Ultimate Family Vacation: Australia

Discover the highlights of Australia on this Ultimate Family Vacation. See the Great Barrier Reef, explore the outback, see the wildlife on Kangaroo Island, and tick off all the must-sees of Sydney!

From $4,799
per person
14 days
Airfare additional cost
Based on
4 travelers

This Ultimate Family Vacation: Australia trip was planned for a family of three; the parents wanted to take their 18-year-old daughter on an adventure of a lifetime. Australia was the last continent on their bucket list and they wanted to see all the highlights: the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, and the Sydney Opera House. This family vacation was a perfect way for the family to spend quality time together before the daughter went off to college.

They started their Ultimate Family Vacation: Australia trip in Port Douglas, which is a perfect base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. They chose to do a catamaran to the reef so that the daughter could snorkel from the boat. The next day, they journeyed to the ancient Daintree Rainforest to spot saltwater crocs in the Daintree River, hand-feed wallabies, and walk along the beautiful Cape Tribulation Beach with picturesque views of the rainforest and mountains.

Next for their Ultimate Family Vacation: Australia trip, they flew to Ayers Rock Resort in Yulara, where they stayed at the wonderful Sails in the Desert Hotel. They enjoyed a sunrise tour of Kata-Tjuta and sunset tour of Uluru, both sacred spots to the local Aboriginal population. Then on their Australian adventure, they traveled to Kangaroo Island for a 2-day wildlife and nature tour. They got to see kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, echidnas, sea lions, and more in the wild. They also loved the incredible cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients.

They ended their Ultimate Family Vacation: Australia trip in cosmopolitan Sydney. They enjoyed the view from the top of the Harbour Bridge, and then they biked through the neighborhoods of Sydney with fun, local guides who gave them great tips for places to go in the evening. Finally, they ventured into the Blue Mountains on an immersive tour that included Aboriginal cultural performances, a hands-on wildlife experience, and scenic walks in the gorgeous mountains.

Day 1
Welcome to Australia! On arrival into Cairns, enjoy a shared transfer to Thala Beach Nature Reserve, a luxurious, uniquely Australian eco-retreat. Thala is located on 145 acres of pristine landscapes, where the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Forest paths weave amongst wispy eucalyptus with chalk white bark, linking the bungalows with the main building. Wander onto a private beach where hours can be spent discovering secluded coves.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 2
Get ready for the experience of a lifetime: exploring the Great Barrier Reef! Quicksilver’s wave-piercing catamarans and friendly crew will take you to a reef at the very edge of Australia’s Continental Shelf. You can choose to dive, snorkel, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a Quicksilver semi-sub, just 1 meter underwater. In between water activities, you can relax on the expansive sundecks and enjoy the facilities on deck, including a full bar, tropical buffet lunch, and morning and afternoon tea. Time to cross the Great Barrier Reef off your bucket list!
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 3
Embark on a full-day 4WD adventure in beautiful Cape Tribulation, where the ancient Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Your first stop is at the majestic Daintree River, where you’ll enjoy a guided river cruise to take in the native flora and fauna of this unique ecosystem. Stop at a wildlife sanctuary to hand-feed the wallabies and enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch, then take a refreshing dip in a rainforest stream. Make your way to the Cape Tribulation Beach, where you can swim in the Coral Sea or stroll along the beach overlooking the mountains and coast.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 4
Get ready for a magnificent rainforest adventure today! The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway spans 7.5 km over Australia’s pristine tropical rainforest. You’ll glide in a cable car just meters above the rainforest canopy before descending deep into the heart of the forest. Glide through the mountains and over the mighty Barron River. Once you’re back on the ground, return to Cairns on a scenic train ride, winding your way through a tropical paradise framed by rugged mountains with waterfalls tumbling forever into deep ravines.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 5
Discover the spiritual heart of the Australian Outback and its centerpiece, Uluru—a massive rock formation which dominates the desert landscape. The region is blessed with natural wonders, world class dining experiences, and an ancient indigenous culture. Upon landing in Uluru, you will be transferred to the fabulous Sails in the Desert Hotel. This 5-star accommodation beautifully contrasts with Uluru’s raw natural beauty for a decidedly luxurious outback holiday experience.
Sails in the Desert Hotel

