Start your Australian holiday in Sydney, the shining star of the Southern Hemisphere. No trip to Sydney is complete without exploring the city from the harbour and here you’ll be spoiled with a beautiful morning tea harbour cruise. Enjoy discovering Sydney by land as well and take in the world famous Sydney Opera House, indulging in a gourmet tour and tasting plate.
Say farewell to Sydney before heading on to one of our favorite luxury lodges, qualia, located on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands. Located on Hamilton Island’s sunny northern tip, qualia provides you with incredible panoramic views of the Coral Sea and the surrounding Whitsunday Islands. qualia is unlike any other destination you will find in Australia – understated luxury, out of this world dining options and secluded, private pavilions in this secluded location allow you the opportunity to unwind, relax and just be.
After soaking in the ultimate relaxation experience at qualia, continue on to Melbourne, Australia’s most multi-cultural city. Here in Melbourne, wander the city’s numerous laneways and arcades to watch the city unfold before eyes. Discover tucked away shops, cafes and restaurants as you navigate through the city’s endless twists and turns – Melbourne is an area many clients fondly compare to some of their most loved European cities. Enjoy a full day excursion out to Phillip Island to watch the natural phenomenon of the little Fairy Penguins as they return from a day of fishing to burrow into their sand dunes for the evening. One thing is for certain, whether it’s your first time to visit Australia or you’ve visited multiple times before, you’re sure to have found a new experience on this trip.
- Roundtrip Economy Class Airfare on Qantas Airways from Los Angeles to Sydney & Melbourne back to Los Angeles (Addon flights from your local airport can be added at an additional cost)
- Qantas Walkabout Pass flights from Sydney - Hamilton Island - Melbourne
- Car service airport transfers in Sydney, Hamilton Island & Melbourne
- 4 nights Sydney at the 5* Pier
One Sydney Harbour in a Heritage King Room
From 1 Apr 17, 5* Amora Jamison in a Deluxe King Room
- Half day small group city sights of Sydney
- Sydney Harbour morning story cruise
- Sydney Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate
- 4 nights 5* luxury resort, qualia in a Leeward Pavilion
- Small group full day Great
Barrier Reef Snorkel trip
- 4 nights Melbourne at the 4.5* Crown Metropol in a Luxe King Room
- Hidden Secrets half day Lanes and Arcades tour
- Colonial Tramcar Early Dinner
- Phillip Island Penguin Parade Ultimate Eco Tour
- All taxes & fuel surcharges
Day 1 - Depart Los Angeles for Sydney with
Qantas is the number one way to travel to Australia and your vacation begins the second you step onboard a Qantas flight with Australia just a movie, meal, sleep away. With over 95 years of experience in long haul travel, Qantas strives to ensure every passenger in every cabin has the most comfortable and authentic experience. Qantas offers direct service from Los Angeles, San Francisco (add $250), Dallas Fort Worth (add $220) & New York JFK (add $200) - add on fares with American Airlines available from other cities.
The Qantas onboard experience has a class for every passenger from First suites, Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins and offers the best in comfort, Australian food and wine, amenities and exceptional service. All cabins experience the latest in inflight entertainment and technology including premium content from HBO, new movie releases, TV programs and an extensive music library with over 1500 entertainment choices. All passengers also receive amenity kits so passengers can freshen up during their long haul journey.
Day 2 - Cross International Dateline
Day 3 -
On arrival into Sydney you will be met by your driver and transferred to your centrally located accommodation.
ACCOMMODATION - Stay 4 nights at the Pier One Sydney Harbour, located alongside the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and offers breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour. Pier One Sydney Harbour is Sydney's first over-water hotel. The hotel offers a special blend of early twentieth century federation architecture enhanced by a chic, contemporary interior design. Travelers can choose from spacious well appointed guestrooms and suites, many featuring magnificent views of Walsh Bay and Sydney Harbour
Day 4 - Sydney - Half
Day City Sights tour
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for your small group Panoramic Sydney Sights tour. Commence a morning Panoramic Sydney Sights tour. Visit the historic Rocks area (Old Town of Sydney) and hear of the early convict history. Enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House, see Sydney Harbour Bridge and the shopping heart of the city including the Queen Victoria Building and Sydney Tower. Visit Sydney's trendy district, Oxford Street and elegant Paddington with its terrace houses. Arrive at the famous beaches - see Tamarama, Bronte and stop at the Bondi beachfront to stroll and enjoy a morning coffee or tea (at own expense). See surfers, famous Aussie lifesavers and Sydney's most spectacular panoramic viewpoint. Return to Sydney via Sydney Heads lookout, Watsons Bay, Kings Cross & Mrs Macquaries Point for unsurpassed views of the Harbour Bridge & Opera House.
Image: Tourism Australia
Day 5 -
Explore Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House
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.
