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Grand Tour of Australia

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An island, a country, and a continent all in one.

Experience the allure of the Land Down Under when you snorkel above the Great Barrier Reef, gaze at Uluru, and explore the Sydney Opera House. But these iconic adventures are only the beginning. From multicultural Melbourne to the vast Outback, Australia is full of surprises for you to discover.

Your tour package includes
  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 11 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 2 dinners with beer or wine
  • 6 guided sightseeing tours
Included highlights
  • Carlton Gardens
  • Alice Springs
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • Uluru
  • Great Barrier Reef
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Day-by-day itinerary
Print itinerary
Overnight Flight2 nights
Day 1: Travel day

Cross the International Date Line in flight and “lose” a day.

Day 2: Travel day

Your flight continues to Australia.

Melbourne3 nights
Day 3: Arrival in Melbourne
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Australia! Transfer to your hotel and then gather with your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner this evening.

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Melbourne
Included meal: Breakfast

Set off on a guided tour to admire the city’s beautiful 19th-century architecture, historic landmarks, and sprawling parks.

  • Explore Carlton Gardens, home of the Royal Exhibition Building and the Melbourne Museum
  • Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Shrine of Remembrance
  • Pass the Yarra River and the Sports and Arts Precinct, site of the Australian Open
  • Enter the National Opal Collection
  • Stroll through Queen Victoria Market

Enjoy free time in Melbourne or add an excursion.

Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 5: Free day in Melbourne
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Melbourne or add an excursion.

Yarra Valley Winery via Steamtrain
Excursion (additional cost)
Alice Springs1 night
Day 6: Flight to Alice Springs
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory to learn about many institutions that date back to the country’s colonial days.

  • Stop at Anzac Hill and take in sweeping views of the town and countryside
  • Visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service, School of Air, and the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station
Uluru Region1 night
Day 7: Transfer to Uluru Region & sunset at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Take a scenic ride through the Outback, stopping en route at a local farm to ride camels.

Spend free time in the Uluru region or add an excursion.

Please note: On some departures, the excursion may be offered on the morning of day 8 instead of the morning of day 7.

Then, journey through the desert to Uluru to begin your exploration of the park on a guided tour.

  • View Kata Tjuta, the weathered rock domes also known as the Olgas
  • Watch the sunset over Uluru
Uluru Scenic Plane Ride
Excursion (additional cost)
Great Barrier Reef Region3 nights
Day 8: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Return to Uluru, the monolith that’s been worshiped by Aboriginal tribes for 22,000 years. Then, fly to Cairns, a coastal city in the state of Queensland, and transfer to your hotel in the Great Barrier Reef region upon arrival.

Day 9: The Great Barrier Reef
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy a full day at the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system.

  • Head to Cairns Marina to board a boat out into the Coral Sea
  • View the coral’s colors from the underwater observatory, glass-bottom boat, or semi-submarine—or hop in the water with a snorkel
  • Enjoy an included buffet lunch
Day 10: Free day in the Great Barrier Reef Region
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in the Great Barrier Reef region or add excursions.

Please note: Depending on flight schedules, the Sunrise Ballooning excursion may be offered on the morning of day 11 instead of the morning of day 10.

Australian Hot Air Balloon Ride
Excursion (additional cost)
Kuranda Village Aboriginal Park & Rainforest
Excursion (additional cost)
Sydney3 nights
Day 11: Flight to Sydney
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly to Sydney this morning. Then, enjoy free time in the city or add an excursion.

Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Sydney
Included meal: Breakfast

Join your Tour Director for a guided tour of one of the world’s most pleasant cities.

  • Pass Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Stop at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair to take in views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • See the Rocks neighborhood, Bondi Beach, and the Gap in Watsons Bay
  • Step inside the UNESCO-listed Sydney Opera House with a local guide
Day 13: Free day in Sydney
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Enjoy a free day in Sydney or add an excursion.

Then, join your group at a farewell dinner this evening.

Featherdale Wildlife Park
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 14: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Dates & prices
Choose your dates to start a quote
32 Departures
Tour prices are per person, before flights from your departure city, and based on two travelers per hotel room. Tour prices include on-tour flights where applicable.
Nov 4–Nov 17, 2019
Join waitlist
$5,099
Nov 25–Dec 8, 2019
Call to book
$5,099
Only 3 spots left!
Dec 2–Dec 15, 2019
Call to book
$4,849
Only 9 spots left!
Jan 4–Jan 15, 2020
Extension available
$3,299$3,099
Feb 1–Feb 12, 2020
Extension available
$3,299
Mar 28–Apr 8, 2020
Extension available
$3,149
Apr 11–Apr 22, 2020
Extension available
$3,149
May 2–May 13, 2020
$3,149
Jun 6–Jun 17, 2020
Extension available
$3,199
Jul 11–Jul 22, 2020
$3,299
Aug 15–Aug 26, 2020
Extension available
$3,299
Sep 5–Sep 16, 2020
Extension available
$3,299
Sep 19–Sep 30, 2020
$3,299
Oct 10–Oct 21, 2020
Extension available
$3,299
Nov 7–Nov 18, 2020
$3,299
Dec 5–Dec 16, 2020
Extension available
$3,388
Jan 2–Jan 13, 2021
Extension available
$3,299
Jan 16–Jan 27, 2021
$3,299
Jan 30–Feb 10, 2021
Extension available
$3,299
Feb 13–Feb 24, 2021
Extension available
$3,299
Mar 6–Mar 17, 2021
$3,149
Mar 27–Apr 7, 2021
Extension available
$3,149
Apr 10–Apr 21, 2021
Extension available
$3,149
May 1–May 12, 2021
Extension available
$3,149
Jun 5–Jun 16, 2021
$3,199
Jul 10–Jul 21, 2021
Extension available
$3,299
Aug 14–Aug 25, 2021
$3,299
Sep 4–Sep 15, 2021
Extension available
$3,299
Sep 18–Sep 29, 2021
$3,299
Oct 9–Oct 20, 2021
Extension available
$3,299
Nov 6–Nov 17, 2021
Extension available
$3,299
Dec 4–Dec 15, 2021
$3,388
Reviews
4.7 average
Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Grand Tour of Australia
by 9th time traveler 

