Australian Adventure Vacation: Rock and Reef

See the highlights of Australia, from rugged outback landscapes to the one and only Great Barrier Reef. This vacation is perfect for your first trip to Australia!

From $1,999
per person
9 days
Airfare not included
Based on
2 travelers

This Australian Adventure Vacation was planned for 2 friends from Seattle who wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef and learn about Aboriginal culture in the outback. This trip to Uluru/Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef was the perfect first-time visit to give them the highlights of Australia!

They started their Australian Adventure Vacation at Uluru, an awe-inspiring monolith in the desert that holds a sacred place in the local Anangu culture. They stayed at the fabulous Desert Gardens Hotel, an oasis in the middle of the outback. They took a sunset camel ride to see Uluru changing colors with the fading light. At the end of their camel tour, they arrived at the incredible Field of Light installation and were greeted with a glass of bubbles before enjoying a delectable dinner under the stars.

Next for their Australian Adventure Vacation, they traveled to Alice Springs, one of the most remote towns in Australia. Then it was on to Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. They took an incredible wildlife cruise to see crocodiles up close, and even saw giant crocs jumping out of the water!

The highlights of their Australian Adventure Vacation was their visit to the Great Barrier Reef. They flew to Cairns, a sunny city that serves as the gateway to the reef. They spent a full day on the reef, cruising out to the unique Marine World observatory in a sublime outer reef location. Marine World was the perfect base for them to explore the reef by snorkeling, scuba diving, and even getting a unique view from the underwater semi-submersible submarine.

Their Australian Adventure Vacation was a perfect introduction to Australia’s top attractions. They flew back home with incredible stories to tell from their great adventures!

Our ReferenceD288

Day 1
Welcome to the outback! Arrive into Ayers Rock/Uluru in the spiritual heart of Australia. This monolith in the desert is sacred to the Aboriginal population. Over the next 2 days, you’ll have the chance to discover the strong sense of spirituality and culture here. Today, enjoy a transfer from the airport to Desert Gardens Hotel. Perhaps take a dip in the pool or browse the Mulgara Gallery onsite to see indigenous art.

This evening, meander through the rich red sand dunes on the back of a friendly camel, and watch in awe as Uluru changes color with the sunset. With the Uluru and Kata-Tjuta rock formations as your backdrop, learn about the flora and fauna of the area from your skilled cameleer guides. As your peaceful ride comes to a close, you will be greeted and offered sparkling wine before you enjoy dinner looking out over the incredible Field of Light installation in the middle of the desert.
Desert Gardens Hotel

Day 2 
This morning, enjoy a guided trek around the base of Uluru, where you’ll embrace the culture, geology, and environment that make up the essence of this amazing natural attraction. Find yourself in awe as you watch Uluru change colors in the sunrise, visit waterholes, view ancient rock art sites, and learn the legends of the native Anangu people.
Desert Gardens Hotel

Day 3
Today, travel about 6 hours in an air-conditioned coach from Uluru to Alice Springs, through some of the most beautiful and rugged scenery that the outback has to offer. Along the way, your guide will keep you informed on all the key landmarks to look out for while sharing some local history and stories of the many sacred sites you will pass through. At your fabulous hotel in the heart of the outback, you’ll have a chance to cool off in the swimming pool and enjoy an exciting meal at Red Ochre restaurant.
4-star hotel in Alice Springs

Day 4
Today is yours to spend at your leisure. Optional activities include a hot air balloon ride over the desert, wildlife parks where you can see unique Australian wildlife, hiking and nature trails, 4WD tours, visiting Aboriginal art galleries, and more.
4-star hotel in Alice Springs

Day 5
This morning, enjoy a private transfer to the Alice Springs airport, where you’ll catch a flight to Darwin. Mix with the locals at the Mindil Beach Sunset markets or the unique seaside eateries of Stokes Hill Wharf. Visit Aboriginal art galleries and museums, explore the historic WWII tunnels, or watch a spectacular sunset over the harbor.
Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Day 6
This morning, you have the unique and wonderful opportunity to get up close to some crocodiles! Experience crocodiles in their natural habitat from the comfort of a custom-built boat, allowing you great access to view these magnificent creatures. You might even see them jumping out the water! Your expert guide will talk you through how these prehistoric creatures have survived to this day. 
Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront

Day 7
Fly to Cairns this morning for an adventure in the famous Great Barrier Reef! Upon arrival in Cairns, you’ll be transferred to your hotel situated right on the waterfront. The day is at your leisure to enjoy some shopping and have dinner at one of the incredible restaurants in town.
3.5-star hotel in Cairns

Day 8
Get ready for the experience of a lifetime, as your wave-piercing catamaran and friendly crew take you to a stunning reef at the very edge of Australia’s Continental Shelf. Choose to dive, snorkel, or stay dry and explore the Great Barrier Reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible submarine, just one metre underwater. Find yourself in awe as you watch fish feeding from the unique viewing platform and underwater observatory.
3.5-star hotel in Cairns

Day 9
This morning marks the end of your Australian adventure vacation. Enjoy a transfer from your hotel to the airport, where you’ll begin your journey home.

  • 2 nights Desert Gardens Hotel, Uluru/Ayers Rock – includes transfers
  • 2 nights Alice Springs
  • 2 nights Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront
  • 2 nights Cairns
  • Sunset camel ride and “A Night at Field of Light” experience in Uluru
  • SEIT Outback Australia – Uluru highlights tour
  • Crocodile cruise outside Darwin
  • Full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise with access to Marine World
  • Scenic coach transfer from Uluru to Alice Springs
  • Airport transfers in Alice Springs and Cairns

Desert Gardens Hotel

Partner Information

  • Location: Uluru/Ayers Rock
  • Type of Accommodation: Resort
  • Comfort Level: Standard
  • Rooms with Uluru Views
  • 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