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Australia’s Southern Skies – An Intergenerational Exploration

Program Number: 16155RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/21/2014 - 7/8/2014;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Australia
Price starting at: $6,799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational
Meals: 42; 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 10 - 14 years of age.

With a grandchild as your mate, explore this country of crocodiles and butterflies, surfers and Aborigines, reefs and rainforests. Together, encounter Australia’s wildlife and its spirited natives and share new experiences: try surfing, taste bush tucker and see a spectacular coral reef up close.


• Crikey, isn’t she a beauty! Encounter crocodiles, kangaroos and koalas at Australia Zoo, a wildlife sanctuary that was home to Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.
• Become an Eco-Ranger by learning to conserve the marine environment of beautiful Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.
• Discover the culture of the Australian Aborigines, throw a traditional Aboriginal spear and paint your own boomerang.

Activity Particulars

Some uneven terrain will be experienced. Participants will have to step into and out of, and paddle, canoes.

One child per adult in shared accommodations. The adult is responsible for the supervision of their accompanying child at all times. This program is an intergenerational run Down Under-style. There are not separate programs for grandparents and grandchildren; rather grandparents and grandchildren are encouraged to bond through shared activities.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Sydney, 4 nights; flight to Brisbane, coach to Sunshine Coast, 3 nights; coach to Hervey Bay, catamaran to Fraser Island, 3 nights; catamaran to Hervey Bay, coach to Brisbane, flight to Cairns, 4 nights; flight to Sydney, 1 night; departure.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Cross International Date Line
1 night
Arrival Sydney
4 nights

Step inside the iconic Sydney Opera House for a behind-the-scenes look. Delight in a cruise on stunning Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the stars of the southern hemisphere from the historic Sydney Observatory. Visit a local primary and secondary school to gain an understanding of school life in multi-cultural Sydney.

Flight to Brisbane
Coach to Sunshine Coast
3 nights

Visit the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. In this surfing mecca, get an introductory lesson on riding the waves from a local professional and learn of Australia’s surf lifesaving culture. Kayak the Noosa River everglades, keeping an eye out for local wildlife.

Coach to Hervey Bay
Catamaran to Fraser Island
3 nights

Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s 75 miles of pristine beach, tangled mangrove swamps and subtropical rainforest. Discover the shipwreck of the SS Maheno, a former luxury liner and World War I hospital ship that sits where it washed ashore in a 1935 storm.

Catamaran to Hervey Bay
Coach to Brisbane
Flight to Cairns
4 nights
Flight to Sydney
1 night

Ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over the treetops of lush Barron Gorge. Admire the vivid colors of more than 1,500 tropical butterflies in an aviary. Cruise among the crocodiles on the Barron River. Soak up the beauty of a coral reef from a semi-submersible vessel and, if you like, don a snorkel and dive in to get even closer. Fly to Sydney and overnight in an airport hotel before flying home to the USA.


From expansive desert to the 1,616 mile Great Barrier Reef, the planet’s smallest continent is also one of the most diverse. Native Aboriginal culture dates back nearly 30,000 years, and with the arrival of Europeans colonists followed by a Gold Rush, Australia evolved into a true amalgam of ethnicities and cultures. Its cities, outbacks and beaches harbor tales of pirates and penal colonies, marine wonderlands and a modern, multi-national citizenry.

Sydney: Hotel on Darling Harbour with indoor pool. Sunshine Coast: Resort with private lagoon and beach. Fraser Island: Eco-friendly resort with four swimming pools. Cairns: Resort with lagoon-style pool. Sydney: Airport hotel for final night before return flight to the USA.
Meals and Lodgings
   Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
  Sydney, Australia 4 nights
   Novotel Twin Waters Resort
  Sunshine Coast, Australia 3 nights
   Kingfisher Bay Resort
  Fraser Island, Australia 3 nights
   Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
  Cairns, Australia 4 nights
   Mercure Hotel Sydney Airport
  Sydney, Australia 1 night
 Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
Type: Hotel
  Description: Overlooking Darling Harbour, the hotel is located beside Chinatown and the Entertainment & Convention Centres. It is a five-minute walk of the heart of the city.
  Contact info: 17 Little Pier Street
Sydney NSW 2000,   Australia
phone: +61 2 8217 4000
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, hairdryer, refrigerator and internet access.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a safety deposit box, gymnasium, indoor heated lap pool and foreign exchange facilities. Valet laundry service is available or a commercial laundry is located nearby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: On form in Prep. For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to

