Ayers Rock, Uluru, Australia

Highlights of Australia



13 Days

Prices Start from

$10,965pp (ex. flights)

This holiday to Australia combines the buzz of Sydney with the mystique of Uluru and the rainforest and reefs of Queensland.

There are so many iconic sites in Australia, it is hard to know where to begin if planning a first visit. This suggested holiday perfectly combines some of those highlights, alongside bespoke visits and experiences to less known areas where Australian wildlife and culture thrives. With just three internal flights (plus a short hop) you will cover a huge variety of landscapes and experiences, plus stays in some truly special accommodation.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Opera House Aerial View, Sydney, Australia 1


Experience the iconic skyline of Sydney from the water – cruise the harbour before anchoring off a secluded harbour beach.

Longitude 131, Luxury Tent with Balcony, Ayers Rock, Uluru, Red Centre, Australia 2


Wake to views of Uluru, that iconic sandstone monolith, from your luxury suite at Longitude 131.

Daintree River, Queensland, Australia 3

Daintree Rainforest

Trek, kayak and river snorkel in the Daintree National Park – an area famed for its exceptional biodiversity.

Lizard Island Resort, Private Beach, Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia 4

Great Barrier Reef

Escape to an island on the Great Barrier Reef – seek out your own private beach and explore a magical underwater world.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Australia on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Days 1 - 3

    Sydney (Shangri La)

  • Day 4

    Sydney - Uluru (Longitude 131)

    Fly from Sydney to Uluru

  • Day 5 - 6

    Uluru (Longitude 131)

  • Day 7

    Ayers Rock - Cairns - Daintree Rainforest (Silky Oaks Lodge)

    Fly to Cairns - Collect hire car

  • Day 8 - 9

    Daintree Rainforest (Silky Oaks Lodge)

  • Day 10

    Daintree Rainforest - Cairns - Lizard Island (Lizard Island Resort)

    Drive to Cairns - fly to Lizard Island

  • Day 11 - 12

    Lizard Island (Lizard Island Resort)

  • Day 13

    Lizard Island - Cairns

    Fly back to Cairns - onward travels

Days 1 - 3

Sydney (Shangri La)

Spend three days exploring Sydney. Experience the iconic skyline of Sydney from the water – cruise the harbour before anchoring off a secluded harbour beach. Venture out of the city for a memorable day amidst the Southern Highlands, in the company of knowledgeable wildlife guides – spot birdlife, kangaroo, koala and platypus.

Day 4

Sydney - Uluru (Longitude 131)

Leave the buzz of Sydney behind and head for the silence of the desert.

Day 5 - 6

Uluru (Longitude 131)

Wake to views of Uluru from your luxury suite at Longitude 131 and spend two days exploring the red centre. Walk the base of Uluru with an Aboriginal elder or take to the skies for an aerial view of these epic landscapes.

Day 7

Ayers Rock - Cairns - Daintree Rainforest (Silky Oaks Lodge)

On arrival in Cairns, pick up your hire car and drive north along the Captain Cook Highway to the Daintree Rainforest. One of the most scenic roads in Australia this route offers glorious views of the Coral Sea with the coastline on one side and the rainforest and mountains on the other.

Day 8 - 9

Daintree Rainforest (Silky Oaks Lodge)

Spend two days trekking, kayaking and river snorkelling in the Daintree National Park. Dating back 135 million years these rainforests have a unique ecosystem and are home to a wealth of wildlife including the elusive and prehistoric cassowary. Spend a day immersed in Aboriginal culture joining the Kubirri Warra brothers to explore beaches, mudflats and mangroves around the Daintree National Park.

Day 10

Daintree Rainforest - Cairns - Lizard Island (Lizard Island Resort)

Escape to an island on the Great Barrier Reef – seek out your own private beach and explore a magical underwater world.

