Best of Australia - Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Ayers Rock & Sydney from $4,999 per person, including international flights

In 15 Days, experience the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne, Australia's most scenic highway - the Great Ocean Road, awe-inspiring Ayers Rock, and the stunning harbor city of Sydney on this independent trip, fully inclusive of flights, 4* 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 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* Pan Pacific Hotel
  • Half Day Laneways & Arcades Walking Tour
  • Full Day Phillip Island Penguin Parade Tour
  • Three days medium size automatic transmission car rental inclusive of insurance
  • One night in Port Campbell at the 4* Southern Ocean Villas
  • One-night Dunkeld at the 4* Royal Mail Hotel, including a light breakfast
  • One night Ballarat at the 4* Provincial Hotel, Including breakfast
  • Two nights Ayers Rock at the 4* Desert Gardens Hotel
  • A Night at the Field of Light, including Dinner under the night sky
  • Small group Uluru sunrise tour
  • Small group Kata Tjuta National Park 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
  • Full day small group tour to the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains
  • Private car service transfers on arrival in Melbourne & in Sydney
  • Complimentary coach transfers in Ayers Rock
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart the US to Melbourne
Non-stop flights are available from LA, San Francisco, and Dallas to Melbourne, with connections from all US airports.

Ask about our upgrade options to Premium Economy and Business class.

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 Pan Pacific Melbourne. Enjoy 3 nights in exciting Melbourne – named the world’s most livable city for the sixth consecutive year.

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ACCOMMODATION - Shouldered by the Yarra River and in the heart of the South Wharf precinct, Pan Pacific Melbourne provides a riverside experience and a new perspective of Melbourne. Guest rooms are spacious private sanctuaries. Full-length windows infuse each room with light and provide stunning skyline views. Oversized bathrooms are calming and luxurious.

There is a lot to love about Melbourne - just ask the locals. This sophisticated world city in the southeast corner of mainland Australia inspires a deep passion in those who live there. Ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities, Melbourne is famous for its vibrant energy, restaurants, fashion boutiques, café filled laneways, cool bars, unbeatable galleries, spacious parks, and village-like inner suburbs, each with its unique character. Melbourne is less than 200 years old and never sits still. Modern, cutting-edge designs add to the fascinating mix of heritage architecture and ensure the skyline is constantly changing.

Day 4 - Melbourne - Lanes & Arcades tour
This morning Indulge with a small casual 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 8-hour animal adventure will start with a visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park, where you will have time to take photos and have close encounters with animals like kangaroos, wombats, and echidnas. Head to Phillip Island and Woolamai Surf Beach to glimpse the awesome waves and die-hard surfers. Cross the island to reach the dramatic west coast and the Nobbies, where you will be awe-struck by the crashing waves. Finally, it’s 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 sit on the protective platform to see possibly hundreds of little penguins waddling onto the beach. Be a witness to this magical procession – it is a treat never forgotten.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 6 - Melbourne - Port Campbell
Collect your car this morning and travel southwest 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 breathtaking drives in the world.

From Apollo Bay, the road leaves the coast and winds 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, huge stone pillars in the surf, carved over time by the crashing Southern Ocean waves. Continue to Port Campbell, where you will see London Bridge, the broken arch.

ACCOMMODATION - Ideally situated on the edge of the picturesque Port Campbell National Park, famous for its rugged beauty, shipwreck coast, and spectacular scenery, Southern Ocean Villas are positioned in a tranquil, landscaped environment. Conveniently located just off the Great Ocean Road, Southern Ocean Villas are within a short stroll of Port Campbell town center and beach.

Day 7 - Port Campbell - Dunkeld
From Port Campbell, travel northwest 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 historic charm while providing guests with contemporary, architecturally designed facilities that take advantage of the stunning natural surroundings.

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 historic charm while providing guests with contemporary, architecturally designed facilities that take advantage of the stunning natural surroundings. This historic hotel features sweeping views, a restaurant, open fires, bars, and luxurious motel rooms.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 8 - Dunkeld to the Grampians & onwards to Ballarat
Depart Dunkeld this morning for Halls Gap, the heart of the Grampians National Park in the picturesque Fyans Valley. The township offers a comprehensive National Park visitor center. The sandstone ranges of the Grampians National Park surround Halls Gap, providing views of rugged escarpments and a tranquil atmosphere. The ridges and valleys are filled with Australian fauna, wildflowers, tree-fern gullies, strange rock formations, Aboriginal rock art, crystal clear rock pools, and many waterfalls like McKenzie Falls.

Departing Halls Gap, join the Grampians Road towards the towns of Ararat, Beaufort, and Ballarat – just 75 minutes from Melbourne Airport for your overnight stay at the Provincial Hotel.

