Ballarat Wildlife KangarooCredit: Ballarat Wildlife Sanctuary
SovereignHillCredit: AAT Kings
AB1TourismVICCredit: Tourism Victoria
FosterCredit: Tourism Australia
BMWCredit: BMW and Great Ocean Road
GOR2Credit: Great Ocean Road
Twelve Apostles - Port Campbell National ParkCredit: Tourism Australia
warrnamboolCredit: Warrnambool Tourism
sydney_harbour_1Credit: Destination NSW
LakesEntranceCredit: Tourism Victoria
Lamington National Park Brisbane
Byron Bay 3
- Accommodation - Brisbane (1 Night), Byron Bay (2), Coffs Harbour (1), Forster (1), Sydney (2), Batemans Bay (1), Lakes Entrance (1), Foster (1), Melbourne (2), Phillip Island (2), Mornington Peninsula (1), Apollo Bay (1), Port Campbell (1), Halls Gap (1), Melbourne (1)
- Flights are not included but can be added on to the firm quote at your request
- Shuttle Transfers - Brisbane Airport to Accommodation, Melbourne Accommodation to Airport
- Private Transfer - Brisbane Accommodation to RV Pickup, RV Drop-Off to Melbourne Accommodation
- RV Hire - 18 Day RV Rental, Pick up in Brisbane City and Drop off Melbourne City
- RV Rentals are base rate only and do not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees.
- Day Tours Included - Sydney: Sydney Opera House Tour, Hop On Hop Off Sydney Harbour Cruise
- All Other Day Tours listed are Optional (Not Included)
- Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (additional US$15.00 per person)
- F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
- All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
- Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
21 Days / 19 Nights – Australia
Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia, as well as the Capital City of Queensland. It is set close to the Pacific Ocean, and is situated on the Brisbane River between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range. Home of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (the only place you can still cuddle a Koala) and also Home of Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. There are many tour options to choose from in Brisbane. Pick the ones that interest you most.
In the vibrant township of Byron Bay enjoy the sandy beaches with its small-community feel and bohemian atmosphere. While exploring all the spectacular sights Byron Bay has to offer make sure to visit the lighthouse on the rocky promontory of Cape Byron.
If you love animals, delicious food, and a lovely place to relax then you will feel right at home in Coffs Harbour. While visiting you can stop at the Pet Porpoise Pool, or see all the native Aussie animals at the Coffs Harbour Zoo, and also visit local marine life at the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Make sure to tour the plantation and treat yourself to some ripe bananas, learn some new delicious recipes and see Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana.
Forester is almost completely surrounded by lakes and beautiful white sandy beaches, making it an ideal spot to visit on your vacation. When not lounging on the beaches you can choose to take in some snorkeling, fishing, surfing, jet skiing, kayaking, diving, or try to catch of glimpse of some whales and dolphins.
Sydney is Australia’s oldest city and the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country’s capital in everything but name. Enjoy the sights of Sydney, a world class city blessed with sun-drenched natural attractions, dizzy skyscrapers, delicious and daring restaurants, superb shopping and friendly folk. You can choose to experience the beauty of the Harbour, the Opera House and marvel at the expansive Sydney Harbour Bridge. Take advantage of the many tour options or just relax and go at your own pace as you enjoy the excellent restaurants and entertainment that only Sydney can offer.
Batemans Bay, located at the mouth of Clyde River in New South Wales, is the perfect place to go if you want to get your feet a little wet. While visiting make sure to try some local reef fishing, learn to surf, or even try some kayaking. Should you prefer to relax, you may wish to visit the Batemans Bay Historical Society Museum, Birdland Animal Park or simply cruise along the Clyde River.
In Lakes Entrance, by simply taking a short walk across the sand dunes and you will find yourself on the beautiful Ninety Mile Beach. Lakes Entrance is renowned for its wonderfully fresh seafood, which you can choose to pick up at the shops or delicious restaurants in town or you can catch a few for yourself.
Foster, originally a gold mining town is now known at the gateway to Wilsons Promontory National Park. It is a lovely place to relax and take in some fishing, bird watching, swimming or windsurfing at the local beaches. If you are interested in hiking you can visit Mt Nicholl Lookout or Foster North Lookout on the South Gippsland Highway, or travel on Hayes Walk and see the Victory Mine, the largest gold mine in town.
Melbourne is set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. The city itself, laid out in a large rectangle and boasting a lively and cosmopolitan pulse, sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometers from the bay. From cutting-edge architecture and blockbuster musicals to art exhibitions and popular festivals, Melbourne is a city where cultural pursuits are woven into the fabric of everyday life. Regional Victoria also boasts a flourishing arts scene, with impressive galleries, museums, and heritage buildings.
While staying on Phillip Island you can choose to visit Pannys Chocolate Factory and pick up a few treats, relax while strolling along the glorious beaches, pamper yourself in a lovely day spa, or partake in a glass of wine from one of the local vineyards. When evening arrives, travel over to the dunes to watch the Penguin Parade, and see hundreds of tiny penguins waddle out of the water and come home for the evening.
Mornington Peninsula looks as though it came out of a page in a storybook with its lovely rolling hills, quaint townships, historical homesteads and precious hobby farms. For a more adventurous visit you may wish to partake in some kayaking, diving, or swimming with dolphins. While staying in Mornington Peninsula, make sure to visit Peninsula Hot Springs which is Victoria’s only geothermal hot spring, take stroll through the local fruit orchards, visit the art galleries, and gorgeous boutique wineries.
Stop into the beautiful seaside village of Apollo Bay located at the foothills of the mighty Otways. Hit the waters of the southern ocean, fossick for antiques, or enjoy the fruits of the sea caught by local fishermen. Use the bay as a base to explore the famous 12 Apostles and the vast Otway Ranges.
