Experience cosmopolitan Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road - arguably the most beautiful drive in Australia, World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Rainforest and the stunning harbor city of Sydney on this independent tour fully inclusive of flights and premium 4.5-5 star accommodations. Enjoy free hotel nights & special values as we transport you around Australia with Virgin Australia. Itinerary customization available and Air Upgrade options for Premium & business class from $700.
- Roundtrip International Economy Class Flights from Los Angeles (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
- 3 nights Melbourne at the 5* Crown Metropol – Luxe King Room
- 3 days medium size automatic transmission car rental inclusive of insurance
- 1 night Apollo Bay at the 4* Captains at the Bay – Terrace Room including full breakfast
- 1 night Dunkeld at the 4.5* Royal Mail Hotel – Garden view Room including full breakfast
- 1 night Daylesford at the 4* Grange Bellinzona – Superior Room
- 4 nights Port Douglas at the 4.5* Shantara Resort -Studio Room
- 4 nights Sydney at the 5* Amora Jamison in a Deluxe King Room
- Optional recommended touring & transfers package for additional $849 per person includes: Private car service airport transfers in Melbourne & Sydney, shuttle transfers in Cairns, half day Melbourne walking tour, Full day Phillip Island wildlife tour, Full day Great Barrier Reef tour, half day Mossman Gorge & Daintree Rainforest tour, half day Sydney city sights tour, Sydney harbor cruise & Sydney Opera House tour
- All taxes & fuel surcharges
Day 1 - Depart Los Angeles non-stop to
Melbourne with Virgin Australia
What makes Australia truly special is not just the accents, iconic destinations, and the wildlife, but the warmth of its people. You’ll experience this warmth with Virgin Australia when you fly direct from LA to Sydney. Considering upgrading your flight? Consider premium economy from $700 per person additional each way or a life flat bed in business class from $2,000 each way for travel Monday - Thursday.
Day 2 - Cross International Dateline
Day 3 -
Enjoy 3 nights in exciting Melbourne – named the world’s most livable city for the sixth consecutive year.
ACCOMMODATION - Crown Metropol offers fresh, vibrant, modern and stylish accommodation. From the moment you take in the hotel's elegant form and enter the uniquely designed reception area, you will feel a sense of peace and calm that makes every visit to Crown Metropol a welcome escape from day-to-day life. Crown Metropol is conveniently located adjacent to the Crown Entertainment Complex, home to a 24-hour casino, more than 50 restaurants, cinemas, luxury, and general fashion shopping and entertainment.
Wander through Melbourne’s labyrinth of connecting laneways and arcades, intimate spaces and mystery, as well as home to many of Melbourne’s bar, dining and shopping secrets. Melbourne also has a strong cultural and intellectual heritage. With a range of galleries and museums, the city provides a canvas for artistic expression – the laneways are home to constantly changing street art. Melburnians love a party, with the year-round calendar of events offering something for everyone, see live music, go to a football match or join in at a festival! Melbourne’s multicultural population contributes to the city’s unique atmosphere – and more importantly, the city’s incredible dining scene. With a vibrant energy and unique offerings, Melbourne’s lifestyle is sure to find something for all visitors to enjoy.
Day 4 - Recommended Optional Touring -
Melbourne - Cultural tour
Once described as a 'comprehensive highlight of the city this tour is a must for any visitor or local resident. With equal enthusiasm for the past and present, your guide will take you on a fun and relaxed adventure through Melbourne's cultural landscape. Starting with Melbourne's Aboriginal history you will weave your way through various cityscapes to learn about Melbourne's past - from early settlement to the gold rush boom and rich influence of the city's immigrants. Modern Melbourne is a vibrant, buzzing metropolis unparalleled by any city in Australia. Explore the city's famed laneways and arcades - learning about street art, music, and cafe culture. The architecture of 'Marvellous Melbourne' is also a highlight as well as modern marvels including Federation Square, the MCG, and the Eureka building.
Image: Tourism Australia
Day 5 - Recommended Optional Touring -
Melbourne - Phillip Island
An Oceania Tours and Safaris vehicle will pick you up from your hotel to commence a Phillip Island Day Tour. Your animal adventures will start with a visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park where you won't even have time to take photos as there will be fascinating Australian animals at every turn. You have up-close encounters with animals like kangaroos, wombats, and echidnas. Next, we will head to the island (Phillip Island) where will head to Woolamai Surf Beach to catch a glimpse of the awesome waves and die-hard surfers. (weather permitting). We then cross the island to reach the dramatic west coast and the Nobbies where you will be awe-struck by the crashing waves. And finally, it's time for the main event, the Penguin Parade. There is a reason that this is one of Australia's top attractions and the little penguins will not disappoint! You will have access to a separate platform to one side of the beach, limited to 300 people, thus enabling you better viewing. This fabulous natural spectacular is run by a not-for-profit organization where all profits are directly reinvested in conservation efforts to protect the little penguins. Your Oceania 24 Guide will take you back to your Melbourne
Image: Tourism Australia
Day 6 -
Melbourne - Apollo Bay
Collect your car this morning and travel southwest from Melbourne on the Princes Highway to Geelong, the largest provincial city in Victoria. Depart Geelong and travel onto Torquay, the surfing capital of Australia. Follow the coast road through Anglesea to Lorne and visit the nearby Erskine Falls. The coastline from Lorne to Apollo Bay has been described as one of the most beautiful and breathtaking drives in the world.