 Novotel Twin Waters Resort
Type: Resort
  Description: Positioned on one of the Sunshine Coast's most magnificent beaches, the Novotel Twin Waters resort is set amidst lush tropical gardens and surrounds its own private lagoon.
  Contact info: Ocean Drive
Twin Waters, Sunshine Coast QLD 4564,   Australia
phone: +61 7 5448 8000
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, hairdryer, refrigerator and internet access.
  Facility amenities: All resort guests have access to a number of activities within the resort, including canoeing, kayaking or sailing on the lagoon, gymnasium, kids' bicycles, volleyball, bushwalking and daily activities program. Other features and facilities include a heated pool and spa, patrolled surf beach, a clothing and gift boutique, day spa, a six-hectare saltwater lagoon, adult bike hire, tennis or golf lessons, scooter hire, surfboard hire and lessons and archery.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Kingfisher Bay Resort
Type: Resort
  Description: Located on the world’s largest sand island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.
  Contact info: North White Cliffs
Fraser Island QLD 4581,   Australia
phone: +61 7 4120 3333
  Room amenities: Room facilities include air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, telephone, television, refrigerator, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a guest laundry, safety deposit box facilities, four swimming pools,tennis court, water sports, beauty centre and a general store.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: The resort-style hotel is located within easy walking distance of the stunning waterfront esplanade and the compact city centre.
  Contact info: 122 Lake Street
Cairns QLD 4870,   Australia
phone: +61 7 4080 1888
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, in-room safe and internet connection.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include lagoon-style pool with a sand-beach entrance, gymnasium, valet laundry/dry cleaning and guest laundry.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mercure Hotel Sydney Airport
Type: Hotel
  Description: Situated next to riverfront parkland and overlooking an 18 hole golf course, the hotel is located only 1.2 miles from Sydney’s International and Domestic Airports but is away from the direct flight path.
  Contact info: 20 Levey Street
Wolli Creek, Sydney NSW 2205,   Australia
phone: +61 2 9518 2000
  Room amenities: Room facilities include air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, refrigerator, television, pay-to-view movies, telephone, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a laundry/valet service, computer centre, outdoor swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts and squash courts.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: On form in Prep. For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Sydney, Australia. The program commences with the arrival of the group flight at Sydney Airport. You will be staying at Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour that night.
  End of Program:
Sydney, Australia. The program ends after breakfast on Day 18. Participants on the group flight are then transferred to Sydney Airport. You will be staying at Mercure Hotel Sydney Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Not applicable.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sydney
  Nearest airport:  Sydney International and Domestic Airports
  Transportation to site: If you are arriving early or independently and making your own arrangements to get to the hotel, the easiest and most direct way to get from the Airport to the first hotel is by taxi. Each terminal has its own sheltered taxi rank with supervisors on hand in peak hours to ensure a smooth flow of taxis for travelers. The signage in the airport will direct you to the taxi rank. The fare to the hotel will be approximately AU$50. If taking a taxi to the hotel, please be sure to ask for the "Novotel ROCKFORD Darling Harbour" as there is also a Novotel Darling Harbour in a completely different location. Alternatively, participants can take the train from the airport stations into Central Station. The signage in the Airport will direct you to the station for your terminal. The fare to Central is approximately AU$16 per person. From Central Station take the light rail and get off at the Paddys Markets stop. The fare for the light rail is around AU$3.50 per person. Once disembarking from the light rail, carefully cross the tracks and walk up past the Entertainment Centre (keeping it on your left). Across the grassy square past the Entertainment Centre is your hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location: Sydney
  Transportation from site: There is a scheduled airport hotel shuttle service that runs from the final hotel to Sydney airport. It can be booked at hotel reception when you arrive at the hotel for your final night. The cost is currently AU$6 per person.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Equipment Requirements: Your bathing suit and a long-sleeve sun-protection cover-up are highly recommended for your day out on the Great Barrier Reef.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart Los Angeles in the late evening for the overnight flight to Sydney.
(Saturday, June 21)
 Evening: Depart the USA on overnight flight to Australia.