A colourful and sparkling seaside village, Port Campbell is home to restaurants and cafes with views of the beach, bakeries selling homemade goodies and effervescent shops and galleries to discover. Be sure to stop by Port Campbell National Park to see beautiful coastlines and rock sculptures carved by thousands of years of the Southern Oceans waves. London Bridge is also a beautiful natural attraction. Port Campbell is a great base for seeing the 12 Apostles, the dramatic rock stacks that have made this coastline famous.
Halls Gap located the heart of the breathtaking Grampians National Park, is the perfect place to find a mixture of ancient mountain ranges, natural flora and fauna, waterfalls and stunning views. Make sure to view the region’s fascinating aboriginal history told through ancient rock art.
International flight (as per your own arrangements).
Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Brisbane, Australia.
Luggage is limited to 2 suitcases per person. Excess luggage, surfboards & bicycles will be carried at a rate of $10.00 AUD per item. All luggage must be clearly labelled by the passenger, including name and full address.
Travel to your accommodation where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (established in 1927) is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit Australian native animals in a natural Aussie bush country setting. At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary you can hug one of 130 cute koalas any time of the day (cuddling Koala’s is only legal in the state of Queensland). You can also hand feed friendly kangaroos & emus, see Tasmanian devils, wombats, dingoes, reptiles and more. The sanctuary is 20 hectares (50 acres) and is available for you to explore at your leisure. Hours are 8am – 5pm.
Admission is $36.00 AUD for Adults & $22.00 AUD for Children (Ages 3-13). Escorted Tour also available (afternoon only).
There are regular buses to and from Lone Pine operated by the Brisbane City Council. They are relatively cheap and start from the city centre, dropping you off inside Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Adult fares are $6.70 and children are $3.40. Prices are subject to change.
Get a ticket on the City Cat Ferry – it’s good for all day & lets you ride bus, train and ferry.
Include Mount Cootha as part of the zones you will cross – you can get off at a ferry stop and take a bus from there to Mount Cootha and take in some great city views. Be sure to do this earlier in the day since the buses stop running out to Mount Cootha later in the day.
Brisbane has a great public transportation system in place and free tours of both the Parliament House and the Botanical Gardens.
To check ferry timetables, please visit:
Photo Credit: Brisbane Marketing
Discover Australia as you travel by campervan.
During your campervan road trip across Australia explore the stunning landscapes, coastlines, regional towns and wildlife. Stop and meet the locals, maybe enjoy a counter meal at a local Aussie pub, or relax on the beach while sampling some takeaway fish & chips from the local deli or servo. While relaxing at one of your rest stops try to spot a kangaroo, emu or even a koala in the wild.
Please bring a valid American driver’s license with you and be aware that the Australians drive on the left hand side of the road.
RV shown in photo may not be the RV booked. Ask your Destination Specialist for more information on the RV booked for your trip.
Self drive along the east coast from Brisbane, Queensland to Sydney, New South Wales.
Day 1: Brisbane to Byron Bay (approx 2hrs)
Depart Brisbane, Queensland and begin your beautiful coastal drive south to Byron Bay, New South Wales. Stay in Byron Bay.
Day 2: Spend the Day in Byron Bay Relaxing and Exploring
Byron Bay has become a haven for rest and relaxation. Getting away from the grind of city life, people flee to Byron Bay. Artists, designers, craftsmen, and even software engineers now call Byron their home. Go relax on the Main Beach, visit the Cape Byron Headland and Lighthouse or take a ride in a Hot Air Balloon over the beach. The cafes and shops are all local owned and operated. Put up your feet and enjoy this amazing town.
Day 3: Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour (approx 3 hrs)
Head out of Byron Bay, the most easterly point of Australia, and continue on your journey to Coffs Harbour. In Coffs Harbour you will find many activities to do. Be sure to see the Big Banana, one of the “big things” in Australia. Pet Porpoise Pool Oceanarium has dolphin and seal shows, Butterfly House is a must see as well as the Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve. Stay in Coffs Harbour.
Day 4: Coffs Harbour to Forster (approx 3.5 hrs)
Depart Coffs Harbour and head south to Forster. Along the way, you will pass through Port Macquarie, which has a stunning history, this is a great place to stop for lunch and enjoy the scenic views of the Pacific Coast. Upon reaching Forster, you will notice that this town is dominated by watersports. There is so much to do in this beautiful coastal town. Fishing, dolphin cruises and scuba diving are just a few of the many things you can enjoy here. Main Beach, Pebbly Beach and Burgess Beach are some great places to go lounge in the sand. Try some delicious seafood at one of the many restaurants here. Stay in Forster.
Day 5: Forster to Sydney (approx 4 hrs)
Today you will depart Forster, New South Wales and head further south along the coast towards Sydney. Pass by Lake Macquarie on the way and as soon as you glimpse the lovely blue waters of this salt water lake, you will understand why tourists visit this spot all year round. Stop in Woy Woy and visit the Seaside Village Markets (only on the weekends) or the Bouddi National Park.
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Stay 2 nights in beautiful Byron Bay.
This Multi Award winning holiday park has it all surrounded by natures beautiful bush land and wildlife, where your are only a hop skip and jump from our beautiful Clarkes Beach and only a few minutes walks from the town centre of beautiful Byron Bay.
Modern facilities including camp kitchens, family amenities, beach accesses from our platform viewing deck and famous beach lounge.
So if you are after a surfing holiday, looking for a bit of culture or just looking to recharge and reconnect look not further!
See you at our beach lounge!!
Free day to rest, relax or explore Byron Bay
Byron Bay is a popular beach resort and offers an alternative lifestyle. Renowned for its pristine white sand surfing beaches and surrounding beautiful rainforests, Byron Bay enjoys a relaxed and informal lifestyle. Enjoy the rich variety of adventure sports, boutique shopping, fine dining and live entertainment.
Travel to charming Coffs Harbour, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.
