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Fly to Sydney, regarded as one of Australasia’s premier destinations. Small wonder; this scintillating city offers you wide-ranging cultural opportunities, sizzling restaurants and bars, outstanding architecture and an endless supply of experiences. Like strolling past the Opera House and around Circular Bay, taking photographs at every other step. You can take a half day introductory city tour, then catch a ferry to Manly and Darling Harbour – the trip takes you beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge – or wend your way to world-renowned Bondi Beach for swimming and surfing lessons.
Stay: Four nights in a two-bedroom suite at Quay West Suite – bed & breakfast
Today you fly to Ballina, pick up your hire car and drive to your stylish hotel in Byron Bay. Situated on the northern coast of New South Wales, the town draws visitors year-round with its golden beaches, lush rainforest and lovely tropical climate. It’s also celebrated for its surfing and scuba diving sites. The town itself is full of arts and crafts shops and restaurants, and is dominated by the picturesque Cape Byron Lighthouse.
Stay: Three nights at The Byron at Byron – bed & breakfast
‘I’m a Celebrity’ was actually filmed here, in the Southern Queensland rainforest. But instead of celebrities, you’ll meet wildlife including pademelons, frogs, possums and a vivid array of birds. Lamington is a World Heritage National Park and the perfect venue for nature walks, scenic lookouts, 4×4 trips, treetop walks above the rainforest and night expeditions to find glow worms and nocturnal creatures.
Stay: Three nights in a two-bedroom canopy suite or mountain villa at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Resort – bed & breakfast
Noosa’s beach is flawless. Squeaky, fine white sand stretching for miles (actually over 30 miles) along the edge of the warm Pacific Ocean. The town isn’t bad either, and you’ll be staying just a couple of minutes from Hastings Street with its great shops, specialist surfing outlets, relaxed cafés, busy bars and fine restaurants. Beyond both beach and town are the interesting bush walk trails of nearby Noosa National Park, with Australia Zoo a short drive away.
Stay: Two nights in a two-bedroom apartment at The Outrigger – bed & breakfast
Your journey now brings you to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. At over 120km, this is the world’s largest sand island with a landscape dominated by white beaches, coloured sandstone cliffs, freshwater pools and ancient rainforest. Around 98% of the island is protected within the Great Sandy National Park.
During your stay you’ll enjoy a 4WD ranger-guided tour, a chance to learn more about the island’s natural and cultural history as well as go swimming in the crystal clear waters of Lake McKenzie. You’ll drive along the beautiful Seventy-Five Mile Beach, visit the wreck of Maheno and be dazzled by the coloured sands of the Pinnacles.
Stay: Two nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort – bed & breakfast
You now catch a flight to Hamilton Island, gateway to the 74 idyllic tropical islands that make up the Whitsundays. Hamilton has all the restaurants, entertainment, amenities and activities of a full-on resort – combined with warm waters, great flora and fauna and ready access to the colourful undersea world of the coral reef. All of which makes it a relaxed place for snorkelling and diving in one of the most revered marine sites in Australia, with trips out to Whitehaven Beach and various points on the Great Barrier Reef.
Stay: Four nights in a family room overlooking the ocean at the Reef View Hotel. Or upgrade to a deluxe villa in the new Yacht Club.
Today you will board your international flight home.
Catherine was so friendly, helpful & efficient that right from the start we felt our vacation was being well organized.- A.S. and T. Everson, Netherlands