Grand Australia (26 days, Perth - Sydney, 2014 - 2015)
Only in Australia can people see kangaroos, koalas and crocodiles in their natural habitats; emerge from the canopy of a colourful, tropical rainforest to enter a cosmopolitan city; and enjoy authentic Australian cuisine in the outback. The only way to experience the best that ‘Down Under’ has to offer is on our 26-day Grand Australia tour. Here we take you on a journey of spellbinding heritage with stories of bushrangers and brave soldiers, Aboriginal customs passed through the ages and modern-day sporting heroes. Along the way, you’ll enjoy an abundance of fine cuisine and wine, and stays in some of the country’s most luxurious resorts.
Availability update - many dates are now sold out, so you'll need to book soon to secure your place on one of our other remaining departure dates!
Day 1: Depart the UK (Onboard full meal service and complimentary bar service)
Today, you’ll fly with QANTAS from London Heathrow or with Emirates from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle or Glasgow, to a destination of your choice for an included three night stopover at no extra cost. Whether you opt for Singapore, Bangkok or Dubai, you have a unique opportunity to explore another amazing destination. Flights from the UK to Singapore or Bangkok will be via Dubai.
Day 2: Arrive at your choice of stopover (Onboard full meal service and complimentary bar service)
Choose from three outbound stopovers:
• Singapore • Dubai • Bangkok
Once you’ve arrived at your stopover destination, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. For the remainder of the day you’re free to explore whichever city you’ve chosen to visit. Please note, depending on which airline and stopover you choose, flight schedules and timings may vary slightly, which means the first five days of your itinerary may differ. For more information, please call one of our travel advisors. It’s also worth noting that your stopover won’t be escorted by a Scenic Tours representative, however you will be met upon arrival by a local representative.
Day 3: Scenic FreeChoice day (B)
After a full buffet breakfast to set you up for the day, you’ll enjoy a Scenic FreeChoice day where you can choose from a selection of exciting activities.
Day 4: Free day (B)
Once you’ve enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, the day is yours to discover everything your destination has to offer.
After a full buffet breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Perth. If Bangkok is your chosen stopover destination, your flight to Perth will be via Singapore.Welcome to Australia! On your late evening arrival in Perth, you’ll be transferred to the five-star Duxton Hotel for a three night stay. The hotel is in a perfect location in the heart of the vibrant city and just a short stroll from the sparkling Swan River.
Three Night Stay: Perth
You have a great selection of Scenic FreeChoice activitiesto choose from today: (1) a cruise and tour exploring Rottnest Island’s stunning beaches and bays (2) a cruise to Fremantle, a tram tour of the pretty port city, a delicious lunch at the world-famous Fremantle Harbour, and a visit to Swan Bells (3) a cruise to Fremantle for a tram tour, a guided tour of the historic Fremantle Prison, and on your return, stop off at Swan Bells (4) or an opportunity to discover Perth’s highlights including Fremantle and Swan Bells with a hop-on hop-off triple tour pass. Entrance to Swan Bells is included for excursions 2-4. Scenic Enrich: A true highlight of your holiday will be this evening’s Welcome Dinner with your Tour Director and fellow guests onboard a ship sailing the beautiful Swan River. Upon arrival, you’ll be treated to a glass of sparkling wine before enjoying a buffet dinner with wine, beer and soft drinks included. As you cruise, you’ll be serenaded by a pianist while admiring the stunning views of Perth’s night-time skyline.
Perth is your playground today, and you’re free to explore it as you please. Why not make the most of the city’s free travel system as you explore? Visit Perth’s Mint - a well-preserved remnant of the gold rush era - or stroll through Kings Park and the Botanical Gardens. With its remarkable expanses of unique bushland, tranquil parkland and stunning views overlooking Perth, Kings Park is a must-see destination in Western Australia. Or if you’d like to take this chance to do a bit of shopping, why not venture to Perth’s lively precincts or browse the boutiques along Leederville’s stylish Oxford Street?
