18 Day Australia's Hidden Character

$8929*
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To book this package, please contact one of our reservation agents at 888-937-8474.

*Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
This package is based on pre-confirmed flights via Qantas and may only be purchased with these flights.

Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This is a moderately active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day over various surfaces. The pacing is moderate as numerous sites are included. Expect many early mornings. Some of our tours require walking for up to 2 hours, including going up hills, stairs, or over uneven surfaces.

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Itinerary

DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for Australia
Depart for Australia

DAY 2, Wednesday - En Route
Cross the International date line en route to Australia and skip a day ahead

DAY 3, Thursday - Arrive in Melbourne, Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Australia! Arrive in Melbourne, Victoria’s coastal capital, a city of stately 19th-century buildings and tree-lined boulevards; transfer to your hotel. Time to rest, relax and acclimate to your new time zone. After a briefing by your Tour Manger on the extraordinary journey that awaits you in Australia, enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers accented by spectacular panoramic views of the city
Overnight: Melbourne
Meals: Dinner

DAY 4, Friday - Melbourne Walking Tour
Get acquainted with Melbourne on a tour of the city that begins along the banks of the Yarra River and across the footbridge to Federation Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Continuing along fashionable Collins Street, view the Town Hall, Old Treasury Building and the grand Parliament House. On your walk, you’ll discover hidden lanes, arcades and find the discreet doorway that leads to international designer boutiques at the Royal Arcade. The rest of the day is yours to stroll through Australia’s capital on your own. Perhaps, stroll along the backstreets to see examples of Melbourne’s colorful street art, visit galleries along Flinders Lane, or delve into the trendy restaurant scene
Overnight: Melbourne
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Saturday - Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Seal Bay, Wine Tasting
A flight this morning takes you to Adelaide, jumping-off point to Kangaroo Island bursting with astonishing natural beauty and diverse wildlife - a veritable zoo of seals, birds, dolphins, echidnas and kangaroos. The first stop is at a Ligurian honey bee farm to learn about the purest honey strain in the world. After a tasting of honey ice cream, a visit to an artists’ workshop crafting unique creations utilizing only natural materials. On to an important research center for rare insects being bred to protect the environment before arriving at coastal Seal Bay, home to Australia’s third largest colony of sea lions. You’re welcomed by frolicking sea lions on the beach and pups having fun playing in the surf. Then, a drive through the stunning landscape to a boutique wine estate. Your immersive wine experience includes a barrel room tasting of superb estate grown wines followed by a delectable Aussie lunch featuring home-grown produce. End the day with a visit to a sheep dairy showcasing some of the finest products on the island before traveling through the Cygnet Valley with glimpses of the calm North Coast en route to your hotel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel
Overnight: Kangaroo Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Sunday - Kangaroo Island, Flinders Chase National Park, Grassdale Kangaroos
Today, discover unspoiled Flinders Chase National Park, home to a variety of plants and animals that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Visit Rocky River, a winter breeding area for the rare Cape Barren goose and home to kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, platypus and many birds species. At Cape du Couedic, home to over 20,000 fur seals, view animals resting on the rocks under Admirals Arch, a spectacular grotto. After views of a stone lighthouse where three light keepers and their families lived, travel further up the coast to Remarkable Rocks where huge granite boulders have been carved by relentless wind, rain and salt. Pause for a picnic lunch in the bush before continuing to Grassdale in the heart of Kelly Hill Conservation Park, home to a huge array of kangaroos that can be seen lazing around, hopping and feeding in the lush green pastures. These shy but friendly kangaroos are indeed a sight to behold! After a delightful day surrounded by nature, leisure time at the hotel before dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight: Kangaroo Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Monday - Tour of Adelaide
Return to Adelaide, capital of South Australia, on a morning flight. Upon arrival, a tour of this cosmopolitan city nestled between the ocean and the mountains reveals its vibrant culture and rich past. The historic buildings, flower gardens, wide boulevards and green parklands circling the city center make Adelaide truly a distinctive city. Pass by iconic Victoria Square, Chinatown with its great restaurants, the Grand Boulevard of King William street and emerging Rundle street, once site of the Central Market. Time to head towards the four different Terraces of the city - north, south, east and west - ranging from botanic gardens to bushland. See the elegant Parliament House constructed over 65 years from 1874-1939, the State Library and Trinity Church, Adelaide’s oldest church. Time at leisure this afternoon, for independent explorations in this captivating city
