AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR 2018 ITINERARY
Day 01 WE - LAX/SYD
Depart home city for Los Angeles and connect with your flight to Sydney
Day 02 TH - EN-ROUTE
En-route to Sydney cross the International Dateline losing a day that will be regained on the return flight home.
Day 03 FR - SYDNEY
Upon your arrival in Sydney clear customs and collect your bags. We suggest you then take an airport shuttle to our tour hotel. If you arrive at the hotel before your room is ready for check in you can place your bags in hotel storage and enjoy free time exploring the historic Rocks where your hotel is located and adjoining Circular Quay. Early afternoon you will meet your tour director for a brief tour orientation before you commence a tour of the magnificent harbor city. Tour features will include Circular Quay, the historic harbor front Rocks area, Mrs. Macquaries Point featuring fabulous views of the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbor. The tour continues with fashionable Rose Bay, Watson’s Bay, The narrow cliff face Gap entrance to Sydney Harbor and strolling the sands of the famed surfing mecca, Bondi Beach. You will quickly discover why Sydney is rated as one of the world’s most exciting cities. Tonight enjoy a tour welcome dinner.
(D) Holiday Inn Old Sydney
DAILY ACTIVITY: Short walks during Sydney tour. Walking on Bondi Beach.
Day 04 SA – SYDNEY
This morning you will experience entrancing Sydney Harbor on a cruise which will reveal the true beauty of this unparalleled scenic waterway. Cruising among a plethora of ferries, sailboats and commercial vessels you view the many attractions of arguably the most beautiful natural harbor on the planet. Your experience will include the attractive harbor side residential communities that line Middle Harbor. Afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. Tonight, enjoy the many opportunities for dining, shopping and people watching as well as the magnificent views from the rooftop of your hotel. Dinner on your own this evening.
(B) Holiday Inn Old Sydney
DAILY ACTIVITY: Walking from Circular Quay docks to Rocks area hotel about .5 miles. Independent walking opportunities in Circular Quay and the Sydney CBD.
Day 05 SU – SYDNEY/HOBART/PORT ARTHUR
This morning transfer to the Sydney Airport for the flight to Hobart, Tasmania. The hilly capital city is located situated at the mouth of the Derwent River and base of soaring Mt. Wellington near the southern end of the island state. On arrival in Hobart you will undertake a sightseeing tour of the main attractions of this quaint port city. Included will be the city center, harbor front, historic Salamanca Place, colonial era Battery Point, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Mt. Nelson lookout. In the afternoon travel southeast through peaceful Tasmania countryside to pristine Port Arthur where you enjoy a relaxing evening in beautiful coastal surrounds. Dinner is included tonight.
(B,D) Fox & Hounds Inn
DAILY ACTIVITY: Botanical Gardens walk .5 to .75 miles. Lunch break free time walking in Hobart.
Day 06 MO - PORT ARTHUR
This morning visit historic Port Arthur, the site of Australia's most famous and rugged convict settlement. An educational guided tour and harbor cruise of the UNESCO World Heritage Site settlement will provide great insight into early Tasmanian and Australian history. Lunch is on your own.
After lunch we meet the chocolate makers of one of the finest artisan chocolate mills in Australia. Enjoy demonstrations as they use methods and equipment reminiscent of yesterday. Tasting of their delicious treats is included. Continue on to visit a working Australian sheep farm, in the same family for four generations. Learn about the operation of raising and shearing, first hand. Return to Port Arthur for a relaxing evening at your charming inn. Dinner is on your own, tonight.
(B) Fox & Hounds Inn
DAILY ACTIVITY: Port Arthur walking tour apx. 1.0 miles. Lunch break free time walking at Port Arthur. Short walking time at chocolate mill. Short walk at Australia sheep farm.
Day 07 TU - PORT ARTHUR/ BICHENO
Depart this morning traveling north along the scenic east coast of Tasmania to the seafront village of Bicheno with stops enroute at a special coastal vineyard and cottage industry sites. We head to Freycinet Peninsula and some of the most breathtaking ocean vistas in Australia. On entering the Freycinet National Park we stop at the Tourville Lighthouse to undertake a short scenic walk to a lookout with sweeping views of the pounding sea far below. We continue to our overnight accommodation. On arrival check into your sea-view accommodation. This evening experience an up-close nature encounter on a captivating Fairy Penguin Tour on the Bicheno seafront. Dinner is included tonight.
(B,D) Beachfront Bicheno
Daily Activity: Scenic walk .60 miles at Freycinet National Park. Evening Penguins tour requires a short walk.
Day 08 WE - BICHENO/HOBART/MELBOURNE
Depart this morning traveling to Tasmania's heartland, visiting the historic colonial towns of Campbell Town and Ross before continuing south to Brighton and the award winning Bonorong Wildlife Park. Bonorong provides an exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide array of Australian native wildlife including animals, birds and reptiles. This amazing wildlife encounter is a heart capturing experiences. We then continue to the Hobart Airport for our flight to Melbourne and transfer to our city center apartment style hotel.
