- 8 Days -
We're just assembling some amazing activities to choose from - wont be long!
Optional activities include - The Sydney Harbor Bridge ◦ The Sydney Opera House ◦ The Blue Mountains National Park ◦ Bondi Beach and The Northern Beaches ◦ Harbor Cruising ◦ Coastal Walks ◦ Australian Wildlife ◦ Great Food ◦ Hunter Valley Wineries ◦ Cairns ◦ Port Douglas ◦ The Daintree Forest ◦ The Atherton Tableland ◦ Crocodiles Adventures ◦ Dive and Snorkel on The Reef ◦ Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park ◦ Skyrail & Scenic Rail ◦ Barrier Reef Cruising ◦ Island Resorts
This price is based on two persons sharing a room for 7-nights (3 in Sydney, 4 in Cairns) in centrally located 3-star hotels and a transfer to your hotel on arrival Sydney. Prices for a single room and a longer stay are also available. To add sightseeing options, either create a Wish List by selecting from the attractions below, or if you don't have the time to complete a Wish List, click for a free custom itinerary, based on your planned traveling dates. Prices are subject to future changes in US$ and AU$ currency exchange rates.
Sydney is Australia's largest city, a thriving cultural center with great concert halls and galleries, museums and amazing restaurants and cafes. Wine lovers will enjoy a day trip to the nearby vineyards of the Hunter Valley. We’ll guide you in making the best choices according to your own interests and preferences.
Fly to Cairns, your gateway city to the coastal rainforests and mountains of Queensland, environmentally linked as they are to Australia's most famous piece of offshore coastline, The Great Barrier Reef.
Visitors to Australia will sometimes hear the locals using the expression "FNQ". They're talking about 'Far North Queensland', home to the Great Barrier Reef and some of the most ancient rainforests on the planet. It's also home for many of the indigenous Aboriginal people, one of the world's oldest civilizations who arrived in Australia over 40,000 years ago. The best step-off points to the famous attraction of FNQ are Cairns and Port Douglas, located less than an hour from each other. Cairns is a small city with lots happening and Port Douglas a quiet beachside resort where relaxation is the key attraction.
Our team will work with you to help you decide what your next vacation stop is going to be. Either in Australia or perhaps flying to New Zealand for the next stage of your travel adventure. If your visit comes at the end of your vacation, today you will return to the USA. Re-cross the International Dateline and arrive on the same date that you leave Australia.
Our travel professionals on the team here at New Zealand and Australia Vacations have first hand personal experiences of all the destinations mentioned on our website. If you are inspired by this vacation package, get them to help you create a version that’s more tailor-made to your special and specific requirements.
Phone 888-277-2293 or by email HERE.
The Blue Mountains National Park is one of seven national parks that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.This wonderland of sandstone outcrops, deep ravines and hazy blue eucalypt forests boasts luxury retreats and stunning views.
Today, your guide will take you off the beaten track to visit remote lookout locations and discuss the history, flora and fauna of this magnificent region.
At 7.00- 7.30AM depart from your hotel by coach and travel directly to the Blue Mountains with your first stop of the day at Calmsley Hill, a working farm that is also a home for Kangaroo, Emu, Wombat and Koala. Enjoy morning tea with time afterwards to wander at leisure and enjoy the wildlife that lives here.
From Calmsley Hill continue to the Blue Mountains and visit an outlook points for stunning views of the Jamison Valley.
Continuing on, arrive at Eaglehawk Lookout, a remote lookout point away from the crowds for views of the famous 'Three Sisters' rock formations.
The "character" of the Three Sisters changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons as the sunlight brings out the magnificent colours. Here your guide will discuss the legends behind this famous rock formation and time available for you to take some great photos.
Your coach then makes its way around the mountain valleys towards the village of Blackheath and your lunch venue the Hydro Majestic.
The afternoon is spent visiting a selection of dramatic lookout points. Once you see the view from Govetts Leap you’ll know why it’s one of the most famous views in Australia, with a magnificent waterfall that drops nearly 600 ft to the base of the cliff. If you’re not mesmerised by the dancing waves of water spray it produces, you’ll be transfixed by the sweeping views down the valley to the Grose Wilderness.
Next stop is the delightful Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens our last stop, where we enjoy the sweeping views of Sydney in the distance before travelling down the Bells Line of Road to arrive back at your hotel approximately 4.30 - 5.00pm.
