Tailormade tour Australian Explorer Tour Australia

22 nights/23 days

Sydney • The Blue Mountains • Melbourne • Great Ocean Road • Adelaide • Uluru • Tropical North Queensland

This is a thorough and comprehensive tour of much of the continent of Australia, allowing for time not just to see the main sights but also to explore as your interests dictate, with optional visits based on ecology, flora and fauna or wine and food. You see Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne and wider Victoria, the Great Ocean Road, Adelaide and the south, Ayers Rock (Uluru), the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland rainforest.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £7,360 per person.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

Highlights

Sydney • Manly • Bondi Beach • Blue Mountains National Park • Phillip Island • Yarra Valley • Melbourne • St Kilda • Williamstown • Great Ocean Road • Adelaide • Kangaroo Island • Barossa Valley • Uluru • North Queensland • Great Barrier Reef • Daintree Rainforest • Atherton Tablelands • Conway National Park • Whitsunday Islands

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.

On your final day in Sydney, 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.

You are transferred by private chauffeur to your accommodation in the 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.

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.

You return to Sydney by car before taking a flight to Melbourne. A transfer to your hotel is included and then you can settle into the charm and character of Australia’s most fashionable city. Candidly multicultural, it is characterised by a mix of Victorian architecture and a spectacular modern skyline, a vibrant café scene, fantastic food and wine, great beaches, and sophisticated leafy boulevards. Enjoy a day of leisure as you explore the sights and sounds of Australia’s cultural and sporting capital.

From Melbourne, you could choose to take an optional tour to one of Victoria’s two main attractions, Phillip Island, or the world-famous Yarra Valley. On Phillip Island, guests will find stunning scenery, great surf beaches, Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, and the iconic penguin parade. Here, Little Penguins return to their home on Summerland Beach every evening and toddle up the sand to their nests. In the Yarra Valley, guests will find a wilderness of great bushwalks, cycling, National Parks, platypuses in Badger Creek, and, of course, the world-renowned vineyards that fame the area.

Enjoy your final day in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, perhaps by exploring some of its chic and elegant suburbs. The bay side St Kilda, for example, is an excellent place to head in search of great cafes, delectable restaurants, sublime bay side views and a refreshing coastline. Others may opt to head to the rediscovered and historic Williamstown, enjoying the seaside, the history of Melbourne, and again, spectacular bay side views.

Pick up your hire car from your accommodation in Melbourne and venture out of the city onto the Great Ocean Road, a highway that features highly on the bucket list of motorists the world over. On day one of this epic road trip, perhaps stop at the mecca for surfing Bells Beach, where competition-standard surfers will provide a masterclass in this typically Australian sport, next, Point Addis provides an incredible board walk with mesmerising ocean views. Finally, you could allow time for Kennett River Holiday Park, where wild koalas, kookaburra, king parrots and rosellas are found easily in the eucalyptus forest.

From the comfort of your lodge accommodation, it’s time to re-join the Great Ocean Road. The enduring image of this fabled route awaits, the Twelve Apostles. Jutting out into the ocean, these rocky stands look as though abandoned to the ocean by the retreating headland. Only seven ‘apostles’ can be seen today by the fabulous vistas from the timber boardwalks that surround the headland. If possible, stay until sunset for a postcard image like no other. With a distinctly Mediterranean climate, a renowned gastronomy scene, world-class wineries and over 300 conservation reserves, arriving in South Australia is a moment to savour. Explore the elegant and green city of Adelaide, and be greeted by a refined local culture, fantastic neighbouring beaches, leafy boulevards, superb restaurants and great cultural centres such as the Tandyana Centre. You spend one night in Adelaide before and after the two nights spent on Kangaroo Island.

To the south of Adelaide lies Kangaroo Island, a wilderness outcrop in the Southern Ocean that contains awe-inspiring quantities of scenery, and endemic flora and fauna. To the north, the famous Barossa Valley offers once-in-a-lifetime wine and food tours, and a pleasant Mediterranean climate. We have included two nights on Kangaroo Island but you may switch this for two nights amid the vineyards of the Barossa Valley. For Kangaroo Island, take your hire-car on the ferry to the island. Explore your chosen rural retreat and savour the hospitality of your cosy lodge in the evening.

You have a full day to explore the scenery and admire the wildlife of Kangaroo Island.

You return to Adelaide by hire-car and ferry from Kangaroo Island to explore the city at leisure.

This morning you return your hire-car to the aiport in Adelaide and fly to Ayers Rock. The magical Red Centre of Australia’s Northern Territory provides a dramatic change of scenery to the lush bush landscape of the coast. Here, Uluru rises spectacularly from the flat plains of the desert measuring 3.6 kilometres long by 348 meters above the surrounding sandy shrubland. In the morning, perhaps join one of the guided walks to discover the sight’s ecology, Aboriginal cultural significance or geology. In the evening, you can enjoy a sundowner as the sun sets over Uluru and is replaced with a mesmerising sky full of stars.

Choose to wake early and embark on an expedition to the glorious Kata Tjuta, where a Martian landscape of dome formations will fascinate and delight. Next, perhaps visit the cultural centre to learn about the cultural significance of Uluru.

Depending on your flight time there may be some free time this morning before your transfer to catch your flight to North Queensland. Upon arrival, you are transferred to your hotel. This might be by private chauffeur, or even by scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef, depending on your chosen accommodation.

Spend the day adjusting to the tropical climate with the help of the facilities on offer at your chosen accommodation. For many, this will inevitably entail a gorgeous swimming pool. For some hotels, pure relaxation can be found in on-site spa facilities.

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, if you participate in one of a number of optional activities. Find turtles, rays, colourful fish, and even whales and dolphins for the extremely fortunate.

