Tour OverviewIdeal AustraliaBegin the trip at Thala Nature Reserve, lodging amidst the mangroves and storied rainforest. The Great Barrier Reef is near and the Milky Way is visible from the observatory. Tour the Daintree Rainforest and the Lowland Tropics before moving onto Lizard Island. The northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island Resort is an intimate tropical retreat. World-renowned Mornington Peninsula is up next, featuring a stay at Jackalope Hotel, set in a picturesque vineyard. A Foodie Tour takes you to Melbourne where you will conclude the trip walking the electric Lanes and Arcades.Your Itinerary Includes: Roundtrip airport transfers 3 nights Port Douglas Half Day Daintree Rainforest tour 3 nights Lizard Island 2 nights Mornington Peninsula Foodies Journey Through the Mornington Peninsula 3 nights Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Walking Tour Phillip Island Ranger-Led Adventure Meals: 11 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
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Itinerary OverviewSwain Destinations: Ideal Australia
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Day 1 USA to Brisbane
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
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 Brisbane
Upon arrival into Brisbane, you will make your way to your flight to Cairns. Upon arrival, a driver will meet you in the baggage claim area to transfer you to your accommodation.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve
On a private peninsula surrounded by stretches of white beaches and dense rainforest teeming with life is Thala Beach Nature Reserve, which is located between Cairns and Port Douglas. The eco-friendly resort is spread out across 145 acres of protected natural area, ensuring that guests experience the unique and untouched ecosystem while conserving its fragile inhabitants. Beaches are quiet and clean, lined by ancient rainforests and mangroves while dolphins leap from the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. High grounds are home to tropical birds and butterflies, and at night, the Milky Way is visible from the resorts observatory. Suites and bungalows are scattered across the grounds and hidden away in manicured gardens, offering privacy, comfort and luxury. Sleep near the beach with calming ocean views or nestled in the jungle surrounded by the sounds of the forest. The main lodge, set among the eucalyptus, is home to the modern Australian restaurant, a free-form pool with hidden grottos and waterfalls and a relaxing massage studio.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Day 4 Half Day Daintree Rainforest
Enjoy a privately guided tour with a professional guide traveling over the top of the Daintree Rainforest to the very edge of the 'Outback' to observe the native wildlife. The ecosystems experienced are from the Lowland Wet Tropics of the coastal strip through the upper forests and out to the very edge of the wonderful Eucalypt Savannah Outback. Odyssey Bound is able to take you into the wilderness of Cape York with a unique look at local culture and history. It offers an insight into the many creatures generally unseen. The early departure allows for encounters with creatures that would otherwise be missed. Traveling off the beaten track in areas not visited by the mainstream, this safari is ideal for people that simply seek to explore a little more than the normal day tours. The itinerary is always flexible to enable full enjoyment of 'life's little surprises.' Wear comfortable shoes and bring that camera.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Day 5 Day at Leisure
Port Douglas is a Cinderella city located just over a 1-hour drive from Cairns. Once a sleepy, seaside hamlet, today Port(as it's called by locals)has transformed into a trendy, tropical resort. In a town where the building code dictates that nothing is taller than the palm trees, sleek resorts, sparkling white marina toys, and chic restaurants line the streets, while celebrities stretch out on the golden sand of Four Mile Beach, tending to their tans. Although it is easy to get star struck by the Port's shiny veneer, the town still has remnants of its humble beginnings, and colonial buildings can be found lazing in the shadows of 5-star hotels. It is almost symbolic how the road into town passes through stoic sugar-cane fields before widening into streets lined by prim palm trees - imported no less.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Day 6 Port Douglas to Lizard Island
This morning, you will be transferred to the Cairns Airport for your flight to Lizard Island. Upon arrival, you will be met by a representative of Eclipse Transport in the Arrivals Hall for your transfer to your accommodation.
Lizard Island, Australia's most northern island resort, is renowned for both diving (especially the "Cod Hole" where you can see huge moray eels and the famous potato cod) and game fishing for black marlin. Located on the Inner Great Barrier Reef (170 miles north of Cairns), Lizard Island offers a private paradise in an exclusive environment. The lodge appeals to discerning guests wanting to combine a nature experience with daytime water-based activities. Guests may choose as much privacy as they want; the activity generally centers around the main lodge building with an intimate tropical atmosphere. You may choose from dining indoors or alfresco on the veranda overlooking the majestic waters of Anchor Bay. For a romantic interlude, dine on the beach by the soft light of the moon, which is enhanced by the delicate flicker of flares. The Lodge's distinctive cuisine is based on dishes featuring the freshest seafood and tropical fruits. Your stay at Lizard Island includes gourmet meals, non-alcoholic beverages, a fine selection of wine, beer, basic spirits and Champagne, in-room minibars as well as deluxe picnic hampers for private beach outings.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7 Day at Leisure
Renowned for its powdery white sand beaches and spectacular diving opportunities, Lizard Island takes pride in being one of only a few to be nestled right on the Great Barrier Reef. While the fish may not respect your privacy, rest assured the staff on the island will. Lizard Island seamlessly blends indoors and out in an elegant open plan design - the essence of stylish Australian beachside living.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8 Day at Leisure
Lizard offers some of the best diving in the world, and with its enviable location right on the reef, you can be sure spectacular diving opportunities abound around this marine national park. Snorkelers are rewarded with coral gardens, brightly colored tropical fish and giant clams just moments from the island's beaches. Discover secluded, pristine beaches by foot or by motorized dinghy with a gourmet picnic just for two. Try a gentle bush walk, sailing, fishing or a glass bottom boat trip, or perhaps indulge in the serenity of a treatment at the luxurious Azure Spa. Lizard is island luxury at its finest.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 9 Lizard Island to Mornington Peninsula
This morning, you will fly to Cairns for your flight to Melbourne. Upon arrival into Melbourne, a driver will meet you in the baggage claim area to transfer you to your Mornington Peninsula accommodation.
