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See the diverse yet equally breathtaking cities and natural wonders that Australia has to offer with cosmopolitan Sydney, the Red Centre at Uluru, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs & then onto Cairns and journey an hour north to Port Douglas, the gateway to an amazing selection of touring options encompassing the Reef, the Outback and the Rainforest..

While at Uluru, take in the limited time only Field of Light art installation by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro. See 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres that will bloom as darkness falls over Australia’s spiritual heartland. Pathways will draw viewers into the installation, which will come to life under a sky brilliant with stars.

 

Inclusions

  • Roundtrip International Economy Class Flights from Los Angeles (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
  • Internal Australia flights
  • 3 nights accommodation Sydney at 4* Rendezvous Sydney Central Hotel
  • 2 nights Ayers Rock at the 3.5* The Lost Camel Hotel
  • Field of Light Star Pass
  • Uluru 4WD small group sunrise tour
  • Ayers Rock to Kings Canyon to Alice Springs coach tour including Kings Canyon walk/hike
  • 2 nights accommodation Alice Springs at 4* Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters Hotel
  • Half day a "town like Alice" tour
  • 4 nights Studio accommodation Port Douglas at 4* Shantara Resort and Spa
  • Airport transfers by seat in coach shuttle
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart US
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 $2,200 each way for travel Monday - Thursday.

Day 2 - Cross International Date Line

Day 3 - Arrive Sydney
On arrival in Sydney shuttle service transfer to the Rendezvous Hotel Sydney Central for your three nights stay.

ACCOMMODATION - In the heart of central Sydney, opposite Central Railway Station, the Rendezvous Hotel Sydney Central is located minutes from Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the ICC Sydney.

Days 4-5 - Sydney
Explore Sydney at your leisure or consider adding the following discounted sightseeing package at a cost of $280 per person.

  • Panoramic City Sights small group half day Tour
    First stop is Observatory Hill which has a beautiful view of the Harbour and Harbour Bridge from the Gazebo Platform. Learn about the arrival of the first fleet and convicts, and see the historic Rocks area. Drive through the city to view iconic buildings on the way to Mrs Macquarie's Chair with views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Head to famous Bondi Beach for the opportunity to walk from Icebergs Restaurant South Bondi around the Esplanade to North Bondi. Then head to Watsons Bay for views of the city and shimmering water, and South Head. Travel back into the city and cross over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to North Head to view Balmoral Beach and enjoy a leisurely walk. Visit a secret location in Middle Head with amazing panoramic views of all of the Sydney region from North Head to the South including the City. Tour concludes at Taronga Zoo Ferry Wharf with an option of taking the ferry back to Circular Quay or enjoying the rest of the day at Taronga Zoo (entry at own expense). Or re-join your vehicle for transfer back to the city with drop off at Circular Quay or Darling Harbour.
  • Sydney Harbour small group Harbour Cruise
    Board your Sensational Sydney Cruises vessel at Circular Quay to commence a morning two hour 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.
  • Blue Mountains Day small group day Tour
    Enjoy a small group tour to the Blue Mountains and see hidden locations and beautiful views of the region. This boutique tour provides an intimate touch, travelling in the luxury of a Mercedes Benz minivan. 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.
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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 6 - Depart Sydney for Ayers Rock - Enjoy your free flight to the Outback!

Uluru (Ayers Rock), in the heart of the Red Center, has a desert climate - mostly dry, with brilliant blue skies all year. It is a World Heritage Area, managed jointly by the Aboriginal traditional owners and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency. You will spend two nights at the centrally located The Lost Camel, Ayers Rock Resort. The resort is a short stroll to numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably Australia's best sunset, with the spectacular play of colors across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert.

ACCOMMODATION - Contemporary, studio-style accommodation, The Lost Camel features 99 guest rooms decorated in bright colors and crisp, clean whites. Stylishly framed photographs based on Aboriginal themes, such as hands weaving baskets or sifting through berries, adorn the walls to enhance this new hotel's distinctive, modern ethos. The lobby features modern furnishings, bright open spaces and an intimate bar and the resort offers a swimming pool and deck. Furnished in a stylish mix of Aboriginal and urban themes, The Lost Camel brings a fresh, exciting feel to the Resort.

