OFFER ID 1488613
It’s easy to lose your train of thought on this all-encompassing, 28-day tour through Australia and New Zealand, especially when it includes world-class cities, extraordinary scenery, unique wildlife, and an incredible overnight rail journey on the legendary The Ghan train-an exhilarating crossing from South Australia through the heart of the Australian Outback. Other moving experiences on this over-the-top Down Under vacation include an outback barbecue in the Red Center, a scenic cruise in Sydney Harbour, a snorkel excursion at the Great Barrier Reef, and a wetlands cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong. In New Zealand, prepare to be moved by a cooked-by-hot-stone Hangi dinner, a gondola ride to the peaks of Queenstown, a cruise through the towering rock walls of Milford Sound, and even a silent boat trip through Waitomo’s famous eerily lit Glowworm Caves. Board here for unrivalled views, unexpected experiences, and an unbelievable adventure.
27 nights from $14,492 per person
Ultimate South Pacific With The Legendary Ghan Train
Day 1 ARRIVE IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA G’day – Welcome To Melbourne! Your hotel room is available for immediate check-in. A pre-night is not required for early check-in. Please schedule flights to arrive by 3pm in order to attend this evening’s welcome briefing and dinner. (D)
Day 2 MELBOURNE Toasts Of The Town Today’s sightseeing tour includes landmarks such as Parliament House and the Shrine of Remembrance, a tribute to Australia’s war heroes. Visit beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, then drive past the lush Botanic Gardens. You’ll discover the city’s differing architectural influences as you see the Victorian Arts Centre and other buildings of significance. Before returning to your hotel, indulge in a special high tea featuring mouth-watering treats, specialty teas, coffee, and a glass of champagne. (B)ENHANCED FREE TIME EXPLORE MORE with an optional excursion this evening to see the world-famous Penguin Parade on Phillip Island to experience the magic of little penguins returning home at sunset to one of the largest penguin colonies in Australia. Watch as these beloved fairy penguins waddle from the ocean to their burrows in the sand around you. You’ll get up close and personal from the special Penguins Plus grandstand. This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus. Your Tour Director and your GlobusGO mobile app have all the tips and guidance to enjoy your free time.
Day 3 MELBOURNE Cosmopolitan Cool Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this multicultural and cosmopolitan city. Dine at a local restaurant and immerse yourself in Melbourne’s passionate food and wine scene or walk along Chapel and Brunswich Streets, famous for great shopping. (B)ENHANCED FREE TIMEEXPLORE MORE in Melbourne with an optional excursion to sample award-winning wines in the Yarra Valley or drive along the spectacular Great Ocean Road to see the “Twelve Apostles.” This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus. Your Tour Director and your GlobusGO mobile app have all the tips and guidance to enjoy your free time.
Day 4 MELBOURNE–HOBART On The Waterfront Fly to Hobart, Tasmania, home of the famed Tasmanian devil. As the second oldest of Australia’s state capitals, Hobart has a wild convict past and a rich history still evident in its beautifully restored Georgian buildings and colonial cottages. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant. (B,D)TOUR HIGHLIGHTHISTORIC SPOTS Join your Tour Director for a walk in Hobart’s waterfront district. See beautiful historic buildings and hear wonderful stories about the hard-working convicts, explorers, and entrepreneurs that built this city. Afterward, enjoy dinner at a historic local pub that is full of wonderful memorabilia and features local seafood and produce.
Day 5 HOBART. EXCURSION TO THE TASMAN PENINSULA Devilish Fun Travel to the remote and rugged Tasman Peninsula. Make stops at the scenic blowhole, Devil’s Kitchen, and Tasman Arch coastal formations. Visit Port Arthur Historic Site, which began housing convicts in the 1830’s. Then visit the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo. Return to Hobart where your evening is at leisure. (B,L)TOUR HIGHLIGHTCONSERVATION HEROES The world’s largest carnivorous marsupial – the Tasmanian Devil. See a feeding presentation and learn how the Unzoo is helping save the endangered devils with natural habitat spaces. Stroll the bushland trail and see kangaroos, cheeky parrots, wallabies, echidnas, and nearly 100 bird species. Your admission helps preserve the Tasmanian devil. TOUR HIGHLIGHTHISTORIC SPOT One of the country’s most important heritage sites, Port Arthur will bring to life Australia’s convict history. On your private guided tour, meet some of the people who have passed through this place, walk in their footsteps, and hear their stories. It was not just hardened criminals but women and children who found their way here as well. See 30 historic buildings, ruins, restored homes, and the beautiful heritage gardens.