Overnight: Adelaide
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8, Tuesday - At leisure in Adelaide, Home Hosted Dinner
A full day to explore Adelaide at your own pace. Perhaps visit its renowned museums such as the Art Gallery of South Australia, displaying expansive collections including noted Indigenous art, and the South Australian Museum, devoted to natural history. In this trendy city celebrated for its wine and food culture, a burgeoning restaurant scene is emerging along with amazing eco adventures. Be sure to stroll through Adelaide’s laneways where warehouses and shops are being transformed into trendy cafes and art galleries. Tonight, a home hosted dinner with a local family. Hear more about life in Adelaide and in Australia over a great home-cooked meal of local specialties
Overnight: Adelaide
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9, Wednesday - Flight to Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta
An exciting day begins with a flight to Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, in the center of the red desert. Leisure time before a late afternoon drive to Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas. On your drive, admire the spectacular beauty of this landscape accented by dramatic clusters of rounded massive ochre domes. A glass of wine sets the mood as you witness the dazzling sunset over Uluru. This truly is a magical moment that will stay with you forever. To make this day even more special, you’ll be treated to an authentic Aussie-style barbecue of superb food, coupled with sparkling wine. Dining under the stars in this surreal setting under a blanket of stars is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Overnight: Ayers Rock
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Thursday - Uluru Sunrise, Aboriginal Culture
Arise early to view the first sunlight of the day as it gently creeps across the vast desert plains. Afterwards, a drive along the base of powerful Uluru with views of the many caves. At the Mutitjulu waterhole, a natural wonder, see the life-saving waterhole that has rescued animals and humans for years. Home to almost 300 Aboriginal people, here you listen to tales of Aboriginal life and view the unusual rock formations and art. The rest of the day is at leisure. This evening, enjoy an unforgettable dining experience. Sip chilled sparkling wine and enjoy canapés served on a viewing platform with unequaled vistas of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. You’ll be led into dinner by the reverberating sound of a didgeridoo. During dinner, a traditional Aboriginal dance performance and storytelling. Afterwards, turn your attention to one of the world's best stargazing, as the resident star talker decodes the southern night sky
Overnight: Ayers Rock
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Friday - Kakadu National Park
Departing Uluru, travel to Darwin and onwards to the timeless UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kakadu National Park, an enormous, biodiverse nature preserve in Australia’s Northern Territory. With terrain encompassing wetlands, rivers and sandstone cliffs, it’s home to some 2,000 plant species and wildlife ranging from saltwater crocodiles and Flatback turtles to an amazing array of bird species. This unique archaeological and ethnological reserve has been inhabited continuously for more than 40,000 years. The cave paintings, rock carvings and archaeological sites record the skills and way of life of the region’s inhabitants from prehistoric times to the Aboriginal people still living there. At the Bowali Visitors Centre, interactive displays show different views of the park's significance and history. After a drive deeper into the depths of the park, arrive at your hotel. Dinner together caps an astonishing day
Overnight: Kakadu National Park
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Saturday - Kakadu National Park, Yellow Water Billabong Cruise
Relax this morning on a Yellow Water Billabong cruise that floats through extensive river channels, black water swamps and floodplains in the very heart of Kakadu National Park. This remarkable journey through the region's wetlands offers expansive views of the rich wildlife, dramatic scenery and the ever-changing landscape. It’s a unique opportunity to see the Saltwater crocodile in its natural habitat, spot buffalos on the floodplains and see a myriad of over 60 species of birds. While cruising, enjoy a buffet lunch of local favorites. Afterwards, a drive to view the remarkable collection of ancient Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie. Step back thousands of years in time as you stand before depictions of daily life on these well-preserved rock paintings. Return to the hotel for an evening on your own
Overnight: Kakadu National Park
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13, Sunday - Jumping Crocodile Cruise, Darwin, Port Douglas
