Say g’day to the vibrant city of Sydney, known for iconic landmarks, a glistening harbour and beaches so famous they have their own TV shows (we’re looking at you, Bondi Beach). Once you’ve checked into your hotel located in the heart of The Rocks – a picturesque part of the city known as the birthplace of modern Australia – you’ll meet your fellow travellers and Travel Director. With the glistening harbour in your sights, you’ll start your holiday in style with a luxurious lunch cruise. Drink in hand, take in the views of the city from a spacious deck as you cruise under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and glide past the white peaks of the Sydney Opera House. No need to pinch yourself, this is just a travel dream springing to life before your very eyes!
Back on land you’ll explore Sydney’s must-see sights, including Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, Hyde Park and the edgy nightlife district of Kings Cross and Oxford Street. Having uncovered the lay of the land, spend the evening discovering Sydney your way. You could indulge all the senses with an optional Skyfeast at Sydney Tower. With more than 30 delectable dishes to choose from and an unbeatable 360-degree view of the sparkling Sydney skyline, it’s the perfect way top off the first day of your Australian adventure. (L) Stay: Rydges Sydney Harbour
Excitement will be at an all-time high today with two of Sydney's iconic day trips to choose if you wish. Nature-lovers will no doubt be tempted to join an optional day tour of the Blue Mountains National Park. Just a 2.5-hour drive outside of the city, it’s an oasis of dramatic sandstone cliffs, lush rainforests, eucalyptus bushland and cascading waterfalls. See the Three Sisters, a towering rock formation with great significance to the local Aboriginal community, or ride the steepest passenger railway down to the valley floor at Scenic World. Encountering unique wildlife and enjoying the delights of Australia’s world-famous scenery, this is one for the bucket list.
If good food and even better wine is more your thing, you could choose to join a relaxing day tour of Australia's oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley. Taste Chardonnay or Shiraz alongside a local winemaker as you admire the views of sprawling vineyards. You’ll love the chance to do lunch your way, with either a casual meal at a funky bar, elegant Asian dining experience or tasty picnic hamper to wash down the award-winning vintages. Back in the city, ask your Travel Director for recommendations of where to head to experience The Rocks vibrant nightlife scene at one of the many pubs near your hotel. (B)
Your Sydney tour continues today with the chance to make even more of your travel dreams a reality. Outdoor enthusiasts, foodies and thrill seekers will have their pick of Optional Experiences to tempt – it will be hard to know what to choose! You could embrace the beach lifestyle of this coastal city with a surfing lesson at the iconic Bondi Beach before enjoying a relaxing stroll on the Bondi to Bronte walk, with sweeping ocean views to admire.
Foodies will jump at the chance to uncover more of Sydney’s culinary scene on a Secret Food Tour or behind-the-scenes tour of Sydney Fish Market, complete with a fresh seafood plucked straight from the sea that morning. Or you could choose to kick things up a notch and see the city from above, joining Sydney Seaplanes for a flight over the cityscape before landing on the breathtaking Hawkesbury River. Here, you can enjoy a tour of Broken Bay Pearl Farm to learn about the oyster and pearl industry from local farmers before indulging in a picnic hamper washed down with wine. Top off your final day in Sydney with an optional night climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or maybe take in a show at the renowned Sydney Opera House. However, you choose to spend your final day in Sydney, your Travel Director will help you plan a memorable day. (B)
You’re in for a relaxing drive as we travel to Canberra from Sydney. Arriving in what’s affectionately known as The Bush Capital, Canberra is loved for its widespread nature reserves and nearby mountain ranges - but that’s not all! Home to Australia’s government and Parliament House, impressive museums and an ever-growing food and wine scene, Canberra is quickly becoming one of Australia's top cultural destinations to visit. History buffs will enjoy our visit to the National Museum of Australia, home to more than 200,000 significant artefacts that represent the multicultural communities of Australia.
Next up, spend the afternoon getting to know the city your way. Choose to see the city on two wheels on a self-guided bike ride around Lake Burley Griffin or relax with a Funky City Walking Tour and wine tasting. Tonight, take a bite out of the city and see what all the foodie fuss is about and explore the diverse culinary options of Canberra, conveniently divided into precincts. Whether its lively bars and international cuisine in Central “Civic” Canberra or trendy cafés in the popular Kingston and Manuka suburbs, you’re sure to have a fun night out on the town. (B) Stay: Crowne Plaza
Farewell city, hello country Australia! Take a step back in time today as we bid farewell to Canberra to get a taste of one of Australia’s most charming historic towns, Beechworth, taking in the spectacular scenery as we travel to this quaint former gold-mining town. Ticking off three states in one day you’ll cross three borders on the journey into Victoria. With historical buildings adorning tree-lined streets and lush green lakeside parklands, Beechworth is an idyllic escape from the city – and a welcome chance to relax. Despite its size, there’s plenty on offer to tempt.
