Sydney and Melbourne + the Yarra Valley and Rainforest

Discover the best of Australia in the vibrant cities of Melbourne and Sydney! World-class golf, wine, wildlife encounters, and a Blue Mountains nature tour are all included in this fabulous Australia highlights vacation. End your stay in the beautiful Daintree Rainforest

We designed this Sydney and Melbourne + the Yarra Valley and Rainforest vacation for a group of friends from Texas. They had a few must-do items on their list: visit Sydney, golf at Royal Melbourne, and see unique wildlife. We took those ideas and created this highlights itinerary with a little bit of everything!

Their Sydney and Melbourne + the Yarra Valley and Rainforest vacation began in Melbourne, the vibrant capital city of Victoria. While there, they golfed 2 of the region’s world-renowned Sandbelt golf courses: Huntingdale and Royal Melbourne. They also had a wonderful culinary walking tour one evening.

Next, they visited the Yarra Valley wine region with a private guide. They had an exclusive, small-group wildlife encounter at Healesville Sanctuary, plus lunch and wine tasting at one of the region’s best winery restaurants. The next day, they took a morning hot air balloon ride with views of rolling farmland, vineyards, and mountains. They had a scrumptious champagne breakfast and gin tasting at a local distillery before heading back to the Melbourne airport and catching a flight to sunny Sydney.

They stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, where they had fabulous views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour from their room. They had plenty of leisure time to explore Sydney, soak up the sun on Bondi Beach, and go shopping in town. They also spent 2 days in the beautiful Blue Mountains just 90 minutes outside of the city.

Last on their Sydney and Melbourne + the Yarra Valley and Rainforest, they traveled North to the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest living rainforest in the world, and stayed in a luxurious treehouse at Silky Oaks Lodge. They spent a day exploring the area’s top attractions, first taking an Aboriginal-guided tour of the Daintree, then heading out to the Great Barrier Reef for an amazing snorkel cruise in the world’s most famous coral reef.

At last, their magical anniversary trip came to an end. They returned home with plenty of stories to tell about their adventures in Australia.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Australia! Arrive in Melbourne, the vibrant capital city of Victoria. A hub of creativity and culinary innovation, Melbourne is heaven for lovers of art, wine, and cuisine. Explore the lanes and arcades filled with boutique shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants.
Crown Promenade Melbourne

Day 2
Enjoy a round of golf today in one of Melbourne’s best courses. Huntingdale Golf Club, located in the heart of Melbourne’s world-famous Sandbelt region, is one of Australia’s premier championship golf courses. Since 1979, Huntingdale has played host to some of the most famous names in golf, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and world number one, Tiger Woods.
Crown Promenade Melbourne

Day 3
Today, you will play Royal Melbourne Golf Club, ranked No. 1 Golf Course in Australia. Royal Melbourne’s 2 courses, the East and West Courses, are both ranked among the best in the world, and this renowned course is a popular venue for Australian and international golf events, including the Presidents Cup. Follow in the steps of the greats by teeing off at this prestigious club that has hosted the World Cup of Golf 4 times.
Crown Promenade Melbourne

Day 4
Enjoy a day at leisure. This evening, you will head out for a tour of Melbourne’s signature lanes and arcades and see hidden gems of the city. See some of Melbourne’s quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, and architecture, with historical tales of Melbourne along the way.
 After your tour, relax at your hotel or join in the city’s spectacular nightlife.
Crown Promenade Melbourne

Day 5
You’re in for a real treat: a privately guided wildlife and wine tour in Yarra Valley, right on Melbourne’s doorstep. Meet kangaroos, koalas, and other unique animals at the renowned Healesville Sanctuary, in an exclusive small group experience offering plenty of opportunities to snap the perfect photo. After your wildlife encounter, enjoy a sumptuous lunch with estate wine overlooking the vines at a one of the region’s leading vineyard restaurants. From there, it’s all down to your impeccable taste; your guide will tailor the perfect afternoon to suit you. Spend the evening at Yering Gorge Cottages in Yarra Valley.
Yering Gorge Cottages

Day 6
Rise early today for a spectacular hot air balloon ride over Yarra Valley. Enjoy stunning views over native bushland, country farms, and vineyards surrounded by mountains. Back on the ground, you’ll be treated to a scrumptious champagne breakfast. Rejoin your private guide from yesterday for a transfer to the Melbourne airport, with a stop at Four Pillars Distillery to sample local gins en route. Catch a flight to Sydney and enjoy a private transfer to the exquisite Shangri-La Hotel. Your hotel room features enviable views of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Opera House.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Day 7
Today, you’ll discover the best of the Blue Mountains as you travel to the heart of this unique World Heritage Region. Enjoy morning tea and have a relaxed time away from the crowds as you look for kangaroos, reptiles, and birdlife at the base of the mountains. Travel through picturesque little villages in the foothills before taking some short walks to scenic lookout points to see native bushland and waterfalls. Enjoy lunch at an iconic restaurant with sweeping valley views. Spend the afternoon visiting a selection of scenic lookouts, and finally visit the delightful Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens to enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or orange juice with a view before traveling back to your hotel.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Day 8
The day is yours to spend at your leisure. On a Saturday, the Carriageworks Farmers Market is a must-see for foodies. You can also head down to the popular Bondi Beach for a swim and enjoy the beautiful coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte Beach.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Day 10
Fly from Sydney to Cairns, where you’ll be transferred to the luxurious Silky Oaks Lodge. This incredible eco-retreat is located in the Daintree Rainforest—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s oldest living rainforest—and blends in perfectly with its gorgeous surroundings. Your home for the next 3 nights is a spacious treehouse overlooking the rainforest canopy. In the evening, you’ll get to explore a top attraction of Port Douglas: the famed Great Barrier Reef. Head out on a snorkeling cruise to discover this unique and colorful underwater world.
Silky Oaks Lodge

Day 11
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.
Silky Oaks Lodge

Day 12
Enjoy this day at your leisure. Explore walking trails through the rainforest or use one of the lodge’s complimentary canoes for an adventure down the Mossman River. Perhaps indulge in a spa treatment using traditional Aboriginal techniques and local ingredients. In the evenings, enjoy romantic dinners in the treehouse restaurant.
Silky Oaks Lodge

Day 13
Your fabulous Australia vacation comes to an end today. Enjoy a private transfer to the airport, where you will begin your journey home.

About this vacation
Cost Per Person

Does not include the cost of airfare

Based on
13 day stay
2 travelers

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