Flying from the UK you’ll land in one of Australia’s most exciting cities: Melbourne.
Cosmopolitan, culture-rich and sport-mad Melbourne provides a warm Australian welcome after a long flight. Once you've freshened up, head out on a private walking tour of marvellous Melbourne with Kenneth W Park, local historian, curator, entertainer and all-round raconteur.
Hit one of the world's most dramatic highways: the Great Ocean Road. The wild coast is dotted with bays and shipwrecks and you can pull over to hike amid huge trees and wild koala in the nearby rainforest. At Port Campbell National Park you’ll see the wave-crashed rock stacks of the Twelve Apostles. Afterwards, drive back to Melbourne for a well-deserved night on the town.
Make the most of your last day in this striking city with a self-guided tour. Cruise the cafes of the hip St Kilda neighbourhood or head to the artsy communities of the nearby Mornington Peninsula. The nearby Phillip Island is also home to a colony of penguin – definitely worth a visit if you’d like to meet some of the local wildlife.
A short flight will take you to graceful Adelaide, capital of South Australia. Get your bearings with a private guided tour leading through the terraces and large leafy squares of city centre. Afterwards you can explore independently the city’s mix of churches, art galleries, farmers’ markets and sophisticated bars.
Whatever your tastes, Adelaide has a day-trip to suit. Wildlife lovers should head for Kangaroo Island. Australia's answer to the Galapagos, here you’ll find an overload of native animals and birdlife. Koala, kangaroo, seal and penguin all huddle together in this remarkable haven. Alternatively, sip and swill through the beautiful Barossa Valley, home to some of Australia's finest wines.
Fly from the Southern Ocean to Australia’s Red Centre for an encounter with Australia's most iconic natural site: Uluru (Ayer’s Rock). No matter how many photos you've seen, nothing can prepare you for the vision of this mighty blood-orange monolith rearing up from the endless desert.
Rise before dawn to see the sun climbing over the wonderful red-rock wilderness of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. As day breaks, colours intensify, exploding and simmering across this awesome landscape. You can get your breath back on the flight to Cairns. Here you’ll swap red sand for the lush green forests and glittering blue seas of northern Queensland. You’ll be staying just outside the pretty seaside village of Palm Cove.
At Palm Cove, the Great Barrier Reef extends for 2,300km along Australia's east coast. On the Outer Reef, you’ll find amazing lagoons. These are renowned for their crystal-clear waters, pristine coral and some of the best snorkelling in the world. Bring your underwater camera – you may even be lucky enough to spot a regal turtle gliding by.
Spend a day relaxing on the tree-lined sands, looking for the resident wildlife that includes tree frog, butterfly, rainbow lorikeet and cockatoo, to name a few. Alternatively, explore further afield in the rainforests that pour into the sea here. We recommend planning a foray into the lush hills and gorges of Daintree National Park.
The east coast’s Sydney provides your last stop on your Australian adventure. Frequently called the most handsome city on Earth, you will be staying in prime position to soak it all in. Your home for three nights is the Park Royal Darling Harbour, placed on the waterside in the heart of the action.
In the morning, a guide will show you the historic Rocks, home to the city's first settlers. They’ll also introduce you to Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Beautiful bays unfurl along the coast all the way to famous Bondi Beach. Here you can relax with a coffee and watch the surf rolling in. On your way home you can check out trendy Paddington, busy Oxford Street and colourful Chinatown too.
On your last full today, the city is yours to explore. If you have a head for heights, climb the Harbour Bridge. You could also hire a kayak and get out on the water. Beyond the city, the magnificent Blue Mountains offer enticing hikes though gigantic gum trees, while the Hunter Valley offers arguably the best vineyards in New South Wales.
After your two-week getaway, say farewell to beautiful Australia. Head to Sydney airport, where you’ll catch your flight back to the UK.