Highlights of Australia Tour 2019

A 14 day trip to Australia 
4.73 out of 5 stars
375 reviews

Take a splash of cosmopolitan sophistication, add a pinch of tropical sunshine and mix it up with a generous serving of natural wonders, and you have the recipe for a pretty spectacular tour in Australia. But this trip doesn’t stop there. Add a wine experience and visits to a handful of UNESCO World Heritage sites, to deliver a true Australian travel masterpiece unlike any other. Handcrafted for 2019, this tour is primed to deliver a truly memorable experience.

Customize This Trip For Me
Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

australia panoramic view of the blue mountains three sisters
australia cairns great barrier reef ocean view
australia whale fin above water
australia view of gorge lush green valley
australia lush green vineyard and bright blue sky
australia great barrier reef two snorkelers exploring underwater
australia sydney bridge skyline
australia great barrier reef sea turtle
australia two glasses of white wine cheese and grapes
australia kangaroo on the beach at sunset looking towards the ocean
australia great barrier reef tropical fish swimming and coral
australia palm trees and beach and ocean
australia blue mountains valley view
australia road through daintree rainforest national park
australia queensland gold coast walkway into the ocean
australia sydney view of opera house and bridge from the harbor
australia walkway to palm tree beach and ocean
close detail of people on the top of sydney opera house
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Gold Coast, Cairns, Sydney, Great Barrier Reef, Blue Mountains

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Depart the US 

Prepare for the adventure of a lifetime as you board your flight to Australia.

Day 2: Cross the International Date Line

Fly across the International Date Line and travel forward in time (don’t worry you’ll get your time back on your return journey).

Day 3: Welcome to the Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise)

Arrive in the golden state of Queensland, where sun, beaches and a laidback coastal atmosphere will make you feel immediately relaxed, as you settle into your hotel in the electric beachside suburb of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Known for its long beaches, great shopping and vibrant restaurant and nightlife, the area is where Australians and visitors come to play and unwind. Settle into your hotel, don your beach gear and go for a stroll along Surfers Paradise Beach. The three-kilometer stretch of sand offers plenty of picturesque sights to look at, as well as warm waters if you’d like to go for a dip.

As evening nears, check out some of the area’s fabulous restaurants and bars or join an evening ghost tour to discover Surfer Paradise’s dark and curious past.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 4: Relax on the Beach (Surfers Paradise)

Golden beaches as far as the eye can see; that is what the Gold Coast is all about. The city boasts a splendid 57-kilometer (36-mile) long coastline, endowed with some of the best strips of sand in the world.

On day four of your trip, make the most of Australia's attributes, by dedicating your time and energy to the sandy stretches and warm ocean waters. Check out the surfers at world-famous surf beaches including The Spit, Miami (yes Australia has one of its very own) and Mermaid Beach or lounge on the sand and swim in calmer waters on the patrolled Surfers Paradise Beach.

Alternatively, see the coast from a different perspective by taking a cruise or whale watching tour. Spy million dollar mansions and get up close and personal with majestic Humpback Whales at the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 5: A Natural Playground (Surfers Paradise)

The area around Surfers Paradise is gifted with natural beauty and a rare abundance of endangered birds. If you cast your eyes to the southwest, you’ll find the World Heritage-listed Springbrook National Park, revered for its unique wealth of flora and fauna.

Leave the beaches and dazzling city lights behind and venture into the rainforest. Spend the afternoon walking the Springbrook Plateau, admiring waterfalls and breathtaking views over the mountains. Break for a picnic and experience a more tranquil pace of life.

As the sun sets, join a glowworm tour of the Natural Bridge. The natural archway leads to a spectacular cave with a stunning waterfall and a colony of glowworms. Experience the wonder as the cave is lit up by thousands of the critters, and learn about the area and the culture and history of the local Kombumerri indigenous people. If the evening is nice, enjoy an Australian dinner in the rainforest while admiring the open skies above. Otherwise, return to Surfers Paradise and enjoy views of a different kind as you dine 230 meters above ground with sweeping ocean panoramas, at SkyPoint.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 6: Explore Tropical Cairns (Brisbane - Cairns)

As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed tropical rainforests, Cairns resides firmly at the top of any Australia must-see list.  And see it you shall as a quick transfer to Brisbane and three-hour flight place you firmly on its sun-soaked streets.

Settle into your hotel and begin your exploration of the tropical haven by taking a stroll along the Esplanade — a pedestrian walkway that winds its way along the coast, granting visitors spectacular views over the Coral Sea. Then find a waterside restaurant or café, order a glass of Australian wine (or a cocktail) and indulge in the pleasant warmth of north Queensland evenings.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 7: Discover the Great Barrier Reef (Cairns)

A majestic garden of vibrant coral, gentle seagrass and schools of colorful tropical fish awaits you just off the edge of the Cairns coastline. Known collectively as the Great Barrier Reef, it is enough to take your breath away.