(B) Mantra on Russell
Daily Activity: Lunch break free time walking in Campbell Town. Walking tour and free time walking at Bonorong Wildlife Park .40 – 1.00 miles
Day 09 TH - MELBOURNE
A sightseeing tour of exciting, cosmopolitan Melbourne beckons this morning. Your touring of Australia's most sophisticated city will include Southbank, the Royal Exhibition building, Melbourne Museum, Parliament House, Princess Theater, Melbourne University, Lygon Street (Little Italy) fashionable Collins Street, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne's ornate terraced Victorian homes, Flagstaff Gardens, Federation Square, bustling Chinatown and finally the fabulous Victoria Market where you will have the chance to bargain shop at Australia's most famous market venue. Your afternoon and evening are free to continue exploring this city of arcades and laneway culture on your own gaining a first hand experience experience of the enviable Melbourne lifestyle. Take a ride on one of the famed city trams and perhaps visit one of the many fine museums.
(B) Mantra on Russell
Daily Activity: Short walks during Melbourne tour. Optional walking at Victoria Market and optional afternoon and evening free time walking in Melbourne.
Day 10 FR – MELBOURNE/ADELAIDE/ABORIGINAL RESERVE/PROUD MARY RIVERBOAT
Transfer this morning to the airport for your flight to the capital of South Australia, the festival city of Adelaide. On arrival commence a sightseeing tour of impressive Adelaide city, the expansive surrounding parkland's, the charming Adelaide Hills and some the enticing wine country for which South Australia is so well known. In the afternoon we have an exciting visit to the Aboriginal Living Kaurna's Cultural Centre where we will have a walking tour of the Warriparinga Park and Wetlands. We will be introduced to the history, language, dreamtime stories, seasonal bush tucker, traditional bush medicine and music of the Kaurna people. We will also learn about the native plants and animals of the wetlands reserve. This will be an experience to remember.
We than continue on to Murray Bridge to board our 18 cabin, purpose built riverboat for an exciting yet relaxing two night cruise on Australia's mighty Murray River. The River Murray forms the greater part of the 3,750 km (2,330 mi) long combined Murray, Darling River system which drains most of inland Victoria, New South Wales, and southern Queensland. Our cruise adventure will be on the lower course of the Murray where tonight on deck you discover the magic of cruising the river at night. The ships powerful floodlights unveil a nocturnal wildlife environment including birds such as owls, coots and night herons. On the cruise all meals are included and your on-board culinary indulgence begins with dinner tonight.
(B,D) Proud Mary - Riverboat
Daily Activity: Guided walking tour at Aboriginal Reserve .5 – 1.0 miles. Riverboat stairs between lower and upper decks Days 10, 11, 12.
Day 11 SA - RIVERBOAT
Our riverboat traverses upstream today revealing some of the most spectacular viewing on the entire Murray River system. Berthing in Mannum this morning there is time ashore to visit the historic town on your own. The Mannum Dock Museum unveils the early days of paddle-steamers and local Aboriginal settlements. In the the afternoon we tie up at Teals Flat and embark on an informative guided small boat ecology cruise of the river's lagoons and inlets. On return the bar opens onshore setting the stage for a traditional Aussie BBQ under the stars prepared by our on-board chef. Later, resident musicians provide live entertainment around a blazing campfire, the fitting finale for a memorable evening on the banks of the Murray.
(B,L,D) Proud Mary - Riverboat
Daily Activity: Free time walking exploration of Mannum, .5 - 1.0 miles.
Day 12 SU - RIVERBOAT/ADELAIDE/PERTH
This morning cruise back downstream and at Mannum, board a waiting coach for a tour to beautiful Reedy Creek Environmental Park. On a guided walk the ecologist guide will explain the effects of this unusual ecosystem on the surrounding countryside and original aboriginal inhabitants. Back on board, we continue to cruise downstream with more amazing lens friendly scenery. An informative Murray River ecology documentary will be shown on-board to further your River Murray education We disembark late afternoon back at Murray Bridge and transfer to the Adelaide Airport for an evening flight to Australia's West Coast and it's inviting capital city, Perth. On arrival in the beautiful river city transfer to your apartment style hotel. Dinner in-flight.
(B,L,D) Mantra on Murray
Daily Activity: Reedy Creek walking tour.
