Kangaroos hop across arid, wide-open spaces; koalas climb eucalyptus trees surrounded by powdery white beaches; and crocodiles rest on riverbanks in prehistoric rainforests. It could only be Australia! Drive along the stunning coastal cliffs that surround the country or snorkel with whale sharks and sea lions. Trek scorched red deserts in the rugged Outback or explore the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism, on a scuba diving expedition, enthralled by the turquoise waters enveloping you. Australia has a host of bucket-list items, what will you cross off?
Delight in Melbourne’s impressive coffee culture and visit the unforgettable Sydney Opera House. Australia’s unique and vast landscape offers an incredible array of spectacular panoramas, one more amazing than the next—the almost otherworldly Pinnacles Desert, north of Perth; Lake Hillier, Australia’s most famous vividly pink lake on an island off the coast of Western Australia; Adelaide’s coastal city, scattered with beautiful beaches; the 12 Apostles, towering limestone pillars overlooking the water along Great Ocean Road in Victoria; and one of Australia’s most wonderous sights to behold, Uluru (Ayers Rock), whose colors transform from burnished golds to intense reds from sunrise to sunset. With more than 500 national parks, 8,222 islands, and 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, a journey to Australia will leave you craving more time in “the land Down Under.”
The Outback, Daintree, Lizard Island, & Sydney: 10-Day Sample Itinerary
Days 1 & 2 – Outback Cattle Station
Experience wilderness and wildlife with a luxurious slant at Wrotham Park, an outback cattle breeding station. Live a day in the life of an Outback Cowboy, mustering horses, taking traditional morning tea, and other activities. Learn about the history and workings of the Cattle Station, Old Telegraph Station, Gamboola Station, and the Lagoon. Tour the Mouth Organ Yards, listening as your guide explains the landscape, wildlife, and vegetation that surround you.
Days 3 & 4 – Daintree Rainforest
Containing 30% of the frog, marsupial, and reptile species in Australia, 65% of the bat and butterfly species, and 20% of the bird species, yet only taking up 0.2% of Australia’s land, Daintree Rainforest was declared a World Heritage Site because of the great diversity of tropical wildlife located on its lands. Hike the trails of the Daintree National Park, keeping your eyes open for the Musky-Rat Kangaroo and the Ulysses Butterfly. Paddle a canoe or swim across the tropical Mossman River and then visit friendly wallabies or locales of the nearby sugar cane town Mossman.
Days 5 & 6 – Lizard Island
Located in the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is a tropical paradise. Dive in Cod Hole to see massive Moray Eels and swim alongside the curious Potato Cod. With coral gardens, brightly colored tropical fish, and giant clams just moments from the shore, snorkeling from Lizard Island is a truly unforgettable experience. Go game fishing for the famous Black Marlin. Relax on the powdery, white beaches after an invigorating bushwalk. Go sailing or take a glass bottom boat ride.
Day 7, 8, & 9 – Sydney
Australia’s oldest and largest city, Sydney is the heart and soul of the nation. An amalgam of the raw and the refined, Sydney blends sandy beaches and gorgeous harbors with cosmopolitan shopping, cuisine, all-night pubs, and architecture. Go down to the Rocks and look up for an amazing view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or climb to the top of the Bridge for a breathtaking view of the Harbour and Sydney Opera House. Cruise around Sydney Harbour, one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world. Take advantage of the fresh seafood at one of the many exquisite restaurants.
Day 10 – Return Home
Enjoy your last piece of toast spread with Vegemite before boarding your plane for a safe flight home.
Family Fun Down Under: 13-Day Sample Itinerary
Days 1 & 2: Travel to Australia
Cross the International Date Line on the flight to Australia.
Days 3 & 4: Sydney
Australia’s oldest and largest city, Sydney blends sandy beaches and gorgeous harbors with cosmopolitan shopping, cuisine, all-night pubs, and architecture. Enjoy a private cruise of Sydney Harbour. Visit Taronga Zoo, whose beautiful vista includes Sydney Harbour, the Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House. Head to Bondi Beach to surf the waves, or simply sunbathe.
