Starting your Australian journey in multicultural Melbourne, enjoy a few days in this marvelous city before setting out on the open road for a multi-day self-drive along the country's breathtaking southeast coastline. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the vacation haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from historic Warrnambool. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy and Portland, near the towering sea cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. See the fossils of giant marsupials in World Heritage Listed Naracoorte Caves and enjoy a night in the quaint and charming seaside town of Robe. Cruise the Coorong and perhaps explore the inviting beaches and wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Kangaroo Island. Spend two days on Kangaroo Island, Australia's zoo without fences, and come face to face with wildlife such as kangaroos, koala, wallabies, sea lions and over 250 species of birds in their native habitat. After two full days of exploration on Kangaroo Island, decompress in Adelaide before flying to Cairns, the gateway to the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Rainforest.
- Roundtrip International Economy class flights (addon flights available from your city)
- 3 nights Melbourne at the 4.5* Crown Metropol
- Half Day Laneways & Arcades Walking Tour
- Full Day Phillip Island Penguin Parade Ultimate Eco Tour
- Full Size Car - pick up downtown Melbourne, return Adelaide airport
- 1 night 4* Apollo Bay Guest House, Apollo Bay
- 1 night 4* Oscars Waterfront Boutique, Port Fairy
- 1 night 3* Ann's Place, Robe
- Car and Passenger Sealink transfers
- 2 nights 4* Kangaroo Island Seafront
- 1 night Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide
- 4 nights Cairns at the 5* Riley
- Full Day Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef tour including lunch
- Half Day Mossman Gorge & Aboriginal Dreamtime Walking tour
- All taxes
Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.
Day 2 - Cross International Dateline
Day 3 -
On arrival into Melbourne you will be transferred to the Crown Metropol by shuttle service. 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 -
Half Day Lanes & Arcades tour
This morning Indulge with a casual small group guided walking tour through Melbourne's lanes and arcades in small groups to engage in the life of this city which many miss. Discover local designers and specialty retailers, tiny cafes and more. A little history and attention to amazing architecture will inspire locals and visitors alike. Get orientated and return to those places you like best in the afternoon, at your leisure.
Image: Tourism Australia
Day 5 -
Late morning depart Melbourne on your small group tour for Phillip Island. Get up close and personal with the friendly residents of Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, have your photo taken with a koala (small fee applies) and learn about the conservation of these amazing animals. This Eco-certified sanctuary showcases the famous and endangered faces of Australias wildlife, including the southern bettong, eastern quolls and rare fluffy gliders. From here we travel to historic Churchill Island, where you will see sheep shearing and working dogs in action. On Phillip Island we visit the stunning Cape Woolamai surf beach, see the Nobbies and Seal Rocks before arriving at the Penguin Parade where you will view the penguins from the "Penguins Plus" viewing platform; Home to Victorias largest colony of little penguins, Summerland Beach provides the backdrop to the world famous Penguin Parade. Watch as hundreds of little penguins make their way across the beach and return to their sand dune burrows.
Image: Visions of Victoria
Day 6 -
Melbourne - Apollo Bay
Depart Melbourne for the township of Geelong. The waterfront has plenty of restaurants for a lovely breakfast with views over the marina, before you head west onto the Great Ocean Road, widely regarded as one of the World’s most scenic drives. This Australian National Heritage listed stretch of road provides you with a diverse array of things to see and do on your journey.
These world-famous wavesculpted 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 literally 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.
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.
image: Visions of Victoria
Day 7 - Apollo Bay -
This morning you’ll briefly leave the coast to drive through the grand forests of the Otway Ranges. Stop and walk through the rainforests at Maits Rest. Back on the coast road, stop to view the magnificent Twelve Apostles, the world famous rock towers that thrust up out of the ocean. For a truly amazing perspective, take a helicopter flight over the Apostles. This afternoon, step back in time in Port Fairy with its old whitewashed cottages, quaint shops and a pub on nearly every corner. Overnight at Port Fairy.
Day 8 -
Port Fairy - Robe
Follow the coastline to Mount Gambier, home of the mysterious blue lake and on to Penola to explore this charming, historic town. Walk along Petticoat Lane and learn about Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint. Just north of Penola is the famous Coonawarra wine region. Sample some of Australia’s best reds at one of the many cellar doors. Travel to Robe via Naracoorte to explore the labyrinth of caverns and amazing fossil beds that make up the Naracoorte World Heritage-listed fossil site. Enjoy a heritage walk through the pretty seaside village of Robe or stroll along stunning 17 Mile Beach. Overnight at Robe.
