The Ultimate Wine Tour of Australia

The Ultimate Wine Tour of Australia - 15 Days

Tour Description


While this itinerary definitely focuses on visits and tastings in Australia's top wine regions, it also incorporates nature, wildlife and city sightseeing to create the perfect blend of four of Australian's most interesting and beautiful states: New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Cheers!

Highlights

  • Overnight stays in the Yarra Valley and Hunter Valley wine regions
  • Seafood luncheon cruise through Sydney Harbour
  • Gourmet food tour of Adelaide
  • Visit Domaine Chandon to learn about Australian sparkling wines
  • Colonial Tramcar dinner experience in Melbourne
  • See kangaroos, tammar Wallabies and cockatoos
  • Wine touring in McLaren Vale wine region
  • Spend four nights on the island of Tasmania

Sydney – 2 nights

Day 1: Arrive Sydney

Arrive in Sydney, Australia's largest and most cosmopolitan city (and the capital of New South Wales). After exiting customs, meet your local assistant in the terminal's arrivals hall. Your group will then travel by private coach to the hotel. (Even though your group will most likely arrive before the hotel's check-in time, feel free to store your luggage with the reception staff). There will be free time until this evening to begin exploring Sydney, a city famed for its fantastic cultural attractions.

This evening you will be transferred to The Summit Restaurant for dinner.

At Sydney's Summit Restaurant the only thing to rival the view is the outstanding cuisine. The Summit on the 47th level of Australia Square is situated 541 feet above Sydney Harbour. As the world's largest revolving restaurant, it takes in the 360 degrees of the spectacular Sydney skyline in 1hr45min. First opened in 1968, the Summit has also recently been magnificently refurbished. (Please note that for wine groups, in general we think it best to exclude the exact wine selection from our pricing so that our passengers can decide on spot which specific vintages they prefer to consume.)

Day 2:

After breakfast in the hotel, meet your local guide for a panoramic tour of Sydney's main sightseeing attractions by private coach. During the tour you will see the city's lovely Botanical Gardens, Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, the Conservatorium of Music and Sydney's iconic Opera House. Also featured on the tour is a drive through the city's commercial center, Darling Harbour, Chinatown, Kings Cross, the exclusive suburbs of Double Bay, Rose Bay, and Watson's Bay (enjoy a spectacular view there of the Pacific Ocean from the Gap before returning to the city).

Upon arriving to King Street Wharf, you will board Magistic Cruises for a Sydney Harbour seafood luncheon cruise. Magistic is renowned for setting a new benchmark in Sydney Harbour cruising and dining. Experience Sydney's newest and finest fleet of luxury catamarans with exceptional nautical design, contemporary interior décor, friendly service and international menus freshly prepared onboard. Uncover the beauty that Sydney has to offer as you glide effortlessly by the famous harbor icons, magnificent waterfront homes, private beaches and secluded bays. A favorite for locals and visitors alike, enjoy the exquisite seafood buffet which features an array of fresh local seafood, hot and cold dishes, salads, desserts, cheeses and fruit. (Non-seafood diners and vegetarians will be equally impressed.) Upon disembarking at Circular Quay, you will be transferred back to your hotel with the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

You and your fellow group members will begin this evening with a tour of the principal theatres before enjoying an intimate pre-theatre dinner in Aria or Guilluame at Bennelong restaurant, which overlooks the Sydney Harbour and East Circular Quay. Following dinner, a performance in the famous Opera Theatre, Concert Hall, Drama Theatre or Playhouse will complete the special "Starry Nights" experience (subject to performance availability and schedule). Included in tonight's program are a private guided tour of the Opera house, a 2-course dinner, 2 glasses of Australian wine, reserve tickets to a performance and transfers to/from your group's hotel.

Hunter Valley – 2 nights

Day 3: Arrive Hunter Valley

After breakfast and check-out, your group will board its private coach to travel north to wine country. Your beautiful base for the next two nights is one of Australia's top wine regions: Hunter Valley. Today's first stop is the historic township of Wollombi, which is best known for its local brew called Dr. Jurd's Jungle Juice. You will then stroll through the villages, depart for the Broken Back Range, climb the escarpment to Mt View, and then descend down into stunningly beautiful Hunter Valley where you will begin your wine tasting at several of the very special boutique wineries in the area.

