Amazing Australia

...an adventure of a lifetime!

Departing sunday september 9 for 13 days / 12 nights 

G’day mate! Australia is a country where a casual, friendly lifestyle overlaps with vibrant cosmopolitan cities, fascinating landscapes, pristine beaches, rugged terrain and unique wildlife. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the way of life in the remote Outback, explore the Great Barrier Reef, and discover the country’s famous cities & towns - Sydney, Alice Springs (The Red Center) and Cairns. Of course, you’ll get to see the native wildlife, including koala and kangaroo. This tour is completely casual dress throughout… so don’t over-pack - travel light!!! Jeans / Shorts / T-Shirts, Swimwear & good walking shoes… are just a few things to include. Small group size is a minimum of 10 passengers which would enable an ABS Escort to travel with the group. If minimum numbers for this tour are not achieved there’s no need to worry… this amazing adventure has been designed to allow participants to travel as individuals or as a group. Every destination and all tours within the itinerary have a local representation where you will be met at each airport and transferred to the next inclusion of the tour.

Beach
Photo Credit: Tourism Whitsundays

Itinerary:

Day 1: Rapid City to Sydney via Los Angeles – No meals included except for onboard aircraft

Day 2: As we jet our way to Sydney, we cross the International Date Line

Day 3: Arrive Sydney, New South Wales
On arrival in Sydney, you pass through immigration and Customs and as you exit Customs you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of your day is free to do as you wish.
Overnight Sydney – No meals included except for onboard aircraft

Day 4: Exploring Sydney
This morning your tour takes you to Manly Beach for a stroll along The Corso to see the beach that has made Manly famous. On your way you’ll view Circular Quay and then cross the Sydney Harbor Bridge. We stop at Milsons Point for spectacular views of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge. At North Head Lookout admire a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy time at Manly Beach before heading back to the city where you board a Captain Cook cruise for lunch on Sydney Harbor. Take in the stunning harbor views and listen to informative commentary while you enjoy a buffet lunch of fresh seafood, tender prime meats and seasonal fruit. This afternoon we drive through the historic Rocks area and then see the Opera House, Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral, Parliament House and the Art Gallery. We stop at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair for magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge. See the colorful Royal Botanic Gardens on your way to visit ‘The Gap’ and enjoy its stunning views. We stop at world-famous Bondi Beach, where you’ll have the chance to wander along the shoreline and dip your toes in the clear cool water. Afterwards we board the coach for our return to the city.
Overnight Sydney - Breakfast and Lunch included

Sydney Opera House
Photo Credit: Tourism Australia

Day 5: Blue Mountains & Featherdale Wildlife Park
Today you head west to the Blue Mountains and drive through the tourist town of Katoomba. At ‘Scenic World’ enjoy 360° views of the Jamison Valley. From a perfect vantage point you'll be treated to a spectacular view of the famous Three Sisters. According to Aboriginal legend, this unusual rock formation represents three sisters who were turned into stone. On your way back down the mountain, you visit Featherdale Wildlife Park... See cuddly koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles, goannas and possums.
Overnight Sydney - Breakfast included

Blue Mountains
Photo Credit: Tourism Australia

Day 6: Sydney to Alice Springs, Red Center, Northern Territory
After breakfast, it’s time to head to the airport for your flight into the ‘Red Center’, Alice Springs. On arrival you will be transferred to your afternoon tour, A Town Like Alice. The tour ends around 6pm and you will be dropped at your hotel for overnight. Your Driver Guide will provide details along the way as you visit historical sites and some of the essential services delivered from Alice to the community of this vast region. Established by the early explorers, Alice Springs began as a repeater station along the Overland Telegraph Line. Overflowing with history and heritage, Australia’s most famous outback town is now the central headquarters to a range of services and a thriving tourism industry. The traditional custodians, the Arrernte people, refer to Alice as ‘Mpwante’. Some of the sights you will see include: School of the Air - Established in 1951, the Alice Springs School of the Air provides education to primary aged school children living on remote properties throughout the Northern Territory. You’ll learn how this essential service is delivered via satellite across more than one million square kilometres.  Alice Springs Telegraph Station - Built in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide, the historic Telegraph Station is the site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. After 60 years of operation, the premises then served as a school for the local Aboriginal children. Now a historical reserve, featuring the original stone buildings and furnishings from the early 1900s, the Telegraph Station is a must to visit and learn more of the history of the Alice.  Royal Flying Doctor Service - Now you’ll visit the home and headquarters of the highly respected Royal Flying Doctor Service. Delivering medical services to people who live, work and travel in remote and rural Australia, the RFDS is a critical resource for this community. Learn of its remarkable history through stories, images and their wonderful interactive museum.  Alice Springs Reptile Centre - Home to the largest reptile display in Central Australia, the Alice Springs Reptile Centre will introduce you to Terry the saltwater crocodile and let you get very close to enormous goannas and frill-neck lizards. The Gecko Cave features a large collection of gecko species from all over the Northern Territory. You’ll have lots of fun here, particularly during the afternoon show and if you’re game, try the supervised handling session.
Anzac Hill – Our last stop of the day was originally dedicated to the many men and women who lost their lives during WWI, however it now honors all those who have served in wars in which Australia has played a role.
Overnight Alice Springs – No meals included

