Get a taste of Australia with this unique offering that has a little bit of everything. Start off in Melbourne, a fun, vibrant city packed with great restaurants, pubs, cafes, shopping, sporting and cultural events, golfing, and more. Head up to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the center of Australia where the sheer size of Uluru/Ayers Rock, the strong sense of spirituality and culture, gives you an encounter with the very heart of the Australia. Following Uluru, head north to the top end city of Darwin. Embark on an incredible indigenous journey with an aboriginal guide. Continue onto Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
- Round trip International airfare from Los Angeles in Economy class
- Domestic Australia airfare in Economy class
- 2 Nights at the Hotel Lindrum in Melbourne, Deluxe Room, Twin Share
- 2 Nights at the Desert Gardens Hotel, Standard Room, Twin Share
- Uluru and Kata Tjuta Outback tours
- Camel Tour to Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru
- National Park Ticket for Uluru and Kata Tjuta
- 2 Nights at the Mantra on the Esplanade in Darwin, City Room, Twin Share
- Northern Territory Indigenous Tour, Litchfield Spectacular
- 2 Nights at the Hotel Cairns in Cairns
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges to package inclusions
Day 1 - Depart the United States
What makes Australia truly special is not just the accents, iconic destinations and the wildlife, but the warmth of its people. You’ll experience this warmth with Virgin Australia when you fly direct from LA to Sydney. Considering upgrading your flight? Consider premium economy from $700 per person additional each way or a life flat bed in business class from $2,000 each way for travel Monday - Thursday.
Day 2 - Cross International Dateline
Day 3 - Arrive into Melbourne
On arrival, make your way to the hotel in cosmopolitan downtown Melbourne, Australia.
ACCOMMODATION - Spend 2 nights at the famous Hotel Lindrum, right in the heart of spectacular downtown Melbourne. Ideally located in Flinders Street, Hotel Lindrum is known as a luxury Melbourne romantic hotel and is nestled in the heart of Australia’s fashion and dining capital, providing easy access to all this world-famous city has to offer. The hotel is within walking distance to world-class theatres and restaurants, sporting venues such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Melbourne & Olympic Parks and major attractions such as Federation Square. Enjoy elegant dining in the Felt restaurant, a cocktail by the fireplace in the back bar or simply relax with a drink while enjoying a game of billiards.
Day 4 - Melbourne
Explore Melbourne at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Half Day Lanes & Arcades tour
Indulge with a casual walk through Melbourne's lanes and arcades in small groups to engage in the life of this city which many miss. Discover local designers and specialty retailers, tiny cafs and more. A little history and attention to amazing architecture will inspire locals and visitors alike. Lunch is included. Get orientated and return to those places you like best in the afternoon, at your leisure.
- Melbourne City Tour
Our city tour takes you through the wondrous sights of Melbourne. Learn about the city’s fascinating history with your expert guide. With your small group, take a stroll in the gardens, see some of the world famous attractions like Albert Park Lake (Formula 1), Federation Square and visit Eureka Skydeck 88.
- Phillip Island - Penguins, Koalas, Wildlife
A fascinating afternoon/eveing tour to Phillip Island stopping enroute at the Koala Conservation Center. Each evening at dusk Little Penguins arrive in groups on the beach after a day of fishing. See them waddle their way into the dunes where their burrow nests are situated.
- Great Ocean Road
Known as the worlds most inspiring coastal drive, follow its winding trail through the lush Otway rainforests, to the breathtaking, windswept drama of the Shipwreck Coast. For much of the way the road clings to the coastline, twisting and turning, every bend revealing a sight more spectacular than the last.
- Yarra Valley Wine Experience
Learn how to swirl, sniff and slurp, then you’ll be ready to taste some of the Yarra's best wines, Yering Station’s award winning classic Australian wine, Rochford Wines with traditional wine making methods in their cellar door and French Champagne company Moet & Chandon's Australian production house -Domaine Chandon.
