• Walking along the Great Ocean Road
• Helicopter trip over the 12 Apostles
• Full day boat trip to the outer reef with Quicksilver
• An afternoon cruise on Sydney Harbour
Day 1 - Melbourne
On arrival you will be met your Abercrombie & Kent guide for a private transfer to the Sofitel Melbourne for a 2 night stay. Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is known as the Garden, Arts and Sports capital of Australia. It has beautiful tree-lined boulevards, many parks and gardens, historic Victorian terrace houses, award winning restaurants, wonderful theatre and art galleries together with international sporting events which all combine to make this city one of the world's most vibrant and elegant places to visit.
Day 2 - Melbourne
This morning join Kenneth Park an entertaining historian for your own private walk through the heart of 'Marvellous Melbourne'. Your journey starts with a ride on one of Melbourne's iconic and much loved trams (trolley cars). Kenneth will lead you through the city's fascinating labyrinth of atmospheric arcades and alleyways - you will discover lanes filled with trendy cafes and eclectic boutiques not to mention some 'out there' graffiti street art and of course you will have plenty of time along on the way to admire landmark buildings like the Block Arcade with its dazzlingly high Victorian interior decoration or some truly grand 19th century commercial buildings like the Gothic Bank. You will see the hand of progress as you encounter buildings that have been renewed and transformed like old General Post Office. This is a wonderful way to discover Melbourne's architectural and cultural heritage. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the wonderful city of Melbourne.
Day 3 - Melbourne/Great Ocean Road
Today collect your car at the Hertz Depot and self-drive to the Walking Lodge at Johanna for a two night stay. On arrival at the lodge, you will be briefed and fitted out with all the equipment that you will require for your walk. A transfer is organized to Castle cove to start your 11km self-guided walk. Some of Australia's best and most remote beaches can be found on the Great Ocean Walk. Each day of the walk has some sand walking and some sections are graded moderate and distances are very achievable. Solid walking shoes are recommended for this itinerary. Follow the dramatic cliff line, walk through Dinosaur Cove and Rotten Point, stop in a scenic location for a picnic lunch. Continue through grass-tree forests and melaleucas to emerge at Johanna. Finish with a 2km meander along the soft sand of Johanna Beach, a river crossing and a 3km walk back to the lodge, where a foot spa, glass of wine and chef-prepared meal await to complete your day.
Day 4 - Great Ocean Road
Today's walk takes you from Moonlight Head to Princetown. You will be transferred to Moonlight Head to commence your walk. The first part winds through a forest leading to The Gables Lookout - the highest cliff top lookout on Australia's southern coastline. The itinerary for the remainder of the day is dependent on tides, but will include a spectacular picnic spot and an afternoon of stunning coastal views, finishing with a flat gentle walk into Princetown. This walk is approximately 17kms, with the option to walk in the morning or the afternoon.
Day 5 - Great Ocean Road
Today's walking is from Princetown to the 12 Apostles. Relax and make the most of your final morning at the lodge. After breakfast you are transferred to the small coastal village of Princetown to begin the last dramatic stage of the walk - a 7km hike to the striking rock formations of the 12 Apostles, one of Australia's premier natural attractions. After you have completed the walk you will be met and transferred to the nearby helipad and enjoy an exhilarating 7 minute scenic helicopter flight over the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and Port Campbell - an unbelievable end to an adventurous couple of days. Enjoy lunch at Port Campbell and take the opportunity to freshen up before you self-drive back to the Sofitel Melbourne for an overnight stay.
Day 6 - Melbourne to Cairns to Port Douglas
You will be met by an Abercrombie & Kent representative and transferred to Melbourne Domestic Airport for your flight to Cairns. On arrival, collect your car hire (category c) and self-drive one of the most scenic roads in Australia to Thala Beach Lodge for a 3 night stay. Thala Beach Lodge is an exclusive haven surrounded by private sandy beaches and sheltered coves. Thala's brilliant location for nature lovers ensures an opportunity to learn the subtleties of the complex ecosystems of the tropical north without foregoing comfort and amenities. At the lodge enjoy views of coral islands, reefs and mountain ranges for over 100 kilometers.
