AUSTRALIA • NOVEMBER 7th – 21st, 2012

»» The MacMania Experience! »»

The Dish


Includes eight meals, four hotel nights, all transportation and hotel transfers, and Observatory entrance fees

November 3–7, 2012 (pre-cruise)

($1,999 pp based on double occupancy; $2,599 single pricing; details here)

MacMania has prepared a pre-cruise expedition that adds a memorable dimension to your experience. If you’d like to get a flavor of elemental Australia, and boldly go where non-Ozzie tourists do not go, join MacMania for a visit to “The Bush” and “The Dish” (Australia Telescope National Facility, Parkes Observatory). After getting a look at the bright lights of Sydney, we head out to the quiet, sheep-studded New South Wales countryside to visit the famous Parkes Dish radio observatory. “The Dish” received and broadcast the first lunar landing, Apollo 11, to 600 million people.

To get a sense of significance of The Dish and the spirit of Parkes, check out the 2000 comedy movie: The Dish.


November 6, 2012 (pre-cruise)

($299 pp; $199 as an add-on to the Parkes Observatory Tour, above)

Theresa at ZooYour adventure begins with a short transfer to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Here you will embark upon a specialized tour to discover all that the Gardens have to offer.

After lunch we move to the Taronga Zoo where you will be met by Zoo Keepers and some of their friendly, cute, and cuddly counterparts before beginning your extended Australian Walkabout Tour. This is an exciting journey with an experienced guide, touring the Zoo’s wonderful Australian animal displays. Also experience the Platypus Pools exhibit, which recreates the wonder of a Blue Mountains sandstone gorge, where you can see over 40 species of Australian animals and the “dinosaur tree”, the Wollemi Pine. Enjoy a round-trip on Taronga’s Sky Safari cable car, which provides fantastic views of the Zoo, Sydney Harbour, and the city skyline.

(Lunch not included. Extra fee to pet the animals.)

Click a Tab for Shore/Port Information

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Wednesday, November 7

First came the Aborigines, 50,000 years ago; then 759 British convicts, followed by a wave of military settlers known as the Rum Corps. The result: Sydney’s bold, egalitarian charm. History, opera, opals and koalas are all here.


»» Sydney Shore Excursion Details »»

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — Friday, November 9

Once a harsh penal settlement, Brisbane is now Queensland’s dynamic capital city. A blend of steel and glass defines the skyline, while riverside delights — botanical gardens, promenades, cafes and markets — mesmerize at eye level.

»» Brisbane Shore Excursion Details »»


One of the Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island features coral reefs, sparkling beaches and clear blue—green waters. Take an excursion to view the wonders of the reef or visit the Koala Gallery Wildlife Experience and see kangaroos, koalas, wombats and crocodiles up close. Or simply wander the soft sand beaches and take in the tropical views.

MACKAY, AUSTRALIA — Monday, November 12

Beaches and biodiversity define Mackay. Set on the Central Queensland Coast, Mackay sits at the junction of tropical and semi-tropical rainforests. The region is known for 31 classic white sand beaches, salt and freshwater fishing, access to rainforests, birdwatching, and platypus habits.

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE — Wednesday, November 14

After getting a look at the bright lights of Sydney, we set sail toward optimal eclipse viewing circumstances south of New Caledonia, getting Southern Hemisphere star gazing in along the way.

Eclipse details

EASO, LIFOU, NEW CALEDONIA — Friday, November 16

Magnificient beaches, famous snorkeling, 40-meter high cliffs looking down on crystal-clear waters teeming with fish, a network of caves with 4km-long stalactites, and a smattering of historic sites make this small island a real treasure. But the open-air market held on Wednesdays and Fridays (we’re here on Friday!) until 11am is a must to sample local products and produce.

ÎLE DES PINS, NEW CALEDONIA — Saturday, November 17

Located in southern Melanesia, sleepy Île des Pins (aka Isle Des Pines) is paradise found. White sand beaches, clear turquoise lagoons, and a lush landscape of rainforests ensure relaxation. Named by Captain James Cook in 1774, archaeological excavations on the island have revealed settlements dating back 4000 years. While there, explore the limestone cave known as Devil’s Grotto or just marvel at the island’s unspoiled beauty.

NOUMÉA, NEW CALEDONIA — Sunday, November 18

New Caledonia’s lush beauty has earned it many names, including “The Island Closest to Paradise” and “The St. Tropez of the Pacific.” The poincianas, or flame trees, will color the island with their bright red umbrellas when you visit.

»» Nouméa Shore Excursion Details »»


Cruise prices vary from $1,899 for an Interior Stateroom to $7,299 for a Deluxe Suite, per person. (Cruise pricing is subject to change.) For those attending our PROGRAM, there is a $1,295 fee. For detailed information and pictures of our ship, please visit CABIN & SHIP INFO page. Additional per-person fees include: government taxes and fees ($246) and gratuities are $11.50 per day. All prices and fees are detailed on the BOOK NOW page.

For a detailed listing of the cruise itinerary please review our ITINERARY page.

Use our PRICING CALCULATOR for a quick price quote! For questions, please don’t hestitate in calling (650-787-5665) or emailing us.


The conference fee is $1,295 and includes all 20 seminars below. You may take every class — i.e., there will be no overlap as only one class will be going on at any one time. Classes only take place when we’re cruising, between 8:30am and 7:30pm.






Leo Laporte
Don McAllister
Allison Sheridan
Sal Soghoian

Speakers have confirmed their intent to participate; however, scheduling conflicts may arise.



The Total Solar Eclipse Cairns, Nov. 14, 2012

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Here was the weather for the corresponding days of our cruise, during the year indicated. Historical averages are from the mid ’90s to current day.

Sydney   2008   2009   2010
Historical Averages

Brisbane   2008   2009   2010
Historical Averages

Hamilton Island   2008   2009   2010
Historical Averages

Nouméa   2008   2009   2010
Historical Averages

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