Set off to discover its beauty, as you join a full-day cruise to the very edge of Australia's continental shelf. Leave city shores behind and admire the coast from the water as you navigate your way across the Coral Sea to the most picturesque spots. Once you’ve reached your destination, get into the water and snorkel or dive the underwater world beneath you. Take a break with a refreshing lunch on board your vessel and drink in the idyllic scenery.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation, full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise, lunch

Day 8: Wander through Heritage-Listed Rainforests (Cairns)

Just a hop, skip and jump away from the coast lies another natural wonder — a pristine UNESCO World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest. Daintree Rainforest National Park, which can be found an easy 100 kilometers north of Cairns, is Australia’s largest and oldest tropical rainforest.

Since you’ll have the day at your leisure, why not explore its high, green canopies, verdant palm-lined gorges and the Mossman River on a guided tour? Learn about the multitude of animal species, the ancient ferns that thrive in its depths and the indigenous people of the area. Stop at the most picturesque lookouts for sweeping views over the region, cruise the river and look out for crocodiles and other wildlife as you breathe in the tranquility of the fairytale-like paradise.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 9: Visit Australia’s Largest City (Sydney)

As Australia’s largest city, Sydney is a thrilling combination of cosmopolitan hotels, restaurants, galleries, stores and bars. To this it adds spectacular beaches, a gorgeous natural harbor and a laidback way of life that gives the metropolis an easy, inviting air.  

Submerge yourself in the local culture as an airport transfer sees you settled into a hotel in the center of the city, within an easy stroll of the main attractions.

Freshen up and begin your exploration at the historic Queen Victoria Shopping arcade, which boasts many luxurious boutiques. Then wander down to Darling Harbour to watch performance artists and buskers do their thing. The atmosphere in this part of town is electric. Take it in by stopping at a waterside cafe, sampling local fudge, lounging on the steps by the water or walking through the Chinese Garden of Friendship.

In the evening, head for nearby King Street Wharf, where a multitude of fine-dining establishments will entertain your senses with delicious cuisine, creative cocktail menus and dazzling water views.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 10: A Day at the Opera House (Sydney)

The white sails of the Sydney Opera House can hardly be missed. The starlet of Sydney Harbour sits gracefully on Bennelong Point, welcoming tourists and locals with her iconic form.

However, when the icon was being built, more than one obstacle stood in its way. Learn about its conception, construction and the controversy that plagued its completion and led to the eventual resignation of designer, Jørn Utzon, as you embark on a tour of the Sydney Opera House. See the magnificent concert and theater halls, which host more than one million people every year, peer out onto the harbor from its windows and enjoy a cheeky glass of wine in one of the world’s most famous performing arts centers.

Return in the evening to see the Sydney Opera House come to life with a music, theater, opera or ballet performance.

What’s Included: accommodation, Sydney Opera House tour

Day 11: City Beaches Ahoy (Sydney)

One of the many advantages of being a coastal city is an abundance of picturesque beaches and cliffs. Explore this side of the city, as you dedicate day eleven of your trip to its coastline. A pleasant ferry ride across the harbor will introduce you to the gorgeous Manly Beach. Situated in the Northern Beaches district of Sydney, it’s a sandy haven away from the skyscrapers, yet cosmopolitan enough to boast stylish restaurants, cafes and bars. Go for a stroll or settle in with a cocktail and the sea breeze.

If you’d rather get further from city life, continue north to Newport, Bilgola or Palm Beach, each of which offers pristine sandy shores, an inviting ocean and walking paths with panoramic coastal views.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 12: Hunter Valley Vineyards (Polkolbin)

Happy news; one of Australia’s most celebrated and oldest wine regions, the Hunter Valley, lies just beyond 100 kilometers from Sydney. Renown for its refreshing Semillons (as well as a range of other varietals), cheese and chocolate, it is a gourmand’s dream.

Treat your taste buds to the local drops by heading out to the wine country on a full-day tour. Admire rolling hills as you travel between cellar doors to sample red and white wine. Step behind the scenes and see how the local drops are made, discover boutique wineries and meet the wine makers. Enjoy lunch overlooking picturesque vineyards and stop by the Hunter Valley Cheese Company and the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company to taste premium local produce, before heading back.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 13: Explore the Blue Mountains (Sydney)

Shrouded in a mist of blue, concealing ancient legends, stories of bold expeditions and sleepy little towns, the Blue Mountains are as intriguing as they are beautiful. And since they lie within an easy distance of Sydney, they’re an enigma you can explore.

Head out to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed area and learn how three sisters got turned into colossal sandstone rock formations by their father, see the sapphire haze that settles over the breathtaking Jamison Valley and descend deep into the rainforest, among ferns, moss and waterfalls, to grasp why the area posed a challenge to early European explorers.

Enjoy a picnic lunch in the presence of a waterfall or at a charming café in the historic mountain village of Leura. Then stop by Featherdale Wildlife Park on your way back to meet some of the local animals, including cute koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, flying foxes and Tasmanian devils.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 14: Depart Australia 

Wave a final goodbye to Sydney Harbour as you head for the airport and board your flight back to the US.

What’s Included: flight 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.