Day 6 HOBART–ADELAIDE Sweet Adelaide Today, fly via Melbourne to South Australia’s capital city. Adelaide is home to world-class art, live music, major festivals, must-try restaurants, and sits at the gateway to amazing wineries. Upon arrival, take a brief orientation tour along the wide, tree-lined streets, and well-manicured gardens. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 7 ADELAIDE. EXCURSION TO KANGAROO ISLAND The Wild Place Early this morning, depart Adelaide and travel by motorcoach and ferry to Kangaroo Island, one of the world’s last unspoiled habitats. Visit Seal Bay Conservation Park and Flinders Chase National Park, a sanctuary for native Australian animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. Stop for a walk on Remarkable Rocks, with stunning views of the sea. Next, visit Admirals Arch, a unique rock formation and home to a colony of New Zealand fur seals. Return to Adelaide late this evening. (B,L) TOUR HIGHLIGHT NATURAL WONDERS The stunning views of the Australian sea lion colony and the neighbouring coastline make Seal Bay an essential experience on Kangaroo Island. There are no enclosures or cases at Seal Bay. Instead, you will be taken into the heart of the colony on a private tour with a Park Ranger. You’ll learn how these endangered animals hunt, surf, rest, interact with their pups and defend their territory. This is a truly exception wildlife experience not to be missed. Keep your camera handy for some terrific photo ops!
Day 8 ADELAIDE–THE GHAN TRAIN All Aboard Mid-day departure on the Ghan train for an overnight journey and unique perspective of the Outback. (B,L,D)LOCAL FAVORITENORTHWARD BOUND [LF] The Ghan is an Australian legend and the ultimate journey through the heart of Australia. It takes its name from the pioneering Afghan cameleers who blazed a permanent trail into the “Red Center of Australia” 150 years ago. Sit back and relax as you take in the changing scenery. Enjoy a meal in the restaurant car or a friendly conversation with fellow passengers from around the world in the lounge car. You’ll soon see why this train journey is on every Australians’ bucket list!
Day 9 THE GHAN TRAIN–MARLA–ALICE SPRINGS Into The Outback This morning you are invited to step off the train in the outback town of Marla. There’s time to stretch your legs as the sun light slowly bathes the surrounding outback. Take a moment to enjoy the stillness and sip on a steaming mug of coffee and snack on a breakfast sandwich. Reboard your train and get ready for the rest of the day’s adventures, or feel free to hop back into bed! Brunch is served onboard before arriving Alice Springs midday. Upon arrival, visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Old Telegraph Station. This evening is at leisure. (BR)TOUR HIGHLIGHT FLIGHT FOR LIFE The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) was established in 1928 to bring much needed medical care to the residents of the remote Outback. Learn the history of Reverend John Flynn, the founder, and hear the heroic tales of the birth and growth of the RFDS. Through the interactive displays you can experience what it’s like to fly with an RFDS pilot and the issues they have faced from dirt runways, inadequate maps, and more.
Day 10 ALICE SPRINGS–ULURU (AYERS ROCK) Rock Stars Today, travel through the heart of the Outback. Keep a lookout for red kangaroos, dingoes, camels and feral horses, known as “Brumbies.” Visit the magnificent Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), a geological spectacle of some 36 brilliant domes. Tonight, [LF] dinner is served under the sparkling Outback sky. (B,D)LOCAL FAVORITEHEAVEN & EARTH Your evening begins with canápes and chilled sparkling wine upon a dune top overlooking Uluru. As the sun sets and darkness falls, listen to the sound of a didgeridoo and sit down for an unforgettable dining experience. Enjoy a bush tucker inspired menu along with a selection of Australian wines and beers. Afterward, sit back and listen to a star talker decode the southern night sky. Before the end of the evening, you’ll be to locate the Southern Cross, signs of the zodiac, the Milky Way as well as planets and galaxies. From amazing scenery to delicious food and wide-open spaces, it’s sure to be a memorable evening!
Day 11 AYERS ROCK–ALICE SPRINGS–DARWIN Sunrise And Wheels Up For an unforgettable experience, you may choose to rise early for an optional camel ride to watch the sunrise at Uluru. Later, travel to Alice Springs for your flight to Darwin. (B)NOTE: Due to this remote location and limited flights, you may be booked on a connecting flight from Alice Springs to Darwin. ENHANCED FREE TIME EXPLORE MORE with an optional sunrise camel ride at Uluru (Ayers Rock). This once-in-a-lifetime experience envelopes you in the magic of early morning at Ayers Rock, where the shades from the emerging sunlight paint the massive stone formation, changing in hue with each second as the sun rises above the Outback. This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus.