Day 2: Cross the International Date Line
(Sunday, June 22)
 In Transit: Cross International Dateline

Day 3: Group Arrival/City Orientation/Program Overview/Explore the City/Getting to Know You
(Monday, June 23)
 Morning: Welcome to Sydney! Sydney’s stunning natural harbour forms the centrepiece of a dynamic city that has grown dramatically since its beginnings as a prison colony. Situated in the temperate area of Australia, Sydney is surrounded by National Parks and has a beautiful range of flora and fauna. It is Australia’s largest city with nearly 5 million citizens thriving in a multi-cultural society in a congenial climate. Sydney is dominated by Sydney Harbour, of which Port Jackson is only a small part. The city covers a large area, twice the size of London with half the population, and has large parks and sparkling sandy Pacific Ocean beaches, such as the well-known and very popular Bondi. Upon the arrival of the group flight, you will be met by our friendly team. We begin with an excursion to orientate us to Sydney via the eastern beach-side suburbs en route into the centre of the city. Upon arriving at the hotel, we will have our Program Overview and a lecture introducing us to Sydney.
 Lunch: We have lunch in the hotel.
 Afternoon: After settling into our rooms, we have a walking exploration of Darling Harbour and the areas of the city in the environs of our hotel. The remainder of afternoon is at leisure to give you some down time to wind down from your flights.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: We spend some time getting to know our fellow participants before we have an early night.
Accommodations: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Introduction to Australia/Settlement of Sydney/Opera House/Harbour Cruise/Sydney Observatory - the southern night sky
(Tuesday, June 24)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: We have a local professor lecture to us this morning giving us an Introduction to Australia, its Discovery & Settlement. We then visit the historic Rocks area, where the European settlement of Sydney began, to learn something of Sydney's Colonial Past. We also visit Macquarie Street and Mrs Macquarie's Chair affording us stunning views of the magnificent harbour.
 Lunch: We have lunch at a restaurant in The Rocks.
 Afternoon: Sydney's unique Opera House is one of the architectural wonders of the world. We have a guided tour of this exquisite building. We then board a cruise to see Sydney from its most wonderful natural highlight - Sydney Harbour.
 Dinner: We have an early dinner tonight at a local restaurant before we head to Sydney Observatory.
 Evening: At Sydney Observatory we have a guided tour of the exhibits to learn about Southern Hemisphere astronomy. Weather allowing, we view some of the unique night-time sights of the southern sky. We return to our hotel by coach.
Accommodations: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Visit Australian schools/Powerhouse Museum
(Wednesday, June 25)
 Breakfast: In your hotel
 Morning: This morning we take a coach to a local primary school to learn about being a student in Sydney. By interacting with the school students we experience multicultural education in Australia. We then coach to a local secondary school.
 Lunch: We interact with the high school students over a lunch they have prepared.
 Afternoon: We coach to the Powerhouse Museum where our leader guides us through the exhibits of science and technology.
 Dinner: We walk from the Powerhouse to dinner at a local restaurant in the Darling Harbour precinct.
 Evening: Remainder of evening free.
Accommodations: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Taronga Zoo
(Thursday, June 26)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we coach across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo, located on the north shore with delightful views across the harbour to the city. Here we begin our study of Australian fauna. We meet kangaroos, koalas & wallabies and hope for a glimpse of the rather more elusive wombat, echidna and platypus.
 Lunch: We have lunch at Taronga Zoo.
 Afternoon: The rest of the day belongs to you to explore Sydney at leisure. You will be given a ferry ticket for the journey back to Circular Quay. You can stay at the zoo as long as you wish or return to the city and visit other areas of personal interest.
 Dinner: Dinner is at own arrangements this evening.
 Evening: Evening free.
Accommodations: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Flight to Brisbane/Australia Zoo/Coach to Mooloolaba/Surf Lifesaving in Australia
(Friday, June 27)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: We coach to Sydney Domestic Airport this morning and check in for our flight to Brisbane. Once in Brisbane we board a coach and drive to the Sunshine Coast. One hour’s drive north of Brisbane on Australia’s eastern coast, the Sunshine Coast takes in the tranquil hinterland of the Glass House Mountains, the Blackall Range and the Mary Valley as well as more than 60 miles of white sandy beaches stretching through coastal towns such as Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Coolum and Noosa. Our first stop is Australia Zoo.
