Australia Vacations: Melbourne Cup and Sydney

From $2,499
per person
8 days
Airfare additional cost
Based on
2 travelers

For one of our favorite Australia vacations, we designed this trip for a family with adult children from Kentucky who loved horse racing. They attended the Kentucky Derby every year and loved getting dressed up for a day at the racetrack, so we made sure to send them to Melbourne during the Melbourne Cup Carnival! The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s major thoroughbred horse race, known locally as “the race that stops a nation.”

They started their Australia Vacations: Melbourne Cup and Sydney package in quirky Melbourne. They had 2 days to enjoy the festivities of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. During the race itself, we made sure they had the VIP experience, with prime seats and an exclusive dining package. Wearing their finest clothes and dramatic headwear, sipping champagne, and taking in the glamorous fashions of their fellow racegoers, they truly enjoyed the fabulous atmosphere of the race!

We also arranged some spectacular local experiences in Melbourne during their Australia Vacation. They had a day of wine tasting in the beautiful Yarra Valley, sampling the flavors of Australia at some famous wineries and boutique local favorites. They also enjoyed a fun tour of Melbourne’s quirky lanes and arcades, getting insider tips into the local culture and the best places to shop and eat.

Next for their Australia Vacations: Melbourne Cup and Sydney package, they flew to sunny Sydney to see a different side of urban Australia. Here, they had a behind-the-scenes tour of the famous Sydney Opera House, followed by a spectacular yachting excursion on Sydney Harbour, complete with a delicious BBQ lunch and local wines. The lunch cruise was a perfect way for them to get a local’s perspective of Sydney, and they loved the unique skyline views from the water.

This Australia Vacations: Melbourne Cup and Sydney package was the perfect taste of Australia’s most exciting cities, and they loved the atmosphere and excitement of the Melbourne Cup Carnival! They returned home gushing with excitement over their fabulous getaway to Australia.

Destinations
Experiences
Our ReferenceD172

Day 1 – 2
Welcome to Australia! Start off in Melbourne, the center of Australian sporting. The city will be hopping this week with international visitors and locals alike enjoying the festivities of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Experience the thrills, elegance, excitement, and unparalleled atmosphere at the Melbourne Cup Carnival, a truly glamorous horse racing carnival featuring the Melbourne Cup thoroughbred race. It is a time to dress up, be seen, dine out, sip champagne, and hope you pick a winner. Featuring the world’s top international horses and jockeys, it’s really an excuse for a fabulous national party.
Crown Promenade Melbourne

Day 3
Today, your guide will pick you up from your hotel for a shared tour of Yarra Wine Valley. Just 45 minutes away from town, the Yarra Valley has over 40 cellar doors, from world-famous wineries to local boutique vineyards. With the company of a small group of wine lovers, visit 5 cellar doors and wine tasting rooms which reflect the very essence of the Yarra Valley, its winemakers, and their compelling family histories.
Crown Promenade Melbourne

Day 4
Get a true local’s view of Melbourne today with a small-group tour through the city’s signature lanes and arcades. Your expert local guides will reveal some of the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, and architecture while regaling you with historical tales of Melbourne. Included in your tour is a stop at a local cafe for coffee or tea (Melbourne is famous for its cafe scene!), as well as a delicious lunch with a glass of wine.
Crown Promenade Melbourne

Day 5
Today, you’re on to spectacular Sydney, a world-class city that offers style and sophistication. Fringed by numerous bays and beaches, crowned by the glistening Opera House, Sydney reveals a great photo opportunity at every turn. Your boutique hotel is located within walking distance of all the major attractions.
The Grace Hotel Sydney

Day 6
Explore Sydney at your leisure today. Perhaps take the scenic walk to Bronte Beach, a local favorite, and enjoy some fish and chips while lounging in the sand. Seafood lovers will be delighted with a visit to the famous Sydney Fish Markets, where you can see fishmongers for the city’s best restaurants bidding on the fish of the day and sample deliciously fresh oysters from all over Australia.
The Grace Hotel Sydney

Day 7
Today, you will have the opportunity for a true local’s experience. First, enjoy a backstage tour of the Sydney Opera House to learn about the fascinating history and architecture of this iconic landmark. Then, enjoy a yacht excursion on Sydney Harbour. Our mate Sean welcomes you and your friends aboard his private yacht for a scenic lunch cruise. Enjoy fabulous views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House as you pass close enough to touch them. Enjoy an authentic Australian BBQ for lunch, complete with local beers and wines.
The Grace Hotel Sydney

Day 8
It’s time to head to the airport for your flight home. Having seen the Melbourne Cup and the best of what urban Australia has to offer, you’ll have to return in the future to see the outback and the Great Barrier Reef!

  • 4 nights Crown Promenade Melbourne
  • 3 nights The Grace Hotel Sydney
  • Wine tasting tour of Yarra Valley with lunch
  • Hidden Secrets Tours – Melbourne lanes and arcades tour with lunch
  • Sydney Opera House behind-the-scenes tour
  • Sensational Sydney Cruises – Lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour
  • Private airport transfers

“Melbournians love the Melbourne Cup! It’s the only city in Australia that gets a public holiday for a horse race. Don’t forget to get dressed up for the occasion! Like the Kentucky Derby in the US, the Melbourne Cup is an excuse to wear your best and don an eye-catching headpiece.”
–Emily, Down Under Endeavours

Hidden Secrets Tours

Partner Information

  • Location: Melbourne
  • Lanes and Arcades Tour
  • Progressive Degustation Tour
  • Liquid Crafts Tour
  • Cafe Culture Tour
  • Private Tours of Melbourne
  • Local Guides Matched to Your Interests

The Grace Hotel

Partner Information

  • Location: Sydney
  • Type of Accommodation: Hotel
  • Comfort Level: Comfort
  • Rooftop Recreation Center and Gym
  • Sauna and Steam Room
  • Heated Lap Pool
  • Grace Brasserie Restaurant
  • Free Wifi

Things To Do

  • Bondi Beach and Manly Beach
  • Sydney Opera House Tours
  • Scenic Seaplane and Oceanside Lunch
  • Privately Chartered Lunch Cruise
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tours

Sydney Opera House Tour

Partner Information

  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Sydney Opera House
  • See Areas Off Limits to the Public
  • Interpretation and History from Your Guide
  • Dining and Performance Packages Available
  • Tours Run Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sensational Sydney Cruises

Partner Information

  • Location: Sydney
  • Small-Group or Private Tours of Sydney Harbour
  • Tours Held on Private Yacht
  • Local Knowledge of Popular and Offbeat Attractions
  • Friendly Atmosphere