Southern Capitals - City Meets Bush

Southern Capitals - City Meets Bush

5 Days From



Southern Capitals - City Meets Bush

5 Days Starting in Sydney, New South Wales(AU) and ending in Melbourne, Victoria(AU)

Visiting: Sydney, Canberra, Southern Highlands, Gold Creek Station, Mt. Ainslie, Murray River, Beechworth, Wangaratta, Glenrowan, Melbourne, Phillip Island, Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley

Tour operator:

AAT Kings

Tour code:


Physical rating:

Low level of fitness required



From: $2255 $1857 Operator discount: -$338 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$60 -18%

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

You can drive between Melbourne and Sydney in a day. But what fun would that be? In between Australia’s two largest cities on this epic Sydney to Melbourne trip, take in the dreamy landscapes of the Southern Highlands, the country’s cool little capital on Canberra guided tours, and historic gold rush towns. With plenty of time for fun-fuel adventures, like a Melbourne laneway tour or Phillip Island penguin tour, of course.


  • There’s not much your guide through Canberra’s Parliament House doesn’t know; it’s a similar story for Craig Starr, who hosts a BBQ on his 400-hectare sheep farm.

  • Gold rush towns always come with stories about infamous bush rangers and love scandals. Hear them when you arrive in historic Beechworth.

  • More than 32,000 little penguins live around Phillip Island, and some 4,000 of them pitter patter from the sea to their sandy burrows every evening. Say goodnight.

  • Our Take 3 for the Sea program helps conserve our oceans through small collective efforts of rubbish collection.


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Day 1 : Sydney - Canberra

Location: Sydney, Canberra, Southern Highlands, Gold Creek Station

Accommodation Name: Crowne Plaza Canberra

It’s hard to believe that just 1.5 hours from Sydney lies a patch of countryside that could have been transplanted straight from the English Cotswolds. Think atmospheric villages amid rolling hills of grape vines – the Southern Highlands is the closest wine region to Australia’s largest city, after all. And then there are the grand gardens and emerald farms, one of which you’ll visit to meet Craig Starr and his family. Gold Creek Station farm is your backdrop for a Be My Guest BBQ lunch and tales about life on the land. This is your entrée to the country’s cool little capital of Canberra, home to Parliament House, where you’ll go behind the political scenes. Tonight, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner.

Day 2 : Canberra - Wangaratta

Location: Canberra, Mt. Ainslie, Murray River, Beechworth, Wangaratta

Accommodation Name: Quality Hotel Wangaratta

Thanks to architect Walter Burley Griffin, Canberra is an urban planner’s delight – the city is that well laid out, as you’ll discover when you head to the summit of Mt. Ainslie for panoramic views. You won’t yet be able to see the Murray River, but you’ll soon cross it en route to Beechworth. From Australia’s longest river to Victoria’s best-preserved gold rush town, Beechworth saw an influx of fortune-seekers during the 1850s. Your Travel Director will give you the Beechworth lowdown, then set you on your way to explore character-filled antiques stores, galleries, leafy parks and gardens, and museums at your leisure. There are plenty of charming cafés and restaurants to refuel in as well, before Wangaratta’s cathedrals beckon.

Day 3 : Wangaratta - Melbourne

Location: Wangaratta, Glenrowan, Melbourne

Accommodation Name: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne

Meandering south toward historic Glenrowan, you’re well and truly in Ned Kelly country – this is where the infamous bushranger and his gang were finally captured in 1880. The story is remembered on pretty much every city corner, whether in enormous statues or at the museum. We’ll tell you all the tales – some of them true, many of them hearsay. All of them entertaining. Then we’ll tell you a bit more about Melbourne, like how it’s the home of Aussie rules football, covets some of the country’s best arts institutions, and has a swag of stellar restaurants, cafés and bars. Small wonder it’s known as Australia’s cultural, culinary and sporting capital. Once you have your bearings after a city tour, head off to explore. Forget your map – one of the joys of being in Melbourne is getting lost. Discovering a hidden jazz bar. Stumbling upon a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Finding a gallery that catches your eye. Enjoy.

