Australia Vacation Melbourne, Uluru, Reef & Sydney Highlights
Highlights: Melbourne | Uluru (Ayers Rock) | The Outback | Great Barrier Reef | Sydney
Want to see Australia but don’t think you have the time? This 10-day highlights tour could be exactly what you need.
With a minimum two nights at each of our hand-selected signature hotels, feel relaxed as you explore the quirky, fashion-forward city of Melbourne and the spiritual heart of Uluru.
Ride a camel at sunset and dine beneath the stars, then swap red sand for blue sea as you arrive to the Great Barrier Reef.
Ending in Sydney, take your pick of day tours ranging from a scenic seaplane flight to surf lessons..
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.
Day 1 Arrive Melbourne Welcome to Melbourne! Upon arrival you will be transferred to your fabulous hotel in downtown Melbourne, leaving the rest of the day free to explore the city’s laneways, coffee shops, hidden bars and covert boutiques.
Day 2 Melbourne – Today you have the choice of 1 of 2 half day tours
1. Half Day Lanes & Arcades Including Lunch
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 This tour 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 3 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 4 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 5 Uluru to Cairns This morning take time to enjoy one last inspiring Uluru sunrise out on your private balcony. There’s time for a morning stroll, breakfast & lunch before your adventure continues with a flight to Cairns. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your fabulous hotel, Bailey, in the heart of downtown Cairns.
Day 6 Great Barrier Reef Outer Reef Experience Cruise Today you’ll be collected from your hotel and taken to the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal to board your cruise vessel. This full-day cruise takes you to the Outer Great Barrier Reef platform, where reef activities commence with a semi-submersible coral viewing tour complete with informative commentary. After lunch it’s time for more activities or views on the sundeck, then you’ll depart back to Cairns and transferred back to your hotel.
Day 7 Cairns to Sydney Your adventure continues today as you fly south to Sydney. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in the heart of downtown Sydney, within walking distance to major attractions like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, and Royal Botanical Gardens.
Day 8 Sydney – Today you have the choice of 1 of 5 tours
1. Sydney Seaplanes Secrets 30-minute Scenic Flight
Taking off from Rose Bay, this flight encompasses Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches. See all the famous sandy stretches on route, including Manly, Curl Curl, Avalon and the iconic Palm Beach where Australia’s favorite soap, ‘Home and Away’ is filmed. Return to the harbor via the yachtsman’s paradise of Pittwater and be amazed at the number of boats grouped around the picturesque waterway. Finally, end the trip with a gentle splash back down to Rose Bay. Please note, transfers to Rose Bay are not Included in this tour.
2. Morning Bondi Local Tour Do what the locals do and head to Bondi Beach! Enjoy a surf lifesaving club tour, a surf or bodyboard lesson and a casual beachside lunch with five-star views across Bondi. Along with your friendly local Bondi Surf Instructor, this is the best way to experience Australia’s most beautiful beach. 3. Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb Get your adrenaline pumping with a climb up Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge. This guided journey takes you along the lower arch of the bridge and then up the express ladder which leads to the summit, 440 feet above the shimmering harbor below. Here you’ll witness 360-degree views of Sydney including east to the Sydney Opera House and west to the Blue Mountains and Harbour City surrounds. 4. Cruise Like a Local – BBQ Luncheon Cruise Treat yourself to one of Sydney Harbour’s sensational 4-hour barbecue lunch cruises. Offering a unique and informative cruise experience, your personal host will cruise back in time sharing the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore. Enjoy the company of a small group and immerse yourself in on-board activities like fishing, kayaking and swimming. An Australian barbecue lunch is included alongside beverages, wines and local beers. 5. Sydney Opera House Morning Backstage Tour with breakfast, afternoon City Tour Get an early start this morning for VIP backstage access to the Sydney Opera House. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity reveals the real-life dramas behind the building, as your guide will raise the curtain on what really goes on beyond the spotlight. Walk in the footsteps of legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Pavarotti, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Cate Blanchett, Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Foo Fighters. You might even get to stand on the world-famous Concert Hall stage, take up the conductors’ baton in the orchestra pit or get a sneak peek inside the stars’ dressing rooms. Then enjoy breakfast in the Green Room, the private haven of some of the world’s most famous artists. In the afternoon, the tour takes you to the historic Rocks district to hear stories of Australia’s early convict history. Enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and pay visits to the Queen Victoria Building and Sydney’s trendy Oxford Street district. Travel past the elegant terrace houses of Paddington, then arrive at the Pacific Ocean where you will see the superb coastal cliff walk around Tamarama and Bronte. Travel on to famous Bondi Beach, visit the beachfront promenade and enjoy a coffee or cool drink (own expense). See bronzed Aussie lifesavers and Sydney’s best panoramic view at Dover Heights, then return to the city via Double Bay, Kings Cross and Mrs. Macquarie’s Point for a final magical viewpoint over the harbor. Your tour concludes at either Circular Quay or Darling Harbour.
Day 9 Day at leisure to explore Sydney Today is yours to explore sunny, cosmopolitan Sydney at your leisure. Mingle with the locals on famous Bondi Beach and take the scenic walk from Bondi to Bronte Beach. Soak up gorgeous views of the city at Circular Quay and explore the bustling neighborhood of Barangaroo just a short walk away. If you’d like to dig a little deeper into Sydney and discover hidden gems, we recommend a private or small-group tour of the city. We also have a fabulous lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour where you can truly live like a local for the day!
Day 10 Depart Sydney After a wonderful vacation, it’s time to say goodbye to Sydney, Australia. We have included a private transfer to the airport to begin your journey home.
- 2 nights of accommodation at The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins, Melbourne – Savoy Guest Room
- 2 nights of accommodation at Sails in the Desert Hotel, Uluru – Superior Room
- 2 nights of accommodation at Bailey, a Crystalbrook Collection Hotel, Cairns – Urban King Room
- 3 nights of accommodation at Radisson Blu Hotel, Sydney – Superior Room
- Private return airport transfer in Melbourne
In Melbourne, the freedom to choose 1 of 2 half day small group tours (see itinerary)
- Half Day Lanes & Arcades tour including lunch
- Queen Victoria Markets and Local Flavors tour including lunch
- Shared return 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 return airport transfers to Cairns hotel
- Full day Reef Magic Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruise
(Includes: hotel pick-up, morning & afternoon teas, lunch, snorkeling equipment, wetsuit, semi-submersible, underwater observatory).
- Private return airport transfer in Sydney
In Sydney, the freedom to choose 1 of 5 Tours
- Sydney Seaplanes Secrets 30-minute Scenic Flight
- Morning Bondi Local Tour
- Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
- Cruise Like a Local – BBQ Luncheon Cruise
- Sydney Opera House Morning Backstage Tour with breakfast, afternoon City Tour
- International or domestic airfares (unless specified above)
- Meals other than specified above
- Travel insurance
Australia Vacation Melbourne, Uluru, Reef & Sydney Highlights
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