This evening enjoy sunset over Uluru & “The Field of Light”. The Field of Light Star Pass experience begins with a convenient pick-up from the Lost Camel Hotel and transfer to the remote desert location with majestic views of Uluru. A knowledgeable host will provide you with insights and background to the art installation. You are welcomed at a raised viewing area from which you can watch as the last sun rays hit Uluru as the sun slowly sets behind you. As darkness gradually falls and the colored lights of the glass spheres come to life you are invited to walk through and interact with Field of Light. You are then welcomed back at the raised viewing area 30 minutes prior to departure for sparkling wine and canapés whilst viewing the illuminated installation in the darkness.

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Image: Voyages

Day 7 - Ayers Rock - Uluru Sunrise Tour 
This morning you will be picked up from the Lost Camel Hotel for your small group Uluru (Ayers Rock) sunrise tour. Experience the tranquillity of the pre-dawn land under a canopy of stars. Watch the amazing transformation of colors and life as the desert awakens with Uluru and Kata Tjuta as your backdrop. In the company of your expert guide, Desert Awakenings is designed to introduce you to the natural and cultural landscapes of this remarkable region. Watch the distant domes of Kata Tjuta come into view and enjoy a traditional Aussie breakfast of bacon and egg rolls, tea, coffee and homemade damper with Golden Syrup in the open air. After breakfast your guide will explain the natural history of the region, and as the daylight reveals the myriad of animal tracks in the sand an insight into what activity took place during the night. Once the sun is up, enjoy a guided tour at the base of Uluru. First stop is Kuniya where you'll take a short walk to the Mutitjulu waterhole. A visit here will help appreciate its cathedral like proportions and why it is such a powerful and spiritual place for visitors and Anangu (local Aboriginal people) alike. Your guide will explain some of the rock paintings and stories from the creation period as told by the Anangu people. Next stop is the Cultural Centre, a vibrant and engaging place of learning where the local lore of the Anangu is explained in detail.

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Image: Voyages

This afternoon consider adding an afternoon camel ride through the desert (additional cost applies)
Catch the camel train and ride the good-natured camels for 45 minutes through beautiful sand dune country with Uluru and Kata Tjuta as your stunning backdrop. The knowledgeable cameleer describes the landscape around you on your ride. Back at the farm explore the camel museum and learn about the importance of camels to the history of the Red Centre

This evening consider the Sounds of Silence Dinner (additional cost applies)
Entered into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame, Sounds of Silence offers the best of the Red Centre distilled into four magical hours. An unforgettable evening, eating beautifully prepared food under the sparkling outback sky. The journey begins on a lone sand dune. A meandering path takes participants to an uninterrupted, 360 degree view of this vast landscape. In front is the fabled Uluru; behind are the domes of Kata Tjuta and, possibly the most spectacular sunset you have ever seen. Here enjoy sparkling wine and a selection of delectable canapes. As the sun sets in a blaze of reds and oranges, and well into the starlit night, feast on a gourmet barbecue buffet of authentic Australian delicacies including barramundi, kangaroo, emu, crocodile, bush salads and classic desserts, complemented by some of Australia's finest wines. Attention then turns to some of the world's best stargazing, as the resident astronomer takes diners on an unforgettable tour of the spectacular southern night sky. As dinner winds down, select from a choice of tea, coffee or port. In winter, guests gather around a campfire to savour a special treat of hot mulled wine.

Day 8 - Kings Canyon & Alice Springs
Enjoy a full day Kings Canyon and Outback Panorama tour. Travel from Ayers Rock Resort to Kings Canyon, stopping for breakfast at Kings Creek Station along the way. Make the rocky climb to the rim of the canyon for marvellous views of Watarrka National Park. Follow the rim of the canyon stopping to look down into the canyon gorge at lookout points. Time permitting, stop at the green oasis of the 'Garden of Eden'. The circuit walk takes approximately 3 hours to complete and is rocky and steep in parts. It is recommended for those with a good level of fitness. Alternatively an easier, shorter walk to explore the boulder strewn canyon floor is available. Arrive at Kings Canyon Resort for lunch (own expense), then commence the journey to Alice Springs. Tour concludes between 7.30pm - 8.30pm depending on the time of year, at which time you will be dropped off at Crowne Plaza Lasseters Hotel for your two nights stay.

