Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and tick off the icons of Sydney with this luxury seven-day Australia trip that squeezes in two bucket list destinations. Picture yourself meeting cuddly koalas, swimming with sea turtles and tropical fish, and floating through an ancient rainforest near Port Douglas. In Sydney, you'll cruise across the harbor at sunset, go behind the scenes at the Opera House, cycle across the city, and join a private chef at home.


  • Experience 5-star luxury at an adults-only resort and heritage hotel
  • Spend a full day diving and then go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Experience Sydney Harbour with a private sunset dinner cruise
  • Join a local chef at home for a private cooking experience

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairns, Transfer to Port Douglas, Wildlife Habitat Tour Port Douglas
Day 2 Full-Day Outer Reef Experience Port Douglas
Day 3 Full-Day Mossman Gorge Adventure Day Port Douglas
Day 4 Fly to Sydney, Sunset Dinner Cruise Sydney
Day 5 Guided Bike Tour, Sydney Opera House Architectural Tour Sydney
Day 6 Full-Day Australian Cooking Experience Sydney
Day 7 Depart Sydney  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairns, Transfer to Port Douglas, Private Wildlife Habitat Tour

Four Mile Beach, in Port Douglas
Four Mile Beach isn't actually four miles long—it takes its name from a local family

Welcome to the Australian tropics! This morning you'll arrive in Cairns, where a private driver will meet you for the transfer to your hotel in Port Douglas. This beachfront resort town is a favorite for exploring the two nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef system, and the Daintree Rainforest. Check into the Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel, a luxe adults-only resort that overlooks the palm-fringed Four Mile Beach

This afternoon, you'll get up close with cuddly koalas at Wildlife Habitat. On a private two-hour tour, you'll enter the koala enclosure for one-on-one time and visit the Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Centre, where you'll meet rescued, injured, and orphaned wildlife. Spend 90 minutes with a wildlife keeper, enjoy a private reptile presentation, and receive special souvenir photos to remember the occasion. As for lunch, enjoy dining in the company of Aussie wildlife at the center's Rainforest Beach! Before or after, you'll have time to explore the wildlife park solo, too.

Day 2: Full-Day Outer Reef Experience

Full Day Outer Reef Mackay Coral Cay
Spend a full day exploring some of the over 2,900 reefs today with a private excursion

Today, you'll dive into one of the world's great natural wonders with a private full-day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. The world's largest coral reef system counts an incredible diversity of marine life, including over 1,500 species of fish, 30 species of whales and dolphins, and six species of sea turtles. Made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, the protected area spans over 1,430 miles (2,300 km). Pack your swimsuit and sunscreen and head to the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina to board your vessel and set sail to the Coral Cays of Mackay or Undine Reefs.

Once at the protected sites, you'll get to dive into the sea and meet colorful fish, sea turtles, rays, and even sharks. Your qualified marine biologist will lead a guided snorkel tour, and afterward, you can explore with a glass bottom boat to admire giant clam gardens, beautiful corals, and a wide variety of tropical fish. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and is an essential ecosystem for the world's oceans, providing vital habitat and protection for marine life. 

Day 3: Full-Day Mossman Gorge Adventure Day

Venture into the wilds of Daintree National Park—the world's oldest tropical rainforest

Immerse yourself in the rainforest when you travel inland to Mossman River for a one-of-a-kind private experience today. Mossman Gorge is the gateway to the UNESCO-listed Daintree National Park, which is estimated to be 135 million years old. First you'll meet the traditional owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, and take part in a traditional smoking ceremony. Enjoy a morning tea with freshly baked damper (a rustic Australian bread), then set off on a 90-minute walk through the beautiful rainforest, where you can pause to take a swim in tranquil waterholes or the gorge. 