Day 11 - 12

Lizard Island (Lizard Island Resort)

Spend two days relaxing and exploring the Great Barrier Reef. Go diving, snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing or explore the island by motorised dinghy, finding your own private beach for the day.

Day 13

Lizard Island - Cairns

Depart Lizard Island and fly back to Cairns for onward travel.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More Details

Forester (Eastern grey) Kangaroo, Tasmania, Australia
Forester eastern grey kangaroo, Australia
Duck Billed Platypus, Eungella National Park, Queensland, Australia
Duck billed platypus
Possum & Joey, Tasmania, Australia
Possum and joey

Wildlife Encounters

Australia’s unique wildlife is synonymous with the country. The Southern Highlands, located just a 90-minute drive south of Sydney, are home to the Great Western Wildlife Corridor and a landscape of pristine bushland and private farmland. Join passionate, knowledgeable guides in search of birdlife, kangaroo, koala and platypus before a wholesome country-style dinner. Then it’s time to head out for further night-time explorations in search of timid nocturnal species, including possum and the tawny frogmouth.

Longitude 131, Ayers Rock, Uluru, Red Centre, Australia
Longitude 131
Aboriginal woman with baby son on lap decoorating a pottery vase with traditional dot art.
Aboriginal artist, Australia
Longitude 131, Luxury Tent, Ayers Rock, Uluru, Red Centre, Australia
Longitude 131, Ayers Rock, Australia

Longitude 131

The Red Centre makes up a vast outback region in the centre of Australia and is an ancient and spiritual land steeped in Aboriginal history. There is no better way to experience the highlights of this region than with a stay at the fabulous Longitude 131. Rewarded with views of Uluru from virtually every corner of the hotel, including each of the 15 tented rooms, it is possible to witness this mystical monolith at all times of the day as it changes from bright red to sizzling orange and back again.

Spend days trekking and visiting local artists, and evenings watching the ever-changing colours of the desert before the skies come alive with thousands of stars.

Australian Aboriginal Art - Boomerang
Aboriginal art, Australia
Cape Tribulation, Daintree Rainforest, Australia
Daintree National Park, Australia

Australian Culture

Spend a day immersed in Aboriginal culture joining the Kubirri Warra brothers to explore beaches, mudflats and mangroves around the Daintree National Park. These three diverse ecosystems have provided rich hunting grounds for the Kuku Yalanji people for many years. Learn traditional hunter, gatherer methods while searching for crab, fish and mussels, as well as plants used for both food and medicinal purposes. Join family members to dine on your catch at the family home before heading into the rainforest for a waterfall dip.

Lizard Island Resort, Aerial View of Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia
Lizard Island Resort, Australia
Private Picnic on Mermaid Beach, Lizard Island Resort, Lizard Island, Australia
Lizard Island, Australia
green turtle swimming in blue ocean,great barrier reef
Green turtle

The Great Barrier Reef

Queensland’s most famous landmark is the Great Barrier Reef, stretching for over 2,500 kilometres along Australia’s east coast. Rather than staying on mainland Australia and travelling out to the reef, stay on Lizard Island – the only resort located literally on the reef. Spend days kayaking, snorkelling, diving, paddleboarding, hiking, fishing or lazing with a picnic on one of the many hidden coves.

Alternatively, explore some of the 74 Whitsunday islands for mesmerising views or a perfect day of sailing.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Shangri La Hotel £££££

  • Australia
  • City

The Shangri La Sydney occupies a prime location on Sydney’s skyline with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The 565 rooms are some of the most spacious in the city and all have views of the harbour.

View Property

Longitude 131 £££££

  • Australia
  • Tented Camps

Located amidst the sand dunes of Australia’s vast central desert, Longitude 131° offers an eco-sensitive, luxurious and romantic place to stay, with privileged views of the sun rising and setting over Uluru (Ayers Rock).

