Sydney, Uluru, Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas
Dates are customizable for private departures.
From watching the sunset in Uluru to cruising the Parramatta River, this handcrafted one-week Australian adventure will lead you on an exclusive journey to Australia’s icons in addition to incorporating tropical Queensland and Sydney’s most exclusive experiences. Australia is a land of icons and legends that can be mostly discovered in just about a week. Indulge in aboriginal encounters in an ancient forest, magnificent landscapes from the Great Barrier Reef to the red desert, and contemporary...
Port Douglas – Rest and Relaxation
After landing at Cairns International Airport, you will be transferred to Port Douglas. While Cairns is a nice town, it does not actually have its own beach. Port Douglas is smaller, quieter, and draped along a brilliant stretch of sand. Today will be at your leisure. It is great to start slow, even if you only have a week. Once you have settled in to your accommodation, you can stroll barefooted along the Pacific, bask in the shade of towering trees, and check out a low-slung town that is dominated by cafe terraces and boutiques. There is so much to do during your one week in Australia, so take today to rest and ease into the atmosphere down under.
Port Douglas – Aboriginal Experiences
Today, you will be led by guides from three contrasting clans to gain a broad and intimate perspective on their ancient cultures. You will begin in the forest, shouting a message to the forest protector and exploring how every tree and plant has its use. Bush survival is easy in the hands of experts, and you will learn how to make toothpaste and soap, taste edible bugs, and explore how this forest clan has endured for many millennia. Down at the beach, you will meet a hunter-gatherer clan and venture out with a spear to catch rock crabs and various other critters that are left exposed by low tide. Aboriginal stories are passed down in paintings, and an artist will show you how dots and lines complement verbal narratives.
Port Douglas – The Great Barrier Reef
Today, you will be admiring the Great Barrier Reef from an accessible vantage point. After breakfast, you will soar over the Pacific in a private helicopter to admire how hundreds of individual reefs create this barrier, each with a different shape, color, and size. Then, after touching down on a pontoon, you can snorkel in this remarkable realm. Unique colors extend further than your eye can see, and peculiar coral is dominated by a vivid collection of reef fish. Each reef is unique, and the sheer range of colors and styles is what makes this natural wonder so special. Most people take a boat tour to a single reef, but, by helicopter, you can explore many.
Uluru – Magnificent Uluru Sunset
Departing from Port Douglas this morning, you will be transferred back to Cairns for a flight to Uluru. Eventually, you will touch down and have some time to relax at your desert camp in the solitude of the red desert. A private sunset Uluru tour will follow, during which you can wander the base to see Aboriginal paintings and evidence of how this rock has been used by civilization. From bright sun-bleached orange, the rock transforms, traveling through muted red tones before sinking into deep crimson and eventually shadow. An astronomer guide will introduce you to some of the constellations, and it is rare to go 20 minutes without seeing a shooting star.
Sydney – Parramatta Dinner Cruise
Your stay at the desert camp will include all meals. This is a sacred Aboriginal site, and, fortunately, much of it remains in local hands, so visitors can only explore a small section. After sunrise brings the color changes of yesterday in reverse, a local guide will lead you through the stark red Kata Tjuta canyon, past billabongs, and near trickling waterfalls. Back at the desert camp, you will have a second breakfast before your flight to Sydney. Add on the time difference, and it will be late afternoon by the time you arrive, but there will still be plenty to experience. You will venture beneath the bridge on a dinner cruise past the opera house while dining on fine cuisine and soaking up your first impressions of the city.
Sydney – Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge
Last night, a dinner cruise led you through the city’s heart, but this morning’s Sydney Harbour Bridge climb will provide you with the ultimate perspective. Strapped into climbing equipment, you will ascend slowly along the iconic steel arches to the bridge’s highest point. After descending from the bridge, a local guide will lead you to the city’s hidden and iconic locales. Grand Victorian arcades are obvious highlights, but there is much more to Sydney than the famous places. Sydney Opera House will already have impressed you from the bridge and on the cruise, but today, you will experience a show at the opera house. Today will be very customizable, so you can expect your guide to respond to any personal wishes.
Sydney – Departure
With a final morning in Sydney, you can explore the famous beaches. These are quieter and cooler in the morning, and most locals avoid beaches like Bondi during the afternoon. Bondi is best to start with a coffee on an al fresco terrace while watching the waves. Then, you can indulge in a cliffside walking route to Coogee, which is a beautiful and easy trail that celebrates Sydney’s unique coastline. Coogee has a great restaurant for lunch, and you will have a late checkout so that you can refresh before an evening transfer to the airport.
- Uncover ancient secrets during a day of Aboriginal encounters near Port Douglas, where you will meet three different Aboriginal clans
- Embrace Sydney’s iconicity on a beautiful private tour through the old center and an evening show at Sydney Opera House
- Marvel at Uluru as sunset casts fresh colors across the world’s largest monolith
- Helicopter over the Great Barrier Reef and touch down to some incredible private snorkeling on untrammeled reefs
- Cruise through Sydney after dark on a sublime Parramatta dinner cruise
- Escape to the wilderness for a night with the Southern Sky at a remote red desert camp
- Lay back on Australia’s stunning beaches, including Bondi and Coogee in addition to a three-night waterfront stay in Port Douglas
Australia is an enormous country. Tropical coastlines blur into a wild red center, indigenous forests meet with rolling mountains, and even the cities are defined by nature. Although it is massive, a superb travel infrastructure means that you can comfortably combine a full range of experiences in a short amount of time. This itinerary has been handcrafted to combine Australia’s icons and legends into one week of travel. Three nights in Port Douglas celebrate the country’s exotic allure, including beautiful Aboriginal encounters, the Great Barrier Reef, and a superb beachside lodge. Then, Uluru offers a dazzling 24-hour experience in the red desert wilderness before Sydney becomes an experience with a vibrant city energy.
To begin your journey, you will fly into Cairns and find nearby Port Douglas to be a perfect place to unwind after a long flight. Here, you can wander golden beaches, bask in the vibe down under, and gaze across the Pacific with your feet in the sand. On day two, you will meet three different Aboriginal clans, which will be a journey on land and water into the unique specialisms of these often misunderstood people. Exploring an indigenous forest with a local guide will help you understand bush survival before hunting and gathering along the coast shows you a different side to the culture. Afterward, an Aboriginal artist will help you record your day in true Aboriginal style by teaching you how to do a local form of art. Their artwork, which typically takes the form of paintings with dots and lines, reflects one way these people narrate their histories.
Afterward, you will fly directly to Uluru to explore the giant red rock at sunset. Here, you can walk around its sublime frame and gaze in disbelief at its size. Colors changes are remarkable out here, and the sense of wilderness will continue at your remote desert camp, where you will dine beneath the Southern Sky and embrace the solitude that Australia can create. After a morning with the fabulous domes of Kata Tjuta, Sydney will complete your seven-day journey. It is a magnificent place to be, and the city’s energy is impulsive and quick to impress. You can begin with a Parramatta dinner cruise before climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge the following morning. A night at the opera will follow a city walking tour, and then you can relax on the beaches, which are as iconic as a country and as unique as the city.
$1,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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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