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Australia Private Expedition
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13 days

from $20,429 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($13,995 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

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Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Stay in a spectacular National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World on remote Lizard Island, set amid 2,500 acres of pristine woodlands and powdery white beaches.
  • Wake up to views of the sunrise over Uluru, and examine its ancient rock paintings with a guide.
  • Sip sundowners alongside grazing kangaroos and wallabies on Kangaroo Island, known as “Australia’s Galápagos.”
  • Discover the Great Barrier Reef’s underwater world of sea turtles and schooling fish while snorkeling, diving, or glass-bottom boating.
Itinerary

From the rock domes of the Red Center to the intricate corals of the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy an intimate perspective on some of Australia’s grandest treasures. Get an insider’s view of Sydney with a private guide; discover remote stretches of the world’s largest barrier reef from secluded Lizard Island; and sleep within sight of sacred Uluru, where you’ll learn about the Aboriginal traditions that infuse the outback. Then fly to Kangaroo Island to experience close encounters with the unique species that inhabit “Australia’s Galápagos."

Day 1: Arrive Sydney, Australia

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Land in Sydney and transfer to your hotel in the Rocks district. Now brimming with cozy cafés and galleries, this historic neighborhood marks the spot of the first European settlement in Australia. Set out on a guided walk through this waterfront area, located at the foot of the colossal Harbour Bridge, and enjoy a tour of the famed Sydney Opera House with a private guide.

Day 2: Sydney

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Take to the water on a charter boat this afternoon for a cruise across Sydney Harbour. Catch spectacular views of the city’s iconic Opera House as you make your way to the sandy beaches of Watson’s Bay. Along the way, uncover hidden coves and refreshing swimming spots, and go fishing if you wish. Sit down to lunch on deck, savoring grilled specialties from the “barbie,” and then return to the city for an evening at leisure.

Day 3: Lizard Island

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Fly via Cairns to Lizard Island, a pristine national park of sugar-white beaches and mangrove forests bordered by the Great Barrier Reef, giving visitors unparalleled access to its extraordinary marine ecosystem. Your destination is Lizard Island Resort, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. Settle into your villa with views of the sea, and get familiar with the surrounding beaches and nature trails. Take in stunning seascapes from the restaurant patio tonight.

Day 4: Lizard Island

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Delve into an underwater world of brilliant coral formations and neon-colored fish living among the reefs that surround Lizard Island. Discover the wonders of this aquatic world in a variety of ways, snorkeling amid diverse marine life or riding across crystalline waters on a catamaran, motorized dinghy, or a pair of glass-bottom paddle skis. A wide range of optional diving trips and lessons are also available for those who seek to explore the underwater world further. This evening, enjoy refreshments on a sunset cruise, and watch for marine life as twilight hues illuminate the barrier reef.

Day 5: Lizard Island

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Spend another day on the water, seeking out new coral patches or boating to a secluded bay for swimming and stunning sea views. Or opt for a land-based excursion and explore some of Lizard Island’s many nature trails on foot. You may also wish to take an optional trip to the Lizard Island Research Station—a coral research facility sponsored and operated by the Australian Museum.

Day 6: Cairns

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Fly to Cairns and spend an evening at leisure, strolling the waterfront boardwalk or relaxing at your hotel, located next to the marina.

Day 7: Uluru

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This morning, swap the coast for the desert and fly to the heart of the vast Australian outback. Settle into your luxury tent at the gateway to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and relish magnificent views of the sacred red Uluru monolith. Tonight, choose to dine al fresco, under a canopy of dazzling stars.

Day 8: Uluru

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Choose from an array of guided adventures into Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, immersing yourself in the mysticism and beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Visit a centuries-old watering hole at the base of Uluru, learn about the spiritual significance of the monolith's ancient cave paintings, and hear the creation stories of the area's traditional custodians. Walk into the Walpa Gorge, which cuts between two of the 36 domed-rock formations of Kata Tjuta, and visit the park’s cultural center. Later in the day, take an optional excursion to the interior crevices of Uluru and sip champagne in Kantju Gorge as you watch the descending sun set its red rock walls ablaze.

Day 9: Kangaroo Island

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Fly via Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and check in to your elegant hotel, perched on a rugged stretch of cliffs with sweeping views of the turquoise waters below. Take an afternoon walk along the bluff, keeping an eye out for unusual wildlife, or relax on the lodge’s terrace and soak in the spectacular scenery.

Day 10: Kangaroo Island

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Delve deeper into Kangaroo Island’s pristine landscapes, encountering the rare plant and animal species that inhabit “Australia’s Galápagos.” Choose from a variety of naturalist-guided activities, each designed to immerse you in this unique ecosystem. Explore the island’s coastal landscapes on a tour featuring its maritime history, unique rock formations, and diverse marine life. Or, spend time with the hundreds of sea lions that live along Seal Bay. In the evening, enjoy sundowners and canapés as you watch colonies of kangaroos and wallabies graze in surrounding fields.

Day 11: Kangaroo Island

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Enjoy a final day of excursions on Kangaroo Island. Join a naturalist for a walk along coastal cliffs, or journey into Flinders Chase National Park to see some of the island’s natural icons: the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, home to a fur seal colony. Or opt to explore these rugged landscapes on your own, setting out on foot or mountain bike across the island nature trails. Your lodge also offers a host of optional excursions, including kayaking, beach fishing, nocturnal tours, and more. Cap off your experience with an incredible locally sourced meal in the elegant dining room or on the terrace, overlooking the waves below.

