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Cities & Natural Wonders of Australia

Australia in 12 Days, 9 Nights in Destination

Get $250 credit with this booking

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-25%

From

$3,619

$2,699

/person

Rachel, Travel Expert

Rachel
Travel crafter

Get to know Australia’s cities and majestic landscapes with our Essential Package, customizing the trip with optional excursions as you wish, or upgrade to the Full Experience package to get everything included.

Trip Highlights

  1. map-pin-check-icon
    Cairns
  2. map-pin-check-icon
    Melbourne
  3. map-pin-check-icon
    Sydney

Included

  1. All flights

  2. Accommodation

  3. Activities

  4. Some meals

Availability

  1. Departures available until March 2025

  2. Available Group tours

  3. Solo travelers available

  4. WHAT'S THIS?

Categories available

  1. essential included

  2. full experience from + $1,200

  3. WHAT'S THIS?
Adventure
Nature
Beach
Culture
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February 2024
March 2024
April 2024
May 2024

Categories Available:

essential

From $2,699

Selected

  • Accommodation in Superior category hotels.
  • Some meals included.
  • City activities included.
check-icon
full experience

From $3,899

  • Accommodation in Superior category hotels.
  • Breakfast included.
  • Private transfers in/out airport included.
  • Activities included (Blue Mountains, Great Barrier Reef, Great Ocean Road and more)

Accommodation: 9 Nights

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Day 3 to 6

Holiday Inn Sydney - Potts Point

Location

Sydney

Category

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Nights

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3

Rating TripAdvisor travelers

The hotels we select comply with our high standards and requirements per category. The allocation is dependent on availability and seasonality, so you can be assigned any of our selection, including the following: ADGE Hotel & Residences, The Ultimo

Itinerary

Arrive in Sydney, a beachside metropolis known for its sunny weather and iconic Opera House. Next head to tropical Cairns, where you’ll have the chance to see the Great Barrier Reef. Fly to Melbourne, Australia’s cultural capital replete with top museums and Victorian architecture. End with a trip to Phillip Island just off the southern coast before returning to the US.

1st Day: US - Night on board
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It's time for an adventure down under! Pack your bags and head to your departure airport, ready for a flight to Sydney. Night on board.

2nd Day: Continue your journey to Sydney
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Continue your journey to Sydney. Due to the time difference, you will lose a day on your outward journey, but will gain it back on your return. You are not in-flight for two full days.

3rd Day: Sydney
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Land in Sydney, pass through customs, and transfer independently* to the hotel. Take the rest of the day to rest and get to know your new surroundings. Sydney is Australia’s largest city, known for the sunny disposition of its locals and its urban beaches like Bond and Manly. The stunning harbor provides a dramatic backdrop for the city's famous icons, like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Here, you can find a wide-ranging cultural life, a dynamic food scene and vibrant cityscape of outstanding contemporary architecture.

*In the next step of the booking process, you will have the opportunity to add private transfers, early check-in, more meals, and included activities to an upgraded reservation. Please bear in mind that these options are subject to limited availability.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Sydney - Pott... or similar

1452 Reviews

See our full selection
4th Day: Sydney
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Wake up in Sydney. There’s no better way to discover the city than on foot, so begin the day with a walking tour of The Rocks district. Hear the city’s story as you stroll along the shoreline of sparkling Sydney Harbour with views of the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, past Campbell’s Cove and Cadman’s Cottage. The Rocks is renowned for having the oldest streets in Sydney, which are dotted with beautifully restored nineteenth-century buildings. Wander down hidden alleyways, into shady courtyards, and along cobbled lanes. Discover the nooks and crannies and get up close and personal with the living history of Australia’s first British settlement.

The afternoon is free to spend as you please in Sydney. Why not get a closer look at one of Sydney’s major landmarks with an optional tour of the Sydney Opera House?* Overnight in Sydney.

