Australian Wine Highlights Tour

Sydney Opera House sunset

14 days ex USA.

This tour is a suggestion and may be customized in any way – extend a few days and include Perth and the Margaret River region of Western Australia. It can be modified for groups.


Cross the international date line, lose a day (gain on return)

You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Balance of day at leisure.
Accommodation:  Sydney, 2 nights

This morning, pick up for city sights tour. Travel via luxury air-conditioned vehicle to the charming Rocks area where you take a stroll around the historic area, with its quaint old cottages, pubs and churches.   Rejoin the vehicle and travel along Macquarie St, the seat of government for NSW, the Mint & Hyde Park
Barracks. Traveling past St Mary’s Cathedral, you visit Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair for an unsurpassed view of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and Bridge.  Continuing along the shores of Sydney Harbour, you travel through Kings Cross, Double Bay & Rose Bay. Passing by the up-market real estate, you pause briefly for morning tea in the beautiful Sydney Harbour National Park.  You then travel further to South Head, with its breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour and the city.  Take a short stroll along the cliff tops and rejoin the vehicle to continue to Bondi Beach and Centennial Park before returning to the city. Afternoon at leisure. This evening enjoy the spectacular lights of Sydney’s famous Harbour while dining aboard a luxury catamaran. A fine selection of beverages are available from the licensed bar at your own expense.

Pick up from the hotel; travel north over the Sydney Harbour Bridge via the Gore Hill Freeway to join the Pacific Highway and then the F3 Freeway.  Crossing the Hawkesbury River, leave the Freeway to travel on sealed roads through the Yengo National Park.   Here you travel through contrasting rural farmland and Australian Natural Bush, mountains ranges and grazing land.  En route view several sections of the original convict built Old Great Northern Road.  This road, built in the 1820s was considered to be one of the world’ s great engineering feats of this time and is an exceptional example of English road building. Stop to enjoy a delightful morning tea before continuing through the historic Wollombi village, established in the early 19th century and a wonderful example of the small colonial rural townships of this era.  Departing Wollombi, your journey takes you over Mt View where you gain a panoramic perspective of the Hunter
Valley wine areas.  From here travel to the first of the boutique wineries to sample premium Hunter Wines before adjourning to a renowned vineyard café to enjoy lunch.  After lunch visit another respected boutique winery to sample more of the Hunter Valley’s famous wines and have the opportunity to purchase wines that are not available anywhere else.   Afternoon at leisure.
Accommodation:  Hunter Valley resort, 1 night

After breakfast you are transferred to the Hunter Valley wine school for an informal tutorial of wine education.  Walk through the on site vineyard of 30 year old shiraz vines and discuss matters viticultural. Then it’s off to the crusher and into the winery to see the air bag presses, huge tanks, the Potter Fermenters, the filtration equipment, and the largest Rotovats in the Hunter.  From there, the tour then moves through into the Oak Cask maturation area, and on into the Wine Tasting Cellars; an informal wine tutorial and tasting follows. On completion of the wine school you return to your accommodations to check out. This afternoon, return to Sydney airport and your flight to Adelaide. On arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation:  Adelaide, 3 nights.

This morning, transfer to the National Wine Centre situated in the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Experience interactive sights designed to educate the visitor in every aspect of the wine making process and provide insights into the history of the Australian Wine.  At the completion of your self-guided tour enjoy a personalized tasting. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the sights of Adelaide.

You will be met at your hotel for your drive to McLaren Vale about 45 minutes south of Adelaide and located between the southern Adelaide Hills and the sea.  The area’s hot summer growing season is tempered by cool afternoon sea breezes.  The region is known for ‘old fashioned’ full-bodied reds which have as much to do with a mild, temperate climate and complex soils as with the wine making technique.   The region’s white wines also have a certain full-flavoured intensity about them.  The region is best known for shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and more recently, sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc.   The day is full of surprises, none the least the vineyards themselves – the oldest continually working vineyards in the world! Visit small, family wineries that provide a special experience. Enjoy cellar door tastings and sales from wineries whose wines have earned top awards from around the world.  Lunch at a winery restaurant such as D’Arrys.