Day 5 - Melbourne to Uluru
Make your way to the airport for your flight. Fly from Melbourne to Ayers Rock. Upon arrival, meet your driver for your shared transfer to the Hotel.
Ayers Rock/Uluru is in the center of Australia. The sheer size of Uluru/Ayers Rock, along with the strong sense of spirituality and culture you will find here, means a visit here is an encounter with the very heart of the Australia. Uluru is sacred to the people of the area and on this vacation you'll have the chance to explore with an Aboriginal guide, giving you a firsthand account of the stories, folklore and importance of this sacred place.
ACCOMMODASTION - Spend 2 nights at Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel, a superior 4.5-star hotel at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort. Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for this hotel. Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert. You can relax in the comfort of your own private balcony or courtyard, or unwind in the hotel's pool, sipping cocktails from the Bunya bar. It's only a short stroll to the Resorts' numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably Australia's best sunset, with the spectacular play of colours across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert. Once the sun has set, dine at Arnguli Grill and savour an a la carte flame grilled menu.
Camels to Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru
Meander for one hour through red sand dunes on your friendly camel with Uluru and Kata Tjuta as your backdrop, while your experienced cameleer describes the unique flora and fauna of the landscape that surrounds you. As your peaceful ride comes to a close, you will be greeted and offered sparkling wine as you arrive at the sand dune viewing platform where your Sounds of Silence experience begins.
Day 6 - Sunrise Kata Tjuta and Sunset Uluru Tours
Revel in the early morning serenity of a truly spiritual place as the sunrise colours change on Kata Tjuta. Departing the resort the tour will travel through the landscape to the entrance of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From there is it a 40km journey through the desert landscape to the mighty rock formation. On arrival at the viewing area, you walk to the best vantage point to see the 36 domes that comprise this spiritual place while watching the sun’s morning glow as the desert comes alive.
After a scrumptous breakfast in the desert, you will return to your hotel for a few free hours.
As sunset approaches, you’ll begin your journey to explore the most profound and culturally significant monolith in Australia. Departing the resort, the tour will travel through the landscapes to the entrance of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From this point, it is only a matter of minutes before the spectra of Uluru rises from the sand dunes to demonstrate its enormity and presence in this country . With Uluru looming in front of you, you journey toward the base. Walk with your guide to a place of tranquility. The closer you wander the more you surrender to the realisation of the sheer size of this monolith.
Day 7 - Uluru to Darwin
This morning enjoy your complimentary transfer from the Desert Garden Hotel to the airport. Fly Ayers Rock to Darwin. Upon arrival make your way to your accommodations, as per your arrangements.
ACCOMMODATION - Spend 2 nights at the Mantra on the Esplanade Darwin. Providing comfort and convenience in the heart of the city, Mantra on the Esplanade is located just a few minutes walk from the CBD in a prime waterfront location on the Esplanade, overlooking Darwin Harbour.
Day 8 - Darwin, Northern Territory Indigenous Tour
Learn the real story on this small-group day tour from Darwin to Litchfield National Park. Explore the area with a personable Indigenous guide with countless generations of history in the region. Get hands on as our guide demonstrates bush resources in season. See and refresh yourself at iconic waterfalls. Experience dramatic stone country as it comes alive in our tropical summer. Enjoy a flame-grilled lunch of ocean-caught barramundi, marinated kangaroo and crocodile back fillet, at private Woolaning Spring. Be treated to expert natural and cultural interpretation from guides with unrivalled knowledge of the area. Take home memories you’ll never forget.
Inclusions—Small-group touring by air-conditioned tour vehicle; pickups from any Darwin accommodation; expert interpretation of the natural and cultural environment from an Aboriginal viewpoint; lunch of freshly cooked wildcaught barramundi, crocodile and kangaroo; waterbottle and cool water.
