We traveled as a group of 3 couples, all arriving on March 7 in Sydney. The cruise departed on March 11. We all booked a pre-cruise land tour for 2 nights at Ayers Rock through Swain Tours. Stayed nights of March 7 and March 10 at the Four Seasons in Sydney, upscale and nice located 5 star facility. The 2 nights at Ayers Rock were at Sails in the Desert, a reasonable outback hotel. We took sunset and Sunrise walking tours of Ayers Rock and the nearby Kata Tjuta formations. Beautiful experience! But bring your fly nets! Sydney itself is a fabulous city. Walk around the Rocks, the Harbor, downtown. Nice restaurants. Things are expensive down under, as their dollar has risen to above par with the US dollar and the economy is strong.
Melbourne is our favorite Aussie City. More of a European flavor with its trams. Could travel on our own right from the port to downdown on a tram. Took a walking tour of the city using "Melbourne by foot" which was very good. We had spent a week in Melbourne back in 2002 and timed it to attend the Australian Open tennis tournament