2002 Australia Eclipse Tour
Woomera, Australia | November 30 - December 15, 2002
In December 2002 Sirius Travel Inc. lead approximately 30 travelers to the Australian outback to view the last easy-to-access solar eclipse until 2006! Leaving from the U.S on November 30, 2002, we proceeded to the eclipse site near Adelaide, South Australia. There, on December 4, we viewed the next total solar eclipse – standing under the moon’s shadow as it races across the surface of the earth. The eclipse in Australia occurred near sunset and there was no better place to observe the beautiful southern stars than under the dark dry skies of the Australian outback!
November 30, 2002
Tour leaves from Los Angeles, California.
December 1, 2002
Cross international dateline (meals aloft)
December 2, 2002
Arrive Melbourne - Adelaide (D)
Arrive Melbourne and complete customs and immigrations formalities before transiting to the Domestic Terminal for continuation of your flight to Adelaide. Upon arrival in Adelaide you will be met by a Present Australia representative and depart for sightseeing in the city of churches as it is famously known. Enjoy Adelaide’s main attractions – including the beautiful stately homes in North Adelaid and R M Williams Stockman Museum before arriving at the seaside area of Glenelg. After lunch (by own arrangements) you will be taken to your hotel for check in. This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the Terrace Grill restaurant. Overnight in Adelaide.
December 3, 2002
Adelaide - Woomera (B, L, D)
After a full cooked breakfast at the hotel, you will depart Adelaide and travel to Woomera by private coach. Enroute we will stop at Port Germain, known as the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and where we will enjoy a picnic lunch. Arrive in the historic town of Woomera, famous as an important Rocket launch centre in 1946. Today the town’s population is largely made up of US military personnel. After checking into the hotel those that are interested can join on to search for a good eclipse viewing site. The road from Woomera to Roxby Downs (travel time 1.5 hrs between villages) goes through the centerline. With our portable GPS unit(s) we will isolate a spot directly on the centerline from which to observe the event. After sunset enjoy a relaxing Star Party under the beautiful Outback skies! Tonight’s dinner will be at the hotel. Overnight at the Eldo Hotel, Woomera.
December 4, 2002
ECLIPSE DAY! (B, L, D)
Full breakfast at the hotel. Morning free at own leisure – local sights include Woomera Heritage Centre and Rocket Museum including an exhibition of interesting Aboriginal artefacts. Everything is within walking distance of the hotel. After a lunch arranged by the hotel (and perhaps a good soak in Woomera’s wonderful pool) we will drive to the selected eclipse viewing area and begin preperations to view the solar eclipse. Dinner provided. Overnight at the Eldo Hotel, Woomera.
December 5, 2002
Andamooka Opal Mines (B, L, D)
After breakfast we will depart the hotel and drive to historic Andamooka, a nearby opal mining town. There we will see the homes of early miners and inspect an underground shaft mine. Luncheon is included at the Tuckerbox Restaurant. After lunch, experience opal mining first hand and view an opal cutting demonstration. Dinner at the Oasis Restaurant. Overnight at the Eldo Hotel, Woomera.
December 6, 2002
Woomera-Barossa Valley (B, L, D)
Leaving Woomera after breakfast, we will take a private coach tour to the Barrossa Valley with an en route stop at Port Augusta. Lunch at Wadlata Outback Center and time at leisure to explore the Wadlata Museum, winner of 6 Australian Tourism Awards. Arrive at the hotel with time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight in Barossa Valley.
December 7, 2002
Barossa Valley (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, travel via private charter coach to the Barossa Valley. Enjoy sightseeing of this famous wine growing district near Adelaide, including wine tasting before arriving at the Yalumba Winery, Australia’s oldest family owned winery, established in 1849. Enjoy a gourmet BBQ lunch at Yalumba before resuming your tour of the area. Overnight in Barossa Valley.
December 8, 2002
Barossa Valley - Adelaide - Cairns (B)
Leaving the Barossa Valley, you will return to the airport in Adelaide for your flight to Cairns. On arrival in Cairns, you will be met by your local driver/guide and enjoy a brief sightseeing tour of Cairns enroute to the hotel in Palm Cove. Balance of day at leisure. Overnight Cairns.
December 9, 2002
Cairns - Great Barrier Reef (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, you will be transferred by coach to Port Douglas north of Cairns. There you will board the Quicksilver, a high-speed catamaran, and begin your cruise. The ribbon reefs north of Cairns are renowned for their excellent year round water clarity and coral formations. Agincourt Reef is the only ribbon reef on the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef to be visited by a day cruise. The reef lagoon at Agincourt offers ideal swimming and snorkeling areas. For the more adventurous, scuba diving on Agincourt is amongst the best in the world. With over 1,000 species of multi-colored reef fish and more than 200 varieties of magnificent corals, this is truly an underwater wonderland.