This multi award winning holiday park is the perfect destination for your next getaway. Half way between Sydney and Brisbane, you’ll be hidden away from the rest of the world while being surrounded by nature, wild life and the pristine Pacific Ocean. The striking beachfront location offers crowd free surfing, swimming, fishing and long lazy walks along the beach, while back in the park you can sit and admire the kangaroos, birds, possums, water lizards and echidnas. Iindulge in reading, relaxing and reconnecting… ahhhh!!!
Spend 12 nights in Forster, New South Wales.
Enjoy your stay at this tropical holiday oasis! Everything is included for a great holiday including heated pool & water playground, camp kitchen, boat ramp & cafe, close to restaurants, shops & beaches.
Photo Credit: Tourism New South Wales
Travel to your vacation accommodation where you will stay for two nights whilst in Sydney.
Your 4.5 Star RV park accommodation is conveniently located in Sydney’s famous Northern Beaches. This lodging is one of Australia’s Big 4 Holiday Parks as well as a multi award-winning holiday destination. These first-class facilities are always clean and well-maintained, and the amenities include two large, covered BBQ pavilions, laundry rooms complete with ironing boards and irons, and both family and special needs bathrooms. The park is also complete with modern camp kitchens, internet kiosks, a games room, a TV room, and a children’s waterpark and playground. You can relax from your travel or visit the several exciting attractions that are just minutes from the park.
On your vacation, participate in an inspiring tour of the Sydney Opera House.
This one hour tour outlines the intricate and controversial history of the Sydney Opera House along with details of the unique design of this architectural masterpiece. You will visit a number of the six performance venues, including the magnificent wood paneled Concert Hall and the Opera Theatre as well as the new Utzon room. You will also visit the glass enclosed northern foyer areas which boast spectacular views of Sydney Harbour – a perfect photo opportunity.
Upgrade to Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate Available
On your vacation explore Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia with this unlimited full day pass, or take the 1 1/2 hour round trip cruise and see all the main harbour sights with commentary.
Hop On and Hop Off at up to seven famous harbour attractions with this unlimited full day pass, or simply take the 1 1/2 hour round trip cruise and see all the main harbour sights with commentary.
The Harbour Express stops at the following tourist attractions:
Fort Denison: The historic island and cafe in the middle of Sydney Harbour.
Taronga Zoo: Discover Australia’s amazing wildlife including koalas, platypus and kangaroos.
Shark Island: This island national park is the perfect destination for a BYO picnic lunch, complete with a small beach area for swimming.
Watson’s Bay: Home of Doyle’s famous seafood restaurant and only a short walk to beautiful harbour swimming beaches, HMAS Watson and headland parks.
Luna Park: Sydney’s famous fun park with rides and games, or walk across the Harbour Bridge from Milsons Point station.
Darling Harbour: Aquarium & Wildlife World, Australian Maritime Museum, shops, restaurants and only a short stroll or Monorail to Sydney Tower, Star City Casino, Powerhouse Museum and China Town.
Circular Quay: The Rocks historic precinct, weekend markets, Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens and Harbour Bridge pylon. (Additional Fees apply for Park Entry to Fort Denison, Shark Island & Taronga Zoo).
Be touched by the most ancient human culture on earth on a 90-minute leisurely walkabout with an Aboriginal guide in The Rocks, and Journey into Dreamtime, the culture of Aboriginal People.
The Rocks Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour is 100% Aboriginal owned and was developed by Aboriginal Elder, Margret Campbell, a Dunghutti-Jerrinjah woman. It is led by Aboriginal guides who have Margret’s permission to share her cultural knowledge and interpretation of Sydney’s Dreamtime Symbology – all within Sydney’s natural billion year old saltwater harbour and marine environment, sandstone strata, fresh waterways, flora and fauna that continue to influence Aboriginal people’s thinking and lifestyle today in cosmopolitan Sydney.
The tour content is grounded in Aboriginal Culture with Aboriginal guides who are experts in culture, horticulture and storytelling. The journey will begin with a traditional OCHRE acknowledgement of Earth Mother’s EORA Cadigal heritage. This is further showcased in an interactive leisurely ‘walking on county experience’ that will connect you to the living wisdoms inherent in Sydney’s natural waterways, skies, and landscape.
This 90 minute walkabout tour in The Rocks is a perfect introduction of Aboriginal Culture. It highlights the perspective of Sydney’s Dreamtime heritage that is intimate, enlightening and very informative.
Altmann & Cherny is a family owned jewellery business in Sydney with an international reputation for excellence in opals and is one of the World’s foremost Australian Opal authorities.
Australia is known as the country of origin for this splendid stone with 95% of the world’s precious gem opal found exclusively in Australia. The Australian opal displays all the colors of the rainbow; holding a spectrum of colors found in nature. It is these contrasts that make opals a truly fascinating and unique gemstone, with no two opals appearing exactly the same. In the Middle Ages the Romans considered opal a stone that could provide great luck, as it was believed to possess all the virtues of Emeralds, Sapphires and Rubies.
Established in 1948 in hopes of sharing this unique gemstone with the world, they have built a reputation of providing the highest level of quality, service and value for three generations. Their mantra has always been and will continue to be – “Excellence in service, quality and value.” So come share in this unique experience to learn more about Australian Opals at Altmann & Cherny!
Altman + Cherny
18 Pitt St., Sydney, NSW 2000 / Ph: 61 (02) 9251 9477
Hours: Monday – Friday: 9:30am – 5:30pm / Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm
Coastal Self Drive Tour: Sydney, New South Wales through to Melbourne, Victoria.
DAY 1: SYDNEY / KIAMA / JERVIS BAY / BATEMANS BAY (approx 4.5 hrs)
Depart Sydney and begin your self-drive adventure with your first stop being the city of Kiama, meaning “where the sea makes a noise” in the local indigenous language. Stop and see the famous blowhole or Kiama’s local rock pool a popular location for spotting dolphins or whales. If you continue your self drive through Gerroa you can stop at the Coolangatta Estate Winery for lunch and possibly some wine tasting. But don’t stop for too long, you will follow the scenic route via Huskisson to Jervis Bay Marine Park where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach, the world’s whitest sands and crystal clear waters provide a picturesque setting for the diverse range of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of Jervis Bay. Pass through the district of Shoalhaven and spend the night in Batemans Bay, a pretty coastal town on the east coast of New South Wales.