Day 7 - Port Douglas to Great Barrier Reef
This morning you will be met by the shuttle bus in the hotel lobby and be transferred to Marina Mirage for your full day exploration of the Great Barrier Reef. Quicksilver is the pioneering vessel on the reef with its own private pontoon for easy access to the reef throughout the day. The vessel & platform can take up to 300 guests and has undercover tables and seating, change rooms and freshwater showers, underwater marine observatory, semi-submersible vessels, snorkeling platforms, specially designed introductory dive areas and carpeted sundeck. The vessel alongside also provides air-conditioned comfort, a licensed bar as well as toilets and change room facilities and a buffet lunch is served on board.
Quicksilver will cruise to Agincourt Reef lying within the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This reef is renowned for its water clarity and coral formations. The Agincourt Reef lagoon is ideal for swimming and snorkeling and is amongst the best in the world. The facilities of Quicksilver allow you to experience the wonderment of the Great Barrier Reef whichever way you choose, wet or dry. Returning to the mainland in the late afternoon where the shuttle coach awaits to transfer you back to Thala Beach Lodge.
Day 8 - Port Douglas 8: Port Douglas
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore Tropical North Queensland, self-drive to Kuranda, enjoy a day on Four Mile Beach or explore the Daintree Rainforest.
Day 9 - Port Douglas to Sydney
Today you will leave Port Douglas and self-drive back to Cairns airport to drop off your hire car and board your flight to Sydney. On arrival into Sydney's Domestic airport you will be met by your Abercrombie and Kent guide and transferred to Sheraton on the Park, Sydney for a 2 night stay.
Sydney, the capital of the state of New South Wales, is Australia's most well-known city. With its extraordinary icons both natural and man-made this is a city that never fails to please the eye. It's magnificent natural harbour spanned by the 'coat hanger', the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the man-made sails of the Sydney Opera House are just some of its most widely photographed views. This afternoon is at leisure to experience this incredible city.
Opposite Hyde Park, a tree-lined oasis in the heart of Sydney, The Sheraton on the Park, a five-star hotel savoring views of Hyde Park, St. Mary's Cathedral, and Middle Harbour. Club guests also have special access to the Sheraton Club Lounge, located on the 21st Level for amazing city and Hyde Park views. A relaxing, upscale space, the Club Lounge offers a range of benefits, including separate check-in and checkout within the lounge, complimentary wireless High Speed Internet Access, light continental breakfast, evening drinks and canapés, and a range of beverage options.
Day 10 - Sydney
This morning is spent at leisure and this afternoon Cruise Like a Local (12.30-16.30) Experience Sydney from the most enviable vantage point - on the water! Cruising on Sydney Harbour is a classic Australian experience, and today you will board 'Calypso' - a 52 foot motor cruiser with a minimum of two and a maximum of twelve guests onboard. Whilst cruising this iconic harbour you will have the opportunity to swim, fish or kayak or sit back with a glass of Australian beer or wine, relax on the sunbeds and take in the amazing sights - the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Luna Park, Fort Denison and the waterfront homes of the rich and famous. A barbeque lunch is served on board, while anchored in a secluded cove. Your 4 hour experience on the water ends at Campbell's Cove pontoon, a short walk from your hotel.
Day 11 - Depart Sydney
You will be met today by an Abercrombie and Kent representative and transferred to the Sydney International airport for your flight home.
Complimentary Value adds for this itinerary:
• Full breakfast for two guests at Sofitel
• Gear hire & complimentary 7 minute helicopter flight over 12 Apostles as part of Great Ocean Walk
• Upgrade from Eucalyptus bungalow to Coral Sea Bungalow 3 nights at Thala Beach Lodge
• Quicksilver Cruise - 2nd person pays half price
• Upgrade to Executive Club with full breakfast at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
• Pay for one and get one free on Cruise Like a Local, Sydney