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We begin our far-ranging Ozian jaunt with an afternoon tour of Adelaide, topped off with a city tour of this vibrant city—good fun, but just the barest hint of what Mark Twain called Australia’s “surprises and adventures, and incongruities and incredibilities.” A morning flight takes us to famous Kangaroo Island, southwest from Adelaide at the entrance to the Gulf Saint Vincent. Our day and a half on Kangaroo is an eye-pleaser; the island is rich in wildlife (including, naturally, Australia’s signature koalas, wallabies, and kangaroos and beach-lolling sea lions). Then we’re off by private charter flight across the Great Ocean Road’s coastal majesties to Flinders Ranges, South Australia’s highest and most beautiful mountains, where we’ll stay at Arbaka Lodge in the little town of Hawker. And the next day we fly north to the magnificent monolith of Uluru, or Ayers Rock, which rests on the desert sands like the mothership of some extragalactic civilization (which the local Pitjantjapjara and Yangkuntjatjara people essentially thought it was).
Our final taste of the island continent’s incredibilities comes at Cairns, in northern Queensland, where we’ll overnight at a private rain-forest retreat and explosively rich botanical museum before driving to Port Douglas for an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef on a luxurious 12-passenger catamaran for snorkeling, diving or just basking in the sun as we float above the largest formation ever created by living beings. We return home via Sydney after a day experiencing this great city, including a private morning city tour and a mid-day sail in its famed harbor.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1: arrive in Adelaide, afternoon at tour
- Day 2: morning flight to Kangaroo Island
- Day 3: full day on Kangaroo
- Day 4: board charter flight Hawker, Flinders Ranges, an Outback sheep station, dinner under the stars
- Day 5: Flinders Ranges National Park
- Day 6: private charter to Adelaide to connect with commercial flight to Uluru
- Day 7: exploring Uluru
- Day 8: fly to Cairns, drive to private rain-forest retreat, cocktails and dinner
- Day 9: catamaran excursion to Great Barrier Reef
- Day 10: fly to Sydney, dinner with local friends
- Day 11: morning private city tour, join a luncheon cruise on the harbor
- Day 12: depart Sydney.