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adventure travel trip to Australia
Get up close to the bouncing kangaroos!
Dates
  • Flexible departures joining small groups
  • Duration 9 days
    Group Size 4-12
    Land Cost $5,250 Details
    Single Supplement $695
    Lodging 3 stars-4 stars
    Grade I
    Best Time

    The Great Wild South

    Wildlife and amazing places along Australia's southern coast

    Day 1      Melbourne

    Upon arrival in Melbourne, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Later, your guide will meet you for an afternoon tour, where you’ll discover the diversity of this multi-cultural city. See historical buildings, beautiful gardens, and shopping areas famous for their restaurants and fashions. Melbourne is the sporting city, and Melbourians are passionate about their Aussie Rules footy and almost all sports known to mankind. Travel past the sporting precinct that became famous in the 1956 Olympic Games and now roars to the cheers of Aussie Rules crowds each weekend, and the nearby Rod Laver Tennis Center that hosts the Australian Tennis Open each year. Melbourne is home to people from all over the world and this cultural diversity is expressed in the food and fashion centers. Walk along the shopping strips of traditional Toorak, funky Chapel Street, or cultural Vietnamese Bridge Street. Return to the Melbourne Botanical Gardens for tea near the banks of the Yarra River. Next, drive to the Italian precinct of Lygon Street and see the historic Exhibition Buildings alongside the ultramodern Melbourne Museum.

    Day 2      Western Plains Wildlife Safari

    To begin your journey your naturalist guide leads you into “real Australia” to see kangaroos, koalas, and abundant birdlife. You will learn about native animals and plants both in the famous open-range grasslands of Serendip Sanctuary on the Western Plains and in the bush lands of Brisbane Ranges National Park. These environments provide the perfect introduction to Australia's unique wildlife. See kangaroos in large free-roaming groups. Spot emus, wallabies, koalas, and other unique Australian wildlife and enjoy a delicious bush lunch. The Brisbane Ranges are home to a large and healthy population of wild koalas, and you are unlikely to miss out on multiple sightings of these delightful creatures. Your guide will also share with you the great significance of the Western Plains to aboriginal people, and you will discover the rich aboriginal heritage of Australia. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at one of the many delightful restaurants or pubs of Geelong. Stay overnight at a bed & breakfast in the provincial coastal town of Geelong.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Learn about aboriginal heritage
    Day 3      Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles

    Today, you will see some of the world's most spectacular coastal scenery. Follow the Great Ocean Road to the surging surf coast and the magnificent rainforests of Otway National Park. Travel through Port Campbell National Park and let your imagination go wild along the rugged Shipwreck Coast. Linger a while to take in some of nature's handiwork at the 12 Apostles, the Loch Ard Gorge, and the surrounding huge limestone cliffs. Have dinner this evening at a local pub and stay at a delightful bed & breakfast over looking the beautiful Hopkins River.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 4      Western Plains Volcanoes & Lakes

    This morning, have one last look at the coast in the dramatic morning light before returning to Melbourne across the vast grasslands of the Western Plains. Created by intense volcanic activity over the past 2 million years, the 7,000 volcanoes of the Western Plains are now extinct, but the resultant savannah is now pasture to the richest wool growing area on earth. Stop en route to Melbourne for a drive to the top of an extinct volcano, which provides spectacular views across the plains.
    From the summit, you will see some of the hundreds of volcanic lakes scattered across the plains. Later, stop at Lake Corangamite, the largest permanent saline lake in Australia, which is often covered with prolific birdlife. Return to your hotel in Melbourne in the late afternoon.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Spectacular views across the countryside
    Day 5      Melbourne/Adelaide

    Fly this morning to Adelaide, where you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Adelaide is one of the best-planned cities in the world, proud of its relaxed lifestyle, its colonial heritage, and its reputation as the arts capital of Australia. You can visit the Art Gallery of South Australia (which contains one of Australia’s finest art collections) and the South Australian Museum, which is one of Australia's most popular tourist attractions. Another wonderful site is the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, a historic garden on the Adelaide Plains that contains collections of both native and exotic plants and the Adelaide Central Market, one of the icons of south Australia that has been in operation for over 130 years. If you prefer, venture out to the famous Barossa Wine Region for winery tours and tasting. Stay overnight in Adelaide. (Flight not included).

    Meals: Breakfast

    Day 6      Adelaide/Kangaroo Island

    You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Kangaroo Island. On arrival, you will begin your full day tour of Seal Bay. First, you head to Seal Bay Conservation Park. Here, you will learn how the Australian sea lion survives the rigors of the southern ocean. You can walk among the sea lion colony of bulls, cows, and pups and observe them in their natural environment. Next, enjoy a visit to the spectacular and vast sand dunes of Little Sahara. From the South Coast traverse the rural areas of the middle of the island via the Parndana Wildlife Park.
    The North Coast beaches, Snellings and Stokes, are perfect for a leisurely stroll to enjoy the sound of waves breaking on the pristine, sandy coast. Later, you will take a nature walk through the drooping she-oaks of Lathami National Park and observe the kangaroos and wallabies. This is also the habitat of the rare glossy black cockatoo and the elusive echidna (spiny anteater). After your tour, you will be transferred to the Wanderer’s Rest, where you will stay for the next two nights.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Come face to face with kangaroos
    Day 7      Flinders Chase National Park & the Remar

    The next day of your tour on Kangaroo Island begins at Rocky River, the headquarters of the Flinders Chase National Park. Here, kangaroos laze, and Cape Barren geese graze. The Chase is home to all varieties of native animals and birds. Then, you will head to Admiral’s Arch, which is an ancient limestone formation close to the ocean and also a perfect area for an active colony of New Zealand fur seals. Continue next to Remarkable Rocks via the spectacular coastline of Cape du Couedic, where the forces of nature have carved modern sculptures out of the granite. Later, enjoy a short bush walk in search of the echidna (spiny anteater). On your walk, you can observe the colorful, endemic Crimson Rosella. Today, you will also see beautiful Vivonne Bay, which supports a colony of Little penguins. Your guide then takes you to Point Ellen to fossick for shells on the beach. Your tour concludes today at your accommodations.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Keep an eye out for various birds
    Day 8      Kangaroo Island/Adelaide

    Begin your day with a visit to the picturesque American River. Here, watch the pelicans and look for the glossy black cockatoo. Then, head over to the east of the island to the little township of Penneshaw. You will enjoy lunch today alongside the Chapman River. Stroll along the beautiful Antechamber Bay to look for penguins and to fossick for shells. Later, climb up the oldest lighthouse in South Australia at Cape Willoughby on the far eastern tip of the island. Visit Pennington Bay and the southeastern coastal area, where you will be amazed at the great photo opportunities available. Next, visit Cliffords Honey Farm, and if time allows, the main town of Kingscote. Your excursion on Kangaroo Island ends today when you are dropped at the airport for your flight back to Adelaide. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Expect encounters with koalas
    Day 9      Adelaide/Onward

    This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Connect to your flight home, or ask us about other options for extending your stay in Australia, Tasmania, or New Zealand.

    Meals: Breakfast

    The kangaroos may not want you to leave


     
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