This 15-Day Romantic Australia New Zealand Tour provides an excellent overview of New Zealand’s South Island along with Cairns & Sydney in Australia.
* International flights from Los Angeles
* Internal flights within New Zealand & Australia
* 12-nights hotel in 4-star properties
* Christchurch Tramcar Dinner
* TranzAlpine Train to Arthur’s Pass
* Helicopter flight to the Tasman Glacier
* Milford Sound Fjord & Lake cruise
* Queenstown Skyline Gondola & Dinner
* Blue Mountains with Wildlife Tour
* Great Barrier Reef snorkel cruise with lunch
* Kuranda Village with Scenic Train & Skyrail
* MV Sydney dinner cruise
* Breakfast daily, 3-Lunches & 3-Dinners
Prices: From USD$6250 per person in 4-star hotels. Based on double occupancy.
2017 Departures: Departs Daily
Hotels: Hotels are listed on the itinerary – they can be changed or room types upgraded.
Flights: Upgrade your seats to Premium Economy or Business class seats.
Changes: Everything on this itinerary can be changed such as the destinations visited, sightseeing tours, accommodations or routing.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY:
Day 01: Board your flight to New Zealand, from LAX
Day 02: Cross the international dateline.
Day 03: Arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand’s South Island. (2-nights)
Your Romantic vacation to Australia New Zealand begins in Christchurch. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your B&B in the hills of Christchurch, the major city of commerce in New Zealand’s South Island. Spend the day exploring the city or take it to try to recover from the time changes which is 16-hrs ahead of the USA.
Evening: Christchurch Dinner Tramcar: The only Restaurant Tram in New Zealand you’re invited to see the city in a very unique way while enjoying a delicious dinner. Experience the luxury of a 36 seater air-conditioned, colonial style dining tram and be treated to the finest service, cuisine and beverages New Zealand has to offer. Incorporate fabulous dining with a sightseeing tour showcasing Christchurch’s inner city vibrancy and heritage – truly a mix of the old and the new. The Christchurch Tramway Restaurant dinner tour is a unique activity not to be missed.
+ Stay at the Heritage Christchurch Hotel
Day 04: TranzAlpine Train Arthur’s Pass Day Tour
You will be picked up from your accommodation at 7:30am and transferred to Arthur’s Pass by TranzAlpine train – one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Your journey will take you west across the rich agricultural belt of the Canterbury Plains to Springfield where you will have the opportunity to take photos of the mountains rising above you. Having arrived with your guide at Arthur’s Pass village you will have the opportunity to view the Waimakariri River and the unique braided river system. Enter Arthur’s Pass National Park where short walks can be taken to experience forests, rivers and mountain vistas Enjoy lunch at an historic high country hotel.
Follow the old stage coach route and travel down the spectacular Otira Gorge, testament to the road builders of the 860’s and the route taken by the Maori in their quest for greenstone View Cave Stream where it burrow underground in an area of limestone cliffs, gorges and craggy outcrops. This area was also used for the filming of CS Lewis’s – “The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe”. Return to your Christchurch accommodation in the afternoon (B, L)
Day 05: Christchurch to Aoraki / Mount Cook (1-night)
Today you’ll be driven to the Mt. Cook region for the day/night. Aoraki / Mount Cook consists of three summits lying slightly south and east of the main divide, the Low Peak, Middle Peak and High Peak, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the Hooker Glacier to the west. Your tour departs Christchurch in the morning and travels through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, we continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park. Along the way your driver guide will keep you entertained and informed with commentary on the area’s history and sites of interest. The tour concludes on arrival at Mount Cook Village at 100pm. (B)
Helicopter flight: Experience a glacier landing in this stunning mountain environment. Enjoy a scenic flight over the Tasman Terminal Lake; pass by the Hochstetter Icefall before landing on the Tasman Glacier. Encounter the incredible vistas of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, with scenery beyond expectation! Apprx 25-min (Flight time can be extended. Extra cost)
Big Star Gazing excursion: Mount Cook is far from the city lights and therefore has some of the darkest skies in New Zealand – perfect for viewing the night sky! In June 2012 the Aoraki Mackenzie region, encompassing Mount Cook Village, was approved as one of only a few International Dark Sky Reserves (IDSR) worldwide, meaning the darkness of our night skies is almost unbeatable! Begin with an introduction and orientation in our Digital Dome Planetarium highlighting the unique features of our southern night sky. Mandarin headphone translations available for planetarium presentation. Our informative astronomy guides then take you on a short drive (transport provided) to our outdoor stargazing site. Use telescopes, astronomy binoculars and the naked eye to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice, identifying and exploring different elements of the spectacular southern sky.
