First Choice
Internal-vacation flights included
Internal-vacation flights included

Contrasts of Australia

9 Day Guided Vacation | Melbourne to Sydney

There’s no denying Australia’s diversity. This Melbourne to Sydney tour invites you to glimpse a full range of natural attractions, whether two World Heritage Sites in Cairns (the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics of Queensland) or the eye-popping, art-clad laneways of Melbourne and architectural marvel of Sydney Opera House. Wherever you venture, expect to discover First Nations culture.

Prices From Code: ACANA


Adult Twin i A person 16 years and over (note a person 16–17 years must be accompanied by a person 18 years and over). All prices are per person, land only unless otherwise indicated.


Single i A person, who must be 18 years and over, travelling alone, must pay the single room price. All prices are per person, land only unless otherwise indicated.
Prices above are per person in USD
Child prices are available on request

*Internal-vacation flights: Please note that the price includes land and internal-vacation airfares, which are required to be booked in order to fulfil the vacation itinerary.

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Contrasts of Australia

First Choice

9 Day Guided Vacation

Melbourne to Sydney

There’s no denying Australia’s diversity. This Melbourne to Sydney tour invites you to glimpse a full range of natural attractions, whether two World Heritage Sites in Cairns (the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics of Queensland) or the eye-popping, art-clad laneways of Melbourne and architectural marvel of Sydney Opera House. Wherever you venture, expect to discover First Nations culture.


Local Connection

Fall in love with Sydney’s Wendy’s Secret Garden; a volunteer horticulturalist revealing secret nooks in this floral wonderland.

Insider Knowledge

Meet the team behind a hip Sydney craft brewery, with a masterclass on making beer that represents the community.

Cultural Immersion

Melbourne’s laneways are a work of art, with street murals, hidden bars, boutiques, and cafés. We’ll show you where to look.

Sustainable Footprints

Cairns is the gateway to World Heritage listed rainforest. Ensure its protection by helping plant trees with our Rainforest Restoration project.


image map

Welcome to Melbourne! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director for a welcome reception and dinner at the South Wharf riverside pub, The General Assembly. It's a great opportunity to get to know everyone in a unique setting.

  Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine

Join your Travel Director for a city sights tour that includes a private walk through Melbourne's famous hidden laneways. You'll discover the city's eclectic little lanes, arcades, café society and fascinating street art. There's time afterwards to explore the city on your own, enjoy an optional experience or simply relax and watch the world go by.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning you will be transferred to Melbourne Airport for your flight to Cairns, Queensland. On arrival join a private wildlife journey at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a boat cruise and encounter koalas, wallabies, birds, crocodiles and more! There will be time to partake in regenerating the rainforest particular to the Wangetti Valley which Hartley’s is located in. Feel free to join is as much or as little as you can with this tree planting project and be a part of keeping the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics alive. This evening is free for you to choose from the numerous restaurants that Cairns has to offer.

  Hotel: Hilton Hotel Cairns, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Get ready for an experience of a lifetime - board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft, just one metre underwater. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today is a free day to do as you choose. A great option is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda, be amazed as you travel over and through World Heritage rainforest, explore quaint Kuranda village and later board the Kuranda Scenic Rail for this historic rail journey. If you’d prefer to spend the day relaxing by your hotel pool or sitting back at a local café you can do that too! In the evening re-join your travelling companions for a dining experience at Ochre Restaurant.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Following a leisurely start to the morning, it’s time to switch the tropical vibes back to city highlights as you fly to Sydney. What a way to kick off your arrival to Sydney with a dinner cruise enjoying the famous Sydney Harbour! You’ll pass under the Harbour Bridge, cruise past the Opera House and see many magnificent waterfront homes, beaches and parklands.

  Hotel: Hyatt Regency Darling Harbour, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Discover the highlights of beautiful Sydney with a driving city tour. If there was ever a place that slipped from the pages of a fairy-tale, Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay is it. Overlooking Sydney Harbour, this pocket of floral paradise is explained by a local volunteer – did you know this was once unused wasteland? Your visit provides a contribution to the ongoing maintenance of the enchanting garden. Explore Sydney’s inner west and enjoy a lunch with the locals at the pub. Then drive through Newtown to Batch Brewery where you will take part in a masterclass and learn how they combine creatively inspired limited release batches with sustainable practices.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Lunch

The day is yours to explore at your leisure or book one of our optional activities. Dinner tonight is beside Sydney Harbour. Because can you ever get enough? 

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Bid farewell to your fellow traveller when your holiday comes to an end after breakfast.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort.
The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne is located on Spencer Street on the fringe of the CBD. Just a short stroll to Crown Casino, Docklands and South Wharf, Crowne Plaza Melbourne is a Southbank hotel ideally situated on the bank of the Yarra River.


  • 220/240 V AC
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Wi-Fi
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Microwave
  • Hair Dryer
  • Communal self-catering kitchen
  • Manual temperature control
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Set amid tropical greenery on Cairns’ waterfront, this hotel is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef Terminal is just 400 metres from the hotel’s front doors, and both the Boardwalk and Esplanade dining precincts are just a short 2 minute stroll.


  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio
  • Phone
  • Private balcony
  • Bathrobe
  • Bathroom Amenities
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet Access
  • Mini Bar
  • Iron / Ironing Board
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

As one of Australia's largest hotel, we are a self-rated 4.5 star hotel with 648 rooms including 17 suites, we have what matters most to you like stylish rooms and a comfortable bed. Located in Sydney's Central Business District and overlooking the spectacular Darling Harbour, you'll be surrounded by all of Sydney's major entertainment and shopping districts including Pitt Street Mall and Queen Victoria Building with The Rocks, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House just a 15 minute walk away!


