3 nights Sydney
1 nights Uluru
1 night Kings Canyon
1 night Alice Springs
2 nights Darwin
1 night Kakadu
2 nights Melbourne
3 nights Cairns
Sydney Opera House Tour
Sydney city sights tour
Hop on Hop off tour of Sydney Harbour including Taronga Zoo
Uluru Sacred Sites & Sunset tour
Uluru Sunrise & Kata Tjuta tour
Kings Canyon Scenic Climb
Yellow Water Cruise
Guided Aboriginal transfer from Kakadu to Darwin
Great Barrier Reef tour, snorkeling, semi-submersible tours
Kuranda Tour with Skyrail Cableway and Rainforestation
Melbourne City Sights tour
Phillip Island Tour
Destinations: Sydney, Uluru, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Darwin, Kakadu, Cairns, Melbourne
Experiences: Culture, Scenery, Wildlife
No. of days: 15 days/14 nights
This itinerary is packed with culture, scenery and wildlife, mixing cities with outback wonders. Starting in Sydney you get a feel for this vibrant harborside city visiting key landmarks and exploring areas of interest. Tour the city itself and then explore beautiful Sydney Harbour. Next you’re off to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kings Canyon for an outback and cultural experience with stunning landscapes and the opportunity to learn the importance of the area to the Anangu, the local Aboriginal people. Explore Kakadu National Park and the local ecology with your Aboriginal guide. For a complete change of scenery head to Cairns to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and explore the tropical north rainforest. Finish your trip in Melbourne, known for its shopping, arts, restaurants and foodie scene. Head to Phillip Island where you get up close with native wildlife and spend your evening watching the famous penguin parade.
DAY BY DAY:
Day 1: Arrive in Sydney, transfer to your hotel. This afternoon you have a tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Visit areas off-limits to the public and capture photographs from rare vantage points. Explore theatres and foyers where more than 1600 concerts, operas, dramas and ballets take place each year. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Sydney. (3 nights Sydney).
Day 2: This morning you are off on a Sydney city sights tour. Learn about the historic Rocks area and hear early convict history. Enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. See the shopping heart of the city. Experience South Head, The Gap and Bondi Beach. Spend the afternoon at your leisure.
Day 3: You get to explore Sydney at your own pace today with a Hop on Hop off tour of Sydney Harbour including Taronga Zoo entry and a Sky Safari cable ride.
Day 4: Leaving Sydney today, transfer to your flight to Uluru (Ayres Rock). This afternoon you have an Uluru Sacred Sights and Sunset tour. Visit the Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre and learn more about the Western Desert region before traveling to the bae of Uluru. Learn about the native flora, fauna and intriguing cultural traditions of traditional owners, the Anangu, and discover an array of fascinating sacred sites. Walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole and explore caves to view Aboriginal rock paintings. Finish the evening with wine and nibbles watching the sun set and the evening sky brings out the many shades of color for which Uluru is renowned. (1 night Uluru).
Day 5: You have experienced a sunset, now you get to experience a sunrise. Travel to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku and watch the first rays of sunlight creep across the desert plains. Enjoy a hot drink as the morning sun slowly changes the color of Uluru. After watching the sunrise visit the mystical 36 domes of Kata Tjuta and the base of Walpa Gorge. Spend time exploring the gorge and the unusual conglomerate rock formations. This afternoon you transfer from Uluru to Kings Canyon. (1 night Kings Canyon).
Day 6: This morning you’ll commence a Kings Canyon Scenic Climb tour. Make the rocky climb to the rim of the canyon for marvelous views of Watarrka National Park. Follow the rim of the canyon, with stops along the way at lookout points to look down into the canyon gorge. This afternoon transfer to Alice Springs. Stop at Kings Creek Station, a working cattle/camel station for lunch (own expense). (1 night Alice Springs).
Day 7: From Alice Springs transfer to the airport for your flight to Darwin. (1 night Darwin).
