Contrasts of Australia - Melbourne, Reef & Sydney from $3,699 LA or from $4,299 NYC per person including international flights

In 14 Days experience the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne, the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef, and the stunning harbor city of Sydney on this independent trip fully inclusive of flights, 4.5* accommodations, transfers, and small group tours. Experiences abound with incredible cities, wildlife encounters, natural wonders, and stunning architecture delivered by Australia’s best guides. Itinerary customization and Air Upgrade options for Premium & business class are available.

Inclusions

  • Roundtrip International Qantas Economy Class Flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York JFK (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
  • Internal Australia flights
  • Three nights in Melbourne at the 4.5* Crown Metropol
  • Half Day Laneways & Arcades Walking Tour
  • Full Day Phillip Island Penguin Parade Ultimate Eco Tour
  • Four nights in Port Douglas at the 4.5* Shantara Resort Port Douglas
  • Full-Day Great Barrier Reef tour, including lunch
  • Half-Day Mossman Gorge & Aboriginal cultural tour
  • Four nights in Sydney at the 4.5* Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney
  • Half-day small group city sights of Sydney
  • Sydney Harbour cruise
  • Sydney Opera House tour
  • Private car service transfers in Melbourne & Sydney
  • Shuttle airport transfers in Cairns
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart Los Angeles non-stop to Melbourne
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 & Dallas Fort Worth - addon 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 offering the best comfort, Australian food and wine, amenities, and exceptional service. In addition, all cabins experience the latest in-flight entertainment and technology, including premium content from HBO, new movie releases, TV programs, and an extensive music library with over 1500 entertainment choices.

Day 2 - Cross International Dateline

Day 3 - Arrive Melbourne
Welcome to Australia! On arrival in Melbourne, you will be met in the arrivals hall by your driver and transferred by car service to the Crown Metropol Melbourne. Enjoy 3 nights in exciting Melbourne – named the world’s most livable city for the sixth consecutive year.

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Image: Tourism Australia

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, seeing live music, going to a football match, or joining 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 vibrant energy and unique offerings, Melbourne’s lifestyle is sure to find something for all visitors to enjoy.

Day 4 - Melbourne - 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.

Day 5 - Melbourne - Phillip Island
Your animal adventures will start with a visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park where you won't even have time to take photos as there will be fascinating Australian animals at every turn. You have up-close encounters with animals like kangaroos, wombats and echidnas. Next, we will travel to Phillip Island where we will head to Woolamai Surf Beach to catch a glimpse of the awesome waves and die-hard surfers. (Weather permitting). We then cross the island to reach the dramatic west coast and the Nobbies where you will be awestruck by the crashing waves. And finally, it is time for the main event, the Penguin Parade. There is a reason that this is one of Australia's top attractions and the little penguins will not disappoint! You will be seated in the upgraded Penguins Plus viewing area, enabling you to have better viewing. As the sun fades in the sky, Little Penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes. Witness this magical procession – it is a treat never forgotten.

Day 6 - Fly Melbourne to Cairns
This morning you will be transferred to Melbourne airport by private car service. Board your flight to Tropical North Queensland and the city of Cairns. On arrival, meet your shuttle transfer to Port Douglas (approximately 1.5 hours - Upgrades to private car service available, ask an Aspire consultant for the additional cost).

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Image: Tourism Australia

ACCOMMODATION - Stay four fabulous nights at Shantara Resort & Spa, located 400 meters from Port Douglas' famous Four Mile Beach with its palm-fringed beach; relax or swim in the warm, calm waters. Take a stroll to Macrossan Street which offers an array of trendy gourmet restaurants, cafes, and boutique shopping to suit all tastes. With a choice of spacious studio rooms or sizeable comfortable one-bedroom self-contained apartments, Shantara is an adult haven, ideal for couples looking for a tranquil, romantic, and relaxing getaway.

