Watch the sun set over Ayers Rock at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, relax around a campfire and savor a traditional "bush" dinner, sleep under the stars, and learn about the heritage and culture from a local Aboriginal guide. Visit the cosmopolitan city of Sydney, stopping in at the Sydney Opera House, walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens, cruising the Sydney Harbour at night-- dining on some of the best food the country has to offer.
Be dazzled by the Blue Mountains and play with Koalas, Kangaroos, and Tasmanian Devils at the nation's largest wildlife sanctuary. Explore the legendary Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the reef up close as you swim, snorkel, scuba, or view it from a glass-bottomed boat. Take a magical journey aboard the historic Kuranda Railway and travel through the rain forest canopy: Adventure Australia with us.
Itinerary | 9 Days
Day 1: Our international flights will take directly to the bustling harbor city of Sydney, where we will take the time to adjust to the time change by having an introductory lesson of Australia, it's cuisine, and the photography skills we will be learning during the trip. Here we will take an tour of some of Sydney’s most spectacular sites. Highlights here include visiting the Sydney Opera House, exploring the Royal Botanical Gardens, seeing the Sydney Tower, crossing the Sydney Harbour & Bridge, and dining on a traditional welcome dinner at Pancake on the Rocks. Accommodation: The Rocks Hotel
Day 2: Today we will have the opportunity to learn about Sydney as a multicultural and gastronomical world capital, as we set off to explore the many “distinct villages” where people of particular nationalities have settled – the Italians in Haberfield, the Turkish around Auburn, the Lebanese in Punchbowl, the Greeks in Marrickville, the Vietnamese in Cabramatta, the Koreans in Eastwood, and Fairfield which is a great mix of cuisines and cultures. Along with our local guide we will have a morning and afternoon filled will different sights, sounds, aromas, recipes, and many tastings. This tour will explain the modern, international, and aboriginal cultures that exist in the city. In the evening you will have free time to relax, take a cooking class, attend an Opera, or take a harbor cruise to the twinkling city lights. Throughout the day we will focus on using natural light and beautiful settings to capture our experiences on camera. Accommodation: The Rocks Hotel
Day 3: Today we will wake up early and enjoy a beautiful coastal ride 30 minutes out of the city center. We will arrive at one of Australia’s highlights, Bondi Beach – the local favorite. The beach attracts a flock of people from world-class surfers to the common beach-goer. Here we will have the opportunity to plunge into the ocean, stroll down the promenade, shop at the local artisan shops, and sample the local fish & chips and try Bondi favorites like Gelato Messina. Here we will have a photography lesson on how to capture culture & cuisine out in the field. We will keep our eyes open because we may observe humpbacks jumping in the distance (season May – November). Accommodation: The Rocks Hotel
Day 4: From Sydney we will head inland about 1-hour on our private bus to the UNESCO World Heritage Blue Mountains. Here you will experience sheer rock faces that plunge into eucalypt clad valleys, native flora and fauna, and gorgeous waterfalls. We will have the opportunity to take a cable car up the spiraling cliffs of the mountains and come close to the Three Sister Peaks, jagged ridges that still remain sacred to the Aboriginal people. After our trip to the mountains we will experience up-close encounters with kangaroos, koalas, and Tasmanian devils during a visit to one of the largest wildlife parks in the region. Our evening will end with a delicious dinner & food styling lesson. Accommodation: Paradise Resort Port Douglas
Day 5: Say hello to the charming fishing village of Port Douglas, a mere 15-minute drive from Cairns. This charming village is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. With the outer reef less than an hour offshore, mystical rainforests a short drive inland, and gorgeous resorts lining the coast, this city will be our home for the next 2 days. Today we will relax on the beautiful beaches, explore the quant fishing markets, and dine on delicious seafood. Here we will also have the opportunity to take a local cooking class with some of the best chefs in Northern Australia. We will be immersed in the fragrant spices of ground pastes, the methodical chop of local vegetables, the sizzle & steam of stir fries, and the bubbles of the deep-fry. Following our cooking class we will have a lesson on food styling and post production (photoshop & lightroom). Accommodation: Paradise Resort Port Douglas
Day 6: Today you will have free time to experience the beauty of coastal Australia and possibly even venture out to see largest living structure on earth, the Great Barrier Reef. Whether you choose to join one of the numerous boat tours through the beautiful island chains, embark on a snorkeling trip through the turquoise waters and experience with colorful sea life, or take a once-in-a-lifetime trip deep into the depths of the reef on a SCUBA excursion, you will be left mesmerized. In the evening also have the opportunity to explore the diverse Northern Australia's cuisine by visiting the local markets & bazaars, learning about the different ingredients, and getting to know unique flavors that have origins in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Polynesia. Here we will practice our travel portraiture & reportage as we explore the beauty of the North. Accommodation: Paradise Resort Port Douglas
Day 7: We will wake up bright and early and after enjoying a delicious breakfast depart on Kuranda Scenic Railway, one of the most beautiful scenic railways in the world. The journey is spectacular, comprised of beautiful views of World Heritage Listed rainforest, steep ravines, and picturesque waterfalls within the Barron Gorge National Park. We will wind from Cairns to Kuranda, a beautiful village deep in the rainforest. At Kuranda, we will have the opportunity to visit bustling markets, explore the rainforest canopies, and even get a taste of Aboriginal culture. As our trip comes to a close we will have the opportunity to participate in an incredible dining experience in the heart of the rainforest. We will dine on authentic cuisine and watch a traditional aboriginal performance with music & dance, learning how to capture it all on camera. After our show, we will travel back to Cairns to overnight. Accommodation: Paradise Resort Port Douglas
Day 8: After an early breakfast, we’ll board our bus one last time to travel to the airport and depart for our international flights home or extend our journey with a short flight to Queenstown where we will join up with the group on Day 2, beginning our expedition of New Zealand.
Optional 3-day Pre-Extension to the Australian Outback:
Days 1-2 Our pleasant international flights will take us directly to the heart of Australia, home of the Aboriginal people and the infamous Ayers Rock. We will will travel through a landscape that is vast and whose earth is deep and red in color, the beginning our two-day outback bush camping tour. Highlights here include: traveling through the Red Center to see Uluru and the majestic domes of Kata Tjuta, learning about aboriginal traditions and beliefs during a dreamtime tour, watching the changing colors of Ayers Rock at sunset and sunrise, savoring a traditional “bush” dinner, and discovering the mysteries of Uluru as you sleep under the stars.
Day 3 - Ayers Rock
We will wake up early to catch the stunning sight of Uluru at sunrise, a spectacular moment for photographers to capture one of the natural wonders of the world. After breakfast we will travel to Kata Tjuta to take a guided walk around one of its many sandstone domes. With our guide we will walk through the Valley of the Winds, follow dried creek beds, and experience the outback’s poetic sense of isolated wilderness. After our walk through Kata Tjuta we will travel back to Ayers International Airport to catch our 3-hour flight to Sydney to meet up with the rest of the group
Trip Summary: Australia | 8 Days
Trip Dates: Year Round
Group Size: Max 16 participants
Price From: $4200 per person
This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.
Private dates upon inquiry.
All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and meals as listed on the itinerary. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included.
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