Highlights: Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Sydney Opera House, Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Mount Cook National Park, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Arrowtown
Mar 05, 2018 – Mar 07, 2018: Depart From Home
Today you board your flight and begin the adventure of a lifetime. Crossing the International Dateline, you skip a day ahead.
Mar 07, 2018: Cairns, Australia - Tour Begins
Your tour opens in Cairns, the tropical gateway to one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions and a World Heritage site – the Great Barrier Reef. Established as a marine park in 1975, the reef is a haven for thousands of species of sea life, as well as turtles and birds.
Mar 08, 2018: Great Barrier Reef
Board a high speed catamaran for an exciting excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. This is an immense series of 2,800 coral reefs which are home to amazingly diverse marine life. Explore the reef from your base on Green Island. Enjoy a glass bottom boat ride, stroll the island walking trails, relax on the beaches, snorkel or just watch the fish and sea turtles swim past from the pier. For a more adventurous encounter with the reef, optional scuba diving and an outer reef tour are also available. Whichever way you choose, you’ll see some of the world’s most fascinating marine and plant life.
Mar 09, 2018: Cairns
Come to know the history of Australia’s original inhabitants at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center. Here you’ll see traditional dances, learn how to play a didgeridoo or even throw a boomerang. Browse the renowned art gallery and visit the interpretation center which houses a collection of interesting artifacts. At Hartley’s Croc Farm, get up close and personal with crocodiles in their natural habitat! Boardwalks take you on a path of adventure through rainforests and woodlands, home to birds, reptiles and wallabies. While visiting you also have the chance to meet some of the local koalas and have a private talk with a wildlife naturalist to learn more about these cuddly creatures. Take an exciting cruise on the lagoon and watch for crocodiles before enjoying a delicious Aussie barbecue.
Mar 10, 2018: Cairns - Sydney
Your morning is at leisure. Make your own adventure or simply relax and take in the tropical atmosphere. Later today, fly to the bustling city of Sydney.
Mar 11, 2018: Sydney
This morning, see where the original English colonists first settled in 1788 during a city tour of Sydney. Highlights of your tour include Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and the fashionable suburb of Paddington. Discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights as you take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Next, learn how raw opals mined from the depths of the Earth are transformed into beautiful works of art at the National Opal Centre. The evening is free to explore Sydney at your leisure…the opportunities are endless!
Mar 12, 2018: Sydney
Take hold of the exciting city of Sydney during a day of independent exploration. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer suggestions. Tonight, experience the best of Sydney. As you say your farewell to Australia, chat with new friends and take in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the scenic vistas the harbour has to offer including Sydney’s magnificent skyline and iconic attractions: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Mar 13, 2018: Sydney - Auckland, New Zealand
Today you leave Australia behind and fly to one of the world’s best-kept secrets – New Zealand. Arrive in Auckland, the “City of Sails,” consistently rated one of the best places in the world to live. Auckland has the highest Polynesian population in the world, imbuing its chic atmosphere with the vibrant feel of the Pacific Islands. The evening is yours to explore New Zealand’s largest city.
Mar 14, 2018: Auckland - Rotorua
Get to know the best of Auckland during a panoramic city tour featuring the America’s Cup Village, the War Memorial, vibrant Queen Street and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Next, travel to the dramatic geothermal landscape of Rotorua. Known as the Maori capital of New Zealand, over one-third of Rotorua’s population has Maori roots dating back over 1,000 years. Tonight, experience an authentic Hangi dinner celebration where you learn about the warm-hearted Maoris and their lives before European colonists arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and since. Enjoy an immersive experience featuring authentic Maori entertainment such as the poi dance and the famous “Haka” war challenge.
Mar 15, 2018: Rotorua
This morning visit Te Puia, New Zealand's premier Maori cultural and geothermal experience and a landscape of erupting geysers, bubbling mud pools and other geothermal wonders. The National Carving School and National Weaving School are located here, passing on age-old customs by teaching the tribal youth these traditional skills. Take part in an interactive demonstration on the art of weaving. You will also view the Kiwi bird and learn what is being done in an effort to remove the Kiwi from the endangered species list. Next, meet the skilled carvers who work with pounamu – New Zealand greenstone – at a local jade factory. Then, visit the Agrodome where you will see a fun sheep shearing demonstration and learn about the importance of agriculture to the nation. Tonight, relax or explore this lovely city on your own.
Mar 16, 2018: Rotorua - Christchurch
A short flight* brings you to the historic city of Christchurch. Devastated by an earthquake in early 2011, see firsthand how the city known as “the Garden City” is recreating itself. Make yourself right at home this evening when a New Zealand family welcomes you into their home for dinner! This is sure to be an unforgettable experience during which you will make new friends, learn about the customs of the “Kiwis,” and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Mar 17, 2018: Christchurch
Enjoy some leisure time to explore Christchurch on your own. You may wish to visit the International Antarctic Centre to learn about the 7th continent, or simply relax and enjoy what the city has to offer.
Mar 18, 2018: Christchurch - Mt. Cook Region - Queenstown
Traverse the spectacular countryside to New Zealand’s most famous national park, Mount Cook. Mt. Cook is one of the most impressive mountains in the world. En route, visit a Canterbury farmyard for a fantastic opportunity to learn how a New Zealand family farm operates. You may even catch a sheep shearing demonstration. Continue to Queenstown and enjoy a stop at a local fruit stand to gain an inside look at the produce of New Zealand. This evening, take in the city of Queenstown from above and soak in the breathtaking views during a gondola ride to dinner at the Skyline Restaurant overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains.
Mar 19, 2018: Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown
En route to Milford Sound, enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley. You’ll travel through ancient beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. During a cruise of the breathtakingly beautiful Milford Sound you will see why this fjord is one of the most visited sights on the South Island. With rock faces that rise nearly 4,000 feet on either side, the scenery will take your breath away. Following your cruise, you return to Queenstown. You may choose to return via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Mar 20, 2018: Queenstown
Today Queenstown offers up several options to enhance your tour. Shop or people-watch in the village; enjoy an optional and exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River; or join the optional "Journey through Middle Earth" tour which takes you through the majestic Remarkable Mountains and the breathtaking Queenstown countryside showcasing many of the spots where The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.
Mar 21, 2018: Queenstown - Arrowtown - Queenstown
Enjoy a leisurely touring day as you set off for the beautiful turn-of-the-century Gold Rush settlement of Arrowtown. Take time to explore independently and stroll its quaint, historic streets. Next, explore the Central Otago region where many of New Zealand’s best wines are grown and produced. During a stop at a local winery, visit their storage cave for a tasting of some of their famous wines.
Mar 22, 2018: Queenstown - Tour Ends
Your tour ends, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful adventure.