Day 5: Sydney & Adelaide
Finish exploring Sydney’s sights â€“ ascend Sky Tower, jet boat though the harbor, or whatever your heart desires. Then travel to Adelaide, a quiet city reminiscent of olden England. Pleasant with its parks and vineyards, Adelaide is known for its festivals, wine, cuisine, and laid-back atmosphere.
Day 6: Kangaroo Island
Travel to Kangaroo Island, a natural wonderland teaming with marsupials and other Australian wildlife. Explore the verdant landscape by 4-wheel-drive, and then stroll among a colony of seals. To truly make a difference, work hands on to protect the habitat of the rare glossy black cockatoo.
Day 7: Alice Springs, Australian Outback
Travel to the capital of the Australian Outback Alice Springs. Located in the heart of the Red Center, a cattle station ATV adventure awaits, taking you past bush tracks, dry riverbeds, and rippling red mountain ranges.
Day 8: Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Though guide book pictures give an idea of what Uluru looks like, nothing compares to seeing it in person. Long considered sacred by the Aboriginals, people from all walks of life have agreed that, once gazing upon it, a spiritual presence can definitely be felt. Visit also Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and learn the legends of creation of the Anangu people.
Day 9: Uluru & Cairns
View a mystical sunrise over Uluru, and then walk along its base to view the ancient paintings of sacred Aboriginal myths. Later, travel to Cairns and settle into the nearby luxurious seaside town of Port Douglas.
Day 10: Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is the world’s largest marine park, and contains the only living structure visible from the moon. Explore the Great Barrier Reef by cruise, traveling to three different reef sites ideal for swimming and snorkeling to view the beautiful coral formations.
Day 11: Port Douglas Beach
Travel to a quaint beach in the Port Douglas area. Follow your personal Aboriginal guide, who will explain the cultural significance and practices of this area.
Day 12: Kuranda
Travel via the Kuranda Skyrail, located just meters above the rainforest canopy, to Kuranda. This aerial experience is not to be missed. Then enjoy the crisp mountain air of Kuranda, a quaint village located near Barron Gorge National Park.
Day 13: Journey Home
Take advantage of some last-minute shopping before your flight home takes you back across the International Dateline.
Essential Australia: 7-Day Sample Itinerary
Days 1 & 2: Arrive Sydney
Australia’s oldest and largest city, Sydney blends sandy beaches and gorgeous harbors with cosmopolitan shopping, cuisine, all-night pubs, and architecture. Sail through Sydney Harbour aboard a yacht, gazing out at the world-famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Tour the museums and other cultural highlights, and explore the sophisticated neighborhoods located around the Harbour.
Day 3: Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains, named for the bluish mist that shrouds their peaks, are breathtakingly beautiful. The rugged cliffs covered by eucalyptus trees offer stunning vistas of the surrounding waterfalls and plunging valleys. These Mountains are also a playground for outdoor adventurers, offering rock climbing, cave exploring, bushwalking, and much more!
Day 4: Melbourne
Excitement in Melbourne comes from its dynamic energy and cosmopolitan vibe. The exquisite dining and art exhibitions reflect the city’s passions. Explore the cityscapes and take in historic sites like Federation Square and Old Melbourne Gaol.
Day 5: Yarra Valley Vineyards
Travel to Yarra Valley to sample some of the finest wines in Australia, and view the lovely vineyard landscape. Throughout the region there are quaint villages filled with craft stores and antique shops.
Day 6: Great Ocean Road
Get a great tour of Australia’s southeast coast along the Great Ocean Road. Stretching from Torquay and Warrnambool, this gorgeous route passes by roaring oceans, sandy beaches, and tropical rainforests. The sights seen from this road are truly unforgettable.
Day 7: Journey Home
Board your plane for a safe flight home.