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Epic Australia: Cities, Beaches, Outback & Wildlife

Sydney – Melbourne – Uluru – Cairns – Great Barrier Reef – Bondi – Fitzroy Island – Blue Mountains – Penguins – Kangaroos – Koalas – Gastronomy – Wineries – Hiking

Discover Australia through the eyes of real Aussie women; Start in Sydney for history, culture, nature, and multiculturalism, before flying to the Outback for Indigenous heritage at Uluru. Continue in Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef and tropical beach life, before ending in cosmopolitan Melbourne to discover Australia’s hip side; Street art, wineries, penguins, koalas and nightlife.

Highlights: Seafood feast on Sydney Harbour | Harbour Bridge Climb | Walking tours with female owned businesses | Bronte to Bondi Hike I Talk with female lifeguard | Fitzroy Island Beach & Snorkeling | Chinatown food tour | Feed Kangaroos | Meet koalas | Get up & Close with Little Penguins I Blue Mountains National Park | Uluru Base Walk | Field of Lights | Cairns & The Great Barrier Reef | Street Art Tour of Melbourne | Yarra Valley Wineries I Luxury accommodation

Activity level: Moderate, expect to walk 10,000-15,000 steps a day, with several hikes across coastal, clifftop, and outback landscapes, lasting 2 – 4 hours in length

Share spot or upgrade to a single room* | 14 spots

*Prices per person, we pair you with another solo traveler if you prefer to avoid the single supplement

 

Trip Overview

  • 14th – 25 October 2024 – CONFIRMED

2025 Dates

  • 13 – 24 October 2025

Hayley A., our local guide

Payment plan

6,995 EUR pp sharing

Max. 14 guests

See inclusions

Book now


Itinerary highlights

Here’s an overview of your Aussie adventure

  • Day 1: Arrival and welcome dinner. G’day!
  • Day 2: Sydney walking tour & dinner with refugee women
  • Day 3: Bronte – Bondi walk, beach time, talk with female lifesavers & Chinatown dinner
  • Day 4: Featherdale wildlife park & Blue Mountains
  • Day 5: Fly to Uluru & Outback sunset dinner
  • Day 6: Uluru base walk, Indigenous culture & Field of Lights
  • Day 7: Fly to Cairns and relax on the beach
  • Day 8: Great Barrier Reef beach and snorkeling
  • Day 9: Fly to Melbourne, graffiti street art & bar scene tour
  • Day 10: Winery lunch, koala conservation & little penguins
  • Day 11: Yarra Valley & farewell dinner
  • Day 12: Departure day

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 : Welcome to Australia! Arrive in Sydney and welcome seafood feast

Welcome to Sydney!

Make your way from the airport to the hotel by taxi or train. The hotel sits right on Sydney Harbour, so we are a 10 minute walk from the Opera House if you need to stretch your legs before the group meets.

Our trip starts with a welcome briefing at our hotel in the late afternoon, before we head out for our first taste of Sydney.

We will have an introduction to the week and your travel mates, before making our way across Circular Quay on foot to Barangaroo, on the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Barangaroo is Sydney’s newest waterside precinct. The neighborhood has a rich history, and is named after a powerful 18th-century Cammeraygal woman whose husband was a translator for Governor Arthur Phillip, the captain of the First Fleet in 1788 (she hated her husband Bennelong’s relationship with the Governor).

We will walk along the foreshore under the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Walsh Bay and hear more about the city and country’s history along the way.

Our welcome dinner will be at a female owned Australian seafood restaurant right on the water. The restaurant is known as “a fish bar with a green heart” because it serves fresh and sustainable seafood locally sourced from Australian & New Zealand waters.

We will feast on shared platters of oysters, salmon, king prawns, scallops, calamari, and crustaceans.

On the walk back to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to stay out as late as you like on the harbour, to watch the lights of the Sydney Opera House sparkle against the water.

Overnight at InterContinental Sydney 5*

Our Hotel is a fully renovated luxury heritage hotel, set within the beautifully restored Treasury Building of 1851 in a privileged location with both Harbour Bridge and Opera House views.

The building is a significant part of Sydney history, and has many of its original features, with neo-classical architecture and 19th century fittings.

This was the site of Australia’s first ever grape harvest, and there’s a hidden underground vault…somewhere!

The hotel has stunning modern rooms and amenities, though is bursting with history. You will head to your room in the oldest working lift in the Southern Hemisphere.

Enjoy a drink with a view of the Opera House at the hotel’s rooftop or take a dip in the indoor pool. The hotel’s spa may be the best way to get over the jetlag.

We are walking distance from all of Sydnye’s most famous landmarks. There isn’t a better way to start off the trip.

Inclusions: Welcome seafood feast / dinner on Sydney harbour with a welcome drink and wine. Guests need to make their way to the hotel from the airport. Pick up can be organized via the hotel.

 


Day 2: Multicultural Sydney

Walk time: 3 hours walking tour.

Sydney has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years.

Today, it is a melting pot of cultures, with a story that encompasses the deep roots of Indigenous Australians, the arrival of the British First Fleet in 1788, and the subsequent waves of migration that infused the city with a unique cultural richness.

We will start our day with a walking tour that takes in Sydney’s most iconic landmarks such as the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, before venturing into the thriving multicultural neighborhood of Merrylands in the evening.

Long before the arrival of European settlers, the Sydney region was home to the Eora Nation, one of the many Indigenous nations that thrived across Australia.

The Eora people had a deep connection to the land, with their rich cultural traditions, languages, and intricate social structures shaping the landscape.

