From cosmopolitan Sydney, set off on journey through Australia’s most iconic landscapes—visiting a few of the country’s most exciting cities along the way. From 4WD tours, kayaking, and hiking the wild expanses of Daintree National Park, to exploring the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef this outback adventure has it all. Take the historical Ghan train to the rusty-red desert of Uluru and Tjuta Dome, experience life on Kangaroo Island, and cruise along the spectacular Great Ocean Drive.
Best time to visit: March-October
Ideal for: Couples, Active Families
Day 1 –Get Settled in Sydney
Arrive in Sydney and settle in, with the rest of the day to explore the city. Go for a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens, enjoy the shops and restaurants of Circular Quay, or take a stroll along the bustling waterfront of Darling Harbor.
Day 2 – City Tour and Sydney Harbor Cruise
Get acquainted with Sydney’s highlights on a half-day tour of the city. Visit The Rocks and learn about Australia’s convict history, explore Sydney’s most vibrant neighborhoods, and enjoy spectacular views of the city’s waterfront from South Head. Walk the sands of Bondi Beach and spend the afternoon on a luxury luncheon cruise. Enjoy a delicious meal paired with regional wine and beer, and then go for a swim, kayak, or simply soak up the sun.
Day 3 – Sydney Bridge Climb
Gain an unforgettable new perspective of the city on the Sydney Bridge Climb, joining professional guides for an exhilarating ascent to the top of the iconic Harbor Bridge. Cross catwalks, climb ladders, and feel the thrill of scaling the bridge’s exposed arch with panoramic views of the city and harbor spilling out on all sides.
Day 4 – Fly to Cairns & Drive to Daintree National Park
Catch a morning flight to Cairns, and then drive north along the coastal Great Barrier Reef Drive to Port Douglas, where you will stay on the edge of Mount Lewis and Daintree national parks. Along the way, take a slight detour to the rainforest village of Kuranda to see native wildlife like kangaroo, koala, and wombat, and enjoy a number of walks with striking views of Barron Gorge.
Day 5 – Great Barrier Reef
Head to Port Douglas Marina this morning and embark on a Great Barrier Reef Excursion. Australia’s renowned reef system is a wonderland of brilliant colors and dazzling marine life—scuba dive, snorkel, swim, or explore the reef from a semi-submersible that motors along just a few feet below the surface. Watch the swirl of fish feeding outside of the ship’s underwater viewing platform, or get an aerial appreciation of the reef’s magnitude on a helicopter tour.
Day 6 – Explore the Daintree Rainforest
Enjoy a free day around the lodge to explore the majestic Daintree rainforest on a hike, river-snorkeling, canoeing, or kayaking—the river is home to freshwater turtles, jungle perch, and elusive platypus among many other species. You can cycle to Mossman Gorge or go for a guided Dreamwalk with a local Aboriginal guide in Daintree National Park. Back at the lodge, unwind with an outdoor yoga class, or relax at one of the beautiful picnic spots along the Mossman River.
Or join knowledgeable guides who will take you driving along the rugged Bloomfield Track through ancient rainforest, boating on crystalline rivers, and teach you about the incredible ecosystems and wildlife. Get up close to baby crocodiles, pythons, and wallabies at the Lync Haven animal refuge, and explore the beautiful beaches of Cape Tribulation.
Day 7 – Fly to Darwin & Start Exploring
Drive back to Cairns for your flight to Darwin, transfer to your hotel and then get to know the city on the Hop-on, Hop-Off tour bus. Your Darwin Explorer pass gives you access to Crocosaurus Cove, home to some of the world’s largest saltwater crocodiles—also boasting Australia’s only crocodile dive, the Cage of Death. Visit the Waterfront Precinct, Darwin Military Museum, and Cullen Bay Marina.
Day 8 – Darwin & Kakadu National Park
Today you will experience the stunning beauty and ancient heritage of Kakadu National Park on a full-day excursion from Darwin. Cruise along the Yellow Water billabong, the wetlands at the heart of the park, which is home to abundant wildlife like crocodiles and sea eagles. See ancient Aboriginal art at Nourlangie Rock, and learn more about the history of the region at the Warradjan Aboriginal Centre. Return to Darwin in the evening.
Day 9 – The Ghan Train from Darwin to Alice Springs
Head to the train station for a morning departure on the famous Ghan railway, named for the trail-blazing cameleers who paved the way into Australia’s interior—now you can cruise in comfort through the mysterious and sun-scorched lands that were once accessible only to the most intrepid adventurers. Enjoy lunch prepared by onboard chefs, and then stretch your legs on an Off Train Excursion in the magnificent Katherine Gorge. Continue your journey aboard the Ghan, waking up to an outback sunrise, breakfast, and the remote town of Alice Springs.