Day 12 DARWIN Remembrance & Resilience Enjoy an orientation tour of the capital of the Northern Territory. See the elegant colonial architecture of the city’s historic buildings that survived Cyclone Tracey in 1974. Visit the splendid Botanic Gardens, beautiful East Point and spend time at the fascinating Darwin Museum. Tonight, you may wish to join the optional dinner cruise in Darwin Harbour. (B,L)TOUR HIGHLIGHT HISTORIC SPOT In 1942, more than 188 Japanese aircraft attacked Darwin’s harbour and airfield. It was the first and largest foreign attack ever mounted on Australia. At the Darwin Museum, hear first-hand accounts from the men and women who survived the horror of that morning, learn about the Top End’s role in WWII through interactive displays, take a walk through the lush garden to see military vehicles, or climb to the top of the gun emplacement to check out the 9.2’ gun that it houses.
Day 13 DARWIN. EXCURSION TO KAKADU NATIONAL PARK Picturing History Journey to Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest national park and a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE Site. The park is home to exceptional natural beauty and a unique biodome. Take a scenic cruise and then explore ancient Aboriginal rock petroglyphs at Nourlangie Rock and learn more about the history of the area at the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Return to Darwin late this evening. (B,L)TOUR HIGHLIGHT EPIC RIDE Cruise the unspoiled waterways of the Yellow Water Billabong. Enjoy incredible scenery with the opportunity to spot water buffalo and an abundance of bird species such as Whistling Ducks, Magpie Geese, and Sea Eagles. Keep an eye out for crocodiles basking on the banks or even swimming alongside your boat. NOTE: During the wet season (December through April), it can be difficult to spot crocodiles in the wild.
Day 14 DARWIN–CAIRNS Aussie Adventures Today, fly to Cairns, “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.” Check-in to your Cairns hotel for a 3-night stay. Cairns is known for its mild winters, great nightlife, and plenty of fun things to see and do. Consider exploring the Cairns Night Markets, where vendors sell a vast array of souvenirs, delicious foods, and the work of local artisans and designers. (B)NOTE: Due to this remote location and limited flights, you may be booked on a connecting flight from Darwin to Cairns.
Day 15 CAIRNS. EXCURSION TO THE OUTER GREAT BARRIER REEF Below The Surface Prepare for the experience of a lifetime when you board a catamaran and cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Explore this underwater world that is a brilliant kaleidoscope of coral and sea life. Return to Cairns late this afternoon. Your evening is at leisure. (B,L)TOUR HIGHLIGHTBUCKET LIST. CHECK! The only living structure on Earth that can be seen from space, the Great Barrier Reef is a masterpiece of Mother Nature. Comprising over 3,000 individual reefs and spanning over 135,135 miles (350,000 square kilometres), your day at the Reef will be one to remember. After your scenic catamaran cruise, the day is yours to explore the Reef how you like. Choose to snorkel amid a dazzling array of fish and coral, take a semi-submersible watercraft tour, attend an informative presentation by a marine biologist, or just relax and enjoy the serenity of your surroundings.
Day 16 CAIRNS Ticket To Paradise A full day at leisure in this tropical paradise. (B)EXPLORE MORE with an optional trip to Kuranda via the old scenic rail route. You may also wish to take a 4 wheel-drive excursion into the Daintree Rainforest, stroll Cairn’s famous Esplanade home to shops and art galleries, or just sit back and relax at your resort’s pool. You can also cool off in the man-made Cairns Esplanade Lagoon; go for a swim, stick to the shore and build a sandcastle, or take a dip at night in the glowing water, lit by underwater lights. This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus. Your Tour Director and your GlobusGO mobile app have all the tips and guidance to enjoy your free time.
Day 17 CAIRNS–SYDNEY Koalas, Crocs & Roos, Oh My! This morning, enjoy a special visit to Koala Gardens. Afterward, fly to Sydney, the largest city in Australia. Sydney is home to first-class restaurants, grand shopping arcades, and top tourist attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Taronga Zoo. (B)LOCAL FAVORITE NATURAL WONDERS See Australia’s famous animals this morning with a visit to Koala Gardens. See kangaroos, wombats, quokkas, wallabies, gliders and of course the famous salt-water crocodiles. You’ll also have a chance to see koalas doing what they do best – eating, sleeping, and looking adorable. Before your visit ends, you’ll have a [LF] photo taken with a koala – the perfect souvenir!
Day 18 SYDNEY Spectacular Sydney Explore one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Visit the Sydney Opera House and travel to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the city’s botanic gardens for a great photo opportunity and sweeping views of the harbor and Harbour Bridge. Next, visit world-famous Bondi Beach with time to explore on your own. Return to Sydney and enjoy a cruise on Sydney Harbour to see some of the city’s best views. (B) TOUR HIGHLIGHT CULTURAL GEM The Sydney Opera House is one of the most well-known buildings in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building was designed by Jorn Utzon, a Danish architect, and was finally completed in 1973, after sixteen years of construction, at a cost of over $100 million dollars. You’ll enjoy a private guided tour of the Opera House and see its interiors and theaters. Hear untold stories, be awed by the acoustics, and learn the history and future of this amazing hall beneath the sails.
