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.
Today, you will be picked up at the airport in Sydney (Australia) and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Hugging one of the world's most famous harbors, and defined by its two iconic structures, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor 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.
This morning, you will depart on an unforgettable Panoramic Sydney City sights tour. On this excursion, you will have the chance to visit the historic Rocks area and learn all about the early convict history. Admire magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge next, before exploring the shopping heart of the city, QVB and Centrepoint. From there, you guide will lead you to Sydney’s trendy new district of Oxford Street and take you traveling through the elegant area of Paddington, with its terrace houses and charming atmosphere. At last, you will make your way to the picturesque Pacific Ocean. Embark on the scenic coast cliff walk around Tamarama and Bronte, and continue on to Australia's famous Bondi Beach. Take a stroll down the beachfront promenade, enjoying a coffee or refreshing drink (at your own cost). Marvel at the bronzed Aussie lifesavers and soak up Sydney’s best panoramic view at Dover Heights. Head back towards the city via Double Bay, Kings Cross and Mrs. Macquaries Point for a final magical viewpoint over the harbor, before returning to the city center. Back in the bustle of town, you will board a lovely harbor lunch cruise. Admire the sights from a different perspective, as you cruise along the calm waters of the harbor, 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.)
Today’s Blue Mountain adventure is a real journey into the heart of a unique World Heritage Region. From temperate rainforests, to towering sandstone escarpments, you will see and experience it all. Your knowledgeable guide will collect you from your hotel this morning, as you kick off this small group tour into the Blue Mountains. This excursion will guide you off the beaten track to visit remote lookout locations and discuss the history, flora and fauna of this region.
Your first stop will be at Featherdale Wildlife Park, where you will arrive before other tourists, to meet the native Australian animals. You can actually get up close and personal, stroke a koala and hand feed kangaroos, wallabies & emus...an incredible experience! Proceed to the picturesque village of Wentworth Falls next, home to a collection of Victorian and historic buildings and a spectacular lookout. With amazing views over the Jamison Valley, you will enjoy a leisurely walk to see the Waterfalls.
Your tour will then lead you to Eaglehawk Lookout, a remote and secluded point for views of the famous Three Sisters. While the Blue Mountains features so much more than this natural attraction, you can’t help but admire the unquestionable beauty of this amazing rock formation. The character of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons, as the sunlight brings out the magnificent colors. From there, head to the historic Boiler House Cafe at the Hydro Majestic Property, to enjoy a 2 course cafe style lunch.
After lunch, you will travel around the mountains to Evans Lookout. This is without a doubt one of the most scenic hikes in the area, taking you across a number of valleys and ridges, as you trek to Govetts Leap. Marvel at the views across Australia’s Grand Canyon, The Grose Valley. The magnificent waterfalls drops at a whopping 180 m to the base of the cliff. Your last stop will be at the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens, before traveling down the Bells Line of Road, arriving back at your hotel around 4:30 - 5:00 PM this evening. (This service is on a group basis.)
Enjoy this free time at your leisure.
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 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.
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.
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, step inside the world of Australian creatures at this award winning ECO certified attraction. From snapping crocodiles, to sleepy Koalas, kangaroos, an abundant bird selection and beyond, this is an amazing open and 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 within this area and you can learn about the local produce and tropical harvests that come from the north.
From here, you will be whisked away on a Daintree river cruise. Aboard this small personalized 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, the habitat of the crocodile, and you will discover a unique prehistoric world! The majestic world heritage of the Daintree Rainforest awaits. 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 Daintree Restaurant this afternoon, before your exploration continues. After lunch, will be a visit to Thornton Beach, which is a spectacular stretch of the coast, with a wide soft 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 and hear the enchanting stories from the rich indigenous culture about how traditional owners survived 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, will be the perfect ending to the perfect day. You will be dropped off at the hotel this evening around 6:00 PM. (This service is on a group basis.)
Enjoy this free time at your leisure.
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!
Hyatt Regency Sydney overlooks vibrant Darling Harbor. The hotel is just a short walk from an array of entertainment and restaurant venues and Sydney's prime shopping district. As one of Australia’s largest hotel with 630 rooms including 45 suites and winner of many local and international awards, your stay will be easy and hassle free. All rooms include cable TV, minibar, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities, iron & ironing board, individual thermostat, voicemail and large working desks. Most rooms include high speed internet and all rooms on the harbor side of the hotel have spectacular views across Darling Harbor. The award-winning Corn Exchange Restaurant is home to one of Sydney’s best seafood buffets.
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 is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.