King George River, The Kimberley, WA © PONANT/Nick Rains
Australia’s most luxurious multi-day tours
From curious adventurers to wilderness-lovers and serious foodies, there’s a multi-day luxury tour for all tastes in Australia.
By Mark Sariban
With its vast outback and remote wilderness, Australia is the perfect place to travel in style on a small-group tour. Hop on a private plane, set sail on an expedition cruise ship and sit back as someone else does the driving. Here are 10 ways to travel around Australia in luxury.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Wings Over Australia
Great for: Making the most of your visit to Australia
Luxury travel pioneers Abercrombie & Kent’s Wings Over Australia takes up to 11 guests on a 13-day odyssey to see some of Australia’s most iconic sights and attractions in style. Starting in Melbourne with a visit to the charming Yarra Valley wine region, you’ll be transported by private charter flight to the luxe lodge Saffire in Tasmania for an indulgent stay before an unforgettable visit to Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Then you’ll jet off to Uluru to stay in opulent tents at Longitude 131°, before checking into InterContinental Hayman Island Resort in the Whitsundays and taking a private cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. Your journey ends in Sydney with a stay at the Four Seasons and a Sydney Harbour cruise on a superyacht past the Sydney Opera House.
The Tailor’s Red to White Sands
Great for: Enjoying aquatic and outback adventures in comfort
The team of travel designers at The Tailor specialises in crafting bespoke luxury itineraries based on your individual travel style. You can also personalise one of its suggested journeys, like the 12-night Red to White Sands exploration of Australia’s iconic Red Centre and the Great Barrier Reef. Begin this unforgettable journey by seeing Sydney in style, staying at the Park Hyatt Sydney harbourside hotel and enjoying a private harbour cruise. Then fly to Uluru to watch the sun set over the imposing monolith from luxury lodge Longitude 131°. Immerse in outback life at Bullo River Station, a working cattle station and luxe homestead in the north-western corner of the Northern Territory. Then jet off to secluded Lizard Island, the most northern of all Great Barrier Reef resorts, to enjoy unparalleled access to remote diving and snorkelling spots.
Crooked Compass’s Australia by Air
Great for: Curious travellers looking for authentic experiences
Boutique travel company Crooked Compass curates custom-made itineraries with a focus on authentic, immersive experiences. Feel your senses come alive as you embark on its epic 32-day Australia by Air tour, or simply choose the destinations you’re most interested in to curate a shorter trip. The full journey starts with a luxe retreat in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains before you depart Sydney on a dedicated light aircraft for five-star stays across Victoria’s spa country and Great Ocean Road, the stunning Freycinet peninsula on Tasmania’s east coast. From there you can taste the best of South Australia’s Barossa Valley wine region before exploring iconic outback destinations like the Flinders Ranges, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Western Australia’s remote Karijini National Park and the astonishing Coral Coast. Finish it all off with a visit to the Great Barrier Reef and the unique rainforests of the Scenic Rim.
Air Adventure’s Flyaway Faraway
Great for: Family groups or friends sampling the best of the outback
Family-owned Air Adventure Australia has been offering its customisable 14-day Flyaway Faraway itinerary since 1977, showcasing signature experiences in the Red Centre and Top End of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley wilderness region. Departing from Melbourne, your turboprop aircraft first lands at the fascinating outback opal mining town Coober Pedy before flying to the Northern Territory town of Alice Springs. From ‘Alice’, you’ll spot saltwater crocodiles and abundant birdlife in the Mary River wetlands east of Darwin, and meet Indigenous communities on Bathurst Island, one of the remote Tiwi Islands. The journey continues with a stay at the Bullo River Station homestead and memorable days flying over the ancient landscapes of the Kimberley before returning to Melbourne via Kings Canyon and a luxe stay in the tiny South Australian outback town of Parachilna.
True North’s Kimberley Ultimate cruise
Great for: Adventurous travellers and keen anglers
True North’s well-appointed expedition ships are purpose-built to explore the shallow river systems and gorges of the Kimberley, providing access to incredible natural wonders. On many of True North’s cruises, including its signature 13-night Kimberley Ultimate, the ship also has an on-board helicopter for scenic flights and side trips. You’ll discover plenty of dramatic waterways as you cruise between the Western Australian port of Wyndham and the historic pearling town of Broome. Stand on the bow of the True North as it moves under the splashing water of the King George Falls before hiking to the top of the twin waterfalls. And climb aboard hard-hulled adventure boats for day excursions and fishing expeditions on rivers all along the coast, with expert guides on hand to help you try to catch prized but elusive barramundi.