This was a great tour. The weather was pretty good. Melbourne had a bit of rain but the rest of the trip was sunny and dry. The temperature was seasonal for Australia. Good food and great fun.

Do it, do it, do it!
by 4th time traveler 

This trip is beyond amazing! Well worth all those hours on an airplane.

by 2nd time traveler 

It was a vacation dream of a lifetime. We did some wonderful things and would recommend it highly

Australia tour January 2019
by 2nd time traveler 

Tour didn't start well....the Vancouver to L.A. booking put us in different parts of the aircraft ! and we were told ....sorry it's completely booked ! Then we were told we had NO LUGGAGE allowance....unbelievable ; we had thoughts that this tour was going to be a real mess ! Luckily....the Quantas...

Read more +
Go Ahead Tours replied on 01/28/2019

Dear Beth, Thank you for your feedback. We are tru...

Down under under
by 4th time traveler 

Tour guide awful . Taken to opera house and told to find back to hotel own .Hurried tours .Guide with no personality.

Go Ahead Tours replied on 11/01/2018

Dear Laura, Thank you for leaving us a review. We ...

Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.

Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne

You will love the convenience of staying in the very heart of all the action in the Melbourne city center. Blending the zest of the Vibe Hotel brand w...

DoubleTree By Hilton Alice Springs

This majestic hotel is located within walking distance of downtown. Guests enjoy a fitness center, heated pool, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll find Si...

Desert Gardens Hotel

This scenic hotel is located within view of Uluru. Guests enjoy an art gallery, sprawling gardens, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll find scenic lookouts...

Rydges Esplanade Resort Hotel

This contemporary hotel is located on the Cairns Esplanade. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a spa, and 24-hour room service. Nearby, you'll find Cairns Esplan...

Pacific Hotel Cairns

This centrally located hotel is located on the Cairns Esplanade. Guests enjoy a heated pool, free Wi-Fi, and a restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find the Esp...

The Sydney Boulevard Hotel

This centrally located hotel is found in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. Guests enjoy free WiFi, 24-hour room service, and a gym. Nearby, you'll find Hyde Park...

Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
Local weather
Alice Springs, Australia
Weather averages
Today
High 71°F Low 42°F
 / 
94°92°88°81°71°65°66°71°79°86°90°92°76°73°69°61°53°47°47°50°57°64°71°75°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Melbourne, Australia
Weather averages
Today
High 55°F Low 43°F
 / 
78°77°73°66°60°55°54°55°60°66°71°74°58°58°57°52°48°44°44°43°45°47°51°54°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Sydney, Australia
Weather averages
Today
High 58°F Low 46°F
 / 
80°78°76°72°67°62°61°63°68°71°74°77°68°67°66°61°56°53°50°51°55°58°62°65°
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
FAQ
Print FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • In order to enter Australia, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • U.S. and Canadian passport holders must purchase an individual visa from the Australian government’s Electronic Travel Authority website eta.immi.gov.au prior to departure.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for about 1 hour daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and gravel paths, with few hills.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Melbourne and depart from Sydney. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • Flights from Melbourne to Alice Springs, the Uluru Region to Cairns, and Cairns to Sydney, as well as a boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef, are included in the price of your tour.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • The Australian sun is very hot. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bug repellent is also useful, as there can be flies in the Outback certain times of year.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Australia.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • Take particular care for sun exposure and drink plenty of liquids. If you choose to go swimming, be careful of powerful surf. Make sure to obey signs and lifeguards’ orders, and always swim between the marked flags.
  • Travelers prone to seasickness may want to take special precautions for the boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • There are inherent risks associated with water activities, particularly for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Discuss your planned activities with your doctor or healthcare provider for the best advice on participation.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
Cuisine
  • Australian menus emphasize high-quality steaks and lamb chops, though meat pies are also popular. Regional specialties include shellfish (such as Sydney rock oysters and crabs) and smoked sausages brought to South Australia by German settlers. The national beverage is beer, and a visit to an Aussie pub is a popular pastime, but the country’s wines are also superb.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • Australia operates on the standard 220-240 volts and uses Types I plugs with three large, flat pins set on an angle.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The majority of the hotels on this tour will have air conditioning.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • You’ll travel through Australian Central Standard Time (14.5 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time) and Australian Eastern Standard Time (15 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 3:30am in Cairns and 4am in Melbourne.
Currency
  • You will use the Australian dollar on this tour.
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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