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Highlights of Australia Tour

highlights of australia tour
This private 8-day Highlights of Australia tour will give you a great overview of this wonderful and diverse country. It will also give you priorities for your next trip to Australia where you can spend a little more time.

Duration: 8 days

Highlights of Australia tour will visit : Sydney, Blue Mountains, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Palm Grove, Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest

Highlights of Australia Tour – Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Sydney
On arrival into Sydney International Airport, meet your guide and driver in the arrivals hall and transfer by private vehicle to your accommodation.This afternoon treat yourself to Sydney Harbour’s most sensational scheduled/shared lunch cruise. A unique four hour cruise experience. Your captain & host will share the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore as you take in the sites of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a 3 course BBQ lunch with regional wines, local beers and 5-star service. Immerse yourself in all the activities that this vessel offers including, swimming, fishing and kayaking – or sit back, relax on the expansive sunbed and do nothing at all.

At PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney, a new experience awaits as our bright and refreshing lobby provides a welcome sanctuary from the bustle of the city, while modern guestrooms, complete with the latest technology, ensure a comfortable stay. Located on the city-side of Darling Harbour, the hotel offers premium 4 ½ star accommodation, conference facilities and gymnasium, as well as your choice of dining options all within minutes  of the city’s most popular attractions such as the Darling Harbour precinct, Town Hall and the shopping and business districts.

Overnight: Parkroyal Darling Harbour

Meal Plan: L

Day 2 – Sydney
Meet your driver/guide in the hotel lobby and depart on your half day scheduled/shared tour of Sydney. Your tour today will start in your hotel lobby where your friendly guide will meet you before showing you through the historic Rocks precinct. Witness the birth place of Sydney and explore the convict built cottages, pubs and the first church in Australia.Heading east, we make our way to the stunning Botanical Gardens situated right in the heart of Sydney. En route we pass through Macquarie Street named after the fifth Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. Here you will see Australia’s first Parliament House, Mint, Hyde Park Barracks and St Mary’s Cathedral. The tour continues onto Mrs Macquarie’s Chair situated on the water’s edge, here you will enjoy a
walking tour of the harbour’s edge with magnificent views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House before rejoining your vehicle.We then continue through Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross and into Rushcutters Bay. It’s here we stop to enjoy a lunch at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Australia’s premier yacht club and home to what is considered yachting’s ‘Everest’ – the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.We continue on through Darling Point, one of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs and see some of Sydney’s most sought after addresses. Pass by Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse and Watsons Bay, before traversing along the coastline to Sydney’s most famous beach, Bondi Beach. Here you will have some time to soak up the atmosphere of this beachside Mecca. Stroll down the esplanade with the locals and maybe enjoy an ice cream before re-boarding your vehicle.Make our way back to Sydney via the vibrant Oxford Street and the suburb of Paddington; admire this boutique shopping precinct and the charming Georgian and Victorian architecture of the homes. Arriving back at your hotel you will have enjoyed a great day out seeing some of Sydney’s best kept secrets and having taken some fantastic photos. Lunch is included on your tour.
Overnight: Parkroyal Darling Harbour
Meal Plan: B, L
Day 3 – Blue Mountains
Meet your Akorn driver/guide in the hotel lobby and depart on your full day scheduled/shared tour to the Blue Mountains. Departing the city this morning your personalised guide will start the day by showing you the historical Rocks precinct. The birth place of Australia has a fascinating past and you will see convict built cottages, Australia’s first church and remnants of how Australia was shaped as a nation. We then travel North  across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Australia’s shortest freeway. Continuing west now our first stop is at Featherdale Wildlife Park, home to Australia’s favourite marsupials. Arriving early we beat the crowds and allow you to get up close and personal with Kangaroos, Koalas, Wallabies and Wombats. You will love these amazinganimals. Reboarding the vehicle we continue west towards the Blue Mountains National Park. We enter a little known hidden clearing to enjoy some home style morning tea. You will have time to roam the area and seek out the wild kangaroos and birdlife that frequents this part of the National Park. Our next stop is Kings Tableland. This breathtaking view looks out over the Jamison Valley. You will see firsthand the ruggedness and beauty that the Blue Mountains are famous for.Lunch today is at a local café in the heart of the Blue Mountains. After lunch we head to Wentworth Falls. Here you will be guided down a well worn path towards the falls and stunning views. Experience the local flora and fauna up close as your guide informs you of the incredible geology of the Blue Mountains and how they were formed.Next we reboard the vehicle and skirt around cliff drive towards the township of Katoomba. At Eagle Hawk lookout you will see the famous 3 sisters Rock formation and marvel at the stunning views of the Jamieson Valley. From here we continue around Narrowneck Plateau for more incredible vantage points. Reboarding your vehicle we continue east towards Sydney. Sit back and relax on board your comfortable vehicle for the interesting drive back through Sydney’s western suburbs and across ANZAC Bridge before finally arriving back in the city.