The 'Three Sisters', Blue Mountains.
Govetts Leap, Blue Mountains.
Meeting a kangaroo with a sweet tooth.
Downtown cafes and restaurants in places like 'The Rocks' and 'Darling Harbor" have some great eateries. But for a better opportunity to mix with the locals and to enjoy food the way they do, don't confine yourself to downtown. Take an Uber out to Ashfield (20-minutes) for some of the best Chinese you’ll ever enjoy, and at bargain prices. Or even closer is Leichhardt, the Italian area where you get the best Italian food in Australia, some would claim the world. Or maybe Portuguese food at the suburb of Petershem. Whatever your taste, Sydney prides itself as the food capital of Australia and out of town places like Newtown, Enmore and Marrickville offer a more alternative side to Sydney great food scene.
Indigo Cafe in the stylish Sydney suburb of Double Bay.
If your serious about your food, you'll enjoy this article from local publication Insider Guides Australia.
" Australia is a multicultural nation, and nowhere is this more evident than in our food culture. Sydney is home to a large number of nationalities, which, luckily for us, show off their national talents through the delicious form of food.
Deciding where to eat out in Sydney can be tough, with almost every international taste catered for. You should have no trouble finding a travel favourite or food from back home. The city tends to have different cuisines cluster together in areas. As a brief outline, Haymarket is the city’s Chinatown, while the nearby Liverpool St in the CBD houses the Spanish Quarter. A little further out of the city, the suburb of Leichhardt will provide an array of Italian restaurants, while Lakemba serves up great Lebanese.
There are also plenty of options to suit the student budget. Chinatown and local pubs are often a good bet, offering cheap lunch deals and dinner specials. Serving both food and alcohol, pubs are the great location to bridge the gap between eating out and staying out, and Sydney is known for its vast amount of pubs – there are usually over 10 to each suburb! For those wanting to party, there are plenty of popular nightclubs, bars and dancing spots to be found in the nightlife districts of Oxford St in Darlinghurst and Kings Cross.
But nightlife in Sydney is not just about drinking, contrary to what some local students might say. The increase in late night eateries and dessert bars around Sydney and the outer suburbs means you can now head out after 10 pm and find a quiet place to unwind.
Avoid the constant temptation of fast food in the CBD by heading to Chinatown for some of the best food that this city has to offer! Don’t expect just Chinese cuisine either; this is the area for Malaysian, Japanese, Taiwanese and more. The best dumpling houses can be found tucked away in arcades.
Don’t be put off by the bars lining George St. Instead, check out the alleyways and hidden entries of the CBD. Thanks to a small bar revival, with a little investigation you can find amazing bars tucked away in the CBD. Highlights include Grandma’s Bar, a replica of your grandmother’s lounge room tucked under a guitar store that serves cocktails in cute teacups, the Baxter Inn and GoodGod Small Club, a ‘danceteria’, with DJs every night of the week and cocktails named after Chevy Chase!
Not only does Sydney’s east offer an array of enticing food options, but these are also some of the loveliest beachside spots to dine at. Bondi is your best bet for a wide variety of choices – if you’re after a fancy night out (with fantastic views) check out Bondi Icebergs. Closer to the city, Darlinghurst is a good place to for cool bars and nightclubs – check out the little bars on Stanley St then head up to Oxford St for a night of dancing.
After eating delicious food and gazing out to sea, a drink is in order. Again, Bondi Icebergs is an excellent choice for a classy cocktail and B-grade celebrity spotting. For a more unusual tipple, check out Rum Diaries (which is just as it sounds, a rum bar) or for live music, make a visit to Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel, which features great beers on tap and a gig or DJ every night!
The north of Sydney is lucky enough to have a food option that stays open 24 hours and has good food! Maisy’s Café on Military Road in Neutral Bay is the perfect option for late-night dining. If you’re keeping more regular hours, check out the North Sydney Hotel for some of the best pub food that side of the bridge.
North Sydney’s nightlife, long ago a bit of a dead zone, has recently taken off with venues like Hugo’s Manly, Newport Arms Hotel and the Rag and Famish stepping up their game to offer bars and nightspots to rival Sydney’s inner city.