GREAT OTWAY NATIONAL
An ancient, pristine place where waterfalls thunder, goliath trees reach for the sun and wildlife thrives in the cool temperate rainforest. Such is the Great Otway National Park. Over 103,000 hectares of natural environment spanning the coast and hinterland from Torquay to Princetown. Awesome forests. Spectacular coastline. It’s a natural adventure space that will keep you wondering at every turn. Walk it, bike it or drive it … just make sure you do it.
ACCOMMODATION - Apollo Bay - Captains At The Bay caters especially for couples, located in the heart of town a stroll away from the foreshore, beach, and restaurants.
Image: Visions of Victoria
Day 7 - Apollo Bay -
Port Campbell - Dunkeld
Depart Apollo Bay this morning and travel along the fabulous Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell. The road does leave the coast and wind through the ferny slopes of Cape Otway, this rainforest country is silent and untouched. When the road meets the coast again you will see some amazing rock formations including the Twelve Apostles, which are huge stone pillars in the surf, carved over time by the crashing Southern Ocean waves. Continue on to Port Campbell where you will see London Bridge the broken arch.
From Port Campbell travel northwest to Dunkeld where you will stay for the night. Dunkeld's historic Royal Mail Hotel is idyllically located at the base of Mount Sturgeon, at the southern tip of western Victoria's Grampians Ranges. Originally established in 1855, the hotel retains its historical charm while providing guests with contemporary, architecturally designed facilities that take advantage of the stunning natural surroundings.
These world-famous wave sculpted rock formations stand defiant against the surging waves of the Southern Ocean and are located in the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. For a fresh perspective, descend Gibson Steps to the beach and see how the Twelve Apostles stack up at ground level. What could possibly beat standing on a cliff-top viewing deck soaking up the beauty of the Twelve Apostles? A breathtaking helicopter flight to view the entire coast from above. Imagine soaring over the Twelve Apostles and the Bay of Islands.
PORT CAMPBELL NATIONAL
The park hugs the wild coastline for 27km between Princetown and Peterborough. Just 4km narrow at its widest, the park attracts millions of visitors each year and envelopes one of Australia’s most iconic stretches of shoreline. Dramatic wave-sculpted landforms such as the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge are the superstars of the park. But there’s an amazing support cast off the beaten track.
ACCOMMODATION - Dunkeld's historic Royal Mail Hotel is idyllically located at the base of Mount Sturgeon, at the southern tip of western Victoria's Grampians Ranges. Originally established in 1855, the hotel retains its historical charm while providing guests with contemporary, architecturally designed facilities that take advantage of the stunning natural surroundings. This historic hotel features sweeping views, restaurant, open fires, bars, and luxurious motel rooms
Image: Visions of Victoria
Day 8 -
Dunkeld to Grampians & onwards to
Depart Dunkeld this morning for Halls Gap the heart of the Grampians National Park in the picturesque Fyans Valley. The township offers a comprehensive shopping center and National Park visitor center. The sandstone ranges of the Grampians National Park surround Halls Gap, provide views of rugged escarpments and tranquil atmosphere. The ridges and valleys are filled with Australian fauna, wildflowers, tree fern gullies, strange rock formations, Aboriginal rock art, crystal clear rock pools, and many waterfalls, such as the McKenzie falls.
Departing Halls Gap join the Grampians Road past the towns of Ararat, Beaufort, Ballarat, and Bacchus Marsh towards Daylesford – just 40 minutes from Melbourne Airport for your overnight stay at the Grange Bellinzona Hotel.
ACCOMMODATION - Situated in the center of a pretty and historic village of Hepburn Springs, Grange Bellinzona welcomes you with its elegant heritage style. In a great location only 3km from Daylesford with lively cafes, galleries, and bookshops to explore. The property has a wonderful view of the wombat state forest and is walking distance to the Mineral Springs.