The area around Sydney Harbour was a significant meeting place for Indigenous communities, fostering trade, cultural exchange, and ceremonial gatherings. And this is where we too will gather to start our walking tour for the day.

The arrival of European settlers in 1788 marked a pivotal moment in Sydney’s history. Led by Captain Arthur Phillip, the First Fleet, comprising convicts, soldiers, and free settlers, established the first European settlement in Australia.

Sydney Cove became the birthplace of modern Australia, and we will learn all about it’s history, infused with stories of the unique women who shaped it.

Gold was discovered in Australia in the 1850’s, and the Gold Rush era attracted a wave of immigration, all seeking fortune and a new life.

Migration continued to be a crucial part of Sydney’s evolution through the 20th century and post war migration after World War II brought waves of Europeans, including Italians, Greeks, and Eastern Europeans, adding layers of diversity to Sydney’s social fabric.

Significant migration from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa continues to enrich the city’s cultural mosaic to this day, and Sydney is now a true multicultural hotspot, with a tapestry of languages, cuisines, and traditions reflecting its cosmopolitan identity.

There is a lot written into history about the men who shaped Australia, though as always, there are incredible and untold stories of strong women and founding females, without whom Sydney would not be the same.

After our walking tour of Sydney, we will break for lunch, where you will have free time to explore the harbour and choose your favorite multicultural food option.

OPTIONAL EXTRA: Why not take an unfortgettable walk up the Sydney Harbour Bridge?!

Seeing Sydney from the ground is one thing, but seeing it from the top of the Harbour Bridge is entirely another. Rejoin the group in the early afternoon to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You’ll walk along the upper arch and stand 134m in the air with 360 degree views of Sydney Harbour once you reach the top. There are so many spectacular views!

Fun fact: During construction of the bridge, women were involved in the clerical side of the public service, engineering and construction industries. They included Kathleen Butler, secretary of chief engineer John Bradfield.

The story goes that she ‘lost’ an official telegram to cancel the bridge. The bridge was officially opened on March 19, 1932, and she has since become known as the woman who saved the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

In the evening we will meet again and head to the neighborhood of Merrylands, in Western Sydney, a suburb where many refugee communities have settled and opened businesses in, for dinner.

Refugees and asylum seekers have played a significant role in shaping Australia’s multicultural identity, particularly in Sydney.

The resilience, skills, and unique perspectives brought by refugees and asylum seekers have infused the city with a wealth of traditions, languages, and cuisines, fostering an atmosphere of inclusivity and understanding.

Sydney’s refugee community has not only added to the city’s diversity but has also contributed significantly to its economic and social vibrancy.

Many refugees have become entrepreneurs, professionals, artists, and community leaders, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s landscape.

Their stories of triumph over adversity serve as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the positive impact that a multicultural society can have on fostering innovation, empathy, and interconnectedness.

Dinner will be a private affair in a family-owned restaurant that we will share with women who arrived in Australia as Syrian refugees. They will be our hosts for the evening, introduce the food, and share some of their stories.

We will end with a sweet stop at a fabulous Iranian ice cream place before we depart back to Circular Quay.

Overnight at Intercontinental Sydney

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, guided tour of Sydney with our local female guide, dinner with Australian women who came as refugees, transportation to and from dinner.


Day 3 : Bondi Beachlife & Chinatown

Walk time: 1.5 hours coastal walk and 3 hours walking food tour.

Today we will have a big breakfast at the hotel, slap on our sunscreen (in Australia we say slip, slop, slap), grab a towel, and lace up our walking shoes.

We’re going to the famous Bondi Beach!

Our minibus will drop us just over a kilometre south of Bondi, at Bronte beach.

From here we will walk to Bondi, along the world renowned Bronte to Bondi coastal walk. This is a scenic trek which takes in dramatic cliffs, lush parkland, and of course, stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s incredibly picturesque and the perfect backdrop to great photos.

When we arrive at Australia’s most famous beach, we will meet with one of Bondi’s female lifesguards.

Bondi is world famous for its golden sands and crashing waves as the Aboriginal name implies: “water breaking over rocks” or “noise of water breaking over rocks”.

Bondi is a 1 km stretch of coast, and no other beach in Australia quite embodies the local love for coastal beauty, outdoor lifestyle, and the egalitarian spirit, where people from all walks of life converge to embrace the sun, surf, and community.

Such a part of Sydney’s cultural identity, the beach was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008.

But Bondi is not just a haven for beachgoers, it is also home to a distinctive and empowering female lifeguard culture that breaks stereotypes and redefines traditional gender roles.

We will chat with a female lifeguard about her experience in a traditionally male dominated role, and her work in community outreach, emphasizing the importance of water safety and encouraging inclusivity on the beach.

With their courage and expertise, Bondi’s female lifeguards symbolize empowerment and serve as role models, embodying the ethos that everyone, regardless of gender, can be a hero on the sands of Bondi Beach.

We will then head for lunch at the world famous Icebergs Pacific Dining room, which sits right on top of the Pacific Ocean, the only private dining room with views over Bondi Beach.

The restaurant is part of the Icebergs Club, where the famous Bondi Baths are open for public swimmers.

A historical landmark of Bondi Beach for over 100 years, we will break for free time, where you can swim in the baths with your included ticket or head back to the beach before we depart.

Weather in October: After lunch you will have time to swim if you wish, though please note that the water in October will be reasonably chilly: 23 degrees celcius / 73 degrees farenheit. You’ll find local Aussies swimming regardless, and are very welcome to join them.

