(Melbourne, Sydney, Orpheus Island, Mossman)
You haven’t really seen Sydney until you’ve breathed it in from atop Sydney Harbour Bridge with the wind in your hair and the famous sights of the city – including the distinctive Sydney Opera House – rolled out at your feet.
Ask any local of either city and you’ll learn that Sydney and Melbourne enjoy a friendly rivalry for bragging rights as Australia’s best city. You’ll soon have a basis for comparison as Melbourne welcomes you with its blend of European style and Australian hospitality. Experience all the luxuries of glamorous city life before stepping out of the CBD to experience the boutique wineries and coastal vistas of the Gippsland region, along with koala encounters at Phillip Island’s wildlife sanctuary. But it’s in the tropical north that you’ll see Australia at its most beautiful. You’ll stay in a premium rainforest lodge that is the perfect base to explore the ancient Daintree Rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and Cape Tribulation. Finally, enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation on exclusive Lizard Island. Don’t let the name scare you away – this high-end tropical island is where Australia’s celebrities come out to play.
This itinerary offers plenty for the food lover and the culinary curious. In Sydney, you’ll get an inside view of the city’s busy fish markets where chefs patrol the auctions. The brave can breakfast on a plate of fresh sushi, or save yourself for a long lunch at one of the best restaurants in the city. Melbourne is a foodie city to its core, and you’ll taste plenty of its European influences in the buzzing alfresco dining scene. Then sample the locally-produced cheeses, hand-made chocolates and small-batch wine of the Mornington Pennisula, before moving on to award-winning modern Australian cuisine at Orpheus Island. This is truly a trip for those with discerning tastes and an appreciation for luxury.
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In the package you will receive a welcome letter, detailed itinerary, vouchers for each service, supplier contact list as well as various brochures of the destinations you will be visiting. This will be provided about a month prior to your departure date.
Upon arrival you will be met by a Kensington Tours representative, who will hand you a welcome package which will include all your official documents including a detailed itinerary, vouchers (if required), in-country emergency contact numbers, along with city information including maps and brochures. After meeting with the representative you will be taken to your hotel by a private vehicle and driver and your adventure in Melbourne begins.
From the city you by-pass Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs before driving through beef and dairy cattle farms, horse breeding studs and swampland. Afternoon tea will be enjoyed on route, before you skirt to Westernport to enjoy views of French Island and cross over the bridge to Phillip Island. Recognised as a world leader for environmental conservation, Phillip Island’s sandy and rocky shorelines team with wildlife including over 200 species of birds. Time permitting you can view the local fisherman cleaning their catch of the day whilst battling amongst the fight of gulls and pelicans. Have a quick distant view of Churchill Island, home to Victoria's oldest garden and crop of wheat. On Phillip Island's northern side, look out for masked lapwings, spoonbills, ibis, herons and black swans. It's now time to visit the Koala Conservation Centre. This is one of the few areas in Victoria where you can see a protected koala colony. Walk amongst the treetops in nature reserve bush land and see wild koalas within touching distance. You may spot a wild wallaby or two as well. Time permitting we pass by Swan Lake, the island's largest fresh water lake, and head to the ‘Nobbies’. From this magnificent headland, the views stretch over Mornington Peninsula and Bass Strait. One and half kilometers offshore are Seal Rocks, home to Australia's largest Australian Fur Seal colony. Finally you get to the Penguin Parade, each evening at dusk Little Penguins arrive in groups on the beach after a day of fishing. See them waddle their way into the dunes where their burrow nests are situated. You have access to the less populated boardwalks enabling you to gain close contact with the penguins without any hustle and bustle. Seeing and hearing about the penguin behaviour, and their daily routines is an amazing learning experience. Your evening finishes with dinner in the township of Cowes before returning to Melbourne late evening. This small group tour has a maximum group size of 12 passengers. The departure time is from April to October at 1.00 p.m. the tour returns to Melbourne at 10 p.m. Please note there is a full ban on all photography at the Penguin Parade. The itinerary is subject to change.
A sunrise balloon flight over Melbourne is a truly remarkable experience. There are few major cities in the world that can be traversed by hot air balloon and there certainly is no better way to take in Australia's second largest city. In the early morning light you will drift by the array of parks and gardens that make Melbourne the world's most liveable city. As the city comes to life you will look down on some of the cities iconic sporting venues like the MCG, Melbourne Park and Albert Park racetrack. If you are looking for a romantic soft adventure that gives you a peek at city life from a totally different angle then Ballooning over Melbourne is a must. Please wear comfortable loose clothing. It is recommend to dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes, long pants and a hat. The group size may vary between 6 and 40 passengers. You will be picked up from your hotel. Please confirm your exact pick-up time by calling 0488 686 555 between 6.000pm and 6.30pm on the day prior to travel. The tour does not include your return transfer to your accommodation.
