- Australia's top attractions and our selection of contemporary hotels
- Four-day road trip in the Outback: Aboriginal sites and one night glamping
- A watery flourish to finish the trip, away from the major land-based attractions and close to the Great Barrier Reef
- You'll have access to our additional services, including our local Concierge
Contact one of our Australia specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Not to mention smart logistics and a local Concierge service on hand throughout the journey.
Things you'll loveStroll around the Royal Botanic Gardens with views of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge - Learn to surf in Bondi or Manly, then socialise at a friendly barbecue - Get your weekend market fix like a local at The Rocks - Take a 4x4 for a drive along the reddish-brown dust tracks of the Australian Outback - Learn about the origin and secrets of Aboriginal art with an Aboriginal guide - Marvel at sunrises and sunsets on Ayers Rock and the Olgas - Enjoy a few lazy days in the sun at the end of the trip - Sail over the Great Barrier Reef in a glass-bottom catamaran - Swim among the myriad of fish, turtles and multi-coloured corals.
International flight to Sydney
Arrive in Australia in the morning.
Morning arrival, transfer and a four-night stay in a typical and trendy Sydney hotel: QT Sydney. A surreptitious entrance, which it shares with the famous State Theatre with its hundreds of bulbs on the ceiling, that for a moment feels like Broadway, yet you're right in the heart of Sydney. Upstairs you'll find subdued lighting, 50s-inspired furnishings for sale and cabinets showcasing a range of antiques. At the Gowings Bar, listen to the sultry tones of James Brown as you sip a watermelon and coriander caipirinha. And if you fancy a spot of pampering, head to the spa and its retro barbershop. Outside the rooms, a hand emerges from the wall holding the room number. Spacious for a city hotel and incredibly quiet, your boudoir reflects the ambience of the communal areas, cosy and trendy. The same goes for Sydney, too.
Things to see and experience - Barely off the plane, Sydney immediately serves up a full-on Australian experience. A splash of greenery at the Royal Botanic Gardens, culture at the Art Gallery, and the city's layout naturally leads you down to the Harbour. The iconic harbour is teeming with life, from the tourists seeing the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, to the workers getting their ferry over to Circular Quay to start their day in the CBD. It is the daily boat (or bike)-office-pub ride of many Sydneysiders. With pleasure more than business in mind, go against the tide and embark in the opposite direction away from the business district for a comfortable 15-minute boat ride, offering panoramic views of the city, Harbour Bridge and, of course, the iconic Opera House, before hitting one of Manly's beaches where you could even give surfing a try. If you opt for a private cruise, one of our team on the ground will take care of everything, letting you explore from cove to cove aboard a small sailing vessel. Enjoying a family lunch at Bathers Pavilionon Balmoral Beach is a must-do, or at the beautiful waterfront location of Doyles in Watsons Bay. Once back at Circular Quay there are several options for the evening: the renovated docks of Woolloomooloo, the cosmopolitan neighbourhood ofPotts Point or the more rock 'n' roll vibe ofSurry Hills. Here, between the old red brick warehouses, the area is teeming with bars, restaurants, young designer showrooms and trendy shops on Crown Street.
It's an opportunity to share a small slice of life, talk about everyday life in Australia and gather a wealth of tips for the rest of the journey.
Nearby - West of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a beautiful sandstone plateau cut by deep wooded valleys, canyons, waterfalls and cliffs that are home to kangaroos and wallabies - Around 130 miles north of Sydney lie the vineyards of the Hunter Valley, producers of excellent wines.
Sydney - Ayers Rock
Flight to Ayers Rock, pick up the 4x4, the perfect vehicle for a road trip into the Outback over the next four days. An unforgettable and also comfortable Outback trip. The first two nights are at Desert Garden, a simple resort but ideally located in the heart of the Outback. This is a dream opportunity to enjoy the desert and especially the views of impressive Uluru, the spiritual heart of local Aboriginal culture. It's truly magical.
Sunset on Uluru: Uluru rises up out of the endless, flat expanse - a huge silhouette under an electric sky, that the Australians refer to simply as 'The Rock'. In the red light of the Outback, sit on the bonnet, facing the totem rock, the sun darkening in the desert, gradually turning the sky pink, purple and then scarlet. It's an enchanting moment. Our advice: the rock is so huge that is can easily be seen from several miles away, so we can help you choose the best spot to see it that's away from the crowds. Yet, curiously, all visitors stop at the same place to admire the show. We'll help you find your own little spot to enjoy it in peace.