*Optional Sydney Opera House tour: Discover insider secrets of the Opera House and step inside the iconic theaters that bring over 2000 performances to life each year. Explore the building and learn about how Jørn Utzon’s vision for the design of the Opera House came into existence against impossible odds.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Sydney - Pott... or similar

1452 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
The Rocks Walking Tour

Light

See more
Optional
Sydney Opera House Guided Tour

Light

See more
5th Day: Sydney
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Wake up in Sydney. Enjoy the day at your leisure, taking full advantage of your last 24 hours in the city. Sample Sydney’s famed coffeeshops, stroll along the beach, or visit museums, it’s up to you! If you aren’t sure what to do, we suggest an optional Panoramic city sights excursion* to get a full picture of what Sydney has to offer. If Australia’s nature piques your interest, you could also choose the optional excursion to the Blue Mountains National Park** outside the city. After your afternoon, head back to the hotel. Overnight in Sydney.

*Optional Panoramic city sights excursion: See the essentials of Greater Sydney in this bus tour. Start in the CBD, then marvel at 18th-century sandstone architecture such as the Parliament House. Head to Mrs. Macquaries Point to enjoy magnificent views and continue through Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, home to the rich and famous. Pass through areas such as Kings Cross before arriving at Watsons Bay. Travel on to famous Bondi Beach and see Aussie surfers riding the waves. Continue to Tamarama and Bronte beaches before returning to the city via Paddington, a trendy district with elegant shops. End in Darling Harbour. 

**Optional Blue Mountains excursion: 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 stunning scenery. Go off the beaten track with an expert guide to visit remote viewpoints and discuss the history, flora, and fauna of this magnificent region.

Important note: These optional activities take place simultaneously and cannot be combined.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Sydney - Pott... or similar

1452 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

Optional
Half-day Panoramic Sydney Sights Excursion

Moderate

See more
Optional
Full Day Blue Mountains Tour

Moderate

See more
6th Day: Sydney - Cairns
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Wake up in Sydney, prepared for an internal flight to Cairns. Located in the far north of Queensland, Cairns is a tropical city and a center for tourism in the region’s spectacular nature. The city offers easy access to the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

After landing, self-transfer to the hotel and take the rest of the day to discover this exciting city independently. Swim at the Esplanade lagoon, sample local produce at a farmer's market, shop for a summer wardrobe, or cruise around the marina. It’s up to you! Overnight in Cairns.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Cairns Harbou... or similar

1723 Reviews

See our full selection
7th Day: Cairns
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Wake up in Cairns. Today is your free day to explore–time to experience all the wonderful nature that the region offers. If you’re hoping to see one of Cairns’ most iconic sights, now is your chance–join our optional half-day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef!*

Head back to the hotel and rest up before an included dinner at Ochre, a local restaurant offering Australian specialties on the boardwalk with beautiful views of the harbor. Overnight in Cairns.

Important note: The restaurant specializes in grilled Australian meats, which will be the centerpiece of the meal. Vegetarian guests are advised to let their guide know in advance so that sufficient options are made available.

*Optional Great Barrier Reef excursion: Experience one of Australia’s most significant natural landmarks, visible from space and the single largest living structure of organisms on Earth. See this Wonder of the World in a fun activity for all ages, whether you swim or not! Spend the day out along the reef on an elevated platform that offers unparalleled views. Snorkel, dive, visit the underwater observatory, cruise in a semi-sub, or just relax on the sundeck with a delicious buffet lunch.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Cairns Harbou... or similar

1723 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Gastronomic experience at Ochre Restaurant
See more
Optional
Full Day Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Active

See more
8th Day: Cairns
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Wake up in Cairns. Enjoy another day at your leisure to cross more fun activities off your list. If you’re most excited about seeing the Daintree Rainforest, you could sign up for an optional excursion led by an experienced guide* and see far more than a typical tourist. Return to the hotel in the afternoon and pack for tomorrow’s flight to Melbourne. Overnight in Cairns.

