Sydney to Melbourne

12 days from 3,519pp

Discover Australia’s legendary highlights on a 12-day loop of the country. Explore world-class cities and the outback’s sacred Red Centre, the Great Barrier Reef, and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Enjoy meaningful cultural experiences and a guided foodie walk through Melbourne. With all of the details taken care of — and your flights in Australia included — you’ll find yourself on top of the world Down Under.
Need a flight to go with your holiday?  We can help with that too!  Just give us a call.

12 days Sydney to Melbourne

From 3,519 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 – Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Sydney

Arrive at any time.

Please make your own way to the joining hotel. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and enjoy exploring the city before joining the welcome meeting at 6pm.

If you arrive early enough, you’ll have time to head into the city to visit The Rocks neighbourhood, the Australian Museum, Bondi Beach, or Darling Harbour.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
1h18:00

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Optional Activities – Day 1

Sydney Opera House Visit
Sydney

37-165AUD per person

Stroll along the waterfront to admire Sydney’s most iconic landmark, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened by Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1973. Take a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site to discover its history, folklore, and more.
Some two million people a year come to see concerts and cultural performances Opera House. Catch the boom of the grand organ–with more than 10,000 pipes, it took 10 years to build and is the largest mechanical organ in the world.

Accommodation

Cambridge Hotel (or similar)

Day 2: Sydney

Enjoy a traditional Aboriginal welcome and a walkabout around The Rocks area and Sydney Harbour to learn the history of the Aboriginal people’s saltwater heritage and their spiritual connection to the area. In the afternoon, board a private yacht and enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise with a barbecue dinner. While navigating the bays and coves, sit back and enjoy views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Metro
Sydney

Get around underground via public transit.

Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise
Sydney3h

Board a private yacht and enjoy a three-hour cruise navigating the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Relax and enjoy the iconic scenery as our crew share stories of Sydney and its famed harbour. Enjoy a casual Aussie BBQ as the sun sets over the famed Harbour Bridge and Opera House and watch the city lights come alive across the water.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming and Welcome Tour

Enjoy a traditional Aboriginal welcome and acknowledgement of the Earth Mother in a clapstick ceremony. Continue on a walkabout around The Rocks area and Sydney Harbour to learn the history of the Aboriginal people’s saltwater heritage and their spiritual connection to the area. Our Aboriginal guide will explain how the cosmopolitan Sydney of today continues to weave the Dreamtime Southern X text into it’s modern environment. Explore how to experience contemporary Aboriginal society and ancient wisdom right in the heart of the city.

Accommodation

Cambridge Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3: Sydney/Port Douglas

Fly to Cairns then travel up the coastal road to Mossman Gorge. Take an interpretive walk with a local Aboriginal guide and learn about traditional ways of life and survival techniques in the Daintree Rainforest. Continue on to the resort in Port Douglas, our home for the next two nights.

We catch a very early flight to ensure we make the most of the day.

Taxicab
Sydney30m-1h

Jump in the back and tell the driver to step on it, just like they do in the movies.

Plane
Sydney – Cairns3h

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Private Vehicle
Cairns – Port Douglas1h70km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Aboriginal Interpretive Walk
Mossman Gorge2h

Take an interpretive walk through the Daintree Rainforest. Follow the Aboriginal guide and learn about bush food, medicinal plants and the lasting relationship of the Kuku Yalanji people with their natural environment. Find out how to make bush soap, watch an ochre painting demonstration and sample some bush tea.

Accommodation

Mantra PortSea (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4: Port Douglas

Enjoy the colourful resort town of Port Douglas. Take time to stroll the main streets, enjoy the beach, or opt to go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef.

Free Time
Port Douglas Full Day

Today is a free day, but we recommend going on an optional snorkelling or diving trip of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world.

Optional Activities – Day 4

Great Barrier Reef Diving from Port Douglas
Great Barrier Reef

301.50-450.00AUD per person

Experience the largest coral reef in the world from beneath the ocean’s surface on a scuba diving day trip. The Great Barrier Reef teems with 1500 species of tropical fish, as well as whales, dolphins and porpoises. Bring an underwater camera and go crazy!

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling from Port Douglas
Great Barrier Reef

246.50-355.00AUD per person

Don a mask and snorkel the largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. Say g’day to Nemo, the clown fish, and some of the 1,500 other species of tropical fish that thrive in the warm waters off Australia’s east coast.

Accommodation:

Mantra PortSea (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 5: Port Douglas/Cairns

Return to the tropical city of Cairns. Take an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the James Cook University research aquarium, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic grant recipient Dr Jamie Seymour. Enjoy a private tour of the facility and get an up close look at some of these marvelous creatures. We’ll also hear about the latest research from Jamie or one of his colleagues.

