|Low Season||Shoulder Season||High Season|
|Gold Service, Advance Purchase||$9,779||$10,069||$10,499|
|Gold Service, Everyday||$10,299||$10,639||$10,799|
|Platinum Service, Everyday||$11,599||$12,399||$12,599|
Airlie Beach is the vibrant hub of the Whitsundays, and the ideal mainland base for fun and adventure.
OVERNIGHT: Mantra Boathouse
It’s fair to say you’ll never have a night like this again! After your transfer from Airlie Beach by fast ocean-going vessel, enjoy the day frolicking in Australia’s world famous Great Barrier Reef. From our Heart Pontoon moored on Hardy Reef, you can swim among tropical fish, snorkel through beautiful coral, dive, or take a guided semi-submersible tour. For the ultimate reef adventure, take a heli-flight over Heart Reef (optional extra) to fully appreciate the scale and majesty of this globally-renowned living treasure. Then, wave goodbye to the day guests as the vessel heads back to the mainland. That’s right – you’ll be spending the night sleeping under the stars on Hardy Reef, where the only sound you’ll hear is the Coral Sea gently lapping around you. Your uniquely Australian accommodation comes in the form of a swag.
OVERNIGHT: Reefsleep (L,D)
Enjoy all of the pontoon facilities before the day visitors arrive, and then spend another full day enjoying this incredible location. See the myriad of tropical fish and magnificent corals. If you’re not keen to swim, view the marine life and reef wall from the underwater viewing chamber or the semi-submersible vessel. You’ll head home with the day guests onboard the reef vessel in the afternoon.
OVERNIGHT: 3 nights Mantra Boathouse (B,L)
Today is yours to enjoy the lovely coastal town of Airlie Beach. Stroll to one of the alfresco restaurants for fresh local seafood or handmade tapas.
A full day sailing around the Whitsundays elevates your experience of this stunning aquatic playground to a new level. Join the experienced crew aboard a super sleek catamaran and sit back as you sail from one amazing location to the next – all you have to do is relax on Camira’s deck and decide what to photograph next. As Camira takes in all the showstoppers of the Whitsundays – including the jaw-dropping Whitehaven Beach – you’ll also enjoy interactive shore experiences like a guided small group walk to stunning Hill Inlet. Here you will discover the history of the region’s traditional owners, the Ngaro people. With snorkelling gear also included and plenty of idyllic swimming spots to choose from, expect to work up an appetite for the beach barbecue lunch. (L)
Check out of your accommodation this morning for your flight to Sydney. On arrival in Sydney, the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Amble through the city’s laneways or enjoy the views along Darling Harbour.
OVERNIGHT: 2 nights Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney Central
Climbing an Australian icon, the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, is sure to be a highlight. The anticipation builds as you enter the pre-climb area and suit up for the safety briefing and, before long, you’re safely clipped to the rail to begin the ascent towards the best view in Sydney. You’ll gain access to the very summit of the bridge for a moment you’ll never forget!
Departing Sydney’s Central Station, settle into your first evening on the Indian Pacific. Enjoy the fabulous food, wine, service and social atmosphere of this much-loved rail journey.
OVERNIGHT: 3 nights Indian Pacific (D)
After breakfast, prepare for your first Off Train Excursion in frontier town Broken Hill, followed by a day enjoying the outback scenery. Upon arrival in Adelaide, you’ll have more Off Train Excursions to choose from before continuing your journey west. (B,L,D)
Today is all about those amazing views as you cross this famous stretch of the Australian interior. Dinner this evening is under an outback sky on the edge of the country’s largest sheep station at Rawlinna (seasonal). (B,L,D)
This morning, you will travel through the rolling hills of the Avon Valley. Then enjoy a delightful lunch as you head to your destination of Perth, arriving mid-afternoon. Check in to your accommodation.
OVERNIGHT: 2 nights Adina Apartment Hotel Perth (B,L)
Enjoy your ferry trip from Perth to Rottnest Island with Rottnest Express. There is so much to see and do on Rottnest Island and your best option is to take a guided tour that lets you make the most of a fabulous day out. You’ll be able to explore the island’s most spectacular locations, see its unique wildlife – including those adorable quokkas – and discover its colourful history.
After your flight from Perth to Exmouth, pick up your hire car and make your way to your accommodation.
OVERNIGHT: 3 nights Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort
Prepare for a life-changing experience. You have the chance to swim with whale sharks or humpback whales (seasonal) on the world famous Ningaloo Reef! You can even use one of the underwater scooters to swim along. This incredible opportunity is restricted to small groups, and you will be escorted the whole way travelling aboard a luxury vessel guided by a spotter plane from above. Snorkels and wetsuits are provided. Lunch is also included, as well as a glass of bubbly to celebrate an encounter with nature you’ll never forget. (L)
* During November to March, you will enjoy a half day Marine Life Discovery and Lagoon Snorkelling Tour
Your day begins in the small reef town of Exmouth. You’ve done the reef so why not head to Cape Range National Park with its spectacular gorges in your hire car? Hike through walking trails and gorges offering some of the best views in the west, or relax on pristine sandy beaches with crystal clear turquoise water. Visit the top of the Range to see the sun sink over the beautiful beaches of the North West Cape.
Carnarvon is perfectly positioned between the Ningaloo World Heritage areas to the north, and Shark Bay to the south. It is a year round holiday destination offering the chance to rest, relax and recharge. Drive to Carnarvon via Gascoyne’s picturesque coastline, or the rugged inland locations such as Kennedy Range and Mount Augustus National Park.
OVERNIGHT: Wooramel River Retreat
Shark Bay encompasses two bays sheltered by peninsulas and a long island. The local Malgana Aboriginal people know it as Gutharraguda, meaning two waters. Within Shark Bay lies Monkey Mia, famous for its dolphin experience. Monkey Mia is surrounded by rusty red sand dunes, white sandy beaches and water teeming with wildlife. You can drive there via Hamelin Pool, a protected marine nature reserve where stromatolites, known as ‘living fossils’, are the number one attraction.
OVERNIGHT: 2 nights RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort
Covering an area of more than 2.2 million hectares, Shark Bay is one of the world’s greatest wilderness treasures. It has a unique combination of wildlife, flora and stunning scenery unlike anywhere else. Apart from dolphins, you might spot dugongs, sharks, rays, turtles, and a variety of fish in the water. Back on land, you are likely to meet pelicans and emus. Pack the hire car with your towels and a picnic lunch to head out for the day.
Time to start the self-drive back up north towards Exmouth. Coral Bay is a small settlement that lies protected from the Indian Ocean by the Ningaloo Reef. It is Australia’s only fringing reef, where the coral starts right at the water’s edge. The fish and the coral are very accessible and can be experienced either snorkelling or on one of the coral viewing boats.
OVERNIGHT: 2 nights Bayview Coral Bay
This marine eco-tour is a full day of fascinating interactions with the ocean and they don’t come much bigger or better than swimming with amazing gentle giants in Coral Bay. Ningaloo Reef’s resident manta rays are a sight to behold, and you can get up close and personal with these graceful creatures. Your adventure includes wetsuits and snorkelling gear plus morning tea, lunch and afternoon snacks. (L)
Take in any last-minute sights at Coral Bay today before making the drive to Exmouth. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool as you reflect on the last couple of weeks’ adventure.
OVERNIGHT: Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort
After breakfast, check out of your hotel, return your hire car and board your flight to Perth.
The Ghan due to depart from Darwin on Wednesday 26 February has been delayed due to flash flooding south of Katherine.
For up to date information, please click here.