• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Sydney, Rock and Reef

Picture courtesy of Australia Tourism. For those with limited time, this itinerary covers three iconic attractions of Australia.

Summary

Sydney, Rock & Reef

For many first time visitors, the triangular route of the iconic city of Sydney, the magical Red Centre and magnificent Great Barrier Reef is a must.  Here is our version, with a difference!

Day 1: Sydney
Day 4: Alice Springs
Day 6: Glen Helen
Day 7: Kings Canyon
Day 8: Uluru – Ayers Rock
Day 9: Port Douglas
Day 10: Cape Tribulation
Day 12: Palm Cove
Day 15: Cairns

Description

Description

Australia is a vast country and if visiting for a limited time, domestic flights are likely to be the best way to get around. This itinerary gives just one option, but the possibilities here are almost endless…

Day 1: Sydney
Arrive into Sydney today for a 3 night stay. With its compact city centre and efficient public transport, Sydney is an easily accessible city with many of the main attractions close by. Enjoy a morning harbour cruise, a concert at the Opera House and blow away the cobwebs doing the Bridge Climb. Visit Bondi Beach and watch the surfers on the waves, shop in Paddington’s markets, enjoy a stroll around the Rocks and Circular Quay, or head out to glamorous Double Bay for designer shopping.

Three nights Sydney
You could choose to add in a little extra time in Sydney and take a day or overnight trip to the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley.

Day 4: Alice Springs
Fly to Alice Springs in the Red Centre today for a 2 night stay, collecting a four-wheel drive vehicle on arrival. This little town nestles at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges, and formed a vital link in the laying of the Telegraph line from the new lands of Australia to England. A visit to the Telegraph Station gives an impression of the original settlement, before the centre of the town grew on its current site. Visit also the School of the Air and the Flying Doctor base.

Two nights in Alice Springs

Day 6: Glen Helen
Your drive today takes you through the West MacDonnells to Glen Helen – a drive of a little over 100km as the crow flies. Along the way, you may linger at the many chasms, gorges and creeks clearly marked from the main road.

One night at Glen Helen

Day 7: Kings Canyon
Your entire journey today will be on the gravel road – joining the Mereenie Loop Road. The scenery will change dramatically from the rugged hills of the West MacDonnells to the flatter scrub of the desert. Gosse Bluff should not be missed – allegedly a crater formed by a meteorite crashing to ground, and with spiritual significance for the traditional people.

One night at Kings Canyon

Day 8: Uluru – Ayers Rock
Get up early this morning and take time to walk the canyon rim – about 6 km of spectacular scenery – not for the faint hearted as the first stage involves a steep climb. As you leave Kings Canyon, you will re-join the sealed road as you head towards Uluru. You will be rewarded with your first sight of the Rock itself – inspirational, eerie, quiet – decide for yourself. Visit Uluru at dawn and dusk, visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), take part in the Sounds of Silence dinner, or sunrise breakfast.

One night at Ayers Rock

Day 9: Port Douglas
Drop your hire car at the airport, and fly to Cairns in northern Queensland. Collect a second hire car and head north. Stay overnight in Port Douglas – a pretty little town with an attractive marina, good shopping and home of the Iron Bar on Macrossan Street!

One night at Port Douglas

Day 10: Cape Tribulation
Take a full day drive north to the Daintree and on to Cape Tribulation. See the perfect white sandy beaches as Captain Cook saw them many years before. Stop at the one of the many excellent ‘boardwalk’ trails into the Rain Forest, or climb the observation tower giving you fabulous views over the canopy.

Two nights at Cape Tribulation

Day 12: Palm Cove
Return south to Palm Cove for three nights. Treat yourself a little at one of our favourite colonial style hotels on the esplanade. Palm Cove is the perfect base from which to take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef – your boat will take you to the pontoon where you will have the opportunity to dive, snorkel or view this amazing living garden from the underwater observation decks. From Palm Cove you could also take a journey on the Kuranda Skyrail.

Three nights at Palm Cove

Day 15: Cairns
Drive the short distance back to Cairns today, dropping off the hire car and checking in for the onward or homeward flight.

Photographs courtesy of Australia Tourism

Ayers Rock      Cape Tribulation

 

Great Barrier Reef      Sydney Australia Tourism

Little Gems

Little Gems

Difficult to know where to start on this itinerary, there are so many Little Gems which might include a night at the Opera in Sydney, a picture from the top of the bridge of the perfect underwater shot at the Great Barrier Reef, but for a true Aussie outback experience, there is little the beat the cold ‘stubbie’ that will be thrust in your hand before you have even checked in at your accommodation at Glen Helen – one very good reason to drive the Red Centre!

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