First Choice

Southern Capitals: City Meets Bush

5 Day Guided Vacation | Sydney to Melbourne

You can drive between Melbourne and Sydney in a day. But what fun would that be? In between Australia’s two largest cities on this epic Sydney to Melbourne trip, take in the dreamy landscapes of the Southern Highlands, the country’s cool little capital on Canberra guided tours, and historic gold rush towns. With plenty of time for fun-fuel adventures, like a Melbourne laneway tour or Phillip Island penguin tour, of course.  

Prices From Code: ESBM

$1966

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.

$2355

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.
Prices above are per person in USD
Child prices are available on request

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Southern Capitals: City Meets Bush

First Choice

5 Day Guided Vacation

Sydney to Melbourne

You can drive between Melbourne and Sydney in a day. But what fun would that be? In between Australia’s two largest cities on this epic Sydney to Melbourne trip, take in the dreamy landscapes of the Southern Highlands, the country’s cool little capital on Canberra guided tours, and historic gold rush towns. With plenty of time for fun-fuel adventures, like a Melbourne laneway tour or Phillip Island penguin tour, of course.  

Highlights

Insider Knowledge

The Australian capital holds some of the country’s greatest stories, whether of politics at Parliament House (your guide knows the secrets) or history at the humbling War Memorial.

Local Connection

Crisp air, blue skies, the melody of sheep… there’s nothing like being on a 400-hectare working farm. Meet Craig Starr and his family for a BBQ and a yarn or two.

Cultural Immersion

Gold rush towns always come with stories about infamous bush rangers and love scandals. Hear them when you arrive in historic Beechworth.

Wildlife and Nature

More than 32,000 little penguins live around Phillip Island, and some 4,000 of them pitter patter from the sea to their sandy burrows every evening. Say goodnight.

Itinerary

image map

It’s hard to believe that just 1.5 hours from Sydney lies a patch of countryside that could have been transplanted straight from the English Cotswolds. This is Berrima, the oldest Georgian village in Australia. Think atmospheric villages amid rolling hills of grape vines – the Southern Highlands is the closest wine region to Australia’s largest city, after all. And then there are the grand gardens and emerald farms, one of which you’ll visit to meet Craig Starr and his family. Their 400-hectare Gold Creek Station farm is your backdrop for a Be My Guest BBQ lunch and tales about life on the land. This is your start of your Sydney to Melbourne trip, and the entrée to the country’s cool little capital of Canberra, home to Parliament House, where you’ll go behind the political scenes, as well as the Australian War Memorial. Hearing the Last Post is a moving experience, and this Canberra guided tour will linger long after you leave the capital.  

  Hotel: Crowne Plaza Canberra

  Included Meals: Be My Guest Lunch, Dinner with Wine

Thanks to architect Walter Burley Griffin, Canberra is an urban planner’s delight – the city is that well laid out, as you’ll discover when you head to the summit of Mt. Ainslie for panoramic views on a Canberra guided tour. You won’t yet be able to see the mighty Murray River, but you’ll soon cross it en route to Beechworth. From Australia’s longest river to Victoria’s best-preserved gold rush town, Beechworth saw an influx of fortune-seekers from all over the world during the 1850s. Your Travel Director will give you the Beechworth lowdown, then set you on your way to further explore character-filled antiques stores, galleries, leafy parks and gardens, and museums at your leisure. There are plenty of charming cafés and restaurants to refuel in as well, before Wangaratta’s cathedrals beckon.

  Hotel: Quality Hotel Wangaratta

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Meandering south toward historic Glenrowan, you’re well and truly in Ned Kelly country – this is where the infamous bushranger and his gang were finally captured in 1880. The story is remembered on pretty much every city corner, whether in enormous statues or at the town’s well-curated museum. We’ll tell you all the tales – some of them true, many of them hearsay. All of them entertaining. Then we’ll tell you a bit more about Melbourne, like how it’s the home of Aussie rules football, covets some of the country’s best arts institutions, and has a swag of stellar restaurants, cafés and bars. Small wonder it’s known as Australia’s cultural, culinary and sporting capital. Once you have your bearings after a city and Melbourne laneway tour, head off to explore. Forget your map – one of the joys of being in Melbourne is getting lost. Discovering a hidden jazz bar. Stumbling upon a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Finding a gallery that catches your eye. Spending too much in that independent boutique. Enjoy.  

  Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 2 Nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

You could spend weeks exploring Melbourne and its surrounds and not tire of the attractions. But you just have today, so make the most of it. We wouldn’t hold it against you if all you want to do is jump on a tram and ride the rails to the city’s character-filled neighbourhoods. Perhaps bohemian Brunswick, or seaside St. Kilda for Polish cakes along Acland Street. But if you want to explore further afield, we’ve got you covered on an optional experience. For a bird’s-eye view of the bay, sign up to scale the Eureka Skydeck, offering dizzying vistas in every direction from almost 300 metres above the street. If you’re an animal lover, then you’ll want to venture to Phillip Island to see hundreds of little penguins pad from the sea along the sand en route to their burrows. It’s a nightly attraction. Want to get back to nature? Chug through the lush Dandenong Ranges on the Puffing Billy Steam Train, followed by a sip or two of wine in the Yarra Valley. The flight of cool-climate drops enjoyed here is all you need to ease into the evening. The choice is yours. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Wait, how did you just pack so much action into a working week? Cities, countryside, farms, wineries, islands… this Sydney to Melbourne trip has been quite the adventure.  

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

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

At Crowne Plaza Canberra you’ll find a warm welcome with friendly staff, spacious and comfortable Canberra accommodation, and everything you need to make your trip a success. Crowne Plaza Canberra offers seamless service, premium facilities and well-appointed guestrooms with a central city location adjacent to tranquil parklands. The hotel is close to restaurants, cafes, shops and attractions.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Bathtub and shower
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Wi-Fi (additional cost)
  • In-room Movies (fee applies)
  • Broadband Internet access
  • In-room safe
  • Electronic security key system
  • Security peephole
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Bathroom Amenities
  • Bathrobe
  • Work Desk
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The Quality Hotel™ Wangaratta Gateway offers modern and relaxing accommodation in the heart of Wangaratta with convenient access to the CBD and local attractions. The hotel is located less than 15 minutes from Wangaratta airport and conveniently close to the Wangaratta Base Hospital, Performing Arts & Convention Centre and the Court House.

 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.

    Features

  • 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
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.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • • Local Specialists (Guides)
  • • Centrally located premium hotels
  • • Arrival and departure private airport transfers

What to Bring

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Canberra Parliament House Tour - Low level fitness required
    Comfortable walking pace tour of Parliament House. Lift options available moving between floors.

Dining

  • • 4 Full Breakfasts
  • • 1 Dinner with Wine
  • • 1 Be My Guest Lunch

Flight Information

  • • Day Prior: Flight to arrive any time into Sydney Airport
  • • Day 5: Flight to depart any time from Melbourne Airport

Southern Capitals - City Meets Bush

First Choice

5 Day Guided Vacation

Sydney to Melbourne

While both cities are set just 900 kilometres apart, you'll find attractions abound between them on this Sydney to Melbourne tour. The Southern Highlands offers a taste of cool-climate wines soon after departing Sydney, with time to peruse Berrima, Australia's best-preserved Georgian city. Canberra delivers more history and indulgences, while Melbourne dials up pop culture in its graffiti-coloured lanes. You're traversing Ned Kelley country – Australia in a snapshot.

Highlights

Local Connection

For 40+ years, the sheep-shearing family at Gold Creek Station have been enlightening AAT Kings guests about life on the land.

Insider Knowledge

Any visit to the Australian War Memorial is a moving experience, especially so with a specialist guide.

Cultural Immersion

Victoria’s historic town of Beechworth comes with plenty of country swagger, its residents small in number but big on hospitality.

Insider Knowledge

You don’t have to be a fan of politics to appreciate Canberra’s Parliament House, your guide revealing all its secrets.

Itinerary

image map

Depart Sydney this morning and travel through the rolling hills and verdant pastures of the Southern Highlands. Pause at historic Berrima before arriving to Gold Creek Station.  Meet local sheep farmer, Craig Starr and get a taste of life on the farm before you join Craig and his family for a good Aussie BBQ Be My Guest lunch. Your final destination is the country's capital where you'll enjoy a tour through Parliament House with a local guide. Later visit the Australian War Memorial and stay to hear the evocative Last Post. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers tonight and get to know each other over a delicious meal.

  Hotel: Crowne Plaza Canberra

  Included Meals: Be My Guest Lunch, Dinner with Wine

This morning, you’ll drive to the summit of Mt. Ainslie for panoramic views of Canberra and surrounds. Journey over the mighty Murray River into Victoria taking the scenic route to historic Beechworth, Victoria’s best-preserved gold rush town. The region offers plenty of great photo opportunities, with tree-covered ranges, wild rivers and tranquil rural farmlands. Get to know Beechworth with an orientation and some storytelling over a “cuppa” with a local. Enjoy some free time to explore the antique shops, galleries and the museum. Tonight, you’ll stay in the cathedral town of Wangaratta.

