Tailormade tour Wild Australia Ecological Tour Australia

20 nights/21 days

Sydney • The Blue Mountains • Jervis Bay • Kangaroo Island • Arkaba Station • Tropical North Queensland

This Wild Australia Ecological touring holiday is ideally suited to those interested in exploring the diverse landscapes and ecology of Australia, and the encountering the unique flora and fauna of this country. From Sydney you visit the Blue Mountains, Jervis Bay, Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Ranges, and the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree rainforest of north Queensland.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £5,800 per person.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Wild Australia's ecology, landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna

Highlights

Sydney • Manly • Bondi Beach • Blue Mountains • Jervis Bay • Booderee National Park • Kangaroo Island • Flinders Chase National Park • Adelaide • Flinders Ranges • Brachina Gorge • Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary • Tropical North Queensland • Great Barrier Reef • Daintree Rainforest • Atherton Tablelands

Day by day

Arrive in Sydney. You a met upon arrival and transferred to your accommodation by private chauffeur.

Enjoy a day of leisure as you explore this iconic city. Soak up the sun in Circular Quay or the historic Rocks district and revel in the stunning vistas over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Take a leisurely stroll through the wonderful botanic gardens, Darling Harbour or to the wonderfully fashionable shopping districts of Queen Victoria Building, the Strand Arcade or Pitt Street.

With the world’s largest harbour on your doorstep, today you could explore the stunning scenery of wider Sydney. Choose from a range of optional excursions, perhaps taking a ferry to the beautiful community of Manly. Built on a narrow peninsula that ends at the dramatic cliffs of North Head, Manly is the jewel of the North Shore. It boasts a harbour and ocean beaches, fantastic snorkelling and surfing, and a refreshingly laid-back ambience. On your way back to central Sydney, marvel at the stunning skyline, sparkling in the last of the afternoon sunshine, and the hues of gold twinkling on Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Alternatively, choose from a range of optional tours to delve a bit deeper into what makes this iconic city great. For more scenery, choose from a day at the world-famous Bondi beach, perhaps enjoying the stunning Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, or head to one of the two National Parks that fringe the urban area. Elsewhere, why not discover the excellent museums and galleries of the city, including the Museum of Sydney where the rich history of Sydney and Australia is told.

Pick up your 4x4 hire car and drive due West into the Great Dividing Range, where you will find your luxury accommodation nestled serenely in the pristine Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The Blue Mountains National Park has been a favoured wilderness getaway of Sydneysiders for years. Step into the bush landscape through a range of optional excursions and marvel at the breath-taking waterfalls, sublime vistas, iconic wildlife and Aboriginal artwork of the area. The mystical blue tinge of the eucalyptus trees will only further mesmerise you in this deeply spiritual place. In the evening, settle down to your first taste of the Outback’s magical star display, where clear skies and zero light pollution conspire to reveal the entirety of the Milky Way.

Guests can choose to enjoy a leisurely morning in the wilderness surrounds, or otherwise rise early join an optional tour that will showcase the highlights of the local environment. For the latter, you could be served breakfast in the company of wild kangaroos, before exploring the World Heritage-listed area in a four-wheel-drive with a qualified ecological guide. The lush rainforest and Australian bush landscapes are superbly cut through by excellent walking trails, and these present the ideal paths for spotting some of Australia’s most extraordinary wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and cockatoos, as well as listening out for the expert mimic of lyrebirds, and searching for the elusive Blue Mountains water skink.

Drive South East from the Blue Mountains along the achingly pretty Grand Pacific Drive. With incredible vistas of the deep blue Pacific Ocean on your left, and rainforest clad escarpment on your right, spend the journey spotting koalas and be sure to stop at one of the beautiful beaches you pass. Stanwell Park in particular would make a wonderful mid-morning refreshment break. Arrive in Jervis Bay to be met with white sand beaches, crystal clear water, charming towns and idyllic scenery. Settle into your safari-style camp for the evening and sleep under the stars.

Wake up to the sound of the bush, and the soft pitter patter of kangaroos grazing around your treehouse. Today, you would do well to get out on the crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay. Perfectly positioned on the coast between the warm currents of the North and the temperate water of the south, Jervis Bay is home to an incredible mix of marine life. From resident fur seals and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins to migrating Humpback and southern right whales, to occasional turtles, sharks and rays, you can view most from the comfort of an ecological boat ride, or get up close and personal via kayak, Stand-Up Paddleboard, or even by snorkelling and scuba diving.