DAY 2: BATEMANS BAY / EDEN / LAKES ENTRANCE (approx 5.5 hrs)
Grab some breakfast in Batemans Bay before heading out on the scenic coastal self-drive. Just before reaching Moruya, maybe take some time to stop in Bega, a town popular for its cheese and dairy products. Continuing south, enjoy the coastal views while passing through Merimbula & Bournda National Park. If you feel up for it, have a light lunch at the Wharf in Eden. Eden is a town of history and traditions dating back to the New South Wales whaling industry. If you’d like to, visit the Eden Killer Whale Museum which houses the skeletal remains of legendary “Old Tom”, a killer whale that reputedly guided whalers to their prey. The museum tells of Eden’s whaling, Aboriginal, timber and fishing histories. Heading farther south, you can enjoy a scenic walk through beautiful warm climate rainforests’ flora and fauna at the Bemm River Scenic Reserve. Once you reach the coastal town of Lakes Entrance you might spot some majestic pelicans. Lakes Entrance is where the 90 miles beach meets the South Ocean. Spend the night in Lakes Entrance.
DAY 3: LAKES ENTRANCE / FOSTER (approx 7.5 hrs)
Depart Lakes Entrance and head southwest towards Wilsons Promontory National Park. Wilsons Promontory is Australia’s most southerly point on the mainland and one of Victoria’s most beautiful National Parks. It protects over 50,000 hectares which include some of Victoria’s best beaches, cool shaded rainforest gullies, cloud soaked mountain peaks, rugged offshore islands and remote light stations illuminating the seas surrounding the southern tip. Take time to enjoy the view from Picknick Point Lookout and take a stroll to Squeaky Beach. From here you will continue your self-drive west to Phillip Island. From here you will head to the quaint town of Foster. We recommend stopping in and treating yourself to a delicious dinner. You can pick up a meat pie, fish and chips or some tasty sandwiches before turning in for the night. DAY 4: FOSTER / MELBOURNE (approx 2.5 hrs) End this scenic coastal self drive in Melbourne, Victoria.
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Spend one night in a lovley RV park along this coastal self-drive in Batemans Bay, New South Wales.
Batemans Bay is a divine place to visit where pelicans and seagulls flock to the shores. Relax on the dozens of clean beaches located in the surrounding area or take a river cruise.
Your RV park beach resort has an absolute beachfront location, mini golf, jumping pillow, tennis court, resort swimming pool, free wireless internet, Foxtel to accommodation, large camp kitchen and modern amenities.
This award winning 5 star resort is the perfect place for your next family holiday or romantic get away. All of this and just minutes away from a 27-hole championship golf course, fishing, cafes, restaurants, shops, tennis courts, a skateboard park, a cycleway and library.
Next stop along your coastal self-drive is Lakes Entrance, Victoria, where you will spend 1 night.
Your vacation site is across the road from Cunninghame Arm at spectacular Lakes Entrance in Victoria’s East Gippsland Region. The relaxed environment of the property is ideal for holiday makers. Minutes walk from town and within easy drive of attractions such as the Lakes, Buchan Caves and restaurants. Boating, fishing and bushwalking are popular activities.
Travel to your vacation accommodation where you will stay for one night whilst in Inverloch, just outside Foster.
The township of Foster is located within an easy drive to Wilsons Promontory National Park, the major natural attraction of this unspoilt coastal region. The history of Foster is in the Gold Rush era in the 1870’s. Other nearby attractions include the Great Southern Rail Trail, nature walks, horse riding & cycling trails.
The Foster North Lookout, on the South Gippsland Highway 6 kilometres north-west of town, provides good views over Corner Inlet with the mountain ranges of Wilsons Promontory providing an attractive backdrop.
Travel to your vacation accommodation where you will stay for two nights whilst in Melbourne.
Your RV park accommodation is conveniently located just 9 kilometers from Melbourne’s City Business District. You are minutes from several beautiful parks and gardens, the Queen Victoria Market, and the exciting streets of downtown Melbourne. When you are not out on the town you can relax by the solar heated pool or unwind at the outdoor spa. These facilities are well-appointed with a fully-equipped camp kitchen, a games room, a playground, laundry facilities, a big screen movie room, and a TV room. Guests also have access to gas refills, tourist information, linen hire, fax, telephone, photocopiers, internet, and secure luggage storage.
Today you’ll have the day free to Explore Melbourne City’s vast shopping centres, markets and boutiques, maybe do some souvenir shopping.
Melbourne is a Multicultural City boasting many boutique cafes, wineries and extensive shopping. You’ll also find it very easy to get around on the trains and trams, especially within the inners of Melbourne.
Photo Credit: Tourism Victoria
Journey into the ancestral lands of the Kulin nation and explore their rich and thriving culture on this award winning walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Experience a traditional smoking ceremony with our Indigenous Guides and learn about traditional uses of plants for food and medicine.
In the heart of Melbourne, the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens occupy what was once a traditional camping and meeting place for the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people. Today, you can participate in one of the most interesting walking tours in the city. Local Aboriginal guides take you on a journey which incorporates the themes of spirit, connection and land. Stories and culture of the original inhabitants are introduced, along with the plant lore of traditional foods and medicine, tools and ceremony on this award-winning tour.
Tours every Monday to Thursday and Sunday.
Tours do not operate on Anzac Day or 4th Nov.
See some of the most beautiful scenery in Victoria with a ride on the Puffing Billy Steam Train!
Travel to the Dandenong Ranges, where you’ll enjoy a traditional Devonshire Tea in the mountains, followed by an unforgettable ride on the Puffing Billy Steam Train. Then you;ll visit the delightful village of Sassafras for boutique shopping.