Image: Tourism Australia
Day 6 -
Self explore Sydney or consider adding a tour (additional cost):
- Blue Mountains Day Tour
Visit Scenic World and dare yourself to ride the steepest Railway in the world with spectacular views of the Three Sisters and the Valley. Go through the quaint village of Leura showing the beautiful stores, houses and gardens along the way to Reids Plateau. A picturesque view of the Jamison Valley, taking in the rear view of the Three Sisters away from the crowds. Return to Sydney by way of Featherdale Wildlife Park, with a chance to cuddle up to a koala or feed the baby wallabies. Your trip to Sydney is not complete without a cruise on Parramatta River to Sydney Harbour Circular Quay.
- Taronga Zoo
This small group tour led by an expert guide offers an excellent introduction to Australia's wildlife and brings you close to the animals. There are plenty of photographic opportunities with kangaroos, wallabies, birds, wombats, echidnas and reptiles. Another fantastic offering from Taronga Zoo is Roar & Snore – Sydney’s ultimate sleepover. Nestled on the cliff top edge of Sydney’s stunning harbour, Taronga Roar and Snore’s is the only opportunity to camp overnight with views of Sydney Harbour and the city on one side and lions, leopards and meerkats on the other.
- Hunter Valley Wine Tour
Relax and enjoy fabulous food and wine in Australia's oldest wine growing region. Located just two hours north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley combines world renowned wines, gourmet produce and stunning countryside. The flexible itinerary gives you access to a range of boutique wineries and the opportunity to meet the wine makers. Take a behind-the-scenes tour at one of the wineries, then enjoy a gourmet lunch at one of the Hunter's best restaurants.
Day 7 -
Fly Sydney to Hamilton Island - qualia
This morning you will be transferred by car service to Sydney airport for your Qantas flight to Hamilton Island. On arrival into Hamilton Island you will be met and transferred to qualia by car service
qualia, pronounced Kwah • lee • ah, is a unique Australian expression of world-class luxury, situated on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island. This resort immerses you in a relaxed atmosphere, offering personalized and intuitive service. You will spend four nights at this superbly situated getaway. It's distinctive Australian style combined with a secluded location and intuitive service, makes it a world class resort. Find yourself in a true sanctuary where everything has been meticulously considered so it relaxes the mind, yet completely spoils the senses. qualia is a truly special place where everything has been meticulously considered to relax the mind yet completely spoil the senses. It’s what we refer to as the ‘qualia effect’.
Full breakfast at The Long Pavilion or Pebble Beach restaurants, all non-alcoholic beverages within qualia (including mini bar) at all time, VIP Hamilton Island airport or marina to hotel return transfers, 1 golf buggy and use of non motorised water sports including catamarans, sailboards, paddleboards and snorkeling gear.
Image: Hamilton Island
ACCOMMODATION - Southwest-facing, the freestanding Leeward Pavilions provide Hamilton Island luxury accommodation in Australian tropical island style. Louvers allow the sea breeze to flow through, and the comfortable lounge area leads to a private sundeck shaded by Eucalypts. Cool polished floors and timber details, a subtle colour palette and stylish decor, create a uniquely relaxed beach house ambience. Elegantly designed and beautifully furnished, the one-bedroom Leeward Pavilions have a private sundeck with eucalypts framing the ocean vistas. Furnished with comfortable sun lounges, the sundeck also has outdoor seating for enjoying the sun-dappled views over Hamilton Island and the Coral Sea.
Upgrade to a Windward Pavilion from $765 per person for stays in February & March - ask an Aspire consultant for upgrade pricing for other months
Image: Hamilton Island
ACCOMMODATION - qualia’s north-facing Windward Pavilions each complete with its own private plunge pool, provide flawless design, soothing decor and expansive Coral Sea and Whitsunday Island views. Shaded by Eucalypts, the Windward Pavilions’ breezy louver windows, polished timber floors and floor-to-ceiling glass provide a uniquely Australian hideaway. Wake to the breathtaking views of the Coral Sea outside your window, then step from the beautifully appointed living room onto the north-facing sundeck to bathe in the private infinity-edged pool. Freestanding and spacious, with expansive waterfront views, the Hamilton Island luxury accommodation provided by the Windward Pavilions at qualia have a sunny northern aspect and provide four times the living space of a standard hotel room.
Day 8 - Great Barrier Reef Snorkel
Discover all the beauty and diversity of the Great Barrier Reef with a visit to some of its most secluded and precious areas, on this unforgettable day trip from Hamilton Island. Your tour includes a stop at Bait Reef - a special management area with pristine coral structures and an incredible display of marine life. You will also visit renowned dive sites at Stepping Stones, Paradise Lagoon and Manta Ray Drop Off.
Image: Hamilton Island
Day 9 - qualia
At leisure to relax and indulge at qualia or consider adding a tour (additional cost):
- Half Day Hill Inlet at Whitehaven Beach
A half-day cruise taking you the entire stretch of Whitehaven Beach. You'll disembark at Tongue Bay, our access point to Hill Inlet. See the white silica sand and turquoise shades blend seamlessly together to create breathtaking views. Take a guided bushwalk to Hill Inlet. 20 minutes each way taken at a leisurely pace. Heading back to the beach you can relax, explore, take a swim and enjoy the crystal clear waters. Accessed by our 19 metre Pure Dive vessel. Despite her capacity of 75 guest numbers are kept to 40, which maintains the tranquil feel of this experience.
