Upon visiting Australia, Oprah Winfrey proclaimed to the locals in Sydney, "You’re so darned friendly, you must go to friendly class!" If Oprah says it, it must be true! And now Monograms makes it easy for you to experience this friendliness yourself! On this 10-day Australia vacation, we’ve arranged your hotel reservations, daily breakfast, sightseeing, and private transfers to/from the airports from/to your hotels for your intra-vacation flights. Plus, a one-of-a-kind feature: the Monograms Local Host®, someone who is there throughout your stay (in Sydney, Port Douglas, and Melbourne) to ensure your vacation runs smoothly and to help you make the most of your vacation.Your vacation begins the moment you arrive. Monograms can pick you up at the airport and whisk you seamlessly to your selected hotel. Your Local Host will greet you with a smile and materials to help you get settled. The next day, after your included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel for a guided sightseeing tour with a local expert. You’ll hear inside stories behind the must-see sights, like the Opera House and Bondi Beach. And never fear...we’ve scouted the city for the best place to capture a photo of Sydney’s famous Harbour Bridge. In Melbourne, your guided sightseeing with an expert Local Guide includes the Royal Botanic Gardens and Queen Victoria Market. On the third day in each city, you have a free day to explore on your own (with your Local Host support, of course). You may want to follow in Oprah’s footsteps and climb to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge; explore the cobblestone streets of the Rocks, the harborside area where the first convicts settled; or participate in a game of lawn bowling. In Melbourne, visit one of Australia's leading opal companies or take an excursion to see the little penguins emerge from the sea and waddle across the beach in the world-famous Penguin Parade.It's not just the cities you'll experience on this Australia vacation. In Port Douglas, we’ll take you to the Outer Great Barrier, where you can snorkel, take a semi-submersible watercraft tour, or attend a presentation by a marine biologist. You'll be amazed by the clarity of the water and the variety of fish that will swim all around you. You may even see a green sea turtle glide by! You will also have a day at leisure so perhaps take an excursion via the Kuranda Scenic Railway to the quiet mountain village of Kuranda, or explore one of the markets to try locally grown mangoes and bananas.With the time and hassles you save by letting us take care of the details, you’ve got yourself a vacation of a lifetime!
Soak up Sydney’s gorgeous harbour, seductive outdoor lifestyle and great natural beauty. Kayak under the Sydney Harbour Bridge or wave at the Opera House as you ride a ferry across the harbour to Manly. Learn to surf at Bondi Beach or swim in the calm waters of Coogee. Lose yourself in the cobblestone cul-de-sacs of The Rocks or in the markets, boutiques, cafes and pubs of Paddington. As well as a world-famous harbour and more than 70 sparkling beaches, Sydney offers fabulous food, festivals and 24-7 fun.
Five Sydney Experiences Not to Miss:
1. Explore the historic Rocks
Discover Sydney’s colorful convict history in the harbourside quarter where it all began. Just five minutes from Circular Quay, you can hear stories of hangings and hauntings on a ghost tour, wander the weekend markets or climb the span of the Harbour Bridge. In amongst the maze of sandstone lanes and courtyards, you’ll find historic workman’s cottages and elegant terraces, art galleries, hotels with harbour views and Sydney’s oldest pubs. See people spill out of them onto a party on the cobblestone streets when The Rocks celebrates Australia Day on January 26th, Anzac Day on April 25th and New Years Eve.
2. Hit the world-famous harbour
Sail past the Opera House on a chartered yacht or paddle from Rose Bay in a kayak. Take a scenic cruise from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, past waterfront mansions, national parks and Shark, Clark, Rodd and Goat islands. Tour historic Fort Denison or learn about the life of Sydney’s first inhabitants, the Gadigal people, on an Aboriginal cultural cruise. Watch the harbour glitter from the green parklands of the Royal Botanic Gardens, which curves around its edge. Or take in the view from a waterfront restaurant in Mosman, on the northern side of the bridge, or Watsons Bay at South Head. Walk from Rose Bay to Vaucluse or Cremorne Point to Mosman Bay, on just some of the 16 spectacular routes hugging the harbour foreshore.
3. Visit Manly on the ferry
Travel across Sydney Harbour on a ferry to Manly, which sits between beaches of ocean surf and tranquil inner harbour. Wander through native bushland on the scenic Manly to Spit Bridge walk, learn to scuba-dive at Cabbage Tree Bay or ride a bike to Fairy Bower. Picnic at Shelly Beach on the ocean and sail or kayak from Manly Wharf round the harbour. Hire a scooter and do a round trip of northern beaches such as Narrabeen and Palm Beach. Explore the shops, bars and cafes along the bustling pine tree-lined Corso and dine at world-class restaurants with water views.
4. Enjoy café culture and top shopping in Paddington
Meander through the Saturday markets, browse fashion boutiques on bustling Oxford Street or discover the antique shops and art galleries in upmarket Woollahra. Visit the 1840s Victoria Barracks Army base, open to the public once a week, and see restored Victorian terraces on wide, leafy streets. Ride or roller-blade in huge Centennial Park, then stop for coffee and lunch on Oxford St or in the mini-village of Five Ways. Catch a movie at an art-house cinema or leaf through a novel at midnight in one of the huge bookstores. Crawl between the lively, historic pubs. They hum even more after a game at the nearby stadium or a race day, when girls and guys arrive in their crumpled trackside finery.
