• Sample wines in Australia's "Napa Valley"
• Stay in the charming Rocks district in a historic hotel
• Cruise the harbour with a local guide to uncover the city's special places
• Meet the local Aboriginal people and learn more about their culture
• See the iconic Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains
Overview - 3 Days/ 2 Nights
Sydney is one of the most recognised cities in the world, celebrated for its sophistication but also for its laid- back surf culture, the arts, and its colonial history. You spend a day with small group and a lively local guide/skipper to experience Sydney's highlights from the water.
Small World Journeys then takes you beyond the city to Sydney's surrounding wildlands : hike the Blue Mountains, admire the iconic Three Sisters rock formations, or enjoy a day of wine tastings at boutique Hunter Valley wineries.
Spend your nights in a stylish hotel in the historic Rocks district with shops, museums and the iconic Opera House only steps away.
Day 1: Arrival in Sydney and Transfer
Welcome to Australia! You are transferred by your driver from Sydney International Airport to your hotel right in ‘The Rocks’.
The Rocks is the historic district where Sydney began, and the location of the famous weekend market. Warmth of character and old world hospitality characterizes this delightful historic bed and breakfast boutique hotel. The hotel features a rooftop garden for viewing the Sydney skyline, a lovely sitting room and library, and a stylish wine bar downstairs. This is a superbly central location that offers you the privacy of your own room, but a social atmosphere for meeting other travelers. Shops, fun eateries, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the bustling Circular Quay are just steps from your hotel.
You have the afternoon to explore the historic district’s quaint shops and eateries.
OPTIONAL: In the afternoon, take in views of the entire city atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge with an incomparable bridge climb. Led by a climb leader, you will “hike” to the summit of this world famous bridge, 134 metres (440 feet) above Sydney Harbour. It is a 3 ½ hour journey to the top of the Bridge along catwalks and all the way to the summit, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour. The steady incline to the summit leaves you free to focus your attention on your Sydney experience, with opportunities to witness 360 degree views of Sydney, including east to the Sydney Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains and the Harbour city surrounds. When you reach the top you will have a sense of achievement that you will remember forever - you've conquered an Australian icon recognized the world over.
Accommodation: The Russell Hotel
Day 2: Sydney Harbour Boat Tour
This morning you are picked up at your hotel by your guide and you travel to Rose Bay – a sophisticated Sydney suburb and the start of today’s adventure. In a small group you travel all around the spectacular Sydney Harbour to get acquainted with the highlights of Sydney – Darling Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House to name a few.
On this intimate cruise, your captain gives you insight into Sydney Harbour’s historical and cultural city sites as well as stories behind the people and places of this unforgettable city. Cruise by the holiday homes of multi-millionaires and stars such as Nicole Kidman, Bono and Russell Crowe.
A highlight is a seafood lunch at Darling Harbour’s Sydney Fish Market - “where the city meets the sea”, and the largest working market of its kind in the southern hemisphere. As one of the most popular places for local Sydneysiders, here you can taste old favourites like fish and chips, or the more adventurous can try fresh-from-the-sea octopus, squid and Oysters Kilpatrick.
On your chartered cruise you also stop at Store Beach for a secluded swim and then Manly - an Australian icon and world-renowned as one of the most popular surfing beaches in Australia. At the end of the day soak in the million dollar cliffside views from The Gap in Sydney Harbour National Park followed by “a schooner” in the nearby beer garden at the picturesque Watsons Bay. This is a full day excursion, and you are returned to your hotel by 5 pm.
This evening you join in a discovery of the stars of the southern hemisphere at the Sydney Observatory. During this truly celestial experience, you get an introduction to the myriad southern constellations—including the Southern Cross—most of which cannot be seen at all from the northern hemisphere. You’ll also learn more about the universe, experience the 3-D space theatre and view the historic astronomical and meteorological objects on display. With the massive telescopes, you are also able to look closely at the twinkles of star clusters, red giants, nebulae where stars are being born, globular clusters, and distant galaxies. If viewing through the telescopes is not possible due to sky conditions, a fun beanbag planetarium session is provided instead.
Accommodation: The Russell Hotel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3: Hunter Valley Wineries Tour or Blue Mountain Tour
Australia's Hunter Valley enjoys the distinction of having been one of the earliest planted vine areas in the country, and is now celebrated for its Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Semillion. With your guide today you take the backroads to this bountiful region, regarded as the Napa Valley of Australia. You learn about Australian history, wildlife & aboriginal culture along with the wine tastings in a full day of complimenting experiences.
Travel through beautiful national parks and colonial townships, meet some of the winemakers themselves at small boutique wineries and then visit a larger winery known for its wide varieties. There are over 80 cellar doors in the lower Hunter Valley, and the winery visits are tailored to the desires of the group. Your day includes a cafe lunch and there are options for cheese and chocolate tastings. Sample up to 30 premium Hunter wines, some of which are not available anywhere else in the world. You return to Sydney this evening.
Alternatively, you can travel with a guide and a small group into the heart of the unique Blue Mountains UNESCO-World Heritage region.
