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Travel company offers weekend trip to other side of planet

By Barry Neild for CNN
updated 12:42 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
G'night London. G'day Australia. Sydney's landmark Opera House is on the itinerary of a four-day UK-Oz round trip. Not much else is. G'night London. G'day Australia. Sydney's landmark Opera House is on the itinerary of a four-day UK-Oz round trip. Not much else is.
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Australia for the weekend? Aye.
Harbour Bridge
Melbourne
Yarra Valley wine region
Great Ocean Road
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tour operator says its weekend trips from London to Australia are "intense" but "do-able"
  • Itinerary includes a 12-hour drive along the coastal road between Sydney and Melbourne
  • Austravel says it's received several inquiries about the $1,840 whistle-stop round trip

(CNN) -- For those with too much money but not enough time or common sense -- here's the perfect travel solution.

A weekend trip to the other side of the planet.

A UK-based tour operator has begun offering whistle-stop sightseeing excursions from London to Australia that depart Friday afternoon and return "just in time for work" on Tuesday morning.

Austravel -- a specialist in Down Under destinations -- says the 33,800-kilometer (21,000 mile), 46-hour round trip is ideal for anyone trying to maximize vacation time.

Tickets starting at $1,840 include airfare, two hotel nights and rental car for three days.

MORE: Urban glamping in Sydney's zoo

You'll need the car because as well as the time spent cooped up in a jet, there's a 12-hour drive from Sydney to Melbourne to make the return flight.

Austravel's Naomi Moreno-Melgar concedes traveling to Australia for a weekend is "extreme" but insists it's "do-able."

"A trip to the land Down Under does not need take up all of your holiday allowance, but with four time zones, three million square miles and 22 million people, it would be nice," she says.

Forget about sleep

Melbourne at dusk. Or dawn. Travelers won\'t know the difference.
Melbourne at dusk. Or dawn. Travelers won't know the difference.

The itinerary sees passengers depart London on Friday afternoon, arriving in Sydney on Saturday evening.

After a night in a four-star hotel and visits to Sydney's Opera House, Harbour Bridge and tower, they bundle themselves into their rental car and hit the coastal road south.

There's a night and morning in Melbourne, before a return flight that lands in London at 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday.

More: 10 natural wonders of Australia

If that's not enough, Austravel says passengers willing to forgo all sleep can buy "bolt-on" trips to see attractions such as the Great Ocean Road (more driving) or Melbourne's Yarra Valley wine region.

A spokesperson for the tour operator tells CNN it's received "a number of enquiries" about the trip, but was unable to share actual booking figures.

The world may just have gotten a little smaller.

Also, a little more nuts.

Would you travel to the other side of the world for just a weekend? Let us know in the comments

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