Over almost two weeks, you'll explore the best of Australia's favorite cities and unwind in a tropical island paradise. Starting in Sydney, explore the city's iconic sights on a sunset cruise, then connect with Aboriginal culture on a bush tucker tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Fly south to explore Melbourne's incredible food scene and street art, and take day trips along the Great Ocean Road. Finally, skip north to Hamilton Island, your gateway to the stunning Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.


  • Fly over the beautiful Blue Mountains in a private helicopter
  • Connect with Aboriginal Australia and taste native foods in Sydney and Melbourne
  • Take day trips to the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula
  • Fly above Heart Reef, then land on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands
  • Spend a day snorkeling on the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney, Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise Sydney
Day 2 Guided Bike Tour, Private Blue Mountains Helicopter Flight Sydney
Day 3 Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, BridgeClimb Adventure, Surry Hills Dining Walk Sydney
Day 4 Fly to Melbourne, Dinner, Tales & Cocktails Tour Melbourne
Day 5 Aboriginal Melbourne Past & Present Tour, Half-Day Street Art Masterclass Melbourne
Day 6 Full-Day Mornington Peninsula City-to-Country Experience Melbourne
Day 7 Full-Day Phillip Island & Penguin Parade Excursion Melbourne
Day 8 Full-Day Great Ocean Road Tour Melbourne
Day 9 Fly to Hamilton Island, Heart Reef & Whitehaven Stopover Hamilton Island
Day 10 Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling Tour Hamilton Island
Day 11 Whitehaven Beach Chill & Grill Hamilton Island
Day 12 Whitsunday Islands National Park E-Bike Tour, Private Sunset Sailing Cruise Hamilton Island
Day 13 Fly to Brisbane, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney, Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

Welcome to Sydney
Cruise across the expansive Sydney Harbour at sunset

G'day and welcome to Sydney! Often mistaken as Australia's capital (that would be Canberra), this city feels like the country's central metropolis. With many iconic sights, historic neighborhoods, world-class restaurants, and more than 100 pristine beaches, it's hard not to fall under the Sydney spell. A private driver will meet you for a transfer to your hotel. Refresh ahead of tonight's dinner cruise, and if you have time, pop down to a waterfront bar to take in the landscape of the city. 

Close to sunset, embark on a deluxe sunset cruise and watch Sydney Harbour turn from day to night. Admire iconic sights such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison, Luna Park, and more as you enjoy a delicious three-course dinner. Snap photos as the sky is set alight at sunset and the city skyline comes alive.

Day 2: Guided Bike Tour, Private Blue Mountains Helicopter Flight

Soar over the Three Sisters on a private helicopter flight through the Blue Mountains

Climb into the saddle of a bike this morning and pedal across Sydney. Tick off all of the city's iconic sights and many more that are off the beaten path with a guide, who will provide expert commentary and historical perspective on the landmarks and areas you visit. You'll pass by the Opera House, Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, Chinatown, Parliament House, the Queen Victoria Building, and more. Partway through, you'll make a pit stop at a local pub for a quick pint before getting back on the road.

This afternoon, you'll switch gears and gain elevation with a private helicopter flight over the Blue Mountains. This stunning patch of nature close to Sydney is filled with cascading waterfalls, towering sandstone cliffs, and lush eucalyptus forests. Your 90-minute scenic flight will take you above the dramatic Three Sisters rock formation, the powerful Katoomba Falls, and over the Megalong Valley, Jamison Valley, and the Warragamba Catchment area. Then, you'll return to Sydney, carving a lap of Sydney Harbour to see the bridge and Opera House from above.

Day 3: Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, BridgeClimb Adventure, Surry Hills Dining Walk

Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour
Learn about native bush foods with a guided wander through the Royal Botanic Gardens

Kick off your day by getting to know the traditional owners of this land. On an Aboriginal bush tucker tour, you'll join an Indigenous guide on an hour-long tour through the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. Learn more about local bush foods and how these plants were used traditionally, all while tasting some for yourself. After, you'll climb the famous "coathanger"—the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Strap on a harness and let a BridgeClimb leader take you 439 feet (134 m) above sea level. The adrenaline-pumping journey provides dramatic 360-degree views of the city as you cross the icon.

Tonight, you'll eat your way across Surry Hills with a local foodie. Like an old, well-connected friend, they'll help you explore Sydney's fabulous small bar culture and restaurants while popping into hip fashion boutiques and on-trend interior stores. This walk is designed for those who want to go ‘where the locals go,' and Surry Hills is Sydney's hippest 'hood to explore all things cool, from food to furniture, bars to boutiques. 