  Hotel: Quality Hotel Wangaratta

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Travel to historic Glenrowan and on through Ned Kelly country to cosmopolitan Melbourne, Australia’s sporting and cultural capital. Gain some interesting insights on an orientation tour of the city, then take some time to explore independently.

  Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Today is free for you to explore the delights of Melbourne. You could start your morning with an up-close tour of Melbourne’s laneways and spend your afternoon at Philip Island witnessing the Penguin Parade. If wine and lush scenery is more your style, check out the Puffing Billy Steam Train journey through the Dandenong Ranges followed by wine tasting in the Yarra Valley. Speak to your Tour Director, the many choices are yours.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Your holiday comes to an end after breakfast when you’ll bid farewell to your Travel Director and fellow travellers.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

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

At Crowne Plaza Canberra you’ll find a warm welcome with friendly staff, spacious and comfortable Canberra accommodation, and everything you need to make your trip a success. Crowne Plaza Canberra offers seamless service, premium facilities and well-appointed guestrooms with a central city location adjacent to tranquil parklands. The hotel is close to restaurants, cafes, shops and attractions.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Bathtub and shower
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Wi-Fi (additional cost)
  • In-room Movies (fee applies)
  • Broadband Internet access
  • In-room safe
  • Electronic security key system
  • Security peephole
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Bathroom Amenities
  • Bathrobe
  • Work Desk
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The Quality Hotel™ Wangaratta Gateway offers modern and relaxing accommodation in the heart of Wangaratta with convenient access to the CBD and local attractions. The hotel is located less than 15 minutes from Wangaratta airport and conveniently close to the Wangaratta Base Hospital, Performing Arts & Convention Centre and the Court House.

 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.

    Features

  • 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
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 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.

FIND OUT MORE

Adult Price: AUD 169.00
Child Price: AUD 85.00

Great Ocean Road & Twelve Apostles

Take a breath and enjoy a relaxed and unhindered view of the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge all before lunch, beating the traditional afternoon rush. En route let us take you on a journey inland, reaching Port Campbell National Park to marvel at the iconic limestone stacks in the morning. Spend the afternoon with your experienced Driver Guide, meandering along the winding Great Ocean Road, taking in the spectacular coastal scenery, the Otway Rainforest and seaside townships.

FIND OUT MORE

Adult: $99.00

Child: $99.00

Melbourne’s arcades and laneways hide many hidden treasures. This walking tour is the ideal way to discover and learn about the enchantment of Melbourne. We unveil local designers, specialty retailers, some of the quirkiest cafes, street art and architecture, with historical tales of Melbourne along the way. (Operates Monday to Saturday) 

Adult Price: AUD 195.00   
Child Price: AUD 99.00

Puffing Billy Steam Train & Yarra Valley

Drive through charming mountain villages towards the Dandenong Ranges before taking a 30-minute scenic ride on the restored Puffing Billy Steam Train for a memorable journey on Australia's most notable narrow-gauge railway. Journey into the prosperous heart of picturesque wine country, the Yarra Valley. Visit Rochford Wines and join a group wine tasting before lunch (either upgrade or purchase on the day). Visit a second cellar door and sample local wines before finishing the day at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Be treated to a private gourmet tasting experience from one of their unique chocolate bar ranges and learn about the chocolate making process.

FIND OUT MORE

Adult Price: AUD 28.00  
Child Price: AUD 18.00

 

Eureka Skydeck

Experience the awe-inspiring 360 degree floor-to-ceiling views of Melbourne at the Eureka Skydeck, Eureka Tower. This viewing platform is the highest in the Southern Hemisphere!


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
  • • Local Specialists (Guides)
  • • Centrally located premium hotels
  • • 4 included attractions/experiences
  • • Arrival and departure private airport transfers

What to Bring

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Canberra Parliament House Tour - Low level fitness required
    Comfortable walking pace tour of Parliament House. Lift options available moving between floors.

Dining

  • • 4 Full breakfasts
  • • 1 Be My Guest Lunch
  • • 1 Dinner with wine

Flight Information

  • • Day Prior – flights to arrive anytime into Sydney Airport
  • • Day 5 – flights to depart anytime from Melbourne Airport

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