ACCOMMODATION - The Provincial Hotel sits pretty on Ballarat's historic Lydiard Street. Built in 1909, the iconic building, recognized by the National Trust, has uniquely curated rooms for an inspiring and relaxing stay.

Day 9 - Melbourne – Ayers Rock (Uluru)
This morning self-drive to Melbourne Airport and return your rental car before boarding your non-stop flight to Ayers Rock. On arrival at Ayers Rock, take the courtesy shuttle transfer on arrival to the Desert Gardens hotel - your base for two nights.

Uluru, the true Aboriginal name for what many people know as Ayers Rock, rises from the broad desert plain in the deep center of Australia. It is one of the country's most recognizable natural icons. The famous "Rock" stands 348 meters high and is located 440 kilometers southwest of Alice Springs in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Forty kilometers west of Uluru is Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas. This massive pile of rock domes dates back 500 million years. Uluru and Kata Tjuta have great Aboriginal cultural significance for the Anangu traditional landowners. Learn about the area's local flora and fauna, bush foods, and Aboriginal Dreamtime stories.

ACCOMMODATION - Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the settings for this hotel. Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodations, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert. Relax in the comfort of your 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.

This evening enjoy the sunset over Uluru & "A Night at The Field of Light" tour. Your 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 colored lights of the 50,000 glass spheres come to life, guests enjoy a local Indigenous performance, welcoming them to this unique country, before being invited to join their fellow travelers at their dinner table for a unique three-course bush tucker-inspired buffet menu. A knowledgeable guide will provide insights and background to the monumental installation, and you can immerse yourself and walk through the Field of Light.

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Day 10 - Ayers Rock - Uluru Sunrise Tour & Afternoon Kata Tjuta
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 dunes in the early dawn light highlighting its presence in this country. Stop at a special location to watch the sun rise over this striking 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 narratives of the Mala people before returning to the resort.

This afternoon join your tour to Kata Tjuta National Park. This 3-hour tour travels to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, where unique flora and fauna thrive – Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Your guide will reveal the many attributes of this diverse environment and describe the cultural significance of Kata Tjuta as a sacred Aboriginal men’s ceremonial site. Arriving at Walpa Gorge, walk between the mighty conglomerate domes and hear how these 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years. Take time to listen to the wind (Walpa) far above and view the scale of the rock walls surrounding you. The spirituality of this unique location embraces everyone who ventures here

Day 11 - Ayers Rock - Sydney
Take the complimentary transfer to Ayers Rock Airport and 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.

ACCOMMODATION - Stay four nights in the Heart of Sydney; The Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney features stylish accommodations, a contemporary restaurant & bar, a 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.

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Day 12 - 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 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.

Day 13 - Explore Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House
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, 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 yearly.

Day 14 –Sydney – Visit the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains
This 10-hour tour will commence with a drive over Anzac Bridge, passing the Sydney Fish Market and heading to Canada Bay as you make your way west. Just 1.5 hours away, arrive in the heart of the Blue Mountains District, take in the scenery, and smell the fresh air with unbelievable views of the Jamison Valley. Your First Stop is 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. Feel the spiritual presence of the Three Sisters, hear the Dream Time Stories, and experience for yourself the raw magic the Blue Mountains create. Visit Scenic World and start your adventure on Scenic Skyway. Experience the thrill of walking on air with a see-through glass floor showing views of the valley 200 meters below. Dare yourself to ride the steepest railway in the world. After a stroll through the ancient rainforest, ride the Scenic Cableway, Australia’s steepest cable car. See spectacular views of the Three Sisters and the vast expanse of the Jamison Valley. Visit Multiple secret locations around the Blue Mountains that provide fantastic views of the Jamison Valley and cascades away from the crowds. Your guide will drop you off at Leura, a quaint village in the Blue Mountains. You will have the opportunity to select your own lunch and visit the beautiful shops in the region. On your way back to Sydney, you will venture to the Western suburbs to visit Sydney Zoo, Sydney’s ultimate wildlife experience. See a Koala or baby Wallabies. There are also Emu, Wombats, crocodiles, and countless nocturnal animals. Your trip to Sydney is incomplete without a Ferry Trip on the Parramatta River to Circular Quay. Before disembarking at Circular Quay, you will travel under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House.

Day 15 - 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 starting from $4,999 per person

  • Note: Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour)
  • Single Supplement: From $2,000

Australian Entry Requirements

Before committing to a trip, please ensure you have a valid passport. Australia welcomes US travelers with an approved 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 $1,100 per person each way*
  • Upgrade to business class from $4,000 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:

The package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for low-season stays for travel Sundays through Wednesdays from Los Angeles. A $50 air supplement applies each way for international travel from Thursday to Saturday. A $75 per person supplement applies for a Saturday night stay in 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 only be available on some flights. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect discounts for purchases made by check/wire; please see the 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. 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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