Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and Hunter Valley
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|Trip Length||7 days/6 nights|
|Price||$4695 to 5095|
|If you have questions about this journey or would like to receive a detailed trip brochure, call 800-445-2995 or click here.|
Day 1 (Sydney) Get to know your guide and fellow traveling companions this morning on a walk to the colorful Sydney Sunday Market. You’ll have an hour or two to wander the stalls before walking on to the Sydney Opera House for a tour of this masterpiece of late modern architecture. In its short lifetime, the Opera House has earned a reputation as a world-class performing arts centre and become a symbol of both Sydney and the Australian nation. After lunch we grab our comfortable rental bikes for a two-wheel excursion around the vibrant and historic downtown area, sticking mostly to parks and the harbor front.
Day 2 (Sydney and Royal National Park) A short drive and ferry ride takes us to Royal National Park, the second oldest national park in the world. The park’s diverse terrain includes everything from broken coastal cliffs to rugged valleys and steep plateaus. We’ll walk part of the Coast Track, taking in the magnificent views and watching for whales. Back in Sydney, we’ll drive along the coast and enjoy afternoon tea and snacks at famous Bondi Beach, a popular gathering place. You can take a swim here if you like.
Day 3 (Blue Mountains) A two-hour drive this morning takes us to the Blue Mountains, named for the bluish color the range has when viewed from a distance. The Blue Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of seven national parks, and our local host is an award-winning naturalist who has lived here for 45 years. Today we visit the Three Sisters, the most spectacular landmark in the Blues. The unusual rock formation is said to represent three sisters who were, according to aboriginal legend, turned to stone. The tallest sister stands at nearly 3,000 feet.
Day 4 (Blue Mountains) We travel by 4-wheel-drive through hidden valleys to our breakfast spot where we sip coffee and munch scones in the company of wild kangaroos. The rest of the day we explore lesser-known trails, sights, and natural features of the Blues. Along the way we learn fascinating bits about the Aboriginal history and culture that is so imbedded in these mountains.
Day 5 (Hunter Valley) A very scenic 3.5-hour drive takes us from the Blue Mountains to the famous Hunter Valley. The valley is Australia’s premier wine growing district, and also boasts a number of artisan cheese makers and chocolatiers. For much of our time here we’re in the capable hands of “two fat blokes” eager to introduce us to the Hunter Valley’s true characters, hidden boutique wineries and restaurants, and outstanding local foods. This afternoon we visit at least three wineries for personalized tastings, then enjoy a delicious afternoon tea of cheeses and something sweet to pair with a selection of dessert wines.
Day 6 (Hunter Valley) Wake up hungry, because today is filled with more delectable treats! We visit a cheesemaker and a brewery, enjoy a chocolate and wine matching experience, and who knows what else the blokes have in store! Weather permitting, we’ll enjoy lunch at a table set up in a vineyard, and munch our way through a generous antipasto platter made up of locally produced cheeses, chicken, pickles, bread, olives, and other treats. Fortunately, we have a nice opportunity to walk it all off along the manicured paths of the impressive Hunter Valley Gardens.
Day 7 (Sydney) Share favorite impressions and memories with your companions this morning on the 3-hour drive back to Sydney through beautiful national parklands. You can catch connections home today—or extend your trip! This “Taste of Australia” Small Group Adventure is intentionally short to allow time for you to have a personal adventure planned just for you. Talk to our Australia Regional Specialist for ideas.