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Exploring Australia 2018

18 days with Collette Vacations   Rating: Deluxe

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  • Cyber Monday Sale! Save 15% off this trip. Expires November 28. Click here for eligible departures.
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Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Days 1 - 2 Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight to Melbourne, Australia.

Day 3 Melbourne, Australia - Tour Begins
Arrive today in Melbourne,* a Victorian city with an energetic modern vibe. You’re in for a treat tonight as you dine aboard the famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant,** the first traveling tramcar restaurant in the world! (D)

Day 4 Melbourne
Get to know Melbourne on a tour that features the historic Fitzroy Gardens. Later, you may join an optional tour to Phillip Island, the home of the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins. Protected and studied by rangers, hundreds of them waddle out of the sea and cross the beach to their burrows in the dunes. At the interpretation center, you have a chance to learn about the lives of the Little Penguins and their significance to the area. (B)

Day 5 Melbourne - Adelaide - Barossa Valley
Fly to Adelaide and explore this lovely coastal city before proceeding to the Barossa Valley, Australia’s most famous wine region. Renowned among connoisseurs, the valley’s award-winning winemakers attract visitors from around the world. Tonight, enjoy a scenic dinner overlooking the vineyards. (B,D)

Day 6 Barossa Valley
Set out for the 19th-century Hutton Vale Farm, an 8th generation working farm and winery set on 2,000 acres of picturesque countryside. Caretakers John and Jan Angas will welcome you and share their family’s story that extends back to the founding of Australia. Tour the farm’s historic buildings, see their livestock and one of the many vineyards before partaking in some tea and homemade specialties. Perhaps you’ll give their sweet crisp Riesling a try. Next, travel to the Seppeltsfield winery for a private tour, followed by a tasting of their world-class wines. Quench your palate with varietals ranging from fruit-forward Chardonnays to earthy Pinot Noirs. (B)

Day 7 Barossa Valley - Alice Springs
Welcome to the Outback. Your Alice Springs tour highlights the Old Telegraph Station and Anzac Hill, with amazing panoramas of the area. Meet the young Aboriginal group, Drum Atweme.*** Supported by the Collette Foundation, Drum Atweme is a musical organization comprised of at-risk youth from the local community. Tonight, savor a memorable bush dinner set against the desert backdrop. (B,D)

Day 8 Alice Springs
Come to know the history and culture of the Walpiri Aboriginal people during a "Dreamtime Tour.” A specialist guide shares Aboriginal creation stories and explains everyday life. Later, gain insight into the educational system in the Outback at the School of the Air; you may even see a class in session. Take the rest of the day to explore this quintessential Outback town. (B)

Day 9 Alice Springs - Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Traverse the “Red Centre” as you drive to Uluru (the Aboriginal name for Ayers Rock). This huge monolith and the sandstone domes known as Kata Tjuta were created through the process of upheaval and erosion. Prepare for a truly majestic sunset as you witness the changing colors of Uluru while enjoying a champagne toast. (B)

Day 10 Uluru - Cairns
Set off in the cool of the morning for Kata Tjuta and the base of “The Rock” to learn about its geology and significance to Aboriginal culture. Later, fly to Cairns – the tropical gateway to one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions – the Great Barrier Reef (UNESCO World Heritage site). Established as a marine park in 1975, the reef is a haven for thousands of species of sea life, as well as turtles and birds. (B)

Day 11 Cairns
Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for an unforgettable ride above the rainforest canopy. There are two stops where you may get off and experience the forest floor’s diversity of plants, birds and animals from specially designed boardwalks. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the tropical surroundings. (B,D)

Day 12 Great Barrier Reef
Hop aboard a catamaran and sail to the Low Isles to explore the reef’s fascinating underwater world. The choice is yours! Relax and independently explore the pristine shores of this tiny sand island located on the outer reef. Or, for the more adventurous, go snorkeling, revealing a wealth of vibrant sea life. You also have the opportunity to learn from a marine biologist. Maybe you will opt to join an expert for a beach and heritage trail walk along the island. (B,L)

Day 13 Cairns
This morning, explore the town at your own pace or simply relax. Later, set out for Hartley’s Croc Farm. Get up close and personal with crocodiles in their natural habitat! Boardwalks take you on a path of adventure through rainforests and woodlands, home to birds, reptiles and wallabies. You may meet some of the local koalas and chat with a wildlife naturalist to learn more about these cuddly creatures. Then, take an exciting cruise on the lagoon and watch for crocodiles before enjoying an authentic Aussie barbecue. (B,D)

