Pre-meeting Tour 1 – Tropical North Queensland & Central Australia
Monday August 6th
Arrive Cairns Airport and transfer to accommodation at Paradise on the Beach Resort, Palm Cove. This beach side resort is set idyllically with golden sand and a palm-fringed beach on the doorstep.
Tuesday August 7th (B, L)
Full day tour to the Great Barrier Reef. Transfer by coach along the Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas where you’ll board the boat and travel to the outer reef to snorkel and swim amongst the fish and coral. Late afternoon arrival at Paradise on the Beach.
Wednesday August 8th (B, L)
A full day tour to Kuranda, travelling by train up the McAlister Range, through 15 tunnels and past the Barron Falls. Enjoy the Kuranda markets, Aboriginal dancers, koala and wildlife park and the Skyrail cablecar.
Thursday August 9th (B)
Take a morning flight to Alice Springs in Central Australia and check in to The Diplomat Motel. Depart for an afternoon tour of Alice Springs. See the sights and learn about the history and development of this important town.
Friday August 10th (B, L, D)
An early rise for the transfer by road to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Located some 450 kilometres from Alice Springs, the world’s greatest monolith rises 348 metres above the desert floor. Arrive early afternoon at the permanent campsite and after lunch visit The Olgas, a cluster of massive rounded rocks. Take a walk through the ‘Valley of the Winds’ before the spectacular sunset viewing of Uluru. Dinner around the campfire and camping accommodation under the stars conclude the day’s program. This is ‘soft’ camping with a stretcher bed, sleeping bag & sheet provided. Shower facilities are also available.
Saturday August 11th (B, L)
Arise early for sunrise viewing of Ayers Rock followed by tour of the base caves and visit to the Cultural Centre. Early afternoon transfer to airport for flight to Melbourne.
Cost: AUD1870 pp (twin/double share) & AUD2880 pp (single share)
Includes: Tour of Great Barrier Reef and Kuranda, five nights accommodation (motel and camping), entry fee to & tour of Ayers Rock, The Olgas and Alice Springs, meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), transfers, GST.
The above package assumes delegates would fly into Cairns on the first day. We would arrange accommodation at Palm Cove, on the northern beaches 20 minutes from Cairns. The cost does not include airfares from Cairns to Alice Springs or Ayers Rock to Melbourne. If arriving before the first day, additional accommodation can be arranged.
Pre-meeting Tour 2 – Sydney
Wednesday August 8th
Arrive Sydney and transfer to Travelodge. Day at leisure.
Thursday August 9th (B, L)
Enjoy a morning city sights tour of Sydney, taking in the historic Rocks area, the exclusive inner suburbs of Paddington and Double Bay, noted for their quaintly preserved terrace houses, famous Bondi Beach and the red light district of Kings Cross. A highlight of the day will be the harbour lunch cruise where you’ll be introduced to its intriguing history, character and points of interest.
Friday August 10th (B, L)
Another full day tour to the west of Sydney that encompasses the unsurpassed wilderness, beauty and remote bushland of the Blue Mountains plus panoramic views of rugged cliffs and deep forested valleys. There’s also a visit included to the Featherdale Wildlife Park plus private time to walk through pristine bushland, lush ferns and temperate forests.
Saturday August 11th (B)
Day at leisure to explore some more of Sydney. A suggested activity is The Bridge Climb, a 3 1/2 hour adventure and a never to be forgotten experience on one of the world’s most prominent attractions. The climb begins with a comprehensive briefing and safety demonstration that prepares you for the Climb of your Life ! The exhilaration and sense of satisfaction achieved by reaching the top is rewarded with breathtaking views. One of the safety requirements is that each walker is breathalysed and carry items such as cameras are not permitted. The cost of the ticket includes a photograph. Afternoon flight to Melbourne.
Cost: AUD1365 pp (twin or double share). AUD1735 pp (single share).
Includes: Three nights accommodation, city sights and harbour cruise with lunch, Blue Mountains tour, entry to Featherdale Wildlife Park, deluxe coach transport, meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), transfers, GST.
Options: Bridge Climb, prices start from approx. AUD300 per person.
The cost does not include the air-fare from Sydney to Melbourne. Recommended flight will be provided at time of booking. Time of Bridge Climb to be confirmed when booked.
Penguins (available daily)
Enjoy the antics of the world’s smallest penguins at fascinating Phillip Island. The sight of Australia’s largest fairy penguin colony emerging from the surf and waddling up the beach with food for their young brings howls of delight from an enthralled crowd.
Cost: AUD175 pp.
