Discover Sydney, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef with Flight Centre
Can you really see enough of Australia in a fortnight? Yes you can. Lauren Jarvis takes us on Flight Centre's two-week Sydney, Rock & Reef Journey, covering the wonders of the Land Down Under while proving that this trip will leave you with memories that last a lifetime – and plans to return for another adventure Down Under…
Set your sights on Sydney
Discover a city that ranks alongside the best when it comes to breathtaking locations: cruise past the world-famous Sydney Opera House, or climb to the top of the vertiginous Harbour Bridge, and you’ll soon understand why. There’s plenty more to explore too. Catch the ferry to laid-back Manly to rack up some beach and bar time, or hit the buzzy area of Five Ways in Paddington for its independent shops, inviting eateries and charming mix of classical and Victorian terrace buildings. Then there’s the legendary Bondi Beach, the place to be for people-watching or catching an Aussie wave. Foodies will find award-winning fare across town, from classic to contemporary, while the vineyards of nearby Hunter Valley are perfect for a tipsy day trip.
Go walkabout at Uluru
Your next stop is Australia’s Northern Territory, a remote land of ancient rock formations, unique wildlife and a raw, wild beauty. This is the country’s Red Centre – though in fact the desert colour palette shifts from orange to ochre, purple to salmon pink. Join a local indigenous guide on a personal walkabout of the sacred Aboriginal site of Uluru, listening to the Dreamtime creation stories – or Tjukurpa – and looking out for kangaroos, perentie lizards and thorny devils as you go. Or trek around its base, allowing the tranquil pools, swaying desert oaks, cave shelters and rock art to soothe the soul. At sunset, ride a camel across the sand to a Sounds of Silence dinner in the desert, with wonderful food, Aboriginal dancing and, as the Rock falls under a cloak of darkness, a dazzling display of stars. This is one of Earth’s very special places, and you’ll never want to leave.
Marvel at the reef
Luckily the last stop on your Journey is equally enchanting, so you’re guaranteed to end your antipodean trip on a high. Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is the planet’s largest coral reef system, and home to turtles, rays and myriad fish, plus 30 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the reef’s diving and snorkelling spots are some of the best. After flying to Cairns, you’ll head to the laid-back, tropical town of Port Douglas, where you’ll catch a boat to the Outer Reef and take the plunge. Not sure about dipping your toe in? Kick back on one of Queensland’s famously beautiful white-sand beaches, or take a glass-bottom boat tour to see under the waves with your head above water.
Following your incredible reef experience, head to Daintree to immerse yourself in the scenic gorges, remarkable waterfalls and wildlife of the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on Earth and another UNESCO-listed gem. Now that’s a trip to remember.
Embark on our 16-day Sydney, Rock & Reef holiday, with prices from £2,799pp. Make an appointment with a Travel Expert to find out more about this trip, or to create a tailor made version of the itinerary.