  • Hair Dryer
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Wi-Fi (additional cost)
  • In-room safe
  • Mini Bar
  • iPhone/iPad connectivity
  • Newly Refurbished
Need accommodation before or after your tour?

Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Optional Experiences

To ensure your holiday is filled with memorable experiences, we have included a range of quality Optional Excursions for you to choose from and partake in, if you wish, during your holiday. The excursions can be booked on tour through your Travel Director.

Adult Price: AUD 72.00
Child Price: AUD 23.00

Sydney Tower Restaurant Dinner

Enjoy a memorable evening perched high above the city with uninterrupted revolving views. This delicious buffet dinner includes over 40 freshly prepared dishes across a range of international cuisines including a selection of fresh seafood, salads, hot dishes and desserts.  Prices from:

Adult Price: AUD 184.00

Great Adventures Introductory Dive

For an underwater adventure to remember, experience an introductory dive! It’s fun and no experience is necessary to take a fully supervised introductory dive. Professional and experienced instructors will guide you through every aspect of your dive, allowing you to have a relaxed, enjoyable experience.

Adult Price: From AUD 99.00
Child Price: From AUD 45.00

Dinner and Harbour Cruise on Spirit of Cairns

A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Step aboard the luxury catamaran Spirit of Cairns for a 2.5 hour evening cruise through the calm water inlet and waterfront precinct of Cairn. Enjoy fabulous dining and live music with the lights of Cairns City and mountain silhouettes as your backdrop. 

Adult Price: AUD $266 Child Price: AUD $246

A cultural journey taking you from coast to rainforest experiencing natural beauty and ancient culture.
Learn traditional hunting and gathering skills as you search for bush tucker of mud crabs, fish and mussels before tasting and sharing what you have caught and gathered. A short drive away is the lush rainforest of Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre. Here you will experience the splendour of the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. Enjoy a guided interpretive walk through the ancient rainforest and along the banks of the pristine waters of the Mossman Gorge. Lunch & damper included.

Adult Price: AUD $175 Child Price: AUD $92

Down Under Tours Kuranda Skyrail and Scenic Railway

Join your Down Under Tours coach transfer to Smithfield Station. Here you join Skyrail and marvel at the World's Most Beautiful Rainforest Experience, including time at both Red Peak and Barron Falls stations, both with spectacular lookouts. On arrival in Kuranda, the Village is yours to explore. The vibrant and colourful Heritage markets take place daily. Your return to Cairns is aboard the famous Kuranda Scenic Rail. Winding around curves, across bridges and through hand-hewn tunnels, this amazing engineering feat is a tribute to our pioneers. Upon arrival at historic Freshwater Station, you will board your coach back to your accommodation. 

Adult Price: AUD 330.00 + flight levy
Child Price: AUD 290.00 + flight levy

Hot Air Cairns - 30 or 60 Minute Flight

Enjoy a spectacular balloon flight over the Atherton Tablelands the hot air ballooning capital of the southern hemisphere.

*Additional $30.00 insurance levy to be paid direct to Hot Air Cairns applies.

** If your tour ends in Cairns, you must have post tour accommodation or a late departing flight. Ask us for details

Adult Price: AUD 175.00
Child Price: AUD 85.00

Phillip Island - Penguins, Koalas & Wildlife

If you’re curious about our native wildlife or just love animals, we’ve got you covered today! Start the day off with a visit to the Koala Conservation Reserve where you’ll join an experienced park Ranger and explore the tree top boardwalks to see the koalas up close in their natural habitat.Then there is the main attraction – The little penguins waddling up the sand to their dune burrow homes returning from their daily fishing excursion. Arrive at Phillip Island Parade Visitors Centre and learn about the life cycle of the little penguins and learn of the environmental and conservation initiatives in place to ensure the wildlife and vulnerable geology of Phillip Island remains protected.  As the sun goes down, head to the beach and watch as the Little Penguins battle the surf and make their way to their dune burrows. See the Little Penguins up close as they return to their nests to greet their families.


Adult: $43.00

Child: $23.00

Join a Local Guide on a behind the scenes tour of the Sydney Opera House as you go on a journey to uncover untold stories, anecdotes and history as you discover the magic beneath the sails. Watch unforgettable moments from past Concert Hall performances, learn the history and future of this world-famous building that boasts heritage inspired interiors and state or the art technology and of course marvel at the soaring cathedral interiors.

Optional Experiences indicated are Australian or New Zealand dollars. Please note that occasionally weather or seasonal conditions may not permit their operation. Some also depend on a minimum number of participants and suitable time being available. Please see your Travel Director for a full list of experiences.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • • 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House
  • • Be My Guest Experience in Sydney ‘s Inner West

What to Bring

  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months
  • • Camera
  • • Comfortable walking shoes
  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required


  • • Breakfast (8)
  • • Lunch (1)
  • • Be My Guest Lunch (1)
  • • Dinner (4)

Flight Information

  • • Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 12:00pm into Melbourne Airport
  • • Day 3: Melbourne - Cairns VA1291 (*Required Internal flight)
  • • Day 6: Cairns - Sydney VA1418 (*Required Internal flight)
  • • Day 9: Flights to depart any time from Sydney Airport
  • • Airline schedules may change at short notice. Please consider possible flight disruption when booking your flights.​


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