Sydney & Tropical Queensland Self Drive

Explore two icons of Australia thoroughly: the metropolitan city of Sydney, and the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world. Australia is big enough that one can spend years exploring it and not see everything there is to see. During this thirteen day itinerary, we leave that ambition behind, and instead concentrate on two locations worthy of more than a glance. Sydney is truly one of the greatest cities in the world, incorporating modern art and culture, beautiful architecture, and surrounded by impressive landscapes. The city of Cairns, the base from which to explore the Reef, is driven by tourism. The city plays host to travelers from all over the world who come here to dive and snorkel their way through the Reef, as well as explore the land wilderness.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Sydney Arrival

Sydney Arrival
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Sydney

Today, you will be picked up at the airport in Sydney and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

Sydney

Hugging one of the world's most famous harbours, and defined by its two iconic structures, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia's capital is instantly recognizable. But for a city that is so defined by a building though, its people sure do love spending time outdoors. From surfing, to hiking and just hanging in a park, it's the city's active population that gives it real life. There are always new restaurants to try, a different hiking trail to hit, and a sea of excitable locals down for a pint. Sydney is a true modern metropolis, and happy people form all over the world seem to funnel here, and the result is one of our favorite cities in the world.

Day 2: Sydney

Sydney
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Sydney City Tour & Harbour Cruise
  • Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Sydney
  • Meals: B

Sydney City Tour & Harbour Cruise

This morning, you will be taken on an exploration of Sydney's highlights and hidden treasures. Your first stop includes a visit to the historic neighborhood of The Rocks, where your guide will teach you about its flourishing past and early convict history. From there, you will continue to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, followed by a tour of the city's shopping district. Visit the trendy area around Oxford Street and admire the elegant neighborhood of Paddington, with its terrace houses and charming ambiance.

From the bustling city center, you will venture out to the Pacific Ocean. Take the coastal cliff walk around Tamarama and Bronte, before continuing to Australia's famous Bondi Beach. A leisurely stroll down this beachfront promenade, will quickly showoff its attractive appeal. Soak up Sydney’s best panoramic view at Dover Heights, followed by a scenic journey through Double Bay, Kings Cross and Mrs Macquaries Point, back to the city center. The final part of your adventure includes a lovely harbour lunch cruise. Admire the city from a different perspective, as you sail through the gentle waters of the harbour, listen to the informative commentary and enjoy a delicious lunch. Disembark the boat at King Street Wharf or Circular Quay, from where you will make your own way back to the hotel. (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 3: Sydney

Sydney
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Full Day Blue Mountains & Wildlife Discovery
  • Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Sydney
  • Meals: B, L

Full Day Blue Mountains & Wildlife Discovery

Today's nature exploration and wildlife discovery tour takes place in the heart of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Region. From lush temperate rainforests, to towering sandstone escarpments, you will have the chance to see it all. Alongside a knowledgeable guide and small group of other travelers, you will venture outside the city center, and escape to a wonderland of sandstone outcrops, deep ravines and hazy blue eucalyptus forests. Following in the footsteps of your guide, you will be led off the beaten track to remote lookout locations, as you discuss the history, flora and fauna of this magnificent region.

The first stop of the day will be Euroka Clearing, located deep in the National Park. Admire the abundant bird life of this area that is also home to wild kangaroos. Enjoy a break for morning tea, coffee and local treats, before ascending the Blue Mountains towards the majestic viewpoints of the Jamison Valley. Your guide will make sure to take you to the least crowded areas, so that you can make the most of this experience. One of these hidden secrets, the Eaglehawk Lookout, features beautiful views of the famous Three Sisters. The character of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons, as the sunlight showcases a magnificent variety of colors. As you take photos, your guide will discuss the legends behind this attraction.

This afternoon, you will be driven to the village of Blackheath, where a lovely 2 course lunch will be served at Hydro Majestic, beside by stunning views. Beverages are not included, and can be purchased at your own expense from the bar. After lunch, you will continue to one of Australia's most famous lookouts, Govetts Leap. A magnificent waterfall here drops a whopping 180 m to the base of the cliff. After admiring in awe, you will head over to the western boundary of the park and descend into Hartley Vale. Packed with history, make sure to also keep an eye out for kangaroos, emus and more bird life in the farmland valley. Your last stop of the tour will be the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, before you are taken back to your hotel around 5:00 PM. (This service is on a group basis.)

Days 4 - 6: Sydney

Sydney
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Sydney
  • Meals: B

Enjoy this free time at your leisure.

Day 7: Sydney - Cairns

Sydney - Cairns
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Transportation: Rental Car Transport
  • Accommodation: Kewarra Beach Resort
  • Meals: B

Today, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight.

On arrival in Cairns, you will pick up your car rental at the Cairns Airport to transfer to your hotel. You will have the use of your car rental until November 17th with the drop off location at the Cairns Airport. Parking is available at your hotel at no additional charge.

Cairns

Cairns is a city-sized playground for adventure seekers, reef enthusiasts, and beach lovers. From here, launch into the one of many national parks on land, or north into the oceanic horizon. For good or bad, Cairns is a city dedicated 100% to tourism. There are similar cities in every beautiful country in the world, and a few themes cross over. These themes include plenty of fun-seeking fellow tourists ready to join your adventure, more than enough bars to keep the party going, and restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes.