En route to Darwin, embark on a Jumping Crocodile cruise on the ruggedly beautiful Adelaide River, home to over 1,600 crocodiles. Watch as your guide encourages the crocodiles to leap out of the water! A great opportunity to view these prehistoric Australian saltwater crocodiles up-close! After, continue to Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, a unique tropical Australian city magnificently set on the Arafura Sea. Drive along the main streets viewing landmarks such as the Chinese Temple, East Point Military Museum and the Botanic Gardens. At Darwin airport board a flight to Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. A relaxing drive then takes you to Port Douglas on the Coral Sea in Australia’s tropical North Queensland. This picturesque and lively town is known for its spectacular Four Mile Beach and beach resorts
Overnight: Port Douglas
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14, Monday - The Great Barrier Reef
At the marina in Port Douglas board a state-of-the-art luxury catamaran for a full day cruise to the coral cay Islands of the Low Isles located in the world-famous Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1,500 varieties of fish and 400 species of coral - an ocean wonderland! Low Isles is a protected coral cay with white sandy beaches and coconut palms, surrounded by magnificent coral gardens. The catamaran moors in the sheltered blue lagoon with a wide range of activities that include swimming and snorkeling in the spectacular reef, guided snorkel tours with a marine naturalist, a walk on the island and fabulous tours in a glass-bottom boat. A delicious seafood buffet lunch is served on board before an exhilarating sail back to Port Douglas
Overnight: Port Douglas
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 15, Tuesday - Full Day in Port Douglas
Today, a full day at leisure in Port Douglas. Enjoy the beach, just linger at the pool, or go on a shopping spree in this tropical town. Alternatively, join the optional tour to Mossman Gorge. Walk through stunning rainforest, view traditional huts, watch demos of plant use and listen to enchanting narratives about the rainforest. An exclusive visit is included to Botanical Ark, a private ethnobotanical garden in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. Here, meet the owners in their home with a home hosted lunch and learn how they survive in the tropical environment, generate electricity and grow organic plants. Back to Port Douglas for an evening at leisure
Optional: Mossman Gorge & Botanical Ark with Home Hosted Lunch*
Overnight: Port Douglas
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16, Wednesday - Magnificent Sydney
Today, a flight from Cairns to sparkling Sydney; arrive at your hotel in this magnificent city of endless surprises. The rest of the day is free to get acquainted with this exciting city on your own. Tonight, don’t miss a stroll along the harbor to view the breathtaking panorama of the Opera House and the night lit Harbor Bridge
Overnight: Sydney
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 17, Thursday - Tour Sydney, Bondi Beach, Sydney Opera House, Farewell Dinner
Your day in Sydney begins in the historic Rocks area (the Old Town) where the city was founded by Captain Arthur Phillip and his notorious convicts. Admire the fabulous views of the Sydney Opera House with its iconic sails and the towering Harbor Bridge. View the shopping heart of the city including the Queen Victoria building and Centrepoint Tower before continuing past Oxford Street and elegant Paddington with its terrace houses. Then, it’s on to beautiful Bondi Beach for a visit to Australia’s oldest lifesaving club. Have your photo taken with a lifesaver right on the gold sand of Bondi beach. Continue to the jewel of Sydney - the world-famous Opera House! Discover the magic of this astonishing World Heritage listed architectural masterpiece on a special insiders tour. In this superb setting overlooking sparkling Sydney Harbor, linger to delight in the view and a sumptuous three-tier sample tasting plate from the al fresco Opera Kitchen. This evening, bid a fond farewell to Australia, your Tour Manager and newfound friends at a festive Farewell Dinner
Overnight: Sydney
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 18, Friday - Depart Australia
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

*Dec 12 2017 departure will have optional Mossman Gorge & Botanical Ark with Home Hosted Lunch on day 14 and visit the Great Barrier Reef on day 15.

Virgin Vacations itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.

Featured Hotels

The Vibe Savoy Hotel Image
Aurora Ozone Hotel Image
Stamford Plaza Hotel Image
Desert Gardens Hotel Image
Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel Image
QT Port Douglas Resort Image
Sir Stamford at Circular Quay Hotel Image

Optional Tours

Journey into the lush rainforest of Mossman Gorge. Walk through stunning rainforest, view traditional huts, watch demos of plant use and listen to enchanting narratives by your Indigenous guide about this unique tropical environment. An exclusive visit is included to Botanical Ark, a private ethnobotanical garden in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. Here, meet the owners in their home and enjoy a home hosted lunch together. Learn how they survive in the tropical environment, generate their own green electricity and grow organic plants. Back to Port Douglas for an evening at leisure.

Pick up and drop off is provided. Details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 7 hours.

Day #15 01 Apr 2017 - 31 Mar 2018 $329.00
01 Apr 2018 - 30 Jun 2018 $349.00
Mossman Gorge, Botanical Ark & Home Hosted lunch Thumbnail