The Bondi Icebergs is the only licensed Winter Swimming Club in the world, dating back to 1929 & owing its origin to a band of local life savers with a desire to maintain their fitness during the Winter months.

In the afternoon, we will take our transfers back to the hotel to freshen up and get ready for dinner.

Dinner will start with a journey on the iconic Sydney tram on our way to Chinatown, where we will discover the history of Asian Australians, alongside amazing authentic food.

The migration of Asian Australians, particularly in Sydney, has played a significant role in city’s cultural fabric, and Chinatown is a vibrant testament to this diversity.

Over the decades, waves of immigrants from various Asian countries have made Sydney their home, and the Sydney food scene is all the better for it.

Chinatown Sydney is very much a bridge between heritage and contemporary life. It has become a hub for social gatherings, celebrations, and cultural festivals.

We will visit hidden landmarks celebrating Asian-Australians, and hear the stories of Chinese Settlers, from the first fleet to the gold rush.

We will sample authentic and modern dishes from China, Korea, and Malaysia enhanced by Aussie ingredients and visit ‘Peoples Favourite’ award winning restaurants, with modern Korean fried chicken and Chinatown classics.

The evening wouldn’t be complete without a traditional Chinese tea ceremony where we will understand the importance of ritual and tradition.

At the end of the evening, you will have the option to travel back with the group by tram to Circular Quay, or stay out to experience Sydney’s nightlife, and make your own way back to the hotel.

Overnight at Intercontinental Sydney.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, return transport to and from Bronte / Bondi, guided walk from Bronte – Bondi, meet with a local female lifeguard, lunch at iconic Icebergs Bondi and entrance ticket to the Baths, Chinatown food tour with female guides and return tram transfers.


Day 4: Wildlife & Blue Mountains National Park

Walk time: 2 to 3 hours hike in the mountain paths.

We will depart the hotel early this morning, for a full and fantastic day of wildlife and nature within the Blue Mountains National Park.

Beating the crowds, we will arrive at Featherdale Wildlife Park which offers the opportunity to get up and close with some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife and hand feed kangaroos.

Originally a poultry farm, Featherdale opened in 1972, and naturally transformed into a wildlife park over the years as it took on a caretaker role for Australian native wildlife.

There are now over 2,000 native animals in their care, and they are globally recognized for their commitment to conservation and education. This is a unique opportunity to interact with native Australian wildlife within an ethical setting.

Among the animals you’ll see at Featherdale are wombats, lorikeets, cockatoos, emu, cassowary, echidnas, koalas, dingos, quokkas (well-known as the ‘world’s happiest animals’ with their characteristic grins), penguins, kookaburras, Tasmanian devils, and yellow footed rock wallabies.

As we enter the park we will give you a bag of Kangaroo feed, and you can hand feed Kangaroos, wallabies and pademelons, which will give you the chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful friendly furry creatures.

OPTIONAL EXTRA: Featherdale is also the only place on Australia’s East Coast where you can hand-feed the adorable Quokka’s and snap your own ‘quokka selfie’.

We will continue on towards the Blue Mountains National Park to visir the famous Three Sisters rock formation and wander the bush tracks to discover wondrous waterfalls on a nature hike.

The Blue Mountains National Park is one of the best examples of Australia’s awe-inspiring natural beauty. It really is a natural masterpiece, with majestic cliffs, eucalyptus forests for as far as the eye can see, and unique rock formations.

The area gets its name from the distinctive blue haze that covers it, which is a result of the sunlight being scattered by the droplets of eucalyptus oil released from the forests. It creates a mystical vibe as you take in the towering sandstone escarpments and deep valleys.

This is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, as the region is steeped in Indigenous Aboriginal heritage. We will learn about the history and wildlife of the park, and its spiritual significance for the local communities.

The park features ancient rock art, engravings, and sacred sites that reflect the cultural history and connection to the land.

But beyond its cultural significance, this is a haven for outdoor adventure; We will explore the network of walking tracks that cut through the rugged terrain, leading to amazing views including the Jamison Valley, Three Sisters and lush rainforest.

We will stop for lunch in the boutique village of Leura, to support a family owned rustic cafe who have incredible coffee and treats.

Leura is a wonderful village with all sorts of boutique and quirky shops, and there will be time after lunch to stroll around and explore. You can browse eclectic homewares, fashion and antique shops.

This is arguably the prettiest village in the Blue Mountains, and there are heritage homes, cool climate gardens, and the town center lined with cherry trees sends Instagrammers into a frenzy during blossom season.

We will be back in Sydney in the early evening, and after a long day in the outdoors, dinner is free for you to seek out around Sydney Harbour, or at the Intercontinental’s amazing rooftop bar.

Overnight at Intercontinental Sydney.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, transportation for the day in a private minibus, entrance and kangaroo feed at Featherdale National Park, entrance and guided visit / walking tours of the National Park, lunch in Leura.


Day 5: Outback Australia / Uluru

Today we will be boarding a flight to Ayers Rock / Uluru and making our way to the heart of Australia’s Red Centre.

After breakfast, our bus will pick us up and take us to Sydney airport.

It’s a 3 hr and 20 minute flight to Uluru, where we will check into Ayers Rock Resort, and you will have a free afternoon.

Explore the resort, refresh after the flight, and participate in the many complimentary cultural activities hosted by the resort.

There are guided garden walks, Digeridoo workshops, and bush yarn sessions, where you can listen to the stories of Aboriginal culture and tradition, learning aspects about the local Pitjantjatjara language, be shown men’s weapons that were used for hunting and women’s tools and techniques to gather bush tucker in the central desert.