Day 8: Cairns

Cairns
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Michaelmas Cay Boat Tour
  • Accommodation: Kewarra Beach Resort
  • Meals: B, L

Michaelmas Cay Boat Tour

Set sail aboard the 32 meter luxury sailing catamaran, Ocean Spirit, for a day to remember to Michaelmas Cay - a low lying vegetated sand cay encircled by a spectacular fringing reef, a National Park and a protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. Today's experience with a wide range of activities will make you fully experience Michaelmas Cay’s unique reef environment. Be active and enjoy all the included activities... Snorkeling is fun and a great way to experience the many treasures of the Great Barrier Reef! With easy access from the beach at Michaelmas Cay, people of all ages, whether you’re experienced or a novice, can enjoy the reef, quietly drifting over the myriad of corals and colorful fish.

The Cay, with its calm, shallow waters, is ideal for first-timers and young families who want to experience it together. Most of the reef's diversity, around 90% of it, is known to be in the top 4 meters of the water. Take a cruise on a semi-sub, seated just one meter below the waterline, you’ll get a diver’s view of the reef without getting wet! With the large viewing windows, the expert crew provide an informative commentary on the corals and marine life before your eyes as you learn about the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef in this interactive tour.

Day 9: Cairns

Cairns
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Daintree Highlights & Cape Tribulation Tour
  • Accommodation: Kewarra Beach Resort
  • Meals: B

Daintree Highlights & Cape Tribulation Tour

Today's journey begins with a scenic drive through the world famous Captain Cook Highway. As it winds along the tropical coast towards Port Douglas, this route offers views of the azure blue coastal waters. Upon arrival at the Rainforest Habitat, you are welcome to step inside the wild world of Australian creatures. From snapping crocodiles, to sleepy koalas, kangaroos, an abundant bird selection and beyond, this is an amazing interactive environment. Continue to the north, past sugar cane fields, through the famous rain trees at Mossman, and onto the Daintree River Crossing. Your guide will teach you about the history of sugar cane, in addition to the local produce and tropical harvests that come from the north.

From here, you will be whisked away on a Daintree River cruise. Aboard a small, intimate boat, you will explore the lush green riverbanks of the Daintree River, looking out for wild crocodiles. Your guide will explain the incredible eco system of the mangrove forest and the habitat of the crocodile, as you explore this prehistoric world! Back on land, you will be surrounded by ancient trees and plant species that exist nowhere else in the world, but here. Take off on a drive to Alexandra Lookout, a place which provides excellent views across to the Coral Sea. It is a perfect example of two world Heritage Areas side by side, where "rainforest meets the reef".

Take a break to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant this afternoon, before your exploration continues with a visit to Thornton Beach. This spectacular stretch of the coast features a wide, white sand beach, littered by giant Beauty Leaf Trees. Heading south again, towards the Mossman Gorge World Heritage National Park, lookout for more crocodiles or jumping Barramundi fish in the Daintree River. Visit Mossman Gorge, where you will be warmly welcomed by the traditional aboriginal owners. Enjoy an interpretive walk, as you listen to enchanting stories about their indigenous culture and survival skills in this forest. Enjoy a cool afternoon swim in crystal rainforest waters, before it is time to say goodbye. A scenic ride home at sunset along the coastal route, offers the perfect ending to the perfect day. (This service is on a group basis.)

Days 10 - 12: Cairns

Cairns
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: Kewarra Beach Resort
  • Meals: B

Enjoy this free time at your leisure.

Day 13: Cairns Departure

Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Rental Car Transport
  • Meals: B

Early this morning you will return to the Cairns airport to drop off your car rental before catching your flight home. We hope that you enjoyed your stay!

Accommodation

Hyatt Regency Sydney

Hyatt Regency Sydney

The Hyatt Regency Sydney overlooks the vibrant Darling Harbour, an unrivaled location in this iconic city. Just a short walk from the property, you can discover a variety of entertainment and restaurant venues, including Sydney's prime shopping district. As one of Australia’s largest hotels and winner of many local and international awards, you can guarantee a seamless and hassle free experience. From rooms that are fully equipped with modern amenities, to divine dining options and exquisite city views, you are welcome to enjoy Sydney at its absolute finest.

Kewarra Beach Resort

Kewarra Beach Resort

The holiday accommodation at Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa is unique and exclusive. Beautifully appointed individual deluxe bungalows and spacious suites are discretely situated throughout the 30 hectares of lush tropical gardens. Couples will love our signature bungalows each individually set beside the lagoon, nestled within the rainforest or under the palm trees overlooking the beach The resort is within easy access to Cairns local shopping and provides an abundance of holiday services to make your stay more enjoyable including Cairns city transfers, Great Barrier Reef cruises and tours to Kuranda.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 3,148 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

Why Global Basecamps

Unparallelled Customer Service
As dedicated travel specialists, we are here to help you plan the perfect trip. We're with you from the beginning, during the crucial planning stages, throughout your trip in case anything comes up, and afterwards to make sure everything went perfectly. If anything were to go wrong during your trip (missed/delayed flights, etc.), we and our local in‐country partners are here for you.
Hand‐crafted Trips
While we have sample itineraries to help you create the perfect trip, we encourage you to travel at your own pace with a custom itinerary ‐ or simply book accommodation and excursions to travel with full flexibility. We also give you access to an amazing product line that would be very difficult to find otherwise.
Social Responsibility
Our trips directly benefit local communities through a variety of educational, environmental, and cultural initiatives. Additionally, all of our partners have been qualified as upholding a level of service that we truly stand behind. We strive to work exclusively with like‐minded partners who are committed to making sure tourism does not have a negative impact on destinations.

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Our extraordinary travel specialists will listen to your individual needs, and craft a perfect trip unique to you. This creative process is completely free, and our entire team will help make this custom journey come true.
Your tailor made adventure will be environmentally and culturally responsible, ensuring that these experiences will be available for years to come. We work with premier partners and lodgings all over the world, and guarantee the best service for our travelers.

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