After a leisurely morning, perhaps today you could explore the ecological highlights of this idyllic region. Chief amongst these would be the superb Booderee National Park, a stunning and protected area offering superb hiking, surfing at Cave Beach, and snorkelling at Green Patch Beach. Birdwatch or spot breaching whales from the Cape St George Lighthouse, or learn more about Aboriginal Australia by taking part in the interpretive program run by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and the Koori people. Alternatively, you could take a drive through the idyllic landscape of rolling green hills, Australian bush, and rainforest clad escarpment. Many pretty country towns dot this area, such as in Kangaroo Valley, and a happy day can be spent pottering from town to town in the sunshine. In the evening, raise a glass to New South Wales as you conclude the first chapter of your tour.

Wake early and head back to Sydney on the Grand Pacific Drive to drop your car at the airport and catch your flight to Kangaroo Island. Upon arrival, pick up your 4x4 hire car, and drive to your warm and cosy accommodation deep in the wilds of this pristine environment. To celebrate your first evening in South Australia, it might be a good idea to sample some of the superb wine and produce of the state, which is home to the world-famous Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills amongst many others.

Today, you should get and explore the best of Kangaroo Island’s unique environment. With 509km of coastline and measuring 155km from the East Coast to the West, Kangaroo Island is a mecca for wildlife travellers the world over. It has even been dubbed ‘Australia’s Galapagos’, or ‘A zoo without fences’ in recognition of the pristine native bushland, rich marine and terrestrial life, and gorgeous beaches. Here you’ll find soaring cliffs, dense bushland, towering sand dunes, wetlands and massive arcs of bone white beach. Perhaps hop in your 4x4 car today, or take part in an optional tour, and zip about enjoying a safari style experience. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for breaching Southern right and minke whales of the coast, sleeping koalas in the soaring eucalypts of Hanson Bay Sanctuary, kangaroos and Cape Barren geese in the Flinders Chase National Park, and sunbathing sea lions at seal bay or New Zealand fur seals at Admirals Arch. Other animals include little penguins, pelicans, echidnas, Tamar wallabies, goannas and possums, and these can be found in several locations throughout the island.

Make the most of your time on this unique island by enjoying more touring that will showcase the natural assets of Kangaroo Island. By getting out on the water, for example, you could find yourself swimming with dolphins, big game fishing in the rich waters of the Southern Ocean, or otherwise spotting Southern right and minke whales from the comfort of a wildlife cruise. On land, quad bike tours, mountain biking, hiking and caving are available upon request. Alternatively, you could also sample some of Kangaroo Island’s superb produce, as the island benefits from the famed South Australian climate and rich waters. You will find excellent honey, seafood, cheese, and a great variety of vineyards.

After a leisurely morning, drive back to Kingscote Airport and drop your hire car before flying to Adelaide for a one-night stay. With a distinctly Mediterranean climate, a renowned gastronomy scene, and bordering world-class wineries, Adelaide is a pleasant stop on any itinerary in Australia. Its ambience is elegant and green, as historic buildings sit agreeably next to the many parks that compose it. Soak up the culture of the region by visiting the excellent Tandyana Centre or stroll through the fantastic botanical gardens for a relaxed day to replenish your energy. Another taste of Adelaide awaits visitors who choose to hop on the tram and head to the old-fashioned seaside resort of Glenelg. Here you will be richly awarded by a fantastic beach, lined with a distinctly European feeling strip of al-fresco cafes making the most of the brilliant South Australian produce. In the evening, settle down to dinner in one of the excellent restaurants found throughout the city.

Today pick up another 4x4 hire car. The road-trip continues as you venture deep into the Outback of Australia and head into ‘the Flinders’, an ancient mountain range in the heartland of South Australia. Jagged peaks and escarpments rise north of Port Augusta and track 400km north to Mount Hopeless. The colours are remarkable, as mauve mornings become midday chocolates and ochre-red sunsets. Emus wander across the roads and yellow-footed wallabies bound from boulder to boulder. Settle into your remote accommodation and dine under a star display like no other.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the calm of this remote region, before venturing out to engage with this environment in a more active way. A variety of options are available, from 4x4 drives to hiking to cycling to scenic flights. The scale of the landscape begs belief, and qualified guides will introduce you to the best vistas, and sightings of the iconic wildlife that abound in this pristine Outback location. Aside from the rare yellow-footed wallabies of Brachina Gorge, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for both red and western grey kangaroos, as well as common wallaroos. Bird and lizard life are just as exciting, and include emus, the grey-fronted honeyeater, the wedge-tailed eagle, a species often found soaring above the deep red Simpson Desert, and the delicate Lake Eyre dragon, which can be found in the hot sand of the Salt Lake from which it is named. The outback environment provides a playground reminiscent of an African safari as you journey from vista to vista.

