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If you’re looking to do something extra special this Christmas, this package is for you. What better way to experience Christmas and New Year’s than a trip to Australia, where it’s summer Down Under! Escape our winter and head south of the equator for an incredible opportunity to spend Christmas on the Great Barrier Reef and New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Equal parts relaxation and adventure, Australia’s Tropical North Queensland will provide you with an amazing place to spend Christmas with a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef and a relaxing Christmas day spent at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Set on a private stretch of beach in the rainforest, your Christmas at Thala Beach will be one for the books. After soaking up the sun and the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, head to Sydney for New Year’s Eve – widely regarded as the best New Year’s Eve destination in the world. Spend a few days taking in all Sydney and the surrounding area has to offer before attending the amazing Opera Gala on New Year’s Eve at the world famous Sydney Opera House. This year, give yourself the best Christmas gift imaginable with a trip you’ll cherish for years to come.

Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip International Economy Class airfare on Virgin Australia from Los Angeles (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
  • Domestic Australia flights in Economy Class
  • 5 nights Tropical North Queensland at the 4.5* Thala Beach Nature Reserve – Jungle Walk Bungalow
  • Thala Beach Nature Reserve Christmas Luncheon
  • Full Day Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Tour including lunch
  • Half Day Mossman Gorge & Aboriginal Dreamtime Walking tour including morning tea
  • Entry to The Wildlife Habitat
  • 5 nights Sydney at the 5* Four Seasons Sydney – Deluxe City King Room
  • Full Day Small Group Sensational City Sydney by Sea & Land (Half Day Morning Tea Harbour Cruise, Half Day Sydney City Sights)
  • Full Day Small Group Tour to the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains including morning tea and lunch
  • The Opera Gala on New Year’s Eve at Sydney Opera House
  • Private airport transfers
  • All taxes & fuel surcharges

Itinerary 

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December 21, 2016 - Depart Los Angeles 
Flights on award winning Virgin Australia to Cairns via either Brisbane or Sydney. Our package price includes flights in coach class with options to upgrade to Premium Economy or "The Business" – you choose!

December 22, 2016 - Cross International Dateline

December 23, 2016 - arrive Cairns, transfer to Port Douglas
On arrival you will be met by your private driver/car for your transfer to Port Douglas accommodation (approximately 1 hour).

Thala Beach Nature Reserve is a family-owned wildlife and nature reserve located on a private beach and nestled in 62 hectares of native forest. Conveniently placed 45 minutes drive north of Cairns and 15 minutes south of Port Douglas, guests enjoy the best of the tropics from this secluded paradise. Sitting atop a headland with breathtaking vistas, the lodge provides an island-feel retreat and is the ideal base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest as all regional day tours pick up direct from reception. Boutique timber bungalows are built high on stilts and nestle in the forest canopy providing a private and unobtrusive approach to nature. All bungalows enjoy ocean, mountain or forest views. Time spent relaxing on the timber-decked verandas is enhanced by sightings of birds, butterflies, possums and sugar gliders. The restaurant boasts panoramic vistas, taking in the sparkling waters of the Coral Sea and the World Heritage-listed forests that clad the coastal ranges. Guests can dine among the birds in the surrounding treetops while enjoying modern Australian cuisine with friendly service

December 24, 2016 - Great Barrier Reef
A Quicksilver coach will pick you up from your hotel for your transfer to Marina Mirage Port Douglas, the departure point of your cruise. At 9.30am board Quicksilver's 45.5 metre high speed wavepiercing catamaran to commence a full day cruise. Travel 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 snorkelling. 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 snorkelling tours with a marine biologist and scenic helicopter flights over the reef (all optional activities at own expense). Enjoy lunch on board. Cruise concludes at approximately 4.30pm, at which time hotel drop offs will commence.

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December 25, 2016 - Christmas Day
Christmas Day luncheon at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Rest of day at leisure.

December 26, 2016 - Mossman Gorge & Aboriginal Dreamtime Walk
Travel north along the scenic coastal road to arrive at Mossman Gorge Centre and enjoy an Indigenous presentation by the traditional owners of the gorge, the Kuku Yalanji people before boarding the eco shuttle for the transfer into Mossman Gorge. Your guide will take you on a walk sharing their knowledge of this enchanting rainforest environment. Learn about the fascinating secrets of one of the world's oldest rainforests. Upon conclusion of the cruise, commence the return journey to Port Douglas

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December 27, 2016 - Wildlife Habitat, Port Douglas
Wildlife Habitat was constructed in 1988 on 8 acres (2 hectares) of land that has been recreated to provide a window into our natural environment. With an Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation, The Wildlife Habitat is committed to conservation via its Wildlife Rescue program, ensuring that injured, orphaned, or sick animals are looked after in a professional and caring manner. The Wildlife Habitat is a Wildlife 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 Rainforest leads guests through a lush, tranquil environment where native species such as the endemic Boyd's Forest Dragon, Eclectus Parrots and the endangered Southern Cassowary can be viewed in a natural setting. In the Wetlands an array of wading birds can be viewed foraging for fish and crustaceans in waterways that wind beneath boardwalks and beside pathways. The Grasslands is an open-air exhibit that portrays both inland and coastal plains. The billabong is home to turtles, frogs and a range of waterfowl while also attracting a host of native bird varieties.