Agincourt Reef is a part of the Great Barrier Reef and lies within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and delicate ecosystems in the world and the Quicksilver employs a team of qualified marine biologists to help you unravel the mystery of this amazing living structure while preserving the reef for future generations. Part of your fare on this tour goes towards research and education to preserve and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Glide through coral chasms in the Quicksilver submarine, just one meter underwater, or lie in the sun on a pontoon anchored above the reef. Watch the fish feeding from a unique viewing platform and underwater observatory. A delicious tropical smorgasbord lunch will be served. At the conclusion of the cruise you will be returned to your hotel. Overnight Cairns.
December 10, 2002
Cairns - Kuranda Rainforest Tour (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Freshwater Station where you will board the scenic train to Kuranda (34 km) at the top of Mac Alister Ranges. The line was completed in 1888 at great expense and goes through 15 tunnels during its steep ascent. The final stretch is through the magnificent Barron Falls Gorge where you can look back over the coastal plains and see the sugar plantations stretching to the sea in the distance. Enjoy a ride with the unusual Army ducks for a different look at the rainforest and some of it’s inhabitants. Your amphibious Duck travels over land and water to take you to the heart of the rainforest. Enjoy a performance of the Pamagirri Dance group, a Dreamtime walk. View the Wildlife Park and the native animals. A BBQ lunch is provided. After lunch you will be transferred back to Kuranda Village where you will have time to explore on your own, shop, or perhaps visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.
When you are ready to depart Kuranda, you will make your way to the Skyrail terminal for your ride out of the Mac Alister Ranges. Skyrail is the world’s longest gondola and glides just meters above Far North Queensland’s Heritage Rainforest. Traveling at tree top level, you are totally immersed in this unique environment – you will see, hear, smell and become a part of the tropical rainforest. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Coral Sea and Green Island as you descend through the rainforest. You will have two different opportunities to stop and take a rainforest walk: Red Peak Station, where you can explore the rainforest floor along lightweight boardwalks, and Barron Falls Station,- which features the Rainforest Interpretative Centre and views of the spectacular Gorge and Falls. Arrive at Caravonica Lakes where your coach will meet you and return you to your hotel. Time available to freshen up prior to the transfer into Cairns for Dinner at the Red Ochre Restaurant.
December 11, 2002
Cairns - Sydney (B)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Cairns Airport for flight to Sydney. On arrival in Sydney you will be transferred to your accommodations. Free time to explore the city. Overnight Old Sydney Holiday Inn, Sydney.
December 12, 2002
Sydney (B, L)
Following breakfast at the hotel this morning, board your coach and enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sydney and the Southern Beaches. This tour will feature the historic “Rocks” area, which was originally a convict settlement. You will visit Macquarie Street where many of Sydney’s early buildings have been restored to their original splendor, and then go on to the Domain where you will have a chance to take some superb photos of the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge. Travel through the nightlife area of Kings Cross and the affluent suburbs of Double Bay and Rose Bay to Watson’s Bay and the Gap. Visit the world famous Bondi Beach, where you will have lunch at Danny’s Seafood Restaurant and a traditional Life Saving demonstration on the beach. Time at leisure to enjoy Bondi on your own, before returning to the city via trendy Paddington with its beautifully restored lace fronted Victorian terrace houses. Balance of day at leisure. Overnight Old Sydney Holiday Inn, Sydney.
December 13, 2002
Sydney - Blue Mountains National Park and Featherdale Wildlife Park (B)
This morning you will travel to the Blue Mountains National Park. En route you will make a stop at the Olympics 2000 Site at Homebush. View the famous Three Sisters and take a ride on the Scenic Rail or Skyway to the rainforest floor. Lunch enroute by own arrangements. On the return journey you will stop at Featherdale Wildlife Park. Featherdale is an extensive wildlife park, developed in a natural bush setting less than one hour from Sydney. Stroll along its shady, level walkways and get to know the Australian wildlife in enclosures that are landscaped to simulate the natural habitats of the fauna. You will see kangaroos and wallabies (who are quite happy to meet visitors at close quarters), goannas, skinks, dragons, tortoises, parrots, finches, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Falcons, Hawks, Kites, Fairy Penguins, and of course Koalas! Overnight Old Sydney Holiday Inn, Sydney.
December 14, 2002
Sydney (B, D)
Breakfast at your hotel. Time to enjoy the Saturday Markets in the Rocks area. Balance of day at leisure. This evening enjoy a Farewell dinner at Reds Diner and Australiana Show. Overnight Old Sydney Holiday Inn, Sydney
December 15, 2002
Return to the U.S. (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer via private coach to Sydney Airport with assistance provided by our local representative. En route to the U.S. you will cross the International dateline and arrive Los Angeles the morning of the same day that you left Sydney!
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