Day 19 SYDNEY Sights & Bites Enjoy a full day at leisure. Tonight, join your Tour Director and fellow travel companions for dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)ENHANCED FREE TIME EXPLORE MORE in Sydney with an optional excursion to Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s leading wine-growing regions. You can even climb to the top of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge for amazing views of the city and harbour below or walk in the footsteps of Australia’s early convicts, mischievous gangs, and locals of the past on the Rocks District Pub tour. This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus. Your Tour Director and your GlobusGO mobile app have all the tips and guidance to enjoy your free time.
Day 20 SYDNEY–CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND New Zealand Bound Fly across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and the very English town of Christchurch. Known as the “Garden City,” Christchurch has many beautiful parks and gardens. You’re sure to enjoy the possibilities in this cosmopolitan city of theatre, modern art galleries, great shopping, and fantastic festivals (B)
Day 21 CHRISTCHURCH–MOUNT COOK NATIONAL PARK Peak Perfection After an orientation tour of Christchurch, travel south to magnificent Mount Cook National Park, named after New Zealand’s highest peak. Weather permitting, you may wish to join a stargazing program this evening. The Mount Cook region offers some of the darkest skies in the world – perfect for viewing the southern night sky. (B,D) TOUR HIGHLIGHTACCOMMODATION SPOTLIGHT Spend the evening at the historic Hermitage Hotel, located at the base of Mount Cook. The Hermitage is the perfect base to explore the natural wonders of Mount Cook and has a variety of dining options, unique activities, and genuine kiwi hospitality. Enjoy splendid views, fresh mountain air, and all the modern amenities of this first-class property.
Day 22 MOUNT COOK NATIONAL PARK–QUEENSTOWN Alpine Adventures Start the day with a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre for unique insight into the history and culture of this region. Then, time to explore on your own before continuing to Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital of the World.” Tonight, why not experience one of Queenstown’s 150 bars, restaurants and cafes serving award-winning cuisine? (B) ENHANCED FREE TIME EXPLORE MORE in Mount Cook National Park with one of the many spectacular scenic walks or an optional scenic flight that lands on nearby Tasman Glacier. This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus. Your Tour Director and your GlobusGO mobile app have all the tips and guidance to enjoy your free time.
Day 23 QUEENSTOWN. EXCURSION TO MILFORD SOUND Fjords, Forests & Falls Today, travel into scenic Fiordland National Park. Boasting some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, this region of New Zealand has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was famously described by author, Rudyard Kipling, as the “eighth wonder of the world.” Late evening return to Queenstown. Please note that the excursion to Milford Sound may happen on Day 24 depending on weather and road conditions today. (B,L) TOUR HIGHLIGHTPICTURE PERFECT Cruise on the fiord with sheer rock walls rising thousands of feet from the water’s great depths. Experience dense rainforest, towering mountains, glaciers and waterfalls. Have your cameras ready for marine life such as playful dolphins, seals, and penguins. It will be a day to remember as you experience New Zealand’s wild side at its absolute best!
Day 24 QUEENSTOWN Vineyards & Views A full day at leisure for your own discoveries. (B,D)ENHANCED FREE TIMEEXPLORE MORE in Queenstown with an optional visit to a local vineyard and sample some of the prize vintages, or maybe a thrilling jetboat ride on the Kawarau and Dart Rivers. This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus. Your Tour Director and your GlobusGO mobile app have all the tips and guidance to enjoy your free time.TOUR HIGHLIGHTEPIC RIDE This evening, take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak where you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and breathtaking views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkable Mountains. Make sure to have your camera ready for fantastic photo opportunities.
Day 25 QUEENSTOWN–ROTORUA Earthly Wonders Fly north to Rotorua, known for its geothermal activity as well as being the heart of the Maori culture. The city has a mass of attractions and experiences for everyone from adventure-seekers to those just looking to unwind. Enjoy a [LF] Hangi dinner this evening. (B,D) LOCAL FAVORITECULTURE & TRADITION Journey back to a time of proud warriors and ancient traditions at Tamaki Mari Village. Tour the village and learn about Maori traditions and customs followed by a delicious Hangi dinner (roasted meats and vegetables cooked underground with hot stones). You’ll be entertained by master storytellers and singers, and you might even be asked to join in a Haka, the traditional war dance.
Day 26 ROTORUA Over The Rainbow This morning, enjoy a special visit to the National Kiwi Hatchery. Then, visit the Agrodome to learn more about one of the country’s major industries – sheep! Continue to Te Puia, Rotorua’s most prominent thermal area. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)TOUR HIGHLIGHTCONSERVATION HEROES Only about 5% of all Kiwi birds hatched in the wild survive to adulthood making them endangered. At The National Kiwi Hatchery, you’ll see conservation in action. Known as the national leader in hatching techniques and kiwi chick rearing, you’ll see each stage a kiwi chick goes through before being released into the national parks. 100% of your entry goes straight back to the Kiwi hatching program.ENHANCED FREE TIME EXPLORE MORE in Rotorua with an optional floatplane flightseeing excursion of this beautiful region, join a New Zealand family for dinner in their home, or indulge yourself in the relaxing hot springs, sumptuous spa treatments and massage therapies at the Polynesian Spa. This and more options are available throughout your tour at MyGlobus. Your Tour Director and your GlobusGO mobile app have all the tips and guidance to enjoy your free time.