Day 13 MO - PERTH
This morning commence a sightseeing tour of alluring Perth featuring St. George's Terrace, Perth's main street, Barrack Street Jetty, the Perth Mint and the Swan Bell Tower. We also , visit beautiful Kings Park with its Botanical Gardens and spectacular views of the Perth skyline and Swan River. Touring continues with the Royal Perth Yacht Club, former home of the America's Cup, the old Swan Brewery and the Northbridge dining and entertainment precinct. Enroute to Fremantle we survey the upmarket suburbs of Peppermint Grove and Dalkeith as well as Cottesloe Beach on the Indian Ocean coastline. On arrival in the historic, America's Cup port city of Fremantle, we view the docks, marinas and charming heritage sandstone buildings. In the afternoon enjoy a scenic wine tasting cruise on the beautiful, broad Swan River returning to Perth. On September departures Western Australia's famed wildflowers typically are in abundance in Kings Park as well as the countryside around the city. Perth’s enviable prosperity is due in no small way to the massive mining interests which form the backbone of the Western Australia economy.
(B) Mantra on Murray
Daily Activity: Free lunch break walking in Fremantle. Walking from Perth dock to city hotel .5 miles.
DAY 14 TU - PERTH
Today is at leisure to sample the treasures of Perth and surrounds at your own pace. Options include river/winery cruises, a sea excursion to offshore Rottnest Island and several intriguing full day overland tours including a full day Perth environs wildflower tour, (September departures). Perth also touts fine museums, the Perth Mint and is known far and wide for its relaxed, alfresco style quality of life. Your Tour Director will have many suggestions.
(B) Mantra on Murray
Daily Activity: Day at leisure - walking and optional day tour opportunities.
Day 15 WE - PERTH/ALICE SPRINGS
The early morning is free in Perth before transferring to the airport for a midday flight eastward to Australia's isolated desert Red Center gateway, Alice Springs. Alice is a most unique town; a true mixing of colonial heritage, aboriginal culture and the many challenges of isolated outback living. On arrival enjoy brief sightseeing including a city overview from Anzac Hill before arriving at your centrally located hotel. The evening is free to begin exploring outback Alice on your own including observing the desert locals at work and play. Lunch in-flight.
(B,L) Chifley Alice Springs Resort
Daily Activity: Evening free time walking in Alice Springs.
Day 16 TH - ALICE SPRINGS/AYERS ROCK/ALICE SPRINGS
Depart for awe inspiring Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunrise on a true outback adventure with a breakfast stop en-route. On arrival our first stop is Kata Juta and a walk in the spirited Walpa Gorge. We next visit the educational Uluru Visitors Center to learn about the fascinating history of the local Aboriginal groups. In the afternoon enjoy two guided walking tours including an exploration of the base of the giant monolith where you learn more of the history and lore of the local Aboriginal inhabitants. Later, enjoy the enthralling Ayers Rock sunset at Sunset Point where we toast the setting sun before enjoying a delicious BBQ dinner. Return to Alice Springs across the Outback guided by the stars arriving late evening.
(B,L,D) Chifley Alice Springs Resort
Daily Activity: Three guided walks at Ayers Rock, on flat surfaces - a total of about 2 miles.
Day 17 FR - ALICE SPRINGS/DARWIN
The morning is at leisure to relax or explore amazing Alice Springs on your own. In the afternoon a sightseeing tour of Alice unveils three important Northern Territory landmarks beginning with a visit to the historic Overland Telegraph Station, an outpost which served as the vital link in connecting frontier settlements across Australia. Next up is a tour of the impressive Royal Flying Doctor Service which provides medical services across the outback. We then visit the famed School of the Air that has been delivering on the air schooling to remote outback stations for decades. Continue on to the airport for our flight north to the tropical top end of the Northern Territory and its colorful multi-cultural capital, Darwin. Transfer to your apartment style hotel on arrival.
(B) Mantra On Esplanade
Daily Activity: Short walks during Alice Springs tour.
Day 18 SA - DARWIN
On tap this morning is an exploration of tropical Darwin, a true racial and cultural amalgam. You will experience some of most important landmarks and learn about Darwin's fascinating history and diverse culture as you tour the city's distinct precincts. We visit the highly regarded Defense of Darwin Exhibition which chronicles the Japanese bombing raids of the city in early WWII and Australia's overall military history. Continue on to the famed Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory which is home to the largest permanent display of Aboriginal Art and artifacts in Australia as well as other important collections and visiting exhibitions. In the afternoon there will be free time for investigating fascinating Darwin on your own including the expansive and diverse George Brown Botanic Gardens.
(B) Mantra On Esplanade
Daily Activity: Short walks during Darwin tour. Afternoon free time walking in Darwin.
Day 19 SU - DARWIN/KAKADU/DARWIN
Early this morning travel to exotic Kakadu National Park, a renown wild nature World Heritage Site. You experience an exciting, photogenic wildlife cruise on the Mary River, a habitat which features the fearsome saltwater crocodile and the prolific bird life of the Top End. We then continue to timeless Ubirr Rock where a guided walk will reveal several amazing Aboriginal artsites and sweeping views of the surrounding floodplain. We then visit the Kakadu National Park Bowali Visitor Center and Marrawuddi Gallery where informative displays will enhance your Kakadu education . We return to Darwin in late afternoon and on arrival those who wish may visit the colorful evening multi-cultural Mindil Market which, weather permitting, will be in full swing. This famous market features local arts and crafts and a large array of ethic foods vendors displaying Darwin's many cuisines.