Image: Visions of Victoria
– Fly Melbourne to Cairns
This morning, self-drive to Melbourne Airport (approx. 1 hr) and return your rental car before boarding your Virgin Australia flight to Cairns. On arrival transfer from Cairns airport to Port Douglas (approximately 1 hour -purchase in optional touring package or ask an Aspire consultant for transport options)
ACCOMMODATION - Stay 4 fabulous nights at Shantara Resort & Spa, located 400 meters to Port Douglas’ famous Four Mile Beach with its palm-fringed beach, relax or swim in the warm calm waters. Take a stroll to Macrossan Street (400metres) that offers an array of trendy gourmet restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping to suit all tastes. With a choice of spacious studio rooms or large comfortable one bedroom self-contained apartments, Shantara is an adult haven, ideal for couples looking for a tranquil, romantic and relaxing getaway.
- Recommended Optional Touring - Great Barrier Reef Day
AquaQuest will depart Port Douglas at 8:30 am and the trip to the reef will take approximately 90 minutes. During this time the crew will present you with a safety briefing and those that are either introductory diving or certified diving will be briefed on their activities for the day. Once arrived at the reef the certified divers and introductory divers will experience one of the fabulous dive sites. All passengers who are enjoying the snorkeling experience for the day will be shown where the best snorkeling spots are and what they can expect to find. Guided snorkeling tours can be arranged (at an additional expense). There is approx. 2.5 hours in water at the first location allowing plenty of time to explore and do another dive. By noon for those that are finished snorkeling and diving, you can enjoy the freshly catered lunch and relax. At approx 1.00 pm, you will move to the second location for the day allowing for another 2 hours of in-water activities. There will be a reef interpretation talk held on the top deck by one of the very knowledgeable crew to discuss what you have found so far and give you more information on the Great Barrier Reef. Around 3.00 pm AquaQuest will be heading back to Port Douglas for a 4.30 pm arrival time.
Image: Tourism Australia & Tourism Queensland
- Recommended Optional Touring - Port Douglas – Daintree
Rainforest Dreamtime Walk
Experience the wonders of the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and discover pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna on this half-day tour. Your experienced Indigenous guide will demonstrate traditional plant use, identify bush soaps and ochre paints. After your guided walk, spend time browsing through the center’s contemporary Indigenous art gallery, visit the gift shop or relax at the Mayi Cafe.
- Port Douglas
Explore Tropical North Queensland at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation
Travel north along the scenic coastal road, crossing the Daintree River for a morning tea stop at the Daintree Discovery Centre. Take a guided boardwalk through the rainforest before continuing to Cape Tribulation Beach where time is allowed for a beach walk or to relax in a tranquil setting. Enjoy a delicious lunch in a rainforest setting. A stop is then made at the Alexandra Lookout for panoramic views out to sea and the mouth of the Daintree river, followed by a cruise to observe the fauna and flora of this region.
Kuranda Scenic Rail & SkyRail
Enjoy a full day Kuranda, Scenic Rail and Skyrail Tour. Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a breathtaking journey on one of the world's most scenic train routes. The journey will take you through hand-hewn tunnels and across bridges with amazing views. Stop at Barron Gorge to view the Falls before arriving at beautiful Kuranda station. Your Kuranda Boarding Pass offers discounted entry into Birdworld, Kuranda Koala Gardens, The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Rainforestation as well as a detailed map of Kuranda - the Village in the Rainforest. At the scheduled time, bypass the ticketing lines and go directly to the Skyrail boarding area, to board Skyrail for the world's most beautiful rainforest experience. Glide over the Rainforest canopy and take advantage of the two stops enroute to enjoy a walk through the rainforest or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Centre.
The award-winning Wildlife Habitat is Australia’s leading immersion exhibit - an open and interactive environment for guests and animals to mingle in a spacious and natural setting. Visitors wander along elevated boardwalks, observing up close a huge range of flora and fauna as birds fly and roam freely. The original Breakfast with the Birds has been a visitor must do for two decades. Guests are immersed within the Wetlands environment whilst enjoying the cacophony of sounds and colors of Wildlife as they wander freely amongst the guests and are treated to a fantastic tropical breakfast buffet.
Depart Port Douglas - Sydney
This morning depart Cairns for your Virgin Australia flight to Sydney.
