Days 1 & 2 UK - Perth
Today you'll depart on your scheduled flight to Perth.
Day 3 Perth
On arrival in the beautiful city of Perth early on day 3, we'll transfer you to your hotel. Head off with your travelling companions for a half-day tour of this exciting, cosmopolitan city. Among your discoveries will be clean, uncrowded beaches and lush green parks all set against a stunning backdrop of modern skyscrapers.
In the afternoon, why not join an optional tour of the lively port city of Fremantle, which we'll reach via a cruise on the Swan River. During free time, coffee-lovers should head to Cappuccino Strip, lined with open-air coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. Other highlights include the fishing boat harbour, a host of interesting museums and the historic Fremantle markets - more than 150 stalls selling everything from local delicacies to jewellery. We'll head back to the hotel by road.
Day 4 Perth - at Leisure
Perth has so much to offer and you can get out and about to discover its delights just as you wish today. It's one of the world's most envied locations in which to live, with lush parks, excellent restaurants, the stunning Swan River and a lovely warm climate.
As an alternative, you might choose to join an optional tour to Rottnest Island, which is home to the friendly quokka, a small wallaby-like marsupial, and beautiful white-sand beaches.
Day 5 Christmas Eve, Perth - Melbourne
You will fly to Melbourne today, where you'll celebrate Christmas during a four-night stay.Meals included: B
Day 6 Christmas Day, Melbourne
It's Christmas Day, so enjoy a leisurely morning before gathering with your travelling companions for a festive Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. Spend a relaxing afternoon at your hotel, or head out into the city for a stroll. Although it's Christmas Day, you'll still find plenty to see and do in this vibrant metropolis.Meals included: B,L
Day 7 Boxing Day Melbourne
This morning we'll head off on a guided tour of Melbourne. Highlights include Federation Square, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Flinders Street Station and the Grand Prix Circuit that circles Albert Park Lake. Another stop is Fitzroy Gardens, which features pathways lined with towering elms, colourful floral displays and the Fairies' Tree sculpture - a centuries-old tree stump featuring delightful carvings.Meals included: B
Day 8 Melbourne - at Leisure
You can spend today at leisure if you wish, or you might be tempted to join an optional excursion to Phillip Island to see the remarkable penguin parade. At sunset, after a hard day's fishing, hundreds of these delightful creatures - the world's smallest penguin - appear from out of the ocean and waddle their way across the beach to their sand dune burrows. You can take in this marvellous spectacle from special viewing stands and boardwalks, which give you the chance to get up close to nature.Meals included: B
Day 9 Melbourne - Sydney
After breakfast we'll transfer to the airport for our flight to Sydney, where a five-night stay gives you plenty of time to see all the sights.
As we explore together this afternoon you can tick off the gorgeous white sands of Bondi Beach and Hyde Park, which is home to numerous monuments including the ANZAC Memorial. We'll also head to Darling Harbour, which hosts a dazzling array of attractions from bars and bistros to an aquarium and a zoo, as well as Mrs Macquarie's Chair. This huge sandstone rock was hand-carved by convicts into the shape of a bench for Governor Macquarie's wife, Elizabeth, in 1810. Why not sit for a while and take in the views from this wonderful vantage point.
Day 10 Sydney - at Leisure
What you do in Sydney is now up to you, you can head off to explore independently or in the company of your travelling companions. Its centre is surprisingly compact, so you'll see so much.
Alternatively, you could choose to discover Sydney Harbour from the water. This hour-long optional cruise will introduce many wonderful sights, from beautiful gardens and parkland to the iconic Sydney Opera House and Bridge. For an entirely different perspective, you could discover Sydney from an entirely different perspective during a thrilling helicopter flight. emember to take your camera along and snap shots of Bondi Beach, Botany Bay, Sydney Harbour and Opera House, and much more, as you listen to your pilot's informative commentary through headphones.
Another option is to step beneath the sails and enjoy a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. You'll learn about the history of the building, uncover stories about artists and the shows performed here and have an opportunity to visit areas usually off limits to the general public.
