This fifteen day itinerary to Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Ayers Rock and Sydney highlights the many contrasts of Australia from cosmopolitan cities to breathtaking coastlines, red desert encompassing awe inspiring Ayers Rock to the stunning beauty of Sydney harbor. Enjoy free hotel nights and special touring offers as we transport you around Australia with Virgin Australia.
- Roundtrip International Economy Class Flights from Los Angeles (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
- 3 nights Melbourne at the 4.5* Crown Metropol – Luxe King Room
- Half Day Laneways & Arcades Walking Tour
- Full Day Phillip Island Penguin Parade Ultimate Eco Tour
- 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
- 2 nights Ayers Rock at the 4* Desert Gardens Hotel – Garden View Room
- A Night at the Field of Light including Sounds of Silence Dinner
- Small group Uluru sunrise tour
- 4 nights Sydney at the 5* Amora Jamison in a Deluxe King Room
- Half day small group city sights of Sydney
- Small boat Sydney Harbour morning highlights cruis
- Sydney Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate
- Private car service airport transfers in Melbourne & Sydney
- Courtesy airport shuttle transfers in Ayers Rock
- 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 -
On arrival into Melbourne you will be transferred to the Crown Metropol by car 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 - Melbourne - Lanes & Arcades
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 - Melbourne - Phillip
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: Tourism Australia
Day 6 -
Melbourne - Apollo Bay
Collect your car this morning and travel south west 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 north west 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 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.
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 centre and National Park visitor centre. 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, treefern gullies, strange rock formations, Aboriginal rock art, crystal clear rock pools, and may 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 centre 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
Day 9 -
Melbourne – Ayers Rock (Uluru)
This morning self-drive to Melbourne airport (approx 1 hr) and return your rental car before boarding your Virgin Australia flight to Ayers Rock via Sydney. On arrival into Ayers Rock take the courtesy shuttle transfer on arrival to the Desert Gardens hotel - your base for two nights.
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 Desert Gardens Hotel, 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 - Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for this hotel. Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert. Relax in the comfort of your own private balcony or courtyard, or unwind in the pool, sipping cocktails from the Bunya bar. It is only a short stroll to the numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably one of the best sunsets, with the spectacular play of colors across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert. Once the sun has set, dine at White Gums Restaurant and savour Australian native delicacies.
This evening enjoy sunset over Uluru & “The Field of Light”. A Night at Field of Light' experience begins with a convenient hotel pick-up and transfer to the remote desert location with majestic views of Uluru. With Uluru as the backdrop, guests enjoy canapés and chilled sparkling wine to the sounds of a didgeridoo as the sun slowly sets. As darkness gradually falls and the coloured lights of the 50,000 glass spheres come to life guests enjoy local Indigenous performance, welcoming them to this unique country, before being invited to join their fellow travellers at their dinner table for a special three-course bush tucker inspired buffet menu. A knowledgeable guide will provide insights and background to the monumental installation and guests are invited to immerse themselves and walk through Field of Light. After dinner guests are welcomed back at the dune viewing area to enjoy a sweet treat, hot chocolate or port whilst viewing the illuminated installation in the darkness.
- Ayers Rock - Uluru Sunrise Tour
This morning you will be picked up from the Desert Gardens Hotel for your small group Uluru Highlights sunrise tour. Travel towards Uluru where its vast shape rises from the sand dunes in the early dawn light highlighting its presence in this country. Stop at a special location to watch the sun rise over this amazing monolith and enjoy a picnic breakfast. Travel to Mutitjulu Waterhole where you will learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python). Then drive around the base of Uluru hearing the cultural stories of the Mala people before returning to the resort.
Image: Tourism Australia/SEIT
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
- Ayers Rock - Sydney
Enjoy the morning at leisure before taking the courtesy shuttle to Ayers Airport for your 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 Hotel Jamison 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, 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
- Sydney - Half Day City Sights tour
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for your small group Sydney Sights 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.
- Explore Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera
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, see inside the world's most recognizable 'sails' and experience this miracle of architecture and engineering. A work of art that came into existence against impossible odds to become one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world. Working with new, rich audio-visual components, where images are projected onto the fabric of the building, your guide will take you on an emotional journey, engrossing you in a story to rival any opera plot with its dramatic twists and turns. Some 1,500 performances, from opera to circus, rock and cabaret, are staged each year to audiences of around 1.5 million. After your tour, please proceed to the Opera Kitchen which is located on the lower concourse between Kenji Restaurant and the Opera Bar. Enjoy a three-tier gourmet tasting plate, which can be enjoyed before or after the guided tour. Sit back and be spoilt for choice as you relish some of Sydney's best cuisine and soak in the Sydney Harbour views. The perfect way to experience one of the world's most stunning icons.
Leisure or add World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains day tour for
$125 per person
Consider enhancing your Sydney experience by adding a full day tour to the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains. This boutique tour provides an intimate touch, travelling 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 at approximately 4.30pm-5.00pm.
Image: Tourism Australia
- Depart Sydney
This morning you will be transferred by car service to Sydney International airport. Board Virgin Australia for your flight back to Los Angeles with Virgin Australia.
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.