The Land Down Under: Highlights of Australia (June 13-27, 2020)

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The Land Down Under: Highlights of Australia (June 13-27, 2020)


TOUR PRICE: The price for this two weeks, fully-escorted, all air-inclusive (domestic and international flights) is $5699.00 per person based on double occupancys.  United Airlines air taxes of $156.00 are extra (subject to change until ticketing).  The single supplement is $1149.00.  The rates are based on the rate of exchange for the Australian dollar as of 8/1/2019 (AUD/USD .696864)).  Should the rate deteriorate by more than 2% by the time of final billing, the prices above would need to be adjusted slightly. 

AVAILABILITY: SOLD OUT. Waiting list only.

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Day 1: Depart from USA for Melbourne, Australia.

Day 2 - Melbourne (three nights):

On arrival into Melbourne, meet your guide in the arrivals hall and transfer by private vehicle to your accommodation.

Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is known as the Garden, Arts and Sports capital of Australia. It’s beautiful tree-lined boulevards, many parks and gardens and beautiful Victorian terrace houses, great restaurants, wonderful theater and art galleries together with international sporting events all combine to make this elegant city one of the world’s most livable.

This afternoon, join an historian for your own private walk through the heart of 'Marvelous Melbourne'. Your journey starts with a ride on one of Melbourne's iconic and much loved trams (trolley cars). Your guide will lead you through the city's fascinating labyrinth of atmospheric arcades and alleyways - you will discover lanes filled with trendy cafes and eclectic boutiques not to mention some 'out there' graffiti street art and of course you will have plenty of time along on the way to admire landmark buildings like the Block Arcade with its dazzlingly high Victorian interior decoration or some truly grand 19th century commercial buildings like the Gothic Bank. You will see the hand of progress as you encounter buildings that have been renewed and transformed like old General Post Office. The Arcades and Alleyways tour is a wonderful way to discover Melbourne's architectural and cultural heritage.

The Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens Hotel is located in the center of Melbourne, overlooking Treasury Gardens. The perfect place to stay while exploring Melbourne's attractions such as Federation Square, the MCG and Parliament House. Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens features 164 newly refurbished rooms, all with Internet access and many with Treasury Garden views.

Day 3: Melbourne - Great Ocean Road - Melbourne

Meet your Akorn guide in the hotel lobby and depart on your full day Great Ocean Road Tour.

This tour allows you the time to fully enjoy views of one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world. Walk through an authentic eucalyptus forest, listen to and see native birds, see koalas and kangaroos closeup on the Eucalyptus Forest Walk, watch the ocean crashing on the rocks, stop for a coffee or a walk on the beach and finally be blown away by the ancient rock formations of the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Apollo Bay has a variety of cafes and restaurants to stop at for lunch.

You won't be taking home just photos, you'll be taking memories.

Breakfast and Lunch included.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Day 4: Melbourne

Today is at your leisure to explore beautiful Melbourne. You may like to visit the Melbourne Museum to learn about our aboriginal history or dine at one of the many restaurants on South Bank.

Breakfast included.

Day 5: Melbourne - Adelaide (two nights in Adelaide)

This morning, meet your tour representative in the hotel lobby and transfer by private vehicle to the Melbourne Domestic airport for your ongoing flight to Adelaide.

On arrival into Adelaide you will be met by your guide and depart on an introductory sightseeing tour before concluding at your accommodation.

Adelaide is a captivating classic Australian city. A city of churches, the food and wine capital of Australia has a lot of sandstone homes and cottages with sweeping gardens and greenbelts. On the short orientation tour of the city, you will see many of the lovely boulevards such as King William Street and North Terrace with the State Library, Art Gallery and Parliament House. The River Torrens and the Botanic Gardens are also lovely areas of this 'Festival' City.

The Majestic Roof Garden Hotel is situated in the fashionable East End of Adelaide, close to bars, restaurants and shopping. Guests have access to the rooftop garden with panoramic views of the Adelaide Hills and East End. The rooms at The Majestic Roof Garden feature modern bathrooms, luxurious king beds, full minibar and free Wi-Fi. 24-hour room service and 24-hour front desk are available. Facilities include fitness room, in-house restaurant and on-site secure parking. It is a 10-minute walk from the Art Gallery, Adelaide University and Museum.

Breakfast included.

Day 6: Adelaide

Today is at your leisure in Adelaide. You may like to visit the Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s premier wine regions or take the ferry over to Kangaroo Island to interact wildlife up close.

Breakfast included.

Day 7: Adelaide - Ayers Rock (Uluru - one night)

Meet your tour representative in the hotel lobby and transfer by private vehicle to Adelaide Airport. On arrival into Ayers Rock meet your tour representative and transfer to your accommodation.

This afternoon you will be met by your knowledgeable local guide and travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; a place where unique flora and fauna thrive. Here your guide will reveal the many attributes of this diverse environment and describe the cultural significance of Kata Tjuta as a sacred Aboriginal men’s ceremonial site. Arriving at Walpa Gorge you will walk between the mighty conglomerate domes and hear how these 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years.

Take time to listen to the wind (Walpa) far above and view the scale of the rock walls that surround you. The spirituality of this amazing location embraces everyone who ventures here. Your guide will return you to your hotel in time for those people joining the Sounds of Silence dinner.

Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for the stylish Desert Gardens Hotel. Stroll down shaded walkways to spacious poolside rooms or through desert gardens.