Day 11 Sydney - at Leisure
If you want to join an organised trip, come with us on a thrilling optional excursion today. You'll head through the Blue Mountains, past the Three Sisters rock formation and along Jamieson Valley - Australia's answer to the Grand Canyon. Finally, you'll visit Scenic World, where you can opt to take a journey on the world's steepest incline railway into ancient rainforest, or enjoy a cable-car ride over the valley.Meals included: B
Day 12 New Year's Eve, Sydney
After a day at leisure, enjoy a fabulous night out in Sydney to see in the New Year. We'll head to Sydney Harbour for a New Year's Eve fireworks cruise, which promises to be a night to remember. A five-course gourmet dinner will be served aboard your luxury vessel as you take in wonderful views. An onboard DJ and a bar stocked with beer, wine and soft drinks will keep you entertained until midnight, when you'll witness Sydney's world-famous dazzling fireworks display from an amazing vantage point. The music then continues, so why not take to the dancefloor.Meals included: B,D
Day 13 New Year's Day, Sydney
After celebrating the New Year in style last night, you might choose to enjoy a late breakfast and a day at leisure.Meals included: B
Day 14 Sydney - Uluru
We're going to fly to Uluru, or Ayers Rock, this morning, via Alice Springs. This gigantic sandstone monolith, which is two miles long, 1,000ft high and measures six miles around the base, is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. One of the most impressive landmarks in Australia, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sacred place in Aboriginal culture and features many caves and ancient rock paintings. It's an incredible sight at any time of the day, but at sunrise and sunset it changes colour dramatically with the light. Today we're going to visit at sunset.Meals included: B
Day 15 Uluru - Alice Springs
There's an early start today, but it's definitely worth it as we head back to Uluru, but this time at sunrise. You can also tour the base of the rock and view Aboriginal rock paintings in the caves here. After this we'll head to the mysterious Kata Tjuta, although you may know these 36 domed rock formations better as the Olgas. Located to the west of Uluru, they are thought to have similarly been one huge piece of rock but over millions of years they have been shaped this way by nature.
We then continue by road to Alice Springs. This evening you might be tempted to join an optional bush barbecue - an authenic experience that really sums up the spirit of the Australian Outback. The fun starts at sunset as we take to the road to try to spot kangaroos. Before you eat you can try your hand at boomerang throwing, and afterwards you can indulge in a spot of stargazing.
Day 16 Alice Springs - Darwin
Our included tour this morning will introduce the Flying Doctor Base and the old Telegraph Station, the original site of the first European settlement in central Australia, which is now a museum. Depending on timings, we'll also visit the famous School of the Air.
Early this evening we'll transfer to the airport for our flight to Darwin.
Day 17 Darwin - Kakadu National Park
Our destination today is Kakadu National Park to discover lush rainforest, scenic rivers and a diverse range of wildlife. It is most famous though for its natural galleries of fascinating Aboriginal rock art. Before heading to our hotel, there's the chance to walk up Ubirr Rock to see some of the most outstanding examples of rock art in the world.Meals included: B
Day 18 Kakadu National Park - Katherine
This morning we'll drive to Katherine via the stunning Nourlangie Rock, where you can set off on a walk to discover more fascinating rock art.
Next, we'll head off on a thrilling cruise on the famous Yellow Water Lagoon. As you go, keep a lookout for many species of birds - from whistling ducks to eagles - as well as crocodiles in their natural habitat.
Day 19 Katherine - Darwin
Today's highlight is a cruise through the Katherine Gorge to see ancient rocks and caves decorated with Aboriginal rock paintings. As we sail through this picturesque gorge, expert Local Guides will explain the history and geology of the area and tell us all about the flora and fauna we're likely to see. We'll step ashore for a walk before boarding another boat for our return journey.Meals included: B
Day 20 Darwin - Port Douglas
We'll head to Cairns this morning, with an onward transfer to Port Douglas. This picturesque resort boasts white-sand beaches and tropical rainforest - it's also our gateway to the incredible Great Barrier Reef.Meals included: B
Day 21 Great Barrier Reef
There's a whole new world waiting to be discovered today as we take an included trip by catamaran to the outer Great Barrier Reef. Marine life comes incredibly close to the vessel and you can experience the reef without getting wet from the comfort of a semi-submersible or an underwater observatory. Of course, you can also go snorkelling in this amazing underwater world – all the equipment and guidance you need is provided, as well as lunch.Meals included: B,L
Day 22 Port Douglas - at Leisure
If you wish you can spend the day at leisure, soaking up the sun in Port Douglas. However, if you want to see even more, a ride on the Kuranda Railway is an option today to see the Atherton Tablelands.
First stop will be the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, where you'll glide over and through heritage rainforest. After free time in the village of Kuranda, take a journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, with the Barron Falls just one of the incredible highlights.
Day 23 Port Douglas - at Leisure
You've another day at leisure to do just as you wish. If you want to get out in the great outdoors, why not join an optional excursion to Daintree Rainforest. Daintree is an ecologically unique tropical forest, which is home to an extensive range of flora and fauna. Also included is an environmental wilderness cruise as you go in search of crocodiles with an expert Local Guide. After lunch at the Daintree Tea House, enjoy a tour of Daintree.Meals included: B
Day 24 Port Douglas - Brisbane
Today we'll transfer to Cairns for our flight to Brisbane.Meals included: B
Day 25 Brisbane - at Leisure
Before flying home tomorrow you might choose to spend a day at leisure. Alternatively, why not join an optional excursion to North Stradbroke Island. Fondly known as Straddie by the locals, it is the world's second largest sand island at about 38km long and 11km wide. Relax on the beach or maybe head off on a bush walk, keeping an eye out for resident kangaroos, koalas and kookaburras - the largest member of the kingfisher family.Meals included: B
Days 26 & 27 Brisbane - UK
We'll transfer to the airport today for our return flight to the UK, arriving on day 27.