Private Vehicle
Port Douglas – Cairns1h70km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time
Cairns Evening

Free time to explore the famed city of Cairns.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: James Cook University Research Aquarium

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the James Cook University research aquarium, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic grant recipient Dr. Jamie Seymour. Jamie has studied Australia’s venomous marine creatures for over 20 years. We’ll enjoy an exclusive tour of the facility (not normally open to the public), get an up-close look at some of these marvellous creatures, and hear about the latest research from Jamie or one of his colleagues.

Accommodation:

Pacific Hotel Cairns (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 6: Cairns

Enjoy a free day to relax at the beach. Opt to explore North Queensland’s tropical rainforests or get your adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.

Carte Blanche
Cairns Full Day

There’s plenty to see and do in Cairns, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, whitewater rafting, and skydiving. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities – Day 6

Bungee Jumping
Cairns

179AUD per person

Leave your fears at home and prepare to have your breath taken away as you jump from 164ft. Now’s the time to release your inner daredevil – what are you waiting for?

Great Barrier Reef Diving from Cairns
Great Barrier Reef8h-9h

245-289AUD per person

Experience the largest coral reef in the world from beneath the ocean’s surface on a scuba diving day trip. Packages vary and include 1, 2, or 3 dives in a day. The Great Barrier Reef teems with 1500 species of tropical fish, as well as whales, dolphins and porpoises. Bring an underwater camera and go crazy!

Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Railway
Cairns

111-124AUD per person

Settle into a comfortable 6 seat gondola for a ride with a spectacular view along the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Pass over the canopy one of Australia’s tropical rainforests, so close to the tree tops it’s as if you could reach out and touch the leaves. After, ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway through a lush tropical paradise framed by rugged mountains, waterfalls and ravines back to Cairns. Travel on authentic timber carriages via hand-hewn tunnels and across towering bridges, through the awe-inspiring Barron Gorge. Experience the exotic beauty of North Queensland’s tropical rainforests, marvelling at the incredible array of plants and animals encountered all along the way.

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling from Cairns
Great Barrier Reef8h-9h

174AUD per person

Don a mask and snorkel the largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. Say g’day to Nemo, the clown fish, and some of the 1,500 other species of tropical fish that thrive in the warm waters off Australia’s east coast.

Whitewater Rafting
Cairns12h-12h30m

138-210AUD per person

Put on a helmet, grab a paddle and raft the Class 3 & 4 rapids of the mighty Tully River, considered the best rafting river in all Australia & New Zealand.

Skydiving
Cairns2h-6h

310-400AUD per person

Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Cairns from an eagle’s perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high above the land and sea. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!

Accommodation:

Pacific Hotel Cairns (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7: Cairns/Uluru

Catch a flight to Uluru. Visit the cultural centre and learn about ancient beliefs and traditions portrayed in art, food, and music before witnessing an incredible sunset with a glass of bubbly.

Get a good nights sleep as our flight could be quite early today.

Plane
Cairns – Uluru3h

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Free Time
Uluru Full Day

Relax and watch the sunset over Uluru

Sunset at Uluru
Uluru1h-1h30m

Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine while watching the sunset over Uluru. Marvel at the changing colours over the desert and keep reminding yourself that yes, you really are there.

Aboriginal Cultural Centre Visit
Uluru

Learn about the Aboriginal Australian culture in the area to get a better perspective of the history, beliefs and present-day life of the Anangu people. Discover the wild world of bush tucker (indigenous food), find out which plants are used in bush medicine, and hear creation stories.

Taxicab
Uluru30m

Jump in the back and tell the driver to step on it, just like they do in the movies.

Accommodation:

Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8: Uluru

Awake before sunrise to watch the colours change over Uluru. Continue on with a guided Mala Walk around the base of Uluru, gaining insight into its significance to the local Aboriginal people.

Later, take a walk in Kata Tjuta National Park and view the beautiful red-domed rock formations. The afternoon is at your leisure.

Uluru Mala Walk
Uluru1h-1h30m 2km

Walk along the northwest side of Uluru with your CEO to learn about the history of the area, stories of the Anangu people and these awe-inspiring uplifted sandstone rock formations.

Free Time
Uluru

Enjoy some time at leisure.

Kata Tjuta National Park
Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga1h30m-2h

Take a walk in Kata Tjuta National Park to explore the beautiful, red, domed rocks that comprise the site. While Uluru is the most famous landmark in the park, we explore a bit further afield to enjoy this stunning landscape.

