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Art or wildlife down under


Art and wildlife are the two distinct approaches of tours to the South Pacific in August and October.

The Australian Art Expedition, focusing on aboriginal works, will include four visits to ancient rock-art sites: Ayers Rock, in Uluru National Park; the remote safari camp of Mount Borradaile, near sites spanning 50,000 years; the Chamberlain Gorge, containing the mystical paintings of Wandjina, an aboriginal spirit, and the vast Quinkan Reserves of Aboriginal Art. There also will be visits with curators in Sydney and Darwin and two nights at the Lizard Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef.

Departure dates for the 16-day tours include July 29 and Aug. 19. The $6,195 price, which is based on double occupancy, includes air fare from Los Angeles; all local transportation and accommodations (ranging from luxury resorts to rugged bush tent camps), and some meals.

For more information, contact Austravel, (800) 633-3404.

A 21-day tour to Australia and New Zealand, organized by International Expeditions, will attempt to introduce participants to as much South Pacific wildlife as possible. Departing Oct. 14, the tour begins in New Zealand, where it will visit the Southern Alps and the habitats of native animals such as the rare New Zealand fur seal and the royal albatross.

In Australia, the tour will stop in Sydney before continuing on to the Blue Mountains, Kangaroo Island, Flinders Chase National Park, Seal Bay Conservation Park, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and the Great Barrier Reef. Native fauna include nocturnal rain-forest marsupials and unadorned rock wallabies. There will also be a four-day stay in Adelaide.

Based on double occupancy, the all-inclusive price from Los Angeles is $5,998. Information: (800) 633-4734.

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