This spectacular 24 day self drive tour includes highlights of both New South Wales, Victoria South Australia and Queensland taking into account culture of Australia’s 2 largest cities, premier wine regions, and the world-renowned Great Ocean Road.
Highlights include: Sydney- Australia’s largest city and spectacular harbour including a visit to the world renowned Opera House, the incredible vistas of the Blue Mountains, the Wine Region of the South Australia and the Adelaide Hills, the stunning Great Ocean Road including the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge and the crystal clear waters of Tropical Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
The best part is that you won’t miss a beat with all the not to miss hidden photo spots, scenic walks, sightseeing and restaurant suggestions in each town marked down on easy to follow day by day route notes. Welcome to The Road Trip ‘Where your journey begins’.
Welcome to Australia. You will be met at the airport by our representative and given your detailed route notes from the tour and transferred into the city by shuttle. Today is a full day to explore Melbourne at leisure. You will be taken on a fantastic walking tour of the inner city and discover the area by foot. Sites include Federation Square, Melbourne’s Street Art, Chinatown and Princess Theatre as well as discovering some of the city’s best cafes and hidden bars. We also suggest a visit to Eureka Tower for fantastic panoramic views of the city centre and its surrounds. In addition we will recommend some fantastic areas in the city for shopping. Tonight enjoy dinner in one of the city’s fantastic restaurants. (we will have suggestions in your route notes).
Today is a further day to explore Melbourne. This morning take a visit to Melbourne Zoo and discover one of Australia’s favourite attractions. Discover the Platypus; get up close and personal with Koala’s along with many species of native birdlife. This afternoon take a tour of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens on the south bank of the city’s Yarra River. Discover over 8,500 different species of plant from 31 different countries in this idyllic setting. Tonight is free to further enjoy the city at leisure.
This morning we will arrange for you to collect your rental car and you will depart Melbourne City. From here it is a short drive to the well renowned Yarra Valley, known for its cool climate wines , boutique cheese and chocolate shops and stunning natural surrounds. This afternoon upon arrival is free to explore the area’s natural surrounds at leisure and visit one of the many cellar doors in the region or simply relax and unwind. Perhaps enjoy a spectacular hot air balloon ride taking in the area’s sweeping vistas. Tonight enjoy a meal in one of the area’s fantastic restaurants.
Today is a full day to explore the Yarra Valley with your own exclusive private tour guide and indulge in some of the area’s fantastic wineries, breweries, chocolate and cheese shops, gin distilleries or all of the above. Enjoy a gourmet lunch on site at one the stops accompanied by a glass of Yarra valley Wine. For those that want an extra touch of luxury today, there is the option to travel by classic Chevrolet. Upon return, enjoy another night in the region.
This morning after departing your accommodation, take the drive through to Healesville Sanctuary and get up close and personal with Australian Wildlife in their natural habitat. See Platypus, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats, Tasmanian Devils and Koalas among other species. You will also get the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary’s Health Centre which is responsible for treating over 1,500 injured or sick wild animals every year. From here your next stop is Australia’s favourite steam train ‘Puffing Billy Railway.’ Enjoy a splendid journey through the Dandenong Ranges on this turn of the century locomotive as you pass by lush fern gullies and admiring the tall mountain gums and rolling green hills of the Dandenong Ranges. There is also an option to enjoy lunch on the train’s first class dining carriage. Following this, for those who are feeling active, there is the possibility to enjoy a nature walk in the Dandenong National Park.We will have several options in your route notes. Tonight’s destination is Phillip Island, one of the best places in Victoria for wildlife and coastal views.
Today is a full day to explore Phillip Island and immerse yourself in one of Victoria’s well known wildlife meccas. This morning, make a visit to the island’s Koala Wildlife Sanctuary and come face to face with Koalas in their natural habitat. The rest of the day is free to explore at leisure. Perhaps take a visit to Churchill Heritage Island Farm, take one of the area’s fantastic scenic walks on the peninsula, visit one of the sheep and beef farms in the area and take a guided tour or join a seal watching cruise on board a wildlife coastal cruise. This evening enjoy one of the island’s fantastic highlights with a twilight tour to view little penguins on parade at sunset.
This morning before departing Phillip Island, we will take a visit to the Nobbies Conservation Centre on the tip of the peninsula for a walk along the spectacular boardwalks and look out points. Keep a look out for the area’s Silver Gulls among other species. From here take the trip through to Mount Eliza and we recommend checking out the superb Earamil Gardens with their spectacular coastal views. There is also the opportunity here for wine tasting at Underground Wine Makers with a chance to sample some of the area’s local products. From here it is a short hop skip and a jump to Portsea at the tip of Mornington Peninsula. This afternoon we recommend checking out one of the many nature walks in the Point Nepean National Park where you will overnight with spectacular coastal views.
