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.
Trip Summary: Australia | 8 Days
Trip Dates: Year Round
Group Size: Max 16 participants
Price From: $4200 per person
Dates & Prices:
Prices from $4200
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.
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.
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Marvel at the dazzling Blue Mountains
Get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos, and Tasmanian devils at the nation's largest wildlife sanctuary
Explore the legendary Great Barrier Reef by snorkeling, scuba diving, or glass-bottomed boat
Embark on a magical journey aboard the historic Kuranda Railway, traveling through the rain forest canopy
Learn about the Aboriginal people’s rich history, culture, and cuisine
Itinerary | 8 Days
Day 1: Welcome to Straya! We’ll land in the bustling harbor city of Sydney, where we’ll start off with an introduction to Australia’s history, culture, and cuisine, as well as the photography skills we’ll master during the trip. After settling in, we’ll take a tour of some of Sydney’s most spectacular sites. Highlights include the Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney Tower, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and dining on a delicious welcome dinner at Pancake on the Rocks. Accommodation: The Rocks hotel
Day 2: Today we’ll learn about Sydney’s role as a multicultural and gastronomical world capital, exploring the many distinct villages where people of particular nationalities have settled—the Italians in Haberfield, Turkish in Auburn, Lebanese in Punchbowl, Greeks in Marrickville, Vietnamese in Cabramatta, Koreans in Eastwood, and the great mix of cuisines and cultures in Fairfield. Lead by our local guide, the day will be full of different sights, sounds, aromas, recipes, and many delicious tastings. We’ll get an inside look at the modern, international, and aboriginal cultures that exist in the city. Throughout the day we’ll focus on utilizing natural light and breathtaking scenery to capture our experiences on camera. The evening will provide free time for relaxation or further exploration. Participate in a cooking class, attend an opera, or cruise the harbor, glistening with twinkling city lights. Accommodation: The Rocks hotel or similar
Day 3: We’ll begin our day with an early morning coastal ride 30 minutes outside the city center to one of Australia’s highlights—Bondi Beach. A local favorite, the beach attracts all kinds of people, from world-class surfers to the common beach-goer. Plunge into the deep blue waters, stroll down the promenade, browse the local artisan shops, and sample a sweet treat from the renowned Gelato Messina. In the afternoon, we’ll have a photography lesson on capturing culture and cuisine out in the field. If our travels take place between May and November, we’ll keep our eyes open in hopes of observing humpback whales jumping in the distance. Accommodation: The Rocks hotel or similar
Day 4: This morning we’ll head about an hour inland by private bus to the breathtaking Blue Mountains. Marvel at sheer rock faces plunging into eucalypt-clad valleys, native flora and fauna, and gorgeous waterfalls. We’ll take a cable car up the spiraling cliffs of the mountains and come close to the Three Sisters, an interesting rock formation with jagged ridges that remains sacred to the Aboriginal people. After our mountainous adventure, we’ll experience up-close encounters with kangaroos, koalas, and Tasmanian devils at one of the largest wildlife parks in the region. Our busy day will end with a mouthwatering dinner and food styling lesson. Accommodation: Paradise Links Resort Port Douglas or similar
Day 5: Say hello to the charming fishing village of Port Douglas, a mere 15-minute drive from Cairns. This scenic town 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 mesmerizing city will be our home for the next 2 days. Today we’ll relax on the pristine beaches, explore the quaint fishing markets, and dine on fresh seafood. We’ll also take a cooking class taught by some of the best chefs in Northern Australia, immersing ourselves in the fragrant spices of ground pastes, the methodical chop of local vegetables, and the sizzle and steam of stir fry. After digging into the savory dishes we’ve created, we’ll have a lesson on food styling and post production using Photoshop and Lightroom. Accommodation: Paradise Links Resort Port Douglas or similar
