Australia – Red Centre, reef and rainforest | 21 days
Sydney is the ideal starting point for this exclusive and iconic journey. Spend some time at complete leisure, taking in the sights and sounds of this magical city. Your stay at Sails in the Desert gives you all the opportunities to witness the vastness and cultural richness of Red Centre. The Top End of the Northern Territory is a spectacular area rich in Aboriginal culture and home to huge quantities of wildlife and prolific birdlife. There are thousands of square kilometres of national parks, World Heritage wetlands, remote cattle stations and sheer wilderness criss-crossed by huge rivers, rugged gorges and expansive valleys.
Tackle two of the Top End's most colourful experiences on an adventurous journey hosted by locals who love their corner of the country. Bullo River Station (open March to October) is a working cattle station where the Ranacher family will introduce you to their remote world of bull catchers, helicopter fishing and School of the Air. Fly to Kakadu National Park where a local guide will collect you for two days of Aboriginal art and culture among the stunning escarpment scenery. You will spend the last days of your journey in Port Douglas - a well known, up-market resort town offering an array of galleries and restaurants and touring options, including Great Barrier Reef cruising, jungle surfing, river snorkelling, river cruises and wildlife sanctuaries. The best time for this itinerary is May to September.
Day 1:Fly London to Australia
Day 2:In flight
Day 3:Arrive Sydney
Day 4: Full day private tour of Sydney with lunch
Day 5-6: Explore Sydney at your own pace
Day 7: Fly Sydney to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Evening sunset tour of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) including champagne, soft drinks and nibbles
Day 8:Early morning Ayers Rock tour
Day 9: Fly Ayers Rock to Darwin and take charter flight to Bullo River Station
Day 10-11:Two days on the homestead including fishing, station activities, gorge cruises, Aboriginal art sites
Day 12:Charter flight to Jabiru, two night camping safari in Kakadu National Park
Day 13: Camping safari – Kakadu National Park
Day 14:Late evening return to Darwin
Day 15:Fly Darwin to Cairns, and drive to Port Douglas
Day 16:Great Barrier Reef cruise
Day 17:Full day safari to Cape Tribulation
Day 18:Free day
Day 19:Fly from Cairns to Sydney
Day 20:Fly Sydney to London
Day 21:Arrive London
guide price £8,420 per person
Fiona’s travel tipsGETTING THERE: Australia is serviced by many Airlines offering daily flights including British Airways, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Emirates. Flying time to Sydney is 22 – 24 hours.
TIME DIFFERENCE: +7 to +11 hours, with three time zones.
GETTING AROUND: Australia has a good network of domestic flights, is an easy place to self-drive a hire car or we can arrange driver/guides. Charter flights are a way to cut out long drives and make travel connections smoother and a helicopter safari is one of the best ways to see the Kimberley region! It is important to remember that Australia is a big country and sometimes getting from A to B can take quite a long time!
WEATHER: The best time to visit the Southern Part of the Country is from October to March, while Northern Australia is lovely from April to September.
Clients’ comments“Our warmest thanks for your personal help. It meant a tremendous amount to know that we could always rely on you to respond positively, authoritatively and promptly. Overall, our programme was excellent – meeting our specific visit targets; providing good standards of accommodation and faultless transport arrangements. We met really interesting and agreeable fellow guests, adding to the pleasure of the holiday.”
David & Susan Carter, Australia