Experience some of Australia's best wildlife tours and incredible natural wonders on this 12-day outdoor adventure. It begins with city fun on a bicycle tour of Sydney's highlights, but you'll also take a day trip to the rugged mountains and vast gorges of the Blue Mountains. Then fly to tropical Queensland to snorkel the outer limits of the Great Barrier Reef and embark on rainforest hikes before heading south to spend time with kangaroos and enjoy the world-famous gastronomy of Adelaide.


  • Cycle around the highlights of Sydney and venture into the Blue Mountains
  • Relax on the beaches of tropical Queensland and cruise the Great Barrier Reef
  • Discover Adelaide's world-famous culinary scene on a foodie tour of its markets
  • Spend two days on Kangaroo Island mingling with the local wildlife

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney, Optional Activities Sydney
Day 2 Sydney Guided Bike Tour Sydney
Day 3 Day Trip to the Blue Mountains Sydney
Day 4 Sydney to Port Douglas, Optional Activities Port Douglas
Day 5 Outer Barrier Reef Cruise Port Douglas
Day 6 Free Day in Port Douglas Port Douglas
Day 7 Full-Day Daintree Adventure & River Snorkeling Port Douglas
Day 8 Port Douglas to Adelaide, Optional Activities Adelaide
Day 9 Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, Ultimate Tour (Day 1) Kangaroo Island
Day 10 Ultimate Kangaroo Island Tour (Day 2), Transfer to Adelaide Adelaide
Day 11 Adelaide Central Market Food Tour Adelaide
Day 12 Depart Australia  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney, Optional Activities

Views across the Sydney Harbour

Welcome to Sydney! Often mistaken as Australia's capital (that would be Canberra), this city feels like the country's central metropolis. This is due to its iconic landmarks, historic neighborhoods, world-class culinary and nightlife scenes, prime waterfront location, and many pristine beaches (well over 100). Upon arrival at the airport, you'll transfer to your hotel and take some time to relax and unwind.

If you have the energy, head out and explore. Soak up the lively atmosphere of Darling Harbour, or walk across Harbour Bridge for great views of the Opera House. Nearby are the cobblestone laneways of The Rocks, Sydney's oldest neighborhood. You can also head to the famous Bondi Beach and take a surf lesson or enjoy the calmer waters at Coogee. Afterward, dine on fresh seafood or eclectic international fare before taking on Sydney's legendary nightlife.

Day 2: Sydney Guided Bike Tour

Guided Bike Tour
Have some fun cycling around Sydney 

The Sydney Classic Bike Tour takes you to all of the city's iconic sights and many more that are off the beaten path. Today's excursion is led by a local guide who will provide expert commentary and historical perspective on the landmarks and areas you visit.

Highlights include the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park, the Anzac War Memorial, Chinatown, Sydney Tower, Parliament House, Queen Victoria Building, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and over 30 more great attractions! An extra treat is that halfway through the tour, you'll make a pit stop at a local pub for a quick pint before getting back on the road. After the tour, you'll have the remainder of the afternoon free to continue exploring Sydney on your own. 

Day 3: Day Trip to the Blue Mountains

The Three Sisters rock formations, in the Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters rock formations in the Blue Mountains

About a two-hour drive inland from the urban jungle of Sydney are the dramatic Blue Mountains, a region known for rugged cliffs, eucalyptus forests, and cascading waterfalls. Lace-up your hiking boots for a full-day, small-group excursion to see the best of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. After transferring here, you'll visit a working farm and meet local wildlife like kangaroos, emus, wombats, and koalas. Then, hike across valleys and sandstone ridges to viewpoints of the towering Three Sisters rock formations.

As you reach Govett's Leap, one of the country's most famous lookouts, marvel at the sweeping vistas across Grose Valley, Australia's answer to the Grand Canyon. Your final stop is 3,280 feet (1,000 m) above sea level at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. Here, you'll see hundreds of international plant species as well as the exotic critters that call this sanctuary home, including various birds, reptiles, and insects. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel in Sydney.

