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The modern Australian capital of Canberra beckons this morning as we begin our encounter with Southern Australia on a journey through the Southern Highlands. Enjoy a quick stop at historic Berrima, famous for its gaol and early colonial architecture, then visit a working sheep farm where you'll meet Local Specialist Craig Starr and his family for a Welcome Reception. Gain a deeper understanding of life on his farm as you savor the flavors of a traditional Aussie BBQ lunch. On arrival in the 'finest capital in the world,' you'll take a guided tour through Parliament House with a Local Specialist. Later, dive into culture during a visit to the Australian War Memorial where you'll hear the evocative lament played by a piper to pay tribute to the Australian servicemen and women who have lost their lives in armed conflicts. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers tonight for dinner with wine.
Before leaving Canberra this morning you'll visit Mt. Ainslie Lookout to take in views of this unique city and surrounding ranges. Journey over the Murray River into Victoria. Your destination is historic Beechworth, Victoria's best preserved gold rush town, for your unique overnight stay in one of the quaint local properties. Get to know Beechworth with an orientation and enjoy some free time to explore the antique shops, galleries and the museum. Why not enjoy a coffee and delicious treat from the legendary Beechworth Bakery?
Connect with locals over a Be My Guest breakfast, then journey through Glenrowan and Ned Kelly country to cosmopolitan Melbourne for a city sightseeing tour. Discover why Melbourne has justifiably earned its reputation as one of the world's most liveable cities and delve into its Victorian history. Enjoy an evening at leisure to explore this stylish state capital on your terms, perhaps followed by a delicious seafood dinner on the banks of the Yarra.
Discover the heart and soul of Melbourne today, with a full free day to explore its iconic sights. Consider an Optional Experience to the Eureka Skydeck for panoramic views of the city, stretching far beyond its skyscrapers. Or join a Hunt and Gather Food Tour of Queen Victoria Market to immerse yourself in the life, sounds and stories of this historic marketplace. An alternative further afield will see you take a tour to Summerland Beach on Phillip Island to see the famous Little Penguins emerge from the sea and waddle up the beach to their sand dune burrows.
Buckle up for an epic coastal road trip filled with pinch me moments. Your journey along the scenic Great Ocean Road will include a stop at the Mediterranean-inspired seaside village of Lorne and Apollo Bay. Visit the Twelve Apostles, admiring these limestone formations that rise up from the Southern Ocean and tower over the surrounding landscapes. Later, visit Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge before arriving in Warrnambool.
Encounter some of Australia's native creatures in their natural habitat, keeping a keen eye out for emus, koalas and kangaroos as you join a Local Specialist at Worn Gundidj in Tower Hill State Reserve. Dive into culture and gain insights into the local flora, volcanic formations and medicinal practices from an Aboriginal perspective, before crossing the South Australia border to Mt. Gambier to visit the Blue Lake. Your next stop is the celebrated wine-making region of Coonawarra, where you'll join a Local Specialist for a tasting at a local winery. Continue your journey to the Naracoorte Caves, one of the world's most important fossil sites, where you'll be taken on a guided tour through Alexandra Cave.
Ease into the laidback lifestyle encouraged by the locals of South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula and visit the seaside town of Victor Harbor at lunchtime. Spend some time at leisure relaxing with fish and chips on its unspoiled beach or consider taking the horse-drawn tram to Granite Island. This afternoon, board your ferry at Cape Jervis and cross to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island, which provides sanctuary to a multitude of native animals, some of which are found nowhere else. Explore KI's unspoiled natural beauty and indulge in its artisanal food scene at your leisure. Later, you'll join a Local Specialist at South Australia's only boutique distillery to taste a selection of their handcrafted premium spirits. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.
You won't just see kangaroos on today's in-depth exploration of Kangaroo Island, which includes a visit to the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park. Enjoy lunch at Vivonne Bay Lodge before taking part in a private Birds of Prey Show at Raptor Domain. Come face-to-face with kookaburras, owls and falcons as you don a glove and coax them to fly to you, or experience holding a wedge tailed eagle. Afterward, join a Local Specialist at Seal Bay Conservation Park for a guided walk amongst a breeding colony of Australian sea lions as they laze in the golden Australian sunshine.
Return to the mainland and continue your journey to Adelaide, the 'City of Churches,' for an orientation tour, followed by your choice of sightseeing: visit the Adelaide Zoo, including entry to the Panda enclosure and bamboo forest attractions; delve into the early colonial history of Adelaide and its colonial characters who shaped a sophisticated city free from the penal colony shackles of other Australian centers with a local guide or tour the Art Gallery of SA to see its old and new art. This evening is yours to indulge in the city's multi-cultural flavors.
The rolling Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf and the Barossa lay ahead of you today and you'll have the opportunity to sample a number of their world-renowned wines. Enjoy lunch at the South Australian Company Store's Company Kitchen in the Barossa, then visit Jacob's Creek, whose award-winning vintages can be found on tables all over the world. You'll enjoy an opportunity to sample some of our favorites with a Local Specialist before touring the surrounding vines. Return to Adelaide through South Australia's lush countryside, followed by a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and newfound friends.
Your journey through the beautiful natural landscapes and stylish cities of Southern Australia at its end, say farewell to your fellow travelers as you transfer to Adelaide Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).
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