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Tourism Australia Premier Aussie Specialist.
Accredited Tasmania Specialist

          

 



Custom Itinerary for Anne & Connie

Australia & New Zealand

October 2005

Day 1 - Los Angeles / Lost In Space
Begin your South Pacific journey flying to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles collect your bag, then you may wish to take the airport terminal shuttle to the Tom Bradley 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. Qantas logo Check in for your flight to Australia, which begins the moment you step aboard your Qantas plane. The Australian style is apparent—easy going, casually efficient and very friendly. Qantas is known for its Qantas planeexcellent 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

Day 2 - Lost In Space
Lose today due to the International Dateline, but regain it on your return journey.                *M

Day 3 - Sydney / Cairns
You arrive in Sydney this morning, pass through customs and immigration then transfer to your flight to Cairns, arriving at lunchtime. This flight departs from the domestic terminal, pelicans Cairns Esplanade Queensland Australiaand you will take the terminal shuttleCairns Esplanade Queensland Australia  - photo courtesy cairnsesplanade.com bus to that terminal – directions are clear in the international terminal for this. On arrival in Cairns you will be met and transferred to your hotel, Tradewinds Esplanade. You can walk out of the rear of the hotel to the Esplanade, which runs along the bayfront. It is a very short and pleasant walk through the new Esplanade Fogarty Park to the main downtown area, past cafes, shops and restaurants. Probably the best eating fish in Australia, and one of the best in the world, is Barramundi, and you should make sure this is a feature of one of your meals here. Start with an appetizer of Mud crab or Moreton Bay Bugs (both far better than they sound), followed by Barramundi done as simply as possible. A dry white Australian Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps from the Margaret River area of Western Australia, or a crisp Victorian white, will be a perfect accompaniment.             *B

Day 4 - Cairns
Tjapukai Aboriginal Dance Troupe Cairns Queensland Australia Today is free to relax and look around Cairns. A suggested recommendation is to learn about coastal Aboriginal culture at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, and perhaps enjoy a scenic train ride up the range behind Cairns, and brush the top of the rainforest trees by cablecar. Although designed as a tourist venture, the 16 year old Tjapukai concept began and remains today a means ofSkyrail Kuranda Queensland Australia introducing non-aboriginal people to the world’s oldest living culture, while at the same time showing by example to the Aboriginal people themselves that their culture, often ignored and looked down upon by its own people, is of great value and interest to others throughout Australia and the world. Through dance and Kuranda Rail Queensland Australiatheatre, and traditional activities including spear and boomerang throwing, food and medicinal plants identification, and shelter construction, there is much to learn here about Aboriginal life. Prior tRed Ochre Grill meal Cairns Queensland Australiao Tjapukai you will be picked up for the morning scenic train ride to Kuranda, then the Skyrail Cable ride down, an interesting way to see the rainforest from the canopy. Skyrail's terminus is adjacent to Tjapukai, and at the end of the day you will be returned to your hotel. A suggestion for dinner is the Red Ochre Grill, where native Australian foods are cooked and presented in gourmet style. This unique concept has introduced a whole new range of tastes to the Australian palate.

Day 5 - Great Barrier Reef
Today you are introduced to one of the natural wonders of the world—Australia’s Gdiver and fish Great Barrier Reef Cairnsreat Barrier Reef, a series of reefs extending for about 1,250 miles along the coast of Queensland, nearly to Papua New Guinea. emporer angelfish Great Barrier Reef CairnsBrilliantly colored fish, giant clams, beche de mer and coral outcrops can all be seen in the prdominantly shallow - less than 60ft - water. Surface swimming in shallow water brings us 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. Your are transferred to the outer reef for two dives, and snorkeling, then you board your boat for an overnight. Another afternoon dive can be made, and a night dive/snorkeling. long-nosed butterfly fish Great Barrier Reef Australia                       

Day 6 - Great Barrier Reef / Cairns
coral cay Great Barrier Reef Queensland Australia Your second day on the Great Barrier Reef. Continue snorkeling, and make a further two dives. Return to Cairns at 4.30pm, and then you are invited to share the evening at a restaurant with new found friends and crew.


Day 7 - Cairns / Atherton Tablelands / Cairns
black opal Queensland Australia
This morning is free to look around Cairns. A suggestion is a visit to the Outback Opal Mine, where as well as buying opals you can learn from a educational film and display how and where they are mined. A call to this interesting store and museum will have them coming to collect you, and drop you off later, at no obligation.

tree kangaroos Queensland AustraliaEarly this afternoon you will be picked up for an afternoon/evening tourfan palm Queensland Australia 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.platypus in stream Australia A variety of rainforest birds and other animals, perhaps including the leaf-ulysses butterfly Queensland Australiatailed 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.                       D

Day 8 – Cairns / Ayers Rock
This morning taxi to the airport for your 9.15am Qantas flight to Ayers Rock, arriving at 11.35am. This flight gives you a wonderful look at the desert landscape from the air. Here you are transferredUluru Ayers Rock Australia to your accommodation, Yulara Resort, a few miles from the base of Uluru, as Ayers Rock is known to the local Aboriginal people (although there is a little controversy as to what Uluru really is referring to, and by which group.) You will have a couple of hours to relax, perhaps visiting the nearby cultural and display center, then about one hour before sunset you will be picked up and transferred to a sand dune a little way from Uluru. Hear a didgeridoo’s sounds greet you, and you watch the sun set on Uluru, one of the most inspiring sights possible. As the colors change, you will be sipping on canapés and champagne. Afterwards sit down,Sounds of Silence dinner Ayers Rock Uluru Australia under the southern stars, for a truly memorable dinner. Once dinner is over you have the opportunity to observe the constellations and stars through a telescope, while your guide explains which is which. Don’t forget to ask how to find south, and tell the time, by the stars.              D

Day 9 – Ayers Rock
This morning you are picked up at 7am to explore Uluru itself. After witnessing sunrise on Uluru, and event not to be missed, and a picnic breakfast, you will combine a drive and walk around the base, about 6 miles. Short walks will bring you to this wonderful and powerful place, viewing rock Ayers Rock tour Uluru Australiaart, waterholes and appreciating the unique flora and fauna of Uluru. A special feature is the appreciation of the exquisite as well as the dramatic sculpturing of Uluru. There is time to amble, to absorb images and to gain an insight into Uluru's remarkable presence, while your guide will introduce you to the geology of Uluru and describe how plants and wildlife have adapted and survived in such a forbidding environment. The fascinating relationship of the Anangu people to Uluru is also described. After lunch Kata Tjuta the Olgas Ayers Rock Australiayou will explore another fascination and significant formation, Kata Tjuta, or The Olgas. Kata Tjuta is a series of huge rounded rocks hills, and once again an important Aboriginal area. Your guide will show you the area, and describe stories of the Dreamtime relevant to Kata Tjuta (not in full as the stories are only fully available to tribal members), as well as geology and history. The day ends with a sunset some say equal to that on Uluru itself. You return to the resort in time for dinner.

Day 10 - Ayers Rock / Sydney
After a free morning - perhaps you'll take a short walk to a viewing area in the dunes Sydney Harbor Bridge Australianear the resort to once again view sunrise on Uluru, return to the airport for your flight to Sydney, arriving about 5pm. Your hotel taxi or shuttle to your hotel, the Harbour Rocks, located in the RocksSydney Australia restaurant meal, the historical heart of Sydney. As well as a good range of interestings 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.

 

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