Australian Urban Rock & Reef
Highlights: Sydney | Melbourne | Yarra Valley | Uluru (Ayers Rock) | Great Barrier Reef
Bringing out the best of Australia, this trip has been designed to take you in a semi-circle from Sydney to Port Douglas.
Take your choice of tours in Sydney, then travel to Melbourne where you’ll explore intricate alleyways, amble bars and inventive restaurants.
A short detour to the Yarra Valley wine region is more than worth the day, then head to Uluru to experience the spiritual heart of Australia on three separate excursions.
Your trip ends in Port Douglas, home to the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef..
Itinerary at a Glance
The below itinerary is only a suggestion, we offer tailor-made personal service and solutions to help you plan your perfect vacation. This itinerary is also available in the reverse direction.
Day 1 Arrive Sydney Welcome to Sydney! Upon arrival you’ll be transferred to your hotel the heart of downtown, set within walking distance to major attractions like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Day 2 - 3 Sydney – Over the next 2 days you have the choice of 1 of 6 Excursions 1. Shared Luxury Harbor Cruise with progressive lunch at Sydney’s top waterfront restaurants Late this morning board the Ocean Blue, a 46-foot Riviera luxury motor vessel for a cruise on Sydney Harbour. Enjoy complimentary Australian wines as you cruise along the iconic foreshore, taking in sights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and the bays and coves of the water itself. Start with a light menu at the famous Doyles on the Beach Restaurant in Watsons Bay, then cruise onto Middle Head and into Middle Harbour. Discover the beauty of the harbor and stop at Balmoral for lunch – this world-famous restaurant is in a relaxed luxury space, featuring fresh local ingredients of the seasons while incorporating global culinary influences. Departing Balmoral and cruising past the Spit Bridge, you’ll have your chance to indulge in dessert, cheese and wines before returning to the main harbor where you can stop for a swim if you choose. 2. Shared Seaplane to Cottage Point for lunch Enjoy a must-do Sydney experience as you fly by seaplane to Cottage Point. Traveling from Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour, you’ll enjoy a series of gorgeous views before arriving in style to the charming Cottage Point Inn. Stepping from the seaplane onto the restaurant’s private dock, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the friendly staff before settling in for lunch. Enjoy superb, modern Australian cuisine on the deck while the water laps gently by, or sit among the cozy, converted boatshed interiors. Your flight back to Rose Bay is equally spectacular and includes a double orbit in front of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge to top off a truly special day. 3. Morning Private Sydney Tour, with afternoon Private Sydney Opera House Tour On this private comprehensive tour, we will take you to Sydney’s iconic sights and gorgeous beaches. Highlights include: Darling Harbour, the Rocks with its historic buildings, Mrs. Mac’s chair for photos of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Wooloomooloo Bay, Watsons Bay, The Gap and Bondi Beach. Return to the city via Tamarama and Bronte beaches, Centennial Park, Paddington, Darlinghurst and China Town, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo, the newest urban and entertainment area. Wrapping up the first part of the tour, you’ll drive past the restored finger wharves of Walsh Bay and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then transferred back to your Sydney accommodation. Later this afternoon, take the short walk to the Sydney Opera House to meet your guide for an emotional journey inside the modern masterpiece. Discover why Jorn Utzon was an architect of change, and how against a landslide of political and public criticism he created the youngest building ever to be World Heritage listed. You will have a chance to go inside one of the working venues and experience the magic behind the world’s most extraordinary opera, ballet and symphony performances. 4. Let’s Go Surfing Bondi Beach Full Day Best Of Bondi Private Tour This exclusive tour gives you the opportunity to design your ideal beach day out, enjoying the funky beach vibe bars and urban-style shops that add to Bondi Beach’s appeal. Enjoy a tour of the area and learn a little about the history, then hit the waves for private surf lessons with your very own private guide. This person will double as your local insight for the day, so will be able to work with you from the start of the day to ensure every need is met. 5. Morning Taste of Sydney Walking Tour Meet your guide at your hotel for a fascinating walking & tasting tour of Sydney. Stopping at one of the country’s oldest pubs in the historic Rocks area, you’ll drink locally-produced craft beers accompanied by some of the best ‘pub grub’ in Sydney. Wander past the Sydney Opera House and through the Botanic Gardens – an oasis of unique Australian flora right in the heart of the city – then venture to Manta Restaurant on the iconic Woolloomooloo Wharf to indulge in champagne, oysters and a Sydney favorite, salt-and-pepper squid. After dining you’ll take a walk up to the ultra-trendy Potts Point for your final stop at Bistro Rex. Here you will enjoy a delicate menu with a French twist and have the chance to meet the Head Chefs and Co-owners to discover their inspiration behind the menu. Your host will walk you back to your hotel after the meal. 6. Half Day Private Walking Arts St & Shops of Surry Hills & Darlinghurst Surry Hills and Darlinghurst are an essential destination for those who want to know the real Sydney. This tour will usher you into one of Australia’s oldest convict jails, seeking out vintage finds and hidden art galleries that culture hunters will adore. Explore the Sydney precinct with the densest population of cafes, restaurants and creative minds, then enjoy a transfer back to your Sydney accommodation.
