Best of City & Wildlife of Australia Tour

A 13 day trip to Australia 
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Australia is filled with dynamic scenery and majestic wildlife, captivating flavors and enchanting culture. Kangaroos rest on the white sand beach near lounging sea lions. Vineyards blanket the fertile hills of a sprawling valley. The colorful collection of soft and hard coral of the Great Barrier Reef shimmers beneath the ocean surface. Stories of Dreamtime echo beneath the rainforest canopy. Your custom tailored Australia tour immerses you in the radiance of Australia, letting you experience its unparalleled variety along the coast, in the trees, and cast across the unforgettable landscape of the world Down Under.

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General Information

Pelican on kangaroo island.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Sydney, Cairns, Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef, Mossman Gorge, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, McLaren Vale Wine Region 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Adelaide – Begin in Adelaide, the Capital City of South Australia

In the morning, the Central Market in Victoria Square opens to loyal locals in search of fresh produce and artisan goods. The market was founded in the 19th century and is one of the oldest remaining indoor markets in the world. Colorful fruits radiate in the soft light. The aroma of freshly baked goods drifts down the lanes. Your guide meets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to McLaren Vale, a wine region with more than 120 wineries with 7,951 acres dedicated to the Shiraz grape, and another 3,182 acres dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon, along with much more acreage devoted to Chardonnay and Grenache.

The region has a Mediterranean climate. At your first vineyard, your guide explains the unique combination of the international techniques the winery uses to produce a product that is simultaneously complex and enchanting. Rows of vines overtake the hilly landscape and shine emerald in the sunlight. The rugged and bohemian atmosphere of the vineyard is a nice twist on the often overly elegant image invoked when one thinks of winemakers. In the tasting room, your guide pours you a taste of their red blend, mixing Grenache, Shiraz, and Tempranillo. You find an aroma of stewed plums, blueberries, and spiced dark chocolate. The flavor lingers on your palate for an enticing finish. At the conclusion of the tour, you take the ferry to Kangaroo Island for the next chapter in your exciting adventure.

What’s Included: airport transfer, guided tour, accommodation

Day 2: Kangaroo Island – Indulge in a Full-Day Wine Tour of McLaren Vale

Kangaroo Island brims with wilderness and wildlife, a natural collection of birds, seals, dolphins, and kangaroos. The rural pace is enrapturing. Farm stands showcase fresh fruit on trail corners and outside markets. The local flavors are sweet, juicy, and refreshing. After breakfast, you venture out of your fantastic accommodation to experience the island. Layers of turquoise, azure, and cobalt blue color the water of the Southern Ocean. The waves crash against the island’s shores. Flinders Chase National Park is located on the western end of the island and covers 126 square miles. Sugar-gum trees create a vibrant and unique forest landscape. Stroll along the various walking paths to arrive at Remarkables Rocks.

Rain, wind, and strong waves have shaped the landscape for more than 500 million years. At dawn and dusk, the light over the impressive sculptures changes to a golden orange and slight ochre hue. The black mica and pinkish feldspar form the smoothed granite. Follow the wooden boardwalk to the western platform for an ideal view of the bay and the historic Cape du Couedic Lighthouse. The eroded boulders stand atop a volcanic dome made of smooth ancient lava. The rocks morph into triangles and familiar but odd shapes, set against the backdrop of opulent cobalt water. Meandering through the landscape of Remarkables Rocks is unlike anywhere else in the world. 

What’s Included: breakfast, guided tour, accommodation

Day 3: Kangaroo Island – Explore the Various Island Habitats and Wildlife

The Farmers Market thrives in the morning, filled with local vendors displaying homemade chutneys, freshly caught seafood, creamy olive oil, and delicious yogurt. The scent of freshly baked pastries envelops the booths. After breakfast, you have another chance to discover the sensational wildlife and natural splendor of Kangaroo Island. Today, you make your way to Seal Bay on a guided tour. Western grey kangaroos roam along the sandy shoreline. You can hear the waves break near the third largest colony of Australian sea lions.

The boardwalk is 1,476 feet long and travels through limestone cliffs and sand dunes. The dunes overtake the view of the water for moments at a time. You can hear the sea lions barking over the crashing of the waves. They bask in the sunlight on the powder white sand. Males have light brown skin with a yellow mane. Females maintain a silver sheen. A few sea lions waddle across the sand and dive into the surf in search of food. A few sea lions shimmy up the beach and rest near the boardwalk.  

