Tour begins: 6:00 PM, The Langham Melbourne or Park Hyatt Melbourne. A transfer is included from Melbourne Airport to The Langham Melbourne or Park Hyatt Melbourne. Your journey begins with a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner at the hotel.
Discover Melbourne’s Charm
You’ll see a lot of Melbourne on a sightseeing tour of the city, including a guided walking tour to discover the real city (and its amazing coffee) along its distinctive laneways. The rest of the day and evening are yours to spend as you please in Melbourne; enjoy lunch and dinner as you please.
Fly to Uluru & the Outback
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 overlooking the monolith.
Uluru to a Skyrail & More in 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. Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, taking you over and through the rainforest canopy; disembark in the mountain village of Kuranda. 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.
Choices at the Great Barrier Reef
Spend a full day exploring one of Earth's most incredible "living" sites, the Great Barrier Reef – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only living structure on Earth visible from the moon. Activity choices include a catamaran cruise to the Agincourt Reef; an adventure boat trip for scuba divers and snorkelers; a helicopter ride over the reefs; or a relaxing spa day at the lodge.
Optional Balloon Ride / 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 dinner tonight at the lodge.
Crocodiles & On to Sydney
It's all about crocodiles at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures; have a meet and greet with a crocodile and blue tongue lizard and snake... plus 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 three-night stay in the city’s heart at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.
A Harbour Cruise & A Taste of the City
A private cruise on Sydney Harbour – complete with morning tea – is a fabulous way to introduce yourself to this extraordinary city, taking a good look at some of its landmark sites from the water. 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 as you check out (and sample) a variety of local eateries. Sydney sightseeing continues as you view The Rocks, Kings Cross and other highlights on a city tour; spend the rest of the day exploring as you please. Dinner this evening will be a "dine-around" from your choice of several select local restaurants.
Inside the Sydney Opera House
One of Australia's most famous iconic sights takes center stage today when you visit the amazing Sydney Opera House on a personally guided tour. Afterwards, return to your hotel; the remainder of the day and evening are yours to spend as you wish in remarkable Sydney.
Fly to Wellington
Bid Australia a fond farewell this morning and board a flight across the Tasman Sea, bound for New Zealand! First stop is Wellington, New Zealand’s intimate waterfront capital with an impressive artistic and cultural edge. Accommodations for the next two nights are at InterContinental Wellington; enjoy a 3-course dinner at the hotel this evening.
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. Touring its exhibits is like actually experiencing thousands of years of New Zealand's history in person, as motion simulators and interactive exhibits include you in the journey. The remainder of the day is free to explore Wellington as you please.
Blenheim & Marlborough Sounds
Tauck puts a charter plane at your service today for a flight to Blenheim on New Zealand's South Island, and a two-night stay in the heart of the Marlborough wine country. Upon arrival, head off on a visit to the Marlborough Sounds. Besides producing great wine, this region is one of the most beautiful and picturesque areas in the country, and boasts delectable freshly caught seafood, including green-lipped mussels; sample them, along with local wines, on a luncheon cruise that celebrates New Zealand's bounty. Following your cruise, drive to Chateau Marlborough in Blenheim where you'll enjoy dinner at your leisure this evening.
Blenheim’s Bounty & a Warbird Dinner
A memorable day in the Blenheim area begins with a visit to a working private farm for a sheep shearing demonstration and sheep dog experience; morning tea at the homestead with the farmer and his family; and a walk through their extensive gardens. Continue on to Brancott Winery for a wine tasting and three-course lunch with matching wines at the Brancott Heritage Centre, then return to the hotel for some free time. Join us this evening for a Tauck Exclusive event: a visit to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre – which displays an incredible collection of World War I and II aircraft and memorabilia owned by film director Sir Peter Jackson – for “Dinner with the Warbirds,” featuring a tour of the museum’s “Knights of the Sky” and “Dangerous Skies” exhibitions, and a three-course dinner showcasing seasonal Marlborough produce and a selection of quality Marlborough wines.
Fly to Te Anau
Today, depart Blenheim and fly off aboard Tauck's charter to Manapouri (Te Anau) in the magnificent Fiordlands region, for two nights at an ideally located hotel. Enjoy lunch at your hotel and spend the rest of the day as you wish.
Cruise Milford Sound
Take a dramatic drive through the unparalleled scenery of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, then set off aboard a private boat (with a naturalist onboard) for a scenic nature luncheon cruise among the sheer cliffs and glacier-hewn inlets of beautiful Milford Sound. Return to Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas late afternoon; enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
A Toast to Queenstown
Make your way across more beautiful South Island landscapes to Queenstown, where you'll have 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.
A Jet Boat & A Helicopter Ride
Even if you're not all that adventurous, today's thrilling high-speed jet boat ride* through the rapids and narrow gorges of Skippers Canyon on the Shotover River – followed by a helicopter ride* – will both be memorable highlights of Tauck's tours to Australia and New Zealand! Head back down the mountain via Skyline gondola to spend the rest of the day and evening as you wish in Queenstown.
Auckland’s 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. Have dinner at your hotel tonight.
Waiheke Island Wine & Auckland
Depart from Auckland’s Ferry Terminal and head to nearby Waiheke Island, a mecca of farmland, forest and beaches – and vineyards; enjoy some sightseeing and a unique wine tasting and lunch at Mudbrick Vineyard. Ferry back to Auckland for some leisure time. Then join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at your hotel in the heart of the city, a fitting finale to Tauck's ultimate journey to Australia and New Zealand!
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.