Tour begins: 5:30 PM, The Langham Melbourne. A transfer is included from Melbourne Airport to The Langham Melbourne; you'll enjoy a river-view room. Your tour kicks off with a welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel.
Discover Melbourne's Charm
Melbourne is brimming with Victorian-era charm and a distinctive European feel; today's sightseeing includes a guided walking tour to discover the real city (and its amazing coffee) along its distinctive laneways, the Shrine of Remembrance, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Spend the rest of the day at leisure among its elegant tree-lined boulevards and trams, and sample multicultural cuisine in its many cafés and restaurants.
On to Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Take a morning private charter flight to the heart of Australia's desert Outback, arriving at Ayers Rock (Uluru) for lunch and an overnight stay at Sails in the Desert in the country's "Red Centre". In the evening, the light of the setting sun bathes the mystical rock with a palette of ever-changing color... and you'll enjoy the natural "show" with canapés and champagne over looking the monolith.
Explore the mysteries of Uluru, then fly to Queensland
Aboriginal traditions define life in the Outback, especially at Uluru (Ayers Rock); learn about the "dreamtime" legends associated with this massive monolith on a guided tour this morning. Fly via private charter to Cairns in Queensland, gateway to the amazing Great Barrier Reef. Head to the mountain village of Kuranda, where you'll board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, taking you over and through the rainforest canopy. Continue on to Silky Oaks Lodge, your luxury eco lodge on the Mossman River adjacent to Daintree National Park, to begin a three-night rainforest resort stay.
Cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only living structure on Earth visible from the moon. Cruise to the Agincourt Reef today, at the edge of Australia's Continental Shelf, for a day of swimming, snorkeling and underwater discoveries. Dinner is back at your rainforest lodge.
Optional balloon ride and a day at leisure
Early risers may choose to soar over the Atherton Tablelands on an optional hot air balloon ride* at dawn (an additional charge per person; see pricing details). The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish at your rainforest resort and spa, or explore the area as you please. Enjoy a special themed dinner tonight at the lodge.
Crocodile adventures and on to Sydney
Learn all about crocodiles at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures; have a meet and greet with a crocodile and blue tongue lizard and snake... visit a private enclosure where you might come across Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Agile Wallabies, Pademelons, Koalas, Wombats and more - you'll also have an opportunity to hold a koala and have your photo taken... attend a tour and feeding presentation... and take an exclusive boat cruise on the lagoon. After lunch, fly to Sydney via private charter for a four-night stay in the city's heart at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.
A Sydney Harbour cruise, the Opera House & more
Guided city sightseeing includes a tour of the Sydney Opera House, followed by a private luncheon cruise on Sydney Harbour. An orientation drive around Sydney offers you an overview of city sights, before you have the opportunity to discover what interests you most on your own.
A Sydney "Foodie Tour"
Accompanied by an informative, knowledgeable local guide, taste your way through some very cool culinary nooks and crannies on a Sydney "Foodie Tour" focusing on cultures that have emigrated to Sydney over the past decades, presenting their history through food. Check out (and sample) a variety of local eateries including an Italian deli, gelato shop, fish market, a 150-year-old pub (with a craft beer tasting), and a post-WWII pie-cart-turned-café. Spend the rest of the day exploring Sydney as you please.
Sydney as you please
Enjoy the city at leisure. There is much to see and do and its temperate climate makes exploring a pleasure. Dine at a local restaurant this evening.
Fly to Wellington, New Zealand
Fly to Wellington, New Zealand's intimate waterfront capital with an impressive artistic and cultural edge. Stay two nights at the Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay; enjoy a 3-course dinner at the hotel tonight.
Wonders of Wellington
Discover Wellington on a tour that begins city center with a cable car ride up to the city's Botanic Garden to see the award-winning rose garden and great views of the city, harbour, and Parliament Buildings. Next up is Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand's national museum, where you'll have a guided orientation to its five floors focusing on the country's exceptional nature, art, history, the Pacific and Maori culture. Dinner tonight is a "dine-around" from a choice of Wellington restaurants.
Charter flights to the Marlborough Sounds & Te Anau
Board Tauck's charter flight to Blenheim and the Marlborough Sounds on New Zealand's South Island, prized for its seafood and wine-growing expertise. Experience a taste of life here on a wine and green-lipped mussel cruise that celebrates the bounty of land and sea. Fly via charter to Manapouri (Te Anau) for two nights at your hotel in New Zealand's Fiordlands resort area. An à la carte dinner at your leisure at the hotel is included tonight.
Cruise gorgeous Milford Sound and a visit to Fiordland National Park
Enjoy a morning drive through the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park en route to a luncheon cruise aboard a private boat (with a naturalist onboard) on Milford Sound, showcasing its sheer cliffs and glacier-hewn inlets. Back at your hotel, enjoy a "Taste of Fiordland" dinner tonight.
To Queenstown for a winery visit & more
Travel across beautiful South Island landscapes to Queenstown. Enjoy lunch at the Amisfield Winery, set in an iconic stone building with gorgeous mountain views and known for its Pinot Noir. Your accommodations at the Sofitel Queenstown exude French-inspired sophistication in the heart of the city.
Adventures by jet boat and helicopter in Queenstown
Queenstown is known for outdoor adventures, as you'll discover for yourself on today's exciting jet boat excursion* that races through the rapids of the Shotover River in Skippers Canyon, followed by yet another thrill - a helicopter ride*. After lunch, take a Skyline gondola back into town for a free afternoon. Dinner at the hotel is included this evening.
A Lake Wakatipu steamer & South Island country life
Board the steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu en route to the Walter Peak High Country Farm, nestled at the foot of a mountain, for a New Zealand farm experience. The day's activities include sheep herding and shearing demonstrations, and a barbecue dinner.
Charter flight to Auckland & Maori culture
Travel via Tauck's private charter flight from Queenstown to Auckland today for a two-night stay, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy an afternoon visit to the Auckland Museum with a Maori cultural presentation and music concert. Have dinner at your hotel tonight.
A wine tasting & more on Wahiheke Island, and a farewell evening in Auckland
Take a ferry to nearby Waiheke Island, a free-spirited mecca of farmland, forest and beaches - and boutique vineyards. A sightseeing drive around the island takes you to Mudbrick Vineyard for lunch and a wine tasting, before returning to Auckland by return ferry. Join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at your hotel as we share memories of our journey in the "lands down under."
Tour ends: Auckland. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Sofitel Auckland at Viaduct Harbour to Auckland Airport. You should allow three hours for check-in at the airport.