Arrive Melbourne, Australia
Arrive in Melbourne, Australia, where you are met and transferred to your luxurious hotel in the heart of the city, with your room pre-registered by A&K for immediate check-in. This afternoon, tour Melbourne’s landmarks, seeing the Shrine of Remembrance and the thriving Arts Precinct. Later, gather for your welcome dinner.
Today, travel to a working farm outside of Melbourne for a private experience, where you are personally welcomed into the home of a rural family to learn a little of what it is like to be Aussies “living off the land.” After morning tea, head out to the stockyards to watch the working dogs bring in a herd of sheep, followed by a demonstration of shearing skills. Next, head back to the homestead and enjoy a lunch featuring organic farm produce and local wines.
Fly to Uluru (Ayers Rock), and settle into your hotel. This afternoon, tour Kata Tjuta National Park (the Olgas). As evening approaches, enjoy a Scenic Sundowner with sparkling wine and canapés, watching the sunset at Uluru.
Rise early to see Uluru at sunrise, as the sun’s morning glow brings the desert to life. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Later, visit the base of the monolith with your guide who shares the cultural and geological significance of this sacred ceremonial site, which is part of the belief system of one of the oldest human societies. Later, fly to Cairns and continue to Port Douglas.
Travel to Mossman Gorge for a guided walk through this lush corner of Daintree National Park. Continue to an A&K-exclusive visit to the Botanical Ark, a private ethnobotanical garden, for a Chef’s Table lunch. Return to Port Douglas for time at leisure.
Great Barrier Reef
Embark on a full-day exploration of the Great Barrier Reef aboard an intimate and comfortable vessel. Glide among islands adorned with white-sand beaches, coral gardens and sheltered lagoons. Explore the marvelous aquatic wonders of the reef on a guided snorkeling tour, viewing teeming undersea life up close in its native habitat, before an exhilarating cruise back to port.
Fly to Sydney and settle into your superb hotel near the historic Rocks area. Tonight, dine at a fine local restaurant. The next day, embark on a chartered morning tea cruise of stunning Sydney Harbour. Back on shore, stop for lunch at a local restaurant, and then go on a walking tour in the historic Rocks District, Sydney’s oldest neighborhood.
Enjoy an entire day at leisure, free to relax at your luxurious hotel or explore all the wonders that Sydney has to offer. The next day, Ride Like a Local when you board a ferry to Taronga Zoo for a guided tour, visiting kangaroos, koalas, wombats, dingoes, echidnas and Australian birds. Next, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House, followed by lunch on its lower concourse. Tonight, sit down to the final dinner of your visit to Australia.
Christchurch, New Zealand
This morning, fly to Christchurch, New Zealand. On arrival, join your guide to explore this beautiful Garden City situated between the Pacific Ocean and New Zealand’s majestic Southern Alps. Then, embark on a leisurely punt on the Avon River before dinner.
Franz Josef Glacier
Board the famed TranzAlpine train to Greymouth. During your journey, cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains and enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Traverse the mighty Southern Alps, reveling in breathtaking views of the chiseled alpine landscape. Descend through thick stands of native beech forest as you approach Greymouth. Once there, relax with lunch at a local brewery before continuing to your hotel, in picturesque Franz Josef.
Franz Josef Glacier
Experience the Franz Josef Glacier at its most dynamic, led by your specialist hiking guide. Follow the glacier’s path through the remarkable landscape for an up-close look at the giant sheets of ice that form its forward face. Return to your retreat for an afternoon at leisure, perhaps visiting the Glacier Hot Pools near your hotel.
Journey overland to Queenstown on a scenic drive along the majestic coastline, and then inland through mossy rainforests, past cascading waterfalls and breathtaking mountains. Stop for lunch in the picturesque ski town of Wanaka. Upon arrival in Queenstown, check in to your luxurious hotel. Tonight, dine at a local restaurant.
This morning, fly to Milford Sound (weather permitting), taking in the stunning alpine views along the way. On arrival, board a spacious vessel for a tour of the sound’s awe-inspiring scenery. Cruise New Zealand’s southern fjords amid towering cliffs, viewing sparkling waterfalls while watching for wildlife. Keep a lookout for seals basking on the rocks or dolphins frolicking in the water. Return by air to Queenstown for an evening at leisure.
Tour quaint, picturesque Arrowtown and visit the Kawarau Bungy Bridge. Next, stop at a local Gibbston Valley winery for a wine tasting, followed by lunch. Return to Queenstown.
Fly to Auckland, where you visit the Auckland Museum to enjoy a cultural performance and a He Taonga Maori Gallery Tour. This evening, gather with your fellow travellers for a special farewell dinner. The next day, transfer to the airport and depart.