Arrive Melbourne where you are met and transferred to your cityaccommodation for 3 nights – incl; last night.
8am startfor a very special coach tour to our unforgettable Great Ocean Road – powerful, dramatic and majestic! Visit coastal cliff lookouts, rugged surf beaches, river inlets and fern gullies, scenic ApolloBay, beachfront Lorne, Port Campbell and Otway National Parks plus delicious two course Hotel lunch. Returns 7:30pm
Another action packed day ofIsland coach touring to see our fairy Penguins as they return at dusk. Observe these cute little flightless birds from your elevated viewing platform as they clamber over rocks to the their burrows (nests) to feed the waiting chicks. Visit San Remo fishing village, a Koala Conservation Centre, Seal Rocks to see our fur seals at play plus chance to handfeed wallabies and kangaroos. Return approx 11 pm.
Day Four: Melbourne, Essendon – Broken Hill – Birdsville.
Leaving Melbourne at 0800, fly north to Broken Hill for lunch and a tour of the Hart and Absalom galleries. Continue north to Birdsville for a trip out toJohnMenziesWorkingMuseum. Absorb the outback culture and enjoy the sunset and a cold beerin the iconic Birdsville Pub with Dinner tonight is in the pub’s dining room. Overnight at an iconic Outback Hotel.Flight time 5hrs total.
Day Five: Birdsville – Mt Isa – Adels Grove, LawnHillNational Park.
Continue to Mt Isa where, prior to landing you are given the best view of the gigantic Mount Isa Mine. Soar over cattle station country before touching down in the oasis ofAdels Grove. On arrival you are taken on a guided adventure into LawnHillNational Park, with an opportunity to stroll to the Cascades prior to your water journey, paddling through the peaceful gorge. Tonight you are treated to sophisticated tent accommodation idyllically positioned beside a pristine stream. There are no en suite facilities but bathrooms are close. Flight time 3 hrs total
Day Six: Adel’s Grove – The LostCity – Groote Eylandt.
This morning’s flight path takes you out across the Barkly Tablelands to an ancient rock formation known as the LostCity – marvel at the towering sandstone pillars rising out of the earth. Continue the scenic flight out over the coast of the Gulf and landing on Groote Eylandt - the island offers a very special encounter with the local culture. Talk with artists as they work, then learn how to hunt in the shallow waters of the beach out the front of your luxurious resort. The islanders have only just opened their doors to travellers and lends itself to a very rewarding encounter. Beach Resort Accommodation.Flight time 2.5 hrs
Day Seven: Groote Eylandt – Karumba.
Depart across the Gulf to the tinyport of Karumba. Enjoy a ‘barra burger’ in the sunshine and check out the Barramundi Farm – set up to replenish the stocks in the Gulf.This afternoon step on board with a friendly crew for a Croc‘n’Crab tour. Learn about Queensland Mud Crab and spot saltwater crocodiles on board the well appointed vessel. Cap the evening off sampling the regions freshest seafood on a tiny sand cay out in the Gulf….perfect! Accommodation tonight is at an award winning Motel.Flight time 2 hrs.
Day Eight: Karumba – HornIsland.
Enjoy a special scenic flight path tracking along the interior coast of the Cape, capturing the endless maze of estuaries below, over the town of Weipa and the bauxite mine. Leave the mainland of Australia and head North, with the changing colours of Torres Strait. This afternoon venture into the ‘ForgottenIsland’,HornIsland offers an opportunity to sneak back in time to see remnants of bunkers and hidden revetments during a specialised guided tour, led by a local Historian and Author. Resort style accommodation tonight. Flight time 2.5 hrs.
Day Nine: Thursday Island
Departing HornIsland, pilots now take over with a special scenic treat flying South, ensuring an orbit of the Northernmost point of mainland Australia. The immense beauty of the tropical archipelago of Australia’s Torres Strait is accentuated by the islands’ residents. Similar accommodation tonight.No flight today.