The Dandenong Ranges, known to the locals as the Dandenongs, are beautiful low mountain ranges just 21 miles east of Melbourne. At their peak, they rise to more than 2,066 feet and are cloaked in lush rainforests of Mountain Ash trees (the tallest flowering plant in the world), waterfalls, rolling hills and steep valleys. The region is home to the famous Puffing Billy Railway, numerous art and craft stores and cafes offering delicious homemade produce.
Nestled in the heart of the Dandenong Mountains is Grant’s Reserve, a haven in the wilderness. On arrival you will be charmed by the surrounding mountain hue and crisp clear air. While here you will enjoy a traditional Devonshire Tea of homemade scones, served warm with jam and cream, and tea served in china tea cups – just a treat!
Grant’s Reserve is a paradise for bird life and will be you’ll be serenaded by the wonderful bird song that fills the valley. You can also handfeed some of the most striking Australian birds such as the colorful Crimson Rosella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and pink-chested Galah. It’s a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get a photo.
Next you head the short distance to Belgrave, home of the famous Puffing Billy Steam Train, where you are in for a real treat!
This century-old steam train is maintained in its original glory and runs to this day on its own mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook. Here you’ll go back in time as you get on board for a 30-minute ride through the heart of the rainforest.
You’ll see the locomotive depot that services and maintains the train, head through the gorgeous Sherbrooke Forest and ride over the old Trestle Bridge. Just before Menzies Creek you can see stunning views of Port Phillip Bay before heading through Paradise Valley and on to the townships of Emerald and Gembrook. What a great ride!
From Gembrook you will then be on your way to the lovely little village of Sassafras. You’ll be travelling through thick rainforest that is home to all sorts of wildlife, so keep an eye out for Lyre Birds and Wallabies. Once in Sassafras you can take your time to explore the delightful antique and craft shops dotted throughout the village. You might even find a little something to take home with you.
Operates Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday except December 25. Departs at 8:10am and returns at 1pm, lasting approximately 4.5 hours.
Need to Know Tour departs from Federation Square, Melbourne, corner of Flinders & Russell Streets. Return transfers from your accommodation are available – advise prior to booking. Wear enclosed walking shoes. Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and water bottle are recommended. Wear warm layers in cooler months.
Inclusions Puffing Billy Steam Train ride. Devonshire Tea. Experienced driver guide. Comprehensive commentary. Travel in an air-conditioned coach.
Upgrades Add a visit to the Healesville Sanctuary to meet native Australian wildlife at the end of your Puffing Billy journey – additional cost. Add a wine tour with tastings at three boutique wineries in the Yarra Valley at the end of your Puffing Billy journey – additional cost.
Enjoy a personalized Yarra Wine Valley tour guided by a friendly wine expert.
Join a fun, educational and delectable day out on this specialized Yarra Valley Wine Experience.
Inclusions: A Real Wine Expert, (not a snob!) as your guide that will entertain and educate you. Cellar Door Tasting at Yering Station, Yering Farm and Balgownie Estate. A La Carte Lunch at Balgownie Estate including a glass of estate wine. A private tour of Domaine Chandon plus a glass of their premium sparkling wine and light tasting platters. Travel in a luxury, air-conditioned bus.
9:00am – 9:40am: Meet at pick up points.
10:00am: Depart final pick-up point for Yarra Valley, just under an hour in a deluxe coach.
11:00am: Punt Road Wines, enthusiastic and knowledgeable cellar door staff will share with you some of Punt Road’s award winning wines. This winery has a rich history and is the ideal place to sample a selection of exciting wines that reflect the earthiness and personality of the Yarra Valley. The wines here speak for themselves but we will let you be the judge.
12:00pm: Balgownie Estate Clearly one of the most stylish venues in the Yarra Valley with wines to match; Balgownie Estate have a marvelous restaurant with fantastic views and great wines to taste at the cellar door. Enjoy a high quality restaurant lunch with a glass of Balgownie Estate wine to compliment your meal.
1:30pm: Yering Farm One of the Yarra Valleys more boutique wineries, Yering Farm has stunning views and is oozing with rustic charm. Experience wines made with traditional methods in their cellar door, which showcases antique copper wine making tools used by pioneer wine makers.
2:15pm Domaine Chandon How better to finish the day than with a visit to French champagne company Moet & Chandon’s Australian production house. If you’ve ever wondered at the magic that puts the bubbles in bubbly, wonder no more – your privileged- access guided tour of the winery will reveal all. You’ll leave the riddling room to enjoy breath-taking views over a relaxing glass of Australia’s best bubbly.
3:30pm: Depart the Yarra Valley for Melbourne.
4:30pm – 5:00pm: Return to Drop off points.
Operates: Daily (except December 25 & 26).
Need to Know: Maximum number of guests is 24, typical group size is 12-20. Group bookings are limited to 8. Meeting points are at: Radisson Flagstaff Hotel 380 William Street Melbourne; 570 Flinders Street Melbourn; St. Paul’s Cathedral 200 Flinders Street Melbourne; Old Melbourne Gaol 377 Russell Street Melbourne
Discover the secrets of creative Melbourne with this dynamic small group, guided walking tour!
Join your passionate local guide, who is more of an aficionado, as they take you around the style capital of Australia.
Your guide will show you all of Melbourne’s best salons, studios and hidden hotspots tucked away in the European-style lanes in the heart of the city. Discover shops where Melbourne’s celebrated food, coffee and art scene thrive, and are usually missed by tourists. You’ll practically become a local before lunch!
On this half day indulgent walking tour, you’ll immerse yourself in the historical, architectural, cultural insights while exploring more than 30 exquisite boutiques.
After your casual tour, make it a day by returning to your favorite spots visited in the city of marvelous Melbourne!
Operates Daily except Sundays. Departs at 10:00am from Federation Square near Time Out Cafe and returns at 2:00pm, lasting approximately 4 hours.
