18-Day Affordable Australia New Zealand Tour

This 18-Day Affordable Australia New Zealand Tour offers the best value for your vacation dollar. Visit the most popular sights for first time visitors such as Queenstown & Cairns. This trip departs from LAX and can’t be modified. Sells out quickly

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INCLUDED FEATURES:

* Flights to Australia & New Zealand from Los Angeles
* Meals:15 -Breakfasts daily
* Sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
* Inter-Australia/New Zealand flights
* 15-nights accommodations in 3 to 4 star hotels
* A 2-night Ayers Rock/Uluru stay can be added (extra cost)

ITINERARY:

Day 01, Depart the USA for New Zealand.
Depart the USA for New Zealand. Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey

Day 02, Thursday – En Route
En route to New Zealand, lose a day traveling over the international dateline

Day 03, Arrive in Auckland (2-nights)
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. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a Welcome Drink and an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the exciting journey that lies ahead, followed by a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. (D)

++Stay at the Crown Plaza Auckland.

Day 04, Auckland City Tour: 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 Tour ($): Half Day West Coast Wilderness Experience

Day 05, Flight to Queenstown (3-nights)
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 06, Full Day Milford Sound Fjordland & 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 onboard as you marvel at the sights around you. Late afternoon, return to Queenstown (L, B)
Optional Tour ($): You can choose to return back to Queenstown by small plane, which travels over the snowcapped mountains and Fjord

Day 07, Day at leisure, Queenstown
Spend time on your own discovering always picturesque Queenstown. Walk along the streets of the sophisticated downtown area, with its trendy shops and restaurants. This is the loveliest city in Queenstown – similar to an alpine ski village with a lake.  You can choose an adventure and ascend on the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak ($), high above the city for magnificent views of Queenstown, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Lake Wakatipu. Alternatively, participate in the optional Skippers Canyon adventure that follows this rugged road into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley. During the tour, visit many historic sites and stop at Deep Creek to try your hand at gold panning at one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. Return to Queenstown along Skippers Road, with views of some of the “Lord of the Rings” film locations. This evening, join the optional TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Walter Peak Station BBQ Dinner. Enjoy a cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm on board the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship and savor a delicious barbecue dinner of local specialties at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant. Afterwards, tour the farm and watch a demonstration that provides a glimpse into high country farming life. Then, board the ship for your evening cruise back to Queenstown (B)
Optional Tours ($): Safari of the Scenes – Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure (AM) and TSS Earnslaw Cruise & Walter Peak Station BBQ (PM)

Day 08, Queenstown to Dunedin (2-nights)
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 it 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, Dunedin

Day 09, Tour of Dunedin
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 Cruise – experience an encounter with penguins, fur seals and sea lions

Day 10, Flight to Sydney (3-nights)
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 before continuing to the airport. Bid farewell to your New Zealand Tour Manager and board the flight to Melbourne, Australia. Get ready for the next adventure as you’re welcomed by your Australian Tour Manager in the beautiful Victorian city of Melbourne on the shores of Port Phillip Bay. Arrive late tonight at the hotel  (B, L)

Day 11, 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 Tours ($): Lunch Cruise on Sydney Harbour or Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb (PM)

++Stay at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney,

Day 12, 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)

Day 13, Flight to Cairns (3-nights)
Adventure is waiting for you in Cairns, the tourist capital of tropical North Queensland and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. From the blue waters of the Coral Sea and the diverse marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, to the flora of the tropical rainforests and the cool inland tablelands, Cairns has a wealth of natural beauty to behold. Later this afternoon join your Tour Manager for a walk on the waterfront boardwalk. One of the focal points of this city is the vast saltwater swimming lagoon with its whimsical steel fish sculptures and sandy beach. Wander along the Esplanade or walkways adjacent to the boardwalk and park areas for a variety of restaurants and shopping (B)

++Stay at Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Day 14, Green Island, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Today, travel to the beautiful 6000-year-old coral cay of Green Island in a high speed catamaran, just a 45-minute journey across the Coral Sea, located in the inner Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This beautiful island is a one-stop tropical experience with its unique reef and rainforest, home to 126 native plant species, colorful birds and magnificent coral gardens. Stroll through the magical rainforest, snorkel at the inner reef, or laze on the white coral sands, there are many activities to choose from. You may also choose to upgrade your day’s sightseeing with the optional Outer Great Barrier Reef Extension that takes you beyond Green Island to a multi-level reef activity platform. You’ll be able to snorkel amongst some of the most spectacular coral gardens and marine life on the larger outer reef where they are more abundant, or stay dry and embrace the natural wonderland below via an underwater observatory and spacious, air-conditioned semi-submersible vessel. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience (B)

Day 15, Cairns at leisure
Enjoy all of the delights of this resort city on your day at leisure or, join the optional tour on the Kuranda Scenic Railway that takes you to the lush Kuranda Rainforest. Upon arrival, explore the quaint village before venturing into the rainforest aboard an amphibious Army Duck vehicle, followed by an enlightening Dreamtime Walk that will introduce you to the ancient Aboriginal and Islander history of this region. Afterward, enjoy a native dance performance and then sit down to a delicious barbecue lunch. End the tour with a visit to the Koala and Wildlife Park and a ride on the Kuranda Skyrail for views of the rainforest canopy before your return to Cairns. Spend the rest of the day at leisure (B)
Optional Tour ($):  Full Day Kuranda Train & Rainforest Tour

Day 16, Flight to Melbourne
Adventure is waiting for you in Cairns, the tourist capital of tropical North Queensland and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. From the blue waters of the Coral Sea and the diverse marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, to the flora of the tropical rainforests and the cool inland tablelands, Cairns has a wealth of natural beauty to behold. Later this afternoon put on your walking shoes and join your Tour Manager for a walk on the waterfront boardwalk. One of the focal points of this city is the vast saltwater swimming lagoon shaped to the State of Queensland with its whimsical steel fish sculptures and sandy beach. Wander along the Esplanade or walkways adjacent to the boardwalk and park areas for a variety of restaurants and shopping (B, D)

++Stay at the Hotel Pullman Melbourne on the Park

Day 17, Melbourne city tour
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 optional tour to Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Depart the busy city and suburbs, travel 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. (B)
Optional Tour ($): Afternoon/Evening Little Penguin Parade (PM)

Day 18, Depart for the USA
Your 18-Day Affordable Australia New Zealand Tour ends today in Melbourne. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your return flight home. (B)

BOOKING DETAILS:

PRICE: From USD$5880 per person. Based on double room occupancy. 
2019 DEPARTURE
: Feb 01, 06, 15, 22, 27: No March dates: Apr 03, 05, 10, 24: May 03, 08, 15
TRAVEL INFO:  New Zealand guide, click here.  Australia travel guide, click here.  Average weather guide, click here.
CUSTOM TRIP
: If you’d prefer not to travel in a large group, then this itinerary can be customized so you’ll be independent of a group with a flexible itinerary. Request a free quote today!







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