This 27-Day South Pacific Vacation takes you to three of the most scenic destinations in the Pacific – Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, offering a comprehensive tour of this region.
* International flights from Los Angeles and throughout
* 24-nights in First Class hotel with private bathrooms.
* 37 meals with Breakfast daily.
* Round-trip airport transfers from all airport
* Guided sightseeing excursions throughout
* Optional sightseeing excursions available. (extra cost)
PRICES: From USD$10950 per person. Based on double occupancy.
DEPARTURES 2017: Jun 17: Jul 08, 22: Aug 19: Sep 02, 16, 23, 30: Oct 07, 14, 21: Nov 04, 11
OPTIONAL EXTENSION: Add 3-nights in Fiji at the end of your tour
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY:
Day 1 and 2: Depart from Home
Board your overnight flight for your trip to Australia and New Zealand. Crossing the International Date Line, you lose a full day.
Day 3: Cairns (Northern Beaches), Australia – Tour Begins
Stay at the Pullman International Cairns. 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.(D)
Day 4: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise
Today, board a catamaran and sail to the Low Isles to explore the fascinating underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Choose how you want to spend your day in paradise by making your time on the reef as educational or as laid back as you like. Perhaps you will relax and independently explore the pristine shores of this tiny sand island located on the outer reef. Or maybe you are a bit more adventurous and will go snorkeling, revealing a wealth of vibrant sea life. You also have the opportunity to meet with a marine biologist during an informative presentation. Or you may also opt to join an expert for a beach and heritage trail walk along the island. (B, L)
Day 5: Kuranda Village with Scenic Train and Cableway
This morning, board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for an unforgettable ride over the rainforest canopy. Embrace the opportunity to explore the forest floor up close with access to specially designed boardwalks. Your evening is at leisure to enjoy your tropical surroundings. (B)
Day 6: Cairns – Ayers Rock
Stay at the Sails in the Desert. Fly to Uluru (the Aboriginal name for Ayers Rock) in the heart of the Australian Outback. Tour the sandstone domes known as Kata Tjuta and the beautiful area surrounding the base of “The Rock.” Later, witness a stunning sunset over a glass of champagne as the Rock’s hues change dramatically with the setting sun. (B)
Day 7: Ayers Rock – Alice Springs
Stay at the Doubletree By Hilton Alice Springs. A short flight over the “Red Centre” brings you to Alice Springs. Learn how people once communicated in the remote Outback during a sightseeing tour that includes a stop at the Old Telegraph Station, dating back to the 1800s. Visit the School of the Air to find out more about the educational system of the Outback. There’s a chance of witnessing a class in session! Become locally invested as you have the opportunity to meet the young Aboriginal group, Drum Atweme. Supported by the Collette Foundation,* Drum Atweme is a musical group comprised of at-risk youth from the local community. Tonight, continue your cultural immersion with a memorable bush dinner set against the backdrop of this unique desert environment.(B, D)
Day 8: Alice Springs – Darwin – Kakadu National Park
Stay at the Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel. Access the history and culture of the Aboriginal people during a “Dreamtime Tour” where your specialist guide shares stories of creation and everyday Aboriginal life. You’ll even taste native cuisine. Later, board your flight to the city of Darwin on the northern edge of Australia and drive into the heart of Kakadu National Park. (B, D)
Day 9: Kakadu National Park
Today, enjoy the natural beauty of the “Top End.” Kakadu National Park is home to wallaroos and wallabies, monitors and lizards, crocodiles and birds of every imaginable variety. Witness artwork dating back thousands of years as you view Nourlangie Rock. During an afternoon cruise, be on the lookout for crocodiles as they bask in the sun, as well as waterfowl such as jabiru, egrets, herons and eagles. (B)
Day 10: Kakadu National Park – Darwin – Melbourne
Stay at the The Swanston Hotel Grand Mercure. Transfer to Darwin for your flight to the beautiful Victorian city of Melbourne. (B)
Day 11: Melbourne city tour & Philip Island Penguin Parade
Enjoy a city tour featuring Fitzroy Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance and bustling Victoria Markets. Take some time at leisure to explore Melbourne independently. Later, see koalas in their natural setting during a stop at a koala conservation center before arriving at Phillip Island, a renowned nature reserve and home of the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins. Protected and studied by rangers, hundreds of them waddle out of the sea and cross the beach to their burrows in the dunes. At the interpretation center, you have a chance to learn about the lives of the Little Penguins and their significance to the region. (B)
Day 12: Melbourne – Hobart, Tasmania
Stay at the Hadleys Hotel Hobart. A flight to Hobart, Tasmania brings you to Australia’s second oldest city. The rugged and pristine beauty of Tasmania provides the backdrop to your 2-night stay. (B,D).
