Australian Natural Adventures

A specialist travel agency for Australia travel andAustralia tours

  Tourism Australia Premier Aussie Specialist
Accredited Tassie, Northern Territory, NT Outback, NSW, Victoria & Queensland Specialists
Matai Fiji Specialist




April 28 to May 17, 2007

kangaroo island kangaroos

Day 1 – Saturday, April 28: Los Angeles / Lost In Space
Depart Seattle at 5.39pm on Alaska Airlines flight AS468 for Los Angeles, arriving at 8.20pm. Exit the terminal (3) and turn to your right; the next terminal along, at the head of the LAX horseshoe, is the Tom Bradley International. Fqantas logorom here you depart at 11.40pm on Qantas flight QF94 for Melbourne. Australia begins qantas planethe moment you step aboard your plane - the style is easy going, casually efficient and very friendly. Qantas is known for its decent food and excellent in flight service, so sit back and enjoy the hospitality, meal and a movie. There is an extensive in-flight entertainment system to while away the 14-hour flight, if you can’t sleep. However, we recommend forgoing the airline food, getting something at one of the many restaurants in the terminal, and asking for a Do Not Disturb sticker as soon as you board. Curl up, and try to sleep.     (*D)

Day 2 – Sunday, April 29: Lost In Space
Lose today due to the International Dateline, but regain it on your return journey.

Day 3 – Monday, April 30: LIS / Melbourne / Anglesea
Anglesea golf course Victoria Arrive in Melbourne at 7.55am this morning, where you pass through customs and immigration. Pick up your Hertz rental car and head south to Anglesea, about 2 hours away on the coast. Check in to your accommodation overlooking Bass Strait, and the rest of the day is free to relax. You do have to stay awake until about 8pm tonight to get into the local time zone and avoid jetlag, and a walk along the beach will help. Depending on the weather this could be cheerful and sunny, or you may experience the power of the surf crashing onto shore. Also recommended is a visit to the local golf course; it is famous for free-ranging kangaroos making a unique course hazard for players.     (*B)

Day 4 –Tuesday, May 1: Anglesea /Grampians
Meander today along the Great Ocean Road, to Warrnambool. A few miles west of Warrnambool head Grampians Victorianorth to tgreat ocean road 12 apostleshe Grampians to overnight. The Grampians is home to many Grey Kangaroos, most of whom are not concerned about humans, and Koalas and Emus are also common here. Otway National Park, abut 55 miles from Anglesea, has some excellent walking trails, with waterfalls and spectacular Tree Ferns. It’s also home to koalas, wallabies and other wildlife. Depending on your time, you may stay tonight at the Grampians, either at the southern end in Dunkeld or the northern at Hall’s Gap, or continue on, staying at a convenient motel or hotel along the way. A little north of Cape Jervis, the Kangaroo Island ferry departure point, is McLaren Vale, and to the east are several other wine producing areas; all produce some of Australia’s best wines.     (B)

Day 5 – Wednesday, May 2: Grampians / Penneshaw
fairy penguins Continue your drive west to Cape Jervis, South Australia. From here you take the ferry to Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island, at 6pm. You need to check in 30 minutes prior to departure, and don’t be late, as this is the last one of the day. Overnight at Penneshaw tonight, which gives you the opportunity to see the Fairy Penguins as they return to the beach after foraging at sea. Your hotel hosts can assist you with directions for the penguins, and for tomorrow’s explorations.

remarkable rocks kangaroo islandDay 6 – Thursday, May 3: Kangaroo Island
Explore Kangaroo Island today, staying overnight at Hanson’s Cabins on the western end. As these are self-contained, you will want to pick up some supplies either before leaving Penneshaw, or at the Vivonne Bay Store, closer to the cabins, which also has wine, beer and take-away (take-out) food.

Day 7 – Friday, May 4: Kangaroo Island / Adelaidecape barren goose
photographing kangaroos, kangaroo island Continue to discover Kangaroo Island, especially Flinders Chase National Park, adjacent to your accommodation. If you walk out to the edge of the high cliff along the south road, and look down, you’ll realize that the plants at your feet are actually extremely stunted eucalypt trees, some only inches above the ground. Slowly head back to the eastern end and Penneshaw once again, where you take the 6pm ferry back to the mainland. Drive about one hour and a half north to Adelaide to overnight.