 Lunch: We have lunch at the food hall of Australia Zoo.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we learn about Australia Zoo - the unique Animal Conservation Sanctuary created by the late Steve Irwin. We have a guided tour and view the show. We then coach to our accommodation at Twin Waters.
 Dinner: We have dinner at our hotel.
 Evening: Evening free.
Accommodations: Novotel Twin Waters Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Historic town of Eumundi/Kayak the Noosa River/Noosa National Park
(Saturday, June 28)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we first experience the historic town of Eumundi and explore Australia's largest local produce market. We carry on to Noosa River where we will have a field trip among the Noosa River Everglades. We pair up with our grandparent/grandchild and paddle our own two-seat kayak following our guide as we explore the tranquil waters of the Noosa National Park.
 Lunch: During our kayaking field trip, we pause for a picnic lunch alongside the river in the National Park.
 Afternoon: Our kayaking field trip in the Noosa National Park continues after lunch. We then return to our hotel with free time to hit the pool before dinner.
 Dinner: At our hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Novotel Twin Waters Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Surfing Lessons/Underwater World
(Sunday, June 29)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: SURF'S UP! We coach to Noosa and hit the beach for our learn-to-surf lesson. Let's Go Surfing - we all learn how to stand on a surfboard and attempt to ride the waves. Our instructors will also teach us something of Australia'a surf life-saving culture.
 Lunch: After a bit of time to play in the surf, we return briefly to our hotel to wash off the sand before we have lunch at a local cafe.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we visit the Underwater World aquarium in Mooloolaba, home to turtles, sharks, rays, coral and much aquatic life. Here, with our guide, we examine the effects of humans on endangered eco-systems and marine habitats.
 Dinner: At our hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Novotel Twin Waters Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Transfer to Fraser Island/World Heritage Fraser Island/Program Review
(Monday, June 30)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we transfer to Hervey Bay and the Fraser Island mainland terminal. We board the catamaran for our transfer to Fraser Island. World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and stretches over 75 miles along the coast of southern Queensland. The Island features complex dune systems and is home to a surprising range of vegetation from coastal heath to subtropical rainforest. Fraser Island is also home to many sites of archaeological, social and spiritual significance to its original, indigenous inhabitants.
 Lunch: We are greeted with refreshments upon our arrival at the resort and are then led to lunch in one of the cafes on-site.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we have an eco-walk with our ranger through the grounds of Kingfisher Bay before having part of the afternoon at leisure. We come together for a Memories And Shared Highlights program review session before dinner.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Evening free at leisure.
Accommodations: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Great Sandy National Park/Campfire Songs
(Tuesday, July 1)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Today we take a 4WD safari to explore the Great Sandy National Park. Our schedule today may include such sights as the gorgeous Lake McKenzie; Wanggoolba Creek; Pile Valley’s stunning Satinay and Brush Box forests; Seventy-Five Mile Beach's famous highway; the Maheno shipwreck and the coloured sands of The Pinnacles; the temperate, fresh waters of Eli Creek; and the mighty Stonetool Sand Blow.
 Lunch: We have a picnic lunch whilst on our 4WD exploration of the Island.
 Afternoon: Our 4WD safari continues this afternoon.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: After dinner we gather around the campfire to sing songs and hear the telling of Aboriginal Legends. Maybe, if we are lucky, the thrum of the didgeridoo will be heard in the background. We can also view the southern stars and try to apply what we learnt at Sydney Observatory.
Accommodations: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Become an Eco Ranger
(Wednesday, July 2)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we have a guided nature walk to the look-out and mangroves, followed by a fishing clinic with our ranger.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: We have this afternoon at leisure to relax and explore. Perhaps you can persuade your leader to coach you in a game of beach cricket...
 Dinner: In the hotel - experience bush tucker. As part of our dinner tonight, we will learn something of, and get the opportunity to sample, the native foods found growing in the Australian bush.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Kingfisher Bay Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Transfer to Brisbane airport/Flight to Cairns/Course Overview
