Days 1 & 2: Sydney Bound
We meet our Tour Director and prepare for our overnight flight to the Land Down Under. Upon crossing the International Date Line, we lose a calendar day.
Day 3: Harbor Cruise
Early this morning we arrive in Sydney, Australia’s largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city. We’re introduced to Sydney’s sparkling waterfront playground during a delightful Captain Cook harbor cruise. Gain a glimpse of the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, the longest single span bridge in the world, sail past pristine parks, golden beaches and charming harborside neighborhoods. Afternoon finds us arriving at the Rydges World Square Hotel for two nights. Tonight become acquainted
with your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director at the Cyren Restaurant.
Day 4: Sydney Opera House
Today we discover this beautiful city with an expert local guide. We tour the famous Sydney Opera House and see many interesting landmarks, including the Queen Victoria Building, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park, bustling Kings Cross and popular Bondi Beach. During our luncheon in the Sydney Tower Revolving Restaurant, we enjoy panoramic views of the harbor and city. Later there’s time to visit the attractions of Darling Harbor or The Rocks. Darling Harbor is Sydney’s favorite destination for leisure and entertainment, with more than 40 restaurants, cafes, museums, theaters, parks and specialty shops. The Rocks is one of the most prestigious addresses in Sydney with its beautifully restored houses and buildings, spectacular views across the harbor and cobbled streets and pathways.
Day 5: Tropical Cairns & Sunset Cruise
This morning we fly to tropical Cairns in Far North Queensland. This is the gateway city to many of Australia’s natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy three pleasant nights at the Pacific Hotel Cairns adjacent to the waterfront and the casino. All rooms feature balconies with superb views of the harbor, mountains and parklands. Our sunset cruise sets the tone for an unforgettable evening. We cruise aboard the MV Crocodile Explorer and enjoy beautiful views of the Trinity Inlet waterways, mangroves and mountains in the magical early evening sun.
Day 6: Kuranda Scenic Train
We visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to explore the rich history of the world’s oldest living culture, dating back over 40,000 years. We join the descendants of the Tjapukai people on the foothills of the Barron Gorge Rainforest for a morning of interactive performances, activities and demonstrations. Sample traditional bush foods, learn to play the didgeridoo, throw and paint a boomerang, marvel at live dance performances and gain insight into ancient hunting methods and the medicinal value of native plants. After a delicious lunch in the Boomerang Restaurant we visit the picturesque mountain top village of Kuranda. There’s plenty of time to explore the Heritage Markets which are full of colorful and interesting arts and crafts before we experience one of the most spectacular rail excursions in the world - the Kuranda Scenic Train. Our journey provides unsurpassed views of World Heritage listed rain forest, steep ravines and picturesque waterfalls within the Barron Gorge National Park.
Day 7: Great Barrier Reef & Helicopter Ride
Today we experience one of the highlights of our tour, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. We cruise to Moore Reef located on the outer edge of the reef, the world’s largest living organism. The reef is one of Australia’s greatest national treasures and stretches more than 1,200 miles along the coast. We view vividly colored tropical fish and coral from the reef viewer, underwater observatory and glass bottom boat. Learn about the interesting fish and marine life that inhabit this underwater wonderland. Enjoy breathtaking sights of the Great Barrier Reef on an included scenic helicopter flight. Swim, snorkel or just relax in this beautiful marine setting.
Day 8: Brisbane & Lamington National Parks
This morning we fly to Brisbane, the subtropical capital of Queensland and one of Australia’s most livable cities. Our tour takes us into the Brisbane city center, past many historical and significant architectural buildings, including City Hall, Parliament House and St. John’s Cathedral. We travel south to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat located in the heart of one of the world’s great sub-tropical rain forests – World Heritage Lamington National Park. Enjoy a brief tour of the Retreat and facilities and get ready to explore the magnificent rain forest and its many attractions. Walk through the treetops on the famous Treetop Walk and inspect the extensive display of plants and flowers in the nearby botanical gardens. We overnight at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat for two delightful nights. Enjoy the night sky with its remarkable clarity and beauty. Never before has the Southern Cross been viewed so majestically. O’Reilly’s is a stargazer’s dream.
Day 9: O’Reilly’s Retreat
Start the day with O’Reilly’s famous bird walk and meet the hundreds of birds that feed each morning at the Retreat. During breakfast a rain forest guide will invite us to participate in the day’s guided activities. Guided walks, a four-wheel drive trip to magnificent locations and morning and afternoon tea are included. Tonight enjoy a nature presentation at the Retreat Theater or enjoy a guided walk to view nocturnal creatures such as possums, pademelons and glowworms.
Day 10: Crocodile Hunter’s Australia Zoo
We depart our secluded rainforest retreat and head north to the Sunshine Coast. The magnificent beaches along the Sunshine Coast make it a holiday destination for many Australians. We visit the Australia Zoo, situated in the shadow of the Glasshouse Mountains, home of legendary television personality, Steve Irwin the “Crocodile Hunter.” See colorful, soaring birds and those prehistoric legends, the big saltwater crocodiles in the Crocoseum. Experience hands-on animal encounters like nowhere else in the world. Pet a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, wallabies and see emus, wombats, dingoes, cassowaries and kookaburras. We arrive at our oceanfront home for the next three nights, the deluxe Monaco Resort in Caloundra. Enjoy stunning views from large ocean facing balconies at our tropical resort.
Day 11: Eumundi Markets Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Hospital
This morning we visit the world famous outdoor markets in Eumundi. More than 350 market stalls showcase a wonderful mix of local produce, arts, crafts and fashion. We enjoy lunch at the Ginger Café in Yandina located on the grounds of the world’s largest ginger factory. Enjoy a stroll through acres of exotic plant-life with beautiful water features and browse the largest selection of Buderim Ginger products in the world! Later we have the unique opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Steve Irwin’s Australian Wildlife Hospital. Steve’s dream was to provide a lifeline for nature’s innocent victims - providing sick, injured and orphaned wildlife with leading-edge treatment and rehabilitation before eventual release back to the wild. We will observe animals receiving treatment, converse with medical staff and learn more about Australia’s unique wildlife. The remainder of the afternoon is free to experience Caloundra’s charm and stroll along the coastal boardwalks beside Bulcock and Kings Beach.
Day 12: Noosa Eco-cruise
This morning we follow the stunning coastline rimmed with wide stretches of clean, white sand beaches to Noosa. We experience the rich history and natural beauty that earned Noosa the title of Queensland’s first UNESCO biosphere. The Noosa Eco-Cruise provides spectacular views of beaches, mountains, birds and marine life. We enjoy a short guided walk to discover native plants, then reboard our vessel for a generous morning tea in the shadow of the National Park. There’s time to stroll along Noosa’s famous Main Beach and visit fashionable Hastings Street, home to the best in boutiques, renowned cafes and restaurants. We gather this evening for our special Farewell Dinner.
Day 13: Fond Farewells
This morning we bid farewell to Australia. We recross the International Date Line and return home with cherished memories.
Price Per Person
ALL AIRFARE INCLUDED!
Double - $6799 per person
Single - $7899 per person
Deposit: $200 per person
Final Payment: March 8, 2017
Full refund 76 days prior to departure
To reserve your spot call Holiday Vacations toll-free at 1-800-826-2266
Contact the Alumni Association at 605-697-5198 or Annie Hanson, Alumni Relations Director with questions regarding Wonders of Australia and Jackrabbit Journeys.