Day 27 ROTORUA–WAITOMO–AUCKLAND The High Life Depart Rotorua and cross over the Mamakue ranges to the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Then, travel through the green pastoral region of Waikato to Auckland. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,D)LOCAL FAVORITELOCAL TASTES Join your Tour Director and fellow travel companions for a festive [LF] farewell dinner atop Auckland’s Sky Tower. Enjoy 360-degree views of the city and harbor below as the dining room rotates once every hour providing a unique experience. The perfect ending to your vacation!TOUR HIGHLIGHT NATURAL WONDERS Your visit to Waitomo Glowworm Caves starts with a guided tour through the limestone chambers, delicate formations, and passages of the cavern. Next, discover an ancient world of 30 million years in the making and marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. See the lights of thousands of these tiny creatures as they radiate their light in a subterranean world. The glowworm (Arachnocampa Luminosa) is unique to New Zealand making the Waitomo Glowworm Caves an absolute must-do.
Day 28 AUCKLAND Until We Meet Again! Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Melbourne is a maze of hidden laneways, opulent bars, exclusive restaurants and off-the-beaten-track boutiques. Here you can soak up culture, hit the sporting grounds, taste the dynamic food and wine scene, dance til dawn or wander the parks and leafy boulevards. Visit Federation Square, the city's landmark cultural space, and enjoy a sunset beer on the St Kilda promenade. Shop till you drop on funky Brunswick Street or upmarket Chapel Street. Wander Southbank's cafes, bistros and bars and get a world tour of cuisines in Carlton, Richmond and Fitzroy. Take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and cheer with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Five Must-Have Melbourne Experiences:
1. Shop till you drop
Bag a bargain at the Rose Street Artist's Market and browse the funky boutiques on Brunswick Street. Buy designer labels such as Akira Isogawa and Zimmerman on Chapel Street in Prahran or in the historic Melbourne General Post Office, which covers an entire city block. For everything from fashion to furnishings at fantastic value, visit Bridge Road in Richmond. Melbourne is a shopper's haven, offering eclectic boutiques, high-end fashion, funky homeware stores and European style piazzas in the city's arcades and hidden laneways.
2. Bar hop and dance till dawn
Sip a cocktail in a converted sea container in Chinatown, enjoy a sunset beer in a St Kilda pub or listen to cabaret in lush retro surroundings in jazz bars in the city. Linger over exquisite tapas and exotic wine in a Little Collins Street bar and mingle in a pink parlour with fake grass in Bourke Street. You can party from dusk in the bars of Brunswick Street. Or dance till dawn in bars in the city's lantern-lit laneways, secret apart from the spill of coloured light under heavy brass doors.
3. Get into the gourmet goodness
Let the aroma of good coffee waft over you in Melbourne's gothic European laneways. The city is famous for its coffee and old-world café culture but there's so much more to explore. Once you've downed a 'short black' or taken an afternoon aperitif, try tea in a nineteenth-century hotel or salivate over your silver spoon in acclaimed restaurants like Nobu, Botanical and Becco. Pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood at the Queen Victoria Market on a Saturday, known for its bustling crowds and buskers. Try out the restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars in Southbank or Federation Square. Make your way around Melbourne's multicultural cosmos of cuisines: Carlton for Italian classics, Richmond for budget-friendly Vietnamese and Fitzroy for Spanish tapas.
4. Fill up on culture
See a performance by the Australian Ballet, which is based here in Australia's cultural capital. Or enjoy a dazzling musical at the Princess Theatre. Browse the Southern Hemisphere's best collection of international art at the National Gallery of Victoria. Or visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square, a landmark cultural 'space' for Melbournians. Challenge yourself with the creative collections in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank. To learn more about Melbourne's Aboriginal cultural heritage, see contemporary and dreamtime art or take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
5. Go sports mad
Cheer for an Australian Rules Football game with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over winter. Go cricket mad in summer, when the city hosts the Ashes and one day internationals. Or join the huge crowds watching the Australian Tennis Open at Melbourne Park. Rev heads head to Melbourne in March for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Albert Park. And whether you are a racing fan or just a casual punter, you won't want to miss the Melbourne Cup - the world's richest horse race on the first Tuesday in November.