Explore Melbourne, where indulging in the passion for food and wine is a tradition amongst chefs are celebrities, and where wine masters are finding their true voices. Many of Melbourne’s wine focused restaurants are off the main streets, where design of the dining experience is as important as the skills in the kitchen. Enjoy an early evening walk discovering three unique restaurants and learn of the sommeliers’ influences on menu’s and cellaring choices. More than a wine tasting, this is a night to indulge in just a few of Melbourne's many epicurean establishments, and explore a relationship with the often silent heroes of the wine industry. The tour runs in all weather conditions, please wear weather appropriate clothing. Venues visited may change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances.
Transfer between International airport to your hotel accommodation.
Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.
A private transfer from Sydney to the airport is provided.
Set out today aboard a luxury 4-wheel drive vehicle to explore some of the many landmarks and sites around Sydney and the Blue Mountain Range. Begin with a visit to the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge before venturing onto a memorable visit to the Wildlife Park. See the powerful Australian Kangaroo and get up close and personal with some friendly Dingoes – and yes, even pat the cuddly Aussie Koala. Next, it’s off to explore the historic Richmond area before travelling off the beaten path deep into the Blue Mountain Range. Enjoy a rejuvenating morning tea amongst the natural creatures that live in this bush. Experience real back country exploration as you view these vistas of magnificent cliffs and canyons of this World Heritage recognized area. Marvel at the sight of the Three Sisters monolith and the Australian Grand Canyon during your explorations. Enjoy trekking through the bush before feasting on a scrumptious country style lunch at a local Australian homestead. Upon completion of your tour a return transfer back to your accommodations is provided. The tour departs at approximately 7.00 a.m. and returns at 6.00 p.m. The group size may vary between 2 and 18 passengers. Please reconfirm the pick-up time and location of your accommodation 48 hours prior to departure by calling 02 94393010.
This private tour begins with a visit to Blackwattle Bay and the Sydney Fish Markets at approximately 9.15 a.m. Considered one of the finest fish markets in the world, the Sydney Fish Markets are owned and run by the fishing co-operatives and retailers within the markets. At the markets you’ll find a great mix of Australians working over the catch. If you wish, you can begin early in the morning with the Behind the Scenes Auction Tour or stop for a plate of fresh sushi or famous Sydney rock oysters to titillate the taste buds while speaking to the locals about the catch of the day. Next is Queen Street, Woollahra with its fine array of food outlets including Vic Churchill’s Butchery, Simon Johnson and ‘jones the grocer’ for an introduction to Australia’s finest products. The early 80’s introduced the versatile and highly decorative Nouvelle Cuisine which encouraged and educated Australians to appreciate the ‘ingredient as the hero’ and led to the birth of modern Australian cuisine. This new Australian cuisine reflects many influences, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Greek, French and even English, but at the heart of this culinary style is the access to fresh ingredients, put together resourcefully and presented with a large dash of good old Aussie lack of pretension. We’ll stop in at a fine wine shop for a look at the wide regional variety of Australian wines. But let’s not get delayed as it’s time for a Sydney Long Lunch! You’ll end your day with a three course luncheon experience which reflects the very essence of Sydney’s gastronomy at the award-winning Catalina’s overlooking Sydney Harbour at Rose Bay. Or you may choose the Seven Course Degustation luncheon at the scenic Cottage Point Inn overlooking Broken Bay - an inspiring place to sit and contemplate the joys of Australian cuisine, the spectacular food and wine menus beckon. The tour concludes at your hotel at approximately 4.p.m.
A transfer in a private vehicle with a driver between the airport and city or hotel is provided.
If you are arriving into Cairns Airport, you will be met at the baggage carousel by a friendly member of the Nautilus Aviation team. If you are making your own way to the Nautilus Aviation hangar, the address is Hangar 9, Bush Pilot’s Ave, General Aviation, Aeroglen QLD. A meeting point at the airport will be agreed upon at the time of booking.
The Orpheus Island Resort is an exclusive, sophisticated hideaway for those seeking intimate experiences in a natural, relaxed retreat. A coral fringed island resort within its own national park, Orpheus Island Resort offers the ultimate in Great Barrier Reef holidays. Orpheus offers guests a plethora of once in a lifetime experiences, be it a fishing trip where the day’s catch is grilled on an open fire of a nearby cove, an indigenous-led tour of the culturally-rich neighbouring islands, or taking a dinghy and chef-prepared gourmet picnic hamper and discovering the many pristine bays and reefs that fringe Orpheus. Alternatively, it provides the perfect backdrop for a more private and quieter interlude if guests wish to shut off from the outside world. Your stay at the resort includes one nature-based experience daily (snorkeling, fishing, sunset cruise or local island tour) as well as unlimited use of motorised dinghies, paddle boards, catamarans, sea kayaks, snorkelling equipment and light fishing tackle.
