Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand
Geyser or glacier, Aboriginal philosophy or Maori culture, Melbourne's eclectic laneways or the natural beauty of Queenstown: the contrasts of two diverse nations are revealed on this in-depth journey.
Geyser or glacier, Aboriginal philosophy or Maori culture, Melbourne's eclectic laneways or the natural beauty of Queenstown: the contrasts of two diverse nations are revealed on this in-depth journey. You'll enjoy Insider moments like lunching with Bondi Beach locals and discovering stories of surf and rescue at Australia's oldest lifesaving club and being amazed by super-fast shearers and the drama of a live auction at Agrodome Sheep Show.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- 16 nights hotel accommodations
- Breakfast each day, 4 lunches and 8 dinners
- City tour in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland
- Visit Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Te Puia Geothermal Valley
- Cruise on Great Barrier Reef and Milford Sound
- View Darling Harbour from your Sydney hotel room and the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
- Optional Experiences and free time
- All porterage and restaurant gratuities
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- An expert Travel Director and separate Driver, Driver Guide only on mini-stays
- All hotel charges and local taxes
- Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
- VIP entry to many sights
Day 1 - Arrive Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and dinner on board the famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant and enjoy your accommodations at Crowne Plaza Melbourne. (D)
Day 2 - Melbourne Sightseeing
Join your Travel Director for a Cultural Insight. Your city tour includes a private walk through Melbourne's famous hidden laneways. You'll discover the city's eclectic little lanes, arcades, café society and fascinating street art. Then there's time to explore the city on your own. (B)
Day 3 - Melbourne to Cairns
Say farewell to Melbourne as you fly to Cairns. On arrival join your Local Specialist for a private wildlife journey at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a boat cruise and encounter koalas, wallabies, birds and of course, crocodiles! This evening why not dine at one of the many local restaurants and enjoy your accommodations at The Pacific Cairns. (B)
Day 4 - Great Barrier Reef
Board a high speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns. (B, L)
Day 5 - Cairns Free Time
Today is free for you to explore this tropical city. Consider an Optional Experience. You could journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to the 'village in the rainforest' and return to the lowlands on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This evening be prepared for a special Be My Guest dinner at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Experience a personal Welcome to Country ceremony, hear stories of the Dreamtime, witness an entertaining high impact performance by the indigenous dance group and enjoy dinner accompanied by the sounds of the didgeridoo. (B, D)
Day 6 - Cairns to Sydney
Depart Cairns on your flight to Sydney. On arrival there's time to relax before boarding a Captain Cook Sunset Dinner Cruise. Enjoy a two course à la carte Regional Meal and the mesmerising views of Sydney at night. You'll pass magnificent waterfront homes and all the main harbour attractions including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Later enjoy a view of the harbour from your Harbour View Room at the Hyatt Regency. (B, D)
Day 7 - Sydney Sightseeing
Kick off this highlight day of sightseeing on a guided tour of Sydney Opera House with a Local Specialist. Later, your destination is famous Bondi Beach, for an iconic Australian experience. You'll be greeted by a local surf lifesaver before a Regional Meal at an Aussie institution, the Returned Servicemen's Club. Your host, a Local Specialist, will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club for insight into the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving. Later enjoy some free time to do as you please. (B, L)
Day 8 - Sydney Freetime
The day is yours to explore this wonderful city. Why not take an optional experience to the spectacular Blue Mountains. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a stroll to Darling Harbour to enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the city's waterfront. Dine on fresh seasonal produce when you indulge in a selection of signature dishes that are bound to create a memorable dining experience. (B, D)
Day 9 - Sydney to Auckland
It's farewell to Australia as you fly to Auckland, New Zealand. This evening meet your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel. Your personal degustation is prepared for you from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and delicious desserts. (B, D)
Day 10 - Auckland Sightseeing
A morning cruise on Waitemata Harbour is followed by a sightseeing tour. Later, you'll have free time to explore the city. (B)
Day 11 - Auckland to Rotorua
Today you're invited to a Be My Guest lunch at the home of Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan, New Zealand horse racing royalty. Enjoy a sumptuous country-style lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato farm (from Apr 1 2018). This evening join your travelling companions for a memorable Regional Meal. Experience the heart-pounding wero (challenge) from a Maori warrior during a Powhiri, a ceremonial welcome, at the Tamaki Family Marae. Journey into the village and gain a cultural insight into life in New Zealand before European settlement. Feast on succulent meats and vegetables cooked in a hangi, the traditional Maori method of cooking in the earth. (B, L, D)
Day 12 - Rotorua to Christchurch
Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park with a Local Specialist and discover the native flora and fauna. You may even spot a kiwi! Continue to Rotorua to visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve, accompanied by a Local Specialist. Now you'll fly to Christchurch. See how the city is slowly being rebuilt as a consequence of the earthquake of February 2011. (B)
Day 13 - Christchurch to Franz Josef
Board the TranzAlpine train for your journey over the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. At Hokitika visit a New Zealand greenstone (jade) factory, to see a Local Specialist master carver at work. Travel along the coastal road to Franz Josef Glacier for a short walk to view the glacier and perhaps take an optional scenic flight (weather permitting). Overnight at Te Waonui Forest Retreat. (B, D)
Day 14 - Franz Josef to Queenstown
Enjoy a coastal drive with views of the Tasman Sea. Climb over the Haast Pass winding through Mount Aspiring National Park. Then your journey takes you past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and heads along the Kawarau River through the Kawarau Gorge. Finally you will visit the historic village of Arrowtown, before arriving in Queenstown. This evening is yours to spend at leisure. Accommodations at Millennium Hotel. (B)
Day 15 - Milford Sound Cruise
Journey over the Devil's Staircase and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. Travel through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel en route to majestic Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch as you cruise with Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls high above you. (B, L)
Day 16 - Queenstown Free Time
Today you may like to consider taking one of our optional experiences. You could ride the Shotover Jet boat, join a wine tour, play a round of golf, take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon, relax with a spa treatment or just explore Queenstown on your own. This evening perhaps ride a gondola to Bob's Peak for dinner at the Stratosphere Restaurant. (B, D)
Day 17 - Depart Queenstown
Our journey together has sadly come to an end. Say farewell to newfound friends as we transfer you to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime). (B)
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*Additional departure dates are available. Contact a rail specialist for details.