Day 8 – Saturday, May 5: Adelaide / Cairns
Return your car at the airport (about ten minutes from your hotel), and fly to Cairns at 9.40am on Qantcairns esplanade palmsas flight Cairns esplanadeQF738 this morning to Sydney, arriving at noon. Here transfer to Qantas flight QF926 departing at 12.55, and arriving in Cairns at 4.05pm. Look for the hotel shuttle bus which will take you to your hotel, Rydges Tradewinds - you can walk directly out 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 waterfront cafes, shops and restaurants. Each evening the Night Markets are on, offering a range of souvenirs and other goods, from tacky to excellent.     (*M)

Day 9 – Sunday, May 6: 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 Newgreat barrier reef cay Guinea. Your boat tgreat barrier reef fishoday 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. Easy swimming in 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. One interesting restaurant is Red Ochre Grill, which specializes in native Australian foods, giving you an opportunity to try things not possible elsewhere, from crocodile to native pepper.     (L)

Day 10 – Monday, May 7: Cairns
This morning pick up your car, and the day is free to look around Cairns. Suggested is the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, a little over fifteen minutes away. Although designed as a tourist venture, the 16 year old Tjapukai concept began and remains today a means of introducing non-aboriginal people to the world’s oldest lTjapukai iving culture, whTjapukai troupeile 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 theatre, 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. To fit everything in, you shqueensland boulder opalould arrive by about 9.30am or in the afternoon by about 2pm. On arrival reception will give you a timed plan to work with so you don’t miss anything; expect to spend about three hours here. There’s a good place to learn about and buy opals at Clifton Beach, called the Outback Opal Mine (though it's not actually a mine), where as well as buying opals you can learn from a educational film and display how and where they are mined. Take your air tickeblack opal.ts and passport to buy duty free. About five minutes north of your hotel, and on the way back from both Tjapukai and Clifton Beach is the Cairns Botanic Gardens, which have a very good collection of tropical plants. A highlight is the palm collection, gathered from all over the world. If you are feeling energetic a few minutes away are a series of walking trails up Mt Whitfield. The Blue Arrow trail is recommended for a view of Trinity Inlet from about 1000ft; the Red trail is easier going, but doesn’t have the same view. You may want to reverse the order of these activities today, to walk the trails away from the heat of the day, and visit Tjapukai this afternoon. As long as you arrive there by about 1.30pm you can fit everything in. Recommended dinner tonight is Barramundi, a delicious Northern Australian fish.

Day 11 – Tuesday, May 8: Cairns / Undara
Head south and west this morning at your leisure for Undara, about 4.5 hours away. head inland, to a completely different habitat, the dry outback. Your journey today will take you from some of the wettest country in Australia, with over 150” of rain per year, to the dry outback where drought is a way of life. Today will show the true nature of Australia. Although the Tablelands, the first part of your journey, outback treesare rainforested, as you drive west you break into the rain shadow of this 3000ft range, and emerge into typically Australian dry eucalypt habitat. The park is about 3 hours away, a pleasant drive through ever-changing landscape. The Undara Lava Tubes were formed some 190,000 years ago when a major volcano in the McBride volcanic province erupted, its molten lava flowing down a dry river bed. As the top layer quickly cooled and crusted, the fiery magma below continued to flow through the tubes taking it further and further from the volcano. The eruption slowed and then stopped, the lava drained out of the tubes leaving a series of long, hollow tunnels. Ancient roof collapses created deep, dark and moist depressions where fertile pockets of "dry" rainforest can now be seen. Some rainforest plants and animals still thrive in this remnant environment; each tube offers a rare insight into this unusual geological wonder. The word Undara means 'a long way' in the Aboriginal language, and one of the lava flows from Undara extends 160 kilometers (or 100 miles) making it the longest lava flow from a single volcano on our planet. The original tube formed by the flow extended for approximately 100 kilometers, and several sections are accessible. During the eruption cycle, the Undara volcano spewed forth 23 cubic kilometers of lava covering 1550 square kilometers. So far, 68 separate sections of cave have been identified from over 300 lava tube roof collapses. On arrival you can explore the immediate area and trails around your lodge, where you may find a frisky kangaroo or two, before your outback dinner. Your accommodation is a converted railway car, allowing your different experience in the Australian bush.     (D)


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