Uluru can be seen from our hotel, and this iconic sandstone monolith has a cultural significance to Australia that is profound.

Revered as a sacred site by the Indigenous Anangu people, Uluru holds a central place in the spiritual and cultural identity of Australia.

For the Anangu, Uluru is not merely a natural landmark but a living entity that embodies the Dreamtime, a complex framework of beliefs that explain the creation of the world and the relationships between all living things.

The rock’s weathered surface is full of ancient rock art, caves, and sacred sites, serving as a tangible connection to the rich tapestry of Aboriginal culture.

Uluru is a place of deep spiritual power, and in the evening we will head to a private sand dune for a truly incredible dinner.

Tali Wiru, meaning ‘beautiful dune’ in local Anangu language, is a magical fine dining experience underneath the Southern Desert sky.

Instead of walls, this open-air restaurant has magnificent views of Uluru and the distant domes of Kata Tjuta.

We will see the sunset over Uluru and dine among the stillness of the desert night, on an exclusive four-course dinner infused with ancient native ingredients that you probably never heard of before and will not find anywhere else such as fermented quandong salsa, scampi caviar, picked munties, ikura shoyu zuke, samphire, salt bush or tooth fish with sea grapes, beach succulents, sour butternut puree and vermouth cream.

We will have an early night as tomorrow we will be up before sunrise.

Overnight at Desert Gardens Hotel

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, transport to Sydney airport and from the airport to the hotel in Uluru, domestic flight from Sydney to Ayers Rock, Tali Wiru fine dining dinner experience.


Day 6: Immersive Uluru

Walk time: 4 hours on the base walk.

Today we start the day early, and wake when it is still dark so we can watch the sunrise over Uluru.

Our morning will start with a transfer to the National Park where we will complete the Uluru Base Walk.

The full walk around Uluru’s base is 10.6 km (6.6 miles), and we will see all of the natural and cultural beauty of the rock up close on our four hour walk, gaining a deeper understanding of its cultural importance.

This is a relatively flat and easy trail, and we will see the rock change color with the morning sun.

As the sun rises it creates a magical effect, transforming the rock from deep reds to fiery oranges, and then to the softer, more muted tones that signal the arrival of daylight.

Witnessing Uluru in all its morning glory is a privilege, an intimate connection with a sacred place that leaves an indelible mark on you.

While we’ll get plenty of exercise this morning, this is more a cultural journey than a physical one.

Along the trail we will take in sacred sites, waterholes, caves, and ancient rock art that hold great significance for the Anangu people, the traditional owners of the land.

We’ll learn about the cultural and natural features of the rock, offering insights into the rich history and spiritual importance of Uluru.

This is an immersive and moving experience, and you’ll appreciate just how vast the desert landscape is in the heart of Australia.

Keeping a close eye on the rock itself, you’ll see intricate patterns and textured crevices and curves, each that tell a story which dates back millennia.

Being there so early in the morning, the air will be crisp and there will be a gentle breeze. You’ll feel the earth under your feet, the scent of the desert flora, and the distant calls of native wildlife rising for the day.

This is a sensory experience.

We will arrive back to the resort in the late morning, and have the rest of the morning / afternoon free.

Catch a nap or enjoy the hotel’s pool during the heat of the day, or take advantage of the cultural experiences at the resort. Grab lunch at your leisure depending on your appetite.

The resort has a daily bush food experience, where you can learn about Australian and local bush tucker and how for many millennia local Indigenous groups would hunt, gather and prepare these bush foods (educational experience, not a dining experience).

Though this free time is also your chance to opt for a helicopter ride over Uluru.

OPTIONAL EXTRA: Experience the beauty of the Australian Red Centre with an amazing aerial view by taking a helicopter over Uluru. Enjoy panoramic views of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, including Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Lake Amadeus, and Kings Canyon, on an exhilarating helicopter ride.

In the late afternoon / evening we will come together to visit the Field of Light.

The Field of Light is a mesmerizing art installation that transforms the vast desert landscape into a breathtaking tapestry of light.

Created by renowned British artist Bruce Munro, it features thousands of slender stems crowned with radiant, multicolored glass spheres. These orbs come to life as the sun sets over Uluru, casting a warm and enchanting glow across the red earth.

We will transfer to a remote desert location with majestic views of Uluru, enjoying canapes with sparkling wine as the sun sets over the horizon.

We will watch as the 50,000 glass spheres come to life, and have time to wander through the immersive display. The installation’s colors subtly change, mirroring the shifting hues of the desert at different times of the evening.

Back at the resort, you will have free time to grab your own dinner at one of the many bistros, bars, grills, or restaurants onsite.

Overnight at Desert Gardens Hotel 

Inclusions: Breakfast, transport and entrance to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, 4 hour guided base walk of Uluru with a local aboriginal guide, Field of Light transfers and Star Pass including entrance, canapes and a drink.


Day 7: Laid Back Tropical North Queensland

It’s time to say goodbye to the Outback, and trade the Red Center for palm trees, rainforest, and beach life.

After an early breakfast at the hotel, catch your last glimpses of Uluru before we board our flight to Cairns.

Our flight to Cairns is 2.5 hours and we’ll land in the heart of Tropical North Queensland to fully embrace Australia’s laid back tropical beach life.

This region of Australia is best known for its biodiversity and natural wonders; It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and what’s best described as barefoot glamour.

We will transfer to our hotel in Palm Cove, a tiny enclave of luxury hotels and fine-dining restaurants beside a beautiful palm-fringed beach.

