Wonders of Australia

The ultimate South Pacific touring experience featuring distinct accommodations, unique activities, and must-see attractions. Spend two nights in Sydney, three nights in the Sunshine Coast, two nights in Lamington National Park, and three nights in Australia’s tropical north. Major highlights include a Great Barrier Reef tropical cruise and helicopter flight, a cruise on Sydney’s Captain Cook Harbor, a tour of the Sydney Opera House, the Kuranda Scenic Train, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, and witnessing plenty of native wildlife at the Crocodile Hunter’s Australia Zoo and other destinations. You will love Australia’s cultural diversity, magnificent sights, delightful cuisine, and deluxe accommodations.

Hosted By: Sharon DeRycke

KWQC-TV6 News Anchor

KWQC TV

View Biography

Tour Highlights
  • All airfare
  • All fuel surcharges, government, airport & departure taxes included (minimum value of $885 per person)
  • Holiday Vacations Tour Director specializing in the South Pacific
  • Experienced Driver/Guides
  • Baggage handling at hotels
  • $100 travel voucher for a future tour
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Call to Book 1-800-826-2266

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Day 1 : Depart the USA

We meet our Tour Director and prepare for our overnight flight to the Land Down Under.

Day 2 : Sydney Bound

Upon crossing the International Date Line, we lose a calendar day.

Day 3 : Harbor Cruise

This morning we arrive in Sydney, Australia’s largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city.

We’re introduced to Sydney’s sparkling waterfront playground during a delightful Captain Cook harbor cruise. Gain a glimpse of the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, the longest single span bridge in the world, sail past pristine parks, golden beaches and charming harborside neighborhoods.

This afternoon we arrive at the Rydges World Square Hotel for two nights. Our superior accommodations are conveniently located in the central business district.

Tonight, become acquainted with your fellow travelers at a Holiday Vacations Welcome Dinner hosted by your Tour Director at the Cyren Restaurant.

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Day 4 : Opera House & City Sights

Today we discover Sydney with an expert local guide. Enjoy views of the Queen Victoria Building, Hyde Park, bustling Kings Cross, and popular Bondi Beach. We marvel at the iconic sails atop the famous Sydney Opera House and enjoy a tour through this landmark venue, one of the most recognizable in the world.

Enjoy panoramic views of the harbor and city during lunch at the Sydney Tower Revolving Restaurant.

Later there’s time to visit the attractions of Darling Harbor or The Rocks. Darling Harbor is Sydney’s favorite destination for leisure and entertainment, with restaurants, cafes, museums, theaters, parks and specialty shops. The Rocks is one of the most prestigious areas in Sydney with its restored houses and buildings, spectacular views across the harbor, and cobbled streets and pathways.

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Day 5 : Tropical Cairns

This morning we fly to tropical Cairns in Far North Queensland. This is the gateway city to many of Australia’s natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef.

We visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to explore the rich history of the world’s oldest living culture, dating back over 40,000 years. We join the descendants of Tjapukai people on the foothills of the Barron Gorge rain forest for an afternoon of performances, activities, and demonstrations. Sample traditional bush foods, learn to play the didgeridoo, throw and paint a boomerang, marvel at live dance performances, gain insight into ancient hunting methods, and learn the medicinal value of native plants.

Enjoy three pleasant nights at the Flynn Hotel Cairns adjacent to the waterfront and esplanade. This stunning five-star hotel features three restaurants and bars, glass swimming pools, and the Eléme Spa and wellness center.

Day 6 : Kuranda Scenic Train & Skyrail

Upon arrival in Kuranda, there’s plenty of time to explore this fascinating mountaintop village and visit the Heritage Markets, full of colorful and interesting arts and crafts.

After lunch at Frog’s Restaurant we descend the magnificent MacAlister Range on a 4.7 mile gondola cableway. Enjoy spectacular views of the rain forest, tropical Cairns, the Coral Sea, and the lush Cairns Highlands as we glide over the rain forest canopy.

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Day 7 : Great Barrier Reef & Scenic Helicopter Ride

Today we experience one of the highlights of our tour, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. We cruise to Moore Reef located on the outer edge of the reef, the world’s largest living organism. The reef is one of Australia’s greatest national treasures and stretches more than 1,200 miles along the coast. We view vividly colored tropical fish and coral from the reef viewer, underwater observatory, and glass bottom boat. Learn about the fish and marine life that inhabit this underwater world. Enjoy breathtaking sights of the Great Barrier Reef on an included scenic helicopter flight. Swim, snorkel, or just relax in this beautiful marine setting. Lunch included.

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Day 8 : Brisbane & Lamington National Park

This morning we fly to Brisbane, the subtropical capital of Queensland and one of Australia’s most charming cities.

Our tour takes us into the Brisbane city center, past many historical and significant architectural buildings including City Hall, Parliament House, and St. John’s Cathedral.

We travel south to our accommodations for two delightful nights at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat located in the heart of one of the world’s great sub-tropical rain forests – World Heritage Lamington National Park. Enjoy a brief tour of the Retreat and get ready to explore the magnificent rain forest and its many attractions. Walk through the treetops on the famous Treetop Walk and inspect the extensive display of plants and flowers in the nearby botanical gardens.

Start the day with O’Reilly’s famous bird walk and meet the hundreds of birds that feed each morning at the Retreat. During breakfast a rain forest guide will invite us to participate in the day’s guided activities. Guided walks, a four-wheel drive trip to magnificent afternoon tea are included. Tonight, enjoy a nature presentation at the Retreat Theater or a guided walk to view nocturnal creatures such as possums, pademelons, and glowworms.

Later, appreciate the night sky with its remarkable clarity and beauty. Never before has the Southern Cross been viewed so majestically. O’Reilly’s is a stargazer’s dream.

B,D.

