Day 1 ARRIVE IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA.
Welcome to Melbourne, Australia’s cultural capital. Hotel rooms are available for immediate check-in. Please schedule flights to arrive by 3 pm in order to attend this evening’s welcome briefing at your hotel.
Day 2 MELBOURNE.
City sightseeing includes landmarks such as Federation Square, Queen Victoria Market, FITZROY GARDENS, Parliament House, the Shrine of Remembrance, and more. This afternoon is free to explore on your own. Tonight, spend the evening at the [LF] WINE HOUSE, where you’ll receive an introduction to the wines of Australia with a 3-course dinner. (B,D)
Day 3 MELBOURNE. EXCURSION TO YARRA VALLEY.
Journey to the Yarra Valley, one of Australia’s premium wine regions. With its cool climate, the valley is perfect for high-quality grape growing and the area is well known for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, sparkling wine, and a wide range of varietals. First stop is HEALESVILLE SANCTUARY, world-renowned as the best place to see Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. See koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, birds of prey, and platypus during your time here. Then, it’s on to OAKRIDGE WINES for a farm-to-fork lunch along with a tasting of the vineyard’s wines. Before heading back to Melbourne, we’ll stop at the YARRA VALLEY CHOCOLATERIE, where they hand craft over 250 different chocolate products. Here’s your chance to try a variety of chocolate and satisfy your sweet tooth. (B,L)
Day 4 MELBOURNE.
A full free day to explore more of Melbourne on your own. You may wish to consider a day tour to the scenic Great Ocean Road to see the “Twelve Apostles” or travel to Phillip Island and see the famous Penguin Parade. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining. (B)
Day 5 MELBOURNE–ADELAIDE.
Fly to Adelaide, where sightseeing includes St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Adelaide Oval, and North Adelaide. Your tour ends at the city’s Central Market, a thriving hub for food and culture for over 148 years. While here, enjoy a [LF] TASTING TOUR of the market. Enjoy a range of delicious samples that represent the multicultural community of South Australia. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Why not indulge in Adelaide’s fabulous food and wine scene this evening? (B)
Day 6 ADELAIDE. EXCURSION TO KANGAROO ISLAND.
This morning, travel to KANGAROO ISLAND, one of the best places to see Australia’s native wildlife up close. Visit SEAL BAY CONSERVATION PARK and have the chance to walk on the beach and learn more about the rare colony of Australia sea lions. Visit REMARKABLE ROCKS with its stunning views and unique formations. After lunch, explore the lighthouse and rugged cliffs found at ADMIRALS ARCH, a unique rock formation and home to a colony of New Zealand fur seals. Return to Adelaide late this evening. (B,L)
Day 7 ADELAIDE. EXCURSION TO THE BAROSSA VALLEY & HAHNDORF.
Wind your way through the picturesque Adelaide Hills to the Barossa, one of the world’s great wine regions, renowned for its food, wine, cultural experiences, and easygoing lifestyle. Our first stop is for a visit to JACOBS CREEK, one of Australia’s most famous wineries. Here, enjoy a walking tour of the vineyard as well as a farm-to-table style lunch. Next, a tasting at SEPPELTSFIELD, which was established in 1851 and is famous for its unbroken lineage of Tawny, every vintage from 1878 to the current year. The estate remains the only winery in the world to release a 100-year-old, single vintage wine each year. Continue to Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest German settlement. During your free time here, you can explore the many shops and galleries filled with local arts, crafts, and produce. Return to Adelaide, where your evening is at leisure.
Day 8 ADELAIDE–SYDNEY.
Board your flight to Sydney, Australia’s largest city. Upon arrival, a sightseeing tour includes the famous SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and a visit to the city’s BOTANIC GARDENS for great photo opportunities and sweeping views of the harbor. Dinner this evening is served at a WATERFRONT RESTAURANT offering fantastic views of Sydney Harbour. (B,D)
Day 9 SYDNEY. EXCURSION TO HUNTER VALLEY.
Today takes us to Hunter Valley, home to over 120 wineries. Our first stop is at MCGUIGAN WINES, named “International Winemaker of the Year” for a world-record four times. Their knowledgeable staff will guide you through a tasting of McGuigan’s wines. Next, enjoy lunch and a tasting at HOPE ESTATE, known for their Shiraz, Sémillon, Chardonnay, and Verdelho. There’s also time to explore the 60 acres of HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS, home to 10 unique gardens including a sunken garden, rose garden, and Italian grotto. Before returning to Sydney, visit a local [LF] CHEESE MAKER to sample some of the artisan cheese and learn how it is made. Evening is at leisure. (B,L)
Day 10 SYDNEY.
Enjoy a full day at leisure for your own discoveries. You may wish to wander the cobblestone streets of the Rocks district, explore vibrant Darling Harbour, or climb to the top of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. Your Tour Director will have suggestions to help you make the most of this exciting city. (B)
Day 11 SYDNEY–AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND.
Fly to Auckland, New Zealand, the “City of Sails.” Your evening is at leisure. (B)
Day 12 AUCKLAND. EXCURSION TO WAIHEKE ISLAND.
This morning, enjoy an orientation tour of Auckland. See bustling Queen Street, the city’s oldest park, Auckland Domain, and the historic Parnell Village. Then, take a ferry to beautiful Waiheke Island, where you’ll visit a WINERY for a tour, tasting, and lunch. The remainder of the day is yours to explore more of Auckland. (B,L)
Day 13 AUCKLAND–LAKE TAUPO–NAPIER.
Travel across New Zealand’s North Island with a stop at picturesque Lake Taupo. Continue to Napier, which lies in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region, known for its gourmet food and world-class wineries. This evening, dinner is served at a local MISSION ESTATES WINERY. (B,D)
Day 14 NAPIER–WELLINGTON.
This morning’s tour explains how a national disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. Your Local Guide will entertain you with stories, history, and point out unique architecture details. Continue to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city known for its vibrant art scene, world-class restaurant culture, and active outdoor lifestyle. This evening is at leisure. (B)
Day 15 WELLINGTON.
Our day begins with a sightseeing tour of Wellington. Take a scenic CABLE CAR ride, visit the beautiful BOTANIC GARDENS, see the famous Beehive and Parliament buildings, and enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of the city and harbor from the top of Mount Victoria. The remainder of the day is yours to explore on your own. (B)
Day 16 WELLINGTON–QUEENSTOWN.
Today, fly to New Zealand’s South Island and the “Adventure Capital” of Queenstown. This evening, you may want to enjoy a stroll along Lake Wakatipu and watch the sunset. (B)
Day 17 QUEENSTOWN. EXCURSION TO MILFORD SOUND.
Travel to FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. During your CRUISE in Milford Sound, see cascading waterfalls, wildlife, and experience this pristine natural setting just as early Maori and European explorers did. (B,L)
Day 18 QUEENSTOWN.
A full day for you to explore Queenstown on your own. You may want to take an exciting jet boat ride on the Dart River, shop for a favorite souvenir in the many boutiques around town, or take a gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for amazing views below. This evening, toast to lifelong memories at a special farewell dinner which features a [LF] WINE TASTING, the perfect ending to your vacation! (B,D)
Day 19 QUEENSTOWN.
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)