Australia at its best - from the golden beaches of Bondi and shared stories of Aboriginal Dreamtime, to an astounding underwater wonderland and fiery Uluru sunset lighting up the Outback sky.
On arrival in the stylish Victorian capital of Melbourne, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). Later, you'll join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and Regional Dinner at a restaurant by the waterfront.
'Dive into Culture' and wander through the labyrinthine laneways, arcades and grand boulevards that reveal some of the world's most edgy street art and well-preserved Victorian architecture. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, strolling along the banks of the Yarra, or consider an Optional Experience to Phillip Island to see the famous Penguin Parade on Summerland Beach.
A full free day awaits to sample the cosmopolitan flavours of Melbourne - its coffee culture and farm-to-table food experiences at the bustling Queen Victoria Market. Or, consider an Optional Experience following one of the world's most scenic coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road with its famous Twelve Apostles.
Journey to the heart of the Outback and the gateway to Australia's Red Centre. On arrival in Alice Springs, join a 'Local Specialist' for a visit to the School of the Air and learn how it delivers education to children living in remote areas. Your next stop is the Royal Flying Doctor Service, where you'll join a 'Local Specialist' and delve into the emergency support that this facility provides to the people of the Outback. Later, 'Connect With Locals' at Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre, where you'll meet the celebrated Outback Paramedic Falzon brothers for dinner and hear about the sustainable lifestyle they've established.
Location: Alice Springs
Cross rugged landscapes to Ayers Rock Resort, located just a stone's throw from the sacred, ancient monolith that is known as Uluru by its traditional caretakers - the Anangu people. Journey to Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park in time for sundowners and a chance to witness first-hand how its rusty red walls change colour as the sun dips below the horizon. We spend the night in one of Trafalgar's 'Stays with Stories', which blends seamlessly into its splendid natural surrounds. Tonight, consider an optional authentic Aussie BBQ Dinner under the glittering southern-night sky.
Location: Red Centre, Uluru
Watch as the desert awakens - the rising sun lighting up Uluru in a spectacular golden hue. 'Dive Into Culture' next and gain insights into the culture, history, art and traditions of the Aboriginal caretakers of the land on a tour of the base of Uluru. This afternoon travel to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Your Travel Director will take you on a walk deep into Walpa Gorge, where you'll hear about the area's distinct geological and cultural history. Toast to a mesmerising Outback sunset over the rusty red domes of Kata Tjuta with sparkling wine.
Location: Red Centre, Kata Tjuta
Rise early to experience the ethereal Field of Light art installation before sunrise. As the sun rises, join your fellow travellers on top of a sand dune to watch the desert awakening over Uluru.'Dive Into Culture' with an Aboriginal artist this morning, gaining insights into the ritual of Dreamtime and the meanings of the Anangu totems in indigenous art. Tell your very own Outback story as a memento of your experience, putting paint to canvas, then fly from Ayers Rock to the tropical city of Cairns.
Location: Red Centre, Cairns, Uluru
Ease into laidback living in the spirit of the locals or consider an Optional Experience to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park on this full day at leisure to explore this east coast gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. You could discover the secrets of ancient Aboriginal culture through theatre, didgeridoo and fire-making demonstrations or visit Hartley's Crocodile Adventures for an up-close encounter with the resident crocs. Perhaps take a trip to Kuranda, the 'village in the rainforest', on the historic Kuranda Scenic Rail and return to the lowlands through some of the oldest rainforest in the world - the choice is yours.
An underwater wonderland awaits as you board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. Take to the tropical waters and snorkel alongside a dazzling array of colourful marine-life (equipment provided) or explore the sparkling blue coral sea from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft, just one metre underwater. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on the water before returning to Cairns, where this evening you'll enjoy a Regional Dinner at a waterfront restaurant.
A leisurely start to your day means there's time for a final exploration of Cairns before flying south to Sydney. Wine and dine in the city's famous Rocks District, visit China Town for some tasty yum cha or take a stroll around Circular Quay.
Visit Bondi Beach then head to the Sydney Opera House for a privately guided tour with a 'Local Specialist' and 'behind-the-scenes' look at the building's inner workings. Prime your sea legs next as you board a lunch cruise, sailing past parklands, waterfront homes and the iconic sights for which Sydney Harbour is so famous. Spend the rest of the day on your own or consider an Optional Experience and ascend the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Get your final Sydney fix today as you enjoy a full free day to explore the city on your terms. Consider an Optional Experience to the Blue Mountains whose eucalypt haze you'll see looming in the distance as you depart Sydney en route to the village of Leura, the famous Three Sisters rock formation and Featherdale Wildlife Park, home to Australia's cuddly, and not so cuddly, creatures. Your effortlessly delivered journey nearing its end, you'll join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Farewell Dinner at a waterfront restaurant.
Say farewell to your fellow travellers after breakfast as your memorable Australian holiday concludes. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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