+ Stay at the Hermitage Hotel. Premium Room with view of Mt. Cook
Day 06: Aoraki/Mount Cook to Queenstown coach tour (3-nights)
Board your coach drive south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route, enjoy afternoon tea (own expense) in the quaint village of Omarama. Drive past historic gold mining region of the rugged Kawarau River Gorge and past Cromwell, famed for its fruit-growing before arriving in Queenstown – the most scenic of New Zealand’s towns. Set against the backdrop of the Remarkable Mountain ranges and beautiful Lake Wakatipu. (B)
+ Stay at the Crown Plaza Queenstown. Lakeview room
Day 07: Milford Sound Fjords & Lake cruise:
Small group: On boarding a luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, you enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside of Te Anau. After a morning break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board a vessel for a cruise the full-length of Milford Sound. The vessel provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy the waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. A comprehensive commentary is presented throughout the cruise. Complementary tea and coffee are available on board the vessel. Following the cruise, you are transferred back to by scenic coach. (B, L)
Day 08: Free day Queenstown. Evening Skyline Gondola & Dinner:
Enjoy this glorious city at your leisure. With its walk-able city center you can explore the many shops and restaurants just an easy stroll from your accommodations. The stunning water promenade with its outdoor entertainment and scenic views is a lovely place to discover. Optional excursions: Skydiving, Lord of the Rings Tour, BungyJumping, Jetboating, and more. (B, D)
Evening: Perched high above the resort town of Queenstown in the beautiful Southern Lakes region of New Zealand’s South Island you’ll find Stratosfare Restaurant – located on Bob’s Peak at Skyline, From the gondola base, located within a 10-minute walk from downtown Queenstown, you’ll ride the Gondola to the restaurant. Take in the breathtaking panoramic views from Coronet Peak to Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables and surrounding mountains.
Day 09: Queenstown to Sydney: (3-nights)
Take your morning flight to Sydney, the most famous of Australia’s major cities. Sydney is located on Australia’s east coast, the metropolis surrounds one of the world’s largest natural harbours, and sprawls towards the Blue Mountains to the west. Today, spend the rest of your day exploring on foot the many corner of this magnificent city. Optional: Choose a sunset Sydney Harbour Climb, or tour the Sydney Opera House and see a performance at this famous building. (B)
+ Stay at the Harbour Rocks Hotel – Rocks district. Standard Queen Room.