*Optional Daintree Rainforest excursion: Take the scenic route to Cape Tribulation within the Daintree National Park. Ascend the Alexandra Range and pause for a panoramic view of rainforest merging with the Coral Sea. Experience the rainforest up-close on the elevated National Park Boardwalk. Go beyond Cape Tribulation to pristine Emmagen Creek, with time for a refreshing rainforest swim. Look for exotic birds in the trees and indulge in the tropical fruit of these tranquil surroundings. After a short afternoon refreshment stop, cross the Daintree River by cable ferry and return to the hotel.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Cairns Harbou... or similar

1723 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

Optional
Full-Day Cape Tribulation & Daintree Excursion

Light

See more
9th Day: Cairns - Melbourne
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Wake up in Cairns and self-transfer to the airport for your flight to Melbourne! Lauded for its sense of style and elegance, Melbourne boasts glamorous festivals and events, Australia's best shopping, a lively passion for fine dining, and a flourishing interest in the arts. Restored and preserved nineteenth-century architecture, built following the discovery of gold, provides a heady reminder of a prosperous age, while beautifully tended parks and gardens present a therapeutic respite from the pace of city life.

Take the rest of the day at your leisure to rest or explore. Overnight in Melbourne.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Express Melbo... or similar

47 Reviews

See our full selection
10th Day: Melbourne
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Wake up in Melbourne. Today, experience an Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens are a significant cultural site for the local Kulin Nation. Walking with an aboriginal guide, gain insight into the rich history and thriving culture of the First Peoples of Australia by identifying significant native plants within the Gardens. Learn about Aboriginal plant uses, customs, and ongoing connection to the land.

You are once again free in the afternoon to explore Melbourne as you see fit. Overnight in Melbourne.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Express Melbo... or similar

47 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Excursion

Light

See more
11th Day: Melbourne
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Wake up in Melbourne. Today is your final full day here, so be sure to take advantage! This is your last chance to go on an excursion in Australia. Today there are two options on offer, both of which cater to those seeking one last look at the stunning Australian natural scenery. For those who want stunning views and a stop at a rock formation known as the “12 Apostles,” why not go on a coastal drive with the optional Ocean Road experience?* If you want to get to know the local wildlife, and see it up close, head to Phillip Island** and see a koala reserve and “penguin parade” before heading back to the mainland. Return to the hotel in the evening and prepare for your flight back to the US. Overnight in Melbourne.

*Optional Ocean Road Experience: The Great Ocean Road tour is one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives! Leaving Melbourne, pass Anglesea before enjoying morning tea on the beautiful beach. See the abundance of Australian wildlife, including cuddly koalas, and check out the magnificent surf spots. Walk in the ancient rainforest before arriving in the afternoon to see the gigantic limestone stacks known as the “12 Apostles” in Port Campbell National Park.

**Optional Phillip Island Experience: Stop at the Phillip Island Koala Conservation Reserve and make some new friends as you stroll on boardwalk trails. Experience views of an Australian fur seal colony and spot wild wallabies and native birds on a back-road journey to the main event. The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre at Summerland Beach is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating ecotourism attractions in the world, offering the opportunity to learn about the conservation of wildlife. At sunset, witness some of the world's tiniest penguins coming ashore as they emerge from the sea. It's truly unforgettable!

Important note: these optional activities take place simultaneously and cannot be combined.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Express Melbo... or similar

47 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

Optional
Great Ocean Road Experience

Light

See more
Optional
Full day Phillip Island Tour
See more
12th Day: Night on board
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It's time to bid farewell to Australia after an unforgettable journey of a lifetime. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport to catch a flight back to the US. Arrive in the US and end your trip.*

* Depending on the choice of flight, you may arrive back in US the following day.

Included activities

Included
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Second departure available at 13:00h, the departure time of the excursion will be communicated at the time of booking.

The Rocks Walking Tour

Included activity for day 4 in Sydney

Get to know the oldest British settlement on the Australian continent, replete with cobblestone streets and views over the Sydney Opera House.

Duration 01:30h Approx. Pick up time: 10:30 Approx

Physical rating:

Light

more information
Included

Gastronomic experience at Ochre Restaurant

Included activity for day 7 in Cairns

Try typical Australian dishes at this boardwalk restaurant that overlooks the Cairns Harbour. Enjoy views of the glittering city as night falls!