Palm Cove is one of the most iconic beaches in Far North Queensland, a beachside destination with a beautiful esplanade lined with 500 year old swaying coconut palms and melaleuca trees.

This is one of Australia’s most popular wedding destinations, and has also been dubbed the spa capital of Australia.

Locals walk around barefoot, bike the esplanade, fish off the jetty, and enjoy sunset barbecues right on the beach. The street is lined with boutique shopping and plenty of dining, from fish and chips on the beach to high-end, award-winning restaurants.

We will arrive at our luxury hotel to a chilled bottle of sparkling wine in your room, and you will have free time in the afternoon to settle in or stretch your legs on the beach.

The hotel has vintage cruiser bikes you can take out on the esplanade, or if you don’t wish to leave, there is a guest library, board games, a hotel bar, mineral pool, heated spa, and spa treatments available.

Included in our booking is a $50 spa credit if you wish to book a treatment.

In the late afternoon we will enjoy a mixology class at the hotel, and learn how to pour, mix and shake cocktails, and we will be drinking them too!

Designed to compliment our tropical surrounds, the cocktail list is made of aromatic and fruity cocktails, aperitifs, martinis and mocktails.

Punch & canapés will be served at twilight, before making our way to the beachfront restaurant for dinner.

The Reef House Restaurant has been here since the 60’s, and is an open air, undercover restaurant with views across the Coral Sea.

We will dine under the Melaleuca Trees overlooking the Coral Sea, and this will be be a taste of North Queensland’s freshest produce and ingredients.

Overnight at The Reef House

The Reef House Boutique Hotel and Spa is a charming colonial beach house with a fantastic pool. It is a historic icon in Tropical North Queensland, and built in 1958, is one of Palm Cove’s original properties.

The hotel has preserved its lush tropical gardens that are now a fantastic example of Far North Queensland’s most distinctive flora.

Towering melaleuca trees flank the entrance, majestic 350 year old coastal sentinels that are native to the region, and there are a special range of palms here that botanist Sir Joseph Banks noted in his journal in 1770 as he sailed past the coastline aboard the HMS Endeavour (Captain James Cook’s first great voyage).

This is an adults only escape which is directly opposite the beach. It is an exclusive property known for exceptional service, and past guests have included Prime Ministers of Australia, and national and international celebrities.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, domestic flight from Ayers Rock to Cairns, lunch inflight, transportation to Palm Cove, cocktail mixology class, $50 spa credit at The Reef House, punch & canapes, dinner at The Reef House Restaurant


Day 8: The Great Barrier Reef

Today will be a full day discovering the UNESCO World Heritage Great Barrier Reef.

This is Australia’s greatest natural wonder, and the world’s largest coral reef.  There are over 3,000 different reef systems and coral cays, and hundreds of tropical islands with marine life and golden beaches.

We will enjoy an early breakfast overlooking the coral sea, before heading out early to discover Fitzroy Island.

Fitzroy Island is a 45-minute ferry transfer from Cairns, and is surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, making it the perfect base for snorkelling and exploring the reef.

It is home to the Reef Restoration Project, which is a not for profit project that cultivates heat resistant corals to fight coral beaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

Healthy corals that are more resilient to higher water temperatures and coral bleaching are collected and grown in an offshore nursery on Fitzroy Island, before being planted in the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, and the goal of The Reef Restoration Foundation is to plant 1 Million corals by 2026. The increase of heat resistant corals allows the reef to recover faster.

Once we arrive you will have the full day to pick your perfect day on the reef, from swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, hiking up to the viewpoint (4km return), taking a glass bottom boat, or simply spending the day on the beach.

Subject to availability, we will take a short walk to visit the island’s Turtle Rehabilitation Center, a project where a group of volunteers takes care of injured turtles and nurses them back to health with the objective of releasing them into the wild.

We have booked a 90-minute guided snorkeling tour for the group which will start with a short boat ride to the back of the island where the best reef spot is.

Snorkelling off Fitzroy means you’ll be surrounded by schools of fish, marine life and corals, and if you’re lucky you may even encounter a friendly Green Sea Turtle.

There is a Sports Hub with gear rental where you can pick up snorkel gear, kayaks and stand up paddle boards.

The island is National Park, and covered in tropical rainforest, so while we will have plenty of opportunity for swimming and snorkelling, there is also an extensive network of fantastic rainforest walking tracks to explore.

If you’re feeling active there is a Summit walk that takes you to the highest vantage point on the island and the historic lighthouse for amazing views over the Great Barrier Reef.

The Island was used as a military base during World War II to protect Australia’s mainland from invasion. Most of the walking trails were created during this time, which is why they lead to the best vantage points in the region.

Nudey Beach is one of Australia’s best beaches, a spectacular white coral beach with giant granite boulders, fringed by vivid green rainforest, with sparkling blue waters.

The 15-minute walking trail winds through the rainforest, and you may be joined on the walk by goannas, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Sulphur-crested cockatoos, echidnas, and Buff-breasted paradise kingfishers.

Here you can swim and snorkel in the shallow reef.

Grab lunch at your leisure from Foxy’s Beachfront Bar & Cafe, or there is a general store where you can pick up packaged food to enjoy picnic style on the beach.

We will depart back for Cairns at 5 pm, and after a full day on the reef, dinner will be at your leisure.

Overnight at The Reef House

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, return transport to Fitzroy Island, guided snorkeling tour.


Day 9: Melbourne’s Murals

Walk time: 3 hours during the history, bar and graffiti tour.

Today we will rise early and enjoy one final sunrise and breakfast looking over the beach.