After a well-earned lunch, it's time for River Drift snorkeling. You'll literally go with the flow as you drift down the crystal-clear river while admiring what lies beneath. Learn about the local history, flora, and fauna from your guide while looking at freshwater fish, turtles, butterflies, birds, and the elusive platypus. After, you'll return to your accommodation at Port Douglas.

Plan your trip to Australia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Fly to Sydney, Sunset Dinner Cruise

Welcome to Sydney Harbour
Sail across Sydney Harbour on a private dinner cruise as the sun sets

It's time to swap the tropics for Australia's most famous city: Sydney. A private driver will transfer you back to Cairns for your three-hour flight to the buzzing city. On arrival, another driver will transfer you to your hotel, the 5-star Capella Sydney. The contemporary hotel sits within a heritage sandstone building, and you'll find curated artwork, sophisticated furnishings, and intriguing objets d'art. Use the rest of the day to explore the city. Start with a visit to the iconic Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and linger with a drink at a waterfront bar, like the Opera Bar.

Return to your hotel to refresh ahead of a deluxe private sunset cruise on Sydney Harbour. Step aboard a 52-foot (16 m) motor yacht and enjoy a four-hour dinner cruise where you'll watch day turn to night and feast on a delicious Australian barbecue dinner paired with wine or beer. Your captain and host will share the rich history of the city as you pass famous landmarks, and you can even go swimming, fishing, or kayaking if you wish.

Day 5: Guided Bike Tour, Sydney Opera House Architectural Tour

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
See a different side of Sydney on a private guided bike tour, spotting landmarks like the Anzac War Memorial

Today you'll explore the best of Sydney, starting with a private bike tour. Jump in the saddle and pedal past Circular Quay, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the piers at Walsh Bay, Darling Harbour, the Anzac War Memorial, Chinatown, and Hyde Park with a private guide who will share stories and tales of the city. Part way through, you'll pause for a quick refreshment before returning to your wheels—there's a lot to see!

This afternoon, venture to the Sydney Opera House for a behind-the-scenes private tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and iconic landmark. Learn about Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect who designed this sculptural building on Sydney Harbour and changed the course of 20th-century architecture. A knowledgeable guide will lead you through off-limits areas to see how the engineering masterpiece and venue hosts more than 2,000 shows annually. Sydney is home to some of Australia's top restaurants, so when night falls, seek out a special dinner at nearby Quay, Aria, or Bennelong.

Day 6: Full-Day Australian Cooking Experience

Full day Private Australian Cooking Experience
Live like a local when you visit a market and cook up a feast with a local chef in a beautiful Sydney home

Today's full-day private cooking experience begins with a journey across the famous bridge to reach the Northern Beaches. En route to a beautiful private Sydney home, you'll pause at a local produce market to collect fruit, vegetables, meats, and seafood for today's cooking class.

Then, it's time to lace up your apron and join professional chef Andy Newton in the kitchen. Together, you'll prepare a special modern Australian lunch. In between courses, you're invited to stretch your legs with a short walk through the native Australian bushland to the picturesque waterfront. After a leisurely afternoon of cooking, eating, and living the life of a real Sydneysider, you'll return to your accommodation in the city center. 

Day 7: Depart Sydney

Bush tucker
You might get to taste native finger limes and lilli pilli fruits on a bush tucker tour 

It's your final day in Australia, so if you have time before your departing flight, consider joining the traditional owners of this land for an Aboriginal bush tucker tour. You'll follow your Indigenous guide on an hourlong tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, where you'll learn more about local bush foods and how these foods were used traditionally and adapted to the modern plate and palate—all while tasting some for yourself!

Later, at an agreed time, a private driver will collect you and your bags for your transfer to the airport. Safe travels home or onward!

More Great Australia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Australia? Check out these other Australia itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Australia in luxury, or discover the best time to visit Australia


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Map of Australia Laid-Back Luxury Tour: Port Douglas & Sydney - 7 Days
Map of Australia Laid-Back Luxury Tour: Port Douglas & Sydney - 7 Days