Whether you’re a wine lover or not, you’ll surely appreciate the great scenic beauty of one of Australia’s premier wine growing areas as you travel through the Margaret River region. En route, you’ll stop at Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre to see wild dolphins in their natural habitat. With over 100 dolphins living in the bay, groups of them regularly visit the shallow waters in front of the centre. However, as the dolphins are in their natural habitat, we’re sure you’ll understand that we can’t guarantee dolphin sightings. Later, you’ll stop off at Busselton, home of the Southern Hemisphere’s longest jetty. Overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, it’s the perfect place for pictures. You’ll then continue to Yallingup in the Margaret River region for a two night stay at the Seashells Resort. Please note porterage is not available at this hotel. This evening you’re free to relax or take a trip into the charming town of Margaret River on your complimentary shuttle service.Two Night Stay: Margaret River
The Indulgence Collection: Why not treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation to a two night stay at Cape Lodge in Margaret River?
After a boxed breakfast, you’ll travel to Augusta and the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. As you continue to the ‘Tall Timber’ country and the Boranup Karri Forest, you’ll be able to admire the amazing vistas across the forest and coastline. Scenic Enrich: Margaret River is one of Australia’s premier wine regions, and what better way to experience the beauty of this area (and the quality of its food and wine) than with a lunch at one of Margaret River’s first-class wineries? After lunch you’ll further explore the winery with a behind the scenes tour. Later, you’ll return to the hotel to relax. And remember, this evening, there is a complimentary shuttle service available to whisk you into Margaret River.
Following your boxed breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Perth for a flight to Alice Springs, affectionately known as ‘The Alice’. There, you’ll enjoy a two night stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, and tonight you’ll enjoy dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.
Two Night Stay: Alice Springs
This morning you’ll visit the School of the Air to learn about its unique teaching methods; the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs; and the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which inspired the famous television series, ‘The Flying Doctors’. After returning to your hotel, you can enjoy the afternoon at your leisure, whether that’s relaxing by the pool or exploring the township of Alice Springs. Scenic Enrich: Early this evening, you have an exciting visit to the Kangaroo Sanctuary, on 90 acres of untouched bushland, home of Chris ‘Brolga‘ Barnes, founder of the sanctuary and the star of ‘Kangaroo Dundee’. Here, you’ll take a leisurely walk through the bush as the kangaroos wake from their daytime sleep while you learn about the significance of the wildlife from your Aboriginal guide.
Today you’ll travel through the desert landscapes of Australia’s Red Centre, before arriving at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the afternoon for a one night Special Stay at the Sails in the Desert Hotel. The hotel is a truly luxurious retreat, surrounding by raw natural beauty. Scenic Enrich: We have a special dinner prepared for you tonight with your Sounds of Silence experience - an evening of dining and indigenous entertainment under the outback sky. As the sun sets, you’ll be feasting on a superb barbecue served with complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks. After sunset, attention turns to the sky as your star talker takes you on a tour of the southern night sky.
Overnight Special Stay: Uluru
Today is filled with fun and adventure. Part of that fun is choosing from the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) a ride through the outback on a Harley Davidson, in the capable hands of an experienced guide (2) a camel ride through the sand dunes of the Australian outback (3) or watch the spectacular sunrise with breakfast at Uluru, as well as touring the rock’s base and visiting the Cultural Centre. Later, you’ll fly to Cairns in Tropical North Queensland and stay for three nights at the Cairns Hilton, perfectly located on Cairns Marina.
Three Night Stay: Cairns
You’re spoilt for choice today, with four included Scenic FreeChoice activities to pick from: (1) an amazing hot air balloon flight at sunrise, taking you over the vast Atherton Tablelands (2) a unique journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway through magnificent tropical rainforest, and return by Skyrail (3) a visit to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, where you can learn to play the didgeridoo (4) or a trip to the Great Australian Wildlife Experience at Cairns Zoo and Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, where you’ll get up close and personal to the animals of Australia.
With so much to see and do in Cairns, we’ve given you a free day to spend as you please. If you’re in the mood to relax, why not have a swim in the “lagoon” - a free public swimming area located on the promenade near the pier? Surrounded by rainforest clad mountains, Cairns has nearly 200 walking tracks, details of which you can find at local bookshops and adventure shops. Or for a greater insight into the region’s history and culture, there are numerous interesting museums and many art galleries showcasing quality local artists, indigenous artists and international work, for you to explore.