Your first visit will be at Petersons Champagne House for a unique experience in the specialized field of sparkling winemaking. The experienced staff will welcome you, offer a tasting at the bar, and take you through the selection of premium sparkling wines that have been made on site by the traditional méthode champenoise system.

You will then visit Wyndham Estate for a winery tour and tasting, followed by lunch. Wyndham Estate was established in 1828 by George Wyndham. The high humidity, combined with the rich alluvial soils deposited over the years by the Hunter River produces fruit blessed with mouth-filling flavors. The Wyndham Estate winemaking process aims to optimize these intense fruit flavors at all times.

After lunch, you and you fellow travelers will visit Hunter Cellars for more wine tasting. Hunter Cellars strives to create some of the best wines from the Lower and Upper Hunter and then present them in a relaxed environment. Tastings are held in the large underground complex, which offers an atmosphere of a traditional wine cellar.

Afterwards, your group will be taken to a Hunter Valley wine-country hotel for a two-night stay.

Day 4:

After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred to the Hunter Resort, where you will join Karina Hele-Barry, who worked as a chef at the Savoy in London and Rockpool in Sydney, and her husband, Brian Barry, who is a wine educator with 25 years of experience in the wine industry.

Experience firsthand the "marriage" of food and wine from their expert knowledge as you enjoy both the Hunter Valley Wine School and the Hunter Valley Cooking School. Karina and Brian's house includes a purpose-built, cooking-school kitchen, an extensive private wine cellar and library. This afternoon you will re-board the private coach and travel to the Hunter Valley Gardens Village, which is home to boutique specialty shops, restaurants, attractions and a chapel. You and your group members will have a couple of hours to explore on your own before returning to the hotel.

Enjoy an evening at leisure in Hunter Valley.

Hobart – 3 nights

Day 5: Arrive Hobart

With its vineyards and farms nestled between rolling hills and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges, Hunter Valley is the perfect destination to experience hot-air ballooning, which you will do this very morning! Take off at dawn and witness the sunrise as you float gently over the picturesque landscape. After a flight briefing, passengers are transported to the chosen launch site for the day. This can be anywhere in the valley depending on the direction the wind is blowing, and you may be flying over hills, rivers, forests, vineyards or fertile farmland. (Please note: depending on the wind speed and direction, your flight will last between 45-60 minutes, and for safety purposes, the landing site will be at the pilot's discretion.)

After flying, your group will be transferred to a nearby restaurant for a wonderful, post-flight champagne breakfast before returning to Sydney to catch your flight to Tasmania's capital city of Hobart. (Before heading to the airport in Sydney, your group will stop and have lunch at a local restaurant either in the city center or Darling Harbour.) After a brief flight to Tasmania, your group will be transferred to the hotel in Hobart by private coach. The evening is at leisure for you to begin exploring Hobart on your own.

Day 6:

After breakfast in the hotel, this morning your group will be transferred to Sullivans Cove, where it will leisurely cruise down the picturesque Derwent River to the Moorilla Estate. While aboard, enjoy tasting Moorilla's award-winning wines as you soak up the River Derwent's stunning surroundings. As you sail past Hobart, you will see views of Government House, the Botanical Gardens, Tasman Bridge and Aboriginal rock caves. And in just 30 minutes you will be transported to another world where you can explore the wine estate on foot, taste the renowned, cool-climate wines of one of Tasmania's premier vineyards, and visit the Moorilla Museum of Antiquities.

In the afternoon, you will return to the hotel for free time before tonight's Tasmanian wine dinner with food-and-wine writer Graeme Phillips in one of Hobart's fine restaurants. Alternatively, the group could enjoy a "Hobart Historic Dinner," a dinner and private theatre show depicting scenes from Hobart in colonial days. (Depending on your group's preference, transportation to dinner can be arranged.)

