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Australia: A Journey of Contrasts


Below is a sample itinerary of a past Goway Group. It is provided to give you an idea of what we have already done & what you might also consider doing.

However, because of timing, your own group's special interests and budget, we expect to custom make a program just for you. Contact your favourite travel agent click on "Inquire about this Trip" to fill out a request for a group quotation.


 


Australia is a land like no other. It is a far off land filled with natural wonders and a fascinating mix of ancient and modern cultures. It is a land of contrasts: of vibrant, cosmopolitan cities and rough and tough Outback towns; of sophisticated city dwellers and of timeless Aborigines moving to the ebb and flow of the seasons; of dry, inhospitable deserts to lush rainforests and endless stretches of white, sandy beaches. The Aussie lifestyle has melded itself to these contrasts, and, throughout our journey, we will experience all of them!

Day 1

Fly Hometown to Sydney

Day 2

Lose One Day Crossing the International Dateline

Day 3

Arrive Sydney

Welcome to Australia! Upon arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Tonight we enjoy a delicious “Welcome to Australia” dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant in the historic Rocks area of Sydney. D

Accommodation for 3 nights

Day 4

In Sydney – City Sights Galore

This morning we set out for a full day of Sydney experiences. We start the day with a morning cruise on Sydney’s spectacular harbour to view the iconic Opera House, the Harbour Bridge as well as the many picturesque bays and inlets fringed with high-end homes and suburbs. We disembark at Darling Harbour just in time for lunch in one of its harbourside restaurants before we board our coach for our tour of the city including a visit to famous Bondi Beach.

At Bondi, we take time to participate and learn about one of Australia’s most well known lifestyles: the beach culture! Bondi is the home of surf lifesaving, and we will spend time with a true blue Aussie lifesaver to learn about the history of Bondi with an exclusive tour inside Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving clubs and a lesson on how to surf! BL

Day 5

In Sydney – A Morning at the Quay

We begin our day with a guided walking tour of the historic Rocks area of Sydney where Sydney’s first European settlers arrived. Our guide will take us down some of the cobble stone alleyways and give us a detailed account of what life in the late 18th century! From the Rocks, we then stroll along Circular Quay, Sydney’s bustling harbour front, to the world famous Opera House for a guided tour of the complex. After our tour, we have the rest of the day free to explore Sydney on our own…. take the ferry across the harbour to the Taronga Zoo, shop in all the stores and boutiques in the downtown core, visit a museum or art gallery or relax in the Botanical Gardens. B

Day 6

Fly Sydney to Melbourne

We transfer to the airport this morning for our short flight to Melbourne, Australia’s fashion and financial capital. Situated on the Yarra River, Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and enjoys its own unique character and charm. It is a city of tramcars, many ethnic restaurants, tree-lined streets, and a wide range of parks and gardens that surround the city. On arrival, we are met and taken on a city orientation tour before arriving at our hotel. Later this afternoon, we board our coach and head down to Phillip Island to see the amazing Fairy Penguin Parade which takes place every night of the year as the sun sets. At the Penguin Centre, we meet our guide for our VIP penguin experience including front row seats on the beach to watch the 100’s of penguins come out of the ocean before we go to our private viewing platform to watch the little guys waddle up the beach to their burrows. A hearty island dinner is also included this evening. BD

Accommodation for 3 nights

Day 7

In Melbourne – On the Hunt for Koalas

A great day today as we head west out of Melbourne with our naturalist guide into bush country on the lookout for kangaroos, koalas and birdlife in the wild. Our expert guide will take us on various walks through the bush to spot koalas “hanging” in trees and kangaroos hopping in the open grasslands. It truly is a remarkable Aussie experience! A delicious picnic lunch is also included today. Late afternoon we return to our hotel to freshen up before we join another unique Aussie experience and board the beautifully restored Tramcar Restaurant for a delicious dinner as we “clang” through the streets of Melbourne and its inner suburbs. BLD

Day 8

In Melbourne – A Day in Wine Country

What would a visit to Australia be without a day in wine country! We leave Melbourne this morning for the drive through picturesque countryside to the Yarra Valley lush with grapevines and dotted with boutique wineries. Our guided tour will take us to at least 3 wineries all with their own unique character and style but each with a welcoming cellar door. We will have tutored tastings, a brief tour of one of the operations and suburb luncheon at Domaine Chandon Winery before arriving back at our hotel in the late afternoon. Tonight is free for you to dine with the locals and try one of Melbourne’s many restaurants maybe a BYOB or one of Melbourne’s well known Italian, Greek or Indian restaurants… the choices are limitless! BL

