DAY 1: Sydney to The Dig Tree to Birdsville
It’s an action-packed first day of the Cape York Air Safari as you depart Bankstown at 7.30am. Fly over Queensland and land at the Dig Tree, where the explorers Burke and Wills famously set up camp. Learn more about this pioneering pair and their ill-fated expedition. Off to Birdsville, where sunset drinks are at Big Red, the first of 1,140 parallel sand dunes marking the edge of the Simpson Desert. Look out over the vast expanse of not very much and you’ll truly know you’ve made it to the outback! To end the day, stay and dine in one of Australia’s most iconic pubs — the Birdsville Hotel. Overnight: Birdsville Hotel (L,D)
DAY 2: Birdsville to Lawn Hill
Flying north towards the Gulf of Carpentaria, your aircraft will land a short walk from your room or cabin at Adels Grove, in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, overlooking the stunning Lawn Hill Creek. Lawn Hill Gorge is one of the most spectacular gorges in the Gulf Country, with luscious tropical vegetation, sheer red cliffs and enchanting green water. A solar-electric-powered pontoon boat will take you on a cruise through the gorge to its summit, where you’ll find yourself in a small oasis with a beautiful waterfall. Swim at the falls and nearby bubbling spa, subject to conditions, then it’s back to Adels Grove for pre-dinner drinks in the open-air restaurant. Overnight: Adels Grove, room or cabin (B,L,D)
DAY 3: Lawn Hill to Horn Island and Thursday Island
Continue north up the west side of Cape York, past the tip of Australia, to Horn Island in the Torres Strait. Local history experts and tour guides Liberty and Vanessa will meet you on arrival. They’ll take you to the Torres Strait Heritage Museum to view exhibits from the pearling industry, myths and legends of Torres Strait, artwork, artefacts and the World War II history of the area. On the In Their Steps WWII tour, visit gun emplacements, an underground command post, slit trenches, an aircraft wreck with an unbelievable story, the WWII airstrip, dispersal bays and taxiways. Walk in the steps of the indigenous and non-indigenous soldiers who served in the area, with insightful and entertaining commentary. Transfer by ferry across to Thursday Island and your accommodation. Overnight: Island Villas or Grand Hotel (B,L,D)
DAY 4: Thursday Island and the Tip of Australia
Today it’s time for a bucket list adventure – a helicopter to the tip of Australia. Fly by chopper from Thursday Island to the tip of Cape York Peninsula, the most northern point of mainland Australia. Landing nearby, it is an 800m walk to the coastline where you can snap a photo of the tip of Australia for the memory vaults. A tour of TI (Thursday Island) reveals how its history helped to create today’s dynamic, multicultural community and the tropical lifestyle it offers. Overnight: Island Villas or Grand Hotel (B,L,D)
DAY 5: Thursday Island to Lizard Island
Ferry back to Horn Island to rejoin your aircraft for the flight south to Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Take in the breathtaking coastline en-route and fly over some of the world’s most spect-acular scenery on the reef. As the most northern resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. Exceptional service, facilities, touring and food are the perfect complement to swimming off the beach into the wonders of the largest coral reef in the world – very hard to beat. Overnight: Lizard Island Resort, Garden View. (B,L,D)
DAY 6: Lizard Island
Enjoy a leisurely day relaxing in the island paradise that is Lizard Island, with activities at your discretion. Take advantage of the complimentary snorkelling equipment and lessons, stand up paddle boards and sea kayaks and it’ll be hard to stay out of the water. The local reef life will leave you spellbound. If you’re feeling energetic, a walk to Cook’s Lookout, the highest point of the island with a 360° view, is well worth the effort. Optional tours (at your own expense) include a boat trip and diving on the outer reef. Overnight: Lizard Island Resort. (B,L,D)
DAY 7: Lizard Island to Laura to Undara
Fly to Laura for a private tour of various Quinkan rock art sites. Quinkan Country contains a large and dramatic body of rock paintings. These galleries, between 15,000 and 40,000 years old, are listed by UNESCO as being among the top 10 rock art sites in the world. After lunch in Laura, continue south to Undara. In the Gulf Savannah country, the ancient Undara Lava Tubes allow you to walk in the path of a volcano. Land on the resort’s airstrip, and the rest of the afternoon is for you to explore this remarkable place. Take a bushwalk, go birdwatching, or just find a spot to sit and enjoy the peace. Sit around the campfire with your fellow-travellers, then sleep in a beautifully restored, c1900 railway carriage, under the shade of tall trees, surrounded by wildlife. (B,L,D) 2 nights: Undara Experience, Railway Carriage.
