If you like to be where the action is, you can't beat Sydney. A modern, vibrant city with something for everyone: climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for spectacular views, swim at a famous beach or take yourself on an exciting shopping expedition. Byron Bay offers humpback whales cruising past the headland; rainbows on the mountains across the bay and hang-gliders coasting above the lighthouse. Sweeping surf beaches, trademark lighthouse, lush rainforests and colourful mix of people. Australia’s Gold Coast is a modern city of glittering high-rise buildings, built around superb beaches, including the world renowned ‘Surfers Paradise’. Along with endless stretches of golden beaches, there are international theme parks, designer boutiques, luxurious spa retreats, world-class golf courses, award-winning restaurants, upmarket bars and lively nightclubs. Last stop the vibrant city of Brisbane located on the banks of the Brisbane River with it's year round subtropical climate.
- Round-trip International Economy airfare from Los Angeles
- Add-on airfares available from other cities
- Internal Australia flights
- Shuttle airport arrival transfer in Sydney
- 3 nights Sydney
- Sydney Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate
- Half day small group city sights of Sydney
- Sydney Harbour cruise including 2 course sunset dinner
- 7 days Hertz full-size automatic car rental
- 2 nights Hunter Valley
- 1 night, Port Stephens
- 1 night, Coffs Harbour
- 2 nights, Byron Bay
- 2 nights, Brisbane
- All taxes & fuel surcharges
Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.
Day 2 - Cross International Date Line
Day 3 - Arrive Sydney
Blessed with a temperate climate, Sydney is Australia’s favorite city with the world’s most beautiful harbor. You will be transferred by small vehicle shuttle to your accommodation
This afternoon experience a delicious tour and tasting plate package that combines The Sydney Opera House Tour with world-class delicious alfresco dining at Opera Kitchen. Begin your journey by exploring underneath the sails with a spectacular Sydney Opera House Tour taking you inside one of the world’s greatest buildings of all time. You will see inside the theatres, discover the stories, history and magic of the House and learn of how architect Jorn Utzon’s heritage-listed masterpiece came to life. You can also decide when to take your Opera Kitchen three-tier gourmet Tasting Plate or Bento Tower, before or after your tour as lunch or return for dinner at dusk or a late supper. There’s nothing more to do than sit back at Sydney’s newest dining spot and indulge in our famous oysters, mini wagyu burgers, or fresh sushi and sashimi on the Bento Tower and soak in the Sydney Harbour views. Opera Kitchen is home to Sydney’s best chefs, food artisans and producers that will tantalise your tastebuds and leave you spoilt for choice.
Day 4 - Half Day City Sights tour
An Ultimately Sydney Tour guide will pick you up from your hotel to commence a morning Story of Sydney Tour. Introducing the city’s iconic attractions, hidden gems and picture perfect photo (deletes the s) opportunities, including the Sydney Opera House, Bridge and Harbour. This tour unveils Sydney’s unique culture, contemporary lifestyle and fascinating past. View some of the most exclusive suburbs, fashionable shopping strips and hip dining precincts including the historic Rocks precinct, Royal Botanic Gardens, Woollahra, Double Bay, Paddington, Chinatown and Darling Harbour. Visit famous Bondi Beach and soak up the atmosphere of this beachside mecca. Rather than transferring back to Sydney downtown we recommend you bid farewell to your tour and spend the remainder of your afternoon at Bondi.
Day 5 - Sydney at your leisure, Sunset Cruise
It's an easy walk from your hotel to historic Pyrmont, Darling Harbour and Chinatown – take a break along the way in the teahouse in the lovely Chinese Garden of Friendship. For an inexpensive but very authentic Asian-style lunch head to one of the food courts in Chinatown – try the one on the corner of Dixon and Little Hay streets. On Sundays most restaurants serve fantastic Yum Cha. Work your way towards Sydney harbour and explore the historic Rocks area – the oldest neighbourhood in Australia and follow the sculpture and heritage trail around Walsh Bay.
Board your Captain Cook Cruises vessel at Jetty 6 Circular Quay to commence a Sunset Dinner cruise. Travel aboard MV Sydney 2000, a 63 metre motorised vessel and discover the magic of Sydney at sundown. Enjoy a 2 course Australian a la carte dinner onboard, including wine, beer and soft drinks. Cruise concludes at approximately 6.30pm at Circular Quay
Day 6 - Sydney - Central Coast - Hunter Valley
Pick up your Hertz full size automatic rental car at the Sydney City Depot Depot and commence your drive to the scenic Central Coast, 60 miles north of Sydney (approximately 90 minutes’ drive)
After stopping at the Central Coast or Kilcare, continue your drive to the Hunter Valley – 70 miles (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes)
CESSNOCK was named after Cessnock Castle in Scotland by pioneer Scots settler John Campbell, who received a land grant of 2,560 acres in 1826 from Governor Darling. His estate was subdivided in 1853 and a village developed. In 1856 coal was discovered and by the turn of the century this had brought prosperity to the district and a security of employment. The Cessnock area, once a favorite haunt of bushrangers as it was close to Sydney but backed onto wild bush, now encompasses over 20 towns and villages. Now, while the coal is still important, local industries include dairying, cattle breeding, mixed farming, timber milling, pottery and clothing manufacture.