Day 13: Hobart
This morning brace yourself as you meet the Tasmanian Devil at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Center! Learn about this unique marsupial, its fight for survival, and the efforts in place to save it from extinction. Later, take a guided tour of the Port Arthur Historic Site, the best-preserved example of Australia’s original penal colonies and home to stabilized ruins and restored buildings dating back to 1833. En route, witness the spectacular coastal rock formations known as Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and the Blow Hole. (B)
Day 14: Hobart – Sydney city tour
Return to mainland Australia today and arrive in the bustling city of Sydney. Enjoy a tour of Sydney, birthplace of modern-day Australia. Highlights include Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens, and the fashionable suburb of Paddington. Marvel at one of the world’s most fascinating architectural wonders during a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. Later, make a stop at Sydney’s world-famous Bondi Beach, where surfers, locals and visitors alike delight in the cool waves and golden sands of this urban oasis. This evening’s dinner choice is yours as you choose from a variety of local restaurants along bustling Darling Harbour. (B, D).
Day 15: Sydney free day
Enjoy a day of leisure as you discover the wonders of Sydney by using your free time to pursue your own interests. Stroll through the city streets, visit the historic Rocks area or simply relax. (B)
Day 16: Sydney Harbour dinner cruise
Enjoy your morning at leisure before setting out to learn firsthand about opals during a special presentation at the National Opal Collection. 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. (B,D)
Day 17: Sydney – Queenstown
Stay at the Heritage Queenstown Hotel. Leave Australia behind and fly to one of the world’s best-kept secrets – New Zealand! Arrive in gorgeous Queenstown.(B, D)
Day 18: Queenstown – Milford Sound – Queenstown
En route to Milford Sound, enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley. You’ll travel through beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. During a cruise of the breathtakingly beautiful Milford Sound, you’ll 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. (B,L)
Day 19: Queenstown free day
Queenstown offers limitless diversions set amidst breathtaking Alpine scenery. Shop in the charming village center or enjoy an optional and exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River. Or, perhaps you will 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. (B)
Day 20: Queenstown – Arrowtown – Mt. Cook National Park
Stay at the Hermitage Hotel. Begin your day with a visit to the beautiful turn-of-the-century gold rush settlement of Arrowtown. Next, follow the Kawarau River and cross Lindis Pass before arriving in New Zealand’s most famous national park, Mt. Cook. There will be time to enjoy the Alpine paradise of Mt. Cook – a larger-than-life experience. You may choose to take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flight seeing tour (weather permitting) or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps. (B,D)
Day 21: Mt. Cook to Christchurch coach tour
Stay at the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square. This morning, travel 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. Enjoy some free time to explore. Perhaps you’ll stroll the city’s magnificent gardens or learn its more recent history at the Quake City exhibition at the Start Mall. (B)
Day 22: Christchurch – Picton – Wellington
Stay at the Novotel Wellington. On your journey to Picton, admire the coastal views, scenic river valleys and vineyards. From there, sail across Cook Strait to experience what has been called “the most beautiful ferry ride in the world.” Your final destination is Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. (B, D)
Day 23: Wellington
During your panoramic sightseeing tour of Wellington, view the Beehive, New Zealand’s Parliament; historic St. Paul’s Church; and the Old Government Building – the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere. Following the tour, visit the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongawera, a fascinating center dedicated to art, history and the Maori culture. (B).
Day 24: Wellington – Rotorua
Stay at the Millennium Hotel Rotorua. Depart for the dramatic geothermal landscape of Rotorua. With over one-third of its population boasting Maori roots, this city is known as the Maori capital of New Zealand. Make yourself right at home this evening when a New Zealand family welcomes you into their home for the night!** This is sure to be an unforgettable experience as you make new friends, learn about the customs of the “Kiwis,” and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Day 25: Rotorua
This morning, visit Te Puia – New Zealand’s premier Maori cultural and geothermal experience. Witness how the Maori keep their culture alive by teaching the tribal youth traditional carving and weaving. Enjoy the chance to view the Kiwi bird and learn what is being done in an effort to remove this marvelous creature 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 sheep shearing demonstration and learn about the importance of agriculture to the nation. (B)
Day 26: Rotorua – Auckland
Stay at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland. Travel through the majestic countryside of the North Island, arriving in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, “The City of Sails.” A panoramic city tour features the America’s Cup Village, the War Memorial, vibrant Queen Street, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and spectacular views from the harbourside. Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a local restaurant for a farewell dinner where you will toast the end of a wonderful trip! (B, D)
Day 27: Rotorua – Auckland – to Los Angeles
Today you will leave for home. Optional: Add a 2-night stay in the exotic island of Fiji. (B)