Day 4 Sydney to Melbourne Your adventure continues today as you fly to Melbourne. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel, leaving the rest of the day free to explore the city’s laneways, coffee shops, hidden bars and covert boutiques.
Day 5 Melbourne – Today you have the choice of one of two half day tours
1. Half Day Lanes & Arcades Including Lunch
Take a walk through Melbourne’s beautiful back streets and laneways this morning to get acquainted with the local lifestyle. Discover independent designers and specialty retailers, some quirky cafes and thought-provoking street art. There’s truly something for everyone in this city, and you can see over 30 stores in this one casual stroll. Stop for an hour to enjoy lunch with a glass of wine, then pop into all the stores that caught your eye earlier.
2. Queen Victoria Markets and Local Flavors Tour including lunch Your tour today begins with a trip to the iconic Queen Victoria Market, ideal for strolling through food stalls and people watching the locals. Next you’ll continue to Lygon Street, a neighborhood known as the city’s Little Italy and a local favorite for Melburnians. Here you’ll discover the food, history, people and culture of the area through a food tour of Melbourne’s biggest market, complete with stories, samples, tastings and time to explore. Savor a delicious and wholesome lunch with a drink, then discover hidden historical buildings, skeleton boutiques and the very best of local businesses.
Day 6 Yarra Valley Food & Wine Journey Today’s tour travels to the Yarra Valley, where stops at five different wineries shed light on the winemakers, compelling family histories and resilience through seasonal challenges across many generations. It’s the persistence and passion of these people that saw them through the hard parts, building on humble beginnings to become the magnificent wineries they are today. Enjoy cheese and wine pairings at De Bortoli Estate and indulge in a two-course lunch with wine before returning to Melbourne. The day ends with a transfer to your accommodation.
Day 7 Melbourne to Uluru (Ayres Rock) with dinner under the stars Today you’ll say goodbye to Melbourne and hello to the Outback! Ayers Rock (or Uluru) sits prominently in the Red Centre and is renowned as the spiritual heart of Australia. Rich in Aboriginal culture, you’ll find that it truly encompasses the beauty of its surroundings, including your accommodation, Sails in the Desert Hotel. After your transfer, the day is at leisure until evening when your journey begins. Starting on a lone sand dune, a path takes you to an uninterrupted 360-degree view of this vast landscape. In front of you is the fabled Uluru, and behind are the domes of Kata Tjuta enhanced by the glow of the sunset. Here you enjoy sparkling wine and a selection of delectable canapés before feasting on a BBQ buffet of authentic Australian delicacies including barramundi, kangaroo, emu and crocodile, bush salads and classic desserts, complemented by Australian wines. Attention then turns to some of the world's best stargazing, as the local guide takes you on a tour of the spectacular southern night sky.
Day 8 Uluru Sunrise Tour & Sunset Camel Ride One of the most impressive features of Uluru is the way it shifts colors in the changing light—flaring to life as the sun rises and bathing it in bright red and deep purple tones as it sets. Today you will witness the magnificent spectacle at both times of day, first with a guided trek around the base of Uluru where you’ll embrace the culture, geology, and environment that make up the essence of this amazing natural attraction. Find yourself in awe as you watch Uluru change colors in the sunrise, visit waterholes, view ancient rock art sites, and learn the legends of the native Anangu people. This evening, ride camels through the desert and witness Uluru transform at sunset.
Day 9 Uluru to Port Douglas Your adventure continues today as you fly to Cairns and transfer to your fabulous hotel in Port Douglas for 3 nights. This is a truly special place where the ancient Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, and you’ll have 3 days to discover it all through nature walks, guided bird walks, star gazing, snorkeling, kayaking and much more.
