On this 10-day Australia trip, you'll enjoy a mix of city tours and outdoor excursions. First, explore tropical Cairns and its two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Then, swap the tropics for the outback and land in Uluru, where desert experiences await. Finally, dash to Sydney to explore its icons and expansive harbor on a dinner cruise, go wine tasting in the Hunter Valley, and eat your way across the city's multicultural Chinatown.


  • Go on a full-day snorkel safari on the world-famous Great Barrier Reef
  • Experience iconic Uluru with the Sounds of Silence dinner
  • Embark on an all-day wine-tasting tour of Hunter Valley
  • Visit the best landmarks in Sydney, from Bondi Beach to the Sydney Opera House

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairns, Free Time to Explore Cairns
Day 2 Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise Cairns
Day 3 Full-Day Daintree Rainforest Tour Cairns
Day 4 Fly to Uluru, Sounds of Silence Dinner Uluru
Day 5 Kata Tjuta Sunrise & Valley of the Winds Walk, Wintjiri Wiru After Dark Uluru
Day 6 Fly to Sydney, Sydney Gold Penfolds Dinner Cruise Sydney
Day 7 Sydney Sights, Opera House & Bondi Beach Tour, Coastal Walk Sydney
Day 8 Day Trip to Hunter Valley & Wine Tasting Sydney
Day 9 Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, Visit Taronga Zoo, Taste of Chinatown Tour Sydney
Day 10 Depart Sydney  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairns, Free Time to Explore

Stroll along the Cairns Esplanade and take a swim in the lagoon

Welcome to the Australian tropics! This morning you'll arrive in Cairns, a tropical paradise and the gateway to the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef and the 135-million-year-old Daintree Rainforest. On arrival, a private driver will transfer you to your hotel in the city center. The rest of the day is yours to explore.

You could stroll the Esplanade, which stretches along the waterfront, and take a dip in the saltwater lagoon. Visit open-air markets to shop for tropical fruits and fresh produce, or relax in al fresco cafés taking in the street life. For dinner, head to the marina and hop onboard the rustic eat-in trawler to enjoy a sharing platter of prawns fresh from the local waters. Take in the tranquil views of the Cairns Marina while sipping on a beer and toast to your trip to Australia.

Day 2: Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise

Great Barrier Reef
Spend a full day exploring some of the over 2,900 reefs today with a Great Barrier Reef cruise

Today you'll dive into one of the world's great natural wonders with a 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 marina to board your high-speed catamaran and set sail for one of 24 moorings on the reef.

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 between snorkeling excursions, you'll enjoy a hot and cold buffet lunch prepared by the onboard chef. 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. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon, and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 3: Full-Day Daintree Rainforest Tour

Daintree Rainforest
Cape Tribulation Beach is where the Daintree Rainforest meets the reef

When Sir David Attenborough calls something "the most extraordinary place on Earth,” you know it must be good. Today, after breakfast, you'll explore the UNESCO-listed Daintree Rainforest with a local guide. With origins dating back more than 135 million years, this ancient rainforest is one of the planet's most diverse and ecologically significant ecosystems—and its ancient ferns, emerald green vines, and lush canopy even provided inspiration for the movie "Avatar."

Within the Daintree, you'll find a remarkable array of plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth. Board a custom-built 4WD vehicle for this small group tour that explores where the rainforest meets the reef. Across today, you'll join a one-hour crocodile cruise, enjoy morning tea in the rainforest, visit Cape Tribulation Beach, savor a traditional Aussie barbecue, sample traditional Aussie "billy" tea, damper, and tropical fruits in the company of wallabies, and enjoy homemade Daintree ice-cream on your journey back to Cairns.

Day 4: Fly to Uluru, Sounds of Silence Dinner

Uluru sunset
Witness the spectacular Uluru at sunset while sitting on a remote dune

A visit to Uluru is a life-changing experience. The spiritual heart of Australia's Red Centre desert plains, Uluru (formerly referred to as Ayers Rock), is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory. Sacred to the Aboriginal people of Australia, this area is projected to have formed somewhere around 550 million years ago. Today you'll catch a flight from Cairns to Uluru, home to the country's most recognized natural wonder. This spectacular World Heritage Site has many natural springs, waterholes, rock caves, and ancient paintings to discover.

This evening, experience the Sounds of Silence dinner sitting on a remote dune beneath the star-studded outback sky with views of the Uluru monolith. Watch the sun fade behind the dunes while enjoying a glass of sparkling wine and canapés. Then savor mouthwatering "bush food" made with native ingredients while enjoying the quiet of the desert. After dinner, gather around the fire to stargaze and learn about the significance of the constellations to the Aboriginal people. Cap off the evening with a drink before returning to your hotel. 

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

Day 5: Kata Tjuta Sunrise & Valley of the Winds Walk, Wintjiri Wiru After Dark

Wildflowers in Uluru
Time your visit to catch the wildflowers around Kata Tjuta

Wake up early again to witness the sunrise at Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). This incredible formation of rock domes extends 3.7 miles (6 km) into the ground and is the remains of erosion that began more than 500 million years ago. Enjoy a light breakfast while hearing fascinating stories of Kata Tjuta's 36 domes and their geology, history, and culture. Your guide will then lead a two-to-three-hour walk to the Valley of the Winds lookout, taking time to marvel at the unique flora and views.

