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Australia & NZ
Highlights of Australia

Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney

12 days |  16 days with Adelaide & Kangaroo Island extension
12 days |  16 days with Adelaide & Kangaroo Island extension
Group size1535 travelers

4.6 star rating

Physical activity
red gravel road near alice springs in red centre of australia
mossman gorge at Daintree National Park in australia
yellow animal crossing road sign
tree in field on sunny day with mountain range in background
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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An island, a country, and a continent all in one.

Experience the allure of the Land Down Under when you explore the Sydney Opera House, set out into Mossman Gorge, and snorkel above the Great Barrier Reef. But these iconic adventures are only the beginning. From cosmopolitan Sydney to multicultural Melbourne, Australia is full of surprises for you to discover.

Your tour package includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 3 dinners with beer or wine
  • 4 sightseeing tours
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Included highlights

  • Bondi Beach
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Mossman Gorge
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Carlton Gardens
Read more
Start planning today

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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.

Sydney3 nights
Day 3: Arrival in Sydney
Included meal: Welcome dinner

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

Day 4: 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
  • See the Rocks neighborhood and stop at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair to take in views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Soak in views of Bondi Beach and the Gap in Watsons Bay
  • Step inside the UNESCO-listed Sydney Opera House with a local guide
Day 5: Free day in Sydney
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Sydney or add excursions.

Taronga Conservation Society & Wildlife Visit

From $95 per person

Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise

From $149 per person

Great Barrier Reef Region3 nights
Day 6: Transfer to the Great Barrier Reef Region
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Cairns, a coastal city in the state of Queensland. Then, make your way to the Great Barrier Reef region stopping at Mossman Gorge en route.

  • Enter the Mossman Gorge Centre and meet a local indigenous guide who will give you insight into local life
  • Start with a traditional smoking ceremony to ward off any bad spirits before entering the traditional lands of the gorge
  • Set off on a self-guided walk through the gorge over elevated boardwalks as you stroll through the surrounding rainforest
  • Keep an eye out for the impressive wildlife like wallabies, echidnas, platypus, poannas, and over 430 species of birds

Later, sit down to an included dinner.

Day 7: The Great Barrier Reef
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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

  • Take a boat from Port Douglas and head out into the Coral Sea
  • Enjoy both morning and afternoon tea on the water
  • Learn about the reef and its inhabitants during a presentation by a marine biologist
  • Choose to view the coral's colors from above, on a glass-bottom boat ride, or hop in the sea with a snorkel to see them up close
  • Sit down to an included buffet lunch onboard the boat, then watch as members of the crew feed the fish that call the reef home
Day 8: Free day in the Great Barrier Reef Region
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in the Great Barrier Reef region or add an excursion.

Cape Tribulation Daintree National Park & Crocodile River Cruise

From $145 per person

Melbourne3 nights
Day 9: Flight to Melbourne
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly to Melbourne this morning. Then, enjoy free time for the rest of the day.

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Melbourne
Included meal: Breakfast

Set off with your Tour Director 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, and enter the National Opal Collection

Enjoy a free afternoon in Melbourne or add an excursion.

Phillip Island Penguin Parade

From $159 per person

Day 11: Free day Melbourne
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Enjoy a free day in Melbourne or add an excursion.

This evening, join your group at a farewell dinner.

Yarra Valley Winery & Steamtrain

From $189 per person

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Extension to Adelaide & Kangaroo Island
Fly to Adelaide and continue your adventure. You’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour, then set sail for Kangaroo Island, a haven for Australian wildlife, including—yep, you guessed it—kangaroos.
Adelaide1 night
Day 12: Adelaide
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly to Adelaide, then set out on a sightseeing tour of South Australia’s capital city with your Tour Director leading the way.