We’re leaving the tropics behind us as we travel from one end of the country to the other, from the tropical north to the southeastern coast.

We will board a plane from Cairns to Melbourne, arriving in the late afternoon and transferring to our hotel in the center of the city.

Melbourne is a dynamic metropolis that effortlessly marries cosmopolitan sophistication with a rich cultural tapestry.

It’s a vibrant city that is known for its creative arts, food, and diverse neighborhoods, and an intense rivalry with Sydney over the title for Australia’s best city (you can decide!)

The best way to describe Melbourne is eclectic, and it’s most distinguishing feature is its fervent commitment to creative and cultural expression.

The city breathes creativity through its numerous galleries, theaters, and street art-adorned laneways.

From the iconic street art in Hosier Lane to the world-class exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne pulsates with an artistic energy that permeates every corner.

After settling into the hotel, we will depart in the afternoon for a city tour with our guide followed by an evening graffiti street art and bar scene walking tour, with an introduction to Melbourne’s famous bar scene, and famous (and not so famous!) street art precincts with a local expert.

Our evening tour has been put together by a local Melbourne, female owned business, and designed for us to uncover the city’s secrets.

Hidden throughout Melbourne’s laneways is a bar scene which is internationally famous for its innovative mixology and eclectic bars that range from intimate speakeasies to vibrant, bustling pubs.

And the art of cocktail crafting in Melbourne is elevated to an unparalleled level. Expert mixologists concoct avant-garde creations, often inspired by local flavors and global trends.

Speakeasy-style bars concealed behind unassuming facades add an element of mystery and discovery to the city’s nightlife.

We will enjoy a welcome cocktail and shared plates as we bar hop and take in Melbourne’s graffiti scene.

Once our tour ends, you will have the opportunity to stay out and fully immerse yourself in Australia’s most famous nightlife. Tomorrow you can sleep in!

Overnight at Mövenpick Melbourne Spencer

Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer is a luxury hotel at the base of Melbourne’s iconic Premier Tower, a 78-storey skyscraper that encapsulates cosmopolitan Melbourne.

The waves and curves of the building were inspired by the music video for Beyoncé’s “Ghost”.

We like the hotel for its central location, and outdoor swimming pool, hot tub & sauna open till 10pm.

And continuing with our theme of artistic expression, the corridors of the Mövenpick are an ode to Melbourne’s vibrant arts scene, lined with photographs of street art and cafe scenes taken by noted local photographers.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, domestic flight from Cairns to Melbourne, transportation from Melbourne airport to hotel, Melbourne history walking tour and female guided graffiti street art & bar scene tour with welcome cocktail and shared plates.


Day 10: Phillip Island: Wine, Koala Conservation & Little Penguins

Sleep in and enjoy a lazy morning, or venture outside of the hotel to enjoy Melbourne’s famous coffee culture.

Our day today won’t start until mid morning, though we won’t be returning until very late at night.

Today we will be traveling to Phillip Island, an island sanctuary 2 hours south of Melbourne which is known for the Penguin Parade at Summerland Beach, where adorable Little Penguins return to shore at sunset after a day of fishing.

Our day has been personally curated by local Melbourne guide Joanne, who is the Co-Founder of a brother and sister owned tour company who run tours in the surrounding natural areas of Melbourne.

We will leave Melbourne on our private minibus and head out to Phillip Island.

Our first stop will be at a locally owned and run dairy farm, café, and factory that develops delicious recipes.

Settled in 1875, this was one of the region’s premier beef cattle properties and today is a modern, fully operational commercial dairy farm where we will stop for tea, coffee, and ice cream, and the chance to stretch our legs through their animal nursery.

We will pet baby calves and feed our cheeky goats along with ducks, geese, alpacas, chickens, rabbits and deer, before getting back on the bus towards Gippsland and Phillip Island Winery.

Gippsland is fast becoming one of the premier Victorian wine regions, and we will stop at Phillip Island Winery for an introduction to Victorian wines and lunch.

Co-owned by three female winemakers and their partners, the winery is an extension of their own homes.

We will have a wine tasting followed by a feast of gourmet pizzas, and an opportunity to walk through the vineyards for photos, with a stunning view out to the sea.

After lunch we will continue towards the Koala Conservation Reserve, which is the closest you can get to koalas in their natural habitat while maintaining an ethical distance.

We will walk along tree-top boardwalks to watch koalas up close. The woodlands are also full of native birdlife, wallabies and echidnas.

The trails here are easy, and our visit will help fund the Research, Conservation and Education work they undertake across Phillip Island.

Many koalas at the reserve are being rehabilitated from the 2020 bushfire period.

Our visit will continue towards the largest Little Penguin colony in the world, and we will arrive at the Penguin Parade just before dusk, to watch them waddle home from the ocean to their burrows.

There are viewing platforms and burrows, and if you fall completely in love (it’s likely), you can tune into their live penguin burrow camera to watch the penguins even after you’ve returned home.

Weather and conditions permitting, we will veer away from the grand stands and go on a premium experience where we sit on the beach, in the dark and in silence, as the little penguins walk past us on their way to the burrows.

Dinner this evening is at your leisure, and there is casual dining and a restaurant at the Penguin Parade.

Our visit helps to raise vital funds for little penguin research and conservation projects, as well as the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured penguins.

After the penguin viewing we will return back to Melbourne by bus, arriving around 10 pm.

Overnight at Mövenpick Melbourne Spencer

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, transport for the day by private minibus, visit to local farm, wine tasting and lunch at Phillip Island winery, entrance to the Koala Conservation Reserve, tickets to the Penguin Parade.


