Australia Wildlife Tour
Explore the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland on Australia’s east coast before crossing the country to Western Australia where sandy beaches, abundant wildlife and Australia’s lesser-known gem, Ningaloo Reef, await. This 10-day adventure will be the trip of a lifetime.
Day 1: Brisbane
Start your journey in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland. See the city from above and get your pulse racing by climbing to the top of Story Bridge, which was built in 1940 and towers 80 metres (262 feet) above Brisbane River. The fully guided two-hour tour allows for plenty of awe-inspiring views over the river and city skyline. Next, head to South Bank, a popular precinct along Brisbane’s southern river bank. Here you can enjoy lunch and swim at Streets Beach, a man-made freshwater lagoon. After lunch visit the nearby Queensland Art Gallery-Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), which is home to Australia’s largest gallery of modern and contemporary art. The galleries are architectural wonders themselves and include two spaces devoted to Aboriginal works. In the evening head to Eagle Street Pier and choose from some of the city’s best restaurants.
Day 2: Cairns
Fly to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest in northern Queensland. Once you’ve arrived in Cairns, a visit to the rainforest village of Kuranda is a must. The journey to and from the village is an incredible experience in itself. The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 90-minute gondola journey that moves above the rainforest canopy allowing for spectacular views. Once in Kuranda, explore the daily local markets, quirky boutiques and perhaps call in to one of the wildlife parks or the butterfly sanctuary. A return to Cairns is just as impressive on the Kuranda Scenic Railway – a two-hour train journey that traverses dense rainforest, rugged mountains and the stunning Barron Gorge.
Day 3: Great Barrier Reef
It is time to experience one of the wonders of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef. There are many ways to see the world’s largest reef system, which comprises 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands and 300 coral cays. Here you can snorkel, dive, see coral and fish up close and enjoy a delicious lunch. Alternatively, see the Great Barrier Reef from a different perspective by taking a scenic flight by a helicopter. Back on land, end the day with an alfresco dinner waiting for you on the beach.
Day 4: Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Rainforest is a living museum of flora and fauna dating back at least 135 million years and is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest in Australia. It is also home to a number of rare and endangered species, including the southern cassowary and Bennett’s tree-kangaroo. Follow one of the many rainforest walks from the Daintree Discovery Centre or join a gentle wildlife cruise down the Daintree River to spot estuarine crocodiles, birds, frogs, snakes and lizards. Don’t miss the guided Dreamtime Walk from the Mossman Gorge Centre. Led by the local Indigenous people, you’ll be welcomed by a traditional smoking ceremony before learning about Kuku Yalanji culture and traditions as you stroll through the forest.
Day 5: Perth
In the morning fly to Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Head to Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner city parks offering splendid views over the Swan River and city skyline. Here you’ll find the Western Australian Botanic Garden which features more than 3,000 species of native flora. Enjoy the city at your leisure, soaking up the sun and the beautiful views of the city. Alternatively, you may prefer to just kick back on Cottesloe Beach and watch the sun set over the ocean.
Day 6: Fremantle and Rottnest Island
Leave Perth for the nearby port city of Fremantle, which boasts one of the best preserved 19th century port streetscapes in the world. Foodies and craft lovers will be right at home at Fremantle Markets, while shoppers can find a range of local design shops and art galleries along Market and High streets. Hop on a ferry for the 25-minute ride to Rottnest Island. Located 19 kilometres off the coast, the island is surrounded by aquamarine waters. As there are no cars on the island, Rottnest’s 63 beaches and 20 secluded bays are best explored on bicycle. Keep your eyes peeled for the resident quokkas, cute and curious marsupials with brown-grey fur. Enjoy snorkelling at Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay and go birdwatching for wedge-tailed shearwaters and osprey.
day 7-8: Exmouth
From Perth, fly to Exmouth, which will be your base for the next two days while you explore the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef. A 260-klilometre coral reef fringes this glorious coastline and its waters are rich with tropical fish, manta rays and the harmless whale shark. Turquoise Bay is a great place to try snorkelling for the first time, with its clear, shallow water brimming with colourful corals. Want to try scuba diving? There are a number of diving tours to experience this breathtaking underworld.
day 9: Perth
Fly back to Perth from Exmouth and spend your afternoon visiting Northbridge, a short 10-minute walk from the city centre. The area is known for its delicious global flavours, great restaurants and bars. For a culture fix, spend the afternoon exploring the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum or the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) and The Perth Mint- the place where they produce premium gold and platinum products.
day 10: Swan Valley
For your final day, head out to the Swan Valley, less than a 30-minute drive east from Perth and the closest wine region to any capital city in Australia. Explore the National Trust town of Guilford, established in 1829 as the market town of the Swan River Colony. Enjoy self-guided walks around town to see Stirling Square shaded by ancient sugar gums as well as historic buildings including the Rose & Crown Pub, still popular with the locals. Join wine tasting for a selection of wines paired with local cheeses. Return to Perth for your final night.
Highlights of this trip
Visit the vibrant cities of Brisbane, Cairns and Perth
Snorkel the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef
Experience tropical rainforests and glistening beaches