If you’re in the mood for Thai, Newtown’s King St will answer your prayers. Almost every second store is home to a Thai restaurant. The tricky part is finding your favourite!. If Thai won’t hit the spot check out the more unusual cuisines on offer – Na Zdrowie on Glebe Point Road offers amazing Polish food (and a vodka list longer than any you’ll ever have seen!)
The inner west’s nightlife is dominated by pubs. Newtown’s Courthouse, Enmore’s Sly Fox and Glebe’s AB Hotel are consistently popular and serve good cold beer for reasonable prices. If you’re after something a bit fancier, check out one of the many new small bars – from Corridor in Newtown, to Enmore’s Midnight Special and Glebe’s The Little Guy.
Parramatta is home to an exciting mix of cuisines, boasting over 180 restaurants cafés and bars. Go to Church St for modern outdoor dining, George St for beer gardens and cool cafés and Harris Park for some of the best Indian restaurants in Australia.
There are plenty of great pubs in the area such as the Albion Hotel and the Roxy Hotel. The latter was developed into a massive entertainment complex, and it receives world class acts on a regular basis. The Parramatta Leagues Club is also an interesting place to check out. It houses various restaurants and bars as well as the Parramatta Eels NRL (Rugby League) club.
Places like Bondi Beach and Manly Beach are internationally known icons of the Sydney beach scene and well worth a visit. But if you have a day to spare, nothing compares to Sydney's Northern Beaches. It takes over an hour to get there and it's not all highway; the locals don't want a highway because they say it will ruin their special corner of the world. When you get there you'll see why!
So make an early start, cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge and head north to beaches with names like Avalon, Balgowlah, Bilgola, Dee Why, Mona Vale, Narrabeen, Whale Beach and the northernmost of them all, Palm Beach.
Two things to be aware of. It gets very busy on weekends during the Australian summer and these are all serious surf beaches, so if the surf is up, only competent and confident swimmers should be in the water. Plus surfers of course, because this is where some of Australia's best big-wave surf is found.
It's a great day out. There's excellent cafes and walking trails to enjoy and the sheer beauty of the region is breathtaking.
Our favorite - Whale Beach.
The surfs up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
See inside the world’s most recognisable sails on The Essential Tour at the Sydney Opera House. Experience this miracle of architecture and engineering. A work of art that came into existence against impossible odds, to become one of the busiest performing arts centres in the world.
The Opera House guide will take you on an engrossing journey, in a story to rival any opera plot with its dramatic twists and turns. Like the fascinating story of the architect Jørn Utzon who designed the building. At one stage, because of massive cost overruns and the technical problems of building the roof, he was fired from the job, but years later, when the true genius of his design was fully appreciated, all was forgiven and he was made an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) and given the Keys to the City of Sydney.
You’ll also visit one of the major venues – where live performance are presented every day. Some 1,500 performances, in every genre you can imagine, are staged each year to audiences of around 1.5 million. You will be inspired!
As well as the Opera House visit you might like to visit one of the world class museums found in the city. These include the Art Gallery of New South Wales (modern art), the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the Nicholson Museum (antiquities). All are worth visiting, as is the Australian National Maritime Museum. History buffs will particularly enjoy the Hyde Park Barracks and their displays about the early settlers in Australia.
The Australia National Maritime Museum, Sydney
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
The Sydney Opera House.
The Great Barrier Reef, accessible from both Cairns and Port Douglas, is Australia's most famous World Heritage site. It's the largest living thing on Earth, and is even visible from outer space. This 2,000 mile-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of coral islands. It's home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, including turtles, dolphins and sharks, giant clam, seahorse, sea snakes and stingray. There is great concern about the future of The Reef. Two recent and consecutive years of what they call "bleaching events" have damaged large tracts of the reef and today, as a result of bleaching and other environmental threats, roughly 30% of the total reef has sustained serious damage.
Visitors who take a full day cruise out to the reef will be inspired by the passion and commitment of the people they will meet who will talk about the past and future of the reef and share what they are doing to help find a way to bring the reef back to full health. The day is a powerful combination of education, reinforced by the sheer beauty of what you will see when you snorkel or dive and see just what is under threat here, a threat that has implications not just for the reef itself, but for the whole world.
A day cruise of the Great Barrier Reef is more than often the highlight to visitors exploring Australia.
The reef is home to so many different types of coral and marine life, its well worth the visit.