Whilst the wildlife is exceptional, it is the landscape and flora of the Flinders Ranges that steals the show. Today you could explore the diversity of the region from the air with the help of a scenic flight. The glowing red and purple folds of the ranges are one of the most spectacular sights in South Australia, and the scale is mind blowing. The vegetation is also surprisingly diverse, as wildflowers and semi-arid flora such as cypress pine, mallee and sugar gum sit next to damper regions of evergreen grevilleas, ferns and Guinea flowers. Alternatively, you could head north to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, a 61,000-hectare private sanctuary home to a variety of birds and wildlife.

Today you drive back south to the capital of South Australia, but on the way, there is plenty of time to savour the pasting vistas, as the red hues of the Outback become the rolling green plains of the fertile wine regions. Stop at Port Augusta along the way to savour the sights and sounds of this frontier town, with its elegant old buildings and revitalised waterfront. Arrive into Adelaide to drop off your hire car and catch your flight to Cairns and the tropical heat of North Queensland. Upon arrival, pick up another 4x4 hire car, drive to your luxurious accommodation, and settle into the tropical surrounds.

Today would be a great day to acquaint yourself with the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. Stretching 2000km of coastline, this pristine stretch of coral reef is home to some of the most diverse and fascinating marine life on the planet. Enjoy calm, crystal-clear waters, and the iridescent colours of the coral by participating in a range of optional activities. From snorkelling to scuba diving to glass bottom boats – there is a well-established infrastructure in place that will allow you to experience the underwater sights in a way that suits your energy level. The reef itself is in fact comprised of 2600 separate reefs forming an outer ribbon parallel to the coastline. It is home to over 1500 species of fish, 400 types of coral, 4000 breeds of clams and molluscs, 800 echinoderms, 500 varieties of seaweed, 200 bird species, 1500 sponge species, and no less than six types of turtle. Whales, reef sharks, dolphins and rays are frequent visitors, but in truth – there is just no telling what you will see on any given day in this extraordinary ecosystem.

After a full day of exploration on the reef, today you could choose to take things a little easier and simply relax in the natural setting of your luxury accommodation. Certain hotel choices feature excellent spas which draw upon the natural bounty of the rainforest to provide rejuvenating remedies. Others include fantastic natural swimming spots, private beaches, and kayaks that may help you explore the wonders of this exotic coastline.

The Daintree Rainforest in the north of Tropical North Queensland is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed ecosystem where the reef meets the sea. Here ancient rainforests coincide with sandy beaches and rugged mountains to provide one of the most spectacular landscapes found anywhere in Australia. Perhaps today, you could take a trip into the heart of this pristine environment accompanied by ecological guides. The best way to do this is either on one of the many hiking trails, or by a river cruise on the Daintree River. Spot crocodiles, colourful birds, cassowaries and much more with the help and safety of experienced ecological guides. Lose yourself in what David Attenborough once described as “the most extraordinary place on earth”, an ecosystem whose emerald green vines and lush canopy inspired Avatar.

Perhaps today you could explore one of the other myriad natural assets found in the part of the world. For example, a short drive inland from the coast will bring you to the Atherton Tablelands, where quaint country towns, green hills, pockets of rainforest, spectacular crater lakes, and waterfalls coincide to lend adventurous guests a great day trip. The area is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife including reptiles, wallabies, kangaroos, and even the elusive platypus. Alternatively, you could spend your last full day in Australia revisiting the Daintree, the Great Barrier Reef, or simply relaxing in the tropical climate that surrounds you. In the evening, raise a final glass to Australia as you look back on the ecological trip of a lifetime in this unique land.

Wake to soak up the last of the scenery and climate before boarding your onward flight.

