Australia & The Ghan
This fantastic rail adventure takes in many of Australia's natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Blue Mountains. A wonderful train journey on the legendary Ghan from Alice Springs to Adelaide is a real highlight, and time in Melbourne and Sydney to explore completes this holiday of a lifetime.
- The Great Barrier Reef
- The Ghan and Alice Springs
- Uluru and dinner under the stars
- Adelaide and Melbourne
- The Great Ocean Road
- Phillip Island’s penguin parade
- 3 scenic railway journeys
- Barossa Valley wine tour
- Sydney and the Blue Mountains
DAYS 1-3 - LONDON TO CAIRNS
We depart London Heathrow for an overnight flight to Hong Kong, continuing via Sydney to Cairns. We arrive early on Day 3 with a leisurely day ahead of us.
DAY 4 - KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY
Today we travel on the wonderful 125-year old Kuranda Scenic Railway. Our journey takes us into the rainforest and above the Barron River Gorge to Kuranda. On arrival, we take a trip on a World War II amphibious military transport unit, or 'Army Duck', through World Heritage Rainforest, with the Duck Captain pointing out the different flora, fauna, birds and reptiles which we pass on our journey.
After enjoying lunch, we experience an Aboriginal 'corroboree' with songs and dance, following the path of the Dreamtime Walk through traditional legend.
DAYS 5-6 - GREAT BARRIER REEF
A real highlight of our holiday is today's Quicksilver Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system which is home to thousands of species and stretches over 1,800 miles. A large covered pontoon is our base for the day, where we enjoy lunch and explore the reef. Snorkelling is the best way to view the exquisite coral and vibrant fish close up, but our base also has a semi-submersible vessel to take non-swimmers for a cruise along the reef wall. The underwater observatory is a superb window into this extraordinary world! On Day 6 you are at leisure.
DAY 7 - TO ULURU
We leave Cairns today and fly to the desert to Uluru. Ayers Rock, the world's largest monolith, rises majestically more than 1,142 feet out of the flat desert floor. We begin at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre with a guided tour around this sacred site, which holds great spiritual significance to local Anangu people.
Later, as the sun sets, we watch this giant rock change colour and enjoy a magical dinner under the stars. The incredible 'Sounds of Silence' experience includes canapés and sparkling wine as the sun sets over Uluru, followed by a three-course dinner with a bush-inspired menu including kangaroo, crocodile, barramundi and quandong.
After dinner, a 'star talker' will decode the southern night sky and point out signs of the zodiac and the planets and galaxies visible due to the clarity of the atmosphere. We spend two nights at the Desert Gardens Hotel in the Ayers Rock Resort.
DAY 8 - AYERS ROCK
This morning we enjoy a 'Sunrise & Olgas' tour. This circular group of 36 red rocky domes cover a large area and are as mystical as Uluru. Your afternoon is free to spend at leisure in Ayers Rock Resort, an ideal opportunity to relax by the pool.
DAYS 9-10 - ALICE SPRINGS & THE GHAN
Today we enjoy a free morning before travelling by coach to Alice Springs, for a night at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel. On Day 10 we visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air. We then join The Ghan for our epic rail journey travelling from Alice Springs to Adelaide.
The Ghan has long been a tradition for train travel between Alice Springs and Adelaide and is often referred to as the ultimate journey through the heart of this mighty continent, taking passengers on what is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest rail journeys. Named after the Afghan drivers of the camel 'trains', The Ghan is a mode of transport, a sightseeing trip and a hotel all in one.
We travel in Gold Service, with all of our meals included during the journey, which are served in the Restaurant Car. The meals are freshly prepared by the on-board chefs and menus feature a selection of Australian and international cuisine. Gold Service passengers also have access to the onboard Gold Lounge. All drinks for Gold Service passengers, including beers, wines and spirits, are included during your time on The Ghan.
DAYS 11-14 - ADELAIDE, BAROSSA VALLEY AND THE OVERLAND
Once in Adelaide, we enjoy a city tour, exploring the vineyards of the Barossa Valley by coach on Day 12.
On Day 13 you are free to explore at leisure or take an optional excursion (payable locally) to Kangaroo Island. On Day 14 we leave Adelaide and journey to Melbourne, Australia's 'Garden State', on board The Overland. We check into Melbourne's Crown Promenade Hotel for a four-night stay.
DAYS 15-17 - MELBOURNE AND PHILLIP ISLAND
Our city tour today includes the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Parliament House. In the afternoon we join the Puffing Billy steam train for a journey through the rainforest and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges.