Day 11: The Yarra Valley

Our last day in Melbourne will be an exploration of the Yarra Valley, a region less than an hour away, which is known for its quality local food and wine.

After a late evening at the Penguin Parade, enjoy a lazy morning, and enjoy one last morning coffee from one of Melbourne’s eclectic array of cafes.

Breakfast is included at the hotel, though baristas in Melbourne are revered artisans, crafting espressos, lattes, and flat whites with precision and flair. The coffee scene is not just a ritual; it’s a vibrant social experience, where conversations flow as smoothly as the rich, aromatic blends.

You ask anyone in Melbourne and they’ll tell you that the city’s coffee culture transcends a mere beverage – it’s a lifestyle and an art form.

We’ll depart for the Yarra Valley stopping in the Dandenong Ranges, for a High Tea brunch at a female owned charming country cottage in Montrose.

After working as an accountant for five years, the owner followed her passion for pastry, completing her Patisserie Diploma at Le Cordon Bleu in London, and going on to work in some of London’s finest High Tea establishments.

She returned to Melbourne and set up this country glam venue where we will feast on savoury items, sweets, fluffy scones and artisan teas.

We will continue on to visit female owned wineries for an afternoon of wine tasting, taking in the scenic beauty of the region as we drive through picturesque farms, lush forests, and a patchwork of vineyards and valleys.

The wines of the Yarra Valley have made this one of Australia’s premier winemaking regions. Renowned for its cool climate, the region produces elegant, cool-climate varieties, where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive.

The Yarra Valley’s winemakers, often boutique and family-owned, showcase a dedication to craftsmanship, and we will visit cellar doors to try both classic varietals as well as innovative blends and emerging styles.

Note: The stops on the day may change based on availability.

Coming off the buzz of an incredible trip across Australia, and the Yarra Valley wine, we will enjoy a final farewell dinner with our group, before saying goodbye.

Most Australians say see you later (pronounced ‘see ya!’) instead of goodbye. It’s also common to hear “ooroo”.

Overnight at Mövenpick Melbourne Spencer

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, transport for the day in a private minibus, High Tea brunch, Yarra Valley wine tasting, farewell dinner with wine.


Day 12: Departure

You can leave at any time after breakfast depending on your flight, and make your way to Melbourne airport on your own time.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel


About Your Host, Hayley

The trip will be hosted by a our Australian adventure-seeker and Sydney insider guide, Hayley A.

Hayley has been leading tours around Australia, New Zealand and overseas for decades, but is most passionate about showing off her hometown of Sydney.

She has traveled to more than 80 countries and has incredible stories to tell, but still comes back to Sydney every time because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and has amazing hidden secrets.

Hayley has a great sense of humour, and prefers that you land in Australia with a good sense of humour too – absolutely essential to get the most out of any travel experience.

She gets a real pleasure when visitors are thrilled by Australia, and enjoys working with people from diverse countries, cultures and back grounds.

When not guiding, she likes to go out kayaking and paddling, like a true Australian, and loves to be outdoors and in nature.

Hayley has a diploma in travel writing and photography from The Australian College of Journalism and has a photographic website.

Bonus: Our October 2024 trip will be accompanied by both SFT co-Founders, Meg Jerrard (our resident Aussie and Cairns local) and Mar Pages.


Inclusions

✔️ 11 Nights in shared twin accommodation in 4-5* hotels. Or upgrade to have your own room

✔️ 3 domestic flights, from Sydney to Ayers Rock on Jetstar, from Ayers Rock to Cairns on Qantas, and from Cairns to Melbourne on Jetstar.

✔️ Luggage limit of 20 kg per checked bag / 7 kg per carryon

✔️ All activities and entry tickets as mentioned in the itinerary.

✔️ Exclusive gastronomic experiences: Seafood feast, Refugee dinner and Chinatown food tour in Sydney, Tali Wiru dinner and sunset canapes in Uluru, beachside dinner in Cairns, bar hopping dinner in Melbourne, High tea and winery dinner in the Yarra Valley

✔️ National Parks Pass for Parks Australia

✔️ $50 spa credit at The Reef House Cairns

✔️ Talk with female lifeguard on Bondi

✔️Private transportation in minibus during day tours, trams or taxis in Sydney, ferry for Fitzroy Island

✔️ Daily Breakfast, 4 Lunches and 7 Dinners. Inflight meal on Qantas flight from Ayers Rock to Cairns.

✔️ Water during included meals. Alcoholic drinks during welcome and farewell dinner

✔️ Winery visits and tastings in Phillip Island and the Yarra Valley

✔️ Tips for all activities included (hotel staff, drivers, restaurants, bars)

Exclusions

✘ International flights to / from Australia

✘ Optional activities: Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, Quokka experience, Helicopter ride over Uluru. These can be added to your booking via our porta

✘ Meals not listed

✘ Transportation from and to the airport in Sydney and Melbourne

✘ Extra luggage over 20 kg per checked bag on included domestic flights

✘ Meals on Jetstar flights from Sydney to Ayers Rock, and from Cairns to Melbourne

✘ Visa, if required

✘ Travel & Medical Insurance (Required)

✘ Spa treatments or other items of personal nature

✘ Tips for the Guide (at your discretion)

Payment Info

Prices per person in EURO start at:

6,995 EUR

Payment Plan:

30% deposit to secure your spot (non refundable*)

Final balance due 90 days before departure

*The initial 30% is refundable if the minimum number of guests is not reached. By joining our trips you agree to our T&C.