Day 6
Today, you’ll explore the natural beauty of Uluru and Kata-Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre. Revel in the early morning serenity of a truly spiritual place as the sunrise colours bring Kata-Tjuta to life. Learn about the diverse environment as you walk between rock walls into Walpa Gorge and hear how the 36 domes that make up Kata-Tjuta have evolved over millions of years. Take time to listen to the wind (Walpa) far above and take in the scale of the rock walls that surround you. This evening, watch the sacred Uluru change colors as the sun sets.
Sails in the Desert Hotel

Day 7
Say goodbye to the desert and make your way to Kangaroo Island for your next adventure! Kangaroo Island is a beautiful and quirky little island known for prolific wildlife, rugged scenery, and bountiful local produce. Jump right into your locally guided tour with Exceptional Kangaroo Island. Stroll along a country track through eucalyptus trees, keeping an eye out out for tree kangaroos and sleeping koalas overhead. Venture to the north coast, where you will drive through some of the island’s best farming lands.

Break for lunch and enjoy a delicious meal featuring fresh fish, salads, and fine South Australian wines at a private bush location. At Seal Bay Conservation Park, walk with your guide among Australian sea lions on a beautiful sandy beach and learn about their unique breeding biology. The remainder of the afternoon is spent exploring more of the southeast region of the island, with destinations and experiences chosen to reflect seasonal opportunities.
Aurora Ozone Hotel Kingscote

Day 8
Join Exceptional Kangaroo Island again today and explore some of the highlights of Flinders Chase National Park, home to numerous native animals and cultural heritage sites. At Cape du Couedic, visit a fur seal colony, and observe them frolicking in the surf under Admirals Arch. Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch with wine in the bush before exploring more of the island. Depending upon the season, the afternoon might include a visit to Grassdale in the heart of Kelly Hill Conservation Park (where you’re sure to spot plenty of wild kangaroos), the secluded pools of the Rocky River, or a rugged south coast cove.
Aurora Ozone Hotel Kingscote

Day 9
Today is at your leisure to explore Kangaroo Island. Discover the beautiful beaches, scenic walks, wildlife sightings, and delicious food and wine this unique island has to offer.
Aurora Ozone Hotel Kingscote

Day 10
Fly to cosmopolitan Sydney, where you’ll be whisked away to an elegant sanctuary: the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney. Gaze out your window at one of the most famous sights in the world, the Sydney Opera House. Discover Sydney’s colorful colonial past, miles of beautiful beaches, historic buildings and landmarks, award-winning restaurants, easygoing lifestyle, and vibrant culture.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Day 11
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a world-renowned symbol of Australia, crossing one of the most beautiful harbors in the world and forming a striking piece of Sydney’s famous skyline. On the Sydney BridgeClimb, you’ll journey to the summit of this iconic landmark, where you can absorb stunning, panoramic views of the city below.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Day 12
You’ve seen Sydney from above—now explore it on ground level on a fun, easy bike tour! See all the highlights of Sydney with friendly, experienced local guides. Our mates at Bonza Bike Tours will share insight into local history and culture, plus give you great tips on what to do while in town, what’s on, and where to eat.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Day 13
Today, head out of the city and into the beautiful Blue Mountains. Your tour avoids the obvious tourist traps to show you the Blue Mountains from an insider’s perspective. You’ll see Australia’s unique landscapes and learn about aboriginal culture from those who live it. Stop to see famous natural wonders like the Three Sisters, with opportunities for some exhilarating nature walks.

At Waradah Aboriginal Centre, you’ll learn about the world’s oldest surviving culture with an Aboriginal dance performance, culture talk, and didgeridoo performance. In the afternoon, head down from the mountains for a chance to feed kangaroos and have your photo taken with a koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park. Return to the city with a wonderful river cruise, passing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge before ending at Circular Quay.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Day 14
Today, your Australian adventure comes to an end. Enjoy a private transfer to the airport, where you’ll catch your flight back home. You’ll have tons of great stories to share with friends when you return!

