Why I love Australia
“God I love this place. There is something in the wild lands of the outback that call to me in ways I only partly understand. It happens out on the lonely Carpentaria Hwy or down by the Victoria River near Timber Creek or watching platypus on the Bombala River. It is the possibility, even if I never see it, that a fabulous sighting of wildlife could happen at any moment. Boiled down to its essence: this is a wild land...” Read More
Top experiences in Australia
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Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne
You'll glide through the city streets and on to South Melbourne, St Kilda, Prahran and Malvern aboard the Melbourne Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, your privacy assured with one-way windows. Melbourne's tramcar restaurant-on-wheels is painted a distinctive glossy burgundy and is especially fitted out in velvet and brass like the luxurious Pullman-style European trains of the past. You'll be welcomed aboard your 1948 Melbourne tram restaurant by a smiling maitre d' and be served by a friendly, professional team of silver-service waiters. Choose from a four-course lunch aboard Melbourne's tramcar restaurant, an early three-course dinner or a more leisurely five-course dinner later in the evening. Delicious meals featuring fresh local produce are prepared onboard the tram, and a wide choice of alcoholic beverages is available from the fully stocked bar. Melbourne's Colonial Tramcar Restaurant has all the modern conveniences you'd expect to find in a first-class restaurant. It is air-conditioned, heated and fitted with piped music to make your Colonial Tramcar Restaurant experience truly memorable.Due to the popularity of this activity, availability changes on a daily basis. The booking request will not be guaranteed until you receive a confirmation voucher via email. Please advise any alternative travel dates at time of booking, so that we may request all available dates to maximize your chance of a confirmed booking.
Great Ocean Road Small-Group Eco-Tour from Melbourne
After morning pickup at your hotel, get comfortable on your deluxe minicoach and head southwest along the scenic coast. Your knowledgeable guide shares informative commentary about the sights as you travel. About one hour into your journey, travel through Torquay, a beach town known for its surf culture and as the start of the Great Ocean Road. Next, enjoy a morning tea break at a beachside location before continue another hour to Kennett River where you take a short walk in eucalyptus forest to look for koalas and colorful parrots.Further along, at the foot of the Otway Ranges, have lunch in the beautiful town of Apollo Bay. Then enjoy free time to explore the shops and marina or take a dip in the water. Your next stop takes you into Great Otway National Park for a leisurely stroll at Maits Rest. A wooden boardwalk leads through lovely fern gardens and rain forest, with giant trees up to 300 years old.Hop back on the bus to visit Port Campbell National Park, known for offshore rock formations such as the Twelve Apostles. Here you have the option to upgrade and take a 15-minute helicopter ride along the magnificent coastline. From the air, you get an amazing perspective on Gibsons Steps, the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Next, drive to your final destination, Gibson Steps. An area of cliffs on the south coast of Australia.Your return journey includes a stop for dinner (at own expense) and stunning views of the lights of Melbourne as you cross the West Gate Bridge. Translation of key tour information in 13 languages is provided on specially configured iPods. Enjoy free WiFi onboard your minicoach, making the return drive a perfect time to upload photos or email friends about your fantastic day on the Great Ocean Road.
Your BridgeClimb experience starts at the Sydney Harbour Bridge Visitors Centre where you meet your guide, receive a comprehensive safety briefing and put on the provided BridgeSuit, a specially designed coverall worn over your clothing.When you’re ready, follow your expert Climb Leader through a purpose-built tunnel that leads to the bridge. Securely clipped into a safety wire, start to climb the steady incline up the arches of the bridge, traversing catwalks and ladders all the way to the 440-foot (134-meter) summit. At the top, stop to admire panoramic views of Sydney and its surroundings. To the east you can see the sails of the Sydney Opera House and to the west the majestic Blue Mountains are visible in the distance (on a clear day).Throughout your tour, you can hear your guide via provided headsets. Listen to informative commentary and fun stories about the history of Sydney and the bridge and receive plenty of encouragement during your climb. Your guide stops at scenic points along the way so that you can take in the sights. The 3.5-hour BridgeClimb is suitable for people with a moderate level of fitness. The 2.5-hour Express Climb proceeds at a faster pace with fewer stops. The 1.5-hour Sampler Climb goes to a halfway point inside the inner arch before returning to the ground. Select a VIVID Climb available during festival dates only.After all tours, receive a complimentary group photo, commemorative certificate and BridgeClimb cap. Please see more details about each tour under Itinerary below.
Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
After pickup from your selected meeting point in Melbourne, your day trip starts with the approximate 1-hour drive to the Yarra Valley. Throughout the day, you’ll be accompanied by your guide, a wine expert who will entertain and educate you about the varietals that grow in this renowned wine region.Stop at your first winery, Yering Farm, a rustic winery whose cellar door is housed in a converted hay shed situated on top of a hill. Admire the antique copper tools used by pioneer winemakers more than 100 years ago while you sample the wines. Continue your day trip to your second winery, Balgownie Estate, a small vineyard famed for its cabernet sauvignon and shiraz varieties. Spend your first 30 minutes here at the tasting table, and then head into the winery restaurant for lunch, which includes a glass of wine and tea or coffee. While you eat, enjoy great views of the vineyard. Next, head to Punt Road Winery where you’ll enjoy a tasting of the winery’s award-winning classic Australian wines before making your way to your last winery of the day, to the French champagne company Moet and Chandon's Australian production house. Take a private guided tour of the winery to see how sparkling wine is made, and then relax with a glass of bubbly while you marvel at the gorgeous vineyard views.Your day trip ends with the return drive to Melbourne, where you are dropped off at your original pickup point. Note: If lunch is not available at Balgownie Estate on the day of your tour, you’ll have lunch at a similar venue.
Sydney and Bondi Hop-on Hop-off Tour
With a warm and mild climate year-round, the open-air double-decker coach tour is a perfect way to sightsee in Sydney and Bondi. Hop aboard the open-top, double-decker bus at any of the 34 stops around the city. Enjoy live commentary from your onboard guide as you sit back and relax on the full ride, which takes about 90 minutes, or hop off to sightsee and explore at your own pace.Discover Sydney's highlights including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the historic Rocks district and Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District). Hop off the coach to browse the stores in modern shopping areas or grab a bite to eat at the bustling Sydney Fish Market. Stretch your legs as you stroll around the Royal Botanic Gardens or the tree-shaded paths of Hyde Street Park. The choice of activities is yours! Bondi Beach is a suburb with a popular beach located just 4 miles (7km) east of Sydney’s city center. Enjoy the sea and sand at the beach, or check out the cafes, restaurants and shops around town, many with fantastic ocean views. The Sydney and Bondi coach tours connect at 100 William Street or Central Station stop. The bus departs every 15–20 minutes from each stop and tickets are valid for 24 or 48 hours from first use. Please check the current schedule for operating hours; the bus does not operate 24 hours per day. Families can save with the Family Pass, valid for 2 adults and up to 4 children. Below is a partial list of stops on the Sydney and Bondi hop-on hop-off tour. (Find the full list on the Schedule tab). Highlights: Sydney Opera House Sydney Harbor Bridge Bondi Beach Darling Harbour Circular Quay Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Aquarium Town Hall The Rocks
Gordon River Cruise from Strahan
At the river cruise terminal in Strahan, hop aboard the Lady Jane Franklin II, a fast, smooth, spacious boat specially designed to travel on the Gordon River. Take a seat in your selected seating area — a center atrium seat, a window recliner or the luxury upper deck — and head out to the open sea. Morning cruise (5.5-6 hours)Pass through Hells Gates, the narrow opening that separates the ocean from Macquarie Harbour, and find out why early mariners gave the place its threatening name. At just 400 feet (120 meters) wide, the hazardous opening has been a challenge for sailors since it was discovered in 1815. Then travel across Macquarie Harbour toward the calm lower reaches of the Gordon River. Pass by salmon and trout farms, and cruise through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, marveling at the riverside rainforest. Stop at Heritage Landing to take a walk through the lush forest to admire myrtles, leatherwood trees and species of pines found only in Tasmania. The raised timber walkway leads you through the verdant forest to a fallen giant — a 2,000-year-old Huon pine that fell to the ground but continues to support new saplings.You’ll also visit Sarah Island, a convict settlement from 1822 to 1833. Listen to an actor tell stories of the days when convicts labored to cut logs of Huon pine to build ships — this settlement was once Australia’s most productive shipyard, and approximately 2,000 prisoners, officers and military passed through during this time. Lunch is served on board according to your selected tour option. You are free to move about the boat if you want to grab some fresh air on the deck or check out the featured photographs and maps. Your cruise ends when you return to Strahan in the early afternoon, giving you plenty of time to explore the town on your own. Afternoon cruise (3.5 hours)Cruise through Macquarie Harbour to the Gordon River, where your speed drops as you travel slowly upstream through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. See an ancient Huon pine tree hanging over the river, and listen to commentary from your captain about the area’s history and notable figures. See and learn about native leatherwood trees found in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, and sample a bit of rare leatherwood honey. You'll also take a look at working fish farms that produce salmon and ocean trout, which you can taste. Continue across the harbor to reach its narrow entrance — the ominous Hells Gates — a sometimes-violent channel where the ocean and harbor meet. Then return to Strahan, where your cruise ends.