Ayers Rock - Kings Canyon
Next, drive to Kings Canyon, another spectacular site in the Red Centre and less visited than Ayers Rock. The high plateau of Kings Canyon reveals an extraordinary landscape of reddish-brown rocks and cliffs, and its walls, which overlook the Kings Creek River, stand over 300ft high. The location is mainly about hiking with two possible routes: an easy hike in the canyon and along the river bed, and another more athletic one that goes over the tops of the cliffs. The 4x4 rolls through the scorching air over the unusual terrain. Stay in King's Canyon Resort in the heart of Red Desert and Watarrka National Park. Ensconced in a lost-looking motel in the middle of the Outback, there's peace and quiet to unwind and take in the landscape and the starry heavens. The bungalows are sufficiently spaced apart to preserve the natural atmosphere of the place and guests' privacy. This accommodation perfectly lives up to the dream vision of Australia.
Things to see and experience - Leave at dawn, with a private guide, to see the sunrise at Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, a series of 36 reddish-brown domes that form another iconic landscape of the Red Centre and Aboriginal culture. There's also the option to get a foodie insight into this unique culture, with a 'bush tucker' walk to learn what food the Outback has to offer. It's essential information for surviving in this hostile environment, but fortunately it's all about a little fun and learning for you.
Kings Canyon - Alice Springs
Drive to Alice Springs, the centre of the Centre. This is a pure Australian experience populated by farmers, snake hunters, flying doctors and other visitors passing through. Blazing sun, deserted streets, a pub on the main street, moleskin benches and Formica tables, the TV showing a cricket match with the sound down, the radio plays 'walking on the moon'. Four men sit at the bar, raspy-voiced banter, cowboy boots and bush hats, Victoria Bitters lined up. Join them at the bar and tuck into a supersize steak. Night at Double Tree by Hilton. A contemporary look that contrasts with the general flavour of the town. Bonuses: the large, pleasant, heated swimming pool (via solar panels) for swimming even during the coolest season, and a popular restaurant serving delicious Thai cuisine. Golf lovers are a stone's throw from the game at the region's only course.
Alice Springs - Port Douglas
Bid farewell to the Red Centre and fly off to Queensland, 'the Sunshine State'. Your destination is Cairns; the centre of an extraordinary tropical region with a unique natural bounty. Next up is an hour's drive (with driver) to Port Douglas. This small seaside resort has combined the luxurious and elegant character of its beautiful modern villas with a bohemian feel. Port Douglas is also a gateway to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Both offer a bounty of abundant wildlife and exciting ecosystems. The hotel in Port Douglas, QT Port Douglas, is a return to the design feel of the start of the trip. A small oasis of calm just a short drive from downtown and nearby beaches. The white colonial buildings contrast with the turquoise pool and bright green lawns, the furniture is funky, the restaurant feels like a friendly canteen and offers a menu of international cuisine.
Things to see and experience - Go for a stroll around Anzac Park - Read or cycle - Visit St Mary's church by the sea and the Sunday morning market - Admire the stunning Four Mile Beach from Flagstaff Hill - Go for a dip in the Mossman Gorge - Explore Wildlife Habitat with its endemic species or Hartley's Crocodile Adventures on the road to Cairns - Go for a boat trip and dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
A la carte
Sydney like a local
A walking tour with a guide to experience Sydney like a local. Our guide knows the city like the back of their hand. In the itinerary: a walk around Sydney or along one of its beaches to share a small slice of life, talk about everyday life in Australia and gather a wealth of tips for the rest of the journey. It's a really informal and relaxing walk. Nothing is planned in advance, instead the route is tailored to your particular interests. The tour can last three to four hours depending on what suits; our guides are totally flexible.
The term 'bush tucker' means 'food from nature' and refers to all the animal and plant species in this part of the country that can be eaten in the Outback. Masters at adapting to this hostile environment, the Aboriginal people have learned to draw from the natural bounty that surrounds them for food and to survive in the desert: acacia seeds, macadamia nuts, sour berries, emu eggs, tea tree and more. This 'foodie' stroll through the Outback is a fun way of getting a taste for the Outback and an opportunity to learn about objects still used for hunting.
This 15-seat catamaran – much cosier than the huge boats you see crossing over the reef – takes you from Port Douglas for a day of pure relaxation on the Great Barrier Reef. The glass bottom is an ideal way for those feeling less athletic (and the younger ones) to enjoy the fantastic underwater show; others can jump into the water at their leisure during the various stops, around the island of Michaelmas Cay in particular, a protected migratory bird reserve, where there is time for a spot of snorkelling among the fish and coral.
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