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
* All international and internal flights from Los Angeles
* Meals: 22 -Breakfasts daily
* Sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
* Inter-Australia/New Zealand flights
* 15-nights accommodations in 3 to 4 star hotels
* Airport transfers throughout your stay
Day 01: Depart the USA for Australia
Depart on your international flight. You’ll cross the International Date Line and arrive on Day 03.
Day 03: Arrive in Cairns
Arrive in Cairns, the tourist capital of tropical North Queensland and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll be welcomed by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the exciting journey that lies ahead, followed by a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Cairns (D)
Day 04: Great Barrier Reef – low isles snorkel cruise
Today, set sail to the beautiful 6000-year-old coral cay of the Low Isles in a high speed catamaran, a short 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. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Overnight in Cairns. (B, L)
Day 05: Free Day in Cairns
Enjoy all of the delights of this resort city on your day at leisure or, join the optional Crocodile Farm Tour with lunch. Depart Cairns and head north to explore an eco-park and working crocodile farm. Learn about Australia’s incredible wildlife and discover the park’s five different ecological zones. Enjoy lunch before your return to Cairns. In the afternoon, participate in the optional Skyrail Experience with dinner. Ride the Kuranda Skyrail for great views of the rainforest canopy. Along the way, stop for a Ranger guided boardwalk tour and visit the Rainforest Interpretation Centre, lookouts and historical displays. Conclude your tour with an authentic Australian dinner. Overnight in Cairns. (B)
Add-on sightseeing ($): Crocodile Farm Tour with lunch OR Skyrail Experience with dinner
Day 06: Sydney Sightseeing Tour
Depart Cairns and head south on a flight to Sydney, one of Australia’s largest cities. Upon arrival, take a panoramic tour of the city. View the celebrated Sydney Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the striking Sydney Opera House located on the water’s edge, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass historic buildings including the Parliament House, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Queen Victoria Building. Then, to The Rocks, a historic area where the city was founded by Captain Arthur Phillip and his working parties of convicts. Arrive at the hotel before dinner tonight. Overnight in Sydney. (B, D)
Day 07: Free day Sydney
Spend your day at leisure to pursue your personal interests. If you are feeling adventurous, have the experience of a lifetime on an optional invigorating climb to the top of the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. A professional team of experienced climbers will escort you to the very top and will provide you with a lasting memento. Tonight, an optional lovely Dinner Cruise by catamaran on Sydney Harbour where you’ll savor your dinner that includes a variety of dishes while enjoying the sights of illuminated Sydney from the catamaran’s extensive deck. Overnight in Sydney. (B)
Add-on sightseeing ($): Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb (AM), Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise
Day 08: Ayers Rock
Depart Sydney by flight to Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. This iconic monolith and the sandstone domes known as Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) were created over some 600 million years. Uluru is a sacred place and has a great spiritual meaning for the Aborigines of the area, known as the Anangu. Each cave and fissure of the monolith has a meaning in Dreamtime (creation of the world). After checking into your hotel spend the remainder of the day is at leisure. Tonight, attend the optional Sounds of Silence Dinner. As the sun sets over Uluru, enjoy sparkling wine and canapes while listening to the sound of a didgeridoo. Afterward, an unforgettable dining experience awaits you, as you sample local bush tucker, accompanied by assorted cultural entertainment. You’ll end the evening with stargazing. Listen to the resident star talker decode the constellations of the southern night sky. Overnight Ayers Rock (B)
Add-on sightseeing ($): Sounds of Silence Dinner
Day 9: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Experience the tranquility of the pre-dawn land on the optional Desert Awakening Tour. See the first rays of sun reach across and set alight the expanses of Australia’s Red Center. Continue along the Mutitjulu Walk and visit the waterhole that has provided the Aboriginal people with water for thousands of years. View examples of traditional Aboriginal rock art along the way before visiting the Kata Tjuta Cultural Center, home to a collection of handmade ceramics, traditional punu (woodwork) and art from the Anangu people. In the afternoon, explore the Walpa Gorge located in the Kata Tjuta portion of the national park, also referred to as the Olgas. A desert refuge for plants and animals, the area has an abundance of rare plant species. The hike takes you right between the sheer rugged walls of two of the tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. Spend time admiring the massive and unusual conglomerate rock formations that make this area famous. At sunset, proceed to the Uluru viewing area to enjoy complimentary wine as the setting sun casts a variety of color changes across the mystical sandstone monolith. Afterward, enjoy a barbecue dinner, in true Aussie-style amid a peaceful desert setting while listening to aboriginal stories from your local guide. Overnight in Ayers Rock (B, D)
Add-on sightseeing ($): Desert Awakening Tour (AM)
Day 10: Sydney
Return to Sydney by flight and spend the balance of the day at leisure. Overnight in Sydney. (B)
Day 11: Queenstown
Depart Sydney 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. Balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight, enjoy your first dinner in New Zealand. Overnight Queenstown. (B, D)
Day 12: Discover Milford Sound Fjord Tour & 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. Lunch is provided 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 as you marvel at the sights around you. Late afternoon, return to Queenstown. Overnight Queenstown. (B, L)
Day 13: Queenstown Free Day
Spend time on your own discovering always picturesque Queenstown. Walk along the streets of the sophisticated downtown area, with its trendy shops and restaurants or, be adventurous 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 cliffsides 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. Overnight Queenstown. (B)
Add-on sightseeing ($): Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure.
