From shark cage diving in Port Lincoln to hot air ballooning over the Gold Coast, this is the perfect 13 day Australian itinerary for those with an adventurous spirit.
Adelaide - Kangaroo Island - Port Lincoln - Sydney - Cairns - Great Barrier Reef - Gold Coast - Brisbane
Welcome to Adelaide, home of incredible wildlife, unique outback experiences, and some of Australia’s most famous wineries in the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, and 14 other distinct wine regions. Located only 12km from the heart of Adelaide City, Glenelg is a charming seaside suburb with sandy white shores, bustling shops and restaurants and attractions for all ages. Glenelg is the site of South Australia's original mainland settlement in 1836 and there is a free museum located in the Town Hall in Moseley Square with interactive exhibits detailing some of the area's rich history and heritage. Glenelg is abundant with wild dolphins and swimming with them aboard Temptation Sailing is a must do whilst in Adelaide.
Visit the Hahndorf Village and the Cleland Wildlife Park in Adelaide Hills. Cleland is a great place to bring a picnic or have a barbecue and spend the whole day. If you don’t have that much time, we suggest allowing at least two hours to explore the park. This will give you enough time to stop and feed the animals, cuddle a koala, listen to one of the keeper talks and stroll at a leisurely pace. The park is only 20 minutes from the Adelaide city centre, at 365 Mount Lofty Summit Road, Crafers. Stop at the Mt Lofty Summit to enjoy the sweeping views of Adelaide. Hahndorf Village is classified as Australia's oldest surviving German settlement and each year thousands of people, young and old, enjoy its charm and the hospitality.
Travel to Cape Jervis to get the ferry to Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island is a haven for Australian wildlife, which exists in its natural habitat without the threat of introduced predators. Listen to the distinct sounds of the native birdlife as they chorus from the tall eucalyptus trees. Kangaroo Island is home to some 250 species of birds, many of which are unique to Kangaroo Island. As you travel the island keep an eye out for echidnas, wallabies, reptiles and wildflowers. Begin your adventure on Kangaroo Island with a visit to the Island Beehive – Clifford’s Honey Farm for a tour and tasting of the organic Kangaroo Island honey, which is renowned for its quality and purity. You will also have an opportunity to sample homemade honey ice-cream and honey beauty products.
Visit Seal Bay Conservation Park, for a guided walk along the beach. This bay is home to a healthy Australian Sea-lion colony. Walk among Australian Sea-lions as they bask on the beach or among the sand dunes after their extensive fishing expedition. With your guide you are able to stand at a safe distance to these wonderful endangered creatures and hear them sigh and watch them at play.
Later visit another amazing wildlife attraction, the fascinating "In-Flight" Birds of Prey display at Raptor’s Domain, an interactive and educational display of native Australian birds and raptors. From here travel to Kingscote to watch the pelican feeding and learn a little about these fascinating and ancient birds.
Visit the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to look for koalas nestled up in the eucalypts, and then travel to the western most part of the Island, Flinders Chase National Park. Make a short stop at the Flinders Chase Visitor Centre, before travelling through the park and learn about its unique trees and plants. See the rugged southern coastline, and enjoy a walk around Remarkable Rocks before continuing on to Admirals Arch, where the boardwalk takes you down a rugged cliff face to reveal this spectacular arch, a natural nursery and safe haven for playful Long-nosed fur seals that can be seen swimming and playing in the waves, or resting on the rocks. There is a possibility you will see more wildlife as your travel to the Airport at Kingscote.
Connect to your flight from Adelaide to Port Lincoln – 1 hour.
Shark Cage Diving: The experience needs to be pre booked. Reach Port Lincoln Marina. The full day tour departs at 07:00 am for ‘shark bay’ at Neptune Island, approximately 70 kms. south of Port Lincoln. On the way, see scenery as you cruise through the Thorny Passage and expect sightings of inquisitive local dolphins and sea birds. To ensure that the natural environment is safe and protected, audio sound vibrations are used to attract the sharks to the boat. The benefits of using sound vibration is that it travels in all directions underwater, it’s instantaneous and completely eco-friendly. Return to Port Lincoln by between 6 – 7 pm approximately. You can book the experiences with Calypso Star Charters, Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions or the Adventure Bay Charters.
What To Bring: Warm jacket (it can get cold out on the water or after a swim), Swimming Suit, Your camera (underwater cameras available for purchase on board the vessel), Sunglasses and sunscreen (not to be forgotten) and a towel.
Today you are flying to Sydney - a three hour flight via Adelaide. The day is at your leisure after checking in at your hotel. Wander through The Rocks before catching an iconic Sydney Ferry from Circular Quay passing famous landmarks including Sydney Opera House to Mosman or Taronga Zoo.
One of the many advantages of being a coastal city is an abundance of picturesque beaches and cliffs. Explore this side of the city, as you dedicate your day to its coastline. Begin your adventure at Bondi beach for a surf lesson, then take a climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney. From its fascinating underbelly to its summit, 134 metres above the Harbour, the bridge is the pride of Sydney. From dawn until dusk, the view from the Bridge is always different.
After a relaxed lunch by the waterfront, you can opt for the jetboating, at Circular Quay. Thunderjet offers two fantastic rides for you to choose from. This is a fantastic way to see the sights of the harbour – the thirty minute ride is a full on adventure around the harbour taking you past the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and beyond. For those looking for more of a thrill, book into the Extended “Extreme Adrenalin” ride – the only one on offer from Circular Quay. The extra 15 minutes are used to take you further into the Harbour.