Day 10 Kuranda Rail Rainforestation Skyrail w/Lunch Today a transfer from your hotel takes you to Freshwater Station for your rail journey on a historic route through the cane fields of Cairns to the tropical rainforest of Kuranda. Upon arrival, spend some free time exploring the village before going to Rainforestation’s 40 hectares of gardens for activities. Board the unusual amphibious Army Duck for a different look at the rainforest and let your experienced guide show you unique tropical fruits, ancient plants and native animals that you may not otherwise notice. A barbecue lunch is enjoyed before visiting the Koala and Wildlife Park, where you can cuddle a koala (own expense), smile at a crocodile and hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies. Your tour concludes with an exhilarating ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway – a great way to see the rainforest canopy, CSIRO Interpretive Centre and Smithfield Skyrail terminal – and scheduled return to Cairns.
Day 11 Great Barrier Reef Outer Reef Experience Cruise & Fly Today you’ll be collected from your hotel and transferred to Port Douglas Marina to board the vessel for your cruise. At the outer edge of the continental shelf you’ll arrive to Agincourt Reef, home to the multi-level floating platform where Quicksilver has facilities for both swimmers and non-swimmers to enjoy. Whether from a semi-submersible or through the underwater observatory, you’ll feel completely mesmerized by this lively and complex ecosystem. Your return to Port Douglas is via a 35-minute scenic helicopter flight, passing over pure white sand cays and viewing the amazing kaleidoscope of colors that make up the Great Barrier Reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest.
Day 12 Depart Port Douglas After a wonderful vacation, it’s time to say goodbye to Australia. We have included a private transfer to the airport to begin your journey home.
- 3 nights of accommodation at Radisson Blu Hotel, Sydney – Superior Room
- 3 nights of accommodation at Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto, Melbourne – Deluxe Room
- 2 nights of accommodation at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Uluru – Superior Room
- 3 nights of accommodation at Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort – Studio Spa Guest Room
- Sydney private airport transfer
In Sydney, the freedom to choose 1 of 6 excursions:
- Shared Luxury Harbor Cruise with progressive lunch at Sydney’s top waterfront restaurants
(Includes: Progressive three-course lunch and beverages)
- Shared Seaplane to Cottage Point for lunch
(Includes: Return water taxi transfer Circular Quay to Rose bay, return seaplane flight to Cottage Point Inn and three-course a la carte lunch)
- Morning Private Sydney Tour, with afternoon Private Sydney Opera House Tour
(Includes: Morning tea)
- Lets Go Surfing Bondi Beach Full Day Best of Bondi Private Tour
(Includes: Lunch, surf lesson)
- Morning Taste of Sydney Tour
(Includes: Morning tea, local beer tasting and pub grub, glass of champagne/wine and half a dozen oysters, lunch with glass of wine.)
- Half Day Private Arts St & Shop of Surry Hills & Darlinghurst
(Includes: Coffee or gelato, lunch & Culture Scout bag)
- Shared Luxury Harbor Cruise with progressive lunch at Sydney’s top waterfront restaurants
- Private airport transfer in Sydney to the airport
- Private airport transfer in Melbourne to your hotel
- In Melbourne, the freedom to choose 1 of 2 half day small group tours
-Half Day Lanes & Arcades tour including lunch
-Queen Victoria Markets and Local Flavors tour including lunch
- Small Group Yarra Valley Food & Wine Journey
(Includes: 2 course lunch, 5 cellar door experiences, cheese and wine pairing at De Bortoli Estate, meet the winemaker experience at Dixon’s Creek Estate).
- Private transfer from your Melbourne hotel to the airport
- Private airport transfer in Uluru to Sails in the Desert Hotel
- Sounds of Silence outback dining experience
- Uluru sunrise tour
- Sunset camel ride at Uluru
- Private airport transfer in Uluru to the airport
- Private airport transfer in Cairns to your Port Douglas hotel
- Kuranda Rail Rainforestation Skyrail experience
(Includes: Aussie BBQ Lunch, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Kuranda Scenic Train (Gold Class)
- Great Barrier Reef Outer Reef Platform Cruise and helicopter experience
(Includes: hotel pick-up, morning tea and buffet lunch onboard, snorkeling equipment, semi-submersible, underwater observatory, scenic helicopter flight).
- Private transfer from Port Douglas to Cairns Airport
- International or domestic airfares (unless specified above)
- Meals other than specified above
- Travel insurance