You can get a sense of just how huge Australia is by looking at a map, but once you’re there, the vastness really hits home. For travellers long on ambition but short on time, this extensive and compact journey up the East Coast of Queensland is nothing short of ideal. Employing a diverse range of transport—yachts, trains, 4x4s and buses—you’ll visit Fraser Island and the Whitsundays, go snorkelling and camp out under the stars in an authentic Australian 'swag.' Your time here may not last long, but your memories will last forever.
Highlights: Sleep under the stars at a remote cattle station, zip over dunes in a 4x4 on a remote sand island, sail from island to island through the Whitsundays on a maxi yacht
Rugged landscapes, crashing surf and indigenous culture stretching back through time and beyond—Australia’s East Coast possesses a truly otherworldly allure. This trip offers you a comprehensive, authentic and wholly affordable experience in one of the country’s most popular regions. Raw thrills and refined pleasures abound out here. In the space of a few days, you’ll sample wines in the Hunter Valley, snorkel the Whitsundays, catch a few waves, and spearfish with local Aborigines. When people back home ask what you did on your trip, just tell ‘em: “Everything.”
Highlights: Island hop by yacht through the Whitsunday Islands, overnight at a traditional sheep station, zip over dunes in a 4x4 on a remote sand island, spearfish and savour lunch with local Aborigines, sleep in a swag under the impressive Southern night sky
You can’t get Down Under through a bus window. If you’re going to get off the tourist track, you’ll have to shake things up a bit—that’s why we’ve turned to trains, 4x4s, buses and boats for this itinerary. From the cobblestones of charming Melbourne, cut through the Outback and explore the mysteries of Uluru. Follow your curiosity down the deserted tracks that make Australia so remote and spend 18 days discovering the natural beauty of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.
Highlights: Learn about creation time stories of the Aborigines, catch the magnificent colours of Uluru, hike through gorgeous natural rock formations in the Red Centre, ride the route of Afghan cameleers on the Ghan Train, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kakadu National Park
Red Centre Experience (OARC)
A great little add-on to a longer Australian adventure, this short-and-sweet journey to the famed Red Centre brings you close to the continent’s vast heart. Watch the sun rise over iconic Uluru, explore the curious domed rock formations of Kata Tjuta and gaze up in astonished awe at the 100-metre-high walls of majestic Kings Canyon while the locals share the secrets of indigenous Australian culture. If you’ve come all the way to Australia, it’d be a shame to go home without coming here first. Regret nothing.
Highlights: Enjoy sunrise and sunset over iconic Uluru, explore breathtaking Kings Canyon, hike the impressive Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta, sleep under the stars of the Outback sky.
The route up Australia’s East Coast has earned its rep as one of the seemingly endless supply of must-do experiences in the country. The classic Sydney-to-Cairns route introduces you to both sides of modern Australia—the bright lights of the big city and the raw beauty of the Outback. You’ll get to try your hand at dozens of atypical activities—everything from wine-tasting to sailing and snorkelling. And when you travel in small groups like we do, you really get out there into the wild to meet the locals and experience the land like they do. That amazing new frontier you’ve been looking for? Here it is.
Highlights: Taste wine in the Hunter Valley, sleep under the stars and at a sheep station, bliss out in famous Byron Bay, island hop through the Whitsundays
Best of New Zealand (ONNS)
Compared with their enormous western neighbour, the islands of New Zealand don’t look especially big on the map, but don’t let their small stature deceive you. There is much, much, much to do here, be it biking to old gold mining sites, kayaking remote coves and hiking some of the most breathtaking routes in the whole world. But if you’re short on travel dollars, fear not; this trip squeezes in the very best of both the North and South Islands into an affordable, action-packed 21-day itinerary that moves swiftly without ever seeming rushed.
Highlights: Learn about the Maori culture, conquer the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown, weave through the remote fiords of the Doubtful Sound by sea kayak, discover Abel Tasman National Park by foot
Looking to tackle a bundle of different environments all in one go? New Zealand’s South Island has what you need and then some. Action is the common thread throughout this trip that incorporates hiking, kayaking, cycling and even bungee jumping across a variety of landscapes, including rainforests, glaciers and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is exciting even when you’re not moving; accommodations include a seasonal floating boat hostel and a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Unique? You bet.
Highlights: Explore the trails of Abel Tasman National Park by foot, get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown, weave through the remote fjords of the Doubtful Sound by sea kayak, cycle the Otago Rail Trail.
Iguassu & Beyond (SAIB)
For the nature lover who also wants to explore the nightlife of the urban jungle and have plenty of time on the beach, this 9-day adventure offers the perfect combination of natural beauty and cosmopolitan culture. Travel from the tango palaces of Buenos Aires to the samba pulse of Rio de Janeiro and discover spectacular wilderness in between. Encounter thundering Iguassu Falls with views from both Argentina and Brazil. Then continue to the coast and soak in the sun on Ilha Grande's beaches and colonial culture in Paraty. Go beyond a vacation—and step into adventure!
Highlights: Experience the sophistication of Buenos Aires, stand in awe of Iguassu Falls, sip a caipirinha in Rio, explore the cobblestoned streets of colonial Paraty
Maldives Dhoni Cruise (AFMS)
White sands, blue skies and crystal-clear waters – cruise the extraordinary islands of the Maldives by traditional dhoni. Experience the turquoise lagoons and perfect beaches that make these islands famous. Learn the local way and dive the spectacular corals of the Indian Ocean. Every day offers relaxing sea breezes and countless photo opportunities. Indulge yourself in this tropical paradise.
Highlights: Cruise through some of the world's most beautiful islands, uncover isolated beaches, explore small fishing villages, swim and snorkel the vibrant coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, savour local cuisine
|Trip||Length||Style||Service Level||Starting Price|
|Brisbane to Cairns Experience (OABC)||10 days||Yolo||Basic||
|East Coast Encompassed—Sydney to Cairns (OAEC)||18 days||Yolo||Basic||
|Australia South to North - Melbourne to Darwin (OAMD)||18 days||Yolo||Basic||
|Red Centre Experience (OARC)||3 days||Yolo||Camping||
|Most of the Coast—Sydney to Cairns (OASC)||16 days||Yolo||Basic||
|Best of New Zealand (ONNS)||21 days||Yolo||Basic||
|New Zealand—South Island Encompassed (ONSE)||15 days||Yolo||Basic||
|Iguassu & Beyond (SAIB)||9 days||Classic||Standard||
|Maldives Dhoni Cruise (AFMS)||7 days||Marine||Standard||