New South Wales has the best of all worlds – city, beaches and spectacular landscape. On this Luxury Small group Journey we will not only show you the highlights of the region, but delve further to give you a unique experience and a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
As well as taking you to the more well-known places such as Sydney and Byron Bay, we will go to the lesser known areas that are equally as beautiful. We have also arranged this trip around specific events – Vivid Sydney and the Lovedale Long Lunch in Hunter Valley. Vivid Sydney is an annual outdoor lighting festival with immersive light installations and projections, and a truly spectacular sight. We will take you behind the scenes to meet the artists and performers who make the festival so special. The Lovedale Long Lunch will appeal to foodies in particular, as a decadent line up of the Hunter Valley’s leading chefs team up with seven of Lovedale’s finest wineries and local entertainment for a weekend of foodie fun. We will also introduce you to wine makers for private tours and tastings..
Day 1: Arrive into Byron Bay
Flying with our preferred airline partner Qantas, you will arrive into Byron Bay in the early evening, where you will be met by a Lightfoot Travel representative and transferred to your hotel.
Stay: Byron at Byron
Day 2: Byron Bay
Rise early this morning for an incredible start to your trip. You will be collected in Kombi vans and taken to the light house, in Australia’s most easterly point, for an exclusive breakfast as the sun rises. Spend the morning relaxing and enjoying all that Byron Bay has to offer. Catch some waves, simply enjoy the beach and grab some lunch in one of the many amazing restaurants or cafes. We recommend Fishmonger’s and Dip.
In the afternoon you will be met by a guide who will take you along the Cape Byron walking track, showing you all this amazing place has to offer – hike through rainforest and across clifftops, along picturesque beaches and up to Cape Byron lighthouse. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles, dolphins, stingrays and wales.
Stay: Byron at Byron
Day 3: Byron Bay to Port Macquarie via Coffs Harbour
Today you will be driven to Port Macquarie, via Coffs Harbour where you will have lunch at Shearwater restaurant, overlooking the water before having a tour of Mutton Bird Island Nature Reserve with a local ranger. Alternatively, you may wish to take to the air in a seaplane. Taking off on water, you soar over the spectacular coastline and waterways and enjoy a bird’s eye views over the Great Dividing Range.
Port Macquarie boasts some of the finest seafood in New South Wales, yet it remains fairly unknown. The town is home to boutique wineries and oyster farms. We can arrange private tours and introduce you to the makers,
Stay: Sails Resort Port Macquarie
Day 4: Port Macquarie to Port Stephens
You will depart Port Macquarie early this morning and be driven to to Port Stephens, known for its pristine beaches, crystal waters and spectacular marine life. It’s no wonder that a pod of resident dolphins have made the region their permanent home. It’s also a great whale-watching spot during the season from May to November as the wales move north to their breeding grounds.
Stay: Anchorage Port Stephens
Day 5 - 6: Lovedale Long Lunch & Wine Tasting Hunter Valley
Today you will be driven one hour away to Hunter Valley, where for the next two days enjoy a relaxing weekend at the Hunter Valley’s biggest food and wine event of the year – The Lovedale Long Lunch (attend lunch on either the Saturday or Sunday).
The Lovedale Long Lunch is a progressive style lunch where food and wine lovers are invited to discover the wonders of Lovedale. Each May, a decadent line up of the Hunter Valley’s leading chefs team up with seven of Lovedale’s finest wineries and local entertainment for a weekend of foodie fun.
Hunter Valley is home to some of the best wineries, and before lunch on both days we recommend visiting two particular vineyards – Pepper Tree and De Iullis Winery. We will arrange for you to meet the winemakers at both and tour the vineyards as you sample some of the best wines the region has to offer.
Stay: Spicers Vineyards Estate
Day 7: Hunter Valley to Blue Mountains
This morning rise early for a spectacular sunrise balloon flight over the picturesque wine regions of Pokolbin, Lovedale, Rothbury or Broke. End your time in Hunter Valley with a delicious champagne breakfast at the famous Peterson House winery and Restaurant.
You then continue west towards the Blue Mountains National Park, where you will be taken to a little known hidden clearing to enjoy some home style morning tea. You will have time to roam the area and seek out the wild kangaroos and birdlife that frequent this part of the National Park. The next stop is Kings Tableland. This breathtaking view looks out over the Grose Valley and you will see firsthand the ruggedness and beauty that the Blue Mountains are famous for.
Lunch today is at a local restaurant where you will enjoy modern Australian cuisine overlooking the valley before arriving at your hotel, where you will spend the next two nights.
Day 8: Blue Mountains Blue Mountains
After breakfast your guide will meet you and take you to Eagle Hawk lookout where you will see the famous 3 sisters Rock formation and marvel at the stunning views of the Jamieson Valley. From here continue around Narrowneck Plateau for more incredible vantage points.
Heading south the next stop is Wentworth Falls. Here you will be guided down a well-worn path towards the falls and stunning views. See the local flora and fauna up close as your guide tells you all about the incredible geology of the Blue Mountains and how they were formed.
Lunch today is in the charming village of Leura. Here you will have a chance to stroll the main street before settling down at the delightful Leura Garage Cafe. Enjoy fresh and healthy local produce in the funky surrounds of a converted garage.
