• AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

  • Past Guests Save an additional 5%

    Past Guests Save an additional 5%

  • Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

    Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

Sydney, Reef and Rainforest

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Daintree Rainforest
Tour Style: First Class
12 Days from $2,983 per person

Follow the sun from Sydney's cobblestoned Rocks to the startlingly beautiful Whitsundays – a serene meander up Australia's eastern coast At Leisure, tracing Aboriginal Dreamtime paths through Ngadiku Gorge, kicking back on tropical Hamilton Island and slapping a juicy steak on the Barbie in true Aussie style.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Australia (not included).

  2. Cross the international date-line.

  3. Welcome to sun-kissed Sydney – a city blessed with beautiful golden beaches, one of the world's most impressive natural harbors and a tangible trendy vibe you'll get to soak up as you kick off your leisurely sojourn through Australia. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 11am) and taken to the once rough and tumble Rocks district, where European settlers first stepped ashore in the late 18th century. Today, the Rocks is a stylish suburb where you'll enjoy a Cultural Insight, meandering through the narrow lanes and cobblestone streets lined with market stalls selling gifts, souvenirs, arts and crafts and sweet and savory treats. After your fill of retail therapy, it's time to find your sea-legs as you board a Captain Cook Cruise for your Welcome Reception and Regional Meal with your Travel Director and fellow travelers, cruising past the magnificent waterfront homes, parklands, beaches and coves for which Sydney Harbor is so famous. Cruise beneath Sydney's beloved Coathanger and admire the brilliant white sails of the Sydney Opera House as you glide through the harbor waters and watch the sun set over Sydney's magnificent skyline.
    meal(s):WR, RM
    hotel:The Grace
  4. Australia's cosmopolitan harbor city takes center stage again today as we enjoy a leisurely meander past some of its most iconic attractions. Our first stop is at the distinctive Sydney Opera House where we join a Local Specialist to delve into the stories and history behind Danish architect Jørn Utzon's remarkable masterpiece. We leave the bustling city streets for Bondi – watching bronzed sun worshippers play volleyball on its golden sands and families walking along the promenade before we meet a local surf lifesaver for a Regional Meal at the Returned Servicemen's Club with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The history of Bondi and surf lifesaving are shared on an exclusive tour through Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club with a Local Specialist. The beach and beautiful people behind us, we return to the bustling city streets of Sydney to spend the rest of the day strolling along Darling Harbor, indulging in a delicious gelato and some serious people watching, or spending the rest of your afternoon window shopping in the QVB.
    meal(s):BB, RM
  5. Today is yours to soak up all that Sydney and its beautiful natural surrounds have to offer. Perhaps take an Optional Experience and venture to the spectacular eucalyptus-clad Blue Mountains, so named because of their blue hue visible on the horizon as far away as Sydney. Enjoy a leisurely ramble through the quaint village of Leura. See the famous Three Sisters rock formations and visit Featherdale Wildlife Park to pat a koala. If your heart is set on staying in Sydney and you're feeling adventurous, ascend the imposing iron arches of Sydney Harbor Bridge on the thrilling BridgeClimb for beautiful views of the iconic city and harbor below.
  6. Quiet solitude and secret island hideaways lie ahead as we depart Sydney and head for Hamilton Island, one of the 74 islands in Queensland's picturesque Whitsundays. Embrace your inner sloth, kick back and relax with a book on a lounger at the crystal-clear pool, take a leisurely stroll along the water's edge or indulge in a beautiful tropical sunset from your private balcony after an afternoon snooze – set your watch to island time and enjoy it on your terms.
    hotel:Reef View Authentic Accommodation
  7. Famous Whitehaven Beach beckons this morning. Cruise aboard a catamaran to this slice of paradise, where you can simply relax on the beach, take a swim, or get involved in some fun beach activities. Back on Hamilton Island, the afternoon is yours to indulge in your own pleasures – hire a buggy and ramble along the island's winding roads. Or tee off in paradise against the magnificent backdrop of an azure ocean.
  8. We leave the quiet sanctuary of Hamilton Island – bleached white sandbars and lush green islands dotting the azure waters far below, as we fly to Cairns and drive to the resort town of Port Douglas where Queensland's lush tropical rainforest collides with the Great Barrier Reef. Take a quiet stroll along the town's palm-fringed Four Mile Beach, stopping for an ice cream or drink, or spend the afternoon relaxing at the lagoon-style pool at your resort. This evening you may be tempted by a cocktail at Estilo lounge bar before a delicious dinner at the resort.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:QT Port Douglas
  9. The Great Barrier Reef and its underwater kaleidoscope of vivid colors is our destination today as we board a Quicksilver wavepiercing catamaran for our cruise to Agincourt Reef. Enjoy an in-depth look at this stunning underwater utopia from the comfort of your semi-submersible observatory. Or get your feet wet and get up-close and personal with the reef's resident marine-life (snorkeling equipment provided). Before embarking on your journey back to Cairns, enjoy a tropical buffet lunch with the knowledge that there's a whole other world swimming right below you.
    meal(s):BB, L
  10. Today we go back to basics on a soulful encounter with nature, exploring the special relationship between the Aboriginal people and the rainforest on a Ngadiku Dreamtime Gorge Walk. As we meander through Mossman Gorge in the Daintree National Park, a Local Specialist will take us along the tranquil, private tracks and past culturally significant sites, identifying bush food sources and providing an enchanting narrative of the rainforest. At the end of our journey, we'll enjoy a traditional bush tea and damper (bread) cooked directly on the coals of an open fire. Our next stop is Kuranda, the ‘village in the rainforest', where we will have time to explore its Heritage Village Markets and then board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway back down to the lowlands. There can be no better end to a day spent celebrating the beauty of nature than a real Aussie BBQ, which you'll enjoy at a special Be My Guest dining experience with a local family at their home in Cairns. Spend an evening learning about life in the tropics and soak up warm, friendly Aussie vibes.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  11. Take it easy on your last day in the laid-back tropical city of Cairns. Chill in the city's relaxing parklands or amble along the Promenade from the Marina to the mangrove forest. Experience this port city at your leisure, or let loose in the tropical rainforests of Queensland. Our ramble through the cosmopolitan cities, colorful seascapes and dense rainforests of Australia is almost at its end. Join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner overlooking Cairns Harbor.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  12. All that's left to say is a resounding Aussie, Aussie, Aussie… Oi, Oi, Oi, before our transfer to Cairns Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Adventures' modern high speed catamarans whisk guests away in comfort to the spectacular outer reaches of the reef. We ensure our guests have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate this most important World Heritage area. As part of the Quicksilver Group, Great Adventures' is committed to sustainable environmental practices and ongoing conservation for future generations to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
23 Mar 18 3 Apr 18 checkmark $3,225$2,983pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
5 Oct 18 16 Oct 18 $3,495$3,233pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
2 Nov 18 13 Nov 18 checkmark $3,495$3,233pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
4 Jan 19 15 Jan 19 $3,495$3,233pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
25 Jan 19 5 Feb 19 $3,495$3,233pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
22 Feb 19 5 Mar 19 $3,495$3,233pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
22 Mar 19 2 Apr 19 $3,495$3,233pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,250.

Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Land Only price requires the following intratrip flights to be purchased separately in order to fulfill the trip itinerary: Day 6 from Sydney to Hamilton Island - QF866;  Day 8 from Hamilton Island to Cairns - QF2504. Grand European Tours guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasures

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Authentic Accommodations

  • An island paradise, you'll enjoy idyllic views over the Whitsunday Islands and the Coral Sea from the Reef View Hotel, Hamilton Island. All rooms also feature private balconies, so you can admire the island's spectacular sunrises and sunsets in comfort

Be My Guest

  • This is an opportunity to enjoy Aussie hospitality at its best, with an Aussie family in their home. Meet your hosts and take a tour of the family home and hear what it's like to live in Australia today. Try your hand at the cooking on the BBQ, while chatting informally with family members. This evening the open, warm and friendly nature of Australians will be present in abundance

Cultural Insight

  • Explore the trendy Rocks Markets in the area where European settlers first stepped ashore in the 18th century

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Sydney and Mossman Gorge


Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Sydney
  • Visit Bondi Beach, Sydney Opera House, Whitsunday Islands, Daintree National Park
  • Cruise on Sydney Harbor, the Great Barrier Reef
  • View rainforest from the Skyrail Cableway in Cairns
  • See locally-made arts and crafts at the Rocks Markets


Trip not yet reviewed
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Australia must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Australia also requires an electronic visa which is obtained at the time of your airline ticket purchase.

  • You will be using the Australian dollar on your trip. You can use your debit or credit card for purchases. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Food in Australia is innovative and diverse. As an island nation with strong agricultural traditions, culinary traditions here are guided by local ingredients and seasonal variations, as well as international influences. You’ll find a variety of seafood including fresh oysters and crab, grilled steaks and lamb chops, meat pies, and fish and chips.

  • It is not customary to tip at restaurants in Australia. If you would like to reward good service when dining out it’s appropriate to leave 10 percent gratuity for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable, lightweight clothing that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellent and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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