Day 4: Fly to Melbourne, Dinner, Tales & Cocktails Tour

Tour Melbourne's Nightlife with Dinner, Tales, and Cocktails
Taste the best of Melbourne on tonight's foodie tour

Catch a 90-minute flight from Sydney to Melbourne, one of Australia's greatest cities—and ranked as one of the world's most livable. Melbourne is famous for its buzzing restaurants, café filled laneways, cool bars, fashion boutiques, galleries, and parks. Modern, cutting-edge design rubs shoulders with heritage architecture for a city skyline in constant flux. On arrival, a private driver will take you to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the sights of the city.

This evening's tour takes you into the heart of Melbourne's elegant and lively nightlife. It starkly contrasts the city's dark past, shaped by curious characters on both sides of the law. Begin with a dinner that reflects Melbourne's fantastic culinary scene, and learn about the city's history from a local guide. Next are some of the best spots in town, many of which are deliberately hard to find, and you can enjoy this firsthand insight into all that Melbourne has to offer.

Day 5: Aboriginal Melbourne Past & Present Tour, Half-Day Street Art Masterclass

Melbourne street art
Learn about street art from a local artist, then have a go at making your own
This morning, you'll embark on an in-depth cultural journey with an Aboriginal guide. Hear about Melbourne's various Aboriginal nations and clans, and discover the significance of local sites, such as where the present-day Melbourne Cricket Ground stands—once a gathering place of the Kulin Nation; and the nearby scar tree whose bark was used for canoes and shelters. You'll visit a social enterprise supporting Aboriginal youth, and meet a chef to taste indigenous Australian ingredients for lunch. After, stroll the suburbs looking at street art with Aboriginal roots.
Plan your trip to Australia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

This afternoon, you'll reveal your creative side with a half-day street art masterclass. Meet a renowned local artist at EverFresh Studios and set out to discover the city's incredible street art scene. You'll start with a crash course on the evolution and the history of this urban art form, and learn how Melbourne's street art disciplines cross over. Then, you'll get to create your own design in a workshop before you head out back to practice with spray cans. Finally, you'll get to leave your mark on an iconic Melbourne street art laneway.

Day 6: Full-Day Mornington Peninsula City-to-Country Experience

Farm to Plate in the Mornington Peninsula
Taste your way across the Mornington Peninsula on today's city-to-countryside adventure

After breakfast at your hotel, meet a private guide in the lobby for a city-to-countryside adventure. Together, you'll explore the backstreets of inner Melbourne for a coffee fix at a favorite local hangout. Wander a labyrinth of colorful lanes and Victorian arcades before you travel to the relaxed bayside neighborhood of St. Kilda to meet friendly local characters, talented artisans, and small business owners. From here, leave the city behind as you make the short scenic drive to the Mornington Peninsula, one of Australia's loveliest coastal wine regions.

This region is renowned for farm-to-table experiences at restaurants and cellar doors. Naturally, you'll taste a handful of classic pinots and premium chardonnay while enjoying a casual café lunch in the fresh country air. Then, spend the afternoon trekking along a coastal walking trail, meeting kangaroos and koalas at a local wildlife sanctuary, or sampling local wine and cheese with the makers. At the end of the afternoon, return to your hotel in Melbourne.

Day 7: Full-Day Phillip Island & Penguin Parade Excursion

Then nightly Penguin Parade at Phillip Island
You'll meet the locals at the nightly penguin parade on Phillip Island

Today you'll take an epic day trip to Phillip Island to witness the evening ritual of the "Penguin Parade." Stop first at the Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park, where you can see endangered species, greet adorable kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas, and admire an array of colorful birds and reptiles. After two hours, you'll reach Phillip Island, famous for the cute wild penguins that waddle up the beach every night—but there's much more to explore on the small island.

This afternoon you might visit Woolamai Beach to watch the surfers. From here, head to the western corner of the island to enjoy magnificent views of Bass Strait and the Nobbies, home to Australia's largest colony of fur seals. Before evening falls, you'll stroll along the boardwalk to the Penguin Plus viewing platform at Summerland Beach to witness the phenomena of the Penguin Parade. Watch the adorable little penguins come ashore as they hurry off to find their burrows. After, sit back and nap on the return drive to Melbourne.