Day 4: Sydney to Port Douglas, Optional Activities

Four Mile Beach, in Port Douglas
Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas

In the morning, you'll transfer from your hotel to the airport and board a three-hour flight to Cairns, on Australia's northern coast. Upon arrival, a private car will be waiting to transfer you to Port Douglas. Located in northeastern Queensland, this resort town on the Coral Sea is a base for excursions to Australia's famous Great Barrier Reef. It's the perfect locale for travelers who want a tropical escape in a relaxed environment.

After checking in to your hotel, spend the rest of the day browsing Port Douglas' charming boutiques, dining in its alfresco restaurants, and taking excursions to the reef's coral cays (islets). Also, a visit to Four Mile Beach is essential. Here, you can laze on the golden sands of this palm-fringed crescent beach without a care in the world. Port Douglas is also a popular base from which to explore the Wet Tropics national parks, Daintree Rainforest, and the scenic coastal headland Cape Tribulation.

Day 5: Outer Barrier Reef Cruise

Spend a full day exploring the Great Barrier Reef

Get ready for a day exploring the furthest reaches of the Great Barrier Reef! It begins in the morning when you board a catamaran and sail to the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs, located at the outer edge of the marine park. This small chain of ribbon reefs runs parallel to Australia's continental shelf and is widely regarded as being home to some of the best dive sites in the entire region. Here, the crystalline outer reef waters provide optimum visibility for diving/snorkeling among the colorful coral gardens. 

After spending some time in the water with sea turtles, tropical fish, and other aquatic animals, return to the catamaran's deck for lunch. Afterward, you'll receive some insight from qualified marine biologists regarding the incredible biodiversity in the Barrier Reef. Later, climb aboard a helicopter for a scenic flight. As you soar over the turquoise waters, you'll have a bird's-eye view of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. 

Or, if you prefer, you can marvel at this underwater kingdom while riding a glass-bottomed, semi-submersible boat. The cabin in which you'll sit is 3 feet (1 m) underwater, and here you can watch fish feeding in colorful coral gardens that have formed over thousands of years. When the tour is over, head up to the sundeck, grab a cool drink, and relax as you enjoy the ride back to port. 

Day 6: Free Day in Port Douglas

Cape Tribulation, near Port Douglas
Spend a relaxing day exploring all that Port Douglas has to offer. Perhaps travel to nearby coastal villages and palm-fringed beaches like Trinity and Clifton. Or opt for a 4WD tour of Daintree and explore the oldest rainforest ecosystem on earth. Continue to other natural wonders like the stunning Cape Tribulation coastal headland. To see aquatic animals, travel back to the nearby city of Cairns and visit its Aquarium, which is home to various species of sharks, rays, sea turtles, eels, and many others.

Day 7: Full-Day Daintree Adventure & River Snorkeling

Mossman Gorge
Mossman Gorge

In the morning, travel to nearby Mossman Gorge, the gateway to Daintree National Park, to embark on a rainforest adventure combining swimming, snorkeling, and jungle hikes. Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed with a traditional "smoking" ceremony conducted by the Kuku Yalanji First Nations people that is designed to protect you while visiting their ancestral lands. They'll even apply rainforest body paint.

After the ceremony, you'll enter Daintree on a 1.5-hour guided rainforest walk. Along the way, you'll learn much about the flora and fauna in the world's oldest rainforest ecosystem. After a break for lunch, travel to the Mossman River for a wild snorkeling excursion in which you're carried along by the current of the water. In this river, you can search for freshwater turtles, water dragons (colorful lizards), and the elusive platypus. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel in Port Douglas.

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

Day 8: Port Douglas to Adelaide, Optional Activities

Adelaide is surrounded by green space

In the morning, your driver will take you to the airport in Cairns, where you will board the three-hour flight south to Adelaide. Upon arrival, another driver will transfer you to your hotel. Then, you'll have the day free to discover Adelaide on your own. This former British colonial hub is laid out in a grid pattern on the lovely River Torrens and is surrounded by green parklands. It's a progressive city famous for its many festivals, fine food, and wine.