View Property

Silky Oaks Lodge £££££

  • Australia
  • Unusual

Silky Oaks Lodge is spectacularly situated on the banks of the Mossman River and surrounded by the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. The 40 treehouses are contemporary and comfortable with a rustic vibe and each has a private balcony with hammock. Facilities include a freshwater swimming pool and a spa.

View Property

Lizard Island Resort £££££

  • Australia
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Located in the remote northerly sections of the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is an understated yet stylish retreat, rimmed by 24 powdery white sand beaches and fringed with colourful coral reefs. A stay here has you literally sleeping on the reef.

View Property

How does this holiday make a positive impact?

The team at Longitude 131° works with several regional Aboriginal Art Centres and has quarterly artists-in-residence programs at the lodge, facilitating cultural exchange between guests and the Aboriginal artists.

All waste water at Silky Oaks Lodge is sent to the property’s own waste water management plant where it is processed through a sand filter system and re-used for irrigation of the properties forest surrounds.

Guests at Lizard Island are encouraged to take a tour of the Lizard Island Research Station with whom the hotel words closely. A world-leader in coral reef education and research, a visit offers the chance to speak to marine staff who live and work on the reef, learning about the challenges, advances and breakthroughs in reef conservation.

Start planning your trip

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


The service we received can't be faulted, Steppes were excellent all round and lovely to deal with - we regard them as friends.


Amy Waters at Steppes was excellent. She was totally responsive to any questions and really listened to our wishlist to build a fantastic itinerary which more than met our expectations.


A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling and accommodation choices. In this itinerary we suggest a mixture of luxury lodges and mid range accommodation.

Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From $10,965 Per person

When to travel

Australia in January

In the north, tropical rain brings hot and humid conditions, which can make access difficult. In the south, days are generally hot and sunny. Australians have their summer holidays, so it is a busy time, with numerous festivals and sporting events.

Australia in February

The warmest month for much of the country. Australians go back to work, easing pressure on accommodation. A great time to enjoy the beaches of southern Australia or Tasmania.

Australia in March

Early autumn brings harvest time in Australia’s vineyards, so an ideal time to sample and learn about the excellent wines on offer. Tropical humid weather and cyclones persist in the north, but outside of Easter, it can be a quieter experience in the south.

Australia in April

Autumn colours start to appear around Melbourne and Adelaide, making it a beautiful time to be there. April is one of the best times to visit anywhere in the south.

Australia in May

In the north, temperatures decrease and humidity drops. Roads open up after the tropical rains, making transport easier. It is an ideal time to explore Ningaloo Reef, with the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, rays and humpback whales.

Australia in June

The dry season starts in Northern Australia, meaning it is the perfect time to use the sunny days and warm temperatures to explore. In the south, it is cooler and can be a good time for hiking.

Australia in July

Snow falls on the southern ski resorts, and the inland regions of the south are ideally explored at this time. The Great Barrier Reef has much gentler tidal currents, making for clearer and easier snorkelling conditions.

Australia in August

Australians head to the north for some winter sun, meaning it can be a busy time. It’s also a great time to explore the outback before the weather turns too hot and wet.

Australia in September

The first signs of spring present themselves best in Western Australia, as a vibrant mix of wildflowers sprinkle the landscape. Flower festivals are held across the country.

Australia in October

Not recommended to go to the north, as humidity peaks before the rains arrive. Everywhere else, the weather is pleasantly warm. An ideal time for camping, relaxing at vineyards, or hiking and wildlife viewing.

Australia in November

In the north, beaches start to close due to the ‘stingers’ – jellyfish in the shallow waters. High winds start to pick up in the reef islands along the coast. The Melbourne Cup is a horse race that ‘stops the nation’, definitely worth experiencing.

Australia in December

Temperatures ramp up as the holidays near for locals. Barbeques are sparking up, ready to celebrate Christmas Aussie style – on a beach. Admire the spectacle that is the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, with the fabulous Sydney Harbour backdrop, on Boxing Day.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes


Get in touch

  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.