Ships of the Desert

12 days from £3,195pp

If you want to see some of the best of Australia’s natural landscapes, this is the trip for you! After a tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House, it’s on to the Blue Mountains for a trek where you’ll go in search of kangaroos, koalas and crocs. You’ll also see Australia’s answer to the Grand Canyon – the Grose Valley. From here it’s on to Uluru to dine under the stars and stargaze with an expert. After seeing Uluru in the daytime, you’ll be wowed with the dramatic Field of Light show at night. Explore this landscape better with a camel ride and four-wheel drive adventure. Afterwards it’s on to Port Douglas for a cruise along the Great Barrier Reef and exploring Kuku Yalanji Country with an Aboriginal Guide.

Highlights

  • Tour the Sydney Opera House

  • Trek though the Blue Mountains

  • Dine under the stars and watch the sun rise at Uluru

  • See the spectacular Field of Light

  • Enjoy a Camel Ride through the sand dunes

  • Explore Mount Conner by four-wheel drive

  • Cruise the Great Barrier Reef

  • Explore Kuku Yalanji Country with an Aboriginal Guide

Emilie
Travel Designer
Let's talk
I love spending my days barefoot or in flip flops, so laid-back Melbourne was the perfect place to live. My favourite adventure from my time living in Australia was the 3-month campervan road trip along the East Coast – full of sun, sea and scuba diving!

Ships of the Desert

12 days from £3,195pp

Itinerary

This exciting trip to Australia includes international flights, transfers, excursions, accommodation, breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.

From the first conversation until you arrive home from your holiday, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has travelled extensively in the region and will give advice from their personal experience on how to make the most out of your trip.

All of our trips are entirely bespoke and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.

Day

Location

Type

1-4

Sydney

Activity and Adventure

Are you ready to see Australia at its most scenic? Hop aboard your flight and let the adventure begin! When you arrive in Sydney, you’ll be transferred to your hotel, the Andina Apartments, where you’ll have time to settle in. A little later on, it is time to visit the iconic Sydney Opera House, a true landmark that casts its sails over the harbour, catching the eyes of everyone in its vicinity. Enjoy a tour of the building where you’ll learn more about the history and some of the eclectic performances that have taken place within its walls. As you walk around, listen to how your footsteps sound like a drumbeat thanks to the perfect acoustics on offer here. 

The next day it’s off to the World Heritage Region of the Blue Mountains. You visit Calmsley Hill, a working farm and also home to some of Australia’s best wildlife including kangaroos, emus, wombats and koalas. Enjoy a hike from Evans Lookout to Govett’s leap and take in the view looking out over Australia’s answer to the Grand Canyon – the Grose Valley. Prepare to be wowed - the waterfalls here drop 180m to the base of the cliff! You’ll wrap up with a stop at the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens where you’ll enjoy a sparkling wine with more sweeping views.

5-7

Ayers Rock (Uluru)

General Tour

Leave city life behind and fly to Uluru, in Australia’s Red Centre, where you'll stay at the Desert Gardens Hotel. You’ll kick off your stay here with an unforgettable ‘Sound of Silence’ experience. Tonight, dine under the canopy of the outback star-studded sky; enjoy canapes, sparkling wine and a buffet inspired by bush tucker and packed full of native ingredients. From a viewing platform you’ll enjoy a view across Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, as you listen to the sounds of the traditional didgeridoo. Afterwards, a local star talker will help you get to grips with the night sky. Sit back and let your eyes be guided to the Southern Cross, Milky Way and signs of the Zodiac. On a clear night you might also be able to spot planets and other galaxies. 

Start the day with an early morning rise, you’ll be rewarded with a glorious colour show as the desert wakes up with the sun. From here, head out to Uluru and watch as its mighty shape rises from the sand dunes in the early morning light. With your guide and fellow travellers, you’ll be taken to a special location to watch the sunrise over this staggering monolith and then tuck into an outback picnic. Next, it’s on to visit Mutijulu Waterhole on the Kuniya Walk, during which you’ll learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python). Afterwards, enjoy a drive around the base of Uluru before heading back to your resort.

In the afternoon it’s on to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, to see native flora and fauna. Your guide will go into detail about this diverse environment and describe the cultural significance of Kata Tjuta, a sacred Aboriginal men’s ceremonial site. At Walpa Gorge you walk between the imposing conglomerate domes and learn how these 36 domes have evolved over millions of years. You’ll conclude your tour as darkness descends on Uluru and it is cast into an impressive silhouette. From there the Field of Light display illuminates the feature and as far as the eye can see, colour lights up the desert. Covering several football fields worth of desert and using some 50,000 spindles of light, it is a wonderful photo opportunity.

You’ll kick off your last full day in Uluru on a one-hour camel ride around the red sand dunes. From the camel’s back, watch as the sun rises over Uluru and Kata Tjunta and the desert comes to life. At a remote lookout you’ll have a chance to pause for photographs, before tucking into a light breakfast of freshly baked beer bread damper with Australian jams, tea and coffee. In the afternoon you’ll partake in a four-wheel drive experience to Mount Conner. A classic Australian outback experience, it’s the perfect way to soak up the ambience without the crowds.

8-12

Port Douglas

General Tour

It’s on to Port Douglas today, where you’ll have time to explore this lush area at your own pace. Surrounded with rich greenery and the amazing Daintree National Park, this township is a must for any nature fanatics. It’s also home to elegant spas, charming cafes and excellent restaurants, as well as typical Australian pubs, pleasant galleries and smart boutiques. Hit up the Sunday markets and tuck into a fresh coconut milk drink or play on a world class golf course. There truly is something for everyone here! You'll stay at the Mantra Aqueous, which is right next to the action on Macrossan Street and has a fab swimming pool to cool off in.

The next day will be spent cruising on the jewel in Australia’s crown, the Great Barrier Reef. There is time for lunch on board and plenty of opportunities to so snorkelling, diving or fishing. Following that, kickback and relax as your boat cruises along this world class reef.

Your final full day in Port Douglas will be spent with a local Aboriginal guide. Together you’ll explore the beautiful Kuku Yalanji country and world heritage listed Daintree rainforest. At the end of the day, you’ll have a greater understanding of the diverse environments of tropical North Queensland as well as a deeper appreciation of the cultural connection the people here have with their land.

On day 12 you'll leave from Cairns, bidding farewell to Australia and head home.

Map of your trip

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