Day 7:

After breakfast in the hotel, your group will set out on another day of fabulous Australian wine sightseeing beginning with a visit to the Meadowbank Vineyard and Wine Centre for a tour and meeting with the winemakers. Afterwards continue via the historic village of Richmond to Morningside Vineyard to meet winemakers Peter and Brenda Bothworth for a private tour and tasting of their old vine pinot. For lunch visit the intimately-charming Stucki's restaurant. Enjoy lunch and then proceed to Stoney Vineyard to meet winemaker Peter Althaus, who has set a new standard in Tasmanian winemaking after immigrating to Tasmania from Switzerland.

After the wine tasting, your group will return to the hotel for one last evening in lovely Hobart.

Launceston – 1 night

Day 8: Arrive Launceston

After breakfast and check-out, this morning your group will set out on a wine and gourmet tour accompanied by Tasmanian wine expert John Cook. As you travel north, you will begin by visiting Strathlyn and Rosevears Vineyards during which you will taste truly high-quality Tasmanian wines. Afterwards your group will lunch at Rosevears with winemaker Joe Cromey. You will then continue to Holm Oak to taste some wines not even available to the locals! After an exciting day of touring and tasting, your driver will take your group to its hotel in Launceston for check-in. Dinner tonight could be on own should group members wish to dine individually in Launceston. Alternatively, a fantastic group dinner could be arranged at one of Launceston's well-known restaurants, such as Stillwater Restaurant, which is located on the banks of the Tamar River.

Adelaide – 3 nights

Day 9: Arrive Adelaide

After breakfast and check-out, your group will transfer to Launceston Airport by private coach to catch its flight to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia and Australia's fifth-largest city.

Upon arriving to Adelaide, a local guide will take your group on a gourmet tour of Adelaide en route to the hotel. Adelaide, with its rich, multi-cultural society, has earned its reputation as a city of excellent food and wine. In fact, Adelaide is the host city to "Tasting Australia," an extravagant, gourmet food and wine festival in Australia. During your sightseeing tour of Adelaide, your group will pop inside the bustling Adelaide Central Market. Home to wonderful, fresh produce, the market is a terrific spot to taste and sample local foodie favorites. During your tour of Adelaide, your group will also visit the National Wine Centre.

After the tour, your group will check in at the hotel in Adelaide and then have the evening at leisure.

Day 10:

After breakfast in the hotel, your group will meet a local guide and depart Adelaide by private coach. Today you will journey south to one of Australia's best kept secrets: the McLaren Vale wine region. Located close to the coast near the Mount Lofty Ranges, the picturesque wine region is home to many delightful family-owned wineries that open their doors to visitors for tours and wine tastings. The region is known for its wonderful Shiraz and Grenache, and many of its wineries are steeped in history, including BRL Hardy's Reynella, which was established in 1838.

Enjoy a private tasting at the Coriole Winery, an estate which has harvested grapes since the early 20th century. With its first-bottled wine produced in 1970, Coriole has consistently produced full-bodied, red wines of superb quality, particularly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today you will enjoy their excellent wines in a truly beautiful setting overlooking the sea. After the visit, your group will continue touring and tasting by paying visit to another outstanding, family-owned winery (options include Wirra Wirra, Fox Creek or Hugh Hamiltons).

As part of today's Australian wine touring, your group will also have a tasting at the famous d'Arenberg winery, which dates back to 1912. The visit and tasting will be followed by lunch at the winery's d'Arry's Verandah Restaurant, whose innovative local chef uses fresh produce of the region. After a full day of wine touring, return to Adelaide for an evening at leisure.

Day 11:

After breakfast in the hotel, your group will set out for what will surely be a highlight of your trip to Australia! After a short morning flight, you will touch down on Kangaroo Island, which is located approximately 70 miles southwest of Adelaide. Upon arriving at Kangaroo Island, a specialist guide will meet your group and lead it on an exciting, full-day sightseeing tour of Kangaroo Island in an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. Learn all about life on the island as you explore its red gum forests and scenic wool-producing areas. You will also take a walk through the habitat of kangaroos, tammar wallabies and endangered glossy black cockatoos at the Lahami Conservation Park.

Your sightseeing tour of Kangaroo Island will also feature Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you will walk with your guide amongst Australian sea lions on a beautiful sandy beach. Visit Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park including D'Estrees Bay, where ospreys nest and kangaroos come out late in the day to feed. During the tour, your group will break to enjoy a delicious seafood barbecue lunch (served with fine South Australian wines). At the conclusion of this once-in-a-lifetime tour, your group will return to Kingscote Airport to catch its short flight back for its last final evening in Adelaide.