Set on a pristine winery amid the world-renowned Mornington Peninsula wine region, the Jackalope hotel is framed by picturesque Willow Creek Vineyard acreage. Fertile grazing land for over 100 years prior, the 11-hectare Willow Creek Vineyard was planted in 1989 and has become renowned for its single vineyard wines. The Jackalope provides guests with ample opportunity to not only drink in the gorgeous scenery but also taste the Peninsula's best wines, food and pastoral pleasures at the hotel's onsite winery restaurant, the Rare Hare. Yet another dining option onsite is the Doot Doot Doot restaurant which offers an ever-evolving five-course tasting menu drawing on seasonal offerings from the hotel's kitchen garden and select Mornington Peninsula producers. Stylish as well as tasty, the restaurant is lit with 10,000 lamp chandelier that creates the surreal sensation of fermenting wine bubbling above. The Jackalope's rooms and suites off an absolute in-room reverie. Interiors are lavished with custom-made comforts, while floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect the rooms contemporary design with its country entwine. And just beyond the windows the vineyard awaits.
Day 10 Day at Leisure
Breathe in the fresh sea air, sample innovative local cuisine, and soak up the relaxed alfresco lifestyle of the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour from Melbourne. Explore the galleries, spas and cafes in breezy seaside villages, cool off with a day on the beach, or escape to the hinterland for gourmet delights at boutique wineries.
Some activities you may enjoy include a state-of-the-art gondola ride at Arthurs Seat, the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, Australia’s oldest hedge maze, or some pampering at the Peninsula Hot Springs.
Day 11 Foodies Journey Through the Mornington Peninsula
This tour will end in Melbourne at your new accommodation.
Serious food lovers are in for a treat. Prepare to be constantly inspired and delighted by this diverse, boot-shaped region; you are now entering "Foodie Heaven." Our hosts' own 27 acres of charming farm land with red fertile soil allows them to grow and produce premium quality olives, grapes, herbs and veggies. They also raise sheep, chickens and fish, and they turn amazing produce from local farmers into a range of delectable goodies. You'll get a whole new perspective on the concept of 'Paddock to Plate.' Spend time in the kitchen with the chef, cooking in a wood-fired oven with wood collected from fallen timber on the property. What you do on the day depends on the season. You may try your hand at curing olives grown on the farm, create handmade sausages in natural skins, make mouth-watering gnocchi, master the art of sourdough bread, learn ways to cook with olives and olive oil or successfully roast and make great coffee. Later, you'll sit back, relax and enjoy the surroundings while eating and drinking some of the finest food and wine the Mornington Peninsula has to offer. After lunch, take a drive down the road to sample cool climate wines with one of our favorite wine makers, taste freshly made goats cheese from a local dairy or savor succulent strawberries and cherries from the fruit farms in the area. What more could a foodie want?
Crown Towers Hotel, Melbourne
Nowhere in the country, indeed the Southern Hemisphere, is there an entertainment complex with the excitement and style of Crown. At the glittering heart of Melbourne's world-class Crown Entertainment Complex is the luxurious Crown Towers Hotel. With a reputation for beautiful parks and gardens, wonderful shopping, spectacular special events and a rich tapestry of art and culinary fare, Melbourne is truly one of the world's most exciting cities. The five-star Crown Towers hotel is ideally located on the banks of the Yarra River which is a short stroll from the vibrant central business district and arts precinct. With 500 rooms and suites, convention and meeting facilities, business centers and the luxurious Crown Spa, it is the perfect destination for travelers.
Meals: B, L
Day 12 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 café 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.
Meals: B, L
Day 13 Phillip Island Ranger-Led Adventure
This is the ultimate way to experience the beauty and nature of Phillip Island. Spend the afternoon with exclusive access to one of the island's Nature Parks Rangers. They are passionate experts with knowledge of the island's flora and fauna, unique and varied bird-life plus the fascinating indigenous Aboriginal History of this small yet diverse island. The tour is uniquely tailored to the passions and interests of the guests to offer an insight into what is happening on the island away from the crowds. During your adventure, you will also come face to face with Australia's most iconic marsupial at the Koala Conservation Centre. You'll also catch a glimpse of the world's second largest Australian Fur-Seal Colony through the interactive cameras at the Nobbies Centre. Complete an unforgettable day with one of the world's greatest wildlife wonders. Enjoy the sunset return of the Little Penguins on 'The Ultimate Penguin Tour'; it's perfect for those who want a more personalized and intimate wildlife experience. This fully accredited eco-tour is restricted to no more than 10 visitors per night. It is held on a stunning, secluded beach with guests receiving informative commentary by rangers through personal headphones as they view penguins with the use of night-vision technology. For dinner, we invite you to dine on delicious local produce and take in panoramic ocean views.
Meals: B, D
Day 14 Melbourne to USA
This morning, you will be transferred to the Melbourne Airport for your flight back to the USA.
Tour Dates & Pricing
- Wednesday April 1st, 2020 - Wednesday September 30th, 2020
- Thursday October 1st, 2020 - Wednesday March 31st, 2021