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Hosted By: Sam Dick
Retired News Anchor
This is the ultimate South Pacific touring experience featuring distinct 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. Major highlights include a Great Barrier Reef 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. Delight in the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway gondola ride with spectacular views of the rainforest canopy, and witness plenty of native wildlife at the Australia Zoo, home of legendary television personality Steve Irwin the “Crocodile Hunter.” 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 1st, 2023 - October 13th, 2023
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 06/28/2023
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 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 Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, a 4.7-mile gondola ride. 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 are at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, located in the heart of one of the world’s great subtropical rainforests and World Heritage-listed, Lamington National Park. Enjoy a brief tour of the Retreat and get ready to explore the magnificent rainforest and its many attractions. Discover the famous Tree Top Walk and inspect the extensive display of plants and flowers in the nearby botanical gardens. Later, experience every stargazer’s dream, a majestic night sky of remarkable clarity filled with celestial wonders only visible from the Southern hemisphere.
Day 9 : O’Reilly’s Retreat
Start the day with O’Reilly’s morning bird walk and meet the hundreds of birds that arrive to feed each morning. 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 traditional bush 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 and 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 the rainforest canopy facing Lake Baroon’s shores. We visit Montville, a charming hinterland village with unique galleries and studios showcasing local artists and their work.
Day 12 : Noosa Cruise
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. We enjoy a short guided walk to discover native plants. 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. 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.
WKYT TV Pickup Locations:
Cincinnati, OH - Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Lexington, KY - Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa
Sam has been a mainstay on WKYT’s airwaves for decades. He started as a reporter in 1979, and it wasn’t long before he made the move to co-host of PM Magazine. Sam took his storytelling to New York and worked as a general assignment reporter for WCBS. Later, he went to Orlando and specialized in health, consumer, and investigative reporting at WESH. Then WKYT General Manager Ralph Gabbard had an opening on the anchor desk. “I was thrilled at the opportunity. I felt like I had tasted the larger markets, but Lexington was home.” Sam started his second stint at WKYT in 1987 and retired in November of 2022.
In June of 2022 he began doing feature reporting in a segment called “Off the Beaten Path” on public radio station WEKU and eight other stations in Central, Southern, and Eastern Kentucky.
Sam is the winner of numerous awards including five regional Emmy Awards and two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. He is also an Eagle Scout. Sam has been married to the love of his life, Noelle, for over 27 years. He has three grown children.
Join Sam and WKYT viewers on this fabulous trip of a lifetime.
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.