Australian Natural Adventures

A specialist travel agency for Australia travel and Australia tours


Custom Itinerary

June 11 to June 22, 2010



Day 1: Friday, June 11: Home City/Los Angeles/ Lost In Space
Begin your South Pacific journey by flying from your home city to Los Angeles. On arrival at LAX exit the terminal and walk to Terminal 3 (LAX terminals). Check in early for your late evening V Australia flight to Sydney, Australia, which begins the moment you step aboard your V Australia plane. The Australian style is apparent—easy going, casually efficient and very friendly. V Australia is known for its excellent food and in flight service, so you can sit back and enjoy the hospitality, meal and a movie. We would, however, recommend having dinner at the airport – there are a wide range of options upstairs, at the end of the ticket counters – then just relaxing on the plane. A Do Not Disturb sign can be useful to get some rest, as it will be after 1am by the time meals are served.        (*D)


Day 2: Saturday, June 12: Lost In Space
Today is lost to the International Date Line, but you regain it on the return journey.


Day 3: Sunday, June 13: Lost In Space / Sydney / Darwin / Kakadu
Arrive in Sydney at 6.05am this morning. After passing through immigration and customs transfer to the domestic terminal for your 10.45am flight to Darwin, arriving at about 3pm. You are met at the airport by your guide and drive out to Kakadu National Park, where you overnight. (*B)


Day 4: Sunday, June 14: Darwin / Jabiru
Today begin to explore the World Heritage Area of Kakadu National Park. At Ubirr Rock climb up through the ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries to the lookout for the famous view over surrounding wetlands. Visit the Bowali Centre with informative displays, and continue to Cooinda to join Kakadu’s famous Yellow Waters Wetland Cruise to experience the beauty of the Kakadu wetlands. As this is a private tour your exact itinerary will depend on your interests and the guide's knowledge, which is extensive. Overnight tonight at Jabiru.      (B,L)



Day 5: Monday, June 15: Jabiru / Darwin
Today’s highlights include visits to Nourlangie Rock region and Anbangbang Billabong which includes spectacular Arnhem Land Escarpment views, ancient Aboriginal occupation sites and pristine freshwater environments. We also venture off the beaten track to Maguk (Barramundi Gorge), where a 2km return walk through paperbark forest leads to a small waterfall and clear plunge pool with the opportunity to swim. This walk is graded moderate with difficult areas requiring some agility in rougher parts of the track. Late afternoon we make our way out of Kakadu National Park and pausing for an evening snack (own expense) at the Bark Hut Inn. Arrive back into Darwin mid evening.       (B,L)


Day 6: Tuesday, June 16: Darwin / Cairns
Fly to Cairns at 7am this morning, arriving at 10am. You are met and transferred to Kewarra Beach Resort, on a beach just north of Cairns. At about 1.30pm you are picked up to spend the afternoon and evening in the rainforest. Early this afternoon you will be picked up for an afternoon/evening tour to the rainforest of the Atherton Tablelands. These World Heritage listed rainforests, at an elevation of about 2,500 ft, are home to some of Australia’s rarest and most unusual animals, including four kinds of very restricted possums, gliders, and the definitely weird tree kangaroo, a kangaroo which has adapted to a life in the trees, rather than on the ground. Your guide will take you to a small stream to wait for platypus, the egg-laying mammal unique to Australia, all the time describing the plants and dynamics of the surrounding rainforest. A variety of rainforest birds and other animals, perhaps including the leaf-tailed gecko - eight inches long and colored and shaped like a piece of bark - will be found and seen. After dinner out, a couple of hours will be spent spotlighting for nocturnal animals, always a highlight of the day. The return to Cairns will be late, around midnight, but the long day will remain in your memory for years to come.         (B,D)


Day 7: Wednesday, June 17: Great Barrier Reef
Today you are introduced to one of the natural wonders of the world—Australia’s outer Great Barrier Reef, a series of reefs extending for about 1,250 miles along the coast of Queensland, nearly to Papua New Guinea. Your boat today is Passions of Paradise, a snorkel and dive catamaran, which will take you to at least two separate places on the reef, including Michaelmas cay, home to tens of thousands of swirling – and confiding - seabirds. You are picked up from your hotel at 7.20am to begin your day. Don't forget your towel (the hotel has special reef towels available), hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Most of the Great Barrier Reef, including the parts visited today, are multiple-use Marine Park. Brilliantly colored fish, giant clams, beche de mer and coral outcrops can all be seen. You can start your reef visit with a marine biologist led tour in a glass bottomed boat; afterwards easy swimming in shallow water brings you over coral “bombies,” heads of coral with their assortment of fishes, and hard and soft corals. Parrot fish glean algae from the coral, and small and medium predators search for food. Schools of fish twist and flash between the outcrops. An occasional sea turtle may be seen. Lunch is a tropical smorgasbord aboard. There is time after your return this evening to visit Cairns downtown, for souvenirs and perhaps a meal at Ochre Restaurant, specializing in native Australian foods. There are also many other interesting restaurants to choose from. (L)