(Thursday, July 3)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we check out of the resort and join a catamaran transfer to the mainland terminal, before we coach to Brisbane Domestic Airport.
 Lunch: At the airport.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we fly to Cairns. Upon our arrival in Cairns, we have a short orientation to the city en route to our accommodation.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: This evening our Site Coordinator gives us a course overview & introduction to Cairns.
Accommodations: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Tropical Rainforests/Butterfly Sanctuary/Riverboat Cruise/Skyrail
(Friday, July 4)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: This morning our local rainforest guide gives us a lecture to the Wet Tropical Rainforests of North Queensland and teaches us what it is like to live on the edge of the rainforest. We then coach to the village of Kuranda where we first visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary for a guided tour of the aviary. The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is home to over 1500 magnificent tropical butterflies that are hand-reared on the premises. All are local rainforest species, including the iconic Kuranda butterfly, the beautiful electric blue Ulysses Butterfly.
 Lunch: We walk Kuranda's bustling main street for lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Croc alert! After lunch, we take a riverboat cruise on the Barron River - keeping on the look-out for crocodiles in their natural habitat going about their daily business. We then walk to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to take the stunning five mile cableway journey sweeping above the canopy of World Heritage-listed rainforest. En route to Caravonica, we stop at the Rainforest Interpretive Station where our guide will lead us on a rainforest walk teaching us more about this special environment. We take the coach back to our hotel where our Site Coordinator will lead us in some snorkelling practice in the hotel pool.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Our local marine biologist will give us a lecture this evening on the Great Barrier Reef and the issues endangering its existence. He will give us an insight into what we might see tomorrow on our cruise out to this World Heritage-listed icon.
Accommodations: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Great Barrier Reef Cruise
(Saturday, July 5)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Today we have a full-day cruise on the Great Barrier Reef where we can view the World Heritage-listed coral reefs in the company of our dedicated marine biologist. We will be able to snorkel among the coral reef out from our pontoon and/or view the reef from a semi-submersible vessel.
 Lunch: We have lunch on board our cruise vessel.
 Afternoon: Our Great Barrier Reef cruise continues after lunch.
 Dinner: We return in the late afternoon and have dinner tonight at own arrangements allowing us to sample the myriad cafes and restaurants within a short stroll of the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Hartley's Crocodile Farm/Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park/Program Review
(Sunday, July 6)
 Breakfast: This morning we coach to Hartley's Crocodile Farm for breakfast.
 Morning: At Hartley's Crocodile Farm we learn about the habitat & lifestyle of crocodiles, the rather intriguing cassowary & wetland wildlife. We see what is involved in both farming and conserving crocodiles.
 Lunch: We coach to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in time for lunch.
 Afternoon: My boomerang won't come back! This afternoon at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park we learn about the North Queensland Coastal Aborigines. Here we try to throw Aboriginal spears and boomerangs. We learn indigenous painting techniques as we paint our own boomerang. We return to our hotel for a Memories And Shared Highlights program review session before our farewell dinner.
 Dinner: We have our farewell dinner at our hotel tonight.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Free morning in Cairns / Mid-afternoon flight to Sydney
(Monday, July 7)
 Breakfast: At accommodation.
 Morning: This morning is free in Cairns to relax, run last-minute errands or check out some more sights by yourselves.
 Lunch: At own arrangements.
 Afternoon: We come together at our hotel and transfer to Cairns airport for our flight to Sydney.
 Dinner: We have dinner on board our flight to Sydney.
 Evening: We transfer from Sydney Airport to our airport hotel where we overnight.
Accommodations: Mercure Hotel Sydney Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: Fly home to the USA.
(Tuesday, July 8)
 Breakfast: At accommodation.
 Morning: We transfer to Sydney International Airport and check in to our flight bound for Los Angeles.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Commonwealth of Thieves, The Improbable Birth of Australia