Day 10 – The Desert of Ayers Rock
Arriving in Alice Springs after a night on board the Ghan, catch the 45-minute flight to Ayers Rock and settle into your resort. Spend a relaxing afternoon exploring the area before heading to dinner under the stars. Travel through red dunes on camelback as the soft light of dusk spreads across the desert, and then take a walk through the renowned Field of Light art installation. Finish the night with a delicious dinner and fine wine beneath a brilliant blanket of stars.
Day 11 – Uluru Adventure
Join your guide for an unforgettable hike around the base of Uluru, starting with the first rays of dawn when this enchanting monolith truly shines. Visit ancient rock art sites, learn about the cultural significance of Uluru to the local Anangu people, and immerse yourself in this breathtaking landscape. In the afternoon, visit the imposing ocher domes of Kata Tjuta, which would certainly be the headline attraction at almost any other park. Arriving at Walpa Gorge, your guide will take you on a walk through millions of years of geologic history at and explain the sacred nature of the formations for the Aboriginal people of the area.
Day 12 – Fly to Kangaroo Island
Today, fly from Ayers Rock Airport to Kingscote and begin your adventure on Kangaroo Island off the coast from Adelaide. The island is an outdoor paradise of parkland and coastal reserves that has held onto its relaxed vibes and rural roots. Settle into your hotel and then join your expert guide to start seeing the best of the island, with a focus on local food, wine, and experiencing the wild.
Day 13 – Island Life & Wildlife on Kangaroo Island
Get acquainted with island life on a full-day, small group tour pairing a range of wildlife viewing opportunities with a delicious lunch made from locally sourced ingredients and fine South Australian wines. Take a walk down a country track through eucalyptus forest, spot wallabies and species of kangaroo endemic to the island in Lathami Conservation Park, and see Australian sea lions up close at Seal Bay Conservation Park. Spend the remainder of the day exploring the beaches and coves of the southeastern part of the island.
Day 14 – Flinders Chase National Park
This morning, you will be picked up from your hotel for a tour through the wild beauty of Flinders Chase National Park. See some of Kangaroo Island’s highlights and then get off the beaten track to explore lesser known areas of this 200,000 acre wilderness. Drive to Cape du Couedic to see the fur seal colony, the dramatic grotto of Admirals Arch, and the Remarkable Rocks. Enjoy a picnic featuring local produce and wines before visiting Kelly Hill Conservation Park to finish the tour.
Day 15 – Explore Adelaide
Transfer to the Kingscote airport for your flight to Adelaide. Settle into your hotel and then get acquainted with Adelaide’s vibrant food scene on a guided tour of the Central Market. Enjoy a relaxed meal in the market and sample vendors’ wares like fresh yoghurt, nuts, coffee beans, succulent meats, and local chocolate—just to name a few.
Day 16 – Great Ocean Road & Port Fairy
Take off on a journey along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, driving south through spectacular scenery from Adelaide to the bluestone town of Port Fairy. With more than 50 buildings classified by the National Trust, restored historical cottages and merchants’ buildings, and rich maritime heritage, Port Fairy’s picturesque seaside setting has lots to offer. Visit the coastal indigenous archaeological site at The Crags on your way into town, and learn about seafaring history on the Port Fairy Maritime and Shipwreck Heritage Walk.
Day 17 – Great Ocean Road & Apollo Bay
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and continue on your Great Ocean Road adventure toward Apollo Bay. Plan on making lots of stops along this 3-hour drive to take in the incredible views from places like the Bay of Martyrs, the cliffs of Port Campbell National Park, and Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. Arrive in Apollo Bay, a fishing village situated in the heart of the Otway Ranges, with the remainder of your day to relax around your hotel or keep exploring the coast. If you wake up early, you’ll be treated to sunrise over the ocean.
Day 18 – Great Ocean Road & Phillip Island
This morning, continue driving along the coast to Queenscliff, where you’ll take the ferry over to Sorrento and then drive to your hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. Settle in and enjoy an early dinner and then head out for your Ultimate Penguin Tour on Phillip Island. Join your small group tour, led by a Nature Park ranger, on a secluded beach to watch the sunset-return of the little penguins.
Day 19 – Mornington Peninsula to Melbourne
Make the 2-hour drive to Melbourne this morning, return your rental car, and start exploring Australia’s second largest city—known for its diverse cuisine, fashion, and cultural sights. Visit one of the city’s contemporary art galleries, discover the vibrant street art scene, or take a stroll through one of the many parks and gardens. The city almost always features a sporting event of some kind, and it’s well-worth buying a ticket to join the local crowd.
Day 20 – Explore Melbourne
Today, get an insiders’ look at the city on a private, half-day Understanding Real Melbourne tour. Dive into the city’s shining history on a journey along the Golden Mile, stroll through iconic laneways and arcades to see some of the best street art, and shop and eat your way through Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market. Take a drive through the beachside suburbs, stroll along the esplanade in St. Kilda, and then sit down for lunch at one of the city’s top restaurants.
Day 21 – Departure
Transfer to the airport and catch your international flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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