DAY 8: Undara
Wake to the sound of the birds. On the Archway Explorer, a Savannah guide will take you into the lava tubes and teach you about the area’s environmental, geological and historical features. You’ll have time to do as you please again today. Bushwalking, meeting the local kangaroos, checking out the amazing views across the plains, or photographing wildflowers and birds. Later in the day, see kangaroos and wallabies, colourful cockatoos and lorikeets and other truly wild creatures in their natural environment. Enjoy a big sky sunset with sparkling wine and cheese while a guide unlocks the secrets of this timeless land. Then, at dusk, be taken to the entrance of a lava tube for a nature experience you’ll never forget – thousands of tiny insect-eating micro-bats emerge from the darkness to find food. (B,L,D)
DAY 9: Undara to Longreach (B,L,D)
Relax for the morning, take another wander or just sit and watch the world go by. After an early lunch, fly over the vast Queensland countryside, arriving at Longreach in the late afternoon. Explore the historic homestead at Camden Park Station, enjoy the expansive view from the verandah and gain an insight into the history of grazing in the outback, then be treated to a wonderful meal in a circa 1920 shearing shed. 2 nights: Longreach Tourist Park, Deluxe Cabin.
DAY 10: Longreach
Your day in Longreach begins with the fascinating Stockman’s Hall of Fame, where the Australian Stockman’s Experience will take you on an adventure that depicts the rugged, harsh and sometimes humorous antics of life in the bush. Spend some time at the Qantas Founders Museum — with an impressive collection of aircraft. Glide down the coolabah-lined Thomson River at sunset to Smithy’s Outback Dinner & Show. Overnight: Saltbush Retreat (B,L,D)
DAY 11: Longreach to Carnarvon Gorge
After breakfast, you’re back on the plane to Carnarvon Gorge, an oasis in the semi-arid heart of Central Queensland. Carnarvon Creek has carved a winding course through sandstone over millions of years to form a spectacular steep gorge with narrow, vibrantly-coloured and lush gorges. The gorge is home to a range of significant plant and animal species, many of them relics of cooler, wetter times. Some of the finest rock art in Australia is a fragile reminder of Aboriginal people’s long and continuing connection with the gorge. You have the chance to join a private guided walk this afternoon. A walk to Mickey’s Creek and Warrumbah Gorge will offer you one of the few opportunities to get into a side gorge so narrow that you can touch both walls at the same time. The sunlight only reaches the floor of these gorges for a very short period each day, and they have a micro-climate all of their own. Later, cast your eyes upwards for a tour of the stars. The night sky is incredibly clear out here, allowing for some pretty spectacular viewing. The combination of sky, state of the art observatory and tour guide expertise make for an experience as brilliant as the Carnarvon night sky. Overnight: Takarakka Bush Resort or Carnarvon Gorge Lodge (B,L,D)
DAY 12: Carnarvon Gorge
The second day takes you on a long, guided walk. The Moss Garden, one of the best known sites at Carnarvon Gorge, is a great example of how the spring systems work and is nestled amongst one of the best patches of remnant rainforest in the National Park. If you choose not to do the full day tour, you can spend more time this afternoon around the grounds, or go on shorter walks around the resort. Perhaps sit on the private verandah of your cabin, drink in hand, and do a spot of wildlife watching. Overnight: Takarakka Bush Resort or Carnarvon Gorge Lodge (B,L,D)
DAY 13: Carnarvon Gorge to Sydney
Sadly, it’s the last day of your Cape York Air Safari. Your final stop is Charlotte Plains, a 27,000ha sheep station. Take a tour, meet the owners, lunch in the historic homestead and listen to the stories of existence on this remote station. For the enthusiastic, there may be time for a hot bath in the open air, heated by thermal artesian water. Back in the air, head for home to Sydney where you’ll arrive at around 6.00 pm. (B,L)
|Twin Fare||Single Fare|
International touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.
