The incredible mix of landscapes, awesome activities, friendly people & adventure is what makes Aussie so unique. If you’re wanting a taste of everything, then this is the perfect way to experience it all. See the endless landscapes of the Top End & the un-missable colours of the Red Centre icons like Kings Canyon, Uluru & the Olgas. Beach fun is on the cards too with loads of time on the East Coast. It’s all about getting amongst the good times in one of the world’s most fascinating places & it’s ready to be explored!
|Accommodations:|| Hotel, Outback bush camp, Lodge, Resort, Country Homestead, Eco Lodge, Hostel, Surf Village
as per itinerary
|Meals:|| , Breakfast, Dinner, Breakfast, Breakfast, Breakfast
as per itinerary
|Sightseeing:||East Coast and Northern Territory|
Fly over the international date line on your way to Australia.
Meet up with your fellow travellers and Contiki team before heading out to stunning Litchfield National Park. On the way, we stop by the termite mounds, a local natural curiosity. These mounds are up to 4 metres (13ft) high and are literally magnetic – your Tour Manager will fill you in on the details. Then we hit the famous falls that make up the park - four waterfalls pour over a wide plateau into deep, picture-perfect waterholes surrounded by thick rainforest. Experience this natural playground and take a dip in the transparent waters. Head back to Darwin & get ready for a night out on the town.
Check into your hotel & spend the rest of the day exploring Darwin.
Today, we hit the Darwin Museum and find out about the unlucky past of the Northern Territory’s capital. Later, we travel to Australia’s largest national park, Kakadu, known for its ancient rock art, some of which is up to 20,000 years old.
We spend the day exploring some of this 20,000 sq km World Heritage-listed site. It’s packed with swamps, rainforest, wetlands, woodlands, plants, insects and 75 different types of reptiles. Our included boat cruise takes us out onto Yellow Water, a lush inland lagoon. You’ll see some rock art, birdlife and even learn about the Aboriginal history of the area. We get the background on local indigenous culture at the Warradjan Cultural Centre before we explore the “rock galleries” of Ubirr, where time-old paintings line the cave walls. Depending on the season, you can watch the sun set over this stunning site before we head back to the hotel for dinner.
Kick start the day by cooling off in the swimming hole at Edith Falls, deep in the heart of the national park. In the afternoon, we arrive in riverside Katherine. There’s an optional cruise through the gorgeous Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge. This National Park serves up vivid orange cliffs and rock formations that have been carved out by the river over hundreds’ of years. Keep an eye open for fresh water crocs and learn about local wildlife and folklore from our Local Guide. Back in Katherine, your Tour Manager will organise an optional dinner tonight, so you can relax by the pool.
This morning, we pull into Mataranka Thermal Springs where you can have a swim in the thermal pools at a bush resort, where the mineral waters are a comfortable 34°C/93°F. Next up: the oldest pub in the Northern Territory, Daly Waters, licensed since 1893. Check out the knick-knacks and memorabilia that cover the walls of this Australian institution. Grab a bite to eat here and maybe meet a local character or two. We overnight in Tennant Creek, a “true blue” Aussie outback town, where you’ll get a feel for the size of Australia. In the middle of nowhere, this town is the only point of contact for the million acre cattle stations of the surrounding area.
As we leave the site of Australia's last gold rush, we're on to Karlu Karlu (the Devils Marbles). This afternoon we arrive in Alice Springs for a visit to the Alice Springs Reptile Centre where you hear about some of Australia’s the unique outback reptiles, and if you're brave enough, hold a python!
Jump start the day by learning about surviving in the bush with our included Aboriginal Bush Tucker tour. Our expert Aboriginal Guide will fill you in on the dos and don’ts of life in the bush and you’ll even get to taste insects and plants if you’re adventurous. Next up, Kings Creek Station. This working camel & cattle station serves up a real bush experience. Tonight, “go bush” and sleep under the open sky at our overnight bush camp where you’ll see the desert sky light up with thousands of stars.
After packing up camp, we hike through Kings Canyon. Your Tour Manager will tell you all about the incredible rock formations and show off this scenic landscape. Navigate your way through the “Lost City” (a series of giant sandstone domes) and hike to the “Garden of Eden” – a gorge packed with palm trees and a shaded water hole. Back on the coach, we drive by ancient Mt Connor for 360 degree views over the red desert before arriving at Yulara Resort. This environmentally designed resort is all about the outback and has a pool for you to cool off in after the drive. Tonight, catch the sun set over the UNESCO World Heritage listed Uluru (Ayers Rock). If you all put in some change, you can grab some nibbles and a bottle of champagne to toast this amazing view.