Melbourne – 2 nights

Day 12: Arrive Melbourne

After breakfast and check-out, you and your fellow travelers will transfer to Adelaide Airport by private coach to catch a short flight to Melbourne. As the capital of the state of Victoria and Australia's second largest city, Melbourne is known for being Australia's fashion center, cultural capital, and "the Garden State" because of its magnificent parks and gardens. The wonderfully-preserved, Victorian architecture of Melbourne gives the city a special charm, reminiscent of the great cities of Europe.

Upon arriving to Melbourne Airport you will set out on a city sightseeing tour by private coach of trendy Melbourne's past and present. Your driver will show you the central business district's eclectic architecture, the Victorian Arts Centre and the pyramid-style Shrine of Remembrance, an imposing structure that dominates St.Kilda Road. Your group will also see the fashionable Toorak Village as well as the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens (home to Cook's Cottage), whose avenues of huge English elms line picturesquely-contoured lawns. Your panoramic tour will finish up at your hotel in Melbourne. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to begin exploring Melbourne on your own or simply to relax before tonight's special dining experience.

Victoria is noted for its trams, and tonight your group will board the Colonial Tramcar for a unique dining experience. Enjoy dining aboard a beautifully-restored 1927 tram as you cruise along the scenic streets of Melbourne. Serving up very fine cuisine paired with the very best of Australian wines, the atmosphere aboard the tram is as cozy, the service as friendly, and the décor as inviting as the colonial period it reflects. (Based on late seating: 8:35 pm – 11:35 pm, and transportation will be provided for your group to and from the hotel.)

Day 13:

After breakfast and check-out, you will be collected by your coach driver and taken to a region made up of rolling green hills, picturesque vineyards and a flourishing wine industry: the Yarra Valley. The region's sheer beauty gives way to reveal a diverse range of premium wines featuring intense fruit characters, fine supple tannins, elegance and immense complexity. Your Yarra Valley wine tour will begin with a visit to the De Bortoli Wine Estate. While here your group will be taken to the Trophy Room for a private wine tasting paired with cheese and fruit. After visiting the Immerse Winery, your group's next stop will be at the Yering Station Winery for a wine tasting, a visit to the Yarra Valley Regional Food Group Produce Store, and lunch at Yering Station Wine Bar & Restaurant.

This afternoon your group will also stop and visit the 100-year-old boutique Yarra Valley Dairy, which hand-produces a wonderful selection of French and Italian-style cheeses that pair perfectly with a glass of wine, coffee, tea or locally-produced fruit juice.

Yarra Valley – 1 night

Day 14: Arrive Yarra Valley

After a leisurely breakfast and check-out, rejoin your guide this morning for an exciting visit to the Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Park. Located in bushland with soaring gum trees, colorful wattles and cool, green ferns, this is an ideal place to encounter Australia's unique wildlife including kangaroos, koalas, wombats and platypus! After this wonderful visit (followed by a group lunch), your group will continue its sightseeing tour with a visit to Domaine Chandon, where Moet and Chandon produce fine Australian sparkling wines. Learn all about the world of sparkling wine as your tour takes you through the bottling area and the riddling hall cellar. The tour concludes in the Green Point Room where you will have the opportunity to taste Domaine Chandon's premium sparkling wine and gourmet platter before returning to the hotel in Melbourne.

Enjoy your final evening in Australia!

Day 15:

After breakfast and checkout, your group will travel by private coach to Melbourne International Airport for its return flight to the USA or Canada.

Inclusions

  • Accommodations: Sydney 2 nights, Hunter Valley 2 nights, Hobart 3 nights, Launceston 1 night, Adelaide 3 nights, Melbourne 2 nights,
    Yarra Valley 1 night
  • Continental breakfast daily.
  • Ground transportation via air conditioned luxury coach
  • Admission tickets, sightseeing excursions and wine tastings as outlined in the itinerary
  • When selecting this itinerary for your group, please let us know which flight segments you would like us to provide.

Download the The Ultimate Wine Tour of Australia pdf file.

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