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, guided tour, accommodation

Day 4: Kangaroo Island – Experience the Natural Beauty of the Island Wilderness

Locals of the American River village make their way to Eastern Cove in the morning to fish and sail. The water glows with turquoise and indigo hues while granite cliffs break through spots of verdant grass. Pelicans swoop down into the water. Oyster beds thrive in the lagoon. Crystal columns adorn the caves in Kelly Hill Conservation Park. Visitors put on headlamps to light their way on a guided tour through the subterranean network. After breakfast, you return to Adelaide. Your private transfer escorts you to Adelaide Airport for your domestic transfer to Port Douglas.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 5: Port Douglas – Fly to Cairns and Settle into a Lavish Resort in Port Douglas

Queensland has a stunning esplanade overlooking the tranquil waters of the Pacific Ocean. Flying foxes dangle in the treetops, sleeping in the blanket of warm daylight. The city has a tropical atmosphere set between the verdant canopy of the rainforest and the sparkling coral of the Great Barrier Reef. Your private transfer meets you at Cairns Airport upon your arrival and takes you to a secluded hotel located in the magnificent town of Port Douglas.

Locals rush to Edition Coffee Roasters in the chic neighborhood of Surry Hills for a morning cup of cappuccino. The simple and modern fusion of Japanese and Nordic furnishings elevates the ambiance of the coffeehouse. The flat white has a smooth, creamy texture with a slightly smoky flavor. 

What’s Included: breakfast, guided transfer, accommodation

Day 6: Port Douglas – Full Day Excursion to Visit the Great Barrier Reef

The white sand of Four Mile Beach stretches for up to four miles. The pristine turquoise water contrasts the reflecting light from the shoreline. Palm groves frame the coast, highlighting the untouched grandeur of the region. After breakfast, you make your way to Marina Mirage Port Douglas and step aboard your luxury 98-foot catamaran. The boat ferries you to the secluded shores of the Low Isles, which consists of Low Island and Woody Island. The stunning subaquatic world of the Great Barrier Reef wraps around the region. The reef covers an area of 133,000 square meters in the Coral Sea, connected to the South Pacific.

An active 19th-century lighthouse rises above the trees on the island. You step into the water, following a local marine biologist, and quickly discover the majesty of the reef. More than 150 different species of bright, hard coral rises out of the seabed. 15 varieties of soft coral wave with the gentle movement of the water. The ocean is warm and refreshing all around you. The sunlight pierces the water and showcases the vivacious hues around the reef. You spot an iridescent parrotfish. They can grow up to 20 inches in length and have a mouth that resembles a parrot-like beak. Their scales change colors between youth and maturity, glowing in the clear ocean water.  

What’s Included: breakfast, guided lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Port Douglas – Traverse the Mossman Gorge with an Aboriginal Experience

Today you travel the short scenic road to Mossman Gorge, north of Port of Douglas. The Mossman River carved the large cliffs and the boulder-strewn valley of the gorge, which forms part of the ancestral lands of the Kuku Yalanji people. You can hear the water trickling downstream and rippling against the smooth boulders. Your guide meets you at the visitor center and leads you through the various trails scattered across the sensational jungle landscape. Your guide is of the Kuku Yalanji and explains the importance of the land, along with the people’s connection to it.

Legends lead to stories; stories lead to traditions, and traditions shape culture. Your guide performs a traditional spirit cleansing known as a “smoke ceremony,” to rid you of any bad spirits. The aroma of the forest carries a hint of mint. Your guide points to important plants used in traditional medicine. Soft mosses line the trunks of large ferns. The dollarbird twitters in the canopy. The bird has a blue-green sheen draped across their back plumage. Your guide highlights the natural elements of the forest, choosing certain elements to create vibrant colors used for paints.     

What’s Included: breakfast, guided tour, accommodation

Day 8: Port Douglas – Revel in a Day at Leisure to Discover Port Douglas’s Beauty

The cafes along the Reef Marina in Port Douglas open their doors to the charming quiet of the morning. The scent of the Coral Sea blends with the drifting aroma of rich coffee. After breakfast, the day is yours to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Port Douglas or discover the magnificent wonders outside of town. Travel to the rainforest town of Kuranda on a historic, scenic railway or visit the thrilling wildlife of Queensland at the Wildlife Habitat. For a unique view of the rainforest, you choose to partake in the Daintree Rainforest Jungle Surf. Your transfer picks you up from the hotel and leads you into the dense canopy of Daintree, a rainforest more than 135 million years old.

A prehistoric tree known as the Idiot Fruit continues to blossom in the region. Cassowaries, an iconic giant bird with an azure neck and furry black plumage, roam throughout the underbrush. Your guide leads you to the canopy to begin your aerial exploration of the treetops. Travel between five platforms for a bird’s eye view of the rainforest and streams. Once connected to the zip line, you leap from the platform and soar 75 feet above the forest floor. Beyond the emerald treetops, you see the glistening waters of the Coral Sea stretching to the horizon.

What’s Included: breakfast, guided tour, accommodation

Day 9: Port Douglas to Sydney – Arrive in the Charming and Bustling Seaside City of Sydney

The tropical ambiance of Port Douglas is captivating. Cute cafes and decadent art galleries open their doors to the relaxed pace of town. Sailboats wade in the marina against the small movement of the water. Palm trees rustle in the gentle sea breeze bordering the turquoise Coral Sea. After breakfast, your transfer escorts you to Cairns Airport for your flight to Sydney. 