Day 7 - Great Barrier Reef Day Tour
This morning board your vessel at Crystal Brook Marina Port Douglas to commence a full-day cruise. Travel aboard Silversonic, a 29-meter luxury catamaran custom-designed for small groups of adventure-minded people to revel in the thrill of diving and snorkeling. Silversonic features a state-of-the-art ride control system for a super smooth journey, a submerged platform for easy water access, hot freshwater showers, change rooms, air-conditioned lounges, and a licensed bar. With over five hours to explore the delights of this underwater world, snorkelers can explore three different outer reef locations at Agincourt Reef, on the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel briefs at each site and a guided free snorkel tour are included in your day.

Day 8 - Port Douglas – Daintree Rainforest Dreamtime Gorge Walk
Experience the wonders of the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and Aboriginal culture on this half-day tour.

NGANA JULAYMBA DUNGAY: “We All Going Daintree” tours are based around the Mossman, Mossman Gorge, coastal habitats & the Daintree River area. Discover the Kuku Yalanji people's environment, learn about different foods and medicines utilized from nature, sample some bush tucker, collect shellfish, and try traditional Aboriginal hunting practices. Have a go at boomerang and spear throwing and if you are lucky, catch a mud crab. Take a guided rainforest walk through the southern Daintree rainforest and visit the Mossman Gorge before being transferred back to Port Douglas.

**Optional Extra – Upgrade from a half-day to a full day tour for an additional $40 per person including lunch*.

Day 9 - Port Douglas
Explore Tropical North Queensland at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):

  • Wildlife Habitat
    The award-winning Wildlife Habitat is Australia's leading 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 vast range of flora and fauna as birds fly and roam freely. The original Breakfast with the Birds has been a visitor must-do for two decades; be immersed within the Wetlands environment while enjoying the cacophony of sounds and colors of Wildlife as they wander freely amongst you while enjoying a tropical breakfast.

  • Kuranda Scenic Rail & SkyRail
    Enjoy a full day Kuranda, Scenic Rail, and Skyrail Tour. Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a breathtaking journey on one of the world's most scenic train routes. The trip will take you through hand-hewn tunnels and across bridges with amazing views. Stop at Barron Gorge to view the Falls before arriving at beautiful Kuranda station. Your Kuranda Boarding Pass offers discounted entry into Birdworld, Kuranda Koala Gardens, The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, and Rainforestation, as well as a detailed map of Kuranda - the Village in the rainforest. At the scheduled time, bypass the ticketing lines and go directly to the Skyrail boarding area to board Skyrail for the world's most beautiful rainforest experience. Glide over the rainforest canopy and take advantage of the two stops to enjoy a walk through the rainforest or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Centre.

  • Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation
    Travel north along the scenic coastal road, crossing the Daintree River onto 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. Next, visit 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.

Day 10 - Depart Port Douglas - Sydney
This morning you will be transferred by shuttle service to Cairns Airport. Board your flight to Sydney. On arrival you will be met by your driver for a car service transfer to the Amora Hotel Jamison 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.

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Image: Tourism Australia

ACCOMMODATION - Stay four nights in the Heart of Sydney; The Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney features stylish accommodations, along with a contemporary restaurant & bar, day spa, indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, Wi-Fi, and 24-hour room service. An easy walk to Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Queen Victoria Building, and only a few minutes from Wynyard train station make Amora one of Sydney's most desired locations.

Day 11 - Sydney - Half Day City Sights tour
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for your small group Panoramic Sydney tour. Visit the historic Rocks area and hear about early convict history. Enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. See the city's shopping heart, Queen Victoria Building, and Sydney Tower. Visit Sydney's trendy Oxford Street district and travel through Paddington with its terrace houses before arriving at the Pacific Ocean. See the magnificent coast cliff walk around Tamarama and Bronte. Travel on to famous Bondi Beach and visit the beachfront promenade with time to enjoy a coffee or cool drink (at your own cost). See Aussie lifesavers and Sydney's best panoramic view at Dover Heights. Return to Sydney via Double Bay, Kings Cross, and Mrs. Macquarie's Point for a final magical viewpoint over the harbour before returning to the city center. Tour concludes at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay.

Day 12 - Explore Sydney
Explore Sydney harbor onboard the Hop on Hop Off Sydney Harbour Explorer. Travel aboard a 25-meter motorized Rocket Ferry vessel and enjoy a fun and easy way to explore Sydney, including commentary on selected routes. Then, sit back and relax as your vessel cruises around Sydney Harbour and stops at six harbourside attractions, including Circular Quay, Manly, Taronga Zoo, Watsons Bay, Shark Island, and Darling Harbour. Then, hop off and reboard as many times as you wish as you explore the best of Sydney!