Need to Know Minimum of 2 guests required. Maximum of 8 guests allowed. Not ideal for children ages 12 and under, special requests taken case by case. Runs in all weather – wear weather appropriate clothing and umbrellas will be on loan if required. General level of fitness required. There may be stairs along the way. Dietary accommodations available – please speak to your About Australia Destination Specialist before booking. Mobility accommodations available – please advise prior to booking.
Inclusions Morning coffee & tea. 3 hour guided walking tour. Knowledgeable and professional local guide. Lunch. City map.
Alternate Tours Available Café Culture Walk – Explore Melbourne’s food and café scene, perfect for foodies and coffee lovers. Progressive Degustation Walk – Sample some of Melbourne’s best restaurants and enjoy wine paired dishes across three unique venues. Golden Mile Heritage Walk – Learn about Melbourne’s history and architecture, and see important historical landmarks. Progressive High Tea Stroll – Taste an array of delicacies such as cupcakes, macarons, chocolates, scones and tea across Melbourne’s best afternoon tea spots. Liquid Crafts Walk – Explore the quirky side of Melbourne and discover the city’s bar scene as you try drinks and spirits from local distillers, mixologists and craft brewers.
Bunjilaka is a word derived from two local Aboriginal languages meaning “creation place” and is the name of the Melbourne Museum’s Aboriginal Centre. Developed after a lengthy consultation process, the Centre’s aim is to enable Victoria’s indigenous communities to express their history themselves.
Bunjilaka’s significant collection of Aboriginal cultural heritage items is complemented by a series of performance, exhibition and meeting spaces including a native garden area. Even the Welcome (Wominjeka) Desk serves an important function as part of the customary greeting ritual when welcoming visitors to country.
The museum is open daily from 10:00am till 5:00pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday); Admission is $10AUD for Adults and Children 16 and Under are Free
The Queen Victoria Market is an historic Melbourne landmark and a Melbourne institution dating back to more than 120 years ago.
Queen Victoria Market hasn’t been just a market. At different times in the past it has been a cemetery, a livestock market and a place to sell fruit and veggies (vegetables) wholesale. It is said to be the southern hemisphere’s largest open-air market offering a variety of fresh farm produce and, on Sundays, a wider range of merchant items which turn the market into a modern Arabian Nights bazaar. This is the place to buy your souvenirs.
Aside from the variety of wares offered at the Queen Victoria Market, buskers and street entertainment are a market feature, particularly on Sundays when Queen St is closed and becomes a place of cafes, carnival rides and other activities. And there’s always the sound of spruikers cajoling visitors into buying their goods, and you can haggle for the best prices you’re able to get.
The Queen Victoria Market trading hours are 6am to 2pm on Tuesday and Thursday; 6am to 6pm (with the general merchandise section closing at 4pm) on Friday; 6am to 3pm on Saturday; and 9am to 4pm on Sunday. The market is closed on Monday and Wednesday, and on Good Friday, Anzac Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. (Please double check times before you go.)
Photo Credit: Queen Victoria Market
Enjoy your Self Drive Tour through regional Victoria, Australia: starting in Melbourne, then passing by the Puffing Billy Steam Train, on route to Phillip Island.
Melbourne to Phillip Island passing by the Puffing Billy Steam Train Station (approx 2.5 hrs) Depart Melbourne and head south east towards Phillip Island. Along the way, we suggest stopping off at the Puffing Billy Steam Railway to ride on a historic steam train.
When most people think of Phillip Island they think of Penguins, but you might be surprised to hear that there is so much more offered here. Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is fun for the whole family. You can race around on the go kart track or you can strap in for the real deal and ride in a race car with a professional race car driver! Stroll around the Koala Conservation Centre and enjoy the bushwalking tracks where you can spot native Aussie animals in a natural environment.
Note: Make sure you have spare time at least 1 hour prior to sunset. The Penguin Parade begins at sunset and is truly a must see at the Phillip Island Nature Park. Stay on Phillip Island. Continue on to your next Australian destination.
Next stop along your coastal self-drive is Phillip Island, Victoria, where you will spend 2 nights.
Your RV park hosts in Phillip Island assure you of a warm welcome and a great stay. The park is located only a short drive to the world famous Penguin Parade, Chocolate Factory, Koala Conservation Park, the Nobbies and much more. Come and experience the park’s own native fauna where you may see local wildlife up close and personal.
Discover endless coastlines and seaside villages, abundant wildlife and a multitude of family attractions on a little island with a big reputation.
Explore the natural wonders of land and sea, dine al fresco and sample fine local wines. Take a stroll and pick up local wares in quaint seaside villages or roll out your towel on the beach and get that sand between your toes.
Let Phillip Island’s resident fur seals entertain you with their playful behaviour as they frolic, frisk and feed on their Seal Rocks home. Then at dusk, make your way to the Penguin Parade for the unforgettable sight of little penguins waddling their way over the dunes.
Do you want to see a koala up close in its natural environment? Come visit the treetop & woodland boardwalks at the Koala Conservation Centre.
Experience wild koalas in their natural habitat and stroll through Aussie bushland at this environmentally sustainable centre dedicated to koala conservation on six hectares. Originally established in 1991, the centre is dedicated to koala research and conservation and has played a vital role in ensuring there is a protected koala population on Phillip Island.
Enjoy 2 boardwalks, the Koala Boardwalk and the Woodland Boardwalk. On the bushwalking tracks, keep an eye out for wallabies, echidnas, birds and other Aussie wildlife. Learn about the amazing lives of koalas in the interactive Visitor’s Centre. The Koala Conservation Centre is also home to a host of Australian Wildlife such as wallabies, nocturnal brushtail and ringtail possums, echidnas and over 80 species of birds.
Open 10am to 5pm daily (2pm Christmas Day)
Photo Credit: Koala Conservation Centre; Phillip Island Nature Park
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is just 90 minutes southeast of Melbourne and has a range of activities that will simply drop your jaw and dazzle your eyes.