Day 9 -
Robe - Kangaroo Island
Continue along the coast road which skirts the Coorong, a 142km tapestry of lagoons, wetlands and sand dunes that ends at the mouth of the Murray River. Once you cross the river at Wellington, you’re on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Catch the car/passenger ferry across to Kangaroo island.
Spend the afternoon exploring by car the east side of the island. Join a tour of the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, taste the wineries of the Dudley Peninsula, visit American River and the town of Kingscote (don’t miss the pelican feeding), the little penguin colonies and any of the nearby beaches. Overnight at the Kangaroo Island Seafront.
Image: Tourism Australia
- Kangaroo Island
Head west to the wild side of the island. Highlights include Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you can join a ranger to walk among endangered Australian sea lions; Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks, Admiral’s Arch and Little Sahara. Enjoy beaches galore – and remember to stop and try the island’s amazing local produce. Overnight at the Kangaroo Island Seafront.
Image: Tourism Australia
- Kangaroo Island - Adelaide
This morning catch the car/passenger ferry across from Kangaroo island to Cape Jervis and complete the self drive to Adelaide.
South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, is a vibrant hub buzzing with life, boasting great food and wine at more than 700 restaurants cafes and pubs, great retail therapy in Rundle Mall and the “cultural boulevard” of North Terrace. It is home to some of Australia’s best museums and the South Australian Art Gallery. Everything is so close in Adelaide, with the beach just 20 minutes by tram from the city center, and many of the state’s regions within two hours drive away. Enjoy a day at leisure and take in everything that Adelaide has to offer.
ACCOMMODATION - Majestic Roof Garden Hotel. It is a 5-minute walk from Rundle Mall and 10 minutes from the Art Gallery, Adelaide University and Museum. Adelaide Convention Centre, National Wine Museum and Adelaide Zoo are 20 minutes away.
Image: Tourism Australia
- Adelaide - Cairns
Depart Adelaide on your flight to Cairns. Enjoy 4 nights in Tropical North Queensland. Get set for all that Cairns can throw your way. This tropical city is bustling with nightlife, restaurants, shopping and great places to stay. The majority of day tours depart from Cairns making it an ideal base to explore the best that Tropical North Queensland has to offer.
Accommodation - Opening in November 2018, Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, promises a fresh approach to hospitality. Guests can expect understated elegance, contemporary design and a splash of fun. Residing in a prime location at the northern end of the iconic Cairns waterfront boardwalk, Riley features 311 stylish rooms and suites, most with spacious balconies. Add to this a lagoon swimming pool spanning over 1,000 square metres with a private manmade beach, a day spa and a 24-hour fitness centre and you're on your way to a truly great stay.
Day 13 - Great Barrier
Transfer to Port Douglas via one of Australia's most scenic highways. Travel aboard Quicksilver's 45.5-meter-high speed wave piercing catamaran in air-conditioned comfort to a spacious reef activity platform moored in protective lagoons at the renowned Agincourt Reef, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Quicksilver has facilities to enable both swimmers and non-swimmers to experience this stunning reef world. Explore the reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible, the underwater observatory or by snorkeling. A range of optional activities are available including up to two dives for certified divers, and novices can experience the magic of scuba with a qualified dive instructor or an Oceanwalker helmet dive. Also available are guided snorkeling tours with a marine biologist and scenic helicopter flights over the reef (all optional activities at own expense).
Image: Tourism Australia / Tourism Queensland
Day 14 - Kuranda Scenic Rail &
Heard the saying its as much about the journey as the destination? Nowhere proves this better than the Kuranda Scenic Rail and Skyrail Tour. Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for this breathtaking journey on one of the world's most scenic train routes, taking you through hand-hewn tunnels and across bridges with amazing views, including a stop at Barron Gorge. After arriving in Kuranda, your Kuranda Boarding Pass offers discounted entry into selected attractions as well as a detailed map of Kuranda. Depart Kuranda aboard the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, for the world's most beautiful rainforest experience. Glide over and through the rainforest canopy and take advantage of the two stops enroute
Image: Tourism Australia / Tourism Queensland
- Cairns at leisure
Explore Tropical North Queensland at your leisure or consider adding another day tour - (additional cost applies):
Daintree Rainforest &
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.
- Depart Cairns
This morning depart Cairns for your flight back to Los Angeles or next destination within Australia.
ETA to enter Australia $25 per person. Before committing to your trip please ensure you hold a valid passport with at least six months’ validity from the date you plan to return to the USA.
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.
- 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
* Starting from pricing based on Monday through Thursday departures - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee for travel Friday through Sunday
Terms & Conditions:
Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for travel Monday - Thursday. $60 air supplement applies each way for travel on Friday - Sundays. $40 per person supplement applies for a Saturday night at the Crown Metropol Hotel Melbourne. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain blackout dates may 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.