Overnight: Parkroyal Darling Harbour

Meal Plan: B, L

Day 4 – Sydney – Ayers Rock
Meet your driver in the hotel lobby and transfer by private vehicle to Sydney Airport to check-in for your departure flight.
Fly from Sydney to Ayers Rock (flight cost not included). On your arrival into Ayers Rock take a courtesy coach transfer to your accommodation.
This afternoon, your driver/guide will collect you from the hotel for a scheduled/shared 5 hour tour of Uluru at sunset.Travel through the landscape as the spectre of Uluru rises from the sand dunes to demonstrate its enormity and presence in this country. Our first stop allows you a photographic opportunity of this amazing icon. With Uluru looming in front of you, your guide journeys toward the base. Walk with your guide to a place of tranquillity. The closer you wander the more you surrender to the realisation of the sheer size of this monolith. As you drive around the base, your guide will take you to the entrance of Mutitjulu Waterhole, a semi-permanent watercourse nestled in the contours of Uluru. Here you will learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python) as well as a number of other stories associated with other prominent Tjukurpa (Dreaming) stories. You will see the rock art of the ancients and learn how Uluru was, and still is, a significant location for teaching youngAboriginal people. We then adjourn to the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area where you will observe an uninterrupted view of Uluru with Kata Tjuta in the background before returning to the resort. A comfortable 4 ½ star hotel at Ayers Rock Resort, Desert Gardens Hotel is set amongst magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs. Centrally located to all resort and touring facilities, the hotel offers a range of appealing accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms with Rock views.Relax in the comfort of your private balcony or courtyard, or unwind near the pool over cocktails. It’s only a short stroll to the numerous lookouts, where you can view one of the best sunsets in Australia, with the spectacular play of colours across the face of Uluru. Once the sun sets, you can try some Australian native delicacies at White Gums Restaurant, or try one of the other 13 dining experiences available throughout the Resort.

Overnight: Desert Gardens Hotel

Meal Plan: B

Day 5 – Ayers Rock – Cairns – Palm Cove
Meet your driver/guide and depart the resort for your scheduled/shared tour of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From there is it a 40km journey through the desert landscape to the mighty rock formation. On arrival at the viewing area you walk to the best vantage point to see the 36 domes that comprise this spiritual place while watching the sun’s morning glow as the desert comes alive. We make our way to the western side of Kata Tjuta where you will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy a gourmet picnic breakfast. As you approach the entrance to Walpa Gorge, named for the wind (Walpa) that whistles between the massive domes that shape Kata Tjuta, the result of eons of weathering and continual upheaval, your guide will share the significance of this men’s sacred ceremonial site. We take a stroll between these mighty conglomerate rock walls as your guide explains how the environment and the geology has evolved over millions of years. Your guide will return to your accommodation at Ayers Rock Resort.This afternoon depart on the courtesy airport coach transfer to Ayers Rock Airport.

Fly from Ayers Rock to Cairns

On arrival, meet your driver and transfer by a private vehicle to your accommodation.

The Beaches of Cairns stretch for 26km along a beautiful coastline beginning north of the city. One of them is Palm Cove – just 20 minutes north of Cairns, and considered one of the top 10 beaches in Australia. Palm Cove’s beach offers warm tropical water year round and a silky sandy beach lined with majestic Palm trees with beautiful views of the Coral Sea – the ingredients for an idyllic tropical holiday; warm seas, watersports and uncrowded sand with a sweeping backdrop of rainforest mountains.

Accommodation in Palm Cove is beachfront boutique accommodation. The Reef House provides luxury boutique resort facilities in a secluded small hotel environment. Reef House Boutique Resort and Spa, is situated just 25 minutes north of Cairns and centrally located in Palm Cove, directly opposite the beach. Reef House is the only choice for unique resort experience where service and standards still matter. Where guests can experience thecharm of yesteryear and where couples go for an intimate retreat into tranquility, charmed luxury and service excellence.