Day 14: Rotorua, Te Puia Thermal Reserve
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Rotorua. In the afternoon, journey to Te Puia, in Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, set amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity and thermal springs. Discover the unique lifestyle and traditions of the Maori and witness the phenomena of Mother Nature and how the Maori people live in harmony within this unique landscape and environment. You’ll meet with a member of the local Maori tribe who shares the many aspects of traditional wood carving and its importance within the Maori culture. In the village observe the weaving demonstrations and traditional ways of creating piupiu (grass skirts). You’ll visit the kiwi house to view the nocturnal kiwi bird before continuing to the boiling mud pools and geysers. Then, enjoy a traditional Haka ceremony and Maori concert. Check into your hotel before dinner tonight. Overnight in Rotorua. (B, D)
Day 15: Rotorua Free Day
Spend a full day at leisure for independent explorations in Rotorua, or join the optional Hobbiton tour. Travel through the spectacular North Island scenery to Matamata, home to the Hobbiton movie set. Take a guided tour around the set and view Hobbit holes, the Party Tree, the Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn. Afterward, return to Rotorua. Tonight, participate in the optional home hosted dinner with a local family and experience a unique opportunity to learn about their values and traditions. Overnight in Rotorua. (B).
Add-on sightseeing ($): Hobbiton Movie Set Tour (AM), Home Hosted Dinner in Rotorua
Day 16: Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Today you’ll have a long drive of 6.5 hrs to the Paihia Treaty Grounds. Explore New Zealand’s most important historic site The Waitangi Treaty Grounds: birthplace of a Nation. Watch an introductory film about Aotearoa’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, created between the British and the North Island’s Maori chiefs. Later, take a guided tour of the grounds featuring iconic buildings and breathtaking examples of Maori architecture. View an authentic ceremonial war canoe, the world’s largest and stand in the spot where the treaty was signed. Tour the Museum of Waitangi Te Kongahu, a modern and comprehensive showcase of New Zealand’s history. Don’t miss the cultural performance outside the meeting house where Te Pitowhenua, a resident performing arts group, welcomes you with a traditional Maori welcome. Overnight in Paihia. (B)
Day 17: Bay of Islands area Free Day
Spend the day at leisure to discover the Bay of Islands unique culture and lifestyle or, participate in the optional Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise. Glide through the Bay of Islands and sail past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, to the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island. Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and other marine life. Tonight, share wonderful memories together on your last night in New Zealand. Bid goodbye to your Tour Manager and newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner that includes wine tasting of local varietals. Overnight in Paihia. (B, D).
Add-on sightseeing ($): Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise (AM)
Day 18: Depart New Zealand for USA
Today you’ll have a 4hr drive to Auckland airport. (B) Please note that with this particular escorted tour you are not able to extend your stay in New Zealand as the land and airfare is a complete vacation package price.
PRICE: From USD$6450 per person. Based on double room occupancy.
2019 DEPARTURE: Aug 26: Sept 16, 30: Oct 21, 28; Nov 11: Dec 23, 30: 2020: Jan 27: Feb 03, 24; Mar 09, 23, 30: Apr 27: May 11
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!