Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Fly to Sydney:
Enjoy full meal service on your scheduled wide-bodied flight from North America to Australia.
Day 2 :
International Time Zone
- Enjoy your flight...:
You will lose a day as you cross the International Time Zone, but you gain it back on the return flight.
Day 3 :
Arrival in Sydney
- City Tour:
On your arrival in Sydney, you will be greeted by your tour guide. We will go on a sightseeing City tour en route to the hotel.
- Hotel check-in:
Your tour guide will bring you to your hotel, where you will stay for two nights. After lunch, we will continue our exploration of Sydney.
- See the Rocks:
We will travel down to the Rocks area. This will give you an insight into the history of Australia as it was the first settled place in Australia when Captain Arthur Phillips was commissioned by the British Government to bring 12 boatloads of convicts from Britain. You will see an early barracks and learn about the area from your guide.
- Evening Boat Cruise:
This evening we will go on a boat cruise around the Harbour for a different view of Sydney, the bridge, the Opera House and other points of interest.
Day 4 :
Enjoy breakfast before we begin the day's activities.
- Powerhouse Museum:
We will take the local bus public transport to the Monorail, which takes us to Darling Harbor. Here we visit the Powerhouse Museum, which was originally a power station and has been dramatically renovated. The collection that we see was started more than a hundred years ago, and has been housed in the museum since 1988. It provides an overview of the cultural, social, technological, and scientific efforts and achievements of Australia, and, in some instances, of other parts of the world. We will see trams, airplanes, and steam trains exhibited, along with plenty of interactive film and sound displays.
- Explore in the Area:
There will be the opportunity to visit the Aquarium, the Chinese Gardens, or the IMAX Theater. There are many areas where street performers can be seen and you can enjoy the lively activities. After the morning visit you will be free to take lunch and enjoy the city.
- First Concert Performance:
Your first concert will be tonight in Sydney.
Day 5 :
Travel to the Blue Mountains
- Discover the Blue Mountains:
After an early start, we will travel up to the Blue Mountains. These mountains were named because the whole area is heavily timbered with eucalyptus that constantly disperses droplets of oil into the atmosphere. These droplets cause the blue light rays of the sun to be scattered more effectively, thus intensifying the usual light refraction phenomenon (known as Rayleigh Scattering) which causes distant objects to appear blue. We will stop on the way to look at kangaroos in the wild, view the Three Sisters Craggy Outcrop from Echo Point, and then walk along the bush track with our guide who will tell the Aboriginal story of the Three Sisters. We will also visit the National Parks Center.
- Afternoon on the Farm:
We continue on to Megalong Valley Heritage Farm. Our afternoon will be spent at leisure. You may wish to include the following in your events: riding, sheep shearing and mustering, stockman display, billy tea, and damper.
We will spend the night in Megalong.
Day 6 :
Back to Sydney
- Free Time at the Farm:
Spend some free time at the Megalong Heritage Center before leaving for Sydney.
- Stop in Hartley:
We will stop en route at the historic village of Hartley, one of the first rural settlements west of the Blue Mountains, with interesting features including a convict-built courthouse, designed by colonial architect Mortimer Lewis and opened in 1837. We will also view the Royal Hotel from the early 1840s, the Old Trahlee Cottage, and the Post Office from the same time period.
- Second Concert Performance:
Upon our arrival back in Sydney, you will have your second performance.
Day 7 :
- Travel to Canberra:
We will have an early morning departure to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Canberra is the capital of Australia and also the city from which the Federal Government runs the country. Each of the states has its own government with a Premier in charge and the two Territories have an administrator.
- Explore the City:
We begin with a city tour followed by a visit to Parliament house—home to exhibitions from the National Museum and the Australian Archives, National Portrait Gallery, and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
- Panoramic Views:
Next we will visit Telstra Tower, which
rises 640 feet above the summit of Black Mountain and features both open-air and enclosed viewing galleries that provide magnificent 360-degree views over Canberra.
Day 8 :
On to Melbourne
- Continue Your Journey:
We will leave Australian Capital and travel south to Melbourne.
Day 9 :
- City Tour:
We will start with a city tour of Melbourne by coach and visit the most important city spots, including the Old
Melbourne Gaol and Captain Cook’s Cottage. Cook was the navigator who found Australia for the British, although he was not the first to discover the continent—a good number of Dutch, German, and French navigators had taken a look since the 1600s, but decided it was too wild to settle.
- Third Concert Performance:
We will return to our hotel, and you will have your third performance tonight.
Day 10 :
Day Trip to Dandedong
- Dandedong Ranges National Park:
Our day begins in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, one of the state's oldest, set aside in 1882 to protect its Mountain Ash forests and lush tree-fern gullies. Upon our arrival we will board the Puffing Billy Railway, which has been chugging over an 8-mile track from Belgrave to Emerald Lake for just about a century. The trip features open carriages and we will be treated to lovely views as the train passes through forests and fern gullies and over a National Trust-classified wooden trestle bridge.
- Lunch at Emerald Lake:
Upon our arrival at Emerald Lake, we will enjoy a picnic lunch and a guided Bush Walk.
This afternoon we return to Melbourne.
Day 11 :
- Koalas on Phillip Island:
This morning we visit Phillip Island, where we will visit the Koala Conservation Park. In this park, koalas still live in their natural environment. Upon returning to Melbourne, we will have an early dinner in a restaurant on the ocean front.
- Fairy Penguin Colony:
We will then go on an evening cruise for the Fairy Penguin Colony, where we can see the Fairy Penguins as they come into their burrows at night. These are the smallest of penguins and come in at between 1,000 to 2,000 at a time!
- Return to Hotel:
We then set off for the hotel in Melbourne, arriving there shortly before midnight.
Day 12 :
Return to North America
- Flight Home!:
Your enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as your guide accompanies you to the airport for the return
flight home. Arrive back in the U.S. on the same day.