Author: Thomas Keneally

Description: With drama and flair, novelist Keneally illuminates the birth of New South Wales in 1788, richly evoking the social conditions in London, the miserable sea voyage and the desperate conditions of the new colony. His tale revolves around Arthur Phillips, the ambitious (and bland) captain in the Royal Navy who would become the first governor of New South Wales. You may be familiar with Keneally as the author of the acclaimed work (made into an equally-renowned film) "Schindler's List".

A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia

Author: Steve Wilson

Description: A comprehensive account of the 800 species of Australian reptiles, grouped by family. Each entry includes a distribution map, notes on habitat, range and conservation status. Covering crocodiles, sea turtles, freshwater turtles, geckos, flat-footed lizards, skinks, dragons, goannas, blind snakes, pythons, file snakes, colubrid snakes, terrestrial elapids, sea snakes, and, sea kraits.

Aboriginal Art

Author: Wally Caruana

Description: This well illustrated survey of Aboriginal art, ancient and modern, focuses on the spiritual and geographic sources of art and ritual traditions in Australia. It covers the range of art from all parts of the continent, including a chapter on the Wandjina rock art of the Kimberley region. The concise text is augmented by 187 well produced black-and-white and color illustrations.

Aboriginal Australians

Author: Stephen Muecke

Description: A lively illustrated overview of the culture and history of the Aborigines. The authors explore how the Aborigines came to be in Australia, their rituals and Dreamings, and the importance of kin in their social structures. With a chapter on the atrocious treatment at the hands of white settlers and the pervasive racial prejudice that remained enshrined in the Australian constitution until 1967. The final section deals with the massive indigenous cultural renaissance over the past four decades, and discusses how Aboriginal art - whether Central Desert acrylic art, batik, contemporary urban painting, sculpture or traditional bark painting - has become a flagship for Australian culture.

Australia, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Author: Robert Ross

Description: Arranged geographically, this collection of mostly local writers is an excellent overview of the cultures, geography and mindset of Australia. It includes stories by Patrick White, Peter Carey and other luminaries, as well as transcriptions of several aboriginal myths.

Australia, An Ecotraveler's Guide

Author: Hannah Robinson

Description: A handbook and guide to wildlife, habitats and travel in Australia with 400 color photographs and excellent descriptive information on birds, mammals and other creatures. Organized geographically, each section includes suggested places to visit, national parks and reserves, maps and sidebars on habitats, flora and fauna.

Australia: The East, Travellers’ Wildlife Guides

Author: Les Beletsky

Description: A wonderfully comprehensive guide to the plant and animal life of eastern Australia. This colorful book features illustrations of 650 commonly encountered fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds and special sections on the Great Barrier Reef and eastern Australian and Tasmanian wildlife parks and reserves.

Australian Birds

Author: Pocket Naturalist

Description: A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered Australian birds.

Australian Wildlife

Author: James Kavanaugh • Raymond Leung (Illustrator)

Description: This illustrated fold-out guide features almost 150 species of Australian animals. Laminated for durability; pocket-size for quick reference in the field.

Bradt Australian Wildlife

Author: Stella Martin

Description: A guide not just to kangaroo and koala, this compact, illustrated survey, featuring 250 color photographs, takes in habitats, parks and conservation, marsupials, birds and bats.

Chasing Kangaroo

Author: Tim Flannery

Description: An ode to the kangaroo in all their splendid diversity and oddity. Revisiting his early love of kangaroo fossils, Flannery weaves engaging tales of his adventures on the trails of marsupials past and present with his travels and encounters with eccentric scientists and Aborigines.

Cronin's Key Guide to Australian Mammals

Author: Leonard Cronin

Description: An indispensable guide to Australia's fascinating monotremes, marsupials, and placental mammals. This book, the third in the Cronin's Key Guide series, is packed with information about the behavior, development, food, and habitat of Australia's remarkable mammals.

