Best of Australia


Calling all nature lovers – it doesn’t get much more Australian than on this 12-day adventure. Start with visits to Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge before dipping into the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains for a day trip through some incredible scenery. Then, venture into the heart of Australia and experience the awe of Uluru, Kings Canyon and many more significant First Nations sites in the Red Centre. Finally, bask in the natural splendour of the Great Barrier Reef and the ancient wonder of Daintree Rainforest – this trip really shows that Australia can do it all.

12 days, from

$6,290

per person

GROUP SIZE

15 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: PZKAC
Style: Comfort
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Australia
Accommodation: Hotel (11 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Boat
Included Meals:

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 5 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 15

  • See all the sites of Sydney – a bustling central city along Australia’s East Coast – like the Opera House, Hyde Park plus a tour around the Harbour with a First Nations guide.

  • Take a day trip to the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains and walk through the gorgeous scenery of Katoomba Falls, Echo Lookout Point and the Three Sisters.

  • Discover the ever-changing colours of Uluru, one of Australia’s most spiritually significant sites, as you marvel at the epic sandstone monolith at both sunrise and sunset.

  • Embark on a guided walk through Kata Tjuta (formerly known as The Olgas) and short a hike across the famous Kings Canyon plateau.

  • Take a full-day sailing and snorkelling tour of the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas, learning about the underwater ecosystem and the fragility of the environment from professional marine biologists.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Greening Australia. Donations help them tackle Australia’s complex environmental challenges, restoring landscapes at scale – in ways that work for communities, economies and nature.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Sydney

Welcome to Sydney, Australia – or Warrane, in the language of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Sydney is now located. Your adventure starts today with a welcome meeting at your hotel at 1 pm. After, you’ll head out with your local leader and fellow travellers for a walkabout tour with an Aboriginal guide in and around The Rocks. Walk through Hicksons Reserve, Campbells Cove, Cumberland Walk and more as your guide teaches you about this area's history, land and water use and spiritual connection with the First Nations peoples. After your journey into the Dreaming, head out on a leader-led orientation walk to Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, the Botanical Gardens, Hyde Park and the Sydney Tower Eye. Join your group for an included welcome dinner along Darling Harbour and then settle into your hotel for the night.

Day 2: Blue Mountains - Sydney

This morning, head out on a day trip to the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains – a land of rugged peaks, soaring waterfalls and dense eucalyptus forest. Stop at Wentworth Falls for grand valley views at Fletchers Lookout, then walk down to the falls to see the cascades from a new perspective. Head to Katoomba and visit Echo Point Lookout, which overlooks the iconic Three Sisters. Walk the Three Sisters track, which takes you up close to the sisters and enjoy the expansive views of the national park below. You might like to stop for lunch at the famous Lookout Restaurant and enjoy the views overlooking Echo Point Escarpment as you eat. Or maybe head into Katoomba town to check out the bohemian shops and find a small café to set up for lunch. This afternoon, you’ll head to Scenic World – a private, family-owned tourism spot boasting sweeping views of the mountains. Hop aboard the steepest railway in the world and ride into Jamison Valley, where you can explore the many boardwalks through the rainforest, looking out for lyrebirds and ancient tree ferns. Ride the cableway, which cruises past the sandstone escarpment and Orphan Rock. See Katoomba Falls and the Three Sisters again, but from above, on the fantastic Scenic Skyway, which soars through the mountains. Tonight, return to your accommodation in Darling Harbour.

Day 3: Sydney

This morning after breakfast, you’ll hop on the public ferry from Sydney Harbour to Manly. Departing regularly from Circular Quay, the ferry cruises past the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House before passing Kirribilli House (the Prime Minister’s official residence), Bradleys Head and South Head before arriving at Manly Wharf. From here, you’ll walk to Manly Beach where you can enjoy the cafes and laidback beach lifestyle or join your leader for a coastal walk to the nearby Shelly Beach. This afternoon, take the ferry back to Circular Quay and take a short walk back to your accommodation. Say goodbye to you Leader and any group members who may be finishing their travels here in Sydney. You will be unaccompanied until the Welcome Meeting in Alice Springs tomorrow at 6pm.

Day 4: Alice Springs

Your included airport transfer will take you from the hotel to Sydney Airport this morning. Fly to Alice Springs (not included), or Mparntwe, in the language of the traditional owners of the land on which Alice Springs is now located, is the quintessential laidback Aussie town and your launching pad to reach some of the top spots on the agenda over the next few days. The next part of your adventure officially kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you’ll meet your new group leader and new travel companions. Until then, feel free to check out some of the town’s sights or tuck into an Outback inspired meal at one of the quirky local cafes.

Day 5: Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park - Kings Canyon

This morning, you’ll hit the road for Simpsons Gap in the Western MacDonnell Ranges National Park (Tjoritja). Keep an eye out for rock wallabies as you take part in a guided walk through the important spiritual site. A First Nations guide will share their insights on the local flora and fauna and will tell the story of the great Tjunba (Perentie) totem that protects the gorge and its present importance to the Eastern and Northern Arrernte People. The walk will also take you along the riverbed that marks the boundary between the Eastern and Northern Arrernte tribes. Next, drive along the Stuart and Lasseter Highway and through the colourful semi-desert to Watarrka National Park, home of the majestic Kings Canyon. Your leader will take you along the Kings Creek Walk, following the trail between soaring cliffs and ethereal rock formations. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more magical place!

