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PENGUIN: Australia Total Solar Eclipse Cairns & Melbourne November 9 – 21, 2012

AUSTRALIA Total Eclipse 2012

Bask in the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef either at Cairns or Green Island before journeying to the iconic red rock, Ayers Rock  (Uluru).  The highlight from the Melbourne capital is an excursion to Phillip Island and a wildlife habitat of koalas, fur seals, birds and fairy penguins before enjoying the cosmopolitan Sydney.

Your Tour Includes:

  • Roundtrip international airfare from Los Angeles & Australia domestic airfare
  • First-Class Accomodations
  • Meals: All breakfasts, Eclipse Bar-B-Que, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners with wine
  • Hotel Porterage
  • Welcome Reception in Cairns
  • Astronomical lectures, eclipse glasses, star parties
  • English speaking meet and greet guides
  • Air-Conditioned, deluxe coach with professional commentary driver
  • Document packet
  • All sightseeing and transfer services as specified
    • Cairns: Daintree River Excursion, Full day Great Barrier Reef Excursion, Cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong, Glass bottom boat on Upolu Cay, Snorkel drift with a Marine Naturalist
    • Alice Springs: Desert Park, Flying Doctors Base
    • Uluru: Visit ancient art rock sites, Sunset cocktails, Breakfast Sunrise at Kata Tjuta
    • Melbourne: City Tour & Phillip Island and Koala and Penguin Sanctuary
    • Sydney: Harbor Cruise & Sydney Opera House

PENGUIN Itinerary with Cairns

Friday/Sunday, November 09/11, 2012 —USA – Cairns, 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 Cairns, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for four nights. Novotel Oasis Cairns or Pacific International Cairns

Monday, November 12, 2012 —Cairns
Depart the hotel for the 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 to how observe wildlife through the mangroves.  Enjoy morning tea 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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 —ECLIPSE Green Island
Depart from hotel early morning to Cairns Wharf where you will board a large catamaran
for the cruise to Green Island. On completion of the eclipse event, sail back to Cairns. The remainder of the day is at leisure prior to the Australian Bar-B-Que tonight.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 —Cairns – Alice Springs
Transfer back to Cairns airport for your flight to Alice Springs. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel, with a tour of Alice Springs. Visit the Desert Park and the base of the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Alice Springs Desert Park you will discover the landscapes, animals and plants, and their traditional use and management by Aboriginal people. On arrival, a spectacular cinematic journey will take you through 4,500 million years of desert evolution along an easy walking path to explore the three major habitats - Desert Rivers, Sand Country and Woodland, featuring over 120 species of animals and 350 species of plants.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs

Friday, November 16, 2012 —Alice Springs - Uluru
Today we travel to Ayers Rock (Uluru). En route, 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

Saturday, November 17, 2012 —Uluru – Melbourne
Watch the color change at sunrise over Kata Tjuta as a result from the effects of the Earth's atmosphere on the sun's incoming rays. The dust particles and water vapor which are 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 the Valley of Winds, an aboriginal holy site. The highlight of visiting the Olgas is the Valley of the Winds walk, a path that cuts 3 km deep into the long, narrow spaces between the high domes, where the winds howl and carry one's echoes far down the gorges. Transfer to the airport for our flight to Melbourne.
Rendezvous Melbourne

Sunday, November 18, 2012 —Melbourne
This morning we depart for our Melbourne City tour. This morning’s city sightseeing, we see Bourke Street Mall and tree-lined Collins Street. See premier examples of Melbourne Victorian architectural splendour including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Princess and Regent Theatres, Melbourne Town Hall, Parliament House, the Treasury Building, the Royal Exhibition buildings and the Queen Victoria Markets. We arrive at the Immigration Museum, and explore stories of people who have migrated to Victoria from the 1800s through to the present day.
Depart for Phillip Island where you join the ranger at the Koala Sanctuary and come ‘face-to-face’ with koalas in their natural habitat from the tree top boardwalks. This natural bushland provides exceptional koala viewing. From here we depart for the Penguin reserve, where the world’s smallest Penguins everyday at dusk waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows.

Monday, November 19, 2012 —Melbourne – Sydney
Transfer from our hotel to Melbourne Domestic airport for your flight to Sydney.
The Grace Hotel Sydney

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 —Sydney
This morning we depart for our sights of Sydney and the famous beaches. 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 modern skyscrapers of the business district; 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 to the exclusive eastern suburbs, passing Kings Cross en route to Vaucluse and Double Bay. Visit historic Paddington with its iron railed town houses, arriving at Circular Quay for our lunch. On completion of the cruise, proceed to the Sydney Opera House for guided tour through the theatres and explanation of the fascinating history and architecture.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 —Sydney – Home city
Transfer to the Sydney International airport for flight onward or extend your stay Down Under.