Overnight: The Reef House Palm Cove

Meal Plan: B

Day 6 – Great Barrier Reef
Meet your representative in the hotel lobby and transfer to Cairns Marina for your full day scheduled/shared Outer Great Barrier Reef experience.Enjoy a full day cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. You will have exclusive access to a stunning coral reef location selected for its superior water clarity, coral quality and overall diversity of marine life. Depart direct from Cairns on a fast, stable catamaran providing a smoother ride and reduced travel time, leaving more of your day to experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef.

The all-weather Marine World platform caters for all activity levels. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, go scuba diving (no experience necessary) or join a Marine Biologist on a Guided Snorkel safari.

Not a confident swimmer? Then stay dry and view the reef from the semi-submersible reef viewer, glass bottom boat or underwater observatory, try a Helmet Dive for a scuba-style experience without getting your hair wet, or soar above it all on a spectacular Reef Scenic Helicopter Flight (additional cost for Helmet Dive, Scuba Dive & Helicopter flight). With 5 hours at the reef there is time to do it all.

If simply relaxing & soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style then take time out on the spacious sundeck where you will also find the regions only reef-based massage therapist.

Overnight: The Reef House Palm Cove

Meal Plan: B, L

Day 7 – Daintree Rainforest
Meet your driver/guide in the hotel lobby and depart on your full day scheduled/shared tour of the Daintree Rainforest.Departing your accommodation we travel through the rich farming areas toward the World Heritage listed forest region of the Daintree National Park. Step aboard a scheduled cruise on the mirrored smooth waters of the Daintree River. Cruise close to riverbanks and under the overhead canopy of the rainforest seeking out the vivid Ulysses Butterfly, Kingfishers, Pythons and other wildlife. The cruise takes us through silent backwaters where crocodiles can normally be seen basking on the muddy banks.

Arriving on the northern side of the river we enter the Daintree section of the Wet Tropics World Heritageprotected rainforest. Enjoy a home-made morning tea underneath the rainforest canopy.

Next, our journey takes us up the beautiful Alexandra Range passing through local rainforest and on to our first stop, where we take a scenic walk through this amazing eco system. Immerse yourself inside protected forests as we take you on a guided walk to view ancient plants and amazing wildlife.

Today you will learn from your Tour Guide some insight into the local aboriginal culture of the area. The Wet Tropics is one of the richest sites for biodiversity on earth and the Daintree is a place of spectacular beauty, rugged mountains, deep gorges and flowing rivers.

Continuing along our next stop is at one of magical beaches that adorn the coastline of Cape Tribulation; here our guides will highlight the amazing wildlife and ecosystems unique to this part of the world. Many who have travelled remark how they feel like Robinson Crusoe.

Lunch today is a delicious meal which includes rainforest-inspired local produce. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy quality food, whilst bathed in the serenity of the tropical rainforests. You will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with reptiles, frogs and lizards endemic to the area. If the cute and cuddly animals are more to your liking, then you will have the opportunity to feed the kangaroos and swamp wallabies in your own private zoo.

After lunch we get to see unusual, exotic fruit originating from all over the globe’s tropical regions. Along with the fruit trees, the orchard is also a host to beautiful species of tropical flowering plants, both native and introduced. The sole purpose for the fruit grown at here is to make pure, fresh, ice cream and sorbet which is made on the property and sold nowhere else on the globe. For all those ice cream lovers, this is your chance to add to your list of flavours (additional).

Our last stop and final lasting impression will be at the outstanding panoramic picture postcard view at Alexandra Range Lookout. From here you’ll have a spectacular view of the mouth of the Daintree River, Snapper Island and on a clear day Port Douglas.

One final treat for the day is the crossing on the Daintree River Ferry – the iconic vehicle punt which transfers you out of the world heritage rainforest and on to your home-ward road. You will be back at your accommodation early in the evening.

Overnight: The Reef House Palm Cove

Meal Plan: B, L

Day 8 – Palm Cove – Depart Cairns
Meet your driver in the hotel lobby and transfer by private vehicle to Cairns Airport for your onward flight.
Meal Plan: B
To book the Highlights of Australia tour and your international flights please contact Dave Pope on 01926 935747 or email escape@popeandsons.co.uk  

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