  • Drive past the Colonial-era buildings along the North Terrace boulevard
  • Pass by the River Torrens, Adelaide Zoo, South Australian Museum, and Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • End your tour in Victoria Square, then enjoy time to peruse the famed produce stalls of the Adelaide Central Market, one of Australia’s largest
Kangaroo Island1 night
Day 13: Kangaroo Island and Flinders Chase National Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Say goodbye to Adelaide this morning and drive through the scenic Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis. Here, you’ll board a ferry to Kangaroo Island, a haven for Australia’s diverse animal species and one of the country’s top spots for wildlife sightings.

Upon arrival, head out on a guided sightseeing tour where you’ll want to keep an eye out for kangaroos, koalas, tammar wallabies, and little penguins as you drive through Flinders Chase National Park.

  • Try to spot New Zealand fur seals at Admiral’s Arch and view Remarkable Rocks, naturally occurring rock formations along the coast
  • Take in views of the ocean from Cape du Couedic, the most south westerly point on Kangaroo Island

Please note: Due to the nature of ferry schedules, the visit to Kangaroo Island may take place on either day 13 or 14.

Adelaide2 nights
Day 14: Seal Bay Conservation Park
Included meal: Breakfast

Begin your day by visiting Seal Bay Conservation Park to view endangered Australian Sea Lions and seals who have called the park their home for thousands of years.

Before boarding a ferry back to Adelaide, visit the American River Wharf, Pennington Bay and Frenchman Rock.

Please note: Due to the nature of ferry schedules, the visit to Kangaroo Island may take place on either day 13 or 14.

Day 15: Free day in Adelaide
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Adelaide or add an excursion. Then, join your fellow group members and raise a toast to your trip with a farewell drink.

McLaren Vale Wine Tasting & Lunch

From $145 per person

Flight Home
Day 16: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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4.6 star rating

Overall rating 4.6 out of 5

Based on 95 authentic traveler reviews
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    5.0 star rating

    Wonderful Trip
    10/14/23 by 2nd-time traveler Tara

    Had a wonderful trip (Oct 14th - 25th) with a fantastic group of people! All of the hotels were very nice, with the Mercure in Sydney and the Savoy in Melbourne being the best. Breakfast at the Mercure was the best as it changed a little each morning, offering a little more variety. Otherwise, the...

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    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 11/21/23

    Thank you so much for leaving a review. We can't w...

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    5.0 star rating

    Vic tour director
    10/14/23 by 1st-time traveler Bonnie

    Vic was the best tour director I’ve ever had. He was so knowledgeable on the tours we had and getting them booked.

    4.0 star rating

    10/14/23 by 1st-time traveler Rosa

    Excellent tour, extraordinary tour guide. Just I think some changes need on the activities includes in the tour

    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    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.


    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.
    Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney
    Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney

    This chic hotel is located in the Haymarket neighborhood of Sydney. Guests enjoy spacious rooms, private balconies, and on-site restaurant. Nearby you...

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    Oaks Resort Port Douglas
    Oaks Resort Port Douglas

    This relaxing hotel is located in Port Douglas. Guests enjoy the tropical surroundings, lagoon-style pool, and spa center. Nearby you’ll find the Rain...

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    The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins
    The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins

    This elegant hotel is located in the heart of Melbourne. Guests enjoy the fitness center, the Curve Restaurant, and spa. Nearby you'll find the Immigr...

    Read more +
    Aurora Ozone Hotel
    Aurora Ozone Hotel

    This waterfront hotel is located in the town of Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, beautiful ocean views, and beach access. ...

    Read more +
    Vibe Hotel Adelaide
    Vibe Hotel Adelaide

    This modern hotel is located in the vibrant East End of Adelaide. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant. Nearby you'll...

    Read more +


    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


    Print FAQ
    Passport, visa & entry 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 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.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code ATR.
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    Tour pacing & mobility
    • 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.
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    Transportation & arrival information
    • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Sydney and depart from Melbourne. 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 Sydney to Cairns, and Cairns to Melbourne, as well as a boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef, are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide.)
    • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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    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.
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    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.
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    • 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
    • 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.
    • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code ATR.
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    • 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.
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    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.
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    • 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.
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    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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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 $8USD 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.
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    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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