(B) Mantra On Esplanade
Daily Activity: Short walks during Kakadu touring. Guided walk at Obirr Rock in Kakadu, .75 miles. Optional free time walking at Mindl Market in Darwin.
Day 20 MO - DARWIN/HERVEY BAY
The early morning is at leisure to continue exploring Darwin on your own before transferring to the airport for your flight eastward to Brisbane. We then connect with a short flight north to the sub tropical central Queensland coast at beautiful Hervey Bay. Upon arrival transfer to your apartment style hotel. Lunch in-flight
(B,L) Mantra Hervey Bay
Daily Activity: Early AM free time exploring in Darwin.
Day 21 TU - HERVEY BAY
Today is at leisure to enjoy the many attractions of Hervey Bay. Options include captivating whale (September/October only) and dolphin watching cruises, sunset cruises, botanical gardens, a local aquarium and walking or biking the miles of dedicated user friendly trails along the beautiful seafront. You can also enjoy your spacious apartment style accommodation overlooking the marina. Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant.
(B,D) Mantra Hervey Bay
Daily Activity: Free day to explore on your own - independent walking.
Day 22 WE - HERVEY BAY/LADY ELLIOT ISLAND/HERVEY BAY
Hop on a ultra scenic flight this morning to Lady Elliot Island, the southern most coral island of the world's largest reef system, the famous Great Barrier Reef. Glide above pristine azure seas which serve as a veil for magnificent reefs and a treasure of other underwater sea life. On landing enjoy the day on this island paradise. Among the included activities available are glass bottom boat rides, reef walks, island nature walks and unlimited reef snorkeling from shore. You may be sharing the living coral outcrops with friendly turtles and graceful manta ray in addition to the huge array of colorful reef fish which call the island waters home. Scuba diving options are also available. All snorkeling equipment and a bountiful buffet lunch are included. In late afternoon enjoy more astounding aerial viewing as you fly back to Hervey Bay to enjoy the evening at leisure.
(B,L) Mantra Hervey Bay
Daily Activity: Guided and free time - short walks on Lady Elliot Island. Optional island snorkeling and diving activities.
Day 23 TH - HERVEY BAY/FRASER ISLAND/HERVEY BAY
This morning depart by ferry for an exciting, nature packed, full day four wheel drive adventure tour to Fraser Island, the worlds largest sand island and a World Heritage Site. This is wild coastal Australia at its best and many surprises await. Your scenic touring today will include Central Station, pristine Lake McKenzie, driving on Seventy Five Mile Beach, the Maheno Shipwreck and the Pinnacles Colored Sands. Lunch is also included today. Return by ferry in late afternoon and enjoy the evening at leisure in Hervey Bay.
(B,L) Mantra Hervey Bay
Daily Activity: Several guided and independent short walks during Fraser Island touring.
Day 24 FR - HERVEY BAY/BRISBANE/GOLD COAST
Depart southward this morning to Queensland's thriving capital city Brisbane, enjoying the scenery of the rich, green coastal hinterland of southern Queensland along the way. This is pineapple country and tropical fruit orchards abound. On arrival in Australia's third largest city, undertake a tour of some its many attractions including the thriving, innovative Central Business District and riverfront Southbank Parklands. In the afternoon continue south to Australia's most famous coastal destination, the Gold Coast, famous for its magnificent surf beaches, rich hinterland mountain ranges and a wide array of land and sea visitor attractions. Check in to your seaside apartment style hotel in the heart of Surfers Paradise with the evening at leisure to enjoy the beach and other nearby attractions.
(B) Mantra Legends
Daily Activity: Short walks during Brisbane tour. Free time walking in Brisbane during lunch break.
Day 25 SA - GOLD COAST
Today is a final day at leisure to experience some of the best of the Gold Coast including walking on the seemingly endless world class beach or perhaps visiting the colorful and very entertaining Currumbin Wildlife Park. Your tour director will advise regarding options. Tonight will feature an Australia farewell dinner to celebrate your monumental exploration of Australia.
(B,D) Mantra Legends
Daily Activity: Free beach day, self exploration and optional day tours.
Day 26 SU - GOLD COAST/BRISBANE/LOS ANGELES
Early this morning depart for the Brisbane airport for the flight to Los Angeles or begin your own post tour arrangements. Some tour members may be extending in Australia or other destinations on their own arrangements. On the flight to Los Angeles you cross the International Dateline regaining the day lost on your way to Sydney.