Day 10: Sydney city tour:
Visit the historic Rocks area and hear early convict history. Enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. See the shopping heart of the city, QVB, Centre point. Travel on to famous Bondi Beach. Visit the beachfront promenade, enjoy a coffee or cool drink (at own cost). See bronzed Aussie lifesavers and Sydney’s best panoramic view at Dover Heights. Return to Sydney via Double Bay, Kings Cross and Mrs Macquarie’s Point for a final magical viewpoint over the harbour before returning to the city centre. (B)
Day 11: Blue Mountains tour with Featherdale Wildlife Park:
The Blue Mountains Canyons and Wildlife Discovery is a real journey into the heart of a unique World Heritage Region. The first stop on the tour is at Featherdale Wildlife Park. You can get up close and personal, stroke a koala and hand feed kangaroos, wallabies & emus. Departing from Featherdale, we commence our drive to the Blue Mountains. We will travel through picturesque villages, see spectacular views and waterfalls. We will enjoy some short walks to lookout points and hear about the unique Australian forest species. The afternoon is spent visiting a selection of scenic lookouts. The view from Govett’s Leap is one of the most famous lookouts in Australia. Here the magnificent waterfall drops a whopping 180m to the base of the cliff. The last stop is the delightful Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens where we stop to enjoy the sweeping views and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or orange juice before traveling back to your hotel. (B)
Alternate Tour: Hunter Valley winery small group tour
Sydney harbour Dinner cruise: Board the MV Sydney 2000 dinner cruise and enjoy the most prestigious dinner cruise in Sydney. The choice is yours whether you embark at Circular Quay or King Street Wharf on your 2.5-hour Sydney dinner cruise. Take your seat at a window, as you float past the floodlit Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, while a team of international chefs prepare a three-course dinner for you to enjoy. Star gazing will be enjoyed from the upper deck with a dance band and full bar facilities below. A wonderful send off on your last night in this breathtaking city. Vegetarian options available. **Captain Clubs Dinner with guaranteed window seat. (B, D)
Day 12: Sydney – Cairns, Australia: (3-nights)
This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport and flown to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland’s Rainforest. The climate here is tropical. You’ll be transferred from the Cairns Airport to Palm Cove, which is 20 min north of the city. (You can choose to stay in Cairns or Port Douglas instead). Palm Cove is a small, beachside village that is both quaint and low key. Enjoy a walk along the beach in the evening or choose an optional evening excursion to the Cairns Night Zoo with BBQ Dinner. (B)
+ Stay at the Palm Cove Reef Retreat. Superior Spa room.
Day 13: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel cruise:
Small group: Explore the wondrous spectacle that is the Great Barrier Reef. A diversity of marine life and corals inhabit the Great Barrier Reef and can be viewed from the surface or by plunging below. Snorkeling and diving the Great Barrier Reef is an adventure. Exploring the coral gardens in search for weird and wonderful marine creatures at Opal Reef and Agincourt Reef will keep you busy for hours. Three sites are visited in one day, providing an insight into this large, unique and extraordinary living organism that is the Great Barrier Reef. Departing from the Reef Marina, your experienced and knowledgeable crew will take you on a trip of a lifetime to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in new stable and comfortable vessels. Scuba diving excursions available (extra cost). (B, L)
Day 14: Kuranda Village and Scenic Railway & Skyrail Gondola:
The Historic Kuranda Train is a step back into the days of our pioneers and although just 36km long, the Train ride takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes including a 15 minute stop at the mighty Barron Gorge Lookout. Along the journey, you will traverse the gorgeous mountain range, travel through 15 tunnels and view many beautiful cascades and waterfalls all while learning about its wonderful and unique history. Did you know that half the people buried in Cairns Pioneer cemetery died during construction of this brutal railway? It was an amazing and difficult pioneering feat that shaped the region of today! On the return from Kuranda you will take a Skyrail gondola. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 7.5 kilometre scenic journey over the Barron Gorge National Park in the Wet Tropics of Queensland’s World Heritage Area north of Cairns.Each Gondola carries 6 passengers and travels just a few metres above the world heritage listed rainforest canopy. The journey takes approximately 90 minutes including 2 stops where you can wander around and see the beauty of the rainforest at ground level. The two rainforest stations are Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station. At these stops you can explore the forest floor on boardwalks and interact with the environment and education of this World Heritage area. A Rainforest Interpretation Centre is also located at Barron Falls lookout, opposite side of where the Train stops for its vista. (B, D)
Evening: Farewell meal at Vivo Bar & Grill.
Enjoy your last meal as honeymooners at the well-rated, Vivo Bar & Grill. Sourcing the finest local produce available, the menu at Vivo Bar and Grill combines modern Australian with a Mediterranean feel and an Asian influence to reflect our climatic conditions.
Day 15: Cairns – Home:
Safe farewell your Australia New Zealand Honeymoon as you board your flight home. Trip can be extended or New Zealand’s North Island can be added – destinations such as Rotorua, Auckland and/or Bay of Islands. (B)