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Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand - 17 days

On this grand, wide-ranging journey, you’ll explore the two diverse and fascinating nations that lie on the shores of the Tasman Sea. Vastly different in size, and each offering unique landscapes and experiences, Australia and New Zealand share a well-earned reputation for warm hospitality and great cuisine. Discover the Great Barrier Reef and stunning Milford Sound, kiwis and crocodiles, and the exciting cosmopolitan cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Auckland and Queenstown.

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Itinerary

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Day 1: Welcome to Melbourne

Get to know your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening at a Welcome Reception and dinner on board Melbourne’s famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.
Included Meals: Dinner with wine

Day 2: Melbourne Sights

Explore Melbourne on a city sights tour this morning, and then discover its gracious arcades, eclectic laneways and vibrant street art on a private walking tour. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza, Melbourne
Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Melbourne – Cairns

Depart Melbourne by air this morning for Cairns, where you’ll join a local expert for a wildlife journey at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a cruise where you’re sure to encounter koalas, wallabies and crocodiles.
Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Great Barrier Reef

Board a high-speed catamaran today and cruise out to the iconic Great Barrier Reef. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling (equipment provided), or view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board before you return to Cairns.
Included Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 5: Cairns Free Time

Today is free for you to pursue your own interests in this vibrant tropical city, or you may choose to visit Kuranda, ‘The Village in the Rainforest’. This evening is 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.
Included Meals: Breakfast and Be My Guest dinner

Day 6: Cairns – Sydney

This morning you’ll fly to Sydney, where you’ll have time to relax or explore before boarding a Captain Cook vessel for a Sunset Dinner Cruise. Glide past magnificent waterfront homes, and of course the legendary Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Included Meals: Breakfast and highlight dinner

Day 7: Sydney

Enjoy a tour of the Sydney Opera House then head to Bondi Beach for lunch at an Australian institution, the Returned Servicemen’s Club. Your host, a local surf lifesaver, will lead you on an exclusive tour through Australia’s oldest lifesaving club. Your afternoon is free for exploring or shopping, enjoying an optional excursion, or maybe just taking a stroll along the Harbour front.
Included Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 8: Sydney Free Time

Spend today as you please. Perhaps see the famous Three Sisters rock formation in the majestic Blue Mountains just outside the city or visit Featherdale Wildlife Park. This evening join your Travel Director for dinner in a restaurant on the waterfront.
Included Meals: Breakfast and dinner with wine

Day 9: Sydney – Auckland

Fly across the Tasman Sea this morning to the island nation of New Zealand. This evening meet your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel.
Included Meals: Breakfast and dinner with wine

Day 10: Auckland

Start the day with a sightseeing tour and a cruise on Waitemata Harbour before time at leisure.
Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 Auckland – Rotorua

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. This evening enjoy a traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Family Marae.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest lunch, Highlight Dinner

Day 12: Rotorua – Christchurch

Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you’ll be able to observe many species of native fauna of New Zealand. You may even spot a kiwi! Visit Te Puia thermal reserve before flying to Christchurch.
Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 13: Christchurch – Franz Josef

Travel on the TranzAlpine train to Arthur’s Pass. Regarded as one of the world’s great train journeys, it passes through fertile farmlands to rugged gorges and ice-fed streams and lakes. At Hokitika visit a greenstone (jade) factory. Take a short walk to view Franz Josef Glacier.
Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 14: Franz Josef – Queenstown

Climb over the Haast Pass, winding past lakes and along the Kawarau River and Gorge. Visit historic Arrowtown before arriving in Queenstown.
Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 15: Milford Sound Cruise

Travel over the Devil’s Staircase to Te Anau and then through the rainforest of World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls, on your way to Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch while you cruise on this natural wonder. Return to Queenstown this evening.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Queenstown Free Time

A full day to explore Queenstown at your leisure. You could take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon. Join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner at the Boatshed, with its views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown
Included Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Day 17: Farewell from Queenstown

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
Included Meals: Breakfast


Dates & Pricing

Travel Dates Per Person Sharing Twin
(from)
Single Room Supplement
(from)
Local Fee

Itinerary, departure dates and prices may change. Prices vary by season and are “from”, land only. Contact us with your specific travel date.


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Accommodations


Crowne Plaza, Melbourne

Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Millennium Hotel, Queenstown

Included

Not Included



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