Take the helm of your very own motorised dinghy and discover the many pristine bays and reefs that fringe Orpheus. With more private beaches than guests, beach comb and enjoy a chef-prepared gourmet picnic hamper in absolute seclusion! After lunch, snorkel straight off the beach into pellucid blue-green waters and discover the mystical coral gardens and brightly colored tropical fish of this underwater world. A must-see is the giant clam nursery, located in Pioneer Bay. The nursery is populated by 300 impressive molluscs, each weighing 150-200 kilograms, stretching 3 feet in width, and donning ruffled chinchilla lips. The clams are the remains of an old research project from the late 1980s; when the project was completed, more than 10,000 clams were relocated to locations as far-flung as Cairns and Fiji. Please note that this is a self-guided activity and does not include a guide.
Located within Pioneer Bay is the Orpheus Island Research Station, a marine research facility operated by James Cook University. On this educational tour, you will be introduced to the great research facilities including the wet and dry laboratories and the live reef touch tanks. During specific times of the year, you will also have the opportunity to meet internationally renowned Marine Scientists conducting integral research on climate change, sea level rise and their potential impacts on the local reef and eco systems.
If you wish to experience the fringing reef but stay comfortably dry, jump onboard ‘Glassy’ - the resident glass bottom boat. As you glide over the coral gardens, you will learn about the history and diversity of the fringing reef and the wonderful array of world-class marine life that call the waters surrounding Orpheus home. To close another magical day on Orpheus, come and join the boat crew for a pre-dinner sunset cruise. Enjoy a selection of mouth-watering canapés and regional wines and beers, whilst experiencing uninterrupted views of the magical Orpheus sunsets.
Enjoy a 60 minute helicopter flight from Orpheus Island to Cairns. The flight departs the Island at 12.00 noon and arrives in Cairns at 1.00 p.m.
A transfer between Cairns airport and Mossman with private vehicle and driver is provided.
The mist topped mountains beyond Port Douglas cast a magic spell that lures visitors along the short scenic drive north to Mossman, a picturesque little township nestled at the foot of the mountains among the bright green fields of sugar cane. Today you are free to enjoy the town. At nearby Mossman Gorge, see the Mossman River tumble its way over and around huge granite boulders that line the gorge creating cool clear freshwater swimming holes. Awe-inspiring tree-clad mountains rise sharply up from the riverbanks. Walk as far as the suspension bridge across the river or explore the 2.7 kilometer, 1.7 mile rainforest loop trail. Mossman Gorge is home to the Kuku-yalanji people, the areas traditional Aboriginal landowners who strive to protect their natural heritage as they share its unique qualities with visitors. Guided bushwalks are available that give a rare insight into the special relationship Kuku-yalanji people have with the rainforest, while traditional dance performances and artefact displays portray their rich cultural heritage. Should you wish to take part in an excursion we can pre-arrange it for you, otherwise the staff are happy to cater to your individual needs.
You will be picked up from the Silky Oaks Lodge by a private vehicle and driver and taken to Cairns City or Cairns airport.
Langham Hotel, Melbourne reflects the essence of cultural life in Melbourne. Located only 30 minutes’ drive from Melbourne’s International Airport, the hotel is situated on Southbank by the Yarra River overlooking central Melbourne. The hotel is an easy stroll from the city’s renowned fashion precinct, public gardens, alfresco cafes and nightlife. The rooms are rightfully regarded as the most comfortable and admirable among hotels in Melbourne. Each of the superb dining establishments at The Langham Melbourne is a showcase for culinary excellence. Step into the exclusive world of Chuan Spa and be delighted by: luxurious treatment rooms, over 40 beauty and health treatments, massage, hydrotherapy and body wraps, facials, intensive foot and hand therapies.
Be swept away by the beauty of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Sydney’s crown jewels, on the doorstep of Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The Four Seasons is stunningly situated overlooking Sydney Darling Harbour in the historic Rocks district, a short walk from the city's shopping and business centers. The hotel is vibrant and elegant, with dramatic harbor front views and a luxurious day spa featuring exclusive skincare and aromatherapy treatments. The rooms and suites are elegantly decorated in luxurious, contemporary style. World-famous iconic views of Sydney, from the guest rooms includes sunrise over the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Opera House, Bridge, Darling Harbour and beyond.
