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 2018: Feb. 03, 10, 17: Mar. 10, 17: Apr. 14: May. 26: Jun. 16, 23: Jul. 07, 21: Aug. 18: Sep. 01 15, 29: Oct. 06, 13, 20: Nov. 03
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) Stay at the Pullman International Cairns Hotel.
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
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). Stay at the Sails in the Desert Hotel.
Day 7: Ayers Rock – Alice Springs
Hop over the “Red Centre” on a short flight to Alice Springs. Tour the area and learn how people once communicated in the remote Outback 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 even 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). Stay at the Doubletree By Hilton Alice Springs.
Day 8: Alice Springs – Darwin – Kakadu National Park
Access the history and culture of the Aboriginal people during a “Dreamtime Tour.” A specialist guide shares Aboriginal creation stories and explains everyday 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) Stay at the Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
Day 9: Kakadu National Park
Soak in the natural beauty of the “Top End.” Kakadu National Park is home to crocodiles, wallaroos and wallabies, monitors and lizards, 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
Transfer to Darwin for your flight to the beautiful Victorian city of Melbourne. The rest of your day will be at leisure. Melbourne is a very pedestrian friendly city which will a highlight for shopping and great dinning. (B) Stay at the The Swanston Hotel Grand Mercure
Day 11: Melbourne city tour & Philip Island Penguin Parade
Set out on a city tour and see Fitzroy Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance and bustling “laneways” of Melbourne. There is time at leisure to explore the city 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
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) Stay at the Hadleys Hotel Hobart
Day 13: Tasmanian Devil Center & Port Arthur Historic site tour
Brace yourself for the Tasmanian Devil! Visit the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Center and 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. This evening it’s Diner’s Choice as you choose from a variety of local restaurants along bustling Darling Harbour. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. You can choose to discover the Circular Quay area, home of Sydney’s famous Opera House. (B, D). Stay at the Hyatt Regency Sydney
Day 15: Sydney city tour
Join a local resident for a tour of Sydney. Begin on a driving tour of the landmarks of Sydney before disembarking for a walking tour. See Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and fashionable Paddington. Then it’s time for a stroll through the Rocks, Sydney’s oldest district. Next, discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights on a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Next, you’re in for a unique experience as you learn firsthand about opals during a special presentation at the National Opal Collection. This afternoon the choice is yours! Experience the area at your own pace with a 24 hour hop-on hop-off Sydney Harbour cruise pass…hop off to explore places of interest or stay on and relax during a narrated cruise. Or, you may choose to visit two of Sydney’s unique attractions…ascend the Sydney Tower Eye for incredible views before exploring the renowned Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. (B)
Day 16: Sydney at Leisure. Evening Harbour dinner cruise
Enjoy a day at leisure. This evening, say your farewell to Australia while taking in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the scenic vistas of the harbour showcasing Sydney’s magnificent skyline, the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. (B,D)
Day 17: Sydney – Queenstown
Fly to one of the world’s best-kept secrets – New Zealand! Arrive in gorgeous Queenstown. Dinner is at the famous Skyline restaurant overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains. After dinner this evening the choice is yours! Take a seat at a cultural show and enjoy star gazing with a naturalist. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, give the luge a try! (B, D). Stay at the Crowne Plaza Queenstown
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
A free day in 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
Set out for the beautiful turn-of-the-century gold rush settlement of Arrowtown. Take time to explore independently and stroll its quaint, historic streets. 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 flightseeing tour (weather permitting) or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps. (B,D) Stay at the The Hermitage Hotel.
Day 21: Mt. Cook to Christchurch coach tour
Travel to the historic city of Christchurch, the “Garden City”. Enjoy some free time to explore. Perhaps you’ll stroll the city’s magnificent gardens or learn about its more recent history at the Quake City exhibition at the Re:Start Mall. (B) Stay at the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Day 22: Christchurch – Picton – 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) Stay at the Amora Hotel Wellington
Day 23: Wellington
Come to know Wellington on a tour viewing the Beehive, New Zealand’s Parliament; historic St. Paul’s Church; and the Old Government Building – the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere. Explore 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
Drive to Rotorua with its dramatic geothermal landscape. Over one-third of its population boasts Maori roots making it known as the Maori capital of New Zealand. You’ll feel 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. (B, D) Stay at the Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Day 25: Rotorua sightseeing tour with Agrodome sheep show
Discover 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 see the Kiwi bird and learn about the preservation efforts being made to remove this marvelous creature from the endangered species list. Next, meet the skilled carvers who work with pounamu, New Zealand greenstone, at a jade factory. At the Agrodome, see a sheep shearing demonstration and learn about the importance of agriculture to the nation. (B)
Day 26: Rotorua – 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) Stay at the Rydges Auckland
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)