Day 14 Cairns - Sydney
After a leisurely morning, fly to Sydney, Australia’s largest city, where British settlers first dropped anchor in 1788. This evening it’s Diner’s Choice as you choose from a variety of local restaurants along bustling Darling Harbour. (B,D)

Day 15 Sydney
Join a local resident for a tour of Sydney. Begin on a driving tour of the landmarks of Sydney before disembarking for a walking tour. See Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and fashionable Paddington. Then it’s time for a stroll through the Rocks, Sydney’s oldest district. Next, discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights on a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Then you’re in for a unique experience as you learn firsthand about opals during a special presentation at the National Opal Collection. Later, uncover the wonders of Sydney during free time. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer suggestions. (B)

Day 16 Choice of the Blue Mountains or Sydney by Sea 
The choice is yours! Travel to the stunning Blue Mountains of New South Wales (UNESCO). Come to know its countless geological wonders – sandstone plateaus, rich valleys, river gorges and endless pristine wilderness. See the Three Sisters sandstone rock formations, the region’s most notable attraction. Or, further experience Sydney at your own pace with a Sydney cruise pass. Travel by high-speed boat to a variety of spots on Sydney Harbour. Visit the famous beach resorts of Manly and Watson’s Bay, historic Fort Denison or Taronga Zoo. Hop off to explore places of interest or stay on and relax during a narrated cruise. (B)

Day 17 Sydney
Enjoy a day at leisure. Perhaps you will explore more of Sydney’s fascinating attractions, do some shopping or find yourself relaxing at a local café. This evening, say farewell to Sydney and take in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the scenic vistas of the harbour showcasing Sydney’s magnificent skyline, the iconic Sydney Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge. (B,D)

Day 18 Sydney - Tour Ends
You depart for home with wonderful memories of this inspiring country. (B)
Map
All This Included
Explore the diverse wonder of the land "Down Under." A 3-day adventure in the rugged Outback introduces you to the Aboriginal life and culture of Alice Springs and Uluru, the indigenous name for Ayers Rock. Delve into the colorful world of the Great Barrier Reef. Explore the Barossa Valley, a premier winemaking region. Meet Australia’s famous wildlife up-close with a chance to see crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos, and other fascinating animals from the region. You’ll explore the vibrant cosmopolitan city of Melbourne and dine aboard its colonial tramcar. Relax with 4-night stays in Sydney and in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef! Ride through the rainforest canopy in tropical Queensland and have a guided tour of the world famous Sydney Opera House. Choose to spend the day exploring the famous Blue Mountains or discover the sites of Sydney Harbor by high-speed ferry.
  • 23 meals
  • Centrally-located hotels provide a home away from home
  • Hotel-to-hotel baggage handling
  • A professional tour manager accompanies you throughout your trip
  • Expert local guides provide insightful, personalized tours
  • Unparalleled sightseeing includes all of the "must-sees"
  • Enriching cultural experiences bring the destination to life
  • Private climate-controlled motorcoach enhances your tour
  • Free round trip sedan service that takes you from your home to the airport when you purchase an air-inclusive Collette tour (within 50 miles of nearest airport gateway)
Highlights
  • Come to know the Walpiri Aboriginal people during a “Dreamtime Tour.”
  • Take a guided tour of the fascinating Sydney Opera House.
  • Tour Kata Tjuta and the base of “The Rock” (Ayers Rock).
Accommodations
Melbourne: The Swanston Hotel Grand Mercure (days 3 - 4)
Barossa Valley: Novotel Barossa Valley Resort (days 5 - 6)
Alice Springs: Doubletree by Hilton (days 7 - 8)
Ayers Rock: Desert Gardens, Uluru (day 9)
Cairns: Pacific Hotel (days 10 - 13)
Sydney: Hyatt Regency Darling Harbour (days 14 - 17)
Pre and Post Add-ons
Pre Night Hotel:
  • The Swanston Hotel Grand Mercure
Post Tour Extension:
  • 3 Night Fiji Extension (Land Only)
Post Night Hotel:
  • Hyatt Regency Sydney
Notes
  • This tour includes moderate physical activity. The itinerary blends some longer days with shorter days and more leisure time. Walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, up stairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Collette Vacations terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.