This afternoon enjoy a one hour guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is one of the world's most recognizable landmarks, and this is your chance to truly get up close. Run your hands over the world-famous shell tiles, take a seat in the elegant custom-made white birch timber chairs, and marvel at the vaulted ceilings. Next, visit areas off-limits to the public and capture photographs from rare vantage points. Finally, explore theatres and foyers where more than 1600 concerts, operas, dramas, and ballets occur each year.

Day 13 – Optional tour: Sydney – Visit the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains
Today consider adding an optional small group full day tour to the Blue Mountains, costing $170 per person

This boutique tour provides an intimate touch, traveling in the luxury of 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 create. This will be our first stop in the Blue Mountains, and you will have the option of ordering morning tea (At your own expense) while enjoying the amazing views. Visit Scenic World and dare yourself to ride the steepest Railway in the World. The Scenic Cableway and Skyway offer spectacular views of the Three Sisters and the Valley. Scenic World is included in the price of our tour. The Tour Guide will take you down to the valley floor whilst explaining the area. See breathtaking views of either the Jamison Valley or Megalong Valley away from the crowds in a secluded location. Visit Leura and enjoy the quaint village with multiple lunch venues (at your own expense). The last stop on the tour is Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney's ultimate wildlife experience. See the Koalas and feed the baby wallabies before returning to Sydney.

Day 14 - Depart Sydney
This morning you will be transferred by private car service to Sydney International airport. Bid farewell to Australia as you depart Sydney for your flight to the US, arriving the same day.

 

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Costing Per Person

  Los Angeles San Francisco New York
Now – 16 Jun 22 $3,699 $3,999 $4,299
17 - 26 Jun 22 $3,799 $4,099 $4,399
27 Jun - 23Jul 22 $3,899 $4,199 $4,499
24 Jul – 24 Sep 22 $3,799 $4,099 $4,399
25 Sep – 28 Nov 22 $3,849 $4,149 $4,449
29 Nov – 05 Dec 22 $3,699 $3,999 $4,299
06 - 11 Dec 22 $3,899 $4,199 $4,499
12 - 22 Dec 22 $4,599 $4,899 $5,199
3 - 22 Jan 23 $3,699 $3,999 $4,299
23 Jan - 18 Mar 23 $3,899 $4,199 $4,499

 

Note: Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour)

Single Supplement: From $1,200

 

Australian Entry Requirements

Before committing to a trip, please ensure you have a valid passport. Australia welcomes fully vaccinated US travelers with an approved vaccine and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia.

Read More about the Australian entry requirements

Additional departure gateways & pricing

Add on airfares are available from most major airports – please ask an Aspire consultant for a quote

Upgrade Options

  • Upgrade to premium economy from $1,050 per person each way*
  • Upgrade to business class from $3,500 per person each way*
  • Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket

* Upgrade from pricing based on Sunday through Wednesday departures from Los Angeles - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee from other departure points and travel Thursday through Saturday.

 

 

Terms & Conditions:

Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for low season stays for travel Sundays through Wednesdays. $50 air supplement applies each way for international travel from Thursday to Saturday. $50 per person supplement applies for a Saturday night at the Crown Metropol Hotel Melbourne. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Specific blackout dates apply to the accommodation and tour value add offers. 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 check/wire; please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.

To guarantee the package price & purchase the airline tickets, full payment is due at the time of booking. The purchase of travel Insurance is highly recommended for travel to Australia. Aspire Down Under partners with CSA Travel Protection. Travelers to Australia must be fully vaccinated and obtain a negative COVID-19 test before departure. Travel insurance covers cancellation penalties under the cancellation benefit should you test positive for COVID-19 immediately before traveling to Australia. In the unlikely event your scheduled travel date is impacted by Australian government entry restrictions, Aspire Down Under will permit a change of travel dates within 12 months from your original booking date without any fees or penalties (the applicable price of the new trip itinerary will apply).

 

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