Ponant’s Australia’s Iconic Kimberley cruise
Great for: Exploring a unique wilderness region in luxury
Take a more leisurely approach to exploring the Kimberley on an 11-day Australia’s Iconic Kimberley cruise from Darwin to Broome aboard Ponant’s Le Lapérouse expedition ship. Setting sail from Darwin, the elegant Le Lapérouse sails across the high seas to Wyndham, the gateway to the Kimberley. You’ll cruise through 80m (262ft) high sandstone gorges lining the King George River to view the twin King George Falls and marvel at the famed Horizontal Falls, a phenomenon caused by massive tides squeezing through narrow gorges at Talbot Bay. Gaze at rock art that may be up to 30,000 years old in Vansittart Bay, visit dramatic Montgomery Reef, the largest inshore reef in the world, and observe the abundant birdlife of the Lacepede Islands before disembarking in Broome.
Tiwi Islands and Bamurru Plains with Captain's Choice
Great for: Immersing in a lesser-known side of the Top End
An Australian pioneer of private jet travel, Captain's Choice offers a range of exclusive small-group tours to isolated parts of the country. Join its Tiwi Island Tropics & Bamurru Plains by Private Plane tour of Australia’s Top End and you’ll fly by private plane from Darwin to Bathurst Island, one of two remote Tiwi Islands. Enjoy a Welcome to Country and an Indigenous arts and cultural experience before flying to Tiwi Islands Retreat on the Timor Sea side of the island. After relaxing at this unique beachfront resort, board a private charter flight to Bamurru Plains, a safari-style tented lodge in the wildlife-rich wetlands neighbouring Kakadu National Park. Ride an airboat or join a game drive to spot crocodiles, water buffalo and flocks of waterbirds before taking a Royal Flying Doctor Service light aircraft back to Darwin.
Bill Peach Journeys’ The Great Australian Private Air Tour
Great for: A deep understanding of Australia’s vast outback
Visit the iconic sights of the Red Centre and Kimberley wilderness region, as well as lesser-known outback towns such as Queensland’s Birdsville, on the 13-day The Great Australian Private Air Tour by veteran Australian tour operator Bill Peach Journeys. You'll board a private aircraft in Sydney bound for the outback town of Longreach, home of the Qantas Founders Museum and the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. You’ll then fly to the Northern Territory to cruise the sublime Nitmiluk Gorge, visit Kakadu National Park and stay in Darwin. From Darwin, your plane takes you over the Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park to Kununurra, a gateway to the Kimberley, and on to the former pearling town of Broome. Then it’s back to the Red Centre, visiting Alice Springs and spending memorable days exploring Uluru before flying back to Sydney.
Southern Crossings’ Refresh and Reset
Great for: Seeing a variety of pristine wilderness areas in comfort
Southern Crossings’ 12-night Refresh and Reset journey also begins in Tasmania, with a stay at the Hobart waterfront hotel MACq01 and a helicopter flight over the rugged Three Capes on the nearby Tasman Peninsula. From Hobart it’s a short hop to the one of Australia’s most spectacular luxury lodges, Saffire, outside of the awe-inspiring Freycinet National Park on Tasmania’s east coast. Leave the ‘Apple Isle’ behind to fly to Sydney and transfer by helicopter to Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, a conservation-focused luxury resort in the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains Area. Give back by helping out with the resort’s conservation activities, such as bush regeneration or wombat research, before returning to Sydney for the flight to Lord Howe Island. This tiny World Heritage-listed island is a nature-lover’s paradise, best enjoyed with a stay at secluded Capella Lodge. End your trip with a night at the luxe Park Hyatt Sydney, which looks out across Sydney Harbour to the Sydney Opera House.
Inspiring Journeys’ Tastes of Tasmania
Great for: Lovers of great food and cool-climate wines
Surrounded by deep seas brimming with fish, abalone and oysters and dotted with fertile farmland valleys and vineyards, Tasmania is a food-lover’s paradise. Join Inspiring Journeys’ seven-day Tastes of Tasmania to eat your way around the eastern half of this island state, starting in the capital city of Hobart. Here you’ll get your bearings with a tour of the city’s historic Salamanca Place waterfront precinct and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) before heading to the picturesque Derwent Valley for lunch at the renowned Agrarian Kitchen. Build up an appetite spotting wildlife on Maria Island, Freycinet National Park and the Bay of Fires as you travel up the eastern coastline to Launceston, a foodie hub and the starting point for exploring the Tamar Valley wine region.