22-Day Small Group Australia & New Zealand Tour
This Small Group Australia & New Zealand Tour is for travelers who want to explore, in a small group setting, with only 24 max per trip. Terrific for those who enjoy a more intimate style of travel.
* International flights from Los Angeles and throughout
* 21-nights in First Class hotels with private bathrooms.
* 34 Meals: 19 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 10 Dinners
* Sightseeing excursions throughout with 24-travelers max
Day to day Itinerary
Days 1-2 — Depart the U.S. for Cairns, Australia
Fly to Australia, losing a day as you cross the International Date Line.
Days 3-5 — Australia’s Far North—Cairns, Kuranda, the Great Barrier Reef
Arrive in Cairns, transfer to your hotel, and enjoy a special welcome dinner. The next day, tour Cairns, then take a thrilling journey aboard the historic Kuranda Railway. Explore Kuranda, then travel through the rainforest canopy on the world’s longest gondola cableway. During an all-day excursion, cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living organism and richest marine resource, with more than 2,800 coral reefs. At Michaelmas Cay swim, snorkel, view the reef from a semi-submersible vessel, or enjoy a guided birding tour. (2B,1L,1D) Stay at the Pullman Reef Casino Hotel.
Days 6-7 — The Outback—Alice Springs and Ayers Rock
Fly to Alice Springs, the capital of the Outback. At Anzac Hill, enjoy a panoramic view and see the monument to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in both World Wars. Visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service, the first comprehensive aerial medical organization in the world, then tour the School of the Air, which provides education to the widely scattered Outback children. Relax around a campfire, enjoy musical entertainment, and look for the Southern Cross and other constellations at a traditional “bush” dinner. Spend the next day exploring more rugged terrain as you visit the camp of the Walpiri Aboriginal people and learn about their ancient culture on a “Dreamtime” tour. Explore Simpsons Gap, an Aboriginal spiritual site, and Standley Chasm. (2B,1L,1D). Stay at the Doubltree Hilton Hotel.
Day 8 — The Outback—Ayers Rock
This morning, depart by coach for Ayers Rock. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a World Heritage site and home to the Anangu Aboriginal peoples. Take a walking tour of the Olgas rock formations and watch the sun set over Uluru (Ayers Rock), the fabled sandstone monolith that rises 1,114 feet above the flat plain. (B,D) Stay at the Sails in the Desert Hotel.
Day 9 — Ayers Rock and Sydney
This morning explore the base of Uluru before visiting the archaeological museum there. Fly to Sydney, arriving late in the afternoon. (B,D). Stay at the Sir Stamford at Circular Quay Hotel.
Days 10-11— Sydney
Experience Sydney for two fascinating days. Highlights include a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens and a luncheon cruise around Sydney Harbour. You’ll also spend time at Featherdale Wildlife Park, featuring ten acres of rain forest, eucalyptus, and garden habitat where koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and dingoes roam freely. Dine in the popular “Rocks” area at the Waterfront Restaurant, known for its outstanding seafood and beautiful harbor views. (2B,1L,1D)
Day 12 — Sydney and Christchurch, New Zealand
After a late morning tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House, this afternoon is free for independent exploration. This evening board a flight to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.” (B) Stay at the Rydges Christchurch Hotel.
Day 13 — Christchurch and Mt. Cook National Park
This morning’s orientation tour features the acclaimed Botanic Gardens and “Re:START Mall,” the vibrant civic area that rose from the rubble of the 2011 earthquake. Then board a motorcoach for the journey south to Mt. Cook National Park, stopping en route at a farm to watch a sheep-shearing demonstration and to see the amazing sheep dogs in action. Upon reaching Mt. Cook in the Southern Alps, we have time at leisure to relax, hike, or take an optional scenic flight (weather permitting). Dine together tonight at the hotel. (B,D). Stay at the Hermitage Hotel.
Day 14 — Mount Cook
This morning’s tour of alpine Mount Cook Village and environs includes a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center. Also visit the Hillary Gallery, commemorating Sir Edmund’s achievements, including the first ascent of Mount Cook’s difficult South face. After time in the village for lunch on your own, this afternoon is at leisure to enjoy Aoraki Mount Cook as you wish. (B,D)
Day 15 — Mount Cook and Queenstown
Travel through New Zealand’s lush fruit-growing region to Queenstown, stopping in the former gold mining town of Arrowtown. Enjoy a wine tasting and savory lunch before continuing to the famed Kawarau Bridge where in 1988 AJ Hackett invented Bungee jumping. Mid-afternoon reach the “adventure capital” of Queenstown. (B,L,D). Stay at the Hotel St. Moritz.
Day 16 — Milford Sound
The day-long excursion to Milford Sound includes a nature cruise through the breathtaking fjords. Have lunch on board then later have the opportunity to return to Queenstown on an optional scenic flight (weather permitting). (B,L)
Day 17 — Queenstown
Enjoy a day to explore Queenstown independently. (B)
Day 18 — Queenstown and Rotorua
Depart in the morning for *Rotorua, with its geysers, bubbling mud pools, hot thermal springs, and a center of Maori culture. Your tour here includes a guided visit to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park. (B) Stay at the Regent of Rotorua or Millennium Hotel.
Day 19 — Rotorua
This morning and early afternoon are at leisure; late afternoon visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Cultural Center for a traditional Maori Hangi dinner and performance. (B,D)
Days 20-21 — Rotorua and Auckland
On your way to Auckland stop at Ruakuri Caves to see the unique glowworms illuminate underground grottoes. Late this afternoon arrive in the “City of Sails,” in a beautiful natural setting atop 48 volcanic hills. Take a half-day city tour featuring the War Memorial Museum, Auckland Harbour, and the America’s Cup Village. Tonight celebrate your adventure at a farewell dinner. (2B,D) Stay at the Stamford Plaza Auckland Hotel. JS
Day 22 — Depart for the U.S.
Early this morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Los Angeles (via Sydney) where you connect with the return flights home. (B)
PRICES: From USD$9550 per person. Based on double occupancy.
DEPARTURES 2018: Sep. 2: Oct. 24: 2018: Jan. 16: Feb. 18: Mar. 11 & 25: Apr. 06
HOTELS: Well rated 4 – 4.5 star accommodations included
FLIGHTS: Prices quoted are based on Economy class seats. You can choose to upgrade to Premium economy or Business class seating *$$). Note: Upgraded seating will be for your trans-pacific flights only. Inquire for more details.