This morning take a ferry crossing between Sorrento and Queenscliff, enjoying superb views of Port Philip Bay along the way. Arriving in Queenscliff be greeted by windswept beaches as you head South West toward the Great Ocean Road. On route perhaps stop for photos at Bells Beach and paying a visit to Torquay, one of Australia’s premier surfing destinations. We recommend checking out the National Surf Museum and the beach famous for the Rip Curl Pro, one of the most sought after titles on the world championship circuit. Arriving in Lorne, we suggest checking out some of the many fantastic vistas and walking spots that the surrounding area has to offer. The final part of your drive today follows cliff-tops offering incredible views and alongside wild beaches. Arriving in Apollo Bay enjoy an afternoon strolling around the small village and admiring your surroundings.
Leaving Apollo Bay your drive takes you into Cape Otway National Park, one of Australia’s many coastal wonders. For those adventurous enough, we recommend stopping at Otway Fly Tree Top Walk and partaking in an adrenaline zip line tour. From there explore the Cape Otway light station and its breath-taking cliff top views. Further up the road you will discover the world-famous Twelve Apostles as well as Loch Ard Gorge. There is the opportunity here to do one of our several nature walks encompassing the majestic coastal views and limestone formations. For those that want a more panoramic view of the Twelve Apostles, there will be the opportunity to view the area by helicopter (at additional cost) Your next stop is Logan’s Beach, known for its Southern Right and Blue Whale visits in winter. Your destination for the evening is the charming fishing Village of Port fairy where you will spend the next 2 nights. We will suggest some fantastic dining featuring scrumptious regional dishes.
Today is a full day to explore Port Fairy at leisure and there are several options to consider. Take a walk around Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve and get up close with kangaroos, emus, koalas, echidnas and several species of birdlife. We also suggest taking a visit to some of the towns galleries, taking a kayak trip on the harbour or take a fishing charter. We will have several fantastic suggestions for you in your route notes.
Leaving Port Fairy, we recommend your first stop should be Portland, Victoria’s first European settlement. Enjoy a coffee with a view whilst looking out to sea. From here you will reach the towering cliffs and sand Petrified Forest at Cape Bridgewater. This is well worth a visit and boasts a resident seal colony as well as sweeping coastal views. Further up the road, make a stop in Mount Gambier which sits on an ancient volcano and visit Umpherston’s sinkhole as well as one of the crater lakes that surround the area. Continue further along the coast to the picturesque fishing port of Robe on the limestone coast of Australia and your destination for the evening.
The drive today takes you through the Coorong National Park and salt flats around Lake Alexandrina to Mount Barker. We recommend taking a drive to its summit and viewing Adelaide and its picturesque surrounding satellite villages from above. From here, take the drive or walk to the Mount Lofty Summit and enjoy the stunning panoramic views over a coffee or beverage in the summit café. Also explore the spectacular Mount lofty Botanic Gardens and one of its many nature trails. Your destination for the next 3 nights is the charming cosmopolitan centre of Adelaide. Tonight enjoy dinner in one of the city’s many fantastic hot spots.
Today is a full day to explore the wine region of McLaren Vale on an exclusive private wine tour of the region. McLaren Vale is known for its highlight acclaimed wines including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro and Chardonnay among other varieties. This visit includes both family owned boutique wineries and some of the larger iconic wineries as well as the opportunity to indulge in lunch at a choice of venue. This also includes a visit to Australia’s oldest German settlement, Hahndorf, known for its boutique beer and wines, chocolate shops and charming ancestry and folklore. After a full day exploring, return to Adelaide this evening.
Today is a day to explore the Metropolitan Centre of Adelaide at leisure. Sites that we suggest include Adelaide Botanic Gardens, South Australian Museum, Glenelg Beach and a tour of Adelaide Oval. Alternatively take a full day tour to spectacular Kangaroo Island Visit Seal Bay Conservation Park, Vivonne Bay, Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch among other spots to see native animals including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, echidnas, long-nosed fur seals and more. There is either the option to travel by coach and ferry or by air for spectacular views across the bay. Tonight enjoy a further night in spectacular Adelaide.
This morning take the drive to Adelaide Airport where you will drop off your rental car. From there you will take a domestic flight to Sydney- Australia’s largest city. Upon arrival into Sydney you will be transferred into the inner city by shuttle. From here we suggest spending the day exploring Australia’s largest city. We suggest taking a walk along picturesque ‘The Rocks’ including a visit to some of the area’s charming cafes and of course the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. For those that want the up close and personal experience, we can arrange a guided Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb to learn all about one of Australia’s most iconic sites. Following this visit the iconic Sydney Opera House where you will take a guided tour. Later today visit the well-known Bondi Beach and if feeling active take one of the area’s coastal nature walks along the cliffs for great views of the Pacific Ocean. Tonight you will have the opportunity to enjoy some of Sydney’s fantastic culinary hot spots (we will have suggestions in your route notes).