Start off the morning nice and early and watch the sun rise over this iconic natural wonder from the viewing area. Get familiar with Uluru when your Tour Manager takes you around its base and gives you the background of the spiritual significance of this site for Aboriginal people. For something different, choose an optional Harley Davidson ride or scenic flight. Learn more about indigenous culture at the Cultural Centre before visiting Kata Tjuta, which means “many heads” – this spot is famous for its 36 different rock formations. After sunset, you can kick back beside the pool at the resort, wander around town or just hang out with your friends.
It’s an easy-going start to the day today. Your Tour Manager will cook up a storm for breakfast, so load up on bacon & eggs! We swing by a traditional Australian roadhouse, and then pull back into Alice Springs. Tonight, join the group for an optional dinner at the Overlander Steakhouse, where you can try out kangaroo, crocodile, camel & steak while listening to Aussie folk songs.
Why not take the opportunity of a lifetime and see the dawn break over the MacDonnell Ranges from a hot air balloon? Later you’ll board your flight to Cairns to begin your East Coast adventure.
Wake up to the warm waters of Cairns where there’s something for everyone. This is your chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef on an optional day trip. If you have always wanted to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef then this is your chance! There are scuba diving options for both certified and introductory divers (no experience necessary). Check out the amazing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, you are sure to see one of Nemo's cousins, tiny schooling fish right up to giant Maori wrasse and if you're lucky, even a small reef shark! There are local marine biologists on board to answer 'which fish is that?' Tonight you have the opportunity to try kangaroo fillets, amongst other delicious Australian delicacies during your included dinner at one of Cairns' most awarded restaurants. On day 2, for those who are keen for a fun and thrilling ride on the rapids of the Tully River, join our optional whitewater rafting adventure activity with our professional Local Guides. There are loads more activities available in Cairns like hot air ballooning, sky diving and bungy jumping – just ask your Tour Manager for some more info. Catch up with your new buddies to swap stories on your day at a local hot spot. The food and entertainment is sure to leave a lasting impression!
Relax on the coach with some tunes as we cruise past thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australia’s best whitewater rafting. Slowly leaving the tropics behind us, we hit Townsville for some free time. Check out the colonial buildings and get a feel for its maritime past as we drive down the esplanade and into town where you can grab some lunch. See vistas over Magnetic Island, a National Park and bird sanctuary, before we continue our travels south and board a boat out to stunning Daydream Island in the Whitsundays. As we cruise, soak up the crystal clear waters, white sands and mountain peaks of the islands.
After an included continental breakfast, the first day is free to enjoy the picture-perfect Whitsundays. If you’re keen to explore further afield and see the UNESCO listed Great Barrier Reef first hand, choose our optional trip to the Outer Barrier Reef. Our fun Local Guides will kit you out with snorkel gear and show you around this natural wonder. Otherwise, slow the pace down, kick back and make the most of the fantastic facilities available at the resort. Go for a rainforest walk, swim in the pool, get into some beach or water sports, try your hand at fish-feeding, catch a film at the big outdoor cinema or laze about on the beach. On the second day, get away from it all with our optional day sail. Check out some of the Whitsunday’s 74 islands from the boat - you’ll soon understand why this region is so famous. Experience what is known as one of the top ten beaches in the world, the uninhabited Whitehaven Beach. Swim off the boat and play beach volleyball or cricket with the local skipper and crew before enjoying a tasty lunch and a few drinks on the way back to Daydream Island.
Today you head back to the mainland, plug in you ipod or chat with friends as we drive through scenic Mackay, with countryside full of vibrant green vegetation and sugar cane plantations. Continue down the Capricorn Coast and head inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queensland’s cattle country, for our overnight stay. During our time at Langmorn, a working cattle station, you’ll experience a taste of real Aussie country life. The owners will show you around the enormous property in a behind-the-scenes look at daily life on the farm. Taste local hospitality tonight as your welcoming hosts pile your table high with a hearty roast beef and vegetables (like you've never tasted before) followed by an indulgent home made decadent desert. Later, have a go at whip cracking an authentic leather stock whip under night lights before heading back inside for traditional Aussie bush dancing. Have some fun and a giggle with some evening karaoke. See if you can spot the 'Southern Cross' amongst a chandelier of stars, a constellation only visible in the southern hemisphere & featured on the Australian flag.
After breakfast we drive back out to the coast and jump on board a ferry. Enjoy the cruise out to famous Fraser Island, where we’ll stay at an eco-lodge for our time here. Each cabin has its own kitchenette and living room, as well as a balcony – perfect for hanging out and listening to the sounds of the bush surrounding your lodge. If you're done with the pool and spa, you could take a stroll along the sand, check out the busy crabs on their evening march up the beach or the fish that dart amongst the jetty pylons. Make yourself comfortable on the beach and take in a unique sunset over the water near the Jetty Hut. Tonight, grab a bite to eat at one of the resort restaurants, then grab your dancing shoes and use the coloured chalk to write on the walls of the popular Dingo Bar.
