KANGAROO: Australia Total Solar Eclipse Cairns & Ghan
November 3 - 15, 2012
AUSTRALIA Total Eclipse 2012
Experience Australia's Wild West Northern Territory, where they revel in a tough, maverick image. Darwin is the best place to experience multicultural Australia, where a quarter of the population is Aboriginal. Included is a visit to the Red Centre, one of the world's most iconic symbols, Ayers Rock (Uluru). No visit is complete to Australia without an overnight on the First Class Ghan and a cruise on the Sydney Harbor.
Your Tour Includes:
- Roundtrip international airfare from Los Angeles & Australia domestic airfare
- First-Class Accomodations
- Meals: All breakfasts, Eclipse Bar-B-Que, 5 Lunches, 3 Dinners with wine
- Hotel Porterage
- Welcome Reception in Cairns
- Astronomical lectures, eclipse glasses, star parties
- Air-Conditioned, deluxe coach with professional commentary driver
- Overnight on the First Class Ghan train
- Document packet
- All sightseeing and transfer services as specified
- Darwin: Kakadu National Park, Yellow Water Billabong, and Nourlangie Rock
- Uluru: Visit ancient art rock sites, sunset cocktails & breakfast sunrise at Kata Tjuta
- Sydney: Harbor Cruise & Sydney Opera House
- Cairns: Daintree River Excursion, Full day Great Barrier Reef Excursion, Cruise on the Yellow Water, Billabong, Glass bottom boat on Upolu Cay, Snorkel drift
KANGAROO Itinerary with Cairns
Saturday/Monday, November 3/5, 2012 USA — Darwin, Australia
Depart from your USA gateway for your flight to Australia. Cross the International dateline and lose a day but you will gain it on the return. Upon arrival at Darwin you will be met and transferred to your hotel for two nights. Tonight we meet at Stokes Hill Wharf for a unique tropical dining experience aboard the schooner “Alfred Nobel” includes a four course seated meal.
Crown Plaza Darwin
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 — Darwin
Today depart our hotel and travel across the Marrakai Plains. Journey into the World Heritage site, Kakadu National Park, home to a profusion of birdlife and native fauna as well as more than 5000 rock art sites. We first stop at Window on the Wetland Visitor Centre and then continue onto Kakadu National Park and the Yellow Water Billabong, located at the end of Jim Jim Creek. The South Alligator river system, which is the largest in the Park, contains extensive wetlands that include river channels, floodplains and backwater swamps. About one third of Australia's bird species are represented in Kakadu National Park, with at least 60 species found in the wetlands. We look at aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie Rock. The walls of these rock shelters have served as both shelter and canvases for thousands of years. Paintings such as Namarrgon (lightening man) explore the relationship of the people to their country and belief.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 — The Ghan
Transfer from your hotel to Darwin train to board The Ghan to Alice Springs. Enjoy the excellent Gold Class Service with private sleeping compartments.
The Ghan Gold Service from Darwin to Alice Springs
Thursday, November 8, 2012 — Alice Springs – Uluru
Today we travel to Ayers Rock (Uluru). We enjoy our driver/guide's commentary on Aboriginal culture and history and stop for a brief lunch (own expense) to experience the rough, outback life at an Aboriginal Station. This afternoon we depart our hotel for the Cultural Centre and an introduction to Tjukurpa (law, knowledge, religion, philosophy), Anangu art, Anangu way of life (traditional and current), history, languages, wildlife and joint managements of the Park. Depart the Cultural Centre and enjoy touring the base of the monolith and the Mutitjulu Base Walk - this track leads to a special waterhole, the home of Wanampi, an ancestral watersnake. For centuries Mutitjulu was an important campsite for Anangu at Uluru. On this walk you will learn about Kuniya Tjukurpa – the great battle between Kuniya (woma python) and Liru (poisonous snake man). At sunset admire the ever-changing array of colors of the mighty monolith while the sun sinks below the horizon, while enjoying cocktails and nibbles, before returning to our oasis in the middle of the desert for the night.
Desert Gardens Ayers Rock
Friday, November 9, 2012 — Uluru – Sydney
This morning depart our hotel for a sunrise breakfast over Kata Tjuta to watch the color change as a result from the effects of the Earth's atmosphere on the sun's incoming rays. The ash, dust particles and water vapor present in the earth's atmosphere act as a filter which can remove the bluer light from the incoming rays of the sun, allowing the redder light through at different times of day. On completion of sunrise we start our walk into Valley of Winds, holy to its aboriginal caretakers and even more ancient than Uluru. The highlight of visiting the Olgas is the Valley of the Winds walk, a path that cuts one and three/fourth mile deep into the long, narrow spaces between the high domes, where the winds howl and carry one's echoes far down the gorges below. The area offers spectacular panoramic views of Kata Tjuta and the sand dunes. Uluru can also be easily seen on the distant horizon from this lookout. Transfer to the airport for our flight to Sydney where you will be transferred to the hotel for two nights.
The Grace Hotel
Saturday, November 10, 2012 — Sydney
This morning we depart for our sights of Sydney. Driving through the city centre, we will see many contrasts - from the traditional Victorian architecture of the Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building to the business district skyscrapers; from the sweeping design of the Opera House to the modern developments of Darling Harbour. Drive through the Botanic Garden to Lady Macquarie's Chair and then head out to the eastern suburbs, passing Kings Cross en route to Vaucluse and Double Bay. Visit Bondi Beach and historic Paddington with its iron railed town houses, arriving at Circular Quay for our lunch. After the cruise, proceed to the Sydney Opera House for guided tour through the theatres and explanation of the fascinating history and architecture.
Sunday, November 11, 2012 — Sydney – Cairns
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Darwin. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Tonight meet the larger group for a Welcome Reception and introduction to the distinguished lecturers.
Novotel Oasis Cairns or Pacific International Cairns
Monday, November 12, 2012 — Cairns
Depart our hotel and board our Great Barrier Reef vessel. Enjoy the one and half hour cruise to Upolu Cay on the Great Barrier Reef of turquoise water and many types of corals, reef fishes, stingrays, cucumbers, and sea stars. Snorkel and dive here. Assistance is provided to ensure all guests enjoy the reef. Lunch is served as we cruise to our second site, the "Wonder Wall" on the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef. View many different types of hard and soft coral in addition to fans, giant clams, turtles, and a huge diversity of reef fish of all sizes.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — Cairns
This morning we depart our hotel with Adventure North. Learn about our area's rich Aboriginal history and culture with the Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours combined with the oldest living rainforest on the planet including the spectacular Niau Falls. Walk with brothers, Brandan and Linc Walker on pristine Cooya Beach and learn how observe wildlife through the mangroves. Enjoy morning tea of fresh made damper, tea/coffee as the Walker boys show and explain artifacts, tools, or how to play a didgeridoo. We continue north to the Daintree Village for an hour Daintree River Cruise. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park before departing for Tranquility on the Daintree, a 450-acre private property of spectacular Niau Waterfalls and primitive plants.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — ECLIPSE — Green Island
Depart from hotel this morning to Cairns Wharf for the Eclipse viewing. Depart from Cairns Wharf around the Green Island region by large Catamaran. Tonight’s Bar-B-Que will be at one of Australia’s premier Crocodile reserves, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 — Cairns – Home City
Extend your stay at the Great Barrier Reef or transfer from our hotel to Sydney International airport, including departure assistance.