Holiday price guide From about £5,800 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code AUSG11

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Wild Australia's ecology, landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna

Holiday price guide From about £5,800 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code AUSG11

Our prices include ● Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Qantas or Emirates from London to Sydney, returning from Cairns to London in economy class
● Domestic flights from Sydney to Kangaroo Island, Kangaroo Island to the Flinders Ranges, and the Flinders Ranges to Cairns in in economy class
● Transfers and car hire where specified in our itinerary.
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Sydney
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in the Blue Mountains
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Jervis Bay
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Kangaroo Island
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in Adelaide
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Flinders Ranges
● 5 nights’ bed and breakfast in Tropical North Queensland
● The meals included with your tour will vary by chosen accommodation. Please see our hotel suggestions for included board basis.
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except as specified in our hotel suggestions.
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, payable locally to the hotel
● Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists.
● Visa and Passport. You will need a full British passport with at least six months validity, and a Visa for travel to Australia. Visas requirements should be checked with the Australian authorities. More details are available from www.eta.immi.gov.au

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Wild Australia's ecology, landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this touring holiday as suggestions, but they can be substituted by others in the same region, if you have a preference to stay elsewhere.
Hotels included in this tour
Sydney
Pier One Sydney

Pier One Sydney Harbour is a luxury 5-star hotel stunningly positioned at the base of Sydney Harbour Bridge. We love the light, airy, luxury feel of this beautiful hotel with its waterside views over Luna Park and the Opera House.

Heritage room

Blue Mountains
Emirates One and Only Wolgan Valley

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is a once-in-a-lifetime luxury resort in the heart of the Blue Mountains. Set within a private 7,000-acre conservation reserve, we love the total seclusion and exclusivity of these impossibly luxurious lodges in this World Heritage-listed wilderness.

One bedroom heritage villa

Jervis Bay
Paperbark Camp

Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay is a nature lover's paradise: a peaceful bush setting, with African safari-style tented accommodation, nestled between native forest and the white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay. Sleep in serenity under the stars.

Original Safari Tent

Kangaroo Island
Southern Ocean Lodge

Southern Ocean Lodge is a secluded, luxury property in a stunning clifftop location. Guests can experience 'Australia's Galapagos' with a generous range of Signature Experiences, alongside excellent cuisine and spa facilities for a truly secluded, intimate experience.

Flinders suite

Adelaide
Mayfair Hotel

The Mayfair Hotel is a luxury 5-star hotel in an excellent central location, in an iconic landmark building. Gourmet cuisine, an exclusive rooftop bar and luxury accommodation makes it an excellent spot from which to enjoy the delights of Adelaide.

Superior Queen room

Flinders Ranges
Rawnsley Park Station Value option

Rawnsley Park Station is a wonderful secluded retreat in beautiful rural surroundings with an emphasis on sustainable tourism. Delicious local cuisine and supremely comfortable accommodation make it an excellent base from which to explore the Flinders ranges national park.

One Bedroom Holiday Unit

Arkaba Station Luxury option

Arkaba Station in the heart of South Australia's Flinders Ranges is an exclusive lodge in a remote wilderness location, ideal for exploring the scenery, wildlife, and cultural sites of the majestic Flinders Ranges.

Homestead Guestroom

Tropical North Queensland
Sea Temple Resort and Spa

Sea Temple Resort and Spa is a 5-star luxury resort offering spacious apartment and villa accommodation in a beautiful coastal location. Delicious seafood based cuisine, excellent spa facilities and luxurious accommodation afford guests a truly relaxing and indulgent experience.

Studio resort room

Holiday price guide From about £5,800 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code AUSG11

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Wild Australia's ecology, landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna

Highlights of New South Wales and Sydney

Circular Quay for magnificent panoramas of the Sydney harbour, Experience Sydney’s beach culture at Bondi Beach, Wildlife and wilderness in the Blue Mountains, Yulefest in July in the Blue Mountains – complete with log fires and yuletide trimmings for a ‘traditional Christmas’, Skiing in the Snowy Mountains, Visit the outback and the beautiful Mutawintji National Park in the far northwest of the state, The unspoilt south coast and its fishing villages, Vineyard tours in the Hunter Valley.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Wild Australia's ecology, landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna

Highlights of Queensland

Sailing around the Whitsundays, Experiencing the largest sand island in the world – Fraser Island, Exploring the pristine Daintree Rainforest, Snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef, Seeing the endless horizons of the Gulf Savannah, Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Tour the beautiful Atherton Tablelands, Sunday market in scenic Port Douglas.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Wild Australia's ecology, landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna

Highlights of South Australia and Adelaide

Wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, Whale watching from the southern beaches, Visiting Coober Pedy where most of the population lives underground, Abundant wildlife on and around Kangaroo Island, Indigenous cultural tours of the region, The Tandanya cultural centre in Adelaide, Bushwalking in the Flinders Ranges, The Adelaide Fringe Festival.

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