Uncover the best of Australia's iconic East Coast and the untamed landscapes of the Red Centre with escorted tour specialists, Travelmarvel by APT. Highlights include dining at the top of Sydney Tower, exploring the beautiful lakes, dunes and beaches of Fraser Island and relaxing in your very own tropical paradise at Daydream Island in the spectacular Whitsundays. And, the incredible experiences don't end there, as you'll also have the chance to go swimming and snorkelling amid the colourful corals of the Great Barrier Reef and enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets over Uluru.
Day 1: UK/Sydney
Enjoy included airport lounge access before your overnight flight to Sydney.
Days 2-3: Sydney
Arrive in Sydney and check into your Darling Harbour hotel for a two-night stay. It's a superb location, right in the thick of the action, just a stone's throw from many of the city's world-class attractions, including the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House and the sprawling green of the Botanical Gardens. You'll explore all of these and more on a guided tour, before taking it all in from above with an unforgettable dining experience at the top of the 309-metre-tall Sydney Tower. Indeed, its rotating restaurant serves up some of the finest views of Australia's most famous city.
Stay: PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Days 4-5: Gold Coast
After breakfast this morning depart for the airport and your flight to the vibrant Gold Coast in Queensland, where you'll spend two nights with a full day free to explore at your own pace. Boasting 300 sunny days a year and with its setting of glitzy high-rise apartments and pristine golden sands, this is region made for fun in the sun. And, while In Surfer's Paradise it's all about big-mall shopping and more than the occasional late-night party, those that head out along the coast will be treated to delightfully secluded beaches host to some of Queensland's finest surf spots, all backdropped by a subtropical hinterland with a rich aboriginal heritage.
Stay: Mantra on View
Day 6: Noosa
From the Gold Coast you'll travel north via the Australia Zoo – Steve Irwin's brainchild, famed for its incredible array of native Australia wildlife – to Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. This is coastal Queensland at its best – a trendy resort town with low-rise buildings, swaying palms and a gorgeous strip of golden sand, which spills down into a warm, clear sea. Nearby, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Noosa Biosphere Reserve is well known for its unique ecological diversity.
Days 7-8: Fraser Island
Cross the sea to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, checking into Kingfisher Bay Resort for a two-night stay. Spend the next day exploring the world's largest sand island, home to thick rainforest, native wildlife, crystalline lakes, giant sand dunes and mile after mile of deserted beaches. Indian Head is a special highlight – a rocky outcrop from where you can see sharks and rays circling in the swells below – as is Mckenzie Lake, whose clear, warm waters and golden sandy beach provide a wonderful spot for swimming, sunbathing and spotting fresh-water turtles. Dinner is included on day 7
Day 9: Rockhampton
Cruise across Hervey Bay then head through sugarcane country to the authentic Aussie town of Rockhampton.
Stay: Central Park Motel
Days 10-11: Hamilton Island
Enjoy a tour of Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, regarded as one of the best in regional Australia. Cruise through the sand-fringed islands of the Whitsundays archipelago to Daydream Island, a tropical idyll protected by the colourful coral islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy two nights on Hamilton Island, with plenty of swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and relax and powder-white beaches. Dinner included on day 10
Stay: Hamilton Island
Day 12: Mission Beach
Board a ferry from Daydream Island to Shute Harbour and head north by road to the vibrant city of Townsville, bordered on one side by the tropical rainforests of Queensland's hinterland and on the other by the Great Barrier Reef. After a guided city tour, continue to Mission Beach.
Stay: Castaways Resort & Spa
Days 13-14: Atherton Tablelands & Cairns
Visit Millaa Millaa Falls and the Curtain Fig Tree as you journey across the open farmlands and tropical rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands before riding the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway at Kuranda. Arrive in Cairns, gateway to the northern Great Barrier Reef, where you'll spend two nights.
Stay: Pullman Cairns International
Day 15: Great Barrier Reef
Cruise to the exclusive Reef Magic activity platform for five, fun-filled hours exploring the reef's rich marine life and colourful coral. Later, take part in a corroboree and dine on fresh Aboriginal fare at Tjapukai by Night.
Stay: Pullman Cairns International
Day 16: Alice Springs
Fly from Cairns to Alice Springs, gateway to Australia's Red Centre. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. While, on the face of it, this Outback outpost is little more than a staging post for trips into the Red Centre – Uluru is a four-hour drive away, while the rugged MacDonnell Ranges are, in Australian terms, on the doorstep – there's plenty to discover for those prepared to scratch beneath the surface. There are some fine museums and indigenous art galleries dotted among the dusty streets, an...
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