This is your chance to experience the iconic venue in the flesh. Let rip in a go-kart on our 760m replica Grand Prix track, or buckle in for the real deal; an adrenalin-amping triple Hot Lap lightning ride around the Phillip Island circuit with an experienced racing driver.
Revisit the heart-pumping history of the venue within the Visitor Centre’s History of Motorsport Display. Follow in the footsteps of motorcycle racing champions on the Guided Circuit Tour, allowing you exclusive access to off-limits areas trackside, including Race Control, Media Centre, Pit lane, Pit Roof and, where every racer would love to finish, the winner’s podium being sprayed with champagne.
The ride is only half the experience.
Self Drive from Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula.(approx 1.5 hrs)
Spend 1 night on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.
This charming RV park is set on over 8 acres with magnificent shady trees and well positioned close to the beach, shopping, the Dromana 3 Drive in theatre and the Peninsula Freeway. The park offers visitors a warm and friendly atmosphere and a family friendly environment.
Facilities include solar heated indoor pool and toddler pool, games room, camp kitchen, Village Green with a gazebo and BBQ’s, laundry facilities and kids playground.
Continue your self drive from Mornington Peninsula to the start of the Great Ocean Road near Apollo Bay.
Mornington Peninsula to Apollo Bay via the ferry (pay as you go), 3 hr 50 min (185km or 115miles)
Travel by RV on the Great Ocean Road where you will stay for one night whilst in Apollo Bay.
Stay in the picturesque green foothills of the Otway Ranges – Apollo Bay. Visit gorgeous valleys just a few kilometres out of town full of rainforests, waterfalls, streams and fireflies or take a spectacular bush walk. Participate in every water sport imaginable from surfing to fishing to diving or just lounging on the beach. Nearby Cape Otway has nature walks through petrified forests and walks to mighty water falls or you can visit some of the highest ocean cliffs in Victoria on your way to the Cape Otway lighthouse, one of the most significant lighthouses in Australia (Open daily).
Looking out over the beautiful beach of Apollo Bay, your RV holiday park offers a warm welcome, stunning views and modern amenities. Bike/walking path runs 1.5 ks along the beach to town centre.
Photo Credit: Tourism Victoria
Continue your self drive from Apollo Bay down the Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell.
Apollo Bay to Port Campbell, 1 hr 28 min (96km or 60miles)
Enjoy 1 night in Port Campbell during your self drive along the Great Ocean Road.
Your Port Campbell RV site facilities and amenities are first rate. Surrounded by spectacular views, camping at Port Campbell is all about being part of the great outdoors.
The resorts’s caravan and camping area includes a large amenities block with showers and toilets, BBQ’s, tourist information centre and is also close to shops and restaurants. You will have no trouble being able to relax in style here along the magnificent Great Ocean Road.
One hour west of Port Campbell lies Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, Victoria, Australia’s first National Park (1852). This is truly a magnificent sight to see.
This is an ancient volcano full of geological fascination and abundant wildlife. Here you will discover the vast amount of Kangaroos, Emus, Koalas and Echidnas. Learn of the Aboriginal history, experience bush food and medicine. You also can learn of the ash layers that show Aboriginal people existed at the time of eruption, 32,000 years ago, with its last eruption being over 7,000 years ago.
Open Daily from 10am – 4pm.
Today continue on your self-drive adventure from Port Campbell and ending in Halls Gap, home of the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia.
Today you will begin your self drive and head west towards Warrnambool. Along the way you will drive by the Bay of Islands, similar to the Twelve Apostles, and a great photo opportunity. If you’re travelling between the months of June and September, stop off at Logans Beach viewing platform for some Right Whale watching. You may want to stop at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, which offers you a peek into the past of the maritime lifestyles and trades of the 1870’s. Just outside of Warrnambool you will go through Tower Hill, home of the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. This is an ancient dormant volcano which is now home to an abundant array of flora and fauna. If you climb the summit of the volcano, you are offered uninterrupted views of the coastline to Port Fairy.
You might want to stop in Port Fairy for lunch. It is said to be one of the prettiest villages in the region. From Port Fairy you can head North toward Hamilton. If you have time to stop over at the Hamilton Art Gallery, you won’t be disappointed. It is home to a spectacular collection of Australian and European artworks.
Conclude today’s drive in the Grampians National Park, Halls Gap. Discover grand and rugged mountain ranges, spectacular wildflower displays, a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, and a wealth of Aboriginal rock art sites here at Grampian National Park.
The Grampians are a series of five jagged sandstone ridges running from north to south with steep and craggy slopes on the eastern side and gentler slopes on the west. Come between August and October to see the colourful spring wildflower displays in the park, with heathlands enlivened with striking shows of Grampians Boronia, Blue Pin-cushion Lily, and a multitude of other herbs and shrubs. The park is also home to a profusion of native animals and birds. You can find kangaroos, koalas, emus, wedge-tailed eagles and more.
Be inspired by the fresh air to get active in the park. Go bushwalking and rock climbing, or fishing and canoeing. Set out on one of the numerous walking tracks for a casual stroll or an overnight trek.
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Whilst on your self-drive through Victoria, Australia you will spend 1 night in Halls Gap.
In the foothills of Victoria’s majestic Grampians National Park your RV Resort offers quality cabin, caravan and camping accommodation and a stunning mountain backdrop. Walk to Halls Gap, there is easy access great walking tracks. Or simply enjoy the fresh air or take a dip in one of the 2 onsite pools.
Your Australia self-drive is not complete without a trip to Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap. The Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Aboriginal communities of South-Western Victoria will truly come to life as you learn of their history and culture.
Be sure to join in on some of the activities and tours offered at the centre. The Bunjil Creation Tour takes you on an educational journey of the local Dreamtime creation story. You will view the ancient rock art at the resting place of the Creator Spirit Bunjil, his two helpers the Bram-Bram-Bult brothers, and learn about the spiritual significance of the area (3hrs).
