you wish but costs will increase.
Day 6. Thursday MELBOURNE (B)
Morning tour of Melbourne city includes tailored gardens, historic Victorian buildings, Royal Botanic gardens, Fitzroy Gardens including a visit to Captain Cooks Cottage, Carlton, Port Melbourne, and Queen Victoria markets. Enjoy a cruise along the Yarra River and this afternoon tour the Blue Dandenong mountains including wonderful views of Melbourne, traditional billy tea, walks in the forest with the opportunity to see some of the prolific native bird life. Return to your hotel about 5.30pm.
Day 7. Friday. MELBOURNE (B)
We have left today free for your own options. Enjoy the ‘culture capital’ of Australia or take one of the following optional tours
A. Ballarat and Sovereign Hill 8.55am - 5.30pm $NZ230
B. Great Ocean Road including Bells Beach, Anglesea, Apollo Bay, Twelve Apostles, and London Bridge - $NZ250
C. Phillip Island nature reserve and Penguin Parade including Koala Conservation centre. 1pm - 10.30pm - $NZ230
Day 8. Saturday. MELBOURNE – ADELAIDE (B)
Make your way to the rail station and depart at 8.05am aboard ther “Overlander” for Adelaide arriving at 5.40pm. Make your way to your accommodation close to the rail station.
Day 9. Sunday. ADELAIDE (B)
Free time this morning before transferring to the rail station. Depart at 12.15pm aboard "The Ghan"
Day 10. Monday. Arrive ALICE SPRINGS. (B)
Arrive Alice Springs 1.45pm. This afternoon enjoy a Highlights of Alice Springs tour including the Flying Doctor base and School of the Air, panoramic view of the city from Anzac Hill, see the Old Telegraph Station and Alice Springs Reptile Centre.
Day 11. Tuesday. ALICE SPRINGS - ULURU (AYERS ROCK) (B)
Depart Alice Springs 7am. Drive through the McDonnell ranges and enjoy a short stop at a camel farm and continue past the remarkable Mt Connor Mesa before arriving at Ayers Rock resort. This afternoon join a guided walk to Mutitjulu waterhole and see the ancient rock paintings. Continue along the Kuniya Walk and your guide will point out the unique flora and fauna of the area. Late afternoon watch the changing colours of Uluru as the sun sets over the desert plain.
Day 12. Wednesday. ULURU (BD)
Up early for the best of the day and be in position to watch the sun rise over Uluru (Ayers Rock) Visit Waipa Gorge and tour the magnificent domes of the Kata Tjuta mountains (Olga's). before returning to your hotel. This evening a special experience will be to enjoy a buffet dinner in the desert under the canopy of stars (weather permitting) at the Sounds of Silence experience.
Day 11. Thursday. ULURU - ALICE SPRINGS - DEPART (B)
Return to Alice Springs and rejoin the Ghan for the journey to Darwin..Depart 6.15pm.
Day 12. Friday KATHERINE - DARWIN (BLD)
Arrive Katherine and enjoy a tour of the town and gorge before continuing to Darwin where arrival is scheduled for 7.50pm. Transfer to hotel.
Day 13. Saturday. DARWIN (B)
Visit the Territory Wildlife Park this morning and this afternoon tour Darwin including the Botanic Gardens, historic areas including the East Point Military Precinct, Stokes Hill wharf, museum, and art gallery.
Day 14. Sunday. DARWIN - KAKADU NATIONAL PARK (BL)
Drive deep into the Kakadu National Park for a guided walk to view ancient Aboriginal rock art. After lunch join the famous Yellow Water Billabong cruise to observe salt water crocodiles and the colourful range of prolific bird life. Also visit the Warradjan Cultural centre with its displays and exhibits of the Aboriginal people. Overnight at Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn hotel or similar
Day 15. Monday. KAKADU - DARWIN (BL)
Visit the Ubirr Aboriginal Rock Art and cruise on the east Alligator river and go ashore in Arnhem land. return to Darwin this evening.
Day 16. Tuesday. DARWIN - CAIRNS (B)
Fly from Darwin to Cairns and transfer to your hotel.
Day 17 Wednesday. GREAT BARRIER REEF (BL)
Cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef this morning. Enjoy the magical coral gardens and teeming marine life while swimming, snorkelling. or on the air conditioned semi submersible. Morning and afternoon tea and a lunch buffet are included.
Day 18. Thursday. KURANDA AND CULTURE (BL)
Transfer to the station to join the world famed Kuranda Scenic Rail ride to Kuranda village with views of Barron falls en route. You have time to explore Kuranda and maybe visit the Butterfly Sanctuary, Koala Gardens, or Bird World (admissions extra) before joining the Skyrail to glide above the rainforest canopy with the opportunity for 2 stops along the way to walk in the rainforest. On arrival at base your indigenous guide will escort you to the fascinating Tjapukai Cultural Park and escort you through the park as you discover this ancient culture through theatres, stage shows, and demonstrations. You will be transferred back to your accommodation about 5.30pm.
Day 19. Friday. CAIRNS DEPART (B)
You will be transferred to the airport for departure.
You are welcome to stay longer in Cairns to explore at your leisure or visit the Daintree Rainforest and Port Douglas.
The “Spirit of Queensland” train departs 8.35am Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday arriving Brisbane 9.20am the following day.