Optional Activities – Day 8

Sounds of Silence Dinner
Uluru

195AUD per person

Enjoy a decadent three-course dinner while watching the sunset over Uluru. Try traditional bush tucker inspired food, including crocodile, kangaroo and barramundi, while listening to a didgeridoo performance as day turns to night. After dinner, learn more about the southern night sky during an astronomy tour with a local expert – prepared to be dazzled by the incredible clarity of the outback sky from this remote location.

Uluru Helicopter Flight
Uluru

150-285AUD per person

See some of the highlights of the red centre from a bird’s-eye view. Take to the air and choose between a 15-minute loop around Uluru, or opt to also see Kata Tjuta on a 30-minute flight.

Outback Astronomy Tour
Uluru

48AUD per person

Enjoy a tour of the night sky, learning how Aboriginals used the stars for mythology and seasonal predictions while getting a chance to stargaze through telescopes and binoculars. The Outback is one of the best places to stargaze, with low humidity and surrounding light – take a peek and see whats out there!

Accommodation:

Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9: Uluru/Melbourne

Enjoy another sunrise over Uluru before flying to Melbourne for the night.

Plane
Uluru – Melbourne

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Taxicab
Melbourne30m-1h

Jump in the back and tell the driver to step on it, just like they do in the movies.

Accommodation:

Oaks on Collins (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 10: Melbourne

Enjoy a full free day in Melbourne. Opt to visit wineries, explore the Great Ocean Road, or discover hidden gems in the city’s famous laneways.

Free Time
Melbourne

Melbourne is full of things to do – take advantage of this free day and get out to explore!

Optional Activities – Day 10

Great Ocean Road Day excursion
Great Ocean Road12h-13h

144-195AUD per person

Enjoy an excursion along the Great Ocean Road showcasing some of Australia’s most scenic coastal views.

Myki Explorer Public Transportation Pass
Melbourne

15AUD per person

From St. Kilda to Fitzroy, make the most of your time in Melbourne with a Myki Transportation Pass, giving you access to all tram travel throughout the city.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour
Melbourne

120-129AUD per person

Accommodation

Oaks on Collins (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 11: Melbourne

Go on a guided foodie walk through the laneways of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller for a three-course progressive lunch. Later, enjoy free time to explore Melbourne.

Free Time
Melbourne Afternoon

Free time to explore the city or take an excursion.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Melbourne Foodie Walk

Melbourne has long been considered a major centre for foodie culture in Australia. As home to many immigrant communities, the gastronomic expertise on offer here is both diverse and exciting. Explore this incredible city on a National Geographic Journeys-exclusive guided walk, led by local author and culinary storyteller, Monique Bayer. Enjoy lunch at three popular venues that showcase why contemporary dining in Melbourne is such a special experience. Through European flavours as well as those from across Asia, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the city’s history, its people, and its celebrated (and gorgeous) laneways.

Optional Activities – Day 11

Myki Explorer Public Transportation Pass
Melbourne

15AUD per person

From St. Kilda to Fitzroy, make the most of your time in Melbourne with a Myki Transportation Pass, giving you access to all tram travel throughout the city.

Accommodation:

Oaks on Collins (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 12: Melbourne

Depart at any time.

If you want more time to explore Melbourne, we recommend booking post nights with your agent

Departure Day (Activities)

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with any onward travel arrangements you require.

Optional Activities – Day 12

Phillip Island Day Tour
Melbourne

129-190AUD per person

If you’ve always dreamed of spotting a penguin in the wild, make sure to head down to Phillip Island. Check out the spectacular scenery and beaches, and be ready at dusk to watch the famous ‘Penguin Parade’ as hundreds of Little Penguins (yes, that’s their actual name) cross the beach to return to their burrows after a day of fishing.

Yarra Valley Wine Tour
Melbourne

120-129AUD per person

Great Ocean Road Day excursion
Great Ocean Road12h-13h

144-195AUD per person

Enjoy an excursion along the Great Ocean Road showcasing some of Australia’s most scenic coastal views.

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming and Welcome Tour, Sydney
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: James Cook University Research Aquarium
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Melbourne Foodie Walk, Melbourne
  • Sydney Harbour Aboriginal Walk
  • Sydney Harbour cruise
  • Aboriginal dreamtime walk through the Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge
  • Sunrise interpretive walk at Uluru
  • Walk through Walpa Gorge in Kata Tjuta
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels (11 nts).

Meals

11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Allow USD605-790 for meals not included.

Transportation

Private vehicle, plane, boat, walking.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

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  Cork 021 4320710 Dublin 01 4851750 SMS 087 167 1119

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