Australian Natural Adventures

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific


Custom Itinerary for
Shay lawson & Debbi Drewes

December 24 to January 7


Day 1 - Friday, December 24: Birmingham / Los Angeles / In Flight
Fly from Birmingham to Los Angeles on Delta DL4364 departing at 12:25pm Qantas logoarriving 2:21pm Dallas Ft Worth. Transfer to Delta DL381 departing 3:50pm and arriving into Los Angeles at 5.16pm. Make your way to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, which is at the head of the horseshoe of LAX terminals. However, as you have plenty of time, and you will be sitting down for over 14 hours, you can also walk. Delta arrives at Terminal 5, so you will turn left when you exit to head towards the Tom Bradley. It’s about a five minute walk. Check in early for your Qantas flight QF108, leaving 11:45pm to Australia, which begins the momentQantas plane you step aboard. The Australian style is apparent—easy going, casually efficient and very friendly. Qantas is known for its excellent food and in flight service, so sit back and enjoy the hospitality, meal and a movie. I 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. *M

Australian Christmas stampouter spaceDay 2 - Saturday, December 25: Lost in Space
Today is lost due to the International Date Line, but you regain it on your return journey. However, this means a year without Christmas Day!


Day 3 - Sunday, December 26: In Flight / Sydney

Arrive in Sydney, Australia at 9.15am and pass through customs and Sydney Opera House and Bridge Australiaimmigration. You will be met met outside the arrival gate (look for driver with your name on a hand board) and transferred to your hotel, the Harbour Rocks, in The Rocks, Sydney. The Rocks Markets should be operating today, but as it is Boxing Day in Australia, a holiday, there may be fewer stalls than usual, or it may not be on at all. Its location is just a few steps from your hotel in the historical and now the most vibrant and interesting area of Sydney. Many buildings were built by the earliest settlers, including convicts transported to Australia from England as punishment for their crimes. Houses, hotels, woolsheds and other buildings dating from the early 1800s (Australia was first settled in 1788) are seen, many of which now house some of Sydney’s most interesting shops, with wares ranging from Aboriginal artifacts to the latest high fashion. NearbyCadmans Cottage Sydney Australia Circular Quay is home to the many ferries that cross the harbor, the Sydney Harbour Bridge itself, and the beautifully designed, and placed, Opera House. There are many small restaurants around the Quay, and is a wonderful place to eat and watch the evening light over the Opera House. Although you may be tired after the long flight, don't be tempted to have a nap or even lie down - you need to stay awake until at least 8pm to sleep well enough tonight to fall into the local time zone. *B

Day 4 - Monday, December 27: Sydney
flying fox Australia Today is free to continue discovering this vibrant city. You may wish to take a self-guided walk around this historical part of Sydney that dates from the earliest settlement, and has many historical buildings including one of the first in Australia (appropriately built by convicts). You can get a brochure from nearby The Rocks Information Centre. Just a short walk from your hotel are the Botanic Gardens, which has good views of the harbour, an abundant bird life, and a colony of huge but appealing Grey Flying-foxes, whose wingspans are approximately three feet. They are easily seen during the day as they roost hanging from the trees. Many birds, from Black Swans to colorful Rainbow Lorikeets can usually be seen about the Gardens. Immediately south of the Gardens is a park called The Domain, also fine wine and food Sydney Australiaa good place for walking, and which houses the Art Gallery, featuring an excellent collection of Australian and overseas art, including Aboriginal Art. A little further south, at the corner of Hyde Park, is the Australian Museum, with possibly Australia’s best collection of Aboriginal artifacts and other pieces. It is also a very good natural history museum, naturally featuring Australian wildlife, geography and geology. On the other side of Hyde Park are the Hyde Park Barracks, home to over 15,000 convicts in Australia’s formative years. Other areas of interest in Sydneyblack opal Australia are Darling Harbour, with its world-class Aquarium, and a little further out the once-notorious area called Kings Cross. Public transport is excellent in Sydney, and is the recommended way to get about.The National Opal Collection downtown has a mining and information display about opals and offers tax-free buying; we’ve included brochure which also entitle you to a discount and a free gift. You should take your passport and airline ticket to buy tax-free.

Breakfast at your hotel is included this morning, as you will be a little tired and won’t be familiar with the area. However, this is not included during the rest of the trip to enable you to take breakfast as you choose, either at the hotel or at one of the many small cafes. B

Day 5 - Tuesday, December 28: Sydney
Continue to get to know Sydney. Lunch can be taken on a cruise on the harbor, with views of the Opera House and Harbour Sydney Harbour ferry AustraliaBridge, as well as the boats and ferries of what is often called the most beautiful city harbor in the world. The best way to really see Sydney Harbour is on a ferry. While there are tours that utilize the ferries, usually with lunch or morning tea, the cheapest way to do this is to simply buy a return ticket to one of the up-harbour places such as Homebush (where the Olympics were held). You’ll see a map of all the places they go at Circular Quay. The ferries have a snack/meal bar, and you can just get Manly Beach Sydney Australiaan easy lunch or snack there, sit back, and enjoy the ride. The ferry to Manly goes in the other direction, and as it passes the Entrance, whereSydney Opera House at night Australia the harbor enters the Pacific, can get interestingly rough at times. This ferry will pass the Opera House and various other landmarks, and is also a good run. The Taronga Zoo is a ferry ride across the harbour, and a lunch or dinner 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 4.30pm, and the cost is about $9. Everything is within walking distance of your hotel, but you may wish to take the bus or a train at times - Sydney is extremely well-serviced by buses and the underground. You could also take the bus to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach, to enjoy the beach and the human scenery, or perhaps rent a board or take a lesson to catch a few waves at this Australian landmark.

Day 6 - Wednesday, December 29: Sydney
restaurant Sydney Australia Continue your stay in Sydney. There is much to do, and your hotel concierge can assist – there is also a rack with many brochures of activities, from jetboating to climbing the Harbour Bridge. The inner suburbs of Paddington, Darlinghurst and more exclusive Double Bay all have many unique boutiques, cafes and restaurants; Paddington is probably best for designer boutiques, Double Bay for more upscale versions, and Darlinghurst for the most cutting edge. Kings Cross is home to Sydney’s nightlife and has over 200 restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs packed into its small area. All these places are easily got to from your hotel by safe public transport.


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