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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Weller

Let's Go To...The State of Victoria and the Red Centre

Cliffs on Autralia's coast with offshore rock formations
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria's Great Ocean Road

After your virtual deep dive last week in to the geology, mythology and sociology of Uluru, I thought you might be wondering how you could actually see the famed monolith for yourself. How can you take a luxury-level vacation to visit Australia's Red Centre? What else would you do? How do you get there? Would people really say "g'day" to you?

Keep in mind that although I am working on an Australian itinerary for my clients, the one you are about to read isn't it. Absolutely not. Their itinerary is not your business; it's their own personal treasure, just as your will be when it is ready (hint, hint!).

Day 1 – Welcome to Australia!

A driver will meet you at the airport to transfer you directly to your luxe accommodations on the Mornington Peninsula.

Day 2 – A Day at Your Leisure

The Mornington Peninsula has long been known as Melbourne's weekend playground. For international guests, the Peninsula is a perfect addition to a city stay, offering some of Australia's best food and wine, golf, adventure, beach and leisure activities. With a moderate, coastal climate, the Peninsula offers year-round opportunities to explore the region's wineries or tee off on its world-class golf courses. Over 50 wine cellars and restaurants dot the rolling hills in the area; while 20 outstanding golf courses, of which three are rated in Australia's top ten, have cemented the Peninsula's position as Australia's number one golf destination. Framed by two spectacular coastlines, the Peninsula's unique array of dramatic surf and sheltered bay beaches, natural hot springs, and national parks contribute to the perfect mix of coastal and country reverie.

Day 3 – Chauffeured Drive to Melbourne

You will be driven to Melbourne by private vehicle.

Day 4 – Great Ocean Road

The breath-taking Twelve Apostles are a must on any Australian adventure. A day spent journeying down the Great Ocean Road is the perfect chance to get back to nature. See wild kangaroos and koalas, feed rainbow lorikeets and king parrots and stroll through charming coastal towns, national parks and native forests.

You will meet your expert guide at your hotel. The drive out from Melbourne is a great chance to share some of your tastes and interests so these can be made a feature of your uniquely tailored experience. Sit back and get to know your host in a luxury touring vehicle equipped with wi-fi, water and a selection of Victorian treats. Stop by an Aboriginal centre for a gourmet morning tea with an Aussie flair. Hear the didgeridoo, learn to throw a boomerang and check out indigenous art from around the country. Be consumed by the scents and sounds of native eucalyptus forests. Learn about the 700 different varieties of gumtree, about wallabies, carnivorous snails and early explorers. Enjoy a cafe-style lunch in the backstreets of Apollo Bay, away from the droves of tourists, then continue the exploration. Feed wild parrots, spot koalas high in the treetops and search out a mob of local kangaroos. Take a guided walk at the Apostles and hear the stories which have granted the ‘Shipwreck Coast’ its perilous title. Break up the journey home with a stop for afternoon tea and some delicious Aussie treats.

Day 5 – Lanes and Arcades

On this indulgent morning walk through Melbourne’s beautiful back streets, you'll be oriented to the life of the city that locals love. Discover local designers and specialty retailers that often are only found in the city. Some of the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, architecture, and historical tales are found in these walkways, there is something for everyone, locals and visitors alike. Morning tea is included as well as lunch with a glass of wine.

Day 6 – Melbourne to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Takeoff to Ayers Rock via the nearest town, Alice Springs and continue on the next stage of your adventure.

Day 7 – Wilderness Activities

An exceptional touring program designed especially for guests of your luxury lodge is included in the wilderness experience, and is shared with fellow guests in custom touring vehicles, and led by a nature guide. Expeditions operate at scheduled times on a rotating basis, dependent on day of arrival, with timing subject to sunrise and sunset times which vary throughout the year, according to the seasons and weather permitting. This is a sample of some of the experiences you may be able to enjoy:

Mutitjulu Meander: Venturing to Uluru whilst the morning sun lights up the ancient monolith, meander along the pathway to the peaceful Mutitjulu Waterhole and the sacred site of Kuniya Piti. Along this walk, guides share the Anangu creation story of Kuniya and Liru.

Uluru Sunset: A drive into the dual World Heritage-listed National Park begins the evening followed by a leisurely walk through the Cultural Centre where the informative and interactive displays provide insight into the spiritual and cultural meanings of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Continue on to the twilight viewing area where you can take in the iconic sunset over Uluru with a glass in hand.

Walpa Gorge: Kata Tjuta. This experience heads to Kata Tjuta comprising 36 majestic dome-like rock formations. Along the way the tour calls briefly at the Kata Tjuta Viewing Area for a longer distance perspective and photo opportunity, with expert commentary describing ecology and indigenous significance of the area. From the viewing platform guests continue their journey to Walpa Gorge where the natural history of Kata Tjuta is explained in detail, and discover how eons of weathering and continental upheaval have created today's landscape and ecology.

Mala Walk: Kantju Gorge. After arriving at the base of Uluru your guide leads you on a gentle walk as you learn about the history of the Mala people, pointing out cave paintings and other relevant sites important to both Anangu and the early explorers. Enter Kantju Gorge at dusk to witness the gorge walls ablaze with the light of the setting sun. Enjoying sunset drinks and canapés, guests revel in the silence and solitude.

Dine outdoors: Enjoy fine fare celebrating a fusion of modern and indigenous flavors and discover the wonders of the southern night sky. As darkness falls, a four-course dinner with matched Australian wines is served. In the cool season, a warm fire sparks under the spectacular night sky. Indigenous performers mesmerize with the movement and songs of their ancient culture. After dinner, the resident astronomer regales guests with tales of the Southerly constellations.

Field of Light: World renowned artist, Bruce Munro has chosen the remote desert location surrounding Ayers Rock Resort for his Field of Light installation. Field of Light is a monumental and experimental artwork by renowned artist Bruce Munro, with 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted-glass spheres, connected via illuminated optical fiber. Field of Light blooms as darkness falls over the spiritual heartland of Australia's vast desert with Uluru as the backdrop.

Day 8 – Travel to Sydney

Takeoff to Sydney for three fantastic days of adventure

Day 9 – Bridge Climb

For those seeking excitement, the best view in town, and a special feeling of achievement, join the exhilarating climb of one of Sydney's most famous landmarks. On the thrilling and totally safe Bridge Climb adventure, you may ascend to the top of the Bridge and stand over 427 feet above sea level. The view is breathtaking and you'll also have a close encounter with one of Sydney's historical gems and an engineering wonder of the world. The pace of the climb is leisurely and follows stringent safety standards so you will feel comfortable throughout the experience.

Day 10 – Cruise Like a Local

Cruising on Sydney Harbour is a quintessential Australian experience. With a minimum of two and a maximum of ten passengers, 'cruise like a local' aboard a luxurious 52-foot Pacific Motor Cruiser. Are you an avid angler? What about taking a sea kayak and rowing to a secluded beach? Would you like to go for a swim, or would you just prefer to take your chilled glass of Australian wine and relax on the luxurious sun pads? Jump aboard and explore this magnificent, world-renowned harbor your way.

Day 11 – Depart Sydney

Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your accommodation to Sydney International Airport for your journey home.

Your Australia adventure allows you to choose from a menu of private experiences that offer further exploration and the chance to tailor your itinerary to your special interests. The country is vast and so are its offerings. Your vacation can look like this one or like anything you want. So click this green thing to

'til next week.


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