Day 6: Enjoy a morning of leisure with some free time to experience the beauty of coastal Australia (and possibly even venture out to see the largest living structure on earth, the Great Barrier Reef). Join one of the numerous boat tours through the scenic island chains, embark on a snorkeling trip in turquoise waters brimming with diverse sea life, or take a once-in-a-lifetime scuba diving excursion deep into the depths of the reefs. After a day of mesmerizing adventures, we’ll spend the evening exploring Northern Australia's mouthwatering cuisine at local markets, learning about the different ingredients and getting to know the unique flavors with origins in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Polynesia. We’ll end the night practicing our travel portraiture and writing as we explore the unparalleled magnificence of the North. Accommodation: Paradise Links Resort Port Douglas or similar
Day 7: Wake up bright and early, fueling up on breakfast before departing on Kuranda Scenic Railway—one of the most stunning, picturesque railways in the world. The journey is spectacular, comprised of striking views of lush rainforest, steep ravines, and tumbling waterfalls within the Barron Gorge National Park. We’ll wind from Cairns to Kuranda, a vibrant village deep within the rainforest, where we’ll stroll through bustling markets, traverse the rainforest canopies, and even get a taste of Aboriginal culture. As our Australian adventure comes to a close, we’ll reflect on our unforgettable time over an incredible dining experience in the heart of the rainforest. We’ll feast on authentic cuisine and watch a traditional aboriginal performance with music and dance, using our improved photography skills to capture it all on camera. Accommodation: Paradise Links Resort Port Douglas or similar
Day 8: The time has come to leave this thrilling paradise. After an early breakfast, we’ll head to the airport and depart for our flights home. If you’re yearning for more adventure, hop on a short flight to Queenstown, where you’ll join Day 2 of the New Zealand expedition!
3-day Pre-Extension to the Australian Outback
Join us three days before our Australian Expedition for a journey through the Outback! We’ll embark on our camping tour, with a vast, deep-red landscape as the backdrop. 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, gazing upon the changing colors of Ayers Rock at dusk and dawn, savoring a traditional “bush” dinner, and sleeping under the countless stars. On our last day, we’ll 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’ll have a busy day exploring Kata Tjuta’s sandstone domes, the Valley of the Winds, and the Outback’s poetic sense of isolated wilderness. Prepare for even more unbelievable adventure as we catch our flight to Sydney to meet up with the rest of the group.
4-Day, 3- Night Extension to Melbourne
Day 1: Arrive in Melbourne. Welcome to Melbourne! Arrive at your hotel, check-in, and enjoy a relaxing first afternoon to explore the city on your own. Step aboard the free City Circle tram to explore the Queen Victoria Markets, Melbourne Aquarium or Old Melbourne Gaol. Walk around the city’s hub Federation Square, home to the Ian Potter Centre exhibiting Australian art. Jump on a tram to explore beachside St Kilda and Luna Park. Travel up Eureka Skydeck for amazing panoramic views. Step aboard a river cruise or stroll amongst the Royal Botanica gardens. Sports fans will enjoy the Melbourne Cricket Ground, National Sports Museum and Rod Laver Arena. Discover unique bars, cafes, and restaurants along the city’s laneways or Southbank Promenade. Accommodation: Rendezvous Hotel
Day 2: Melbourne City Morning Tour. Join a local guide on a 3 hour tour of Melbourne, a city of contrasts. Visit sites including Federation Square, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), St Patrick’s Cathedral, Albert Park Lake (Formula 1 Grand Prix) and iconic St Kilda Beach. Travel up Eureka Sykdeck 88 for 360 degree views of the city, Port Phillip Bay, the Dandenongs and Yarra Valley. In the afternoon meet Kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and colorful birds and reptiles at Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park. Depending on the time of year visit beautiful Woolamai Beach. Enjoy magnificent views of Bass Strait and the Nobbies, home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals. At sunset watch the little penguins waddle ashore to their burrows from intimate penguins plus viewing area. Accommodation: Rendezvous Hotel
Day 3: Great Ocean Road Day Tour Experience the wonders of this world famous coastal drive on a 9-hour adventure. Stroll along the wild beaches, and take in the awe-inspiring scenery at the striking Split Point Lighthouse. Tranquil seaside town Apollo Bay set amongst soft rolling hills offers the perfect lunch spot. Gain exclusive access to an ancient Eucalyptus Forest walk where you can have close encounters with koalas, kangaroos, and native birds. Cap off the day with a visit to the ancient rock formations and the Twelve Apostles and Lock and Gorge. Accommodation: Rendezvous Hotel
Day 4: Depart Melbourne. Farewell Melbourne, as you make your way to the Airport to continue your journey home.