You can start by stopping at some of the city's historic buildings. Highlights dating to the 19th century include the Town Hall and the French Gothic St Peter's Cathedral. For more culture, visit the Art Gallery of South Australia to browse some 47,000 artworks on display from around the world. But Adelaide is probably most famous for its gastronomy. It's located at the doorstep of wine country and is overflowing with multicultural restaurants and cool bars. Head out to the vineyards on a wine tour, or book a table at the hottest new fusion eatery.

Day 9: Adelaide to Kangaroo Island, Ultimate Tour (Day 1)

Kangaroo Island's Remarkable Rocks

A driver will pick you up early from your hotel today and transfer you to the airport, where you'll catch a quick 35-minute flight to Kangaroo Island. Upon arrival in the town of Penneshaw, your tour operator will meet you at the airport. After checking in to your hotel, you'll board a bus and enjoy the first day of tours around this highlight locale of South Australia. A third of the island's total area is comprised of protected wildlife reserves, so you'll see some incredible sights.

Your first stop is at Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you'll enjoy a guided beach walk at a breeding colony of wild Australian sea lions. After a pub lunch, the tour continues to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, where you'll feed kangaroos and meet some koalas. Spend the remainder of the afternoon in the Flinders Chase National Park on the island's rugged west coast. Here, you can marvel at unique rock formations like Admirals Arch and the granite boulders of Remarkable Rocks. After the tour, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 10: Ultimate Kangaroo Island Tour (Day 2), Transfer to Adelaide

Kangaroo Island Spirits
Sample some artisanal spirits

The tour begins with a morning pick-up from your hotel. The first stop will be at the fascinating Raptor Domain, a conservation center for birds of prey. Here, you'll see thrilling presentations featuring wedge-tailed eagles and cockatoos. Continue to Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery, which manufactures a variety of all-natural products from eucalyptus oil to soap to sweets to skin cream. After a delicious two-course lunch in their café, you'll take a guided tour of the facilities.

Next is Clifford's Honey Farm, home to the island's famous artisanal honey ice cream. Here you'll see a working beehive (try to spot the queen) and taste different varieties of pure Ligurian honey. Later in the afternoon, visit Kangaroo Island Spirits, a local company specializing in handcrafted liquors. They operate a micro-distillery, and their award-winning gin, vodka, and other spirits are all produced on-site.

Your last stop on the tour is at False Cape Wines vineyards. Enjoy a wine tasting as you relax on the stone deck amid peaceful views of the surrounding grapevines and gum trees. The day ends at the Penneshaw Hotel, where there will be time for dinner before returning to Adelaide by ferry or flight. 

Day 11: Adelaide Central Market Food Tour

Adelaide Central Market

Foodies rejoice because today you're invited to Adelaide Central Market, a culinary hub in a city famous for its incredible gastronomy. This icon of South Australia was established in 1869 and is home to over 80 vendors selling everything from organic produce and quality meats to fresh seafood and premium coffees. Beyond that, there are bakeries, artisanal cheesemakers, sweet shops, and more, all under one roof.

Upon arrival at the market, you'll embark on a three-hour tour led by a local food expert, which includes tasting a wide selection of some of the finest artisanal treats in South Australia. Along the way, you'll stop and meet the suppliers, vendors, and purveyors whose families have traded the market for generations. This is a small-group tour that's serious fun for those with a passion for great food and the people who grow and supply it.

Day 12: Depart Australia

Goodbye Australia
In the morning, a private car will pick you up from your hotel for the transfer to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home.

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Map of Sydney, Great Barrier Reef, Adelaide & Kangaroo Island - 12 Days
Map of Sydney, Great Barrier Reef, Adelaide & Kangaroo Island - 12 Days