Day Ten: HornIsland – Bamaga (Tip of Cape York) – Cooktown
Depart the Islands as you fly over the northern-most point of mainland Australia.Land at Bamaga for a 4WD over-land adventure that will have you standing on this significant geographical point. Continue southwards over the Far North Great Barrier Reef and into the tropical headland of Cooktown. Resort Accommodation. Flight time 2 hrs.
Day Eleven: Cooktown.
After a pleasant breakfast it’s time to experience the foreshore and visit memorial sites of where Capt. James Cook careened the Endeavour for repairs. This afternoon you are taken on a tour of Cooktown with naturalist Justin Coventry as he unravels the stories of the past. Lunch is at the gallery in the gardens. The day finishes with a tour of the CaptainJamesCookMuseum which houses an anchor from the Endeavour, amongst other pieces of historical significance. Tonight’s accommodation is at Motel style in Cooktown or similarNo flight today.
Day Twelve: Cooktown – Laura – Bloomfield Lodge.
From Cooktown it is a brief flight to the tiny settlement of Laura. This is where we will access the forgotten rock art galleries of the Quinkan spirits. A drive through some lovely Cape York savannah country to the galleries, with a picnic lunch out in the woodlands. Yet another brief flight before crossing the BloomfieldRiver and into WearyBay where you are warmly welcomed to secluded luxury Lodge Accommodation. Flight time 30 mins total.
Day Thirtenn: Bloomfield Lodge, Daintree Rainforest
Today you can relax in the refreshing scents of the rainforest as you explore the region with a gentle boat cruise along the BloomfieldRiver. In the afternoon a walk amongst the towering tree trunks through a particularly pretty stretch of rainforest with your local guide. We welcome you to take part in your exclusive massage treatment to ensure you find that ‘holiday mood’.Same Accommodation tonight No flight today.
Day Fourteen: Bloomfield Lodge – ChartersTowers – Longreach.
Fly south this morning to historic ChartersTowers in time for a town tour and lunch at the country’s first stock exchange. ChartersTowers has a rich gold mining history and some fine examples of 19th Century architecture. Time to check into your hotel before joining a special dining experience on the banks of the ThomsonRiver at the Drovers Camp Oven Dinner.Motor Inn Accommodation or similar.Flight time 3 hrs total.
Day Fifteen: Longreach – Carnarvon Gorge.
This morning visit the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Hudson Fysh museum. A short drive out to visit friends at Longway Station for lunch in the Heritage homestead and a tourof Rewan Station, where your pilot makes a landing. You will be welcomed at the airstrip and then transferred to luxurious safari tents at a Wilderness Lodge, surrounded by manicured lawns and shaded by the ancient macrozamias and eucalypts.Flight time 2 hrs total.
Day Sixteen: Carnarvon Gorge.
Enjoy informative commentary on the trek through Carnarvon Gorge with friendly specialised guides. Massive sandstone walls towering over from above protect a mysterious and timeless land. Some of the narrow side gorges can be spanned by outstretched arms, while others are so narrow-twisted and deep, that sunlight never reaches the bottom. Photographers have entered their own special paradise within Carnarvon Gorge. The tour continues to the MossGardens and into an amazing natural amphitheatre; combined, these experiences are splendid features of the country’s wilderness and beauty. Guests will tonight break bread together on one last occasion, in celebration of their accomplishments throughout the entire adventure.Wilderness Lodge Accommodation.No flight today.
Day Seventeen: Carnarvon Gorge – Bungle Gully Station – Essendon, Melbourne.
We fly homeward via either Haddon Rig Station or Bungle Gully Station, depending on availability and rainfall activity - either experience lends itself to a very special station visit, inclusive of a traditional homestead feast. Arrive inMelbourne 1730.Flight time 5 hrs total. Return to original Accommodation – total 3 nights based on t/s room only.
Prepare to depart Melbourne at leisure or extend. Late checkout can be arranged at extra cost.
ReturnAirport transfer is also included on your day of departure.