Day 8: Full-Day Great Ocean Road Tour

12 Apostles
This afternoon you'll reach the iconic Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road

Wake up early for today's epic day trip along one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world: the Great Ocean Road. This stretch of highway runs 150 miles (240 km) down Victoria's southwest coast, passing national parks, limestone rock formations, seaside bluffs, coastal mountain ranges, and incredible beaches. During this full-day trip, you'll join a small group in a private Mercedes V Class minivan, giving you the flexibility to choose the stops and how much time you'd like to spend at each place.

Keep an eye toward the coast throughout the drive, as you're likely to spot whales and dolphins; on the inland side, you might even see echidnas and bandicoots. Stop for lunch at Apollo Bay, a tranquil seaside town set among the rolling coastal hills. You can also stretch your legs on a forest hike through the mountains of the famous Otway Ranges. You'll visit the romantic cove at Loch Ard Gorge, then cap the adventure at the most incredible natural landmarks on the route: the Twelve Apostles, a group of ancient limestone rock formations rising up out of the sea. 

Day 9: Fly to Hamilton Island, Heart Reef & Whitehaven Stopover

Whitehaven Beach
Fly above Whitehaven Beach in a helicopter, then land on the pure white sands

Head for the tropics this morning as you fly three hours north to Hamilton Island—one of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays archipelago, a true paradise off the coast of Queensland. Here you'll find pristine white beaches, beautiful coral gardens, and colorful marine life. This tropical island is one of Australia's most sought-after holiday destinations, offering relaxation and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and world-famous Whitehaven Beach. There's lots to do here, such as snorkeling, sea kayaking, helicopter flights, and more, all at a relaxed pace—the only way around the island is by golf buggy!

Check into your resort, then prepare for a memorable scenic helicopter flight to witness the world-famous Heart Reef, see Hill Inlet's swirling turquoise waters, and finally land on the pure white and powdery sands of Whitehaven Beach. Splash around at one of the world's most beautiful beaches and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine before your return to Hamilton Island.

Day 10: Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling Tour

Swim with sea turtles
Spend the whole day on the water, exploring various coral gardens

Today, you'll snorkel 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 is home to 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 this morning and board a private catamaran destined for two dive locations within Bait Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and an essential ecosystem for the world's oceans, providing vital habitat and protection for marine life. With this private reef experience, you'll have the chance to snorkel among colorful fish, sea turtles, rays, and even sharks. At the end of the day, return to Hamilton Island.

Day 11: Whitehaven Beach Chill & Grill

Whitehaven Beach
Spend the day exploring Whitehaven Beach and the island's nature

Take the whole day to completely unwind at one of the most beautiful beaches in the Whitsunday Islands—the postcard-perfect Whitehaven Beach. Pack a bag with your swimsuit, a good book, and sunscreen, and set sail for the white sands on a scenic cruise. Upon arrival at the beach, you'll have ample free time to swim far from the crowds and enjoy a guided hike to the Hill Inlet lookout along an ancient path used by the island's Indigenous Ngaro people. Best of all, there's no need to pack food—today includes a barbecue lunch and afternoon tea—you just need to show up, ready to relax.

Day 12: Whitsunday Islands National Park E-Bike Tour, Private Sunset Sailboat Cruise

South Molle Island
A sunset cruise around paradise is the ultimate way to spend your final evening in Australia

Put on your activewear, lather up the sunscreen, and set out for a unique e-bike adventure. Today begins with a short boat transfer to South Molle Island. Your cycling guide will unload all the gear, then you'll plunge into the bush on your e-bike, following the national park trail to three spectacular views of the Whitsunday Island group from Mount Jefferys, Spion Kop, and Balancing Rock. Pause for a short break at each destination and enjoy a snack and drink. As you pedal hear tales of how the ancient Ngaro people used local flora and fauna, and see artifacts like arrowheads.

Your off-road cycling adventure ends in Sandy Bay with a dip in the ocean and an ice-cold drink before the return boat. Take a shower, then return to the marina for this evening's private sunset cruise aboard the luxe Lady Enid. You'll spend your last afternoon and evening in Australia sailing, swimming, and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Whitsundays. Enjoy sparkling wine with antipasto in the afternoon and dinner when the sun goes down. After a dazzling sunset on the water, the crew will return to Hamilton Island.

Day 13: Fly to Brisbane, Depart

Depart Australia
Wave goodbye to paradise when you leave Hamilton Island today
Wave goodbye to the blissful landscapes of the Whitsunday Islands this morning and board a flight to Brisbane, Australia's third-largest city. From here you can transfer to your international flight home or onward. Safe travels!

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Map of East Coast Australia: Sydney, Melbourne & the Whitsundays - 13 Days
Map of East Coast Australia: Sydney, Melbourne & the Whitsundays - 13 Days