The stillness of Milford Sound and the dark night sky dot your travels through New Zealand, but not before a brush with the surfing splendour of Aussie's Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.
Arrive Melbourne (2 Nights)
Sophisticated Melbourne extends a warm welcome as your first stop. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). This evening enjoy a memorable Welcome Reception and Regional Dinner with your Travel Director and fellow travellers.
'Dive into Culture' and into the little lanes, arcades and café society of stylish Melbourne. Discover its edgy street art and immerse yourself in the robust aroma of coffee for which this city is so famous.
Melbourne - Cairns (3 Nights)
We fly north to Cairns, where we'll meet a 'Local Specialist' for a private wildlife encounter at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Here the crocs are the star of the show as we take to Hartley's Lagoon to see them cruise the murky waters or laze on the bank. Then, 'Join Trafalgar' and take part in a Rainforest Restoration project to protect this natural wonder.This evening, enjoy an evening at leisure to sample some of the city's famous seafood.
Great Barrier Reef
Dip more than your toes in the tropical waters that surround the Great Barrier Reef - a full day to explore this underwater wonderland up close. Board a high-speed catamaran, then don your mask and fins for a leisurely snorkel (equipment provided) or stay dry in your semi-submersible craft to see the tropical species that live in the world's largest coral reef system. A tropical buffet lunch is served on board under the glorious Aussie sunshine before returning to Cairns.
Cairns Free Time
Soak up the leisurely atmosphere of Cairns with a free day to explore the city and its surrounds on your terms. Consider joining an Optional Experience to Kuranda, travelling by Scenic Rail to the 'village in the rainforest' and return to the lowlands on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This evening, you'll witness a Welcome to Country ceremony, hear stories of the Dreamtime, and see a performance by an Indigenous dance group, followed by a Regional Dinner at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.
Cairns - Sydney (3 Nights)
We leave the golden beaches of Cairns behind, bound for Sydney. Settle in to your splendid surrounds before boarding a Harbour Cruise. Watch day turn to night against the backdrop of the beloved Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as you enjoy a two course à la carte Regional Dinner on the water.
Admire one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century during a guided sightseeing tour of the Sydney Opera House with a 'Local Specialist'. Later, rub shoulders with the bronzed, beautiful people of Bondi Beach and 'Connect With Locals' as you join a surf lifesaver who will take you on a 'Be My Guest' exclusive tour through the Members Only facility of Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club, which has been welcoming beach-goers since 1882, followed by lunch with views over the sparkling Pacific.
Sydney Free Time
Indulge in a full day at leisure to connect with the energy of this vibrant harbour city or consider joining an Optional Experience to the nearby Blue Mountains. Watch as the shimmering blue haze on the horizon turns to a dense canopy of eucalyptus trees and see the Three Sisters that tower above Jamison Valley. This evening, join your travel companions for a Regional Dinner at a waterfront restaurant.
Sydney - Auckland (2 Nights)
Say a fond hoo roo to Australia as you board your flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Ease into the warm, welcoming embrace of the City of Sails before meeting your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel.
'Dive Into Culture' with a city sightseeing tour this morning, including Mission Bay, Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial for sweeping views of Waitemata Harbour and the North Shore. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Auckland - Rotorua
Journey through the dramatic scenery and landscapes of Waikato, passing through Cambridge, 'The Town of Trees and Champions', on your way to Rotorua. Once there, visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a tour with a 'Local Specialist' of the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, the national leader in kiwi husbandry. Learn about the work being done to save New Zealand's national bird, see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process and newly hatched kiwi chicks. This evening, 'Dive Into Culture' at a Regional Dinner at the Tamaki Maori Village.
Auckland - Queenstown (3 Nights)
Enjoy breakfast in the charming village of Hobbiton, the movie set of the now iconic The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies, before continuing to Auckland to board your flight to Queenstown. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Queenstown.
Journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and over the Devil's Staircase to Te Anau. Experience magnificent scenery afforded by the Mirror Lakes, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Emerge from the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel towards Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Take to its still waters for a cruise filled with pinch-me moments. Return to Queenstown for an evening at leisure.
Queenstown Free Time
Your final day in Queenstown could see you take an Optional Experience tour of the region's popular wineries or a cruise on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue lunch. This evening, we take a step back in time with our Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed, set in the historic Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, is the perfect venue for your exclusive Regional Dinner.
Queenstown - Lake Tekapo
Leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown for Lake Tekapo, travelling through Arrowtown, with its lovingly-restored mining cottages, and Cromwell on the banks of Lake Dunstan. View the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd. Spend the evening stargazing in the world-renowned UNESCO Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.
Lake Tekapo - Christchurch (2 Nights)
Enjoy a relaxed start before heading north through South Canterbury, visiting the charming boutique village of Geraldine en route to Christchurch.
Pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. After a city sights tour, you're invited to 'Connect With Locals' at the home of Tim and Isabelle Weston, for a unique 'Be My Guest' experience over morning tea in their home, which was formerly a horse stables. This evening, join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.
Our Australia and New Zealand adventure has come to an end. This morning we'll transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).