Day 8: Thursday, June 18: Cairns / Cape Tribulation/ Cairnsdaintree crocodile
A day for driving north to Cape Tribulation, or take a full day tour to the Cape. A highlight today is a cruise on the Daintree River, home to numerous large crocodiles.




Day 9: Friday, June 19: Cairns / Gladstone / Heron Island
An very early start this morning back to Cairns airport where you drop off your car and fly south at 6.45am to Brisbane, then back up to Gladstone, in southern central Queensland. On arrival you are met and transferred to the harbour, where you board your helicopter to travel to Heron Island, a small resort on a true coral atoll. The helicopter flight gives you wonderful views of the reef, and youget to Heron earlier than on the boat transfer. You'll arrive at lunchtime, and from then until you depart your time is your own. You can beach walk, visit the research station, and walk out onto coral reefs at low tide, as they connect to the beach in places and do not require swimming. However, very easy snorkeling is a wonderful way to spend some of your time here. The resort is noted for its ambience, and excellent foods and wine choices, as well as other activities including a spa.

Day 10: Saturday, June 20: Heron Island
Continue to relax and enjoy the island. In addition to guided and personal reef walking and shallow snorkeling directly off the beach you can take a semisubmersible ride among the coral, with a guide describing the marine life seen through the windows. A popular and relaxing activity is a picnic basket and enjoy a lunch on the beach. Fishing, tennis, and other activities are also available during your stay.        (B)



Day 11: Tuesday, June 21: Heron Island / Gladstone / Sydneyopera house sydney
After lunch bid farewell to the island and take the launch back to the mainland. On arrival at 4pm you are met and transferred to the airport for your flight south to Sydney. On arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel in The Rocks, the historical heart of Sydney. As well as a good range of interesting shops, some of Sydney's oldest and most colorful pubs, and best restaurants, are found within a ten minute stroll. Australia has developed its own cuisine, a far cry from the stodgy English-based fare of earlier years. Restaurants featuring a fusion of Asian, European and even native Australian food abound, often featuring the superbly fresh fish abundantly available from Australia's long coastline.       (B)


Day 12: Wednesday, June 22: Sydney / Los Angeles / Home City
Discover Sydney today, a wonderfully cosmopolitan city. Just a short walk from your hotel (the desk can give you directions) is the office of Sydney Harbor Bridge AustraliaThe Rocks Walking Tours, from where you will start your 11.30am easy 90-minute wasydney Opera House & Harbor Bridge Australialking tour of this historic and vibrant area. Many of the buildings date from the very first years of the settlement, and are convict-built. You will get a good insight to the history of Sydney, and Australia. The rest of the day is free to explore this vibrant and friendly city. In addition to great shops to buy the needed souvenirs and gifts, just a short walk is the Botanic Gardens and the Domain, which has a very good, classic view of the Opera House, Bridge and harbour. The Australian Museum, with its impressive collection of Aboriginal artifacts and art, is also close by. A lunchtime cruise is a good way to truly appreciate this water-side city. You may wish to take a guided tour of the Opera House; tours leave on the half hour from 9.30am until 4.45pm. Many people think of opals when they think of Australia, and we can recommend Altmann & Cherny and Art of Opal for interesting and quality opals, along with excellent service. There are a number of places to buy opals , but these two get consistently high marks form our clients, and have a wide range of stones at all price points, both set and loose. Altmann & Cherny has an educational section where you can learn about opals, and also displays the Aurora Australia, a huge 180 carat black opal valued at $1m million. We’ve included brochures which entitle you to a discount and a free gift. You should take your passport and airline ticket to buy tax-free. Everything is within walking distance of your hotel, but Sydney is extremely well-serviced by buses and the underground if you go further afield. Return to the airport tonight for you 10.30pm flight to Los Angeles, arriving at 5.10pm this same day. At 8.55pm fly back to your home city.       (B,*L,*S,*B)


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