Project Description

Sydney, Melbourne, and Cairns, Australia’s most talked-about hubs, balance a healthy dose of culture and adventure. Take time to experience the cultural center that is Melbourne, checking out international restaurants, elegant buildings and parks galore. Next you’ll move onto Cairns, the perfect metropolitan hub to the northern beaches, Australia’s largest coastal rainforest and a plethora of national parks. One thing’s for sure, there’s no shortage of adventure in these parts. Lastly, you’ll finish up your time in Australia in Sydney – the most iconic of them all. Take in the Opera House, view the city from atop the Harbour Bridge or people watch on trendy Oxford Street. With plenty of time to experience these three exceptional cities, the Australian Experience is the perfect customizable itinerary built to suit anyone’s needs.

Day 1 – USA to Melbourne

Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary.

Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line

Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole – and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.

Day 3 – Welcome to Melbourne, Australia

At first glance, Melbourne may resemble any other modern city with its skyline full of concrete and glass. However, if you look a little closer, you’ll find the real Melbourne, a city of unique charm. There are the clanging trams (street cars), swanky boutiques, friendly taxi drivers, Australian Rules Football, fickle weather and ‘BYO’s’, by the hundred (restaurants to which you bring your own liquor or wine). Add to this, Melbourne’s traditional virtues of tree lined boulevards, glorious parks, elegant buildings and imposing Victorian Banks and Churches, and of course the giant Melbourne Cricket Ground and you’ll have some idea of the city.

Melbourne has become a polyglot society with a huge diversity of cultures, Italian, Greek, East European, Middle Eastern and Asian. This diversity is reflected in the food styles, the lifestyle, and even the language spoken in the street.

Day 4 – Lanes & Arcades Walking Tour

Have you ever been to a city and wondered what all the fuss was about? Or wasted time trying to find that cool local cafe you were told of, then ended up missing everything? Melbourne’s arcades and laneways hide many of these answers. Join this indulgent morning walk through Melbourne’s beautiful back streets, and become orientated in the life of the city that locals love.

Discover local designers and specialty retailers that often are only found in the city. Some of the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, architecture, and historical tales are found in these walkways, there is something for everyone, locals and visitors alike.

Day 5 – Yarra Valley Wine Experience

Renowned for its quality wines, specialty foods and breathtaking scenery, the Yarra Valley is the ideal place to enjoy a day away from the city. Depart Melbourne for the Yarra Valley where your day will start by learning how to swirl, sniff and slurp some of Yering Station’s award winning Australian wines. You will spend time at the tasting table, a great opportunity to make a wine selection for lunch.

Next, head off to Yering Farm to learn some true winemaking techniques. Finally, visit Domaine Chandon, French champagne company Moet & Chandon’s Australian production house. Enjoy a guided tour and a relaxing glass of Australia’s best bubbly before heading back to Melbourne.

Day 6 – At leisure, Melbourne

Melbourne, the capital of Victoria and a cultural hub, is known for the good things in life – fashion, food, entertainment and sport. This is a city of style, architecture, trams, theaters and art. The influence of decades of immigration from all over the world has made Melbourne a paradise for those who love food and wine.

Whole streets are dedicated to food, whether it is Indian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, or a host of other styles. You can’t miss the world-class wines either. You’ll barely meet a visitor who hasn’t fallen in love with Melbourne; rattling trams, parklands singing with blackbirds, stately architecture and palm trees.

This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.

Day 7 – Melbourne to Cairns

This morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Cairns.

The heart of the tropical north, Cairns offers great access to reef and islands and is a perfect base for exploring the wider region. With 600 day tours departing the city daily there is plenty to do.