The reefs and islands off Cairns are some of the world's best places to see marine turtles in their natural
habitat, Fitzroy Island being one of the best.
Snorkeling cruises are a great way to see the reef without needing to dive.
Port Douglas Outer Great Barrier Cruise is a very popular dive and snorkel spot.
Start your day with a hotel pick-up commencing from Cairns at 7am.
Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Gorge Walk: After arriving at Mossman Gorge, you will be treated to a guided rainforest walk along private, easy graded tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites, past traditional bark shelters and over cool rainforest streams. Your experienced interpretive Indigenous guides demonstrate traditional plant use, identify bush tucker sources, share their dreamtime legends, explain the history of cave paintings and provide an enchanting narrative of the rainforest and their special relationships within this unique tropical environment.
After your 1.5hr walk, enjoy tea, damper and question time with your guide.
Mossman: Your driver/guide will point out the highlights of Australia’s most northern sugar town.
Lunch: Daintree Tea House is your lunch venue today where you enjoy their specialty Barramundi lunch (alternate options available).
Daintree River Cruise: Enjoy a fascinating hour cruising through this wildlife environment, which is home to birds, tree snakes, unique plants and the estuarine crocodile - a great photo opportunity. Enjoy afternoon tea after your cruise.
Port Douglas: Enjoy a short tour of the historical town of Port Douglas. Then continue back to Cairns.
The Daintree canopy broad walk takes you right into lush rain forest.
The Mossman Gorge with its waterhole perfect for cooling off after walking through the rain forest.
After being picked up at your hotel, proceed by coach to your first stop for the day.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park: On arrival, meet your Indigenous guide who will provide a fascinating introduction to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where you will learn about and experience the world's oldest living culture, dating back over 40,000 years.
It's an interactive experience, so you might even like to learn how to throw a boomerang. You'll also gain an understanding of aboriginal forest foods and hunting techniques.
The Tjapukai Dance Troupe has performed to acclaim all around the world and their performance will be one of the highlights of your visit.
Leave your car or the tour bus at the beginning of the Tjapukai Center to explore the culture within the rainforest.
Tjapukai offers a hands on experience to learning about Aboriginal culture.
Painting a boomerang in the aboriginal style to take with you as a reminder of your visit.
Learning how to throw a boomerang.
The dance troupe entertains with ancient stories acted out in music and dance.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: A short distance from Tjapukai is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Proceed directly to the boarding line – there is no need to queue as your Skyrail tickets are already on your Boarding Pass. Once aboard, be amazed as you glide silently over the rainforest. There are 2 stations enroute where you can alight and enjoy a walk through the rainforest to spectacular lookouts or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Centre.
A birds-eye view of the rain forest below from the sky rail.
Map of the stations on the sky rail.
Kuranda Village: Upon arrival in the historic town of Kuranda, you have free time to do your own exploring – why not take advantage of the exclusive Kuranda discounts on your Kuranda Boarding Pass!
Explore the village's stalls and shops for refreshments and souvenirs.
Kuranda Scenic Rail: Board the famous train for an amazing journey, as you travel one of the world's most scenic rail routes, through hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges.
The Kuranda scenic railway winds its way through gorges and tunnels ensuring spectacular views.
The train allows for many photo opportunities of the stunning natural scenery as it passes straight through it.
The crocodiles of Australia are the much more aggressive and meaner cousins of the alligator species found here in North America. When its jaws are shut, the crocodile disguises these unpleasant differences by appearing to flash a toothy grin, as the fourth tooth on each side of the lower jaw sticks up over the upper lip. Don't be taken in!
The Hartley's Crocodile Adventure is located within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area between Palm Cove and Port Douglas. It's both an educational experience and an opportunity to experience interactive wildlife activities.
There's a lagoon boat trip, searching for and feeding crocodile, snake shows and sightings of koala, wombats, wallaby and other unique Australia animals like bettongs, and quolls.
You can also view Australian wildlife in safety, with a series of timber boardwalks.
The lagoon boat trip will get you very close to these amazing creatures.
A timber walkway over the lagoon is another way to view them.
Experience the beauty and diversity of the snakes of Australia with the snake show.
Impress people back home with a digital photo taken with the park's baby crocodiles or pythons.
The crocodiles are regularly fed to make sure they're in full view.