ACCOMMODATION - Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters is the centre of entertainment in Alice Springs with two bars, three restaurants including Juicy Rump bar and grill, Tali featuring contemporary Australian cuisine with a hint of the Outback, and Tempo an exclusive tapas, wine and cocktails bar, as well as an international standard casino, 24-hour health and fitness facility, Lavish beauty salon and day spa, 205 four and a half star hotel rooms and adjoins the Alice Springs Convention Centre. Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters enjoys picture-perfect surroundings beneath the stunning MacDonnell Ranges, alongside the banks of the Todd River, and adjoining the Alice Springs Golf Course.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 9 - Alice Springs
Enjoy this morning at leisure, for the ultimate Outback adventure consider adding a sunrise hot air balloon tour (additional cost applies):

This afternoon you will be picked up from your hotel for your afternoon tour of Alice See the sights of 'The Alice' including the historic Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. It features the original buildings of stone which have been restored with house furnishings and artefacts from the early 1900's. At the Royal Flying Doctor Service see how medical aid reaches those who live in the remote 'outback', and at the School of the Air learn how children who cannot access schools are educated by radio. There may be an opportunity to listen to and observe actual lessons in progress on air. A stop is made at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, where you can see up close some of the lizards and snakes that frequent Central Australia's semi-arid desert, such as the Perentie Lizard and the Thorny Devil. The tour concludes with a panoramic view of the township of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

Day 10 - Alice Springs to Cairns, transfer to Port Douglas
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Alice Springs airport by shuttle service, for your flight to Cairns, the colorful capital of Tropical North Queensland and the major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The city is a gateway to an amazing selection of touring options encompassing the Reef, the Outback and the Rainforest. An hour north of Cairns brings you to Port Douglas, the closest town to the Great Barrier Reef with Rainforest clad mountains sweeping down to sparkling sandy beaches. Upon arrival into Cairns you will be transferred to the Shantara Resort Port Douglas for your 4 nights stay

ACCOMMODATION - With a choice of spacious studio rooms or large comfortable one bedroom self-contained apartments, Shantara is an Adults only retreat with Boutique Holiday Apartments suited for couples or the independent traveler looking for tranquility. All rooms have an outdoor balcony facing one of the pools. Located walking distance to restaurants, shops and Four Mile beach.

Days 11 - 13 - Port Douglas
Explore Tropical North Queensland at your leisure or consider adding the following discounted sightseeing package at a cost of $240 per person:

  • Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef full day Snorkeling tour
    Travel aboard Quicksilver's 45.5 metre high speed wavepiercing 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 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).
  • Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk
    This half day tour includes a transfer to Mossman Gorge Centre where you commence the Dreamtime Gorge Walk. Experience the wonders of the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and discover pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna. Your experienced Indigenous guide will demonstrate traditional plant use, identify bush soaps and ochre paints. After your guided walk, spend time browsing through the centre's contemporary Indigenous art gallery, visit the gift shop or relax at the Mayi Cafe.
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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 14 - Depart Port Douglas
This morning you will be collected for your transfer to Cairns airport. Depart Cairns on your Virgin Australia flight back to Los Angeles.

 

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Costing

29 Jun - 23 Jul 2019 $3,299
01 Nov – 10 Dec 2018, 12 Jan - 28 Jun & 23 Jul - 17 Sep 2019 $3,149

Note: Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour), the above costs apply for travel within each date band when you depart & return within these dates, ask an Aspire Down Under consultant for a quote when your travel dates cross over the date bands.

Single Supplement
From $950

Additional Charges
ETA to enter Australia $25 per person 

 

Additional departure gateways & pricing

  • Add on airfares available from most major airports - Add $190 from San Francisco, Add $250 from Dallas, Seattle, Add $300 from NYC, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Minneapolis, Add $380 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/li>

* Based on Monday through Thursday travel - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee for travel Friday through Sunday.

 

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Conditions

Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for purchase by 31 December 2018; $60 supplement applies each way for travel on Friday through Sunday. 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.

A passport with extended validity past your travel dates and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required to enter Australia; Aspire Down Under can issue your ETA for a processing fee of $25 per person. A copy of the picture page of your passport and payment for your ETA is required at the time of booking.