Day 4 : Melbourne Free Time

Location: Melbourne, Phillip Island, Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley

Accommodation Name: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne

You could spend weeks exploring Melbourne and its surrounds and not tire of the attractions. But you just have today, so make the most of it. We wouldn’t hold it against you if all you want to do is jump on a tram and ride the rails to the city’s character-filled neighbourhoods. But if you want to explore further afield, we’ve got you covered on an optional experience. For a bird’s-eye view of the bay, sign up to scale the Melbourne Skydeck, offering dizzying vistas in every direction. Animal lover? Venture to Phillip Island to see hundreds of little penguins pad along the sand en route to their burrows. Want to get back to nature? Chug through the lush Dandenong Ranges on the Puffing Billy Steam Train, followed by a sip or two of wine in the Yarra Valley. The choice is yours.

Day 5 : Farewell From Melbourne

Location: Melbourne

Wait, how did you just pack so much action into a working week? Cities, countryside, farms, wineries, islands… this Sydney to Melbourne trip has been quite the adventure.

What's Included

  • Travel Director and Driver Guide

    Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide

  • Accommodation

    Centrally located premium 4 & 4.5 hotels

  • Transfers

    Arrival and departure private airport transfers

  • Dining

    1 Be My Guest Lunch, 1 Dinner with Wine, 4 Full Breakfasts

What's Not Included

Flights are not included in the holiday price


Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort. The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes: Crowne Plaza Canberra, Quality Hotel Wangaratta, Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    The beauty of taking a holiday with us is you’ll have the opportunity to meet and travel with people from all over the globe.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    It is important to adhere to departure times while on tour for the comfort of everyone on-board, and to make sure no one misses out on the planned experiences. The coach will not be able to wait for you, and in some instances, if you miss a departure time you will need to make your own way to the next destination to re-join the tour.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    AAT Kings operated Guided Holidays have competitive single supplement rates available if you prefer to confirm your own room. Or we can match you to share with a guest of the same gender at no extra cost. If we fail to match you, we will accommodate you in a single room at no extra cost.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Over 100 years

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    We will email your documents to you approximately four weeks before your departure date provided you have completed your pre trip registration using the My Travel Portal. If you’ve booked through a travel agent, your documents will be emailed directly to your agent.

Reviews of this operator

Ann Purcell  

Well worth the money


Absolutely wonderful trip. Tastes of southern Australia. Hotels were good quality. Sightseeing was amazing. Manuela our travel director was lovely. A great trip all round

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Lynda Whittingham  

Particularly loved QUEENSTOWN (jet boat) and plane ride over Mt Cook


Great guide “Dexter” who was pleasant and knowledgeable, skilled and pleasant driver, Aaron, interesting activities, and comfortable hotels in good locations. I have been on organized bus trips in different countries and this company stands out. I would travel with them again. Read less

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Trusted Customer  

Milford Sound , West Coast , Queenstown, Christchurch


The most professional tour group i have ever travelled with. Both tour director (Hope) & driver (Dave) had extensive knowledge of NZ. Highly recommended.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Keith Jones  

Christchurch, Milford Sound and the Franz Joseph Railway journey


Very professional service throughout. Friendly experienced tour guide imparting excellent knowledge and local anecdotes. Friendly professional driver enhanced the overall pleasure. Excellent hotels throughout the holiday.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Allison Cooper  

Wonderful experience, highlight had to be Uluru so spiritual and beautiful


Very professional. Excellent travel director very knowledgeable and a lovely guy. Amazing experience seeing do many great places.

Feefo Trusted Reviews

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Thursday - Monday

Aug 29, 2024 - Sep 02, 2024
$2255 $1857

Operator discount: -$338

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$60

Thursday - Monday

Oct 17, 2024 - Oct 21, 2024
$2255 $1966

Operator discount: -$225

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$64

Thursday - Monday

Nov 21, 2024 - Nov 25, 2024
$2370 $2066

Operator discount: -$237

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$67

Thursday - Monday

Feb 06, 2025 - Feb 10, 2025
$2370 $2066

Operator discount: -$237

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$67

Thursday - Monday

Mar 20, 2025 - Mar 24, 2025
$2370 $2066

Operator discount: -$237

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$67

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    AAT Kings requires a minimum deposit of 100 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of aat kings charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 15 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 7 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 1 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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