Travelrite International Pty Ltd, (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour operator.
The tour costs are based on general transport, entry, and accommodation costs. Travelrite reserves the right to alter the costs if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with full refund of monies paid or modify arrangements. No alterations to price will be made within 60 days of departure.
DEPOSIT AND PAYMENT:
A deposit of $1950 per twin-share passenger and $2150 per single passenger for is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 60 days before departure for the Tour. Cancellation over 60 days before tour departs will result in a loss of the deposit. Cancellation 60 days or less before tour departs will result in a loss of all monies paid. Payment may be made by cheque or cash a 1.5% administration fee will be charged on payments made by credit cards.
The tour is based on arrangements that do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilised after the tour has commenced.
All passengers will require a valid passport. If you are not an Australian passport holder check with Travelrite International for visa requirements.
Travel insurance is recommended to cover the costs of cancellation fees due to illness, death in family, etc.
MINIMUM TOUR NUMBERS:
The tour has been priced on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 60 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost.
Please pack using small squashable (sports or duffel) bags. Passengers are limited to packed luggage of 8kg per person.
Children under 5 years of age are ineligible on coach & cruise tours. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Passengers with disabilities are welcome on Travelrite & Cruise Offers tours provided they are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all necessary assistance, and do not require special assistance from Travelrite & Cruise Offers personnel. Travelrite and Cruise Offers reserves the right to refuse to carry anyone if it is felt the individual cannot cope with the requirements of coach & cruise tour travel and who may require services and facilities that Travelrite & Cruise Offers cannot guarantee will be available. You agree to not hold the Travelrite & Cruise Offers responsible for any decision made by any of them or any service provider to refuse to carry you, provide any facilities or accommodation to you or to provide any service to you.
Travelrite International Pty Ltd. (ABN 64 005 817 078) is the tour organizer. Travelrite acts only as an agent in the making of arrangements for hotels, transportation, restaurants or any other service and does not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to an act of negligence or a default of any hotel, carrier restaurant company or person rendering any services included in the tour, or by act of God. Further no responsibilities are accepted for any damage or delay due to sickness, pilferage, labour disputes, machinery break-down, quarantine, government restraints, weather, terrorism or other causes beyond their control. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omission, delays, re-routing or acts of any government authority. The passage contract between the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the purchasers of this tour and/or the passengers. The right is reserved to withdraw any tour and/or make such changes in the tour as may be found desirable or necessary for the convenience of the parties and the proper carrying out of the tour. This contract shall be construed in accordance of the laws of the State of Victoria, Australia and any legal action must be undertaken in the State of Victoria.
DELAYS AND UNFORESEEN EVENTS:
You engage Traverite International to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite International acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite International may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite International reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite International your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite International any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite Interna-tional in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.
HOW TO BOOK:
Bookings can be made by sending full names and addresses of intending tour members with a deposit for the Tour.
Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103
Further information or a booking form can be obtained by contacting
Travelrite International on the following numbers:
Toll Free: 1800 630 343
Phone: (03) 8803 6868
ABOUT TRAVELRITE INTERNATIONAL:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established family-owned business that’s been operating in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs for more than 35 years. Travelrite International is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), is fully Accredited with ATAS (A10538) and IATA. As such they directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators.
“Had a great time. Well organised. Ship crew were fantastic. Tour Manager did a great job. Guides were good, and we had a very friendly group.”
“Tour Host was very personable, great lectures. Top class guides made all the difference.”