Day 6: Kings Canyon - Kata Tjuta National Park - Uluru - Yulara

Spend the morning exploring the rugged landscape of Kings Canyon and enjoy the 3-hour rim walk up and across the famous Kings Canyon plateau, from the sandstone domes of the 'Lost City' to the oasis of the 'Garden of Eden'. You’ll walk across the red rock cliffs that protrude from the land and take in views of the palm forest below. Then hit the road again for a scenic drive across the red landscape to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Keep your eyes out, there’s chance that you might spot brumbys, camels or wallabies on the drive. First up today, you’ll arrive in Kata Tjuta (formerly known as The Olgas) – a towering collection of 36 domed rock formations. Here, you'll embark on a walk to a popular lookout to admire the stunning red formations that make up Kata Tjuta – these ochre-coloured shapes are a mesmerising sight. After, you'll make your way to one of Australia’s most spiritually significant and iconic sites, Uluru. From a prime location, you’ll enjoy the view as the sun sets over the epic sandstone monolith – watching the incredible landscape shift in colour is a sight you won’t soon forget!

Day 7: Uluru - Yulara or Alice Springs

You'll start the day early in one of the best ways imaginable – watching a spectacular sunrise over Uluru. Embark on a short walk across the rust-coloured landscape to a nearby waterhole and marvel at some of the traditional art sites. Your leader will shed light on the history and nature here and explain how the Anangu people are deeply connected to the lands. After, stop by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre to continue learning about First Nations culture. After some time here, head to Yulara and say goodbye to your Leader and any group members who may be finishing their travels here in Yulara (or in Alice Springs). You will be unaccompanied until the Welcome Meeting in Cairns tomorrow at 6pm.

Day 8: Cairns

Your included airport shuttle will take you from the hotel to Yulara Airport this afternoon. Fly to Cairns (not included), Or Gimuy, in the language of the traditional owners of the land on which Cairns is now located. This is the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the gorgeous Daintree Rainforest. The next part of your adventure officially starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight at your hotel, where you’ll meet your trip leader and fellow travellers. If you arrive in Cairns with time to spare, why not check out the Cairns Botanical Gardens – just five minutes from the CBD, you’ll find yourself in a lush tropical wonderland. Or simply wander the waterfront promenade, popping into any local bars that take your fancy. Later, maybe head out with your group for an optional dinner. 

Day 9: Kuranda - Port Douglas

This morning after breakfast, soar over the world’s oldest tropical rainforest via the Skyrail that connects Cairns to the picturesque mountain village of Kuranda. You’ll glide along 7.5 km of cableway and admire the ancient landscape from a truly unique perspective. You’ll have some free time to explore this charming rainforest town and its surroundings – Kuranda is a delightful mix of colourful characters and natural beauty, perched at the top of a rainforest-clad mountain. You might like to check out the famous Kuranda Markets and village shopping or kick back and relax at one of the town’s many restaurants and cafes, where outdoor dining is one of the joys of the cooler mountain climate. Drive along the coast to Port Douglas, taking in the ocean views and the cliffs covered in native flora. Tonight, head out on an orientation walk around Port Douglas, stopping at Trinity Bay Lookout Point to admire the perfect crescent of sand and surf. Then, head to a local restaurant for drinks and dinner with your fellow travellers before returning to your accommodation for the evening. 

Day 10: Daintree NP - Cape Tribulation - Port Douglas

Today, you’ll visit the ancient Daintree Rainforest. When you arrive, head out on a one-hour crocodile and wildlife spotting boat tour along the Daintree River (Julaymba). On the electric Solar Whisper, you’ll hear the sounds of nature around you as you look out for crocs, birdlife, snakes, frogs, crabs and fish. Your experienced guide will be accustomed to the nuances of the river, the rainforest and the mangroves, meaning you’ll be able to find wildlife you wouldn’t be able to find on your own. After you find some feathered friends and long-toothed foes, head north to Cape Tribulation, stopping at Jindalba Boardwalk and a local ice cream factory on the way.  

Day 11: Great Barrier Reef - Port Douglas

This morning, you’ll head out on a fantastic full-day boat tour from Port Douglas. Explore the stunning Coral Cays on the Great Barrier Reef on a sailing boat guided by marine biologists, who will share their passion and knowledge of the reef as you float along the expansive blue waters. Learn about the fragile environment, enjoy presentations on the reef by experts on board and head to an exclusive site for a spot of wildlife-focused snorkelling (equipment provided). There are vast coral gardens to explore at your own pace – as a protected and shallow area, you’ll see corals, giant clams, turtles and fish in their natural habitat. Enjoy a buffet lunch (including prawns) and afternoon tea on board (including local Daintree produce) while you continue to spot wildlife from the glass-bottomed boat. Tonight, enjoy a night to relax in Port Douglas after a spectacular day on the water.

Day 12: Mossman Gorge - Palm Cove or Cairns

This morning, you’ll head to Mossman Gorge for a fascinating Ngadiku Dreamtime walking tour, led by a local Aboriginal guide. Ngadiku (Nar-di-gul) means stories and legends from a long time ago in the local Kuku Yalanji language and you’ll learn about these stories on a guided walk along private, gentle tracks, visiting culturally significant sites, traditional bark shelters and cool rainforest streams. Witness a traditional smoking ceremony to cleanse and ward off bad spirits and then stroll through the lush rainforest, learning about traditional plant use, bush food sources and the connection to this unique tropical environment. After, enjoy a traditional bush tea and damper (a loaf or cake of flour and water that’s baked in wood ashes). Drive south to Palm Cove, stopping along the way to explore the scenic beachside town where you can grab some lunch. You can end your trip here or carry on to Cairns, where your trip will come to an end at approximately 4pm.