Today is a further day to explore the wonders of Australia’s largest city. This morning visit the Sydney Aquarium and learn all about Australia’s spectacular marine life. From here there is the opportunity to take a harbour cruise for some spectacular photos of the city scape and surrounds. We also suggest visiting the Botanic gardens and NSW Art Gallery (there will be further suggestions in your tour pack). Spend a further night in the city.
This morning we will arrange for you to collect your rental car and from here you depart Sydney City and head west toward the Blue Mountains, one of Australia’s most picturesque gems featuring breath-taking vistas and cascades. On arrival into the region, we suggest taking several nature walks including stunning Wentworth Falls with its grand valley views and picturesque waterfall (45 minutes-1 hour return). We will have several fantastic suggestions for you. From here continue to Katoomba where you will visit Scenic World for superior views of the region. Experience a breath-taking journey on the scenic skyway with views of the Three Sisters and Jamieson Valley, ride Australia’s steepest passenger railway in the World with its glass roofed carriages through ancient rainforest and enjoy a trip on the Scenic Cableway for views of Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and the Katoombah Falls. There is also the opportunity to take a scenic walk through Jurassic Forest at the bottom station. Tonight stay in the village of Katoomba in the heart of the national park.
Today be prepared for some spectacular scenery and one of the highlights of the region with a drive through the Grose Valley with its canyons, look out spots and stunning cascades. First up visit Govetts Leap look out and enjoy the panoramic views and vistas that await you. There is the opportunity here to take a scenic bush walk and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Keep a look out for Bridal Veil Falls, the highest falls in the Blue Mountains at 180m. From here, take the scenic drive known as The Putty Road through Yengo National Park. Spend some time taking scenic photos of this spectacular national park and perhaps visit Aboriginal cultural sites. Your destination for the next 2 nights is the spectacular Hunter Valley Wine Country where you will stay on an idyllic setting in amongst the vines.
Today you will enjoy a full day guided culinary and wine tour of the Hunter Valley, including a visit to several of the area’s renowned winemakers. Also included are the opportunity to try a selection of the delectable local cheeses, craft beers and other local delicacies. This tour includes a generous lunch overlooking the vines as well as an opportunity to see wildlife along the way and experience the typical Australian scene with kangaroos hopping through the vines. Tonight after a full day touring, enjoy a relaxing evening at the retreat.
This morning you return to Sydney Airport where you will return your rental car and from here board a flight to Cairns, a tropical city on the coast of Northern Queensland. Upon arrival and collection of a new vehicle take the evening to stroll the palm tree-lined waterfront and marvel at the picturesque clear waters. Explore the city centre and perhaps dine at one of the city’s vibrant restaurants, peruse the night markets or stop for gelato on the Esplanade.
Today you make the short drive north to the tropical haven of Port Douglas. This town is the gateway to Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. En route you will stop at the beautiful Palm Cove, where you can stroll along the beach which is lined with ancient paperbark Melaleuca trees. There will be the option to stop here for lunch and dine at one of the restaurants along the Esplanade. The Palm Cove Jetty is one of the area’s best fishing spots and there is the opportunity of enjoying some angling from here. Palm Cove also borders on the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site and the MacAlister Range National Park. There is the chance of taking a number of walks through these spectacular areas where you will see plants and animals unique to this part of the world. Continue on to Port Douglas where you will spending the next three nights.
Today you will be experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, cruising to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage site is an important area for worldwide conservation and diversity. This morning you will board the luxury 30 metre catamaran, Wavedancer, where you will take an hour long cruise out on the ocean to the Low Isles, a coral cay island including a lagoon. Here you will be able to take a glass bottom boat tour, snorkel, take a beach walk or relax on the beach. This day trip includes a delicious buffet lunch. Return to Port Douglas in the evening and enjoy at leisure.
Today is free to relax in the paradise of Port Douglas. We suggest visiting Four Mile Beach, where pristine sand and sea stretch as far as the eye can see. Take a dip in the tropical waters and perhaps hire a sun lounger to laze on the sandy shores. If you are keen to check out the native animals, you could visit Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas where there are Koala, Kangaroos, numerous bird species and reptiles, and you can even enjoy a meal surrounded by birdlife . If you feel like exploring further afield, the Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world and a short drive north of Port Douglas. Here you can take a guided walk in this world heritage gem. Return to Port Douglas and further enjoy the evening in one of the town’s fantastic restaurants.
Today, after further exploring Port Douglas you will return to Cairns Airport, where you will drop off your rental car and transfer to your onward travel arrangements. We trust that you have had a memorable exclusive Road Trip with us.