Designed for those with discerning taste enjoy New Zealand’s North and South Islands then travel to Australia, visiting Sydney, Ayers Rock & Cairns.
* International flights to Australia & New Zealand from LAX
* All of the internal flights listed
* Luxury properties throughout (4 to 5-star)
* 2-nighs Bay of Islands
* 1-night Christchurch
* 3 nights Queenstown
* 3-nights Sydney
* 1-night Ayers Rock
* 3-nights Cains/Palm Cove
* Hole in the Rock boat ride
* Christchurch dinner Tramcar
* Great Barrier Reef Snorkel cruise
* Blue Mountains with Wildlife Experience
* Phillip Island Little Penguin tour
* Kuranda Village with Scenic Rail & Skytrain
* Daily Breakfast, 3 Lunches & 4 Dinners
Prices: From USD$8720 per person.. Based on double occupancy.
2018 Departures: Departs Daily
Accommodations: You’ll be staying in 4-star hotels. Room upgrades available.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY:
Day 01: Board your flight to New Zealand, from Los Angles
Day 02: Cross the international dateline.
Day 03: Arrive in Paihia, Bay of Island, New Zealand (2-nights)
Upon arrival you will be transferred to your accommodations by private transfer to New Zealand’s Bay of Islands – a beautiful area of New Zealand few people get to visit. Paihia, the main tourist town is located close to the historic towns of Russell, and Kerikeri, 60 kilometres north of Whangarei and a lovely place to recover from your jetlag. Spend the rest of your day discovering the quaint city of Paihia on foot or take the ferry to ‘Romantic Russell’, visit the bustling city or relax in the town of Kerikeri.
+ Stay at the The Waterfront Suites. Bedroom Deluxe with water views.
Day 04: Hole in the Rock Tour:
Small group: Mack Attack offers a truly spectacular way to see the famous Hole in the Rock and, because our vessel is small and highly maneuverable, we are also able to take you right inside the magical Cathedral Cave. This tour departs from Paihia wharf and will take you through the inner and outer islands of the Bay of Islands to the awe-inspiring scenery of Cape Brett. Mack Attack will then cruise through the ‘Hole in the Rock’ and into Cathedral Cave, before taking a scenic route back through the islands to Paihia. If you prefer, we can drop-off you off at historic Russell Township. Your experienced local skipper will make stops along the way to tell you about the area and points of interest. You will have plenty of opportunities to take photos and videos, and to observe the abundant wildlife of the stunning Bay of Islands. (B)
Day 05: Paihia to Christchurch, New Zealand: (1-night)
You’ll be transferred to the airport to board you flight to Christchurch, the commerce center of New Zealand’s South Island, which had experienced an earthquake in 2011 but is on the mend. Once you arrive you’ll be taken to your centrally located hotel in Christchurch. (B, D) You can choose to stay in Auckland the first 2-nights and travel from there to Christchurch’s New Zealand’s South Island – it’s up to you.
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 Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch Christchurch. Deluxe room
Day 06: Christchurch to Aoraki / Mount Cook (1-night)
Today you’ll be driven, by private car, 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)
+ Stay at the Hermitage Hotel: Premium room with views of Mt. Cook
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)
Evening, Big Star Gazing: 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.
Day 07: Aoraki/Mount Cook to Queenstown (3-nights)
You’ll be transported by private driver, 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 08: Milford Sound Fjords & Lake cruise:
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 purchase refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular, scenic Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you will 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. Lunch will be provided onboard. Following the cruise, you are transferred back by scenic coach or you can choose to return by scenic flight. (B, L)
Day 09: 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 ($): Lord of the Rings Tour, Bungy Jumping, Jetboating, TSS ‘Earnslaw cruise & Walter Peak High Country Farm dinner and more. (B, D)
Day 10: 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. Spend the rest of your day exploring on foot the many corners of this magnificent city.
+ Stay at the Sangri-La Hotel. Sydney Harbour view room.
Optional excursions: A sunset Sydney Harbour Climb, the Sydney Opera House and/0r see a performance at the Sydney Opera House (B)
Day 11: Sydney city tour:
Small group. 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. Passengers can join our optional harbour lunch cruises, seaplane tours or return directly to their hotels. (B)
Day 12: Blue Mountains tour with Featherdale Wildlife Park visit:
Small group: 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. Your 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 travelling back to your hotel. (B, D). Alternative: You can instead choose to visit Hunter Valley wineries for the day.
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 the breathtaking city. Vegetarian options available. **Captain Clubs Dinner with guaranteed window seat.
Day 12: Sydney to Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta Tour: (1-night)
Board you flight to Australia’s Red Center. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves, and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B, D)
Afternoon: Kata Tjuta Domes Tour
Small group. You will travel to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to a place where unique flora and fauna thrive, Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Here your guide will reveal the many attributes of this diverse environment and describe the cultural significance of Kata Tjuta as a sacred Aboriginal men’s ceremonial site. Arriving at Walpa Gorge you will walk between the mighty conglomerate domes and hear how these 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years. Take time to listen to the wind (Walpa) far above and view the scale of the rock walls that surround you. The spirituality of this amazing location embraces everyone who ventures here. Your guide will return you to your hotel in time for those people joining the Sounds of Silence dinner.
Evening: Sounds of Silence Dinner:
A must on any Australia travel itinerary – the Sounds of Silence dinner is the best loved outback experience. Watch the setting sun and dine under a canopy of stars at the award-winning Sounds of Silence dinner. In a wonderful setting in the middle of the desert, witness a spectacular sunset over Ayers Rock. Taste classic Australian delicacies like bush tucker – barramundi, kangaroo, emu, bush salads and some delectable Australian desserts. After the meal enjoy a guided tour through the constellations by the resident Star Talker. Away from distracting city lights, in the pitch darkness of the Red Centre, discover the Universe beyond.
Day 13: Morning Ayers Rock Sunrise Tour & Cairns: (3-nights)
Small group. Walk up early for a treat – viewing Ayers Rock in the sunrise. As you travel towards Uluru, its vast shape rises from the sand dunes in the early dawn light highlighting its presence in this country. Your guide will take you to a special location to watch the sun rise over this amazing monolith. You will learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python) and hear about the Mala people. After breakfast you will visit Mutijulu Waterhole and then drive around the base of the Uluru before returning to the resort. (B)
Ayers Rock to Cairns:
This afternoon 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. This lovely village has boutique shops, 5-star restaurants and more, maintaining a laidback style whilst offering luxury amenities.
+ Stay at the Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore. Poolview room
Day 14: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel cruise
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. Snorkelling 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 ($) (B, L)
Day 15: Kuranda Village with 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 cemetary 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 16: Cairns – Home
Safe farewell to the northern tropical what your romantic vacation after breakfast. You can choose to extend your trip or modify the itinerary, if you choose to.