Don't miss this small, scenic capital, famous for its Georgian buildings and crisp air. Browse bustling Salamanca Markets and run your hands over the sandstone buildings in Salamanca Place. Climb craggy Mount Wellington for sweeping views over Hobart and the wide Derwent River. Do a ghost tour in Battery Point, walk across Australia's oldest bridge in Richmond and visit the cute coastal hamlet of Kettering. Wind past forest and farmland to the cool-climate wineries of the Coal Valley. See bright spinnakers on the water and dine on fresh seafood from one of Hobart's waterside restaurants.
Five must-have Hobart experiences:
1. Wander Salamanca Place
Step back in time in Salamanca Place, the captivating cobblestone square on Hobart's waterfront. On Saturday mornings, you can wander through bustling Salamanca Markets and see glassblowers, potters and painters selling their wares. Buy a one-off piece of craft or pick up organic fruit and vegetables, farmhouse cheeses and freshly-cut flowers from the friendly local growers. Drink coffee under the sun umbrellas while listening to the slap of sails on masts and busking string quartets. Explore the galleries, theatres, craft shops and restaurants in the 1830s Georgian warehouses, once the haunt of sailors, whalers and workmen.
2. Climb Mount Wellington
Take in panoramic views over Hobart, Bruny Island, South Arm and the Tasman Peninsula from the interpretation centre at the top of windswept Mount Wellington. Stroll through cool forested gullies along the historic Pipeline Track or traverse Wellington Range on the back of a horse or mountain bike. Climb Sphinx Rock and see the Octopus Tree, the forest's tallest tree. Abseil or climb the Organ Pipe's craggy dolerite towers. Camp under the stars, four wheel drive along rough mountain trails or bike-ride down the mountain on an exhilarating tour. Mount Wellington's wilderness experience is 1,270 metres above sea level but just 20 minutes from the city centre.
3. Stay in Hobart's oldest suburb
Stay in bed and breakfasts next to grand old mansions and simple fishermen's cottages in Battery Point, named after a battery of guns put on the point in 1818. The guns have long been dismantled but Battery Point has retained its original seafaring charm. Visit elegant old buildings such as Arthur Circus Cottages, St. George's Anglican Church and Van Diemen's Land Folk Museum, a Georgian building on landscaped grounds. Check out Kelly's Steps, built by legendary adventurer James Kelly in 1839. Or walk in the footsteps of convicts, bushrangers, whalers, sailors, barmaids and prostitutes on a ghost tour.
4. Visit Richmond and Kettering
You can walk across Australia's oldest bridge and stand in the cell of its oldest jail in picturesque Richmond, a 30-minute drive north-east from Hobart. Explore the cobblestone streets by the lantern light of a ghost tour or picnic on the banks of the Coal River. Check out local art and craft in the galleries and cafes. On your way back to Hobart, stop off at one of the Coal Valley's many wineries. South from Hobart, you'll find the sleepy seaside town of Kettering on the shores of the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Have lunch watching the yachts and fishing boats bob on the sheltered harbour or take the ferry to Bruny Island.
5. Fill up on seafood and fine wine
Savour classic cool-climate wines at the cellar doors and wineries of the Coal River Valley, Derwent Valley and Huon Valley, all a short drive from Hobart. You can team them with a plate full of fresh produce in a sunny vineyard restaurant. Feast on freshly shucked oysters at Barilla Bay and fresh-off-the-boat fish from Salamanca Markets. Or you can watch the catch being unloaded from the balcony of one of Hobart's waterside restaurants. Wrap yourself in the aroma of ground coffee in the cafes of Salamanca Place. Or spice up your holiday with a meal at one of Hobart's many great Indian eateries.
This elegant city is known for its colonial stone architecture, expansive parklands, lively festivals and incredible sense of space. Explore the museums and libraries of North Terrace, dine on dedicated 'eat streets' or picnic in gardens that sprawl over almost half the city. Go bike riding in Botanic Park or row past rose gardens in Rymill Park. Swim with dolphins or learn to sail in Glenelg or fish from the jetty in Henley. Just beyond the city centre you'll find the picturesque Adelaide Hills and the world-class wineries of the Barossa Valley.
Five ways to immerse yourself in Adelaide:
1. Hit the eat streets
Sample everything from Asian fusion to Argentine cuisine in the exotic, bustling foodhalls of Chinatown. Embrace the alfresco ambience of Rundle Street in Adelaide's East End or live it up in one of the city's many elegant wine bars and fashionable restaurants. Enjoy a beach sunset with your meal in the coastal suburbs of Glenelg and Henley Beach or wind down with a wine at the National Wine Centre. If you're a fresh food addict, Adelaide Central Markets offer premium produce from growers across the state.
