15-Day Australia & New Zealand Tour w/ Ayers Rock
This 15-Day Australia & New Zealand Tour visits Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Sydney, Ayers Rock & Cairns. Your group will have their own private driver/coach to transfer them between airports, hotels and sightseeing excursions. Visit both of New Zealand’s North & South Islands as well as 3 destinations in Australia. Remember that everything can be changed on this itinerary.
Day 1. Fly USA from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand
Day 2 You cross the International Date Line arrive on Day 03
Day 3. Arrive in Auckland with Afternoon Auckland Tour: (1-night) Upon arrival you’ll be transferred to your accommodation located in the city center.
This afternoon you can choose to rest from the flight or take an afternoon Auckland tour. Spend the afternoon enjoying the largest city in New Zealand which is very walkable. Travel through the city centre, past iconic Karangahape Road and the stylish suburb of Ponsonby, and over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, enjoying views of the Hauraki Gulf and city skyline. Visit the Viaduct Harbour, home to America’s Cup racing for many years, and the central city’s main road Queen Street, before continuing to the Auckland Domain. The tour continues to historic Parnell Village, where you can explore this boutique shopping area during an afternoon tea stop. Next, travel the stunning waterfront route of Tamaki Drive to Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, above Mission Bay. Named after one of New Zealand’s greatest and most popular Prime Ministers, the park, with its formal gardens and tranquil atmosphere, offers a panoramic outlook over the picturesque Eastern Bays, Auckland city and the Waitemata Harbour. (You can choose to extend your stay in Auckland to 2 nights, if you choose)
Overnight in Auckland: Stay in 3, 4 or 5-star centrally located, well rated hotels. Includes breakfast daily.
Day 04. Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves Tour. (1-night) Travel south from Auckland through the rich farmland of the Waikato on to the Waitomo Caves. Enjoy a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Marvel at a natural light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Meander underground along the Waitomo River and gaze in silence at the myriad of glow worm lights that make up the Glowworm Grotto.
Overnight in Rotorua: Stay in 3, 4 or 5-star accommodations, centrally located well rated hotels. Includes breakfast daily.
Day 05. Rotorua to Queenstown Tour: (3-nights) Take a short flight from Rotorua to New Zealand’s most scenic city, Queenstown. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Located in Central Otago in a lakeside bay, Queenstown is New Zealand’s premier alpine resort. With an abundance of recreations and a breathtaking natural beauty that lends each season its own distinct complexion, Queenstown has long been the inspiration for artists and nature-lovers from all over the world. Nestled beside the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, at the foot of the Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown is a year round resort, where you can be as active as you want, or just leisurely enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Overnight in Queenstown: Stay in 3, 4 or 5-star centrally located, well rated hotels. Includes breakfast daily.
Day 06. Milford Sound Fjord Tour with Lake cruise: Today you’ll have an early morning drive through some of the most beautiful countryside in New Zealand. Milford Sound offers a scenic look at fiords in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, within the Fiordland National Park. Climbing through the Southern Alps, State Highway 94 is one of the highest and most scenic state highways in New Zealand. The Milford Road, part of SH94, takes you from Te Anau through Fiordland National Park to the major tourist gateway – Milford Sound On arrival at Milford Sound you’ll board a vessel for a leisurely cruise along the sound to the Tasman Sea. You’ll stop at various points and plenty of time is available to view waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and seals. You may even see dolphins frolic alongside the boat. A buffet lunch is included during the cruise.
**You can choose to return to Queenstown by small plane instead of a coach tour back (additional cost. 30min). This scenic flight shows you the fascinating Ariel view of the Fjords and mountain ranges. Fights are subject to weather conditions. (B, L)
Day 07. At leisure, Queenstown: Today is spent, at your leisure, to explore the adventure capital of New Zealand. Set between the towering Remarkable Ranges and the bottomless Lake Wakitipu, Queenstown has it all – bungee jumping, jetboating, rafting, amazing scenic helicopter flights. . Queeenstown is considered the world’s extreme sport capitol by many – view the many activities here.
Optional sightseeing: TSS Earnslaw Steamship cruise & Dinner, Shotover Jetboat, Bungy Jumping, Skyline Gondola with restaurant and luge, golf and hiking, Glenorchy middle-earth tour. (Extra $)
Day 08. Queenstown to Sydney: (3-nights) You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Sydney. Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel. Sydney – Australia’s premier city is the oldest settlement in Australia, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country’s capital in everything but name. Built on the shores of the stunning Port Jackson, you would have to die and go to heaven before you see a more spectacular setting for a city. It’s a vital, self-regarding metropolis, exuding both a devil-may-care urbanity and a slavish obsession with global fads. The city of Sydney began life as a penal colony in 1788 and for the next 60 years received the unwanted, persecuted and criminal elements of British society. Despite its brutal beginnings, the city’s mixture of pragmatic egalitarianism and plain indifference has transformed it into a thriving multicultural society.