The Solo Female Travelers difference – What makes us unique

All our tours follow the same values and philosophy that makes us who we are which you can find here.

Our Australian tour has been personally curated by our Australian Co-Founder Meg specifically to support female owned business across the country, and present a genuine and authentic view of Australia through the eyes of Aussie women with many exclusive and unique experiences you won’t find on other tours and stays at luxury properties.

We will eat in female owned restaurants, meet with female business women, entrepreneurs, and trail blazers in otherwise male dominated industries like lifesaving, and combine the Aussie spirit with nature, wellness and gastronomy. Our tour supports sustainability initiatives, ethical wildlife experiences and charities which are dedicated to improving the lives of Australian women.


Book NOW

Interested in joining us in Australia? We are keeping the group to 14 guests maximum so don’t wait up. Select your package below and click the Book button, or pick a time to book a video call with us and get all your questions answered. Note: Please do not book any flights until the trip is confirmed.

Credit card payments carry a surcharge. Wire transfer details are available via email: [email protected].

IMPORTANT: Due to the nature of the trip and the many traditional gastronomic experiences, we are unable to accommodate gluten free, vegan or lactose-free diets as well as severe food allergies. If you are vegetarian, please check with us before booking.

14 to 25 October 2024 – CONFIRMED

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13 – 24 October 2025

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Let’s Talk!

Have questions? Pick a convenient time and date below to talk to us live, we’d love to meet you!


Tour gallery

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a trip of a lifetime and we know there are many things you’d like to know more about.

What is the best time of year to visit Australia?


We have chosen October to visit Australia, as the best time to experience all three different environments. October is shoulder season in Sydney and Melbourne, before the heat and crowds of summer. It also means temperatures will be cooler in the desert, and we avoid the rainy season / jellyfish season in the Great Barrier Reef in Tropical North Queensland. We have also chosen our dates to avoid Australian school holidays, which is when local families crowd to destinations like Uluru and Cairns, and avoid the Australian public holidays, when local tourists take long weekends in places like the Blue Mountains, Sydney, and Melbourne.

What are the COVID measures and how will you ensure everyone is safe?


We care deeply about the wellbeing of our guests and our trip follows all local regulations. We require guests who develop a cough or cold-like symptoms to use a mask and separate themselves from the rest of the guests. COVID testing is not mandatory though it will be encouraged.

What if I cannot travel because of COVID restrictions?

Payments are not refundable if the trip goes ahead. This is why we require all guests to purchase travel insurance that covers unforeseen circumstances that would prevent them from traveling.

In the event that the trip needs to be postponed for reasons beyond our control such as a global pandemic or COVID after the the 30% deposit is due, any payments made will be put towards a similar trip in the future.

We recommend checking with an aggregator such as Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and coverage.

Do I need a visa for Australia?

Information on visas to Australia can be found at the Department of Home Affairs. We highly encourage you to research your visa requirements in advance.

What is included in the trip?

All inclusions and exclusions are detailed in the section above. This trip includes 3 domestic flights, from Sydney to Ayers Rock, from Ayers Rock to Cairns, from Cairns to Melbourne, Daily Breakfast, 4 Lunches and 7 Dinners. Our included meals are gastronomic experiences and previous guests have told us they preferred to have 1 not included meal a day to leave space for the included meal.

Can I have a room to myself?

All costs above are considered on a sharing basis with two guests per room in twin bedding. We will pair you with another solo female traveler on the trip. If you wish to have your own room, a single supplement applies.

Can special dietary requirements be accommodated?


Because of the nature of the trip, the gastronomy of the country and the isolated parts of the country we will visit, it is not possible for us to adapt the tour to suit veganism. If you are vegetarian, please consult with us before booking.

Severe allergies and lactose- or gluten-free diets cannot be accommodated on this tour. Please reach out to us to discuss your needs before booking.

I want to bring my partner to the trip

This is a female-only small group trip specifically designed for women traveling on their own. If you wish to travel with a female friend, partner, family member, etc. they are absolutely welcome, however we are not able to book male travelers on this trip.

I want to bring my daughter

How wonderful! If your daughter is above the age of 16, we will be glad to have her with us.

Will the guides be female?

Yes, this trip will be by a local Sydney guide Hayley A. In addition, our October 2024 trip will be accompanied by both SFT co-Founders, Meg Jerrard and Mar Pages.

What should I pack for this adventure?

We will provide a detailed packing list in the lead up to your Australian adventure. You will need a varied wardrobe which allows for warm days and cool evenings, cold nights in the desert, and humid temperatures in the tropics. You will absolutely need to pack sun protection such as a hat, sunglasses, and we recommend a reusable bottle to reduce plastic waste on the environment.

What happens if I get sick?

The prospect of getting sick while alone in a foreign country is daunting, and this is why we require all our guests have comprehensive travel and medical insurance that includes international evacuation.

Should you fall sick, we will escort you to the nearest medical facility so you can get the help you need. Australia has an excellent healthcare system and we will never be far from top-notch facilities.

What travel and medical insurance should I get?

While the cost of medical healthcare in Australia is affordable when compared to international standards of other developed nations, travel and medical insurance is mandatory to come on our trips and we recommend you get the most comprehensive coverage that includes international evacuation. Check an aggregator such as Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and coverages.

Can I make various instalments for this trip?

Our payment plan includes 2 instalments: a 30% payment to secure your spot, and the remaining 70% payment 90 days before the trip. You can make any partial payment until the 70% is due.

Can I pay by credit card?

Yes payments can be made by credit card or by wire transfer.