HUNTER VALLEY - The Hunter Valley is the oldest wine producing region in Australia, with the first vines being brought here in the 1820's. It is one of Australia's more scenic wine growing areas, with the Hunter River winding its way lazily through the grapevine clad hills. Renowned for the production of top quality table wines, the Valley has wineries ranging from very large, more commercial estates to the smaller boutique style wineries.
Day 7 - Hunter Valley
At your leisure or explore. Sample local cheeses, hand-made chocolates, charcuterie, dairy goods, sourdough breads and olive oils direct from the producers. Join a wine tasting master class; or sample a broad selection of wines at one of more than 150 cellar doors. After your epicurean indulgence, escape to the great outdoors with a game of golf, hot-air balloon or helicopter ride or shopping for antiques and local artworks in the region's many galleries.
Day 8 - Hunter Valley to Port Stephens
Leave the Hunter Valley and travel northeast to Port Stephens, 52 miles (approximately one hour). Known as the Blue Water Wonderland, Port Stephens is a natural bay 2.5 times the size of Sydney Harbour, enclosed by two dormant volcanic headlands. There is fabulous seafood to savor and over 26 golden sandy beaches to explore. Perhaps take an afternoon cruise to see the Bottlenose dolphins.
Check in at The Anchorage Port Stephens for your overnight stay. The property is situated directly on the Anchorage Marina, overlooking the sparkling waters of Corlette Beach and provides a perfect launching point for the delights of Port Stephens and the Myall Lakes. Guests can cruise one of Australia's most beautiful natural harbours, experience blue-water game fishing, go para-sailing, dolphin watching, bush walk, surf or play golf and much more.
Day 9 - Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour
Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour – 210 miles (approx. 4 hours ). Depart Port Stephens and continue north to Bulahdelah, the entrance to the Myall Lakes National Park. Travel north along the Lakes Way, a scenic route through rainforest with spectacular views of the inland lakes and ocean beaches. Travel on through the Manning Valley and Taree to Port Macquarie. Continue on to Coffs Harbour, which is the start of the sub-tropical northern coast of New South Wales and the surrounding district produces timber, bananas, vegetables, dairy products and fish. The ‘Big Banana’ is open daily with a comprehensive display of the banana industry and local produce.
Day 10 - Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay
Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay -156 miles (approximately 3 hours). This northern stretch of New South Wales contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in Australia. From Coffs Harbour, the highway follows the coast to Woolgoolga and then turns inland towards Grafton, a graceful old country town on the banks of the mighty Clarence River. From Grafton travel to Woodburn and on to Ballina, and then a further 24 miles to Byron Bay. This beautiful coastal town and marine park n attracts surfers from near and far to Wategos Beach, on Cape Byron – its northerly aspect makes it one of the best beaches for surfing on the East Coast of Australia. Cape Byron is the most easterly point on the Australian coast.
Day 11 - Byron Bay
Explore Byron Bay and its surrounds at your leisure. Sample some of the local range of activities, from outdoor organic produce markets, art galleries, yoga classes, the Crystal Castle, kayaking, surfing (or learning to surf), bike or horse-riding. The marine park at Julian Rocks, just off the main beach, is the meeting place of tropical and temperate currents, providing scuba divers and snorkelers with some amazing scenery. There is also a great walking trail to the top of Cape Byron, with stunning coastal views, and the lighthouse is the spot to watch for whales. Don’t forgo a visit to nearby Brunswick Heads and Byron’s hinterland.
Day 12 - Byron Bay - Brisbane
Leaving Byron Bay, rejoin the Pacific Highway and travel via Brunswick Heads and Murwillumbah, crossing the NSW/Queensland border at the twin border towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta. Here you join the Gold Coast Highway and travel through Burleigh Heads to arrive at Surfers Paradise A point of interest along the way is the Currumbin Sanctuary, a wildlife sanctuary about 4 km north of Coolangatta, where you can see a fine collection of Australian parrots, which come down to be hand-fed daily.
SURFERS PARADISE is the centre of the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast region has one of the highest growth rates in Australia and lays claim to being the tourist capital of Australia. With a climate providing more than 300 days of sunshine per year, some of the best surfing and swimming beaches in Australia, patrolled by the largest body of lifesavers in the country, many exciting theme parks, and a lush hinterland of national parks, mountain hideaways and spectacular views, it is no wonder the area draws visitors like a magnet.
Continue on to Brisbane, The capital of the Sunshine State, located on the banks of the Brisbane River and enjoys a subtropical climate year round. During the last decade, the city has matured into a unique blend of historic buildings and sophisticated architecture. To cuddle a Koala, take a cruise along the Brisbane River to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Visit the South Bank development, the former site of the 1988 world expo and the Botanical Gardens.
Check into your hotel for your two nights stay – Rendezvous Hotel Brisbane on George. A contemporary hotel with friendly service, a relaxed Queensland atmosphere and world class facilities. This high-rise hotel has its own restaurant and bar as well as an outdoor swimming pool and spa. There is also wireless internet access available and free local phone calls.
Day 13 - Brisbane
Relax and explore.
Day 14 - Depart Brisbane
Early morning make your way to Brisbane airport and return rental vehicle.
|Costing*||Now-31 March 2017|
* Starting from pricing is valid for departures until 31 March 2017 for purchase by 31 December 2016. Prices are per person based on double occupancy departures from Los Angeles. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain black out 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.