Day 9

Fly Melbourne to Alice Springs

After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the airport this morning for our flight to the “Red Centre” of Australia and the town of Alice Springs, the main service centre for the immense Outback region. Upon arrival, we are met and taken on a tour of the town including visits to the School of the Air, the historic Telegraph Station and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. After our tour, we have a chance to meet members of the local Aboriginal community to learn more about the Dreamtime and their traditional hunting and gathering customs. It is a fascinating glimpse into a proud, ancient way of life. Tonight we mix with the locals and have dinner in Alice at a local eatery. BD

Accommodation for 1 night

Day 10

Coach Alice Springs to Ayers Rock

 

A fascinating day today as we board our coach for our journey through the semi-desert where the landscape is dotted with scrub and Mulga bushes. Our driver/guide will point out any unique flora and fauna en-route to our destination -- awe-inspiring Uluru (Ayers Rock) -- the world’s largest monolith. After checking in to our hotel in the village of Yulara, we spend the afternoon exploring Kata-Tjuta (The Olgas), a series of weathered red domes situated west of Uluru. Take time to walk through some of the narrow rock walkways to get a sense of the vastness and timelessness of this region. We leave Kata-Tjuta just before dusk and make our way to the viewing area to watch the sunset and colours change over Uluru while sipping on a glass of champagne and munching on some outback nibbles!. B

Accommodation for 2 nights

Day 11

Exploring Uluru

We are up early this morning to catch the sun rising over Uluru. Back for breakfast before we meet our Aboriginal guide at the Cultural Centre for an in-depth journey into the heart of the Anangu people who are the stewards of this land. Our guide will take us on a walkabout through the bush near the base of Uluru and explain how traditional tools, weapons and implements are made and used in daily life. We have the time to ask questions and really get a good understanding of the unique and fascinating world of the Australian Aborigine. After such an intense day, we have time tonight to relax under the star-filled sky listening to the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo and savour the finest Outback cuisine, pre-dinner drinks and appies on the Sounds of Silence Dinner excursion. BD

 

Day 12

Fly Ayers Rock to Cairns

A trip to Australia to delve into the country’s culture would not be complete without a visit to Cairns, the gateway to the rainforest and to the Great Barrier Reef. Australia is a land of unique natural wonders and how the Australians have adapted to these “wonders” is woven into the fabric of their day to day lives. Australians live life to the fullest; they are very proud of their Aussie culture and their country and will extol its virtues every chance they get! In North Queensland we get a chance to embrace this love of the land with journeys to the Outer Reef and to the rainforest.

On arrival in Cairns, we are met and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free to relax. This evening we enjoy dinner down on the Esplanade in one of Cairn’s local restaurants overlooking the harbour. BD

Accommodation for 4 nights

Day 13

Great Barrier Reef

We have a short transfer this morning to the Cairns Terminal and board our wave-piercing catamaran for the cruise out to Green Island, a true coral cay. We take time to explore this tiny coral gem before continuing on to the Outer Reef to snorkel, take a ride in glass-bottom boat and to just revel in the sheer majesty of it all. A delicious smorgasbord lunch is included on board. BL

Day 14

Kuranda Rail/Rainforestation

Another great day as we transfer to Freshwater Station and board the historic Kuranda Rail for the journey through the rainforest to the village of Kuranda. Here we have time to explore Kuranda before a short drive by coach takes us to Rainforestation for a full afternoon of activities including a BBQ lunch, an exciting ride on a WW2 vintage Army Duck on a billabong, a performance by an authentic Aboriginal Cultural troupe and a boomerang throwing demonstration. We return to Cairns via Skyrail, a 7.5km cableway across the rainforest. Tonight we transfer to the Tjapukai Cultural Centre for a cultural evening filled with Aboriginal ancient rituals, digeridoo playing, stories of the Dreamtime, ancient and modern music and singing and, of course, a sumptuous buffet dinner. It is a fun night with a chance to interact with the entertainers after the show around the campfire. BLD

 

Day 15

Daintree National Park

We board our 4WD vehicle and head north to the crocodile-infested Daintree River.

Our destination is Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation. After crossing the river by cable ferry, we enter into the heart of the park, one of last untouched pockets of tropical wet rainforest in Australia. Our day includes stops at the Rainforest Centre where our guide will takes us for stroll along a boardwalk to learn more about the life cycle of the rainforest and about some of the more unusual plant life of the area. We also have time to stroll along the wide expanse of Cape Tribulation beach before stopping for an al fresco lunch surrounded by the lush vegetation. Before leaving the National Park, we board our river boat for a ride on the river to spot crocs in the wild. Our final stop after such an exhilarating day is at the Cairns Night Zoo for a ‘fair dinkum’ Aussie BBQ dinner. After dinner, we join our Aussie Bushman host around the campfire for some damper and maybe even a visit by some friendly kangaroos! BLD

Day 16

Fly Cairns to Hometown

After such a wonderful Aussie cultural immersion, it is time to pack our bags and head home. After breakfast, we transfer to the airport to connect with our flights home. B

 


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