Culture Smart! Australia

Author: Barry Penney

Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.

Eyewitness Guides Australia

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: A compact guide to sites, attractions and places throughout Australia featuring excellent maps and hundreds of full color photographs and site diagrams. With select recommendations on where to eat and stay.

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia

Author: Ken Simpson • Nicholas Day

Description: A handbook and field guide to Australia's birds with 2,000 vivid color illustrations, each accompanied by a brief description and revised range map. This more compact seventh edition features 16 new or revised color plates, new maps and condensed information.

Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia

Author: Peter Menkhorst • Frank Knight (Illustrator)

Description: A comprehensive guide to 376 species of kangaroos, koalas, bandicoots, wombats, deer, seals, whales and other mammals of Australia featuring full color illustrations by Frank Knight. Third edition

Fishwatcher’s Field Guide: Great Barrier Reef

Author: Idaz Greenberg

Description: A double-sided, laminated card covering the reef fish of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the tropical Pacific.

Fodor's Exploring Australia

Author: Michael Ivory

Description: This excellent up-to-date guide will take you Down Under with ease and style. Includes maps, illustrations and unusual information on features of cultural, historical and natural interest.

In A Sunburned Country

Author: Bill Bryson

Description: Bill Bryson revels in Australia's eccentric characters, dangerous flora and fauna, and other oddities. As has become his custom, he effortlessly imparts much fact-filled history in this wildly funny book. Included at the end is a short bibliography. This book is published as "Down Under" in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.

Reefscape, Reflections on the Great Barrier Reef

Author: Rosaleen Love

Description: An ecology and history of the Great Barrier Reef, including its human inhabitants (who run the gamut from pirates to naturalists). Rosaleen Love employs science, anthropology and purple prose in this meditative account.


Author: Bruce Chatwin

Description: Rory Stewart provides the introduction to this 25th anniversary edition of Bruce Chatwin's celebrated travelogue, which is as much about its gifted author - and the meaning of travel - as about the Aboriginal people and their ways of life. Chatwin transforms a journey through the Outback into an exhilarating, semi-fictional meditation on our place in the world.

The Secret River

Author: Kate Grenville

Description: Sweeping, gorgeously written and psychologically astute, The Secret River takes in all the bravado, trickery and conflict that attended the settlement of New South Wales. Grenville draws on the history of her own family in Australia for the elements of the blockbuster plot, in which a Thames boatsman, banished to the penal colony in 1806, must carve out a life for himself.

Travellers’ Tales Australia: True Stories of Life Down Under

Author: Larry Habegger & Amy G. Carlson

Description: An excellent introduction to the people, culture and traditions of Australia as seen through the eyes of mostly contemporary writers, including Pico Iyer, Paul Theroux, Bruce Chatwin, and D.H. Lawrence. Organized thematically, it includes articles and excerpts on the Great Barrier Reef, the outback, the Nullarbor Plateau and Bondi Beach.

True History of the Kelly Gang

Author: Peter Carey

Description: A powerful, daring novel, steeped in the colonial history of late 19th-century Australia. Outlaw, folk hero, thief and patriot, the Irish immigrant Ned Kelly and his clan figure large in the Australian mindset. Carey's Booker Prize-winning novel (his second after "Oscar & Lucinda") takes the form of a series of rough, captivating letters by the barely literate gang leader to his young daughter. Kelly was hanged in Melbourne in 1880, where his mother was also imprisoned.

Wild Australia

Author: IMAX

Description: A dazzling overview of Australia, its geology, evolution, culture and wildlife, originally presented in IMAX theatres. The Edge, filmed on the doorstep of Australia's largest city, is about an ancient wilderness ... a labyrinth of lost worlds and magical places - beautiful and treacherous waterfalls, canyons and underground rivers, carved by streams that lead back into a world as it was ninety million years ago. In a remote ravine, 40 ancient trees survive unchanged from the age of the dinosaurs. Rappel into this world of exotic creatures and unique plant life with our modern bushwhackers.

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