Overnight in Sydney: Stay in 3, 4 or 5-star centrally located, well rated hotels. Includes breakfast daily.
Day 09. Sydney City Tour with Harbor Luncheon cruise: Tour Sydney’s icons taking in magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Enjoy a Sydney Harbour Luncheon Cruise and relax on board as you view the exclusive waterfront area. Tour through the historic buildings of the Rocks area, Australia’s British birthplace, See the famous Opera House (Tour of inside is additional $20) and the Conservatory of Music, View Hyde Park and Notre Dame inspired St Mary’s Cathedral, See Parliament House, the Art Gallery and the parklands of the Domain, See Sydney Town Hall, Sydney Tower and the exciting Darling Harbour along with views from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. (L)
Day 10. At leisure, Sydney: Today is at your leisure to explore Sydney. Most of the major attractions of the city are within easy walking distance of your accommodation such as: Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Centrepoint Tower, Circular Quay, The Rocks etc.
Optional sightseeing ($): Blue Mountains Tour with Wildlife Park visit, Hunter Valley winery tour, Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, Sydney Taronga Zoo and/or Opera House Tour
Day 11. Sydney to Ayers Rock (1-night). You’ll be transferred to your hotel in the famous Uluru outback. Ayers Rock is one of the most impressive landmarks in Australia. A huge chunk of sandstone and a ‘true’ monolith, it resides in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Ayers Rock is located down towards the southwest corner of the Northern Territory and close to the geographic centre of Australia.
This afternoon 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 to join the Sounds of Silence dinner.
Sounds of Silence Dinner: Set at Yulara’s Ayers Rock Resort, the nightly Sounds of Silence experience features a gourmet meal served under the stars for a combination of Red Centre hospitality, outback tales and stargazing for an unforgettable evening in the Australian outback. The white-linen and silver-service dinner is served at sunset, with the changing colors of Ayers Rock visible on the horizon as evening falls. Not only will you dine on typical Aussie cuisine like barramundi fish and kangaroo, but you’ll be in a romantic outdoor setting beneath the stars and get a chance to see the mesmerizing sunset over Uluru in the distance. After dinner , guests can settle back in for an evening of stargazing under the immense southern skies. (You can choose instead to have the Tali Wiru & Mayu Wiru meal at Uluru)
Overnight in Ayers Rock: Stay in 3, 4 or 5-star centrally located, well rated hotels. Includes breakfast.
Day 12. Ayers Rock Sunrise tour then fly to Cairns: (3-nights).
Ayers Rock Sunrise Tour: 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 and enjoy an outback picnic breakfast. You will visit Mutijulu Waterhole on the Kuniya Walk and learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python). After this short walk we will drive around the base of Uluru and hear the story of the Mala people before returning to the resort.
You’ll be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Cairns, Australia. On arrival to Cairns, you will be transferred to your hotel. The major center in Tropical North Queensland is Cairns, a popular gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The city itself is more like a large village, with no skyscrapers. The city affords one a lot of activities such as a night market, casinos, Esplanade Boardwalk, shopping, Botanical gardens, Lagoon Pool, (there is no beach here), and more. Alternatively you can choose to stay in Palm Cove (Small beachside village) or Port Douglas (in the Rainforest) with transfers available to all activities.
Overnight in Cairns or Palm Cove: Stay in 3, 4 or 5-star centrally located, well rated hotels. Includes breakfast daily.
Day 13. Great Barrier Reef snorkel cruise: Today you’ll experience one of Australia’s most famous activities – snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. Set sail aboard the beautiful 32 metre sailing catamaran, to experience Michaelmas Cay’s unique reef environment – a pristine sand cay surrounded by fringing reef and a protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. Be active and enjoy all the included activities – snorkel in the cay’s protected shallow waters, cruise in the semi-sub for a unique view of the reef and watch the fish feeding presentation. To protect this renowned bird sanctuary, access on the cay is limited to the roped beach area. If you prefer a more leisurely day on the Great Barrier Reef, relax on the beach or onboard Ocean Spirit’s spacious decks. The choice is yours! Optional: You can choose to experience even more of the Great Barrier Reef with an exciting introductory scuba dive or dive as a certified diver. ($)
Day 14. At leisure, Cairns: Spend the day at leisure or you can choose to include an optional sightseeing tour (the Kuranda Skyrail and Train is recommended). Each member in your group can choose to do something different today or just relax and shop.
Optional sightseeing ($): Kuranda Skyrail & Sky Train with Wildlife Excursion OR Cape Tribulation/Daintree Rainforest Tour
Day 15. Cairns to USA: You will be transported to the airport for your flight back home and your 15-Day Australia & New Zealand Tour with Uluru will come to an end. Be sure to visit the Australia travel guide and New Zealand travel guide pages for important information on travel to both countries.