Today you’ll transfer to Thala Beach Lodge for a two night Special Stay. Nestled within the hilly terrain of a World Heritage Listed rainforest, this award-winning eco-resort overlooks the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Here, you’ll stay in the most beautifully appointed individual bungalows, with golf buggies available to assist you over the terrain if required. After you’re settled, you can spend the remainder of the day relaxing by the pool, exploring the tropical surroundings or take the complimentary shuttle bus to Port Douglas’ boutique shops and restaurants. Tonight, enjoy a fabulous ‘Australiana’ dinner, which showcases this country’s finest and freshest ingredients.
Two Night Special Stay: Thala Beach
No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll travel to Port Douglas and take a high-speed catamaran to a pontoon moored on the Outer Barrier Reef. Here, you can snorkel with an instructor, enjoy viewing the coral and sea life from a semi-submersible boat, and take a closer look at the fish and coral from an underwater observatory. A delicious smorgasbord lunch is served onboard the pontoon too. Scenic Enrich: One of today’s highlights is an included short helicopter flight over the Outer Barrier Reef (weather dependent). This scenic flight gives you a bird’s eye view of one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of the World’ and provides many fantastic photo opportunities.
After flying to Melbourne, you’ll be taken on a short orientation tour before being transferred to the Crown Promenade Hotel for a three night stay. For the remainder of the day you’re free to explore all of Melbourne’s marvellous sites.
Three Night Stay: Melbourne
Discover Melbourne your way by choosing one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) a trip to Phillip Island where you’ll see Australia’s wildlife and the magical penguin parade (2) a walking tour of Melbourne with entrance to the Eureka Skydeck Sun and Stars (3) a trip on the Puffing Billy Steam Train through the Blue Dandenong Ranges (4) or a morning Melbourne city tour.
You’re free to spend today however you like, so why not visit one of the city’s many art galleries and museums or head to the buzzing Federation Square? This evening’s Scenic FreeChoice dining options include: (1) an early evening dinner onboard the historic Melbourne Tramcar (2) or you can dine at one of the excellent restaurants within the Crown Melbourne Casino Complex.
Start the day with a filling breakfast before you fly to Sydney for a four night Special Stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. Decorated in contemporary grand-luxe style, where the city’s chic cosmopolitan vibe is reflected throughout the hotel’s design, it’s conveniently located within easy walking distance of Sydney’s world-famous harbour. Early this evening, you’ll enjoy incredible views of Sydney Harbour’s iconic sights and magnificent mansions as you take a fabulous cruise, which includes dinner, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks.
Four Night Special Stay: Sydney
On our tours, you’re never short of something to do. Today, you have seven Scenic FreeChoice activities to choose from: (1) a relaxing sail on an America’s Cup yacht on Sydney Harbour - no experience necessary, where you can get involved and learn the ropes (2) a tour of Sydney Opera House which finishes with a delicious tasting platter (3) a guided bicycle tour of the city (4) a visit to the Skywalk at Sydney Tower Eye (5) see the wonderful wildlife at Taronga Zoo, overlooking Sydney Harbour (6)Ride around the rocks (7) or a fun-filled kayaking tour of Sydney Harbour and a delicious picnic lunch.
Today Sydney is yours to discover. In order for you to fit in everything you’d like to do, your Tour Director will be on hand to help plan your day of sightseeing in this fantastic city.
Scenic Enrich: After breakfast you’ll be transported to Rose Bay to board a seaplane for a spectacular scenic flight. Taking off from the bay, you’ll soar over the sandstone cliffs at the entrance to Sydney Harbour where you can see surfers and beach goers mingle below. You’ll return to Rose Bay via the inner harbour for a circuit above Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge (weather dependent). Scenic Enrich: Tonight you have a table reserved at an award-winning restaurant with views of the Opera House where you’ll enjoy your fantastic Farewell Dinner, which includes beer, wine and soft drinks.
Your tour concludes this morning and you’ll be transferred back to the airport for your Flight home (Onboard full meal service and complimentary bar service). Alternatively, why not extend your holiday in Australia to visit family and friends or arrange a stopover to break up your journey home?
Please note that all Scenic FreeChoice options need to be pre-booked.
Meals: B: Breakfast BB: Boxed Breakfast L: Lunch HL: Highlight Lunch D: Dinner HD: Highlight Dinner
If you choose to extend your stay in Australia, please check transfer entitlements with your Scenic Tours travel advisor.