Ocean, Outback and The Reef - 13 days
Day 1: Melbourne
Arrive Melbourne Tullamarine Airport and transfer to your hotel. (Early check-in is not guaranteed). Rest of the evening is at leisure. Overnight.
Days 2: Melbourne – Great Ocean Road Tour
Early breakfast. Drive to the Surf Coast and the world's premier surfing spot of Bells Beach. Absorb the amazing coastal scenery, stopping for photos en route to Kennet River Township to see koalas in their native habitat. Continue to Apollo Bay for a lunch stop (own expense). Drive to the spectacular Otway Ranges to walk through the cool temperate rainforest. Continue to Port Campbell National Park and its iconic array of rock formations and the majestic monoliths of the 12 Apostles. Take the scenic helicopter ride of your life as you soar over the rock formations (Optional). Overnight in Port Campbell.
Day 3: Port Campbell - Sovereign Hill Gold Mine, Ballarat & Wildlife Park
Breakfast. Drive to Ballarat Center of the mighty gold discovery of the mid-1850s. Sovereign Hill is a perfectly re-created example of gold rush life. Stroll the main street to visit with goldsmiths, crafts people, traders, soldiers etc. Go panning for gold in the stream, go "underground" to the fascinating gold mine and museum or ride the stage-coach through the village and see the exhibits. Meet the kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and wombats at the Ballarat Wildlife Park. Return back to Melbourne. Overnight.
Day 4: Melbourne City Tour with MCG
After breakfast, join the guided one hour Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) tour. Later take the Free Tourist Bus from Sports Precinct and ride around the city. Get down at Yarra River & Southbank and walk to Southgate Art & Leisure Precinct to take a one hour Melbourne Yarra River Scenic Cruise. Later, proceed to the Eureka Skydeck 88th level Observation Deck for beautiful views and the thrilling Edge Experience. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight.
Day 5: Melbourne to Alice Springs – A Town like Alice tour
Breakfast. Pick up for your transfer to the airport for your flight to Alice Springs. Arrive into Alice Springs and transfer to your hotel. Freshen up and discover the real outback full of colourful landscapes, mountain ranges, desert plains and native wildlife. This afternoon join 'A Town like Alice' tour including the historic Telegraph Station, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the School of the Air and the Alice Springs Reptile Centre to see unique Central Australian reptiles. Finally, enjoy a panoramic view of Alice Springs from Anzac Hill. Overnight in Alice Springs.
Day 6: Alice Springs – West MacDonnell Ranges
After breakfast, drive through the West MacDonnell National Park, a spectacular stretch of natural formations including chasms and gorges, waterholes, and ochre pits. Explore Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, Ellery Creek, Ormiston Gorge and Glen Helen Gorge. Enjoy a ploughman's lunch with beer and wine at Glen Helen Homestead Lodge. En-route we shall stop at Simpsons Gap which showcases rich ochre coloured rock walls rising from the sandy creek bed. Look for the black-footed rock wallabies along the rocky base. Return back to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure. Overnight in Alice Springs.
Day 7: Alice Springs to Ayers Rock (Uluru)
Depart early morning and drive through the West MacDonnell Ranges. Enjoy a light breakfast at Stuarts Well. Experience the vast openness of the outback as you travel past Mt Ebenezer and Mt Conner. Arrive at Ayers Rock (Uluru) – the spiritual heart of Australia.
Travel into Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and learn about Aboriginal 'Tjukurpa' the foundation of Anangu life and see rock art on the Mala Walk. Take a guided walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole and see Aboriginal rock art and learn about the law, legends and bush tucker of the Anangu people.
Visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre to learn about Aboriginal culture and in the evening witness a famous Ayers Rock (Uluru) sunset while sipping wine or soft drink and enjoy a delicious dinner. Overnight in Ayers Rock Resort.
Day 8: Ayers Rock (Uluru) – Sunrise at Kata Tjuta and Valley of the Winds Hike
Nearby is Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), meaning 'many heads,' a series of enormous rock domes that date back 500 million years. Start your morning with a drive to the Kata Tjuta dune viewing area for sunrise. Enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the domes and absorb the ever-changing colours of the landscape. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast.
Then, view Kata Tjuta up-close by foot. Hike the Valley of the Winds (2 – 3 hour walk) and discover this sacred Anangu men's natural wonder. Marvel at the unique flora and admire the view of the central valley of the domes of Kata Tjuta. This walk can be a little challenging, but well worth the effort. (Shorter walks, such as Walpa Gorge, are also available for those who are after a more leisurely stroll).
(Optional) This evening, proceed to 'A Night at Field of Light.' Your experience begins with canapés and chilled sparkling wine served on a viewing platform overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. As the sun sets and darkness falls, join your table of fellow travelers for an unforgettable dining experience under the outback sky. During your bush tucker-inspired buffet dinner a resident star talker will decode the southern night sky. After dessert, 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres bloom as you take a self-guided walk through the Field of Light art installation. Transfer back to your accommodation. Overnight in Ayers Rock Resort.
Day 9: Ayers Rock (Uluru) – Kings Canyon
Depart early in the morning for Kings Creek Station - a working cattle and camel station in Central Australia. Afterwards, make your way to Kings Canyon for breath-taking views over the desert landscape. Kings Canyon, located in Watarrka National Park, offers hiking suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The 6km Kings Canyon Rim Walk features 100m high sandstone walls, palm-filled crevices and views that stretch across the desert. Alternatively, the Creek Bed Walk is a gentle 2.6km walk that follows a trail between the two soaring canyon walls. Head back to Ayers Rock (Uluru). Overnight in Ayers Rock Resort.
Day 10: Ayers Rock (Uluru) – Camel Sunrise Tour - Cairns
This morning see the desert scenery atop a camel for a unique perspective. Climb aboard for a quiet, leisurely ride and view the surrounding area from six feet high. Explore the large red sand dunes in the cool, clear morning and watch the sun rise over Uluru. Your guides will point out the desert flora and fauna along the trail followed by a breakfast of billy tea and freshly baked beer bread.
Check out of your accommodation and catch the complimentary shuttle to Ayers Rock Airport with fond memories. On your arrival at Cairns you will be transferred to the hotel of your choice. Rest of the evening is at leisure. Overnight.
Day 11: Cairns - Sunlover Reef Cruise on Great Barrier Reef
Breakfast. Today get set to enjoy the Reef which is registered as "Eighth Wonder of the World" and is on the Heritage listing of our planets unique and precious places. Board the 30 meter long luxurious Catamaran, The Big Cat for an exciting day at the reef. Enjoy snorkelling, swimming, view fish feeding and a ride in the semi-submersible. See the beautiful corals with their amazing range of brilliant colours. Enjoy a delicious lunch, morning and afternoon tea. Rest of the day is at leisure and in the evening enjoy Dinner at an Indian restaurant. Overnight.
Day 12: Ultimate Kuranda Experience
Breakfast. Transfer to Tjapukai and you will enter the mystical and the magical world. Enjoy 5 theatres which including The Creation, The Dance, and The History theatres. Visit the Art gallery and a traditional Aboriginal Camp.
Board the Skyrail Cableway, enjoy the 7.5 km rainforest canopy and arrive Kuranda voted as Australia's best attraction. Free time at Kuranda. Board the scenic Rail at the Kuranda Train Station (located next to Skyrail) This memorable train ride will take you through Barron Gorge with it many waterfalls and will give you the taste of the world oldest and the most beautiful Dainforest. Rest of the evening is at leisure and enjoy Dinner at an Indian restaurant. Overnight.
Day 13: Cairns
Breakfast. Check out and transfer to the airport with fond memories of Australia.