Take the opportunity to experience Six Seasons Tour, where you will be given the chance to immerse yourself in the Aboriginal culture AND spectacular environment of the Grampians National Park. You will venture out and explore a variety of ancient rock art and view the Park from the most scenic vantage points (5½hrs, pre-booking required). You may also choose from a range of exciting cultural activities offered at the centre. Learn how to throw a Boomerang, discover the Didgeridoo and its hypnotic tones, stroll through the gardens on a Bushfoods Discovery Walk or join the Badeema Djilga Creations activity and create a unique momento of your self drive trip using Aboriginal art as your inspiration (choose from message stones, boomerangs or canvas). All this and more awaits you at The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, Victoria, Australia.
Open Daily from 9am-5pm; Free Entry; a 5 minute drive from your accommodation.
Don’t miss these Top 10 Must Do Experiences in the Grampians National Park (Victoria, Australia):
1. Wildlife: Halls Gap is just one of the places you are virtually guaranteed to see kangaroos and emus freely roaming. Best time is early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to have your camera ready!
2. Art Gallery: The Hamilton Art Gallery, located in the quaint town of Hamilton, is home to a diverse collection of Australian and European artworks. Also known for its works in silver, porcelain and glass. If you have the time to stop in, you won’t be disappointed.
3. Great Heights: Get your hiking boots out and get ready for Chataqua Peak or the more challenging Boronia Peak walks. These walks will offer breathtaking views of Grampians National Park.
4. Educational: Your Australia self-drive is not complete without a trip to Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap. The Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Aboriginal communities of South-Western Victoria will truly come to life as you learn of their history and culture.
5. Year Round: Kayaking and Bushwalking are just a few of the things you can enjoy while exploring the lakes, rivers and waterfalls of the park. Wonderful photography opportunity.
6. Geopark: The Kanawinka Global Geopark offers a chance to take in the amazing landscapes and travel back in time over thousands of years. See how the Aboriginal people made use of the land when they lived here. Located near Hamilton.
7. Flaura: If your self-drive in Victoria takes place between August and mid November, you are in for a real treat! Spring is when the wildflowers frame the waterfalls and walking trails. The wildflowers make for an unforgettable sight.
8. Adventurous: If you are a thrill seeker, try your hand at rock climbing, abseiling, quad bike safaris, horse trail rides and bush walking.
9. Wine: See the town of Great Western and visit the underground cellars housing thousands of bottles of sparkling wine. Or choose from the many above ground wineries.
10. History: The Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre is located in Ararat, and details the start of this gold-mining town. Ararat is the only town established by the Chinese.
Continuing to on your last portion of the Victoria Self Drive, you will be traveling between Halls Gap and Melbourne. This is your opportunity to stop over at Ballarat Goldfields or some of its surrounding areas. You will gain the chance to experience a historic gold rush town.
From Halls Gap you will drive east towards Ballarat. Be sure to stop in this amazing historic town,home to many attractions including Sovereign Hill, deluxe spas, the fascinating Gold Museum and so much more!
Here are some ideas of things to do along your self-drive through Victoria, Australia:
1. Visit Sovereign Hill, an outdoor living museum located in Ballarat, Victoria. Travel back in time and experience life as it was during the 1850’s gold rush! This is a remarkable replica of this historic town. Dress up in the 19th century fashions and visit the old mining village.
2. When you stop in at Sovereign Hill be sure to stay for the Blood on the Southern Cross, a spectacular sound and light show retelling the story of the Eureka Uprising.
3. Experience the history of Australian art at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Enjoy the extensive permanent collection of colonial, impressionist and contemporary masterpieces. Keep an eye out for the original Eureka Flag and learn about its importance with your free iPod tour guide.
4. Meet native animals and come in close contact free-roaming Kangaroos at the Ballarat Wildlife Park. This is the perfect opportunity for a Koala or Wombat photo.
5. Ballarat Botanical Gardens is one of Australia’s oldest and finest gardens. Stroll through the statuary pavilion, which features Benzoni’s beautiful Flight from Pompeii among other treasures. 6. While you’re at the Boanical Gardens, be sure to explore the Prime Minister’s Avenue – a remarkable collection of bronze portraits of all 25 Australian Prime Ministers.
7. Take a stroll around the town to check out the magnificent buildings and architecture. These are a result of the extreme wealth generated by the gold rush.
8. Ballarat’s fascinating Gold Museum boasts one of Australia’s finest collections of gold coins and gold nuggets. Here you will learn of the tales and legends of the gold rush years.
9. If rest and relaxation is what you are looking for, venture off the beaten track to Daylesford or Hepburn Springs, known as the Spa Capital of Australia. Also a renowned location for food lovers and luxury seekers.
10. Wineries are abundant in Victoria, Australia. Travel to Avoca at the base of the Pyrenees, or along your way to Melbourne stop by the wineries around Bacchus Marsh. You won’t be disappointed.
Travel to your accommodation where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.
As you cruise the scenic streets of Melbourne, you will enjoy fine cuisine and drink the very best of Australian wines. The atmosphere is cosy, the service friendly and the decor as inviting as the colonial period these trams reflect.
The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant officially commenced operation in August 1983. These glossy, burgundy restaurants on wheels are the first travelling tramcar restaurants in the world and ensure a delightful innovative approach to dining. Dining aboard the Tramcar is not only a culinary delight, but also a trip into a little piece of Victoria’s history.
The tram is air-conditioned for total comfort and piped music helps to create a unique mood on wheels. Smart casual, suit or similar dress is appropriate when dining.
Early Dinner 5:45-7:15pm (Daily)
Also available: Lunch 1:00-3:00pm (On Request); Late Dinner 8:35-11:30pm (Daily)
(Please note that a surcharge will apply for Christmas Day Luncheon and New Years Eve Late dinner.)
Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation to the Airport in Melbourne, Australia.
International flight (as per your own arrangements).
Packages by About Australia, a fully bonded and ARC Accredited travel company.