Optional extensions available:
- Cairns to Brisbane on the Sunlander, including a day at the Great Barrier Reef.
- Perth to Sydney on the Indian Pacific - travel from one ocean to the other on the longest stretch of straight track in the world.
Day 1: Arrive Melbourne. Upon arrival at Melbourne airport, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, board the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant for a unique dining experience. This beautifully restored 1927 tram cruises the scenic streets of Melbourne as dinner is served with fine Australian wines. Meals included: (D).
Day 2: Melbourne. Today we enjoy a city tour of Melbourne—through the central business district with its eclectic architecture, past the Victorian Arts Center and its imposing pyramid-style Shrine of Remembrance. Continue through fashionable Toorak Village to the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens and inspect Cook’s Cottage. Meals included: (B).
Day 3: Melbourne – Puffing Billy, Yarra Valley. Travel by coach east into the Dandenong Ranges. At Belgrave Station, you will be taken on a private tour of the workshops prior to boarding the Puffing Billy train to Gembrook. Puffing Billy is Australia’s oldest steam railway and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. Continue by motor coach to Healesville Sanctuary—an ideal place to encounter Australia’s unique animals including kangaroos, koalas, wombats and platypus. Return to Melbourne late this afternoon. Meals included: (B), (L).
Day 4: Melbourne to Sydney. Morning flight to Sydney, positioned on one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Sydney is bordered by spectacular beaches to the east and the Blue Mountains to the west. Enjoy a Sydney and Southern Beaches tour, including Bondi Beach, Watson’s Bay, Botanical Gardens, Art Gallery and spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House. Cruise around Sydney Harbor on a sailing catamaran, with a seafood buffet lunch on board. Meals included: (B), (L).
Day 5: Sydney. Today is at your leisure. The railway station, the Sydney Harbor Bridge museum, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Opera House, the many regional trains and ferries, there’s plenty to explore on your own today. Meals included: (B).
Day 6: Sydney’s Blue Mountains / Zig Zag Railway. Today you will enjoy a full-day tour to the Blue Mountains. Highlights include: Echo Point, the Three Sisters rock formation and spectacular views overlooking Australia’s Grand Canyon. Take a ride on the world’s steepest incline railway through beautiful rainforest. Afternoon excursion on the Zig Zag Railway, with special photo stops and a guided tour of the locomotive depot and maintenance facilities. Meals included: (B), (L).
Day 7: Sydney to Adelaide on the Indian Pacific. The morning is at your leisure. In the afternoon, we transfer to the rail station to meet our Indian Pacific train to Adelaide. Aboard the mighty Indian Pacific you’ll rediscover one of life’s great luxuries: time. Time to simply sit and marvel as unique landscapes unfold continuously through your panoramic window. Dinner and overnight on board in upgraded Gold Kangaroo service. Meals included: (B), (D).
Day 8: Arrive Adelaide. Afternoon arrival in Adelaide, famous for its elegant parks and gardens and majestic churches. The surrounding hills and vineyards make up one of the country’s best-known wine-producing regions. Just off the coast is beautiful Kangaroo Island—a reserve for seals, sea lions, kangaroos and birds. Free evening and overnight in Adelaide. Meals included: (B), (L).
Day 9: Adelaide to Alice Springs on The Ghan. This morning we’ll take a city tour of Adelaide. Guided visit of the Rail Museum at historic Port Adelaide, where much of Australia’s early steam locomotives and rolling stock are on display, including early Ghan Express coaches and more! This was a highlight of our last tour to Australia. Late this afternoon we board The Ghan bound for Alice Springs. Dinner on board and overnight in Gold Kangaroo sleeper. Meals included: (B), (D).
Day 10: Alice Springs to Ayers Rock. The Ghan arrives Alice Springs around noon. After lunch in Alice, we transfer by coach through the outback desert to Uluru, or Ayers Rock. This afternoon, you’re on your own to enjoy the pool or close by shops. Buffet dinner at the hotel tonight. Meals included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Ayers Rock. We take breakfast with us to experience dawn at Ayers Rock. Visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and explore The Olgas, a massive series of dome-shaped rocks. Time to explore Olga Gorge and its unusual rock formations before taking in an unforgettable sunset and dinner in the desert. Meals included: (B), (D).
Day 12: Alice Springs/The Ghan to Darwin. Morning flight to Alice Springs. Today we visit the Old Telegraph Station, Old Ghan Museum, School of the Air and Royal Flying Doctor Service. This afternoon, board The Ghan bound for Darwin. The desert scenery passes by our windows as we head north along this line, which opened in 2004. Overnight and dinner on The Ghan in Gold Kangaroo Class. Meals included: (B), (D).
Day 13: Katherine/Arrive Darwin on The Ghan. Morning stop in the country town of Katherine, where we’ll have a two-hour boat cruise through two spectacular gorges, showcasing the beauty of this area. Transfer back to The Ghan and continue to Darwin. Transfer to our Darwin hotel, with a brief city sights tour en route. Meals included: (B).
Day 14: Kakadu National Park. We depart by private coach this morning on our two-day excursion to Kakadu National Park. En route we visit Fogg Dam, and then cross the Mary, Wildman and Alligator Rivers before arriving at Ubbir Rock, where the rock art is often called the world’s oldest art gallery. Meals included: (B), (D).
Day 15: Kakadu National Park. Visit Nourlangie Rock this morning to view Aboriginal rock art, and see the informative displays at the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Enjoy lunch at Cooinda Lodge, followed by a cruise in waters where saltwater crocodiles and colorful bird life abound. Return to Darwin this evening. Meals included: (B), (L).
Day 16: Darwin. Today is at your leisure in Darwin. Tonight, we enjoy our last celebratory dinner. Meals included: (B), (D).
Day 17: Tour ends. Tour ends after breakfast. Transfer to the airport or add on the Cairns to Brisbane extension. Meals included: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Australia and Oceania Australia Nature & Wildlife Ecotourism Cultural Journey