Extraordinary Nature & Wildlife: 14-Day Australia Tour

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Total Trip:

14 Days
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Countries Visited:

Australia
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Places Visited:

Melbourne, St Kilda, Phillip Island, Koala Conservation Centre, Tasmania, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Kangaroos bounce as koalas cling to branches. Penguins will waddle as Tasmanian devils hide in the trees. This is Australia, home to the most unique wildlife along with the most diverse, wild settings. From the endless outback to the Great Barrier Reef, green Tasmanian plains to red Kakadu slopes, this is the ultimate Australian wildlife and nature tour that encompasses life on the ground and in the water. So, jump into the adventure and discover the most inimitable land on the planet.

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Day 1

Melbourne – Relaxing and Getting Ready for the Adventure

Although Melbourne is Australia’s greenest city, it is not big on wildlife, but it does have spacious parks and a magnificent botanical garden. It is also a comfortable place to relax after a flight, with an abundance of cafes and restaurants that will be walking distance from your hotel. Your hotel will be on the beach, just South of the city. You will check in and spend the day growing accustomed to the foreign time zone, dozing off on the sand, or relaxing beneath a gum tree near the Yarra River. There is so much wildlife and bush to come, so take your time today and get ready for the adventure that awaits you.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

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Day 2

Melbourne – Penguins and Wild Koalas on Phillip Island

Penguins will waddle across Phillip Island beaches. The colony is huge, with hundreds of penguins starting antics on the sand. Some will waddle off into the sea to go fishing, while others will head up to their nesting sites. A more sedate species also covers the island. Koalas are placid and hardly move all day. This makes them relatively easy to spot, and when koalas cling to low-lying branches, you can get incredibly close. Echidnas and swamp wallabies can also be spotted around here.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3 - 4

Mount Willian National Park (Tasmania) – Exploring Handpicked Natural Highlights in Tasmania

You will then fly to Hobart and head straight to Tasmania’s national parks. Almost a third of this island is protected as reserves and parks, providing a haven for more species than anywhere else in Australia. Narawntapu will be a fine introduction, where red-necked wallabies will hop across dusty ground and wombats will hide just beside the trail. Before driving to the hugely under-visited Mount William National Park, you might spot a Tasmanian devil. Silence will dominate here. There will not be much life around midday, but the park will become an action-packed safari from late-afternoon through sunset.

Kangaroos will cover the plains in large mobs, and wallabies are even more plentiful and more likely to come closer to you. You do not really need to look for all this life as you can hear it and spot it regularly while exploring the park. So instead, the guide will focus on a rarer creature: Tasmanian devils. These animals are cantankerous and highly endangered. After dark will come new life such as owls, nightjars, tawny frogmouths, and perhaps a troupe of wallabies. You will spend these two nights at a cabin retreat within the park, with day four dedicated to the desolate corners of a very remote national park.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Freycinet National Park (Tasmania) – Nocturnal Wildlife and Seabirds

Freycinet is Tasmania’s most popular park, and you will notice the change in atmosphere. It is easy to understand the popularity, especially when staying on Wineglass Bay and searching for the range of seabirds. White-bellied sea eagles will soar overhead as gannets and black-faced cuckoos fly closer to your eyeline. You will have the opportunity to view many different species of birds here. Once more there will be a chance to see the rare and elusive Tasmanian devils.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Hobart to Cairns to Thetford Reef – Setting Off on the Great Barrier Reef

After an optional sunrise wildlife walk, you will return to Hobart and fly to Cairns, where you will swap a rugged, Southern island for the sun-kissed coral of the Great Barrier Reef. Your cruise will depart mid-afternoon, traveling through Trinity Bay to an exclusive mooring at Thetford Reef. There will be time to jump beneath the surface and start counting the 1,500 fish species that live here, with hump-headed Maori wrasse and giant trevally being the most conspicuous giants. Even on your first snorkel, you will appreciate that the highlights are not just the fish but the coral itself, as a whole kaleidoscope of colors will be shining beneath the surface. This is just the first of your underwater explorations, too. There will be three more days to come and experience this Great Barrier Reef cruise.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7 - 8

Great Barrier Reef – A Luxury Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Dolphin fins will rise and fall, and turtles will be spotted at shallow reefs. Around mangroves, you will search for dugongs, which are strange creatures that frolic and feed on sea grass. You can snorkel at different reefs, and scuba dive should you wish, while absorbing the inimitability of a landscape that is visible from space. With a four-day cruise, you can explore many different reefs that make up The Great Barrier Reef. Most importantly, you can visit the outer reefs, which are those that are mostly untouched and most abundant in terms of underwater life and diversity.

The boat will have a glass bottom, so you do not always need to get wet to enjoy it all. At every stop, there will be a guided snorkeling excursion, or you can swim off for your own exploration. Mixed into all the marine life, you will disembark at uninhabited islands, eat barbecues on the beach and walk through the dense rainforest. Dunk Island will prove to be a superb place for birding, with yellow-bellied sunbirds and orange-footed scrubfowl among the rare inhabitants. Then, Nathan Reef will take marine exploration into a new dimension. Both of these days will be action packed with at least three different stops.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 9

Cairns to Darwin – Relaxing by the Crocodiles

You will have more underwater adventures this morning. Fitzroy Island will be the only stop on route back to Cairns, which is an island that is famed for its white sand beaches and fringing reefs that are easy for all levels of snorkelers. By 1 pm, you will be back in Cairns, and it is straight to the airport for a Darwin-bound flight. You will touch down in a bucolic little city on the water, and there should be enough light left to glimpse a crocodile down at the river. The adventures will continue in earnest tomorrow, so you may want to take this evening to rest and relax, catching your breath after the cruise while preparing for the wild and dry landscapes that are to come.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 10 - 12

Kakadu National Park – Wild Adventures in the Northern Territory

Kakadu will glisten in ochre morning splendor, and a low-lying haze will add to the mystique as your four-wheel drive kicks up dust and heads into the wilderness. This will be an immense space, mostly unexplored and unknown except to local Aborigines. Wildlife thrives here although it will not be as easily spotted as elsewhere on your journey. You may be lucky enough to spot a mob of kangaroos or wallabies.