Day 9 : O’Reilly’s Retreat

Start the day with O’Reilly’s famous bird walk and meet the hundreds of birds that feed each morning at the Retreat. During breakfast a rain forest guide will invite us to participate in the day’s guided activities. Guided walks, a four-wheel drive trip to magnificent afternoon tea are included. Tonight, enjoy a nature presentation at the Retreat Theater or a guided walk to view nocturnal creatures such as possums, pademelons, and glowworms.

B,D.

Day 10 : Crocodile Hunter’s Australia Zoo

We depart our secluded rainforest retreat and head north to the Sunshine Coast.

We visit the Australia Zoo, situated in the shadow of the Glasshouse Mountains, home of legendary television personality Steve Irwin the “Crocodile Hunter.” See colorful birds and those prehistoric saltwater crocodiles in the Crocoseum. Experience hands-on animal encounters like nowhere else in the world. Pet a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, wallabies and see emus, wombats, dingoes, cassowaries, and kookaburras.

We arrive at our oceanfront home for the next three nights, the deluxe Monaco Resort in Caloundra. Our luxurious one bedroom apartments offer stunning views to the ocean and Bribie Island, enabling us to watch the ships go by from our balcony. All rooms are conveniently fitted with full kitchen and laundry facilities.

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Day 11 : Eumundi Markets & SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium

This morning we visit the world-famous outdoor markets in Eumundi. More than 350 market stalls showcase a wonderful mix of local produce, arts, crafts and fashion.

Later we take a fascinating journey from the coast to the ocean depths on a guided tour through the SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium and Oceanarium. Explore 16 themed zones and soak-up the amazing view from the seabed in the ocean tunnel. Get up close to over 10,000 creatures including Australia’s largest collection of jellyfish and most diverse arrays of marine life. Meet the rare weedy sea dragons, the resident seals, plus over 20 species of shark and rays.

We enjoy lunch at the Pub at Aussie World, a popular Sunshine Coast icon. The Pub’s claim to fame is due to its quirky shape and the caricature exterior.

The remainder of the afternoon is free to experience Caloundra’s charm and stroll along the coastal boardwalks beside Bulcock and Kings Beach.

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Day 12 : Noosa Eco-Cruise

This morning we follow the stunning coastline rimmed with wide stretches of clean, white sand beaches to Noosa.

We experience the rich history and natural beauty that earned Noosa the title of Queensland’s first UNESCO biosphere. The Noosa Eco-Cruise provides spectacular views of beaches, mountains, birds and marine life. We enjoy a short guided walk to discover native plants, then reboard our vessel for a generous morning tea in the shadow of the national park. There’s time to stroll along Noosa’s famous Main Beach and visit fashionable Hastings Street, home to the best in boutiques, renowned cafes, and restaurants.

We gather this evening for our special Farewell Dinner.

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Day 13 : Fond Farewells

This morning we bid farewell to Australia. We cross the International Date Line and return home with cherished memories.

Additional Tour Information

Your Holiday Vacations Experience Includes

  • All airfare
  • All fuel surcharges, government, airport & departure taxes included (minimum value of $885 per person)
  • Holiday Vacations Tour Director specializing in the South Pacific
  • Experienced Driver/Guides
  • Baggage handling at hotels
  • $100 travel voucher for a future tour

All Accommodations Featuring

  • 2 nights at the Rydges World Square Hotel Sydney
  • 3 nights at the Flynn Hotel Cairns
  • 2 nights at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park
  • 3 nights at the Monaco Resort Caloundra, The Sunshine Coast

Attractions & Highlights

  • Captain Cook Harbor Cruise
  • Sydney’s Darling Harbor
  • Sydney city sights
  • Sydney Opera House guided tour
  • Bondi Beach
  • Tropical Cairns
  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park featuring the Creation Story, Tjapukai Dancers, bush foods and medicines, didgeridoo, boomerang and spear throwing demonstrations
  • Kuranda Scenic Train
  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Great Barrier Reef cruise, scenic helicopter flight, reef viewer & glass bottom boat
  • Brisbane “The Subtropical Capital”
  • Lamington National Park
  • O’Reilly’s Rain Forest Treetop Walk
  • Bird & Glowworm guided walks
  • Four-wheel drive guided tour
  • Australia’s Sunshine Coast
  • Crocodile Hunter's Australian Zoo
  • Eumundi Outdoor Markets
  • SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium
  • Noosa Eco-Cruise

14 Excellent Meals Featuring

  • Holiday Vacations Welcome Dinner in Sydney
  • Lunch at the Sydney Tower Revolving Restaurant
  • Lunch at Frog’s Restaurant in Kuranda
  • Dinners and breakfasts at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
  • Lunch at The Pub at Aussie World
  • Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner in Caloundra

Tour Dates & Pricing

October 11th, 2020 - October 23rd, 2020

Category - Occupancy

Price (Per Person)

Double

$6999

Single

$8199

Final Payment Date: 07/8/2020

Tour Map for Wonders of Australia

Departure Cities

KWQC TV Pickup Locations:

Davenport, IA - Best Western Plus SteepleGate Inn

Chicago, IL - O'Hare International Airport

Maquoketa, IA - AmericInn (formerly Centerstone Inn & Suites)

Rock Falls, IL - Walmart

Sharon DeRycke

Sharon DeRycke anchors the KWQC-TV6 News at 4:00, 5:00, and 10:00 p.m.

Sharon started at KWQC-TV6 in 1989 as a reporter. Sharon grew up on a farm about 100 miles from here, but she loves the Quad City area and considers this her home.

Sharon is married and has a son and a daughter. In her spare time, she likes to play golf, exercise and hang out by the pool. She is also a big Harry Potter fan.

Join Sharon and other KWQC viewers on this fabulous trip of a lifetime.