18-Day New Zealand Self-drive Cairns, Sydney Tour
This 18-Day New Zealand Self-drive tour visits the most popular sights of both countries. This itinerary can be customized to fit your travel preferences. If you’d like to lower the overall cost, you may want to consider a self-drive while in New Zealand
* Airfare to Australia New Zealand from Los Angeles
* New Zealand Rental Car rental
* 3 nights Cairns
* 3 nights Sydney
* 1-night Auckland
* 2-nights Rotorua
* 2-nights Dunedin (or Christchurch, your option)
* 1-night Mt. Cook
* 3 nights Queenstown
* Sightseeing tours throughout
* Breakfast daily with some lunches
* Milford Sound Tour with cruise
* Great Barrier Reef snorkel cruise
* Sydney city tour
Day 01: Depart for your 18-Day New Zealand Self-drive w/ Cairns & Sydney Tour
Day 03: Arrive in Cairns, Australia. (3-nights)
Welcome to Cairns, “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef,” one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. You’ll be transferred to your hotel in Cairns. The balance of the day is at your leisure.
Day 04: Great Barrier Reef cruise tour
Cruise on a high-speed catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a reef presentation by a marine naturalist to learn more about the wonders of the reef and view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from a semi-submersible craft and glass bottom boat. Option to go snorkeling to view this natural living wonder up-close. (B, L)
Day 05: Cairns Free time
A full day at leisure to explore tropical Cairns. (B) Choose from optional sightseeing excursions (extra cost) such as Daintree & Cape Tribulation Rainforest Tour, Kuranda Village with Scenic Train & Skyrail
Day 06 Cairns-Sydney. (3-nights)
Today, fly to beautiful Sydney. You’ll be transferred to your hotel in Sydney’s city center. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 07: Sydney sightseeing tour
Enjoy a morning guided tour of Sydney which includes a Sydney Opera House tour, and Harbor Bridge photo stop, the historic “Rocks” area, and a visit to world-famous Bondi Beach. The afternoon is at your leisure. (B)
Day 08: Sydney at Leisure
Enjoy a full day at leisure in this beautiful city. (B) Optional tour (extra cost) may include: Blue Mountains tour with stop at a Wildlife Park, or climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Day 09: Sydney-Auckland, New Zealand. Self-drive New Zealand begins
Today, fly to Auckland. Pick up your rental car and drive to the city center. (B) Please note that you can also choose to ditch the rental car and be transported by motorcoach to the various New Zealand sights. Extra cost.
Day 10: Auckland – Waitomo Glowworm Caves – Rotorua.
Travel south through the rich pastoral province of Waikato to Waitomo. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the famous Glowworm Grotto, featuring a fascinating underground boat ride. Continue onto Rotorua via Lake Karapiro. (B)
Day 11: Rotorua sightseeing tour & Maori concert with Hangi Feast.
Today, visit the Agrodome for a hands-on experience focusing on New Zealand’s farming history. Next, visit Rainbow Springs, a unique showcase of New Zealand’s flora and fauna. Finally, on to Te Puia to view Maori carvings and weaving demonstrations, and to walk through the thermal reserve to see boiling mud pools and shooting geysers. In the evening experience Māori culture with traditional ceremonies, cultural performances and an authentic Hangi Cultural Show at the Tamaki Māori Village. (B)
Day 12: Rotorua – Dunedin
Return your rental car and fly to Dunedin, one of the best-preserved Victorian & Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Upon arrival, pick up your rental car and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. (B)
Day 13: Dunedin at Leisure
A free day at your leisure to explore the city and the surrounding area. This area is known for its wildlife so recommended are tours which include Penguins, Albraotross or other wildlife. You can drive to each of the tour locations. (B)
Day 14: Dunedin – Mount Cook/Aoraki Region. (1-night)
Today, head north to stunning Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand. The drivee from Dunedin to Aoraki/Mt. Cook is 4 hours and truly spectacular. (B)
Day 15: Mount Cook/Aoraki – Queenstown. (3-nights)
Decend from Aoraki and make your way to Queenstown, the loveliest towns in New Zealand. The drive will be apprx 3 hours. Tavel through the wine-making region of Central Otago before arriving at Queenstown. (B)
Day 16: Queenstown – Milford Sound Excursion
Today you’ll take a coach tour through some of the most beautiful countryside in New Zealand. Milford Sound is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. On arrival at Milford Sound, board a vessel for a leisurely cruise along the sound to the Tasman Sea. The vessel stops at various points and plenty of time is available to view waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and possible seals. A lunch is included during the cruise. Optional 30 min. a scenic flight option back to Queenstown instead returning by coach (extra cost) (B, L)
Day 17: Queenstown at Leisure
Enjoy a full day at leisure in the “Adventure Capital of the World.” Optional sightseeing tours (extra cost) are: Shotover Jetboating, TSS Earnslaw steamship & dinner, Bungy Jumping, Gondola & Skyline Restaurant or do an Glenorchy Middle-earth tour. (B)
Day 18: Queenstown to USA
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Return your rental car at the airport prior to departure. (B) You can choose to extend your trip in Australia or New Zealand or add a stay in Fiji on the way home.
PRICES: From USD$5980 per person with Standard class hotels. Based on double occupancy.
DEPARTURE 2018: Daily
HOTELS: Upgrade to First Class & Deluxe properties.
CHANGES: Everything on this itinerary can be changed. You can choose to do a less expensive self-drive in New Zealand if you wish. No special license is required and driving is on the left side of the road.