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December 28, 2016 - Transfer from Port Douglas to Cairns - Sydney
This morning you will be transferred by private car/driver to Cairns airport. Fly Cairns to Sydney. Upon arrival private car/driver transfer to accommodation.

Stunningly situated overlooking Sydney Harbour, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney puts you near the city's vibrant shopping and business centres. Take in dramatic harbour views, discover Sydney's best restaurants and explore the famous Rocks district. Relax in a luxurious room or suite that overlooks the Sydney skyline, George Street or Walsh Bay, unwind in a City Harbour room with partial views of Sydney Harbour, or treat yourself to full harbour view accommodations that offer dramatic panoramas of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Walsh Bay.

December 29, 2016 - Sensational Sydney City (Sea and Land)
Board your Sensational Sydney Cruises vessel at Campbell's Cove Pontoon, Circular Quay (floating pontoon located between the Overseas Passenger Terminal and the Park Hyatt), to commence a morning Harbour Highlights cruise. 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. Cruise concludes at approximately 12.00pm at Campbell's Cove allowing you 1 1/4 hours to enjoy lunch on your own while exploring the historic Rocks area. The tour will resume at 1:30pm from the front of the Sydney Harbour Marriott, where you board your vehicle to commence an afternoon tour. Visit Sydney's trendy districts, superb coastal cliff walks and famous Bondi Beach. Your personal guide will entertain you along the way. The tour concludes at approximately 5:00pm, at which time hotel drop offs will commence

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December 30, 2016 - Blue Mountains
A Diamond Tours vehicle will pick you up from your hotel to commence a full day Blue Mountains tour. Before heading west, enjoy some of the sites of the Sydney Central Business District. Once out of Sydney we’ll visit Canada Bay area before arriving in the heart of the Blue Mountains. Enjoy morning tea at the Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls. Arrive at Scenic World and join the Blue Mountains rides - Scenic Railway, Cableway and Skyway (own expense). Experience the Scenic Skyway and the thrill of walking on air with a see-through glass floor showing views of the valley 200 metres below. Or dare yourself to ride the steepest railway, with an incline of 52 degrees. After enjoying a stroll through the ancient rainforest, ride the Scenic Cableway and see spectacular views of the Three Sisters and vast expanse of the Jamison Valley, then visit Echo Point for the closest and best view of the Three Sisters. Travel through the quaint village of Leura on the way to Sublime Point for picturesque views of the Jamison Valley. Enjoy lunch then return to Sydney via Featherdale Wildlife Park where you can encounter Australian native animals. Cuddle up to a Koala or feed the baby Wallabies. Last stop is Cabarita (Inner West) to board the Rivercat ferry for a relaxing cruise to Circular Quay, and view the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Tour concludes at approximately 5.15pm at Circular Quay.

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December 31, 2016 - New Year's Eve, Opera Australia Gala
Today at leisure. This evening a visit to Sydney Opera House is worth more than just a photograph outside. To get the full benefit of this architectural wonder of the world, you need to climb the steps, step inside those iconic sails, and experience a performance that's unlike anywhere else in the world.

New Year's Eve is the night when Sydney puts on the bling, kicks up its heels and shows the world what a gorgeous thing it is, as a festival of fire explodes across the midnight sky. Ringside seats to the greatest show on earth are hard to come by, but we've saved some great ones, and you're invited. Leave the crowds behind as you enter the Sydney Opera House. Be entertained at the Opera Gala, featuring favorites by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and more.

Then, with a heart full of song, watch the fireworks the whole world watches. Interval is timed for the 9pm fireworks and the Sydney Opera House stays open well past the midnight fireworks. There’s nowhere in the world like Sydney on New Year's Eve and there's nowhere closer to the action than Sydney Opera House. Make this your most glamorous and memorable New Year ever.

Upgrade to the Midnight Party (additional cost) - Canapes, drinks and live entertainment from 10:30pm, with views of the midnight fireworks from the Northern Foyers.

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January 1, 2017 - New Year's Day
Day at leisure.

January 2, 2017 - Depart Sydney
Private car/driver transfer to Sydney airport and your flight to US

 

Request a Quote

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Additional departure gateways & pricing

  • Addons available from most major airports - add $300 from NYC region, $320 from Chicago, $250 from Seattle, $190 from San Francisco - ask an Aspire consultant for a quote from your local airport.

Optional Activities, Extensions or Add-Ons & pricing:

  • Upgrade to premium economy from $600 per person each way
  • Upgrade to business class from $2,300 per person each way
  • Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket

On 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.

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International Economy Class

An inclusive Economy Class experience when travelling on international long haul services. Economy guests receive complimentary food, beverages and in-flight entertainment. Economy Space+ enables you to speed through the airport and enjoy additional on-board benefits to standard Economy.

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International Premium

With more legroom than any other Australian airline, and an intimate cabin that enhances our award-winning service, you'll find Virgin Australia's new Premium experience on-board the Boeing 777 aircraft is a class apart from anything you have experienced before.

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'The Business'

Introducing "the Business", an exceptionally stylish, relaxing and refined way to fly on Virgin Australia's Boeing 777 aircraft. Stretch out in your cocoon-like private suite, or enjoy a drink with others at The Bar, enhanced with the unparalleled, award winning service Virgin Australia is famous for.

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Terms & Conditions:

Starting from pricing is valid for departures on 21 December 2016 for purchase by 31 November 2016. Prices are per person based on double occupancy departures from Los Angeles. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain black out 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.