In the foothills of the Blue Mountains lies a an aboriginal culture centre where you experience different aspects of aboriginal culture--from learning to throw boomerangs to understanding bush foods and medicines, art interpretation, tools and weapons. As the world's oldest surviving culture, the Australian aboriginal people offer a rich and diverse background of beliefs, customs, language, art and food. This is a positive, approachable environment in which to interact one-on-one with indigenous Australians, and learn more about this fascinating culture.
Then you ascend the mountains for a series of short walks, your guide teaching you about the significance of this UNESCO World-Heritage area. More than 400 different kinds of animals live within the rugged gorges and tablelands of the Greater Blue Mountains. These include threatened or rare species of conservation significance, such as the spotted-tailed quoll, the koala, the yellow-bellied glider, the long-nosed potoroo, the green and golden bell frog and the Blue Mountains water skink. A highlight is seeing the Three Sisters – a trio of giant sandstone pillars carved from nature and time that stand like sentinels above the Jamison valley.
Later you stop at Euroka Clearing – an ancient volcano now a playground for a host of wild Aussie animals. The kangaroos and wallabies are relaxed and plentiful here, enjoying the fertile grazing lands, while other marsupials, birds, and reptiles all abound.
Your day ends back in Sydney, and you can continue your adventures in the city or hop on a plane to another destination in Australia.
Included: Breakfast and Lunch
- Transfer from Sydney International Airport
- All activities as described in the itinerary
- All transportation to activities
- 2 nights central historic Sydney boutique hotel (private room, shared bathroom with 1 other room)
- 2 lunches
- Emergency in-country support 24 hours a day
- National Park taxes
- Comprehensive travel notes, maps, background and logistical information
- Climate Care™ carbon-offsetting for a carbon-neutral trip
What's not Included:
- Airfare to Sydney and travel insurance
- Meals not specified in itinerary
- Transfer back to Sydney airport
- Personal expenses (phone, internet, laundry, etc.)
- Optional Sydney Bridge Climb
We reserve the right to change the order of activities for logistical reasons. Activities and accommodation cannot be guaranteed until a deposit is received. Payment is due 60 days before departure, or upon booking if it is within 60 days.
Other Destinations in Australia, Pre or Post Trip:
Once I arrive at the Sydney airport - what next?
We will arrange a transfer from the airport to your hotel. Details will be provided in your final itinerary.
What is the weather like in Sydney?
Sydney has a temperate climate. Summer is warm temperatures at 18-25 degrees celsius/64- 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is spread throughout the year. Winters are mild, with average temperatures at 8-16 degrees Celsius/46-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
What should I bring with me?
We will provide you with a suggested packing list in your Confirmation Packet.
How do I arrange airfare?
We do not arrange airfare in house, however we do work closely with several travel agents.
In Australia, we recommend:
Kim Salter, our Melbourne-based travel agent. Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call + 61 0433 324 455 or toll free within Australia 1 300 640 821.
In the US, we recommend:
Sandra Marron at Millennium Travel California. Contact Sandra at
email@example.com or call toll free at 1-888-700- 2182.
Do I need a visa to visit Australia?
All visitors to Australia need a visa, with the exception of visitors from New Zealand. An Australian entry visa, commonly known as an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) will let you spend up to three months in Australia. In most countries it is easily obtained by the travel agent who issues your ticket, and should be free of charge. You can also get an ETA on line by visiting www.eta.immi.gov.au. There is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application, and you do not need a stamp or label in your passport. Upon check in at the airport, the airline agent will be able to confirm your ETA electronically. All visitors will also need a passport, valid for at least six months after the planned return date.
Why should I travel with Small World Journeys?
LOCAL SUPPORT & KNOWLEDGE
Our office is in Cairns – this means we are right around the corner for 24-hour support, to answer your questions, or if you have an emergency in the middle of the trip.
Local knowledge means we know the restaurant owners who catch their own fish (and then deliciously prepare it for you!), where to buy the real indigenous-made souvenirs, and where the mobs of people will be on the morning of the eclipse (hint: we’re not going there.)
Being an “eco” tour operator means more to us than just offering walks outdoors. It means we pay to offset the carbon emissions from your trip, give a percentage of profits to local environmental and community organizations, plant trees, recycle, and participate in Rainforest Rescue’s Adopt-a-Square program. See 10 Reasons Why We’re Eco for more on what we do for our environment and community.
HUNDREDS OF HAPPY GUESTS
We could tell you that we provide highly professional customer service, respond attentively and consistently exceed our guests’ expectations. But don’t believe us! Read some of our testimonials or ask us for references from past guests who are willing to tell you all about their experience with Small World Journeys.
You get a Small World Journeys water bottle, a cloth carry bag, a regional field guide, and a 5 square metre of Daintree rainforest adopted in your name, plus a certificate detailing where your rainforest square is located. Plus you get an unforgettable trip too.
Once you book your trip, we will send out a Confirmation Packet to you with detailed information that should answer most of your questions. In addition, you can feel free to email us anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org