  • 4 nights Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Port Douglas – includes selected activities
  • 2 nights Sails in the Desert Hotel, Uluru
  • 3 nights Aurora Ozone Hotel, Kangaroo Island
  • 4 nights Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
  • Quicksilver – Great Barrier Reef snorkel/dive cruise
  • Billy Tea Bush Safaris – Cape Tribulation 4WD tour
  • Skyrail Cairns and Kuranda Rail experience in the Daintree Rainforest
  • SEIT Outback Australia – Kata-Tjuta sunrise tour
  • SEIT Outback Australia – Uluru sunset tour
  • Exceptional Kangaroo Island – 2-day Kangaroo Island wildlife and nature tour
  • Sydney BridgeClimb
  • Bonza Bike Tours – Sydney highlights bike tour
  • Boutique Tours Australia – Blue Mountains excursion
  • Return airport transfers in Port Douglas, Uluru, and Sydney


If you have the time, spend the night in the Blue Mountains, where you can wake up and have breakfast with the roos, explore the quaint mountain towns like a local, and enjoy the pristine bush wilderness for a bit longer.
–Candice, Down Under Endeavours

Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Partner Information

  • Location: Port Douglas
  • Type of Accommodation: Eco-Lodge
  • Comfort Level: Superior Comfort
  • 145 Acres of Rainforest and Beachfront Wilderness
  • Private-Access Beach
  • 2 Freeform Swimming Pools
  • Massage Studio
  • Range of Complimentary Activities
  • Committed to Conservation of Natural Environment

Things To Do

  • Nature and Wildlife Walks
  • Great Barrier Reef Excursions
  • Swimming at Private Beaches
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Birdwatching
  • Stargazing
  • Kuku Yalangi (Aboriginal) Cultural Talks
  • Coconut Odyssey Tour

Sails in the Desert Hotel

Partner Information

  • Location: Uluru/Ayers Rock
  • Type of Accommodation: Resort
  • Comfort Level: First Class
  • Aboriginal Art Gallery
  • Red Ochre Spa
  • Restaurant and Bar
  • Swimming Pool
  • Free WiFi in Room
  • Free Activities Program

Things To Do

  • Sunrise or Sunset Tours of Uluru
  • Sounds of Silence Dinner
  • Camel Rides
  • Motorcycle Tours
  • Guided Kata-Tjuta National Park Tours
  • Helicopter Rides
  • Aboriginal Cultural Experiences

Exceptional Kangaroo Island

Partner Information

  • Location: Kangaroo Island, South Australia
  • Small Group or Private Touring with Local Guides
  • See Australian Wildlife in the Wild
  • Tours Include Delicious Lunch of Local Produce and Wine
  • Private Touring Options: Family, Art, Food, History, Photography, and More

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Partner Information

  • Location: Sydney
  • Type of Accommodation: Hotel
  • Comfort Level: First Class
  • Harbour Views
  • 4 Restaurants and Bars
  • CHI Spa and Health Club

Things To Do

  • Sydney Bike Tour
  • Tour, Dinner, and Performance at Sydney Opera House
  • Lunch Cruise on Sydney Harbour
  • Excursions to Hunter Valley or Blue Mountains
  • Visits to Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, and Many More

Bonza Bike Tours

Partner Information

  • Location: Sydney
  • Small-Group or Private Touring
  • Sydney Highlights Tours
  • Beach Tours
  • Easy and Safe
  • Entertaining, Local Guides
  • Child Bikes and Baby Seats Available

Boutique Tours Australia

Partner Information

  • Location: Sydney
  • Authentic Wildlife and Nature Tours
  • See Iconic Wildlife in the Wild
  • Small-Group Touring (Maximum 10 Passengers)
  • Expert Naturalist Guides
  • Nocturnal Wildlife Tours