5. Walk from Bondi to Coogee
Take in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean as you walk the winding, sea-sculpted sandstone cliffs between Bondi and Coogee. Swim in the famous Bondi Icebergs rock pool or just watch the swimmers with a sunset cocktail from the restaurant above. See wild waves in Tamarama, nicknamed Glamarama for the beautiful people who lie on its golden sand. From mid-October to November, the stretch from here to Bondi is transformed into an outdoor gallery for the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. You can surf, picnic on the grass or stop for a coffee at family-friendly Bronte. Or swim, snorkel or scuba dive in Clovelly and tranquil Gordon’s Bay. See the graves of poets Henry Lawson, Dorothea Mackellar and aviator Lawrence Hargrave in Waverley Cemetery, on the edge of the cliffs. Finish your tour in the scenic, backpacker haven of Coogee.
From the stunning sweep of its 4 Mile Beach to the wilderness of Dicksons Inlet, the world famous seaside village of Port Douglas has become an international holiday mecca. Port Douglas has a distinctive "laid back" low rise tropical old world charm, with an extensive range of accommodations and international shops and restaurants. It also offers extensive touring and cruise options with its magnificent marina and close proximity to world heritage rainforests. In Port Douglas you can also chose from activities and attractions such as bicycle riding, swimming, relaxing on magnificent 4 mile beach, shopping the exotic and colorful Sunday markets, the Shipwreck museum, the award winning Rainforest Habitat with its unique native flora and fauna, and a ride on the old sugar cane train. The Port Douglas hinterland extends to the sugar cane town of Mossman with picturesque golf course, rainforest walking tracks and swimming in the cool mountain streams of Mossman Gorge.
Melbourne is a maze of hidden laneways, opulent bars, exclusive restaurants and off-the-beaten-track boutiques. Here you can soak up culture, hit the sporting grounds, taste the dynamic food and wine scene, dance til dawn or wander the parks and leafy boulevards. Visit Federation Square, the city's landmark cultural space, and enjoy a sunset beer on the St Kilda promenade. Shop till you drop on funky Brunswick Street or upmarket Chapel Street. Wander Southbank's cafes, bistros and bars and get a world tour of cuisines in Carlton, Richmond and Fitzroy. Take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and cheer with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Five Must-Have Melbourne Experiences:
1. Shop till you drop
Bag a bargain at the Rose Street Artist's Market and browse the funky boutiques on Brunswick Street. Buy designer labels such as Akira Isogawa and Zimmerman on Chapel Street in Prahran or in the historic Melbourne General Post Office, which covers an entire city block. For everything from fashion to furnishings at fantastic value, visit Bridge Road in Richmond. Melbourne is a shopper's haven, offering eclectic boutiques, high-end fashion, funky homeware stores and European style piazzas in the city's arcades and hidden laneways.
2. Bar hop and dance till dawn
Sip a cocktail in a converted sea container in Chinatown, enjoy a sunset beer in a St Kilda pub or listen to cabaret in lush retro surroundings in jazz bars in the city. Linger over exquisite tapas and exotic wine in a Little Collins Street bar and mingle in a pink parlour with fake grass in Bourke Street. You can party from dusk in the bars of Brunswick Street. Or dance till dawn in bars in the city's lantern-lit laneways, secret apart from the spill of coloured light under heavy brass doors.
3. Get into the gourmet goodness
Let the aroma of good coffee waft over you in Melbourne's gothic European laneways. The city is famous for its coffee and old-world café culture but there's so much more to explore. Once you've downed a 'short black' or taken an afternoon aperitif, try tea in a nineteenth-century hotel or salivate over your silver spoon in acclaimed restaurants like Nobu, Botanical and Becco. Pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood at the Queen Victoria Market on a Saturday, known for its bustling crowds and buskers. Try out the restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars in Southbank or Federation Square. Make your way around Melbourne's multicultural cosmos of cuisines: Carlton for Italian classics, Richmond for budget-friendly Vietnamese and Fitzroy for Spanish tapas.
4. Fill up on culture
See a performance by the Australian Ballet, which is based here in Australia's cultural capital. Or enjoy a dazzling musical at the Princess Theatre. Browse the Southern Hemisphere's best collection of international art at the National Gallery of Victoria. Or visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square, a landmark cultural 'space' for Melbournians. Challenge yourself with the creative collections in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank. To learn more about Melbourne's Aboriginal cultural heritage, see contemporary and dreamtime art or take an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
5. Go sports mad
Cheer for an Australian Rules Football game with a capacity crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground over winter. Go cricket mad in summer, when the city hosts the Ashes and one day internationals. Or join the huge crowds watching the Australian Tennis Open at Melbourne Park. Rev heads head to Melbourne in March for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Albert Park. And whether you are a racing fan or just a casual punter, you won't want to miss the Melbourne Cup - the world's richest horse race on the first Tuesday in November.
** This departure has been designated a guaranteed departure by the operator, meaning that the minimum number of guests has been met, although still subject to weather and other conditions.
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