Includes: Transport, entry to Koala Conservation Centre, Penguin Parade with Penguin Plus Viewing Platform, guide, GST.
Times: 1330 to 2130.
Wildlife & Wine (available daily)
Travel through to the north-east of Melbourne through the rolling hills of the Yarra Valley to the Healesville Sanctuary, home to more than 200 species of native animals in a natural bush setting. Spend the morning at this outstanding facility before arriving at Yering Station for lunch in their light filled restaurant. The day concludes at De Bortoli with a wonderful selection of cheeses that will be matched to their estate range of wines.
Cost: AUD210 pp.
Includes: Transport, entry to the Healesville Sanctuary, wine tasting, main course a la carte lunch, glass of wine & coffee at Yering Station, wine tasting with cheese at De Bortoli, guide, GST.
Times: 0900 to 1830.
Great Ocean Road (available daily)
Imagine a road that hugs the side of sheer cliffs, where the native bushland meets the blue waters of the Southern Ocean. Experience the temperate rainforest at Maits Rest that features fern gullies and giant myrtle trees. There’s also the koalas at Kennett River and the spectacular coastline that’s home to the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and the Razorback.
Cost: AUD130 pp.
Includes: Transport, lunch, entry to the Port Campbell National Park, guide, GST.
Times: 0730 to 1900.
Yarra Valley Vineyards (available daily)
Visit the beautiful Yarra Valley and enjoy tastings at De Bortoli, Yering Station, Medhurst, Domaine Chandon and Coldstream Hills. Appreciate why this region enjoys such a high profile with its world class production of sparkling and table wines and outstanding food.
Cost: AUD200 pp.
Includes: Transport, all wine tastings, glass of sparkling, lunch, glass of wine & coffee at Yering Station, cheese platter with tasting at De Bortoli, guide, GST.
Times: 0900 to 1830.
Introduction to Melbourne Walk (available daily)
Described as a ‘comprehensive highlight of Melbourne’, this tour is a must for any visitor to the city. Take a look at Melbourne’s past by learning about Aboriginal history, the settlement of Melbourne and early colonial life. The tour is a highlight of cultural aspects of modern day Melbourne. Venture through Melbourne’s laneways and arcades, discovering street art, music & café culture as well as some opulent and sometimes controversial architecture. Sports, art projects and immigration history are also covered in the walk.
Cost: AUD45 pp.
Includes: Guided city walk, coffee, GST.
Times: 1300 to 1600.
Sovereign Hill (available Sat Aug 11th/Mon Aug 13th/Thu Aug 16th)
Travel to the west where much of Melbourne’s early wealth was derived, from the goldfields at Ballarat. Take a city tour enroute to Sovereign Hill and appreciate the preserved buildings, wide streets and civic pride in Ballarat. The recreated gold mining township of the 1850’s is a wonderful step back in time. Wander the main street and visit the period shops, try your hand at gold panning or take a tour of the Red Hill Mine.
Cost: AUD195 pp.
Includes: Transport, entry to Sovereign Hill & Gold Museum, lunch, guide, GST
Times: 0830 to 1730.
Café Culture Walk (available Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri)
Melbourne has become famous, the world over, for its café culture scene. The city streets are abuzz with endless cafes and restaurants. Diverting from the main drag of coffee lined laneways, the Café Culture walk takes you on a tour of Melbourne’s hidden food and cafe scene. You’ll be introduced to many unique businesses who are passionate about the evolution of coffee and Melbourne’s cafe scene. You’ll discover places you would never have found on your own and get a real taste of Melbourne’s unique flavour. Perfect for any caffeine fiend, coffee connoisseur, food enthusiast or those who want to learn more about Melbourne’s immigrant history and cafe reputation. Tea drinkers, chocolate lovers and non-coffee drinkers will love it too.
Cost: AUD99 pp.
Includes: Coffee or hot drink, sweet bites, coffee tasting, café lunch, guide, GST.
Times: 1100 to 1400.
Arcades and Lanes of Melbourne Walk (available Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri)
On this the tour you’ll discover the inner heart of Melbourne. Visit local designers and specialty retailers, many of whom are only found in the city. Walk along some of the laneways you may have heard about, but also many you may not know so well. A walk in the city is not complete without a wonderful drink stop, at a local chocolate salon. This is a tour with a few added indulgences. A little history and attention to amazing architecture will inspire locals and visitors alike. See many of Melbourne’s amazing local businesses and return to those you like best.
Cost: AUD130 pp.
Includes: Coffee or hot drink, lunch, guide, GST.
Times: 1000 to 1200.