Day 8 – Michaelmas Cay Reef Excursion

Depart Cairns wharf on board the ‘Ocean Spirit’, a luxury 105ft sailing vessel – the largest of her kind in the world. Sail to Michaelmas Cay, known as the Isle of the Birds, a year-round home to thousands of sea birds of some 14 different species. Its spectacular coral reef, which thrives in the ideal conditions of clear, shallow, sunlit water, is home to a variety of marine life including giant clams and brilliant fish. Because Michaelmas Cay is a National Park, the fish are so tame you can feed them from the beach and birds know they are safe to wander among you with their chicks.

Lunch is a tropical smorgasbord, with morning and afternoon teas also available on board. You will spend four hours at the reef with time for a variety of activities. You may wish to do an introductory scuba dive with a qualified instructor (extra cost for this option, pre-booking recommended), or just laze on the beach. Enjoy a leisurely sail back to Cairns and afternoon tea, arriving back at the wharf late afternoon.

Day 9 – Walkabout Adventures Cultural Tour

Spend the day with a local Aboriginal tour guide, visiting a number of culturally significant areas and learning about the amazing relationships the Kuku Yalanji still have with their land. Learn the history, culture and traditions of the local Aboriginal people and the area.

Walk through the rainforest and coastal habitats learning about the environment, different foods and medicines utilized from nature, sample some bush tucker, collect shellfish and try traditional Aboriginal hunting practices, have a go at spear throwing and if you are lucky, catch a mud crab. To complete the adventure cool off in a pristine freshwater stream.

Day 10 – Kuranda Rail, Skyrail & Tjapukai

You will be transferred to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, where you will meet the Indigenous guide who will show you through the Park, including bush food demonstrations, didgeridoo demonstrations, movie theatres, fire making demonstrations and the famous Tjapukai Dance Troupe.

A short distance from Tjapukai is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Smithfield Terminal, where you will be amazed as you glide silently over the rainforest. There are 2 stations en route where you may alight and enjoy a walk through the rainforest to spectacular lookouts, or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Centre. Upon arrival in Kuranda, you have 2 hours free time to do your own exploring before heading back to Cairns.

Day 11 – Cairns to Sydney

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Sydney.

Sydney, a dazzling, vibrant city built around one of the world’s most beautiful harbors, with scores of sparkling beaches within easy reach of its cosmopolitan heart – that’s Sydney, capital of New South Wales.  Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest city, where the first settlers landed in 1788.   Situated on Sydney harbor, adjacent to Circular Quay, The Rocks is the site of Australia’s first European settlement. Colorful streetscapes and elegantly restored buildings house a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment venues and specialty shops.

Day 12 – Sydney Touring

The Rocks Dreaming, Aboriginal Heritage Tour
Be touched by the most ancient human culture on earth in a 90-minute leisurely walkabout with an Aboriginal guide in The Rocks, and journey into DreamTime, the culture of Aboriginal People. This tour experience is Aboriginal owned and was developed by Margret Campbell, a Dunghutti-Jerrinjah woman. The tour is led by Aboriginal guides who have her permission to share their cultural knowledge. The tour gives you the opportunity to discover how the ancient Aboriginal Dreaming is still alive within the modern Sydney landscape and how the billion-year old harbour, marine environment, sandstone strata, waterways, flora and fauna influenced how Aboriginal People lived in the area.

Bridge Climb
The Bridge Climb is a 3.5 hour guided journey to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It takes you along the outer arch of the bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 400 feet above Sydney Harbour. In climb groups of up to 14 people, you’ll be led by one of Bridge Climb’s professional Climb Leaders on an adventure of the world’s most recognizable bridge. The steady incline to the summit leaves you free to focus your attention on your Sydney experience, with opportunities to witness 360-degree views of Sydney, including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains and the Harbour city surrounds.

Day 13 – Sydney Harbour Cruise

Board a luxurious cruiser for a delightful lunch cruise on one of the world’s most beautiful harbors. A lively commentary on board provides you with knowledge of Australia’s history as well as plans for its future. Enjoy the amazing sights, on-the-harbor lunch, and peaceful cruise.

Day 14 – At leisure, Sydney

This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.

Day 15 – Sydney to USA