Breakfast included.

Mt. Uluru

Mt. Uluru

Day 8: Ayers Rock - Cairns (three nights Cairns)

Early this morning, depart the resort on your scheduled tour and travel towards Uluru, its vast shape rises from the sand dunes in the early dawn light highlighting its presence in this country. Your guide will take you to a special location to watch the sun rise over this amazing monolith. You will learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python) and hear about the Mala people. After breakfast, you will visit Mutijulu Waterhole and then drive around the base of the Uluru before returning to the resort.

Upon returning to the Resort (mid to late morning) you will have the remainder of the morning to relax before your afternoon transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Cairns.

On arrival into Cairns, you will be met by an tour representative at the luggage carousel and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation.

Cairns is surrounded to the North, West and South by rain forest, most World Heritage listed, and to the East is the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. Apart from being the gateway to magnificent natural attractions this waterfront city has restaurants, cafes, markets, shopping arcades, nightclubs and pubs and a complex Aboriginal history. It is the gateway to all the major attractions of Tropical North Queensland.

Ideally located on the Cairns Esplanade, Double Tree Cairns Hotel is central to everything Cairns is famous for; shops, award winning dining, entertainment, the business center and the wharf - the stepping off point to the Great Barrier Reef, which are all within walking distance from the hotel.

Breakfast included.

Day 9: Cairns - Great Barrier Reef

Today’s program features a full day scheduled tour to the Great Barrier Reef. Travel to the Outer Barrier Reef from Cairns to the reef activity platforms moored in protective lagoons on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Lying within the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, this section of the Great Barrier Reef is renowned for its water clarity and coral formations. The reef is ideal for swimming and snorkeling and is amongst the best in the world. Passengers can explore the reef in the comfort of a semi-submersible, an underwater observatory, or snorkel and dive in a unique underwater world.

All snorkelling equipment is included as is morning and afternoon tea and an extensive buffet lunch.

Breakfast and Lunch included.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Day 10: Cairns

Today is at your leisure in Cairns. You may like to explore the World Heritage listed Daintree Rain forest or visit the village of Kuranda.

Day 11: Sydney (three nights)

This morning meet your tour representative in the hotel lobby and transfer by private vehicle to the Cairns Domestic airport for your flight to Sydney.

On arrival into Sydney, meet your tour representative at the luggage carousel and transfer by private vehicle to your accommodation.

Sydney, the capital of the state of New South Wales, is Australia's most well-known city. With its extraordinary icons both natural and man-made this is a city that never fails to please the eye. It's magnificent natural harbor spanned by the 'coat hanger', the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the man-made sails of the Sydney Opera House are just some of its most widely photographed views.

Opposite the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Darling Harbor, the sophisticated Hyatt Regency hotel is 2 km from Sydney Opera House. Polished, airy rooms have flat-screen TVs, minibars and free Wi-Fi, plus tea and coffee making equipment. There's a casual restaurant serving Australian fare, a swanky rooftop bar with harbor views, and a traditional 1860s pub. Other amenities include a lobby lounge and a 24/7 fitness center.

Breakfast included.



Day 12: Sydney - Taranga Zoo private tour

Meet your Akorn guide in the hotel lobby and commence your private full day sightseeing tour of Sydney. Travel from your accommodation by foot to the Circular Quay ferry terminal and “ride like a local” on a ferry to Sydney's famous Taronga Zoo, enjoying beautiful harbor views en route.

Upon disembarking, board Taronga's Sky Safari cable car and enjoy fantastic views of the zoo, Sydney Harbor and the city skyline as you ascend into the heavens.

On arrival at Taronga Zoo, enjoy a wildlife keeper tour of Taronga Zoo. This is an exclusive, extremely popular, behind-the-scenes tour of Taronga Zoo's unique Australian animal collection designed especially for the inquisitive traveler. It is an informative introduction to Australia's unusual wildlife and includes excellent photographic opportunities with kangaroos, wallabies, birds, wombats and echidnas as well as over 200 hundred animals in the 'platypus pools' exhibit.

On the conclusion of your tour, enjoy some further time at leisure before catching the ferry back to Circular Quay for lunch at the Sydney Opera House! Enjoy lunch at Opera Kitchen, which plays host to some of Australia’s most innovative and celebrated food producers, chefs and sushi artists. After lunch and a stroll down the Opera House’s iconic steps, board your private coach to begin your private sightseeing tour of Sydney. Pass through the historical Rocks region as you learn about the history and significance of the area. View the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a chair specially designed for the governor’s wife to look out over the harbour. Travel through Chinatown, Darling Harbour, and the nightlife district of Kings Cross. Travel via Watson Bay and stop at “The Gap”, for fantastic views and photo opportunities before arriving at world famous Bondi Beach. Here you will have some time to soak up the atmosphere of this beachside Mecca. Stroll down the esplanade with the locals and maybe enjoy an ice cream before re-boarding your vehicle.

Arriving back at your hotel you will have enjoyed a great day out seeing some of Sydney's best kept secrets and having taken some fantastic photos.

Breakfast and Lunch included.

Taranga Zoo

Taranga Zoo

Day 13: Sydney

Today is at leisure in one of the most beautiful and iconic cities in the world.

Breakfast included.

Day 14: Depart Sydney

Your adventure comes to an end today as you are transferred by private vehicle to the Sydney International airport to board your international flight home.