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Tour D: Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra SM3 (3 days/2 nights - Fly from Canberra to Melbourne)

Route: Via Canberra, Avalanche Homestead, Melbourne, Mountain Lodge, Phillip Island & Healesville.

Day 1: Sydney to Avalanche Homestead via Canberra. (L,D)

You are collected from your city hotel at 8.00 am in your luxury 4WD vehicle and travel south through Sydney along the beautiful Illawarra coast to Wollongong. Your tour then takes you through the rolling hills and rich grazing country of the Southern Tablelands to Canberra, Australia's national capital, designed by Chicago architect Walter Burly Griffin. After lunch, a tour of Canberra includes visits to the world renowned Australian War Memorial, Parliament House, the internationally acclaimed Australian National Gallery and a tour of foreign embassies, many of which are designed in the traditional architecture of their home countries.

A 45 km drive south brings you to Avalanche Homestead where you stay overnight. While by day it is a working Australian sheep and cattle property, Avalanche Homestead offers VIP accommodation and dining. At dusk a 4WD safari takes you spotlighting deep in the Australian bush where you will see some unique Australian animals and birds in their native habitat, including kangaroos and owls. In the evening, join your hosts for a convivial candlelight dinner complemented by quality Australian wines.

Day 2: Avalanche Homestead via Melbourne, Penguin parade, Koala Sanctuary to Mountain Lodge. (B,L)

After breakfast your personal tour operator takes you by 4WD luxury vehicle to Canberra airport for your flight to Melbourne where you will be met by your new guide who will show you the sights of Melbourne in a luxury 4WD vehicle before travelling to Phillip Island, southwest of Melbourne and visit the Koala Sanctuary where you can see Australia's most lovable animal at close quarters. At dusk, another unique experience is in store when you view the world famous Fairy Penguin parade. Every evening hundreds of these beautiful birds form ranks and march up the beach from the sea to their burrows among the sand dunes.

After the parade you will travel north to stay overnight at your own mountain lodge.

Day 3: Mountain Lodge to Melbourne via the gourmet trail. (B,L)

Before breakfast you can take a walk along the trail, try your hand at trout fishing in Icy Creek or one of the well stocked dams, or perhaps enjoy a game of tennis. After breakfast, you travel through alpine country which contains the Giant Mountain Ash, one of Australia's largest trees.

The landscape changes as you move northeast towards the sea, taking you through the rich dairy country of south-eastern Australia. You visit a cheese factory where you can taste the prize winning local cheeses, inspect a working dairy and a wood-fired bakery . After lunch we travel over the Great Dividing Range to Healesville Sanctuary where you will see the best collection of native animals anywhere in Australia. You will arrive at your Melbourne hotel late afternoon.

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