History enthusiasts could choose to visit Old Beechworth Gaol, taking a walking tour with a local guide to uncover the history of the town - including its dark past of notorious bushrangers that roamed the High Country in the 1800s including the infamous Ned Kelly. Foodies and wine connoisseurs could choose to visit one of the many wineries surrounding the town or tuck into a tasting beer paddle at Billson's Brewery. Tonight, you’ll see another side of regional Victoria as we head to Wangaratta, our home for the night. Embracing country Australia, you might want to take your evening up a notch at the chic Watermarc Dining, where their dishes rotate on a seasonal menu, or settle in at the local’s favourite watering hole, The Pinsent pub, or relax at the hotel after another incredible day. (B) Stay: Quality Wangaratta
Rise and shine, you’re not finished with historic “Kelly Country” just yet. En route to the bright lights of Melbourne we’ll tour the town of Glenrowan – home to the site of the final siege and capture of Ned Kelly back in 1880. Next stop: Melbourne! It won’t be long before we reach the stylish culture capital of Australia, where you’ll have the afternoon to explore the artsy laneways, sip on coffee like the locals from boutique cafés and discover something new and exciting around every corner. Tonight, is yours to spend how you choose. You could join a Hidden Secrets Tour to embrace the culinary delights of Melbourne through history and food.
Kicking off in the iconic Federation Square, you’ll tour carefully selected hidden dining spots where each delectable dish will be brought to life with paired wines. If you’d prefer to relax in one spot for the evening, you could discover a world of glitz, glamour and world class dining at the Crown Entertainment Complex. From live concerts to mini golf, there’s no shortage of entertainment to enjoy – not to mention, there are plenty of places to refuel. Watching in awe as the eight towers along the banks of the Yarra River shoot fireballs into the night’s sky, this is the perfect way to begin your chic stay in Melbourne. (B) Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton
After a peek at what awaits in Melbourne, today offers a chance to see more with Optional Experiences to make your travel dreams come true. Keen explorers will no doubt choose to set out along Australia’s most iconic coastal drive on the Great Ocean Road with a Local Guide. Cameras at the ready, this tour heads south along the rugged coastline through the surfside towns of Torquay, Bells Beach and Lorne, passing the ancient forests of Great Otway National Park, before finally reaching the dramatic sandstone pillars rising out of the Southern Ocean, the magnificent Twelve Apostles.
Meanwhile, animal-lovers will no doubt choose to get up close and personal with native Australian wildlife, wandering through the tree-top boardwalks at the Koala Conservation Reserve on Phillip Island. Taking in the scenery of beautiful beaches of the island, your tour will be taken to the next level as you witness the phenomenal natural experience of seeing the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins return home from the sea for the night. Back in the city, ask your Travel Director for some tips on where’s best to head to raise a glass to the end of another epic day. In the cultural capital, you’re always spoilt for choice. (B)
It’s your last day in Melbourne but the good times are far from over! Sports fans won’t want to miss the chance to explore the place where legends play, with 60-minute guided tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground or as the locals call it the MCG – host of events such as the 1956 Olympic Games and the annual Boxing Day Test Match. Keen to make a day of it? Consider joining the Sports Lovers Tour and lunch. If the great outdoors is more your thing, be your own captain for the day and hire a Go Boat (no license required) to cruise along the Yarra River with your newfound friends for some of the best views of the city from all angles.
Back on dry land, the famous street-art scene is calling and you could choose to discover the underground practice made famous across the city with a Melbourne Street Art Tour. For your last evening in Melbourne, join your fellow travellers to for a flight like no other with an Optional Experience on Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Enjoy 360-degree views over sparkling Melbourne in a fully enclosed cabin as you soar high above the Docklands precinct. After your flight, you might want to toast your last night of adventure in the culinary capital of this cultural oasis, enjoying dinner in Flinders Lane. From boutique bars to award-winning fine dining restaurants, there’s something to suit everyone. (B)
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