Next you head to Waradah Aboriginal Centre for an authentic cultural experience. Learn about the local indigenous people through song and dance performance, dreamtime stories and quality artworks and craft demonstrations.
Day 9: Blue Mountains to Sydney
Departing after breakfast this morning you continue east towards Sydney, stopping at Featherdale Wildlife Park en-route. Home to one of the largest selections of native wildlife you will have the unique opportunity to get up close to some of the most well-known animals of Australia, such as Koalas, Wombats and Dingos. Your guide will escort you around the park and give you an insight into the fascinating creatures.
Food lovers may prefer to experience Sydney’s buzzing foodie scene. We can arrange a behind the scenes tour of a gin distillery, arrange for you to roast your own coffee or enjoy a private dining experience on Shark Island Sydney Harbour with a Gin or Whisky tasting.
Stay: Park Hyatt Sydney
Day 10: Highlights of Sydney
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning and take you on a whistle-stop tour of the city, showing you the highlights and more. Witness the birth place of Sydney and explore the convict built cottages, pubs and the first church in Australia; see the Australia’s first Parliament House, Mint, Hyde Park Barracks and St Mary’s Cathedral; and visit Mrs Macquarie’s Chair situated on the water’s edge. Spend some time walking around the harbour’s edge with magnificent views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
Continue through Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross and into Rushcutters Bay, where you will stop for lunch at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Australia’s premier yacht club and home to what is considered yachting’s ‘Everest’ – the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
The final stop is Sydney’s most famous beach, Bondi Beach. Here you will have some time to soak up the atmosphere of this beachside Mecca. Stroll down the esplanade with the locals and enjoy an ice cream before heading back into Sydney.
Stay: Park Hyatt Sydney
Day 11: Backstage at the Sydney Opera, Taronga Zoo & Vivid Sydney
This morning you be treated to an exclusive Back Stage Tour of the Sydney Opera House. Uncover the mysteries of the backstage world and have your fill of insider secrets, then enjoy a complimentary full-cooked breakfast in the Green Room – the exclusive domain of the staff and performers who call this remarkable building home. For lovers of dance, opera, theatre and performing arts of all kinds, a Backstage Tour at the Sydney Opera House is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t forget.
Next up is a visit to Taronga Zoo, where you will be given a unique tour by an official zookeeper and an informative introduction to Australia’s unusual wildlife guided and includes excellent photographic opportunities with kangaroos, wallabies, birds, wombats and echidnas. You will spend two hours immersed in one of the most up-close and personal wildlife tours that Australia has to offer.
Following our leisurely lunch at Balmoral beach, continue onto the Seaside town of Manly. Climb up North Head for a short walk to see stunning views of the harbour before biking along the promenade.
This evening enjoy Vivid Sydney, a unique annual event of light, music and ideas, featuring an outdoor ‘gallery’ of extraordinary lighting sculptures, a cutting-edge contemporary music program, some of the world’s most important creative industry forums and the spectacular illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails.
This spectacular festival has grown into the largest of its kind in the world. In 2017, Vivid will be bigger and better than ever, offering an expanded program of multi-genre music, more stimulating ideas from global thinkers and creators, plus dazzling light art across the city.
Stay: Park Hyatt Sydney
Day 12: Departure
This morning you will be met at your hotel and driven to the airport for your return flight home.
|Day 1:||Arrive into Byron Bay||Byron at Byron|
|Day 2:||Byron Bay||Byron at Byron|
|Day 3:||Byron Bay to Port Macquarie via Coffs Harbour||Sails Resort Port Macquarie|
|Day 4:||Port Macquarie to Port Stephens||Anchorage Port Stephens|
|Day 5 - 6:||Lovedale Long Lunch & Wine Tasting Hunter Valley||Spicers Vineyards Estate|
|Day 7:||Hunter Valley to Blue Mountains||Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley|
|Day 8: Blue Mountains||Blue Mountains||Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley|
|Day 9:||Blue Mountains to Sydney||Park Hyatt Sydney|
|Day 10:||Highlights of Sydney||Park Hyatt Sydney|
|Day 11:||Backstage at the Sydney Opera, Taronga Zoo & Vivid Sydney||Park Hyatt Sydney|
- Private driver
- Private guiding where stated
- Private transport in an air conditioned vehicle
- Water, snacks and breakfast and lunch where indicated
- 24 hour emergency contact
- Flights (international and domestic)
- Arrival transfers
- Dinner unless otherwise stated
- Tips and gratuities
- Travel Insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)
Based on a group of 6 travelling
Notes on our prices
Notes on our prices
- This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
- Prices are based on six people travelling together on a shared room basis.
- Prices can fluctuate depending on number of travellers, standard of accommodation and excursions selected
- This structure works very nicely and highlights what Lightfoot can organise in New South Wales, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we can tailor-make the itinerary based on the group’s travel requirements.
- Seaplane ride over the spectacular coastline of Port Macquarie
- Attend the annual Lovedale Long Lunch in the Hunter Valley
- Private dining experience on Shark Island on Sydney Harbour with a gin or whisky tasting.
- Back stage tour of the Sydney Opera House
- Experience Vivid Sydney
From USD 12,205 per person