2. Feel green and serene in Adelaide's parks
Hire paddleboats and bikes in Elder Park or row past formal rose gardens in Rymill Park. Picnic in the local's beloved Botanic Park or cycle from the hills to the coast in River Torrens Linear Park. For serious tranquility, head to the classic Japanese oasis of Adelaide-Himjei Garden. Adelaide's 29 parks take up almost half of the city, and come with walking trails, quiet spaces and sporting fields for everything from football to archery.
3. Head for the coast
Swim with dolphins or learn to sail in Glenelg, which bustles with sidewalk cafes, alfresco dining and summer entertainment. In the beach suburb of Henley, you can fish from the jetty or go on a culinary world tour at the ethnic food stores and eateries. Explore the museums, markets and historic harbour of Port Adelaide, the city's maritime heart. Or see heritage buildings and colourful summer sideshows in family-friendly Semaphore. Further along the spectacular Le Fevre Peninsula, you can swim on protected beaches and walk one of the state's few heritage-listed jetties at Largs Bay.
4. Soak up Aboriginal and European heritage
Do a cultural tour of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens with traditional custodians the Kaurna people. You'll learn how native plants have been used for sustenance, shelter, ceremonies and medicines for thousands of years. Browse the world's largest collection of Aboriginal antiquities at the Aboriginal Cultures Gallery at the South Australian Museum and visit Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Adelaide also has a proud European heritage for you to explore -in the museums and libraries of North Terrace, in Adelaide Town Hall and in Port Adelaide, the state's first declared heritage area.
5. Escape to the hills
Drive to the Adelaide Hills, where the picturesque farmlands and charming villages have inspired many generations of artists. Stay in Bavarian-inspired chalets and browse the bakeries, craft shops and galleries of Hahndorf, Australia's oldest surviving German village. Visit The Cedars, once the gracious old home and studio of famous landscape artists Sir Hans Heysen. Then hit the markets of Lobethal, a fairytale town which celebrates Christmas with metres and metres of colourful lights.
Soak up Darwin's balmy weather and the melting pot of food and cultures in the city's many outdoor festivals and markets. Then explore the region's dramatic history - from World War II air raids to Cyclone Tracey - in the museums and galleries. Sail Darwin harbour at sunset, cruise next to crocodiles and bushwalk through monsoon forest. Swim in the crystal-clear waterholes of Litchfield National Park and visit the colourful communities of the Tiwi Islands. This vibrant, tropical capital has a youthful energy you'll find hard to resist.
Five ways to discover Darwin and its surrounds:
1. At festivals, markets and on the harbour In Darwin, the action happens outside - in markets, parks, by the beach or on boats. You can join the locals with a crate and a plate of sizzling satay at The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets from May to October. Or watch them build boats out of beer or soft drink cans at the annual Darwin Beer Can Regatta in July. At the Deckchair Cinema from April to November you can watch movies under a canopy of stars with a drink from the bar and a picnic dinner. Soak up Darwin's tropical weather with a harbourside dinner at Cullen Bay Marina or a sunset harbour cruise complete with a history lesson.
2. With wildlife and in tropical parklands
Cycle past orchids and bromeliads and traditional Aboriginal plants in George Brown Botanic Gardens. Swim, have a sunset barbecue and explore sacred Aboriginal sites at Casuarina Coastal Reserve. In Berry Springs Nature Park, you can spot birds in monsoon forest and fish in the crystal clear swimming holes. Get up close to fish, birds-of-prey, nocturnal animals and reptiles in the Territory Wildlife Park, a 45-minute drive from Darwin. Have a close crocodile encounter at Crocodylus Park, the Darwin Crocodile Farm or on a crocodile cruise along Darwin's coastal fringe and rivers.
3. Hot on the heels of history
Learn more about Darwin's rich Aboriginal heritage in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Here you can also relive the tragic Cyclone Tracy which hit Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974. See the Chinese Temple it nearly destroyed in Litchfield Street. Darwin endured 64 Japanese air raids in World War II, and you can watch dramatic footage of the bombings and visit the bunker where Top End defense strategy was planned at East Point Military Museum. See original B52 bomber planes at the Aviation Heritage Centre and a network of walking trails leading to World War II oil tunnels around the Wharf Precinct. In Myilly Point Historical Precinct you can see some of the few surviving cottages designed by architect B.C.G Burnett in the colonial style popular before World War II.
4. Under the waterfalls of Litchfield National Park
Make time for a day trip to the waterfalls and plunge pools, wildlife and birdlife, ranges and rainforest of Litchfield National Park, a one-and-a-half hour drive from Darwin. Swim in the crystal-clear swimming hole at the base of Florence Falls and bush-walk through monsoon rain-forest to Walker Creek. Picnic next to roosting fruit bats at Wangi Falls and see sweeping valley views at Tolmer Falls. Take a wildlife cruise on the Reynolds River, part of a working cattle station. Explore this Tarzan landscape with traditional Aboriginal owners the Wagait people or peer into a pastoral past in the ruins of Blyth Homestead.