Experience a slice of paradise on Fraser Island this morning. This UNESCO World Heritage listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 fresh-water lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation. There’s a regular shuttle from our accommodation down to the main resort area so you can take off and explore at your own pace. If you want to get a taste of the island action, there’s also the option of jumping on 4 wheels on a 4WD adventure through the island’s sandunes, rainforests & freshwater lakes. Our Local Guide will show you some of the island’s best spots and hidden treasures – make sure you keep your camera handy - this is one of Australia’s most beautiful regions. Once we’re back on the mainland, Noosa is up next. It’s a trendy beach resort town. Have a chat to the locals and maybe get to know a surf lifesaver tonight at your included dinner at Noosa Surf Life Saving Club. Later if you want to take it up a level, head out into the town & explore Noosa by night.
There’s time to explore Noosa this morning so take a stroll through the shops or sunbathe and swim at the beach before we make our way south. We also stop off in Brisbane today. You’ll get a feel for the capital of Queensland’s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town. Tonight we pull into legendary Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast’s party hot spot and home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world. Grab some of your new friends and join the party atmosphere of Surfers tonight. With loads of restaurants and buzzing nightlife, there’s something for everybody. Head to the happening Orchid or Cavill Avenues, where clubs and bars line the street or shoot some pool at the pub.
With a free day, hang out among the bronzed bodies, bikini babes and surfer dudes on the golden sands. Check out what Surfers is most famous for, the three kilometers of gorgeous natural beaches. Kick back and spot some locals showing off their talents in the waves. If you want to get amongst the action there’s so much happening in Surfers Paradise you are spoilt for choice. You could head up into the Hinterland Mountains on a 4WD trip, visit South Stradbroke Island on a kayaking safari or spend all day at Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's Zoo, Australia Zoo. For adrenaline-junkies, there’s an optional tandem skydive or Tiger Moth biplane flight, where you can get your thrills and an amazing bird’s eye view over the Pacific Ocean and myriad of rivers and estuaries that make up the area. Our hotel is only a short walk from both the beach and downtown Surfers Paradise so you could also hit the shops – Surfers has some great places to shop and a huge outlet mall for bargains, so get some tips from your Tour Manager on where’s best to head.
This morning, we visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you’ll get up close to Australia’s amazing native animals. Cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and see wombats, emus, crocodiles, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and colourful birds. You can feel good about doing this too, as our visits to this not-for-profit organisation go towards the sanctuary’s animal hospital and help over 4000 injured animals every year. Next up: cross the Queensland/New South Wales state boarder to one of Aussies not-to-be-missed spots - gorgeous Byron Bay. With a laid-back lifestyle, cute little shops, organic food, alternative therapies and around 30km of pretty beaches, it’s a must see. Byron Bay is situation on a marine park also known for its incredible marine life. Head out to Cape Byron, the mainland Australia’s most easterly point and see the local pod of dolphins and if you’re lucky the seasonal humpback whales. Grab some lunch back in town and maybe take a swim at the beach. There are loads of other things on offer here too, like a sea kayaking adventure where you catch up with a family of dolphins at Wategos beach, their curiosity often brings them right up next your kayak, and snorkeling at Middle reef home to turtles, rays, corals, eels, starfish and sharks.
This morning you’ll wake up to more good times in Byron Bay. Maybe head to the beach for a swim or a wander round town before it’s time to leave the chilled out atmosphere behind after lunch. Later, there’s more beach action. Tonight we’ll stay in Coffs Harbour, home to surf beaches, fishing and banana plantations. This is a chance for a unique experience with our overnight Special Stay experience – we’re staying at a Surf Village! This afternoon it’s time for an awesome Aussie experience - hit the waves & learn to surf with some professional instructors as you have a go at surfing! Join some of the coolest people on the planet as you get involved with Australia's beach culture. It’s a fun way to learn how to surf as our professional local instructors show you just how it’s done. Our cabins are right on the beach, so soak up the surf vibes, top up your tan and relax by the open fire under the stars tonight.
This morning, chill out on the coach and chat with your travel buddies as we head south. We pass the iconic Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, before heading to Port Macquarie for lunch. Relax & spend a last few hours with your travel buddies… it’s a chilled out day before reaching Sydney. From the high-energy downtown area to its popular beaches, Sydney has something for everyone. Get familiar with the city on a sightseeing tour with your Tour Manager. First up, we head into the historic Macquarie Street district, before we make a stop at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a famous sandstone seat carved by convicts where you’ll get an overview of the glistening harbour. You’ll soon understand why this is one the world’s most beautiful harbour cities. See the sails of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Sydney Opera House and the iconic Harbour Bridge. We will pass the iconic ‘Coke Cola Sign’ and cruise along ‘the Strip’ of Kings Cross, and hear stories of the underbelly of Sydney’s Red Light District.
Say a final farewell to your new friends as your trip ends this morning.
All these highlights along with city sightseeing are included in your tour price!