15-Day Affordable Australia New Zealand Tour $4865

This escorted Australia & New Zealand Tour is a terrific value. Visits Auckland, Queenstown, Dunedin, Melbourne & Sydney.  For a tour which also visits Cairns/Great Barrier Reef click here: 18-Day tour with Cairns.

New Zealand wall flag Kangaroo sleeping

INCLUDED FEATURES:

* Round trip Flights LAX/SFO
* 12 nights standard hotels
* All airport transfers
* Breakfast daily and 1 Dinner
* Sightseeing per itinerary in modern coach
* Services of English-speaking tour guide/driver
* Entrance fees included

BOOKING DETAILS:

PRICES: From USD$4865 per person. Based on double occupancy.
DEPARTURE 2018: Aug. 29: Sep 07, 12, 14, 21, 26: Oct 03, 05, 17, 19: Nov 02, 07, 09, 14, 28: Dec 12, 19, 21
OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS: Add Cairns and Ayers Rock. Extra cost

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY:

DAY 1, Wednesday – Depart the USA
Depart the USA for New Zealand. Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey

DAY 2, Thursday – En Route
En route to New Zealand, lose a day traveling over the international dateline

DAY 3, Friday – Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand
Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, known as the “City of Sails”. You’ll be welcomed by our representative and transferred to the hotel. This evening, enjoy a welcome drink and briefing by your tour manager on the exciting tour that lies ahead. (D). Stay at the Crown Plaza Auckland.

DAY 4, Saturday – Tour Auckland’s Museum and Sky Tower
This morning’s tour of this multi-cultural city begins at the Sky Tower; standing at almost 1100 feet tall, it is the highest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere and has become an iconic part of Auckland’s skyline. From the top, see breathtaking views of the sparkling harbor and the city and beyond. Then, on to the renowned Auckland Museum, housed in one of New Zealand’s outstanding historical buildings. Here, you’ll see the monumental carvings, canoes and taonga (treasures) of the Maori people along with an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits depicting the growth of the country. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the many diverse delights of this fascinating city. (B)
Optional: Half Day West Coast Wilderness Experience (PM)

DAY 5, Sunday – Travel to Queenstown
Depart Auckland on a flight to Queenstown, named for Queen Victoria. The town, nestled on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, is considered New Zealand’s adventure capital. Its fabulous outdoor attractions and resort like atmosphere are enjoyed by international travelers and locals alike. Upon arrival, check into the hotel, then take a short walking tour of Queenstown, before having the rest of the day at leisure.(B). Stay at the Millennium Queenstown Hotel

DAY 6, Monday – Milford Sound Tour & Cruise
Enjoy a full day tour to Milford Sound! Travel to World Heritage Fiordland National Park, rich with dense rainforest, lakes and waterfalls cascading from rugged mountain peaks. En route to Milford Sound, stop at Te Anau and the glacier hewn Eglinton Valley before embarking on the cruise out into the fjord with scenic views of temperate rainforest, stunning Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Possible wildlife viewings include seals, birds and occasionally even dolphins or penguins. Enjoy a buffet lunch on board as you marvel at the sights around you. Late afternoon, return to Queenstown (B, L)

DAY 7, Tuesday – Queenstown at leisure
Spend time on your own discovering always picturesque Queenstown. Walk along the streets of the sophisticated downtown area, with its trendy shops and restaurants or, be adventurous and ascend on the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak, high above the city for magnificent views of Queenstown, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Lake Wakatipu. Alternatively, participate in the optional Skippers Canyon adventure that follows this rugged road into the sheer cliffsides of the Shotover River Valley. During the tour, visit many historic sites and stop at Deep Creek to try your hand at gold panning at one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. Return to Queenstown along Skippers Road, with views of some of the “Lord of the Rings” film locations. This evening, join the optional TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Walter Peak Station BBQ Dinner. Enjoy a cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm on board the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship and savor a delicious barbecue dinner of local specialties at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant. Afterwards, tour the farm and watch a demonstration that provides a glimpse into high country farming life. Then, board the ship for your evening cruise back to Queenstown (B)

Optional Tours ($): Safari of the Scenes – Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure, TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Walter Peak Station BBQ

DAY 8, Wednesday – Queenstown to Dunedin
This morning, visit the charming gold rush village of Arrowtown, nestled among the peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. Time to walk along the tree-lined avenues of this colorful town filled with 19th century miner’s cottages, or enjoy the delightful shops filled with New Zealand crafts, art galleries and lovely cafes before continuing to an area known as the ‘Valley of the Vines’, because is sandwiched in a valley surrounded by rugged mountains and running along the rocky Kawarau River gorge. This area produces superb wines, with worldwide recognition and an avalanche of international awards for the Pinot Noir. While here, visit a winery and enjoy a two-course lunch with wine tasting before continuing past the picturesque and historic townships of Cromwell, Clyde and the huge Clyde Dam to Alexandra. Then, journey along the Clutha River and past the multiple orchards that define this area as New Zealand’s fruit bowl before arriving in Dunedin, New Zealand’s oldest city, well known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture and its close proximity to amazing wildlife. (B, L) Stay at the Scenic Hotel Dunedin City Hotel.

