Wildlife and Wine in Australia: Sydney to Adelaide By Train
Focus on Australia's South East corner on this 11-day adventure which will take you from Sydney to Adelaide via train, and then to the beautiful Barossa Valley and the wildlife rich Kangaroo Island.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Get to know Sydney with a local guide and uncover some of its secret spots
- Travel a section of the Indian Pacific Voyage on board a luxury train for the overnight from Sydney to Adelaide
- Sample a vintage wine from the year you were born in the Barossa Valley
- Spot kangaroos aplenty on the aptly named Kangaroo Island
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When To Travel
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Day 1: Arrive
When you land into Sydney today, meet your driver in the arrivals area. You'll then be transferred to your central hotel for a much-needed night's sleep.
Day 2: Sydney Like A Local
Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to explore. A guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to get to know this iconic city.
Scratching beneath the surface you'll visit not just the must-see sights but also the secret spots only the locals know. Visit the historic Rocks area, explore the colonial architecture of Macquarie Street and see spectacular views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from Mrs Macquarie's Chair.
Later, move over to the glamourous Eastern Suburbs, stop at the famous Bondi Beach and enjoy the stunning views from South Head. This afternoon, travel over the Bridge to the Northern Beaches, where you will see the pristine waterways of the Hawkesbury River and stroll the Corso at Manly.
Day 3: Hunter Valley
Today enjoy a trip out of Sydney to the beautiful Hunter Valley wine region. Just two hours out of the city the valley is ideal for day-trippers and we will arrange for a driver to transfer you to and from the region so you can enjoy as much of the local produce as you like.
When you arrive, head to one of our favourite wineries and meet the head winemaker for a private behind the scenes tour. As you explore, taste wine directly from the barrel and learn all the details of the grape's journey to the bottle. After the tour, you'll be helicoptered over to one of the region's finest restaurants and can enjoy a three-course lunch with paired wines.
To end the day you'll be taken on a scenic flight over the valley and then return to the original winery where your driver will be waiting to take you back to Sydney.
Day 4: To The Train
Spend a relaxed last morning in Sydney. You might like to revisit some of the sites from your tour or tick off any you missed.
After lunch, make your way to the station to board the luxurious train travelling along the Indian Pacific railway to Adelaide and beyond. As you leave Sydney you'll travel through the Blue Mountains and across the barren expanse of the Nullarbor Plain to lush vineyards and vast goldmines, and from cities of four million to ghost towns with just a handful of residents.
This afternoon is the perfect opportunity to embrace slow travel, watching the world slide by the train's windows before a truly delicious dinner is served in the dining carriage. Have some post dinner drinks and then head to bed early so you can wake up for the best views early tomorrow morning.
Day 5: To Adelaide
When you wake up this morning you'll find yourselves looking out onto the rich red landscapes of the Southern Outback. Grab a coffee and then the train will stop to allow you to get off and stretch your legs in the mining town of Broken Hill. As well as learning about the mining history here you'll also be able to visit the Pro Hart Gallery, where a local artist will show you some of the work which is indicative of the outback culture.
After your morning walk get back on the train for breakfast and then relax and enjoy the views as you journey into South Australia in time for lunch. Following lunch you'll pull into Adelaide in mid-afternoon, to be met by a driver at the station. From here you'll be transferred for an hour to a luxurious hotel in the Barossa Valley, perhaps Australia's most famous wine region.
Day 6: Taste Your Birth Year
Wake up in the Barossa Valley today and enjoy the lush views and slower pace of life with a leisurely breakfast. Once your stomachs are suitably lined, meet a guide for a guided tour of one of the nearby wineries.
For once it pays to be the oldest as this tour is all about tasting wine from the year you were born - and we all know wines (like you, we're sure) only get better with age. As well as competing to see who has the best tasting vintage you'll be shown around the winery and can even make the tasting direct from the barrel.
The rest of the afternoon is then yours to spend as you please, more than likely with a long wine fuelled lunch and an early night.
Day 7: And Relax
Following a busy few days, today you have time to simply relax and catch up on some R&R.
Start with a morning reading by the pool, dipping in to cool off in the warm sun. If you're feeling active you might also like to work up a pre-lunch appetite on a walk. This afternoon keep things slow paced with a game or two on the boules court, over-sized outdoor chess board, or grass croquet court.
You can then indulge in a delicious dinner and yet more top class wine in your hotel restaurant.
Day 8: To Kangaroo Island
It's time to make your way to the final destination of the trip, Kangaroo Island. To get there, transfer back to Adelaide where you'll be dropped at the airport for the short half-an-hour flight to Kangaroo Island.
When you land you'll be met and driven to your lodge to drop your things and get some lunch. The fun then begins with a guided coastal clifftop walk above Hanson Bay. Learn about the flora and fauna which is unique to the area, and enjoy sea views as far as the eye can see (from here it's next stop Antarctica). Following the walk there is a short presentation from the naturalist and then pre-dinner drinks and canapes before an indulgent dinner.
Day 9: Kanga Time
Today is all about getting to know the wildlife on Kangaroo Island, not least the marvellous marsupials that gave the island its name.
Start with a morning tour which will take in the likes of Cape du Couedic lighthouse, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and a fur seal colony. You'll then return to the lodge for lunch before an afternoon at leisure.
Early this evening join your guide to visit Grassland, a historic island property where kangaroos and wallabies are known to congregate. As the sun sets, enjoy sundowners and canapes while looking on at the animals in their natural habitat. When the light falls, head back to the lodge for dinner.
- Treat yourselves to a spa treatment
- If weather permits, join your guide for a nocturnal tour of Hanson Bay Sanctuary, spotting amongst others, koalas at their most active
Day 10: Marine Life
You have the morning free today to spend as you please. There are numerous walking trails near to the lodge you might like to stroll along, or simply relax in the lodge lounge.
This afternoon head to Seal's Bay, home to one of largest colonies of Australian sea lions in the country. Your guide will enlighten you on their unique breeding cycle and the ongoing research programmes here.
As usual drinks, canapes and dinner are then served back at the lodge.
Day 11: Home Time
Your last day has sadly arrived. Pack up your final few things and then make the transfer to the airport where you'll be able to check in for your flight back to Adelaide. From Adelaide you can check in for your international flight home.
Jacqui and Frances are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.