Discover Australia’s legendary highlights on a 12-day loop of the country. Explore world-class cities and the outback’s sacred Red Centre, the Great Barrier Reef, and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Enjoy meaningful cultural experiences and a guided foodie walk through Melbourne. With all of the details taken care of — and your flights in Australia included — you’ll find yourself on top of the world Down Under.

Trip highlights

James Cook University Research Aquarium, Exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers, go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the research aquarium at James Cook University, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic grantee, Dr. Jamie Seymour. Get an up-close look at some of these creatures, and hear about the latest research here.

Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise, Enjoy a private cruise and Aussie BBQ whilst navigating the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour.

Itinerary - 12 Days

Day 1 Sydney

Please make your own way to the joining hotel. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and enjoy exploring the city before joining the welcome meeting at 6pm.

If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit The Rocks neighbourhood, the Australian Museum, Bondi Beach, or Darling Harbour.

Additional Notes:
Please try to arrive before 6:00pm for an important group welcome meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members.

This is a busy trip with a lot of early mornings to catch connecting flights, enabling you to see as much of Down Under as possible.

Want to start your Down Under adventure with an adrenaline rush? Add the 'Sydney Adrenaline Bundle' or 'Sydney Bridge Climb' extra to your tour. Get an incredible view of the iconic Sydney Harbour from the top of the Harbour Bridge, then zip through the waterways on a jet boat ride if you book the 'Adrenaline Bundle'. PLEASE NOTE: if booking either of these extras a pre-night in Sydney is highly recommended as the Bridge Climb starts early in the morning on Day 1.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2 Sydney (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a traditional Aboriginal welcome and a walkabout around The Rocks area and Sydney Harbour to learn the history of the Aboriginal people’s saltwater heritage and their spiritual connection to the area. In the afternoon, board a private yacht and enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise with a barbecue dinner. While navigating the bays and coves, sit back and enjoy views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Included Activities:
Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise
The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming and Welcome Tour

Transport:
Metro

Day 3 Sydney/Port Douglas (1B)

We catch a very early flight to ensure we make the most of the day.

Additional Notes:
Please note that the max luggage allowance on domestic flights within Australia is 1 checked bag (20 kgs) and 1 carry on (7 kgs) per person. Any additional luggage is subject to airline fees and is not included.

Included Activities:
Aboriginal Interpretive Walk

Transport:
Taxicab (0.50-1.00 hours)
Plane (3.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 70km)

Day 4 Port Douglas (1B)

Enjoy the colourful resort town of Port Douglas. Take time to stroll the main streets, enjoy the beach, or opt to go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 5 Port Douglas/Cairns (1B)

Return to the tropical city of Cairns. Take an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the James Cook University research aquarium, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic grant recipient Dr Jamie Seymour. Enjoy a private tour of the facility and get an up close look at some of these marvelous creatures. We'll also hear about the latest research from Jamie or one of his colleagues.

Included Activities:
James Cook University Research Aquarium

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 70km)

Day 6 Cairns (1B)

Enjoy a free day to relax at the beach. Opt to explore North Queensland’s tropical rainforests or get your adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.

Day 7 Cairns/Uluru (1B)

Get a good nights sleep as our flight could be quite early today.

Included Activities:
Sunset at Uluru
Aboriginal Cultural Centre Visit

Transport:
Plane (3.00 hour(s))
Taxicab (0.50 hour(s))

Day 8 Uluru (1B)

Awake before sunrise to watch the colours change over Uluru. Continue on with a guided Mala Walk around the base of Uluru, gaining insight into its significance to the local Aboriginal people.

Later, take a walk in Kata Tjuta National Park and view the beautiful red-domed rock formations. The afternoon is at your leisure.

Additional Notes:
Between November and March, there is extreme heat with temperatures averaging between 43-46°C (109-115°F) in the middle of Australia, especially around Uluru. This can lead to heat exhaustion and potentially become very dangerous. Be sure to drink plenty of water and replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks, coconut water or water mixed with electrolyte powder packets.

The Mala Walk at Uluru is not permitted if temperatures exceed 36°C (98°F). During these hot months, we try to offer all walks early in the day to avoid the midday sun. Our CEOs will monitor the weather conditions to gauge the safety of any included walks and may need to call off a given day's walk due to extreme heat.

Included Activities:
Uluru Mala Walk
Kata Tjuta National Park

Day 9 Uluru/Melbourne (1B)

Enjoy another sunrise over Uluru before flying to Melbourne for the night.

Additional Notes:
Flight times today can very depending on airline schedules.

Transport:
Plane
Taxicab (0.50-1.00 hours)

Day 10 Melbourne (1B)

Enjoy a full free day in Melbourne. Opt to visit wineries, explore the Great Ocean Road, or discover hidden gems in the city's famous laneways.

Day 11 Melbourne (1B, 1L)

Go on a guided foodie walk through the laneways of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller for a three-course progressive lunch. Later, enjoy free time to explore Melbourne.

Additional Notes:
Occasionally Monique Bayer may not be available for the Melbourne Foodie Walk. In the event this happens, an equally qualified guide will lead the walk.

Included Activities:
Melbourne Foodie Walk

Day 12 Melbourne (1B)

If you want more time to explore Melbourne, we recommend booking post nights with your agent

Included Activities:
Departure Day (Activities)

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