If that's not enough, jump on the famous red shark boat for an amazing adventure. The 30 minute shark attack thrill ride begins in Circular Quay and is a magnificent combination of sightseeing and traditional jet boating with spins, slides, power-break stops and fish-tails. It’s this unique combination of sightseeing and fun that makes the Oz Jet Experience a must-do when in Sydney. Departs: Every hour, every day from 11.00 until 4pm in winter and 5pm in summer. Subject to availability and minimum numbers.
The next part of you adventure is to Cairns in QLD. From Sydney it's a three hour flight. Cairns serves as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spend some time at the Cairns Esplanade, offering the top-to-bottom-dollar shopping plus a wide range of cuisines to satisfy everybody’s taste buds. But the sparkling jewel is the man-made lagoon on the esplanade, where you can cool off from the heat. There’s plenty to do on days when the reef is not on your schedule.
AJ Hackett Bungy Jumping and Minjin Swing Tower is located just 20 minutes’ drive from the main city center. Get ready to push your limits and defy gravity. With a world first Jump Menu offering 16 different jump styles, there's a Jump for everyone. Whether you’re a first time jumper or a seasoned thrill seeker, there is a jump to take you out of your comfort zone and a bit further! There's nothing like a little adrenalin hit to remind you you're still alive! Minjin Swing, the only multi-person Jungle Swing in Australia swoops through the rainforest from 45 metres down to 1 metre in 3.5 seconds, reaching speeds up to 120km/h. But don’t think it's up to the Swing Master to set you going – you have the control… all you have to do it pull the self-release…
This is your chance to explore the Great Barrier Reef. This is a world heritage area and one of the Natural Wonders of the World. A Great Barrier Reef Cruise is the ideal way to discover the reef. On arriving at the pontoon, you can enjoy four hours at the reef featuring an impressive array of complimentary inclusions such as snorkelling, glass bottom boat and semi-submersible coral reef viewing tours, an underwater observatory, and a sumptuous seafood buffet lunch.
Cairns is the place where you can experience an action packed experience filled with fun, thrills and spills as you raft the Tully River in this extreme five hour white water adventure in remote World Heritage Rainforest with Raging Thunder Adventures. Each raft is controlled by a highly trained river guide who teaches you the correct techniques during the day and who will share with you the history and wonders of this magnificent landscape which few get to see.
Enjoy the scenic drive to Tully through cloud-covered coastal mountains, clear rivers and streams, fields of sugar cane and exotic fruits. Travel on to the Tully River whilst listening to the guides give a safety talk, and pick up your safety equipment.
The next part of your journey takes you to the Gold Coast - a two hour flight from Cairns. We recommend making your first stop the SkyPoint Observation Deck which is Australia’s only beachside observation deck, located on Level 77 of Q1. Rising 230 meters into the sky, SkyPoint boasts the highest enclosed vantage point of the Gold Coast where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the unsurpassed 360 degree views that extend from the surf to the hinterland and beyond whilst enjoying a bite to eat from the licensed bar and cafe.
See the sights of the Gold Coast from the sea and air. Jump aboard a powerful jet boat for an adrenalin-packed 55-minute ride, full of 360-degree spins, slides and shallow-water skimming before taking to the sky on a blood-pumping 10-minute helicopter flight over the Gold Coast. You can take the ride at Surfers Paradise or Marina Mirage. Enjoy the action packed 30-minute jetpack, flyboard or jetovator (bike) experience on the Gold Coast and glide through the air as you discover the Gold Coast waterways in a different way. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide making this exciting experience suitable for everyone.
Start the evening with a sunset kayak adventure on the calm waters of the Nerang River in Surfers Paradise. Wind your way around the islands and admire the opulent waterfront homes of the rich and famous. Suitable for all fitness levels, this leisurely sunset tour includes kayaking instruction, and a fun and informative commentary from your friendly guide.
For those who want a bit of adventure on land, explore the various bridges, lakes, waterfalls and running creeks of the Gold Coast's McIntosh Island on a unique one hour Segway Eco Adventure tour. See the best of this landscaped area of the popular "Main Beach" strip and garner some inspiring views of the Gold Coast's famous coastline while cruising along upright.
A spectacular Hot Air Balloon flight is just the prefect start of your morning today. Help the friendly and fun crew of Hot Air, to unwrap the balloon, float up to watch the sun rise over the rolling hills of the majestic Gold Coast hinterland; enjoy sweeping views of Tamborine Mountain, Lamington National Park and to the east see the shimmering tall towers of the Gold Coast skyline. To top your special morning off, relax with a glass of crisp, cold sparkling bubbles and enjoy a delicious hot breakfast in the gracious ambience of O'Reilly's Vineyard's historic Grand Homestead with its high ceilings & wide relaxing verandahs. Stroll the grounds and the tranquil setting or enjoy a visit and complimentary tastings at the cellar door all included as part of your flight with Hot Air.
After returning to Surfers Paradise, discover the best breaks or learn to surf. The Gold Coast boasts some of Australia's best, most consistent waves and hosts many international surfing competitions. The 35 beaches are patrolled year round by professional lifeguards and have surf to suit all levels of experience. If you're a surfing novice, the Gold Coast is an ideal place to learn. Sign up with one of the many surf schools, where accredited teachers will help you to stand up on your board and catch your first wave fast. Or you can head onwards to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for the TreeTop Challenge that will get your adrenaline pumping. After your experience at the TreeTop Challenge there is an abundance of other activities to engage in on ground level. get up close and personal with koalas or hand-feed kangaroos and snap a #kangarooselfie for Instagram and Facebook, connect with our brilliant Animal Trainers in the many wildlife shows, and sit down to a delicious meal in one of the many cafes.
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