Physical rating:

Light

more information
Included

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Excursion

Included activity for day 10 in Melbourne

Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens to learn more about the history and culture of Australia's aboriginal peoples and the many plants they cultivate on this land.

Duration 01:30h Approx. Pick up time: 11:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Light

more information

Available Activities

Activities are subject to availability. The price for each optional activity will be shown in the next step of the booking process.
Optional
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There are various departures per day, and will be provided accordingly if there is an activity on the same day.

Sydney Opera House Guided Tour

Suggested activity for day 4 in Sydney

See inside one of Sydney's most iconic buildings, learning more about the history behind the design and construction of a modern landmark.

Duration 01:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination

Physical rating:

Light

more information
Optional

Half-day Panoramic Sydney Sights Excursion

Suggested activity for day 5 in Sydney

Cross all of Sydney and its suburbs, stopping at the highlights on this comprehensive bus tour that includes the CBD, Bondi Beach, Paddington, & more!

Duration 04:00h Approx. Pick up time: 08:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

more information
Optional
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The itinerary may change slightly depending on weather conditions.

Full Day Blue Mountains Tour

Suggested activity for day 5 in Sydney

Visit the Blue Mountains National Park, enjoying stunning views over the eucalyptus forests that give the area its characteristic azure tinge.

Duration 10:00h Approx. Pick up time: 07:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

more information
Optional
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Tour departs from Reef Fleet terminal. Passengers must check-in at the Great Adventures counter for boarding passes before boarding vessel. Boarding is 30 minutes prior to departure time.

Full Day Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Suggested activity for day 7 in Cairns

Spend a day floating among the Great Barrier Reef, experiencing one of Australia's most special natural wonders. Go swimming, snorkeling, or just relax with a delicious lunch.

Duration 07:00h Approx. Pick up time: 10:30 Approx

Physical rating:

Active

more information

Show more

The price includes

  • Included in all our trips. more information
  • Departure from the main US airports.
  • International flights: US - Sydney, Melbourne - US.
  • Internal flights: Sydney - Cairns, Cairns - Melbourne.*
    more information
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation in Charm and Superior category hotels.
    See hotels included
  • 1 dinner.
  • Transfers are not included.
  • Visits and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary with English speaking guide.
    See itinerary
  • All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
*The cancellation policy applicable is according to the Terms and Conditions available and agreed at the time of your purchase

Not included

Drinks, tips, and any other services not mentioned in what's included. Transfers are not included.

*Documentation of the internal flights will either be available in the "My bookings" section in your "Customer Area" 14 days before your trip or delivered to you on arrival at your destination. It is essential to fill in the passport information correctly for each passenger in the given boxes at the end of the reservations process.

  • Entry requirements

    Valid passport with at least six months validity and a return ticket.

  • Visa

    An ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) must be obtained online before traveling: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder/visit

  • Currency

    Australian Dollar.

  • Language

    English.

  • Electricity

    220 V and 240 V. Adapter required.

  • Health

    There are no mandatory vaccinations for travellers from the USA.

  • Time zone

    UTC + 08:00 to UTC + 10:00.

  • Other useful information

    People drive on the left-hand side of the road.

  • Tourist Office website

    https://www.australia.com/en-us

Remember to download your e-ticket to confirm the times of your flights and to complete online check-in using the airline's website, or directly at the check-in desk at the airport.

Accommodation at the hotels is as indicated. In the event of any changes to accommodation, they will always be of the same or a higher category. The category of hotels is not standardized across all countries in the world. For this reason, the criteria may differ depending on the destination country's own standards.

In the case of adverse weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons deemed appropriate, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed or canceled without prior notice.

If you have reduced mobility, require the use of a wheelchair, or you would prefer this tour to be a private experience for you and your group, you must contact our Experts at +1 888-488-0592 before booking to ensure that your needs can be met.

While on the road, it is highly unlikely that the vehicle will be equipped with wifi or bathroom facilities, though rest stops will be made for long trips. We recommend purchasing a new SIM card at the airport or placing an e-SIM before travel to guarantee internet connection.

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