You will be met at your hotel for the drive to the Barossa Valley. The Barossa is one of Australia’s most famous wine regions and many of the nations largest wine companies have their roots there.  The Barossa was settled in the 1840s by German Lutherans who also brought the first vines to the Valley.  Today the
region remains close to its roots.  Many shiraz, grenache and semillon vineyards have vines that are between 50 and 100 years old and produce wines with exceptional depth of fruit.  Other grape varieties produced in the region include chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon and merlot as well as semillon and
Pinot Noir in the slightly cooler Eden Valley nearby. Experience tasting premium local wines with the opportunity to  discuss your tastings with knowledgeable winery staff. Enjoy lunch in a winery setting where you can enjoy the region’s  distinctive cuisine. After the day of wine tasting, continue north to the Clare Valley for overnight.
Accommodation: Clare Valley country house, 1 night

The Clare Valley has a number of elevated vineyards producing wines with distinct cool-climate characteristics and intense varietal fruit flavours.  The best  example of this is the Clare Valley Riesling which presents itself with a crisp and fragrant bouquet, steely herb and lime flavours on the palate and a long dry finish.  Spend the morning tasting premium Clare wines before heading for a tasting at Skillogalee Wines and lunch. After lunch enjoy further tastings at other Clare Valley wineries before returning to Adelaide.

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Kangaroo Island. South west of Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is a microcosm of a very diverse continent. It has many of the images people readily associate with Australia – abundant native wildlife, wide open spaces, clean air, beautiful wildflowers, a rugged coastline with pounding waves, white sandy beaches, clear water perfect for scuba diving, rolling farmland dotted with sheep and cattle. The Island’s red dirt roads are its signature and signal the lush gentleness of the island. The unique wildlife is plentiful as well as remarkable, an endemic sub-species  of kangaroo, tammar  wallabies, Australian sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, koalas, echidnas, platypus, goannas, 243 species of birds including many rare and endangered species, possums, bandicoots and even whales during winter. This wide range of flora and fauna is well protected with over 30% of the Island part of a National Park or  Conservation Park.  Freedom from many of the introduced pests that plague mainland Australia, especially the European rabbit and red fox,  has meant that the Island had retained much of its original identity. A lack of human population for much of the last 20,000 years and particularly the past 2,500 years has meant that the environment has developed in the absence of both  continuous hunting pressure and a regular fire regime. All of these factors, combined with a high percentage of  native  vegetation, make Kangaroo Island a rare place indeed. At the completion of the tour, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Adelaide and transfer to your hotel.

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Melbourne.  Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your accommodation. This afternoon,  a half day tour of  Melbourne where you will view historical buildings, beautiful gardens, and shopping areas famous for their restaurants and fashion.  Melbourne is the sporting city and Melbournians are passionate about their Aussie Rules ‘footy’ and almost all sports known to mankind.  Travel past the sporting precinct
that became famous in the 1956 Olympic Games and now roars to the cheers of Aussie Rules crowds each weekend. See the nearby Rod Laver Tennis Centre that hosts the Australian Tennis Open each year. Melbourne is home to people from all over the world and this cultural diversity is expressed in the food and fashion centers.  Walk along the shopping strips of up-market traditional Toorak, funky Chapel Street Prahran or the culturally Vietnamese Bridge Street Richmond.
This evening, transfer to the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant for dinner.  Dining in Melbourne can be a fabulous experience, especially aboard the fleet of historical trams that have become The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. These glossy, burgundy restaurants on wheels are the first traveling tramcar restaurants in the
world and ensure a delightful innovative approach to dining.  As they cruise the scenic streets of Melbourne, diners can enjoy the fine cuisine and drink the very best of Australian wines or make a selection from the fully stocked bar at a fully inclusive price. The atmosphere is cozy, the service friendly and the decor as invitingas the colonial period these trams reflect.  After dinner, transfer back to the hotel.
Accommodation:  Melbourne, 2 nights

This cool climate, low yielding wine region is situated only an hour to the east of Melbourne in the rolling foothills of the Great Dividing Range.  Although the history of winemaking in this region dates back to 1840, the large plantings that now produce the region’s great wines only commenced in 1968 at the Yarra
Yering, Yeringberg and other wineries.  The French company, Moet & Chandon, seeing the potential of the area for sparkling wines, established the Domaine Chandon winery in 1985.  The Yarra Valley is a cool climate region, experiencing very cold winters and mainly cloudy days during the growing months.
Combined with its fertile soils, this region’s climate is well suited for chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and sparkling wines. Enjoy a day of tasting wines from this fine wine region including a gourmet winery lunch.

Today you are transferred to the airport for your onward or homeward flights.