Birdlife is very impressive, and the experience can be operatic. Sometimes flocks will cover the sky, and you will be treated to a flurry of activity and harmonious chirps. At other times, you will have to wait patiently, following audio clues to a pair of blue wings. This is wild bushland, and it is ripe for exploration.

You cannot see Kakadu in a day as it takes about half of a day just to reach the real wilderness. Three days will allow a loop around the park’s most iconic features. Daytimes here will be all about adventure. You can eat breakfast at dawn by the remains of last night’s fire or hike and drive on rarely covered paths. You will be staying in wilderness cabins where the skies are magnificent, especially when you are sitting around the fire and appreciating a world away from Wi-Fi and modern life. The accommodation will be more than comfortable while also preserving Kakadu’s wilderness feel. So, rest, shower, fall asleep, and then wake up to the kookaburras call once more. That will be the rhythm in Kakadu, and it is yours for three full days.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 13

Darwin to Uluru – Sunset at the Magnificent Red Rock

After three days in remote Kakadu, it may feel surreal to be back in Darwin, even if the city is hardly larger than an outpost. Do not worry, you will be back out in the outback before the day is out. You will fly from Darwin to Uluru and spend the afternoon at a rock. This is not just a rock. It is a place of sanctuary, a place of beauty, a symbol of an older Aboriginal time, and probably the most impressive sunset point you will ever encounter. Savor it all in before a final night beneath the stars as the southern sky will become an omnipresent highlight of your trip to Australia.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 14

Uluru – Sunrise with Kata Tjuta and Departure

Twenty-six domes will slowly rise from the shadows as an orange hue will creep up as the rising sun glides higher. These sacred rocks will seem inconceivable on an otherwise featureless landscape. You will watch the sunrise and then head into a valley that runs through Kata Tjuta, seeking a remote waterfall and the eerie sound of wind breezing past you. It will be a fitting final highlight to your two weeks in Australia. After a second breakfast, you will be dropped at Uluru for a domestic flight back to Melbourne, where you will transfer onto your outbound flight.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with an in-depth four-day cruise
  • Escape to rugged wilderness as you spend three days in Kakadu National Park
  • Discover Tasmania, a sublime island of national parks and wildlife
  • Find penguins on the beach and koalas in the trees at Phillip Island
  • Watch the sun come down behind Uluru, the world’s largest monolith
  • Search for Australia’s rare birds, including the whistling kite, blue-winged kookaburra, and short-tailed shearwater
  • Encounter the complete range of rare Australian wildlife, including wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, and even Tasmanian devils
  • Watch strange seabirds at remote beaches, such as black-faced cuckoo shrikes, Australian gannets, and white-bellied sea eagles
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Detailed Description

Marsupial silhouettes will cut across the desert, and turtles will glide lazily through the tropics. Deep in the forest, you will find koalas as they cling happily to trunks. Islands await with fields of green, and mountains will cascade like sentinels across the North. There will also be beaches populated by penguins and rare seabirds. Nowhere has nature nor wildlife quite like Australia. From hopping marsupials to underwater brilliance, this is a land of natural surprise. Almost every land animal you encounter is unique to the region, which means it is not seen in the wild anywhere else in the world.

The big challenge to travel here is Australia’s size. This is an enormous country, and nature is widely spread through the desert, across islands, and beneath the water’s surface. This handcrafted tour carefully picks a series of destinations, ensuring you will have the opportunity to experience the diversity of landscapes and animals. You will hop between destinations that showcase Australia’s remarkable natural diversity. One day you will be with penguins on a remote beach, and the next day, you will be spending time with wombats and possums. At the Great Barrier Reef, you will spend four days on a cruise so you will be able to visit a myriad of different reefs, each with their own beauty and specialty. By combining Uluru with Kakadu, you will get a great feel for what the red wilderness is all about.

Most of this two-week vacation will be spent in the wild, but you will start with two nights on the beach in Melbourne. First, you will touch down and start overcoming the jet lag before starting the adventure with a day at Phillip Island, where you will have intimate moments with koalas and penguins. Day three to five will be spent in Tasmania, visiting a selection of national parks that will keep you deep within nature. Almost the complete sweep of Australian wildlife can be seen here such as kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, and a stunning assortment of sea and land birds.

You will then fly from Hobart to Cairns and set off on a four-day, three-night cruise on The Great Barrier Reef. This cruise will be interspersed with barbecues on the beach, cruising to distinctive reefs, watching dolphins from the deck, and going underwater to tropical paradise. With the cruise, you can visit outer reefs, which are far from day-trippers and bulky pontoon boats. A superb variety of snorkeling and diving sites will be explored along with island rainforest and coral cliffs. Finally, you will fly from Cairns to Darwin on day nine and then jump into a three-day wilderness experience, where you will explore the rugged red lands on Kakadu, Australia’s finest national park. Uluru will provide the crowning glory, which is a 24-hour stay that will help you reflect on Australia’s ancient and untouched beauty.

 Make sure your perfect Australian vacation is an unforgettable one by seeing additional Australia travel ideas.

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Starting Price

$3495 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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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.

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