Day 8: Travel from Darwin to Kakadu on Arnhem Highway into Kakadu National Park. Located 257 kilometres east of Darwin, this national park covers 20,000 square kilometres of landscape from rocky escarpment, home to historic Aboriginal rock art dating back thousands of years, to floodplains abundant with wildlife. Join a local guide for a Yellow Water Cruise through the most famous Kakadu wetland, Yellow Water Billabong. Observe birds, flora, fauna and crocodiles in their natural surroundings. Learn fascinating insights into this ancient wetland and how the Bininj people’s way of life. (1 night Kakadu).
Day 9: Enjoy an Aboriginal Guided tour from Kakadu to Darwin. Explore the World Heritage Area of Ubirr, where you'll climb up through the ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries, believed to be 20,000 years old, to the lookout for a view over the surrounding wetlands. Join the Guluyambi Cruise on the East Alligator River. An Aboriginal guide will provide an insight into their culture. Visit the Bowali Visitor Centre before returning to Darwin. (1 night Darwin).
Day 10: Fly from Darwin to Cairns today. (3 nights Cairns).
Day 11: You get to explore the Great Barrier Reef today! Travel aboard a 32 meter luxury sailing catamaran to Michaelmas Cay, which is a picturesque vegetated Sand Cay encircled by a superb fringing reef. Lunch is included. Enjoy four hours on the Reef where you can choose from a range of activities including snorkeling, semi-submersible tours and guided beach walks. Enjoy a glass of bubbles as you cruise home.
Day 12: Today is all about history, rainforest and wildlife. You get to ride the historic Kuranda Scenic Rail to Kuranda. Rainforestation, set in 40 hectares of lush gardens, is your next stop. Board the amphibious Army Duck and enjoy the Wildlife Park. Transfer back to Kuranda, then it’s time to board Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for your return journey.
Day 13: Transfer for your flight from Cairns to Melbourne. (2 nights Melbourne).
Day 14: It’s a full day today on a small group Melbourne city sights tour combined with a Phillip Island Tour. On the city tour visit world famous Albert Park, home of the Formula One, Australian Grand Prix as well as our inner-city sports precinct, home to the famous MCG and Melbourne Park where the Australian Tennis Open takes place. Take a lunch break (own expense) before meeting your guide for the Phillip Island Tour. On the way, visit Warrook Homestead for afternoon tea (own expense). Here you can get up close to kangaroos and see koalas in the Fauna Park. The highlight of the evening is the nightly ritual of the Penguin Parade.
Day 15: Depart Melbourne for your flight home!
All aspects of this itinerary can be changed to suit your requirements.
The itineraries provided are great introductions to your chosen destination. You can create a travel plan using the itinerary provided or make modifications to destinations, activities and accommodation and create the dream trip you want.
Not every traveler is the same, we get that and so that’s why we recommend making changes to suit your needs. In fact, we insist - we want you to have the best trip.
If you would like any recommendations for dinner or shopping areas please let us know we are happy to help and make bookings for you where necessary.
To travel to Australia you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and we can process an ETA Visa for free for US Citizens. We will need a copy of your Photo Page of your Passport. Nationalities of any other countries please enquire with your agent to see if you are eligible for a free ETA Visa or if you need to apply for a Visitor Visa.
To travel to New Zealand you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. More information on the NZeTA application requirements and process can be found on our FAQ page here.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment. We will provide a travel insurance quote at the time of booking, and you are free to use our recommended insurance with Travelguard, find your own, or book without insurance.
A product that we can offer is a Cancel For Any Reason policy that will provide you with 80% back in refunds. If the cancellation is for medical reasons there is a 100% refund..
Downunder Journeys services travel requests from the United States and Canada for travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tahiti. All pricing on this website is in US Dollars.
All of the sample itineraries on this website do not include airfares as the airfare price changes daily and to ensure you get the best possible price we will work with the best airfares at the time. If you happen to buy your airfare first and then need a package to fit it, we can certainly help with that as well, just let us know.
As an idea for a 2-week vacation to Australia or New Zealand we recommend a budget of around $8,000-10,000 (including economy airfare), this would be for a 4 star and above itinerary, a little cheaper if we did more moderate accommodations.