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Hosted By: Ron Hearst
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 at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, and three nights in Australia’s tropical north. Major highlights include a Great Barrier Reef cruise and helicopter flight, a cruise on Sydney’s sparkling 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.
You can earn a $100 Travel Show Credit good for your next trip with Holiday Vacations by simply clicking the photo to watch the online travel show! The show is about 10 minutes long and at the end, you'll have the ability to submit your contact information and receive a travel credit which can be applied to this or any Holiday Vacations tour. Get started now!
October 15th, 2023 - October 27th, 2023
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 07/12/2023
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 harbor cruise. Gain a glimpse of the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, the longest single span bridge in the world, and sail past pristine parks, golden beaches, and charming harborside neighborhoods. This afternoon we arrive at our hotel, conveniently located in the central business district.
Day 4 : City Sights & Opera House
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 Sydney Tower. 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 historic and affluent areas in Sydney with its restored houses and buildings, spectacular views across the harbor, and cobbled streets and pathways.
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. Enjoy three pleasant nights at the luxurious Crystalbrook Flynn Hotel, adjacent to the waterfront and esplanade. This stunning five-star hotel features three restaurants and bars, glass swimming pools, and Eléme Day Spa and Wellness Center.
Day 6 : Kuranda Scenic Train
Today we experience one of the most spectacular rail excursions in the world on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Our journey reveals lush, wondrous World Heritage rainforest, steep ravines, and picturesque waterfalls within Barron Gorge National Park. Upon arrival in Kuranda, there’s time to explore this fascinating mountaintop village and visit the Heritage Markets, full of colorful and interesting arts and crafts. After lunch at Frogs Restaurant we descend the magnificent MacAlister Range on Skyrail, a 4.7-mile gondola cableway. Enjoy spectacular views of the Coral Sea and lush Cairns Highlands as we glide over the rainforest canopy.
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, the world’s largest living organism and one of Australia’s greatest national treasures stretching 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.
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. After a brief visit we travel inland past dairy farms, wineries, quaint villages, and ascend a scenic, windy road through the Green Mountains. Our accommodations for the next two nights are at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, located in the heart of one of the world’s great subtropical rainforests, World Heritage Lamington National Park. Enjoy a brief tour of the Retreat and get ready to explore the magnificent rainforest 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. 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.
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 rainforest guide will invite us to participate in the day’s guided activities. Guided walks and a four-wheel drive journey to a 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.
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 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.
Day 11 : Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Traveling away from the glistening coastline, we enter the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with its picture-perfect views of the lush, green Blackall ranges. Our included lunch is at the award-winning Secrets on the Lake café, perched in rainforest canopy facing the shores of Lake Baroon. Visit Montville, a charming hinterland village with unique galleries and studios showcasing local artists and their work.
Day 12 : Noosa 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 Cruise provides spectacular views of beaches, mountains, birds and marine life. Later we visit the world’s longest running silent film theatre in the quaint historic town of Pomona. The Majestic Theater has been in operation for almost 100 years and is the only authentic silent picture theater fully operating as such in the world. The hall originally showed silent films, vaudeville productions, and acted as a social center for the town. We gather this evening for our special Farewell Dinner.
Day 13 : Fond Farewells
This morning we bid farewell to Australia. We cross the International Date Line and return home with cherished memories.
KYTV Pickup Locations:
Springfield, MO - Springfield-Branson National Airport
Weather has been a lifelong passion. The son of an Air Force lieutenant colonel, Ron traveled around the world as a youngster and experienced all kinds of weather. He earned his B.S. degree in Meteorology from Saint Louis University in 1984.
Ron’s television career began at WSIL-TV in Harrisburg, IL. The challenge of being the first meteorologist at the new Springfield ABC affiliate drew him to KSPR in 1986. Upon leaving KSPR, Ron had brief stints at KJRH in Tulsa and KMOV in St. Louis before returning to Springfield at KY3 in 1993.
Ron has also won many awards for his work including several Missouri Broadcasters Association awards for Best Weathercast and the AMS award for Outstanding Service by a Broadcast Meteorologist for coverage of the Stockton and Pierce City tornadoes in 2003.
Join Ron and other KY3 viewers on this wonderful tour!
Tour days tend to be shorter in length, at a relaxed pace, and include lots of unscheduled time for leisure. Expect standing and walking for extended periods of time on flat surfaces, mostly low altitudes, and consistent temperatures.
Tour days usually move at a leisurely pace. Some days’ scheduled activities last longer than others. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on occasionally uneven terrain. You may experience changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a consistent pace, and may include long travel days. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on uneven surfaces. Some destinations may have changes in altitude and/or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a brisk pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a vigorous pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on rough surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.