Sydney is a glistening city set on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The Opera House crowns the edge of Sydney Harbour with a roof of sails capturing the sea breeze. The Harbour Bridge arches over the water with a latticework of girders decorating the aerial expanse. Your transfer greets you at Sydney Airport upon your arrival and escorts you into the heart of downtown to your accommodation, with a view of the bustling cosmopolitan city and its gorgeous skyline.

Sailboats and catamarans glide across the Sydney Harbour. Cherry blossoms bloom in the Chinese Friendship Garden located in Darling Harbour. Surfers catch the waves at Freshwater Beach, considered the birthplace of surfing in Australia. The swells are consistent and the turquoise water shimmers in the sunlight. The water brushes against the soft, sandy beach. The city is filled with natural beauty and cultural charm. Consider learning more about the best Australia travel companies whom we partner with, and see how they can customize your dream Australia vacation itinerary to your particular interests and desires. 

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 10: Sydney – Enjoy a Half-Day Tour of Sydney’s Unforgettable Sights

In the morning, you meet your guide to begin your fabulous tour of the embracing city. The Rocks is the oldest neighborhood in Sydney, home to the first European settlement in Australia. Rough-laid cobblestone lanes run between old sandstone brick warehouses. Wooden beams frame the doorways.

Crushed cockleshells helped make the mortar between the bricks. Occasionally, the sun catches a larger shell and glints against the red hues of the warehouses. The road rises to meet an extension of the Harbor Bridge. Visitors can enter the stone base of the bridge to learn about the structure’s history, and can venture into the steel frame network for an unparalleled view of the city from inside the bridge.

The curve rises nearly 440 feet above the water’s surface. The Queen Victoria Building was erected in the late 19th century and covers an entire city block. The building was designed as a marketplace. A vintage clock tower decorates the interior, known as the Great Australian Clock, adorning the four main shopping floors. Natural light spills in through the glass ceiling, protected by cast-iron railings, culminating in the central dome, retaining the elegance of the original structure’s authentic style.

What’s Included: breakfast, guided tour, accommodation

Day 11: Sydney – Explore the Sydney Harbour on a Morning Cruise

In the morning, students and artists fill the neighborhood of Glebe with a bohemian ambiance. Markets on the weekends sell handmade crafts, from stylish wood furniture to elegant jewelry. Coffee shops open their doors, releasing the aroma of a fresh and frothy cappuccino. After breakfast, you make your way to Circular Quay and board your delightful cruise, the Rocket Ferry. The seafaring vessel is 82 feet long and carries you through the water. The breeze becomes a gentle wind, filled with the semi-sweet aroma of sea mist. Travel beneath the Harbour Bridge and alongside the Opera House. Your captain explains the topography of the land and the history of the harbor. Sails are cast on nearby boats and bustle in the wind.

The Opera House is an elegant building that opened its doors in the 1970s, positioned on an outcropping of land surrounded by water on three sides. A network of canals meanders through the suburbs of Sydney, including the affluent neighborhood of Hunters Hill. You relax on the cruise and enjoy the fabulous panorama of the cityscape. You can see the verdant acreage of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Ponds reflect the towering mixture of oak and palm trees. The Government House maintains a graceful air, having housed the governor of New South Wales since the 1840s. The Victorian architecture enhances the regal quality of the home and the gardens.

What’s Included: breakfast, guided tour, accommodation

Day 12: Sydney – Relish a Private Surf Lesson and Wander along the Bronte Walk

After breakfast, you make your way to the famous sands of Bondi Beach. Clear turquoise water brushes against the soft and golden grains of the coastline. Boulders border the edges of the beach, creating a stunning cove. Bondi is known around the world for its warm, pristine sand, opulent waters, and the celebrated reality television show “Bondi Rescue.” In the early morning, the beach is uninhabited. Locals stroll down the esplanade and jog in the quiet seaside atmosphere. You meet your surf instructor and begin your lesson. You can hear the waves splashing down, followed by the serene sound of the water lapping against the sand.

Your instructor teaches you the basic movements of surfing on land before paddling out. Once on the water, you feel the push and pull of the tide. The waves are small, perfect for learning. Your instructor guides you on when to start paddling, timing your spring, popping into the squatted position and finally riding the wave. The lesson is thrilling, and you gain a new appreciation for the grace and intensity involved with the sport. Once on land, you stroll along the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, which connects Bondi to Coogee. During whale season, you can watch the migration of humpbacks from the cliff tops. 

What’s Included: breakfast, guided tour, accommodation

Day 13: Sydney – Leaving Sydney Behind

After breakfast, your guide will escort you to Sydney Airport to catch your flight back home. As the trip comes to an end, you begin to reminisce about the memories that you have made that will continue to inspire you. As your flight ascends, you can't help but begin planning your return to the Southern hemisphere soon enough.

What's Included: breakfast, airport transfer


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.