This evening your connection with the local Anangu culture will deepen through storytelling, an art form the local people have shared for thousands of years. Journey out to an intimate amphitheater where you'll experience a chapter of the ancestral Mala story under the desert sky with the help of choreographed drones, lasers, projections, music, and Pitjantjatjara language. After, return to your accommodation.

Day 6: Fly to Sydney, Sydney Gold Penfolds Dinner Cruise

Welcome to Sydney!
Cruise across Sydney Harbour today aboard a gourmet cruise

It's time to swap the sparse outback for buzzing Sydney. A driver will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the airport in time for your three-hour flight. On arrival in Sydney, a private transfer will take you to your accommodation. Often mistaken as Australia's capital, Sydney is a vibrant coastal city with plenty to see and do. Drop your bags and refresh ahead of this evening's experience.

Venture down to the harbor and step aboard a very special gourmet evening cruise for the Gold Penfolds Dinner experience. As you glide across Sydney Harbour, you'll experience a floating feast with matched wines from one of Australia's oldest winemakers. Leave inspired, sated, and breathless as you take in views of the Sydney Opera House, the famous bridge, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, along with six delicious courses matched with premium Penfolds wines.

Day 7: Sydney Sights, Opera House & Bondi Beach Tour, Coastal Walk

Bondi Beach
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a favorite of Sydney locals

Take a half-day tour of the best of Sydney's iconic landmarks this morning. Step inside the Sydney Opera House for a guided tour of all of the behind-the-scenes areas the general audience doesn't get to see. Spot the sprawling landscape of Hyde Park, the twin spires of St Mary's Cathedral, the Georgian facade of Parliament House, and the columns of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Then, you'll pass through Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, and Paddington before visiting Bondi Beach in the east. When the tour ends, you can return to Sydney's center or stay for an afternoon walk.

After lunch, lace up your sneakers and walk the famous cliff-top walk from Bondi to Coogee, a 3.7-mile (6 km) coastal walk with sweeping views. It usually takes two to three hours to complete, depending on how often you stop—there's the temptation of a swim at every beach you pass! Begin at Sydney's Bondi Beach, pass the historic Bondi Icebergs swimming club, marvel at 2,000-year-old traditional Aboriginal rock carvings at Marks Park, grab a coffee at Tamarama Beach, walk past the heritage-listed Waverly Cemetery, see Gordons Bay and finish at Coogee Beach

Day 8: Day Trip to Hunter Valley & Wine Tasting

Hunter Valley vineyards
Skip around verdant Hunter Valley vineyards today

Australia's oldest wine-growing region is home to more than 150 vineyards, and on today's full-day Hunter Valley tour, you'll sip, swill, and sample your way through all things local. Kick off with a cheese tasting at Binnorie Dairy, one of Australia's top soft cheese producers, then visit two boutique wineries to taste a range of wines. For lunch, drop into the Wine House—a one-stop cellar door showcasing more than 40 wines from boutique winemakers. Enjoy four local wines matched to a grazing platter of local produce.

Finally, your small group or private winery tour will reach the Hunter Distillery. This is the only certified organic distillery in the Hunter, and here you'll taste a range of organic spirits and liqueurs before returning to Sydney.

Day 9: Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, Visit Taronga Zoo, Taste of Chinatown Tour

Sydney Chinatown
End the day exploring Sydney's Chinatown on a food tour

Kick off your day with an Aboriginal bush tucker tour. You'll join an Indigenous guide on an hourlong tour through the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens to learn about local bush foods, how these plants were used traditionally, and taste some for yourself. After, hop on a ferry to Taronga Zoo. This 52-acre (21 ha) zoo is home to over 4,000 animals. You'll join the Aussie Backyard Adventure Tour, a 90-minute introduction to Australia's wildlife led by a keeper. That way, you'll get to photograph kangaroos, wallabies, birds, wombats, echidnas, and reptiles up close.

This evening, explore Australia's more recent migrant history with a tasting tour of Chinatown. Over three hours, visit hidden landmarks and hear little-known stories from the history of Chinese Australians. Enjoy some of the best Asian Australian cuisines, with roots in Chinese, Korean, and Malaysian food. Taste modern fusion and Sydney Chinatown classics, from handmade dumplings and noodles to the best KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). You'll also experience a Chinese tea ceremony, an ancient and serene tradition. 

Day 10: Depart Sydney

Farewell, Sydney!
A sunrise over Bondi on the final morning of your trip

It's time to bid farewell to Sydney. Depending on your flight departure time, you might have time to squeeze in one last adventure. Embark on a two-hour boat cruise to take in Sydney from the water during the day. While you explore the best sights and hidden secrets of the harbor, you'll enjoy a generous breakfast with coffee, tea, and juice. 

Back on dry land, a driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of The Ultimate Aussie Experience: Reef, Outback & City - 10 Days
Map of The Ultimate Aussie Experience: Reef, Outback & City - 10 Days