5. On a trip to the Tiwi Islands
Join in the excitement of the Tiwi Islands Grand Football Final, held every March in Nguiu. Browse and buy Tiwi art, distinctive for its strong design, decorative features and vivid colours. Take billy tea and damper tea with Tiwi ladies as they demonstrate traditional weaving and painting. Then watch them perform a traditional dance and a smoking ceremony to clear bad spirits. Catch big barramundi on a fishing tour on the Tiwi coast. You'll find a warm welcome and a lush landscape of rainforest, beaches and rock pools on Melville and Bathurst Islands, together known as the Tiwi Islands. Explore them on a day or overnight tour, traveling a 20-minute flight or two-hour ferry from Darwin.
Soak up Sydney’s gorgeous harbour, seductive outdoor lifestyle and great natural beauty. Kayak under the Sydney Harbour Bridge or wave at the Opera House as you ride a ferry across the harbour to Manly. Learn to surf at Bondi Beach or swim in the calm waters of Coogee. Lose yourself in the cobblestone cul-de-sacs of The Rocks or in the markets, boutiques, cafes and pubs of Paddington. As well as a world-famous harbour and more than 70 sparkling beaches, Sydney offers fabulous food, festivals and 24-7 fun.
Five Sydney Experiences Not to Miss:
1. Explore the historic Rocks
Discover Sydney’s colorful convict history in the harbourside quarter where it all began. Just five minutes from Circular Quay, you can hear stories of hangings and hauntings on a ghost tour, wander the weekend markets or climb the span of the Harbour Bridge. In amongst the maze of sandstone lanes and courtyards, you’ll find historic workman’s cottages and elegant terraces, art galleries, hotels with harbour views and Sydney’s oldest pubs. See people spill out of them onto a party on the cobblestone streets when The Rocks celebrates Australia Day on January 26th, Anzac Day on April 25th and New Years Eve.
2. Hit the world-famous harbour
Sail past the Opera House on a chartered yacht or paddle from Rose Bay in a kayak. Take a scenic cruise from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, past waterfront mansions, national parks and Shark, Clark, Rodd and Goat islands. Tour historic Fort Denison or learn about the life of Sydney’s first inhabitants, the Gadigal people, on an Aboriginal cultural cruise. Watch the harbour glitter from the green parklands of the Royal Botanic Gardens, which curves around its edge. Or take in the view from a waterfront restaurant in Mosman, on the northern side of the bridge, or Watsons Bay at South Head. Walk from Rose Bay to Vaucluse or Cremorne Point to Mosman Bay, on just some of the 16 spectacular routes hugging the harbour foreshore.
3. Visit Manly on the ferry
Travel across Sydney Harbour on a ferry to Manly, which sits between beaches of ocean surf and tranquil inner harbour. Wander through native bushland on the scenic Manly to Spit Bridge walk, learn to scuba-dive at Cabbage Tree Bay or ride a bike to Fairy Bower. Picnic at Shelly Beach on the ocean and sail or kayak from Manly Wharf round the harbour. Hire a scooter and do a round trip of northern beaches such as Narrabeen and Palm Beach. Explore the shops, bars and cafes along the bustling pine tree-lined Corso and dine at world-class restaurants with water views.
4. Enjoy café culture and top shopping in Paddington
Meander through the Saturday markets, browse fashion boutiques on bustling Oxford Street or discover the antique shops and art galleries in upmarket Woollahra. Visit the 1840s Victoria Barracks Army base, open to the public once a week, and see restored Victorian terraces on wide, leafy streets. Ride or roller-blade in huge Centennial Park, then stop for coffee and lunch on Oxford St or in the mini-village of Five Ways. Catch a movie at an art-house cinema or leaf through a novel at midnight in one of the huge bookstores. Crawl between the lively, historic pubs. They hum even more after a game at the nearby stadium or a race day, when girls and guys arrive in their crumpled trackside finery.
5. Walk from Bondi to Coogee
Take in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean as you walk the winding, sea-sculpted sandstone cliffs between Bondi and Coogee. Swim in the famous Bondi Icebergs rock pool or just watch the swimmers with a sunset cocktail from the restaurant above. See wild waves in Tamarama, nicknamed Glamarama for the beautiful people who lie on its golden sand. From mid-October to November, the stretch from here to Bondi is transformed into an outdoor gallery for the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. You can surf, picnic on the grass or stop for a coffee at family-friendly Bronte. Or swim, snorkel or scuba dive in Clovelly and tranquil Gordon’s Bay. See the graves of poets Henry Lawson, Dorothea Mackellar and aviator Lawrence Hargrave in Waverley Cemetery, on the edge of the cliffs. Finish your tour in the scenic, backpacker haven of Coogee.
All fares are quoted in US Dollars.