Day 12: Sydney

Return to Sydney for an evening at leisure.

Day 13: Sydney/Depart

Transfer to the airport and catch your international flight home.

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate and suits a range of interests and abilities. Travelers should be physically fit and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods and navigating uneven terrain. Excursions include walking tours in cities, rugged wilderness areas, and national parks, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and diving.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, you’ll stay in accommodations selected for their exceptional quality, location, and character, including Lizard Island Resort, a National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

Expedition Team
Top private guides will accompany you throughout the trip, and local experts will meet with you along the way as described in the itinerary.

Other Important Details
This trip is available to children age 10 and older; please contact our reservations specialists for details.

ACCOMMODATIONS
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Southern Ocean Lodge - Kangaroo Island, Australia

Set on a rugged stretch of coast on Kangaroo Island, this lodge offers unparalleled ocean and island wilderness views. Designed to integrate and respect its natural surroundings, the Southern Ocean Lodge offers a naturalist-guided walk along its rocky cliffs, and Seal Bay Conservation Park is nearby. Guest rooms feature king beds, sunken lounges, dramatic glass-walled bathrooms, and outdoor terraces. Dining selections feature organic foods and local wines.

2 /9

Southern Ocean Lodge - Kangaroo Island, Australia

Set on a rugged stretch of coast on Kangaroo Island, this lodge offers unparalleled ocean and island wilderness views. Designed to integrate and respect its natural surroundings, the Southern Ocean Lodge offers a naturalist-guided walk along its rocky cliffs, and Seal Bay Conservation Park is nearby. Guest rooms feature king beds, sunken lounges, dramatic glass-walled bathrooms, and outdoor terraces. Dining selections feature organic foods and local wines.

3 /9

Southern Ocean Lodge - Kangaroo Island, Australia

Set on a rugged stretch of coast on Kangaroo Island, this lodge offers unparalleled ocean and island wilderness views. Designed to integrate and respect its natural surroundings, the Southern Ocean Lodge offers a naturalist-guided walk along its rocky cliffs, and Seal Bay Conservation Park is nearby. Guest rooms feature king beds, sunken lounges, dramatic glass-walled bathrooms, and outdoor terraces. Dining selections feature organic foods and local wines.

4 /9

Lizard Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Fringed by coral reefs and white-sand beaches, the secluded tropical retreat of Lizard Island Resort, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, offers unparalleled access to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy access to 24 private beaches, a lagoon, and the surrounding island—all exclusively reserved for resort guests. Take in the natural wonders of the coral reefs by snorkeling, diving, or fishing; indulge in a spa treatment; or admire the sunset from a private beach.

5 /9

Lizard Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Fringed by coral reefs and white-sand beaches, the secluded tropical retreat of Lizard Island Resort, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, offers unparalleled access to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy access to 24 private beaches, a lagoon, and the surrounding island—all exclusively reserved for resort guests. Take in the natural wonders of the coral reefs by snorkeling, diving, or fishing; indulge in a spa treatment; or admire the sunset from a private beach.

6 /9

Lizard Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Fringed by coral reefs and white-sand beaches, the secluded tropical retreat of Lizard Island Resort, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, offers unparalleled access to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy access to 24 private beaches, a lagoon, and the surrounding island—all exclusively reserved for resort guests. Take in the natural wonders of the coral reefs by snorkeling, diving, or fishing; indulge in a spa treatment; or admire the sunset from a private beach.

7 /9

Longitude 131° - The Northern Territory, Australia

Nestled among the red sand dunes of Central Australia, Longitude 131° is a luxury campsite in the heart of the wilderness. Enjoy extraordinary access to Uluru, and delve into the indigenous cultures of the region. Explore the timeless landscapes of the outback, savor contemporary cuisine under a canopy of stars, and take in panoramic views of the desert through the lodge's floor-to-ceiling windows.

8 /9

Longitude 131° - The Northern Territory, Australia

Nestled among the red sand dunes of Central Australia, Longitude 131° is a luxury campsite in the heart of the wilderness. Enjoy extraordinary access to Uluru, and delve into the indigenous cultures of the region. Explore the timeless landscapes of the outback, savor contemporary cuisine under a canopy of stars, and take in panoramic views of the desert through the lodge's floor-to-ceiling windows.

9 /9

Longitude 131° - The Northern Territory, Australia

Nestled among the red sand dunes of Central Australia, Longitude 131° is a luxury campsite in the heart of the wilderness. Enjoy extraordinary access to Uluru, and delve into the indigenous cultures of the region. Explore the timeless landscapes of the outback, savor contemporary cuisine under a canopy of stars, and take in panoramic views of the desert through the lodge's floor-to-ceiling windows.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Oct 1-Dec 31, 2019
  • 2 People $21,159 AUD ($14,495 USD)
  • 4 People $20,429 AUD ($13,995 USD)

  • date Jan 1-Dec 31, 2020
  • 2 People $21,159 AUD ($14,495 USD)
  • 4 People $20,429 AUD ($13,995 USD)

  • date Jan 1-Mar 31, 2021
  • 2 People $21,159 AUD ($14,495 USD)
  • 4 People $20,429 AUD ($13,995 USD)

Prices are per person based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare to/from your destination or internal flights during the expedition. Single traveler prices are available upon request. Internal flights are $2100-$2600 per person. Surcharges may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary

What's Not Included

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Great Barrier Reef environmental management fee at Lizard Island