DAY 9, Thursday – Dunedin City Tour
A day to enjoy Dunedin, arguably New Zealand’s most spectacular city in terms of contrasting landscapes, nestled in tree-clad hills at the head of a beautiful harbor. The city flourished during the 19th century gold rush and is now the major gateway to the Otago region. Discover the city with a morning tour highlighted by a visit to the Dunedin Railway Station, a jewel in the country’s architectural crown; Baldwin Street, the steepest residential street in the world; and the prestigious Otago University. Visit Olveston historic homestead, built in the early 1900s, a superb turn of the century house with posh furnishings and a stunning art collection. The afternoon is at leisure or, join the optional Otago Peninsula Tour with Wellers Rock Cruise. Enjoy a tour to the Otago Peninsula home to sea lions, fur seals and penguins. Travel to New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle, which was built in 1871 by William Larnach, a merchant baron and politician, featuring magnificent architecture and superb craftsmanship. Lastly, embark on a one hour wildlife cruise with an opportunity to view the exciting diversity of wildlife which abounds on spectacular Taiaroa Head, the only mainland nesting place for Northern Royal Albatross in the world. (B)

Optional Tour ($): Otago Peninsula Tour with Wellers Rock Cruise

DAY 10, Friday – Travel to Sydney, Australia
Depart Dunedin, following the east coast of the South Island north through Oamaru, renowned for its stunning limestone architecture. Travel through the small rural communities of Timaru and Ashburton before traversing the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch for a brief introductory tour. En route, enjoy lunch at a local pub style restaurant before continuing to the airport. Bid farewell to your New Zealand Tour Manager and board a flight to Sydney, Australia. Get ready for the next adventure as you’re welcomed by your Australian Tour Manager to Sydney. Tonight, late arrival at the hotel. (B, L) Stay at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney.

DAY 11, Saturday – Sydney City Tour
The panoramic tour of Sydney starts at world famous Bondi Beach and historic and fashionable Paddington with its unique terrace houses. Continuing to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair and the Royal Botanic Gardens which offer extraordinary views of celebrated Sydney Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the striking Sydney Opera House poised majestically on the water’s edge, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass historic buildings including the Parliament House, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Queen Victoria Building. Then, to The Rocks, a historic area where the city was founded by Captain Arthur Phillip and his working party of convicts. Shop for Opals at a local shop, the best in the world – Australia provides approximately 97% of the world’s supply. Spend the balance of the day at leisure. An optional alternative is a lovely Lunch Cruise by catamaran on Sydney Harbour where you’ll feast on a seafood buffet while enjoying the sights of Sydney from the catamaran’s extensive decks. If you are feeling adventurous, have the experience of a lifetime on an optional invigorating climb to the top of the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. A professional team of experienced climbers will escort you to the very top and will provide you with a lasting memento. (B)

Optional Tour ($): Optional: Lunch Cruise on Sydney Harbour & Harbour Bridge Climb

DAY 12, Sunday – Sydney at leisure
A last day in Sydney to pursue your personal pleasures. Perhaps, participate in the optional full day excursion to Featherdale Wildlife Park and the Blue Mountains. Featherdale is home to over 300 species of Australia’s diverse wildlife. Here, you may cuddle a koala (a must do for everyone visiting Australia!), feed the kangaroos, view the Fairy Penguins, and see the colorful parrots, cockatoos and lorikeets. For wilderness and wildlife, the magnificent Blue Mountains region is a must see for any visitor to Sydney. Travel through quaint mountain villages, past spectacular lookouts, and through the rugged Australian Bush to Katoomba Scenic World. Returning to Sydney in the late afternoon (B)

Optional Tour ($); Full Day Blue Mountains with Featherdale Wildlife Park

DAY 13, Monday – Travel to Melbourne
Departure flight this morning for the beautiful Victorian city of Melbourne on the shores of Port Phillip Bay. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. This evening, get together for a three-course Farewell Dinner at the hotel (B, D) Stay at the Hotel Pullman Melbourne on the Park, Melbourne

DAY 14, Tuesday – Melbourne day at leisure
The tour of Melbourne this morning highlights the mingling of the city’s cultures, monuments and scenic delights, from the magnificent gardens to the riverside complexes and bayside suburbs, with elegant 19th century architecture. In the afternoon, time to stroll on your own, or join the not to be missed optional tour to Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Depart the busy city and suburbs, traveling out into the rural countryside to visit Australia’s most popular wildlife attraction and home to the one of the largest Little Penguin colonies in the world. Afterwards, the rest of the day is free to enjoy your final day in Australia (B)

Optional Tour ($): Afternoon/Evening Little Penguin Parade

DAY 15, Wednesday – Return to the USA
This morning, transfer to the airport by private vehicle for your flight home (B)