Recuperate from the thrill of your optional touring by another day spent indulging in the facilities of your chosen accommodation. The sunshine and warmth of North Queensland will sooth the aches and pains of adventure.

With the Daintree Rainforest to the North, the Atherton Tablelands to the East and Conway National Park to the South, the rainforest of North Queensland is never far from your chosen accommodation. Perhaps today explore the pristine, sometimes World-Heritage listed, landscape and marvel at the diversity of flora and fauna that surround you. From wildlife walks to crocodile cruises, the riches of Queensland are easy to see with an exciting range of optional tours on offer.

Having acquainted yourself with the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, use your last full day in Australia exploring the other local sights of interest. In the Whitsunday Islands, for example, cruise to the stunning white sands of Whitehaven Beach. Elsewhere, chase waterfalls, wilderness hikes, deserted beaches, islands and mountains. There’s something for everyone in North Queensland.

Wake late and soak up the last of the scenery, climate and luxury facilities of your boutique accommodation. Whilst the magic of this incredible continent will stay with you forever, it’s time you say goodbye for now as you are transferred to Cairns Airport to catch your flight home.

Holiday price guide From about £7,360 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London and the value option, or from about £16,230 per person for the luxury option.

Holiday Code AUSG03

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

Holiday price guide From about £7,360 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London and the value option, or from about £16,230 per person for the luxury option.

Holiday Code AUSG03

Our prices include ● Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Qantas or Emirates from London to Sydney, returning from Sydney to London in economy class
● Domestic flights from Sydney to Melbourne, from Adelaide to Uluru, and from Uluru to Cairns in economy class.
● Transfers and car hire where specified in our itinerary
● 4 nights’ bed and breakfast in Sydney
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in the Blue Mountains
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Melbourne
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast on the Great Ocean Road
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Adelaide (one before and one after Kangaroo Island)
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast on Kangaroo Island
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Uluru
● 6 nights’ bed and breakfast in 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.
● Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists
● Personal expenses
● 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 Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

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
Ovolo Wooloomooloo Value option

Ovolo Woolloomooloo is a chic and contemporary boutique hotel in a highly sought-after central location. Modern, artistic design and ultra-luxurious accommodation make it a great spot to recuperate after enjoying the delights of Sydney.

Superoo room

Park Hyatt Sydney Luxury option

Park Hyatt Sydney is a 5-star hotel offering luxury and comfort in equal measure, in an excellent location for exploring the city's many sights. Excellent dining and spa facilities and stunning views over the harbour afford guests a luxury experience.

Harbour view room

Blue Mountains
Lilianfels Value option

Lilianfels is a 5-star boutique hotel in a stunning natural location overlooking the Blue Mountains. Award-winning cuisine and classic, comfortable accommodation, as well as a pampering spa afford guests a truly relaxing and indulgent experience.

Deluxe room

Emirates One and Only Wolgan Valley Luxury option

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

Melbourne
The Lyall Hotel Value option

The Lyall Hotel is an exclusive and elegant luxury hotel that boasts good facilities and a highly sought-after location. Excellent spa facilities and supremely comfortable accommodation make this an unbeatable spot from which to enjoy the delights of Melbourne.

Deluxe One Bedroom Suite

Park Hyatt Melbourne Luxury option

Park Hyatt Melbourne is a 5-star hotel offering luxurious style in an excellent central location. Award winning cuisine, comfortable accommodation and stylish interiors make it an ideal spot to recuperate after a day enjoying the delights of Melbourne.

Park Room

Great Ocean Road
Oscars Waterfront

Oscars Waterfront is a charming, boutique hotel in a lovely waterfront location. Offering luxurious accommodation in an upscale bed and breakfast format, it is an excellent base to explore the Coonawarra wine region and local natural wonders.

Riverfront room

Adelaide
Intercontinental Adelaide Value option

The InterContinental Adelaide is a sophisticated and contemporary hotel in an excellent riverside location. Award-winning cuisine, stunning views and spectacular mezzanine pool make it an ideal spot to recuperate after enjoying the delights of Adelaide.

Superior room

Mayfair Hotel Luxury option

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

Uluru
Sails in the Desert Hotel Value option

Sails in the Desert is a wonderful 5-star luxury resort that offers comfortable accommodation, excellent facilities and a taste of Aboriginal culture and heritage.

Superior room

Longitude 131 Luxury option

Longitude 131 is an exclusive, adult-only resort providing a unique camping-style experience in the peaceful surroundings of Uluru National Park. Excellent cuisine and spa facilities make this an excellent spot to recuperate after experiencing Australia's most iconic natural wonder.

Luxury Tent

North Queensland
Reef View Hotel Value option

The Reef View Hotel on Hamilton Island provides possibly the best infrastructure in Australia for a family holiday. Explore beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Whitsunday Islands, or relax by the pool with some of Queensland's finest hospitality.

Garden view room

Lizard Island Luxury option

Lizard Island Resort is a spectacular, luxurious property in a stunning island location. Guests are afforded the utmost in island luxury, with excellent cuisine and spa facilities, and the pristine nature of the island is not to be missed.

Garden view room

Holiday price guide From about £7,360 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London and the value option, or from about £16,230 per person for the luxury option.

Holiday Code AUSG03

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

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 Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

Highlights of the Northern Territory

Visit Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Explore Kakadu National Park, Eat at Mindil Beach Night Market in Darwin, Picturesque Kings Canyon, Visit traditional Aboriginal land and communities with a local guide, Alice Springs Desert Park at the foot of the MacDonnell Ranges, Camel Treks, Henley-on-Todd Regatta (late September) - on the dry Todd River in Alice Springs.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

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 Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

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.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Australia visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Uluru, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef

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