Image: Hamilton Island
Day 10 - qualia
At leisure to relax and indulge at qualia
Image: Hamilton Island
Day 11 - Depart qualia,
Hamilton Island to Melbourne
This morning you will be transferred by car service to Hamilton Island Airport and your Qantas flight to Melbourne. Upon arrival in Melbourne you will be met by your driver and transferred to your centrally located accommodation
ACCOMMODATION - Crown's newest hotel - 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.
- Half Day Lanes & Arcades tour
This morning join your small group walking tour for a casual guided walk through Melbourne's lanes and arcades 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
Early evening board the Colonial Tramcar for your Early Dinner, A delightful innovative approach to dining in the first travelling Tramcar Restaurant in the world. As the glossy, burgundy trams cruise the scenic streets of Melbourne, diners enjoy a seasonal menu, quality Australian wines or a selection of beverages from a fully stocked bar.
- Phillip Island Ultimate Ecotour
This afternoon join your small group tour heading out of Melbourne to Phillip Island. Get up close and personal with the friendly residents of Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, where you learn about the conservation of these loveable native animals. The eco certified sanctuary also showcases some lesser known but equally adorable endangered species including the Southern Bettong, Eastern Quolls and rare Fluffy Gliders. Visit historic Churchill Island and see sheep shearing in action, with time to explore the historic buildings. Next, visit the Koala Conservation Centre to see koalas in their natural environment. Take a stroll along the boardwalks at the Nobbies and Seal Rock Centre, before arriving at Summerland beach for the nightly penguin parade. Home to Victoria's largest colony of little penguins, Summerland beach provides a spectacular backdrop to the world famous penguin parade. Watch as hundreds of little penguins make their way across the beach and go home for the night.
Image: Tourism Australia
Explore Melbourne at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight with Champagne
Your pilot will give you a short briefing. You will then be transported to the launch site where you may help with the launch, or stand back and take pictures. Then away we go, drifting gently over the city of Melbourne in our beautiful balloon. Your flight will last for approximately one hour. After we make our final landing and pack the balloon away, we will head back to the Pullman on the Park for a full buffet champagne breakfast.
- Melbourne River Cruise
This evening, enjoy a delightful river cruise, taking in all the sights of Melbourne. This combined River Gardens and The Port and Docklands cruise allows you to discover all of Melbourne's river attractions including Southgate, The Victorian Arts Centre, historical docklands, river gardens, shipping port, Sporting Precinct and panoramic city skyline. Discover the routes of the early settlers with this historical look at our famous Yarra River and surrounds. Experience the history of the Southern Hemisphere's largest port and relive it's involvement in Melbourne's settlement. Cruising up river is a rare chance to view wonderful scenic river gardens and Herring Island. The river passes one of the world's great Botanic Gardens, as well as the landscaped river banks and Melbourne's famous Sporting Precinct.
- Yarra Valley Wine Experience
Learn how to swirl, sniff and slurp, then you’ll be ready to taste some of the Yarra's best wines, Yering Station’s award winning classic Australian wine, Rochford Wines with traditional wine making methods in their cellar door and French Champagne company Moet & Chandon's Australian production house -Domaine Chandon.
- Depart Melbourne for Los Angeles on Qantas
This morning you will be transferred by car service to Melbourne Airport and your Qantas flight to Los Angeles.
Additional departure gateways & pricing
Qantas offers non-stop service to Australia from Los Angeles, San Francisco (add $250 per person), Dallas Fort Worth (add $220 per person) & New York's JFK (add $200 per person). Addon fares are available from all major US cities - ask an Aspire consultant for a quote from your local airport.
On Board Qantas
Your Seat - An ergonomically designed, slimline seats with built-in lumbar support for your comfort. The adjustable headrest and seat recline are sure to keep you comfortable for the duration of your journey. Onboard the A380s and refurbished B747s the seats offer softer cushioning, a netted footrest and more legroom for additional comfort on longer journeys
On Board Dining - On selected international flights, you’ll be treated to a continuous refreshment service every 60-90 minutes and, to add variety, a third main meal option for long haul flights. On the A380s and refurbished B747s you’ll find a self-serve snack bar.
Entertainment - personal on-demand, in-flight entertainment system* throughout your journey. Access over 1500 options using your in-seat control or touch screen monitor. Options include a variety of movies, TV programs, CD playlists, moving maps, interactive games and radio channels.
Amenities - Complimentary comfort kit to help you stay refreshed. Your handy zip lock pouch contains eyeshades, toothbrush and toothpaste. Socks are available on request. Enjoy a soft blanket and cotton pillow to keep you cozy throughout your flight
* Starting from pricing is valid for departures until 31 March 2019 for purchase by 31 December 2018. 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.
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.