Day 7: Alice Springs to Ayers Rock (Uluru)
Travelling south you’ll stop to visit a camel farm where there is time for a short camel ride (optional and at own expense). Later stop to view Atila (Mt. Conner) often mistaken for Uluru, before arriving at Ayers Rock. This afternoon, join your Driver Guide for a drive around the base of Uluru. Uluru is an incredibly impressive monolith 5 km (3 miles) in length and over 300 m (1,000 feet) high! Uluru is a remnant of ancient mountains which long ago weathered away, leaving the sandstone monolith standing alone in the desert. In 1989 scientists found evidence that Uluru, the Macdonnell Ranges, and a cluster of huge rock domes named Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) were part of a single plateau. Although British explorers trekked through the Red Centre as long ago as 1844, none of them visited Uluru until 1873, when it was named Ayers Rock after a colonial administrator of the day, Sir Henry Ayers. October 26, 1985 signified an important date in the history of Uluru. On this day, the government of Australia officially returned the ownership of Uluru to the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal people, the group of people who are the traditional custodians of the land. This action occurred under the condition that it would be leased back to the National Parks and Wildlife agency for 99 years and that joint management of the site would occur. 1995 marked the changing of the name of the national park from Ayers Rock–Mount Olga National Park to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This change in name was to acknowledge and show respect for the Anangu people and, particularly, their ownership of and relationship to the area. Continue to the Kuniya Walk, where you will be guided to the Mutitjulu Waterhole. This waterhole was a key source of water for the Aboriginal people in the area and had been in use for many thousands of years. See Aboriginal rock art and hear about the Aboriginal and European history of the area. Visit the Uluru – Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre. It houses an amazing collection of original paintings and punu (woodwork) that provide an insight into the unique and spiritual culture of the Anangu people, the traditional custodians of Uluru. Late afternoon, travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Witness and photograph the striking color changes of Uluru at sunset while enjoying nibbles and sparkling wine.
Overnight Ayers Rock area – No Meals Included

Ayers Rock
Photo Credit: Tourism Australia

Day 8: Uluṟu Sunrise – Kata Tjuṯa (the Olgas) – Sounds of Silence Dinner
Rise early and travel to the Uluru sunrise viewing area to watch the first rays of the sun set the Red Centre alight. Later, continue to the mystical domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Walk through Walpa Gorge, where the trail follows the natural creek bed between two of the tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. This evening dine under a millions stars at the Sounds of Silence Dinner. Enjoy a gourmet buffet of Australian delicacies accompanied by fine Australian wines, then sit back and relax as a startalker takes you on a tour of the southern night sky (weather conditions permitting).
Overnight Ayers Rock Area – Dinner Included

Sound of Silence Dinner
Photo Credit: Tourism Australia/NTCB

Day 9: Ayers Rock to Cairns, North Queensland
Alas it’s time to say farewell to the Red Center and G’day to North Queensland and The Great Barrier Reef. Cairns (pronounced ‘cans’) has come a long way since its beginnings as a boggy swamp and rollicking goldfields port and is your gateway to the ‘Outer’ Barrier Reef. On arrival at Cairns Airport you will be transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Overnight Cairns – No meals included

Great Barrier Reef
Photo Credit: Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree

Day 10: The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch for 2600 kilometres (1,616 mi) and cover an area of approximately 344 400 sq km. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is sometimes referred to as the single largest organism in the world. In reality it is made up of many millions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. The High Speed Catamaran will speed you to the Outer Reef and has plenty of deck space and interior seating. A buffet lunch is served (included) and a wide range of beverages are available for purchase. Snorkeling equipment is available and included.
Overnight Cairns -Breakfast and Lunch included

Great Barrier Reef
Photo Credit: Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree

Day 11: Tjapukai – Skyrail – Kuranda Railway
Today you visit the fascinating Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Australia’s largest indigenous cultural park which has been built in a spectacular rainforest setting. Discover this ancient culture through bush food lessons, didgeridoo demonstrations, movie theatres, fire making demonstrations and the famous Tjapukai Dance. A short distance from Tjapukai is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The Skyrail will take you over and through the breathtaking World Heritage of the Barron Gorge National Park. There are two rainforest stations where you can enjoy a ranger guided boardwalk and observe this ancient rainforest from spectacular lookouts. On arrival in Kuranda there is free time to explore the ‘village in the rainforest’ and its many attractions, including the Heritage Markets. Now it’s time to board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a historic journey travelling through some of the oldest rainforest in the world. Passing the spectacular Stoney Creek Falls your journey winds through man-made tunnels, across bridges and around curves to arrive at its final destination, Freshwater Station. Transfer back to your hotel for overnight.
Overnight Cairns – Breakfast included

Kuranda Railway
Photo Credit: Tourism Australia

Aborigine
Photo Credit: Photography by Cathy Finch

Day 12: Cairns to Sydney
After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Sydney where you will overnight close to Sydney airport. The overnight is included as a safeguard to ensure you are conveniently on hand to catch your flight back to Rapid City the next morning. It also allows you to catch your breath and relax after your action packed adventure ‘Down Under”…
Overnight near Sydney Airport – Breakfast included

Day 13: Sydney to Rapid City
This morning, transfer to Sydney Airport for your return flight back to the USA.
No meals included except for onboard aircraft

Weather averages:

Weather

Itinerary at a Glance

Starts: Sunday September 9th 2018
Ends: Friday September 21st 2018

What's Included

  • Round trip air from Rapid City
  • All overnight accommodations based on two people sharing a room
  • 5 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 1 Dinner
  • All Internal flights in Australia
  • All sightseeing / touring / entrance fees as listed in the itinerary

Pricing

  • Price: $7,995pp (double occupancy)

Tour Brochure

How to Book

  • Deposit of $2,750pp due at time of booking
  • June 15th 2018 - Final Balance Due 
  • Booking Form

What You'll Need

  • A camera is a must
  • Binoculars would be a great idea
  • Passports are required for this tour

ABS Travel Group | 945 Enchantment Road, Rapid City, South Dakota, 57701, USA
1-888-788-6777 | 1-605-791-2520 | Fax 605-791-2618
© 2018 ABS Travel Group Inc.