On Day 16 we travel along one of the world's most scenic roads, the Great Ocean Road, to the Twelve Apostles, Bells Beach and the Otway Rainforest.
On Day 17 you are free until mid-afternoon, when we head by coach to Phillip Island, named after Governor Arthur Phillip, which forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of Western Port Bay. Here we visit the Koala Conservation Centre. At sunset, overlooking the beach from the viewing platforms, you will encounter a wonderful spectacle of the wild fairy penguins emerging from the sea and crossing the sand to their burrows in the dunes (numbers vary depending on the season).
DAYS 18-21 - TO SYDNEY AND THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
We make our way to Sydney for a cruise around Sydney Harbour today seeing some of the most famous sights of Sydney, such as the iconic Opera House and the beautiful Harbour Bridge, from our boat. On Day 19, enjoy a day at leisure to continue exploring Sydney at your own pace. On Day 20 we take the train into the Blue Mountains, enjoying a journey on the Katoomba Scenic Railway. Day 21 is free.
DAYS 22-23 - RETURN TO LONDON
We catch an afternoon flight via Hong Kong to London Heathrow, arriving early on Day 23.
22 Oct 19 - Adults - From £6795
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always call us for up-to-date prices and availability.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
- The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to ﬁnish
- Scheduled ﬂights from London to Cairns, Cairns to Uluru and Sydney to London
- All transfers
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
- 18 nights' hotel accommodation
- 1 night on The Ghan in two-berth sleeper cabins
Delicious meals included
- 10 meals including 2 breakfast, 5 lunches and 3 dinners
- All drinks including beers, wines and spirits during your time on The Ghan.
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
- Excursion to the Great Barrier Reef
- Journeys on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Katoomba Scenic Railway
- Guided tour of Melbourne and Puffing Billy
- Visit to Barossa Valley
- The Great Ocean Road and the Blue Mountains
- Excursions to Uluru, including dinner under the stars and a 'Sunrise and Olga' tour, a visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and School of the Air
- Guided tour of Adelaide
- Phillip Island
- Sydney Harbour cruise
- Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged.
British Citizens require a visa to enter Australia.
Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide - The 4-Star Majestic Roof Garden Hotel is located in the centre of Adelaide, providing easy access to many of the city's main attractions. The hotel boasts a lobby restaurant and bar overlooking the streets of Adelaide, which is open daily for breakfast and dinner. Leisure facilities include a fitness centre offering views over the whole city. All hotel rooms come equipped with mini bar, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, safe, television, iron and ironing board, and tea and coffee making facilities.
Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort - The 4-Star Desert Gardens Hotel enjoys a central location in Ayers Rock Resort, close to all the resort's facilities as well as the lookouts, where you can enjoy watching the sunset on Uluru and the surrounding desert. The hotel is set amidst gardens of ghost gums and native flowering shrubs and features a restaurant serving Australian cuisine, a bar and an outdoor pool. All rooms are air conditioned and equipped with a telephone, television, radio, mini-bar, refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. All rooms have either a private veranda or courtyard.
Pullman Cairns International, Cairns - Found in the heart of Cairns City, the city of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, the Pullman Cairns International Hotel is an excellent choice from which to explore more of Australia and this metropolitan city. The hotel features a superb range of amenities including a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a gymnasium and a sauna. There is also a bar and a restaurant. Each room has a hairdryer, a minibar and a television.
Crown Promenade, Melbourne - The 4-star Crown Promenade is situated in the heart of Melbourne's lively Southbank district. A range of restaurants, bars and cafés serve food and drinks in the attached Entertainment Complex, and the hotel also has its own restaurant and bar on site. 24-hour room service is available. Rooms at the Crown Promenade assure air conditioning with independent temperate control, a large flat-panel digital television, mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer, safe and high-speed wireless internet access. Relaxing is easy at the hotel's Deck leisure centre, which features a 25 metre indoor pool, a sauna, steam and massage rooms, a gym and an activities studio.
Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney - The 5-Star Amora Hotel Jamison is located in the centre of the city near just a short walk away from the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and many more of Sydney's great attractions. The hotel boasts two restaurants and two bars for you to choose from, offering a wide range of food for you to enjoy. Leisure facilities at the Amora Hotel Jamison include a heated swimming pool, fully equipped gym, sauna, steam room and the Amora spa (payable locally). The contemporary hotel rooms come equipped with air conditioning, mini bar, hairdryer, safe, toaster, telephone, iron and ironing board and television.