Melbourne is a modern metropolis located on the banks of the Yarra River and known for its many gardens, parks and open spaces, which together occupy almost one-third of the city. There are more than 50 000 plant species in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens and this collection gives insight into the rich indigenous flora found in the city and its surrounds. The town is also becoming an increasingly popular culinary destination, with the Southbank and Arts Centre buzzing with restaurants, bars and live entertainment. 'Doing the block' is a well-known phrase for an exploration of the hidden lanes and alleyways around Bourke, Collins and Flinders streets, while Queen Victoria Market is a popular shopping spot that has been selling clothing, art, toys, crafts and vegetables for over a century.Days 1 & 2
A popular resort town located in the state of Victoria on Australia’s southern coast, Lorne offers great beaches, scenic walks and lively nightlife. Active travellers, particularly, will relish a visit to Lorne, with its excellent surfing conditions and extended walking trails through towering blue gum forests. Other popular activities include trips to Teddy’s Lookout, which gives a raking view over the Louttit Bay, and to the Angahook-Lorne State Park, which is home to some rare wildlife and the 30-metre Erskine Falls. Meanwhile, Lorne’s attractive Pier area hosts the town’s best bars and restaurants, and offers recreational fishing spots as well. Lorne is most memorably accessed via the wonderful Great Ocean Road, which connects the city to Melbourne. Don’t miss the chance to take this 140-kilometre trip, one of Australia’s most celebrated drives.Day 3
As previously described.Day 4
Located in the south of Australia’s Northern Territory, the remote town of Yulara lies only 18 short kilometres from the sacred world heritage site, Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. This isolated town serves as a service hub for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and offers some welcome comfort in the harsh Outback landscape. Visitors use it as a base when exploring the park and viewing the main attraction in the area, Uluru. This epic sandstone formation stands almost 350 metres high and measures 10 kilometres in circumference featuring hidden caves, ancient rock art and otherworldly fiery hues at sunset. Other popular attractions and activities include: the Field of Light Uluru, the Desert Awakenings Tour and the Wintjiri Arts & Museum.Days 5 & 6
Once a sleepy sugar-milling town, Cairns in North Queensland is now a vibrant cosmopolitan city and a premier destination for sailing, diving and snorkelling. Its tropical waters are home to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, while lush rain forests cover the surrounding areas. Ways to make the most of this coastal paradise include cycling along the 14 kilometres of sandy beachfront, or rafting through rapids to view the ruins of Mission Beach. Other popular activities include: visiting Cooktown for a taste of history or taking a scenic drive through the farmlands and popping in at the various village markets along the way. In the town centre, visit the Tiapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a musical and dance interpretation of Aboriginal history, or relax at Cairns Esplanade for a perfect seaside dining experience coupled with a romantic sunset.Days 7 - 9
Set along Australia's southeastern coast, Sydney is one of Australia's largest cities and serves as the capital of New South Wales. No matter what you fancy – shopping, the arts, the outdoors – you’re likely to be bewildered by the scope of choice available here. First up, there are the must-sees – Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Tower for its 360-degree views of the city, the waterside hubs of Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, and the Rocks district for shopping. After dark, the glitzy city comes alive with a larger-than-life food and music scene that extends into the early hours. For more laid-back diversions, head down to the beach or hop on a ferry for an extensive tour of the Sydney Harbour, the Parramatta River and numerous locations lying waterside.Days 10 - 12
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