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Australia, New Zealand & Tahiti
Central & South America
Europe, Africa & the Middle East
West & Mid-West USA
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Hosted By: Ralph Hipp
Embark on the ultimate South Pacific adventure featuring exceptional accommodations, unique activities, and must-see attractions. Spend two nights in Sydney, three nights in the Brisbane area, two nights in Lamington National Park at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, and three nights in Australia’s tropical north. Enjoy a full day of bucket list experiences at the Great Barrier Reef with a semi-submersible observatory, glass-bottom boat ride, helicopter flight, and the opportunity to snorkel in this extraordinary habitat. Cruise the Sydney Harbor, enjoy a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, and ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway through Barron Gorge National Park in North Queensland, known for its gorges, mountains, streams, and the tropical village of Kuranda. Relax on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway gondola ride with spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and witness an abundance of native wildlife at the Australia Zoo, home of late legendary television personality, Steve Irwin the “Crocodile Hunter.” You will love Australia’s cultural diversity, magnificent sights, delightful cuisine, and friendly locals.
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 6th, 2024 - October 18th, 2024
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 07/03/2024
Day 1 : Depart the USA
We meet our Tour Director and prepare for our overnight flight to the Land Down Under. Enjoy superb service and tasty meals as we fly to our destination.
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 the sparkling waterfront during a delightful Sydney Harbor Cruise with included luncheon. Enjoy views 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. The evening is yours to get to know the city or rest up for the adventures ahead.
Day 4 : City Sights & Opera House
After an included breakfast, we’re off to 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 VIP tour through this landmark venue, one of the most recognizable architectural wonders in the world. Take in panoramic views of the harbor and city during lunch in revolving Sydney Tower. Later, there’s time to visit the attractions of Darling Harbor, Sydney’s favorite area for leisure and entertainment, or The Rocks, one of the most historic and affluent areas of the city with restored buildings, harbor views, and cobbled 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 iconic Great Barrier Reef. After a visit to Cairns Aquarium, we check in to our luxurious, five-star hotel that features three restaurants and bars, glass swimming pools, and Eléme Day Spa and Wellness Center. The rest of the day is yours to take advantage of these fabulous amenities, relax with unbeatable waterfront views, or stroll down the adjacent Cairns Esplanade.
Day 6 : Kuranda Scenic Railway & Skyrail
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 a 4.7-mile gondola cableway. Listen for the sounds of the sulfur crested cockatoo, and enjoy spectacular views of the rainforest highlands, Cairns, and the Coral Sea as we glide over dense forest canopy. We then return to our upscale hotel for the evening.
Day 7 : Great Barrier Reef & Scenic Helicopter Ride
Get ready for the ultimate bucket list experience today as we visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia’s greatest national treasures and the world’s largest living organism, 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 and enjoy breathtaking sights of the Great Barrier Reef on an included scenic helicopter flight. You may also choose to 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. We then travel inland past dairy farms, wineries, quaint villages, and ascend a scenic, windy road through the Green Mountains. Our accommodations 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. After a brief tour of the Retreat, explore the magnificent rainforest and its many attractions. Walk through the treetops on the famous Treetop Walk and view the extensive display of flora in the nearby botanical gardens. Later, we enjoy a stargazer’s dream as we appreciate the night sky with its remarkable clarity and beauty. Never before has the Southern Cross been viewed so majestically.
Day 9 : O’Reilly’s Retreat
Our day begins with O’Reilly’s famous bird walk to 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 activities. Board a four-wheel drive vehicle for a journey that includes a guided walk and traditional bush tea. After dinner together, enjoy a nature presentation at the Retreat Theater or a stroll to view nocturnal creatures such as possums, pademelons, and glowworms.
Day 10 : Crocodile Hunter’s Australia Zoo
Today, we depart our secluded rainforest retreat and head north to the Sunshine Coast. We visit the Australia Zoo, home of late legendary television personality, Steve Irwin the “Crocodile Hunter.” See colorful birds and prehistoric saltwater crocodiles in the Crocoseum, then 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. Later, we arrive at our beautiful hotel and have an evening at leisure.
Day 11 : Sunshine Coast
We start our day traveling away from the glistening coastline and 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 the rainforest canopy facing Lake Baroon’s shores. Upon returning to our beautiful resort, the afternoon is yours to spend as you wish. Relax, stroll along the beach, or visit The Wharf Mooloolaba to enjoy a variety of entertainment, shopping, and dining options.
Day 12 : Noosa Cruise
This morning we follow the stunning coastline rimmed with wide stretches of clean, white sand beaches to Noosa. Discover the rich history and natural beauty that earned Noosa the title of Queensland’s first UNESCO biosphere. We embark on a Noosa Cruise for spectacular views of beaches, mountains, birds, and marine life. Later, we visit The Majestic Theater, the world’s longest running silent film theatre in the quaint historic town of Pomona. It has been in operation for almost 100 years and is the only authentic, fully operating silent picture theater in the world. The hall originally showed silent films, vaudeville productions, and acted as a social center for the town. This evening, we gather to celebrate our Australia adventures with a special Farewell Dinner.
Day 13 : Return Home
WIBW TV Pickup Locations:
Kansas City, MO - Kansas City International Airport
Topeka, KS - Hotel Topeka At City Center
Host Ralph Hipp is enjoying retirement and Holiday Vacation journeys after 30 years of anchoring the news for WIBW-TV, capping off more than 50 years in radio and television. Fans have thanked him for his dedication to broadcasting 13 News, including his reports on hundreds of “Good Kids” all around the area. Ralph interviewed hundreds of Northeast Kansas guests and a few celebrities too, on his famous “Red Couch” show, which is still going strong on WIBW-TV.
Ralph and his wife Sheila have taken many Holiday Vacations trips over those years, including Ireland/Scotland, Austria/Germany, Paris, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Alaska, and California. Now comes the biggest adventure of them all, Australia!
Ralph and Sheila welcome you and other WIBW TV viewers on this beautiful and exciting journey!
Interested in more travel opportunities? Click here or visit www.holidayvacations.com and enter keyword TOPEKA.
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.