Australia Highlights Travel Package: Adelaide, Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney

Short on time? Hit the top highlights of Australia: Adelaide, the Great Barrier Reef, and sunny Sydney! Explore local flavors, ancient rainforests, deserted beaches, and mountains where you can see wild koalas.

This Australia Highlights Travel Package was planned for 2 friends from Boston. They wanted to see the best of Australia in a short time, so we sent them to the top can’t-miss destinations: Adelaide, the Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney.

They flew into Adelaide to begin their Australia Highlights Travel Package. The quirky capital of South Australia is under-the-radar for many Americans, but offers a taste of true Australian flavor. During their stay, our clients enjoyed some boutique shopping, as well as a tailored tour of Adelaide’s best small bars and restaurants with a private guide.

The next stop on their journey was the one and only Great Barrier Reef! They stayed in Port Douglas at the beautiful Thala Beach Nature Reserve, where the ladies were able to sit on their deck and view the sea each morning. Port Douglas is a magical destination where the Great Barrier Reef meets another UNESCO World Heritage site: the ancient Daintree Rainforest.

They had a snorkeling tour of the Great Barrier Reef, getting an up-close view of this vibrant underwater icon. The next day, they had a tour of the Daintree with an Aboriginal guide, where they learned about traditional uses for the unique plants and went swimming in a secluded stream. Their tour was able to access parts of the forest most tourists don’t get to see. They even tried their hands at spear fishing and caught a crab!

For their Australia Highlights Travel Package, they also had some free days to explore their beautiful surroundings at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. They went hiking in the rainforest, explored hidden coves on the beach, and even helped the conservation team plant some native trees in the area.

Next for their Australia Highlights Travel Package, they flew to sunny Sydney for some city highlights. They had some great local experiences in Sydney, including a tour of the Blue Mountains where they saw gorgeous scenery and even spotted koalas in the wild! They also took a fabulous lunch cruise on a yacht in Sydney Harbour and were treated to spectacular views of the iconic skyline.

After a week exploring Australia’s most incredible destinations, their Australia Highlights Travel Package came to an end, and they headed to the airport to begin their journey home.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Australia! Fly Air New Zealand from the US to Adelaide, the cosmopolitan capital of South Australia. Enjoy a transfer to your city hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the charming colonial streets, selecting unique souvenirs at the Adelaide Central Markets, and uncovering hidden gems among the city’s many wonderful bars and restaurants.
Mayfair Hotel

Day 2
Enjoy a day at leisure; perhaps head to the nearby Adelaide Hills for some wine tasting and a long lunch among the vines. Tonight, enjoy a unique, private tour of the city’s best bars and restaurants. Your personal guide will choose a part of town, rich in history and character, to explore. They will share the area’s story with you as you venture to hidden culinary gems and sample the delightful flavors of Australia.
Mayfair Hotel

Day 3
Today is yours to spend entirely at your leisure. Take a tram or bicycle down to Glenelg, a popular local neighborhood with heritage hotels, alfresco cafés, and a white sandy beach. If you prefer a more structured day, we can arrange a wine tasting tour or even an authentic, hands-on Aboriginal culture tour in a nearby conservation area.
Mayfair Hotel

Day 4
Your adventure continues as you fly to the Great Barrier Reef! 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 5
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. Time to cross the Great Barrier Reef off your bucket list!
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 6
Today, join our mates at Walkabout Cultural Adventures for an Aboriginal-guided tour of the mesmerizing Daintree Rainforest. Your guide will share his intimate knowledge of the land, showing you medicinal or culinary uses for the local plants. Then, you’ll head to a secluded stream with no one else around for swimming and spear fishing. This incredible tour gives you access to part of the rainforest that other tourists don’t get to see.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 7 – 8
The next 2 days are yours to spend at your leisure, either relaxing or discovering your magnificent surroundings. Thala’s nature reserve supports many interesting and rare habitats with a constantly changing kaleidoscope of natural wonders, making the experience very rewarding for naturalists and wildlife photographers. You can explore the area with expert guides, see wild wallabies, go sea kayaking, help the reserve’s conservation efforts by planting native trees, and more.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Day 9
Enjoy a shared transfer to the Cairns airport, where you’ll catch a flight to sunny Sydney. Explore Australia’s largest city, a beautiful metropolis located on the edge of the ocean. Visit the popular Bondi Beach or Manly Beach, go shopping at fabulous boutiques, and discover the city’s vibrant neighborhoods.
The Grace Hotel Sydney

Day 10
Spend the morning at your leisure. This afternoon, enjoy a leisurely lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour. Your personal captain and host will share the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore as you take in the sights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, and the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a gourmet, 3-course BBQ lunch with regional wines, local beers, and 5-star service.
The Grace Hotel Sydney

Day 11
Today, you’ll discover the best of the Blue Mountains as you travel to the heart of this unique World Heritage region. The first stop is at Featherdale Wildlife Park (before the park opens to other visitors), where you’ll get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and emus. Travel west through the foothills of the Blue Mountains through picturesque little villages. Next, you’ll enjoy some short walks to lookout points for spectacular views of bushland and waterfalls. Enjoy lunch at the iconic Hydro Majestic Hotel with its sweeping valley views. The afternoon is spent visiting a selection of scenic lookouts, including Govett’s Leap, one of the most famous lookouts in Australia. The last stop is the delightful Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens to once again enjoy the magnificent views and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or orange juice before traveling back to your hotel.
The Grace Hotel Sydney

Day 12
It’s time to say goodbye to Sydney! Your driver will transfer you to the airport to begin your trip home.

About this vacation
Cost Per Person

Does not include the cost of airfare

Based on
12 day stay
2 travelers

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