Blessed with a temperate climate, Sydney is Australia’s favorite city with the world’s most beautiful harbor. The harbor provides a playground for jet boating, sailing, swimming, harbor scenic flights, dining, fishing, climbing the harbor bridge and sightseeing at the Opera House. On arrival into Sydney, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the Amora Jamison Hotel Sydney
ACCOMMODATION - Stay 4 nights in the Heart of Sydney This award-winning 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Sydney features stylish accommodations, along with 2 restaurants, 2 bars, a day spa, a swimming pool, fitness center, and business center. Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney is just a 10-minute walk from Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and The Rocks. It is a 15-minute walk from Darling Harbour. The city’s best shopping, dining, and nightlife are on the hotel’s doorstep
- Recommended Optional Touring - Sydney - Half Day City Sights
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for your small group Sydney Sights tour. Visit the historic Rocks area and hear early convict history. Enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. See the shopping heart of the city, Queen Victoria Building, and Sydney Tower. Visit Sydney's trendy Oxford Street district and travel through Paddington with its terrace houses before arriving at the Pacific Ocean. See the superb coast cliff walk around Tamarama and Bronte. Travel on to famous Bondi Beach and visit the beachfront promenade with time to enjoy a coffee or cool drink (at own cost). See Aussie lifesavers and Sydney's best panoramic view at Dover Heights. Return to Sydney via Double Bay, Kings Cross and Mrs. Macquarie's Point for a final magical viewpoint over the harbor before returning to the city center.
Image: Tourism Australia
- Recommended Optional Touring - Explore Sydney Harbour and Sydney
This morning, enjoy the company of a small group aboard a 52-foot motor yacht. Your captain and host will share the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore as you take in the sights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a light morning tea with coffee, tea, juice, and water.
This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is one of the world's most recognizable landmarks and this is your chance to truly get up-close. Run your hands over the world-famous shell tiles, take a seat in the elegant custom-made white birch timber chairs and marvel at the vaulted ceilings. Visit areas off-limits to the public and capture photographs from rare vantage points. Explore theatres and foyers where more than 1600 concerts, operas, dramas, and ballets take place each year.
Explore Sydney at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains day tour
This boutique tour provides an intimate touch, traveling in the luxury of a Mercedes Benz minivan. Explore the Blue Mountains and see hidden locations and beautiful views of the region. From Echo Point, the closest and best view of the Three Sisters, you will be able to witness the blue haze and the vast expanse of the Jamison Valley and experience for yourself the raw magic the Blue Mountains creates. Take a 1.5-hour hike down the Furber Steps walking track which offers scenic views and waterfalls, to the bottom of the valley. Visit a beautiful waterfall with great photo opportunities at Katoomba Falls Cascade and see breathtaking views of either Jamison Valley or Megalong Valley away from the crowds in a private location. Enjoy a hot filling lunch including a glass of beer, wine or soft drink. After lunch visit Featherdale Wildlife Park to see some of Australia's native wildlife. Your trip to Sydney is not complete without a cruise on the Parramatta River to Sydney Harbour. You will travel under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House before disembarking at Circular Quay, where your tour will conclude
This is the opportunity to climb the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. A comprehensive briefing and safety demonstration is conducted as well as being provided with a bridge-suit, communications equipment and a bridge harness that is linked to a static line throughout the climb. You will be led by one of BridgeClimb's professional Climb Leaders, on a 3.5 hour guided journey (including preparation and briefing), to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Climb takes you along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 meters above Sydney Harbour. The steady incline to the summit leaves you free to focus your attention on the surroundings, with the opportunity to witness 360-degree views of Sydney including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains and the Harbour city surrounds. Upon conclusion receive a photograph of your climb group, a personalized commemorative climber certificate, and climber cap
– Depart Sydney
Board Virgin Australia for your flight back to Los Angeles.
Additional Charges: ETA to enter Australia $25 per person
Additional departure gateways & pricing
Add on airfares (coach) available from most major airports - Add $200 from San Francisco, Add $250 from Dallas, Seattle, add $300 from New York, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, add $400 from Boston, Miami, Add $450 from Washington DC, Atlanta - ask an Aspire consultant for a quote from your local airport.
Optional Activities, Extensions or Add-Ons & pricing:
- Upgrade to premium economy from $700 per person each way*
- Upgrade to business class from $2,000 per person each way*
- Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket
* Based on Monday through Thursday departures for travel 01 May - 10 July - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee for travel Friday through Sunday and for other travel periods.
Board Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia launched over a decade ago and instantly changed the way people fly. Today, Virgin Australia represents a new level of style, sophistication and professionalism. With constant innovation at the heart of everything they do, superior products and award-winning service set them apart and lets you enjoy a world-class experience on every flight.
Terms & Conditions:
Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for travel Monday - Thursday. $60pp air supplement applies each way for travel on Friday to Sundays. $40 per person supplement applies for a Saturday night at the Crown Metropol Hotel Melbourne. Ask an Aspire consultant for pricing for other travel dates. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain blackout dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.
An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required to enter Australia; Aspire Down Under can process the ETA on your behalf for a processing fee of $25 per person. A valid passport with at least six months validity is required.