Orpheus is a Queensland Island Resort set in the heart of one of the world's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef. Just a 25 minute helicopter flight from Townsville or a 1 hour journey from Cairns, this tranquil island stretches across 11 kilometres of immaculate coastline, and comprises of a pristine National Park and surrounding World Heritage listed Marine Park. The fringing reef of this Great Barrier Reef Resort is one of the most spectacular and diverse and guests aren't required to travel offshore to experience it! Accommodating just 28 indulged guests at any one time; this Luxury Resort Queensland exudes absolute seclusion and serenity.
Nestled on the edge of the Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest, Silky Oaks Lodge is the Daintree's ultimate resort where this rare wilderness can be enjoyed in elegance and ease. The Lodge itself overlooks the Mossman River and is a perfect base to explore the Tropical North Queensland region. With Port Douglas only 20 minutes away, the morning drop off and afternoon pick-ups provide opportunities to explore the many boutiques, restaurants and shops of this coastal town. Guest can cruise along the Daintree River and visit the Great Barrier Reef or Cape Tribulation. It's all within easy reach of Silky Oaks.
Australia & Pacific
Susan Pope ,
April 21, 2014
"The arrangements all worked out very well, especially the drivers picking us up from airports and hotels. The hotels, although all in different categories, were mostly excellent. We were happy to see so many different areas of New Zealand and experience everything from glow worm caves to fjords to a Maori hangi and geothermals."
Australia & Pacific
Sharon Weckenbrock ,
May 15, 2013
"We are safely back home but still on Cloud 9 from the fabulous trip that you helped to put together for us! Everything worked just as I had hoped it would and in many cases, exceeded all expectations.
We have definitely been recommending you and your company to anyone asking our advice and again, we can't thank you enough for a trip of a lifetime!"
Australia & Pacific
Donna Brennan ,
April 18, 2013
"The trip was great we all loved the Saint Regis Hotel. It was incredible! Thank you for helping me plan the trip the group was very impressed.
Thank you again,
Australia & Pacific
Paula McNally ,
April 24, 2013
"The trip was wonderful!! . That resort is absolutely beautiful. We had good weather -- hot and humid. The people were very nice everywhere we went. "
Australia & Pacific
Marcia Nunn ,
April 01, 2013
"Candace and I are back in Michigan today after a wonderful trip to New Zealand. You and she did a great job in organizing this trip. Couldn't have been better. In particular, the Wilderness Lodge is a very special place. "
Australia & Pacific
Cindy Burns ,
April 04, 2013
"Miranda is the best, I would recommend her and we plan on contacting her in the future. The hotels were all excellent and the guides knowledge & Service were excellent"
Australia & Pacific
Sheila Black ,
April 08, 2013
"We had the best time you could imagine and it was all based on your planning-thank-you so so much!!
Every hotel was located just where we would have wanted-all so lovely and we loved the buffet breakfasts!! The Grace is a beautiful hotel and everyone was very helpful-we could walk to the main areas and Darling Harbor and we just loved being in Sydney-Norm even got in a game of golf!! Every tour was wonderful. We are so glad you switched us from the large bus Blue Mountain tour to the boutique tour-we heard others talk of the Blue Mountain tour in that it was a long drive, crowded and they did not seem to have a great day. We LOVED our boutique tour-we had a super driver (Cliff)who really really tried to find every animal in the wild he could-we saw kangaroos, emu, wombats and even a koala-it was a wonderful day-we got back about 11;30 pm and because of that we saw so many of the nocturnal animals-he was so accommodating-just a great day!!
The Pullman in Cairns was just gorgeous-and we could walk to the water-we had a perfect(calm!!) day on the reef and we loved the trip to the rainforest-all in all a wonderful few days there. Our weather for the whole trip was also perfect!!! How did you do that!!??!!
We thank-you so much, Louise, for helping us-you take full credit for this holiday and we so often spoke of you there “thanks to Louise for another great day” we would say!! Every tour worked out perfectly-the flights were just great and the timing super-and we really felt you listened to what we ‘thought ‘ we wanted to do and you just seemed to know what would be right for us. We packed some Canada pins and tee shirts and gave them to our tour drivers and they seemed to love that!!
We came home happy and relaxed and so thankful-I will send you a few pictures for certain.
Australia & Pacific
Josie Rodriguez ,
March 19, 2013
"Thank you for all your help arranging a wonderful Australian tour for us. There was a lot of anxiety/reservation arranging a tour on line, not meeting the other person on the other line but it all ended well and we had a fantastic experience. Please thank also Ruby for us for arranging our domestic flights. The two of you did a very good job in coordinating/planning everything.
For sure I will use you again in our next trip which will be in September. We would like to go to St. Petersburg, Malta and Sicily.
Again, thank you!
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