Day 9 - Darwin to Cairns
Make your way to the Darwin airport. Fly Darwin to Cairns. On arrival into Cairns, make your way to the The Hotel Cairns.
ACCOMMODATION - Spend 2 nights at The Hotel Cairns, located in the Central Business District of Cairns, one city street back from the Cairns Esplanade and foreshore boardwalks. Thoroughly modern with an appealing touch of classical Queensland plantation style, the guest rooms and suites are appointed with with cool marble floors, terracotta tiles, elegant and functional fittings and luxurious linens.
Day 10 - Cairns
Explore Cairns at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Kuranda, Scenic Rail, Skyrail & Tjapukai
Transfer to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where you will be greeted by an indigenous guide who will escort you through the park to discover this ancient culture through theatres, stage shows and demonstrations. At 12noon board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and glide above the rainforest canopy to Kuranda with stops along the way at Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station. On arrival there is free time to explore the Village in the Rainforest, and its many attractions, including the Heritage Markets which operates daily, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or Kuranda Koala Gardens (own expense). Enjoy lunch at one of the many cafes (own expense). At 3.30pm board the Kuranda Scenic Railway to Cairns, and enjoy spectacular views as the train travels through 15 hand cut tunnels and past spectacular waterfalls. Stop at Barron Gorge to view the falls before arriving at Freshwater Station.
- Half Day Barron River White Water Rafting
For an action packed afternoon of fun and adventure, raft your way through the World Heritage Listed rainforest of the stunning Barron Gorge! After being collected from your accommodation, travel to our put-in spot where you will meet your Guide and fellow paddlers and receive a safety briefing before hitting the water. The rapids on the Barron River are grade 2 - 3 which means they're ideal for first timers or anyone wanting a couple of hours of fun. Experience is not necessary, just a sense of adventure!
- Ocean Free Sail to Green Island
Sail to an exclusive mooring on Pinnacle Reef, just 1km offshore from Green Island. This Marine Park Reserve is protected from fishing and has an abundant range of marine life. Enjoy a swim, snorkel, scuba dive (additional cost) or just relax. Transfers to Green Island are available throughout the day, to explore the walking tracks and rainforest - the amount of time spent between the island and the boat is your choice.
- Half Day Horse Riding
Right after your safety lesson your tour will commence through bushland surrounding Blazing Saddles. Wander through the Native Australian rainforest and surrounding trail where you will see spectacular lookouts over Palm Cove, islands and beaches.
Day 11 - Depart for US
Make your way to the Cairns airport. Fly from Cairns to Brisbane/Sydney, and board your return flight home to the US.
Additional departure gateways & pricing
- Add on airfares available from most major airports - Add $190 from San Francisco, Add $250 from Dallas, Seattle, Add $300 from NYC, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Minneapolis, Add $380 from Boston, Miami, Add $450 from Washington DC, Atlanta - ask an Aspire consultant for a quote from your local airport.
* Based on Monday through Thursday travel - ask an Aspire consultant for add-ons for travel Friday through Sunday
Optional Activities, Extensions or Add-Ons & pricing:
- Upgrade to premium economy from $700 per person each way*
- Upgrade to business class from $2,000 per person each way*
- Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket
* Based on Monday through Thursday travel - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee for travel Friday through Sunday
On Board Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia launched over a decade ago and instantly changed the way people fly. Today, Virgin Australia represents a new level of style, sophistication and professionalism. With constant innovation at the heart of everything they do, superior products and award-winning service set them apart and lets you enjoy a world-class experience on every flight.
Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for travel Sunday - Wednesday 08 April – 30 November 2017 for purchase by 15 May 2017; $60 supplement applies each way for travel on Thursday to Saturdays. Ask an Aspire consultant for pricing for other travel dates. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain blackout dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply. A passport with extended validity past your travel dates and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required to enter Australia; Aspire Down Under can issue your ETA for a processing fee of $25 per person. A copy of the picture page of your passport and payment for your ETA is required at the time of booking.