Trip Overview

Trip Overview

  • Explore the Daintree Rainforest with an Aboriginal guide, watch the sun rise over Uluru, and opt to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Journey across New Zealand’s Southern Alps aboard the TranzAlpine, one of the world’s most scenic railways.
  • Take a private tour of the James Cook University research aquarium in Cairns, founded by a National Geographic grantee.
  • Join naturalists on a cruise through spectacular Fiordland National Park (seasonal), spotting dolphins, seals, and penguins.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Why choose between Australia and New Zealand? Experience both on an extraordinary 23-day adventure. Discover iconic Sydney, fashionable Melbourne, and welcoming Auckland; stand in the presence of sacred Uluru; explore ancient rainforests; and get your fill of city life, mountainscapes, glaciers, cultural moments, deserts, hot springs, and photo ops.

This trip is offered in partnership with
G Adventures.

Day 1: Sydney
Arrive at any time.
Day 2: Sydney
Enjoy a traditional Aboriginal welcome and a walkabout around The Rocks area and Sydney Harbour to learn the history of the Aboriginal people’s saltwater heritage and their spiritual connection to the area. In the afternoon, board a private yacht and enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise with a barbecue dinner. While navigating the bays and coves, sit back and enjoy views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Sydney/Port Douglas
Fly to Cairns then travel up the coastal road to Mossman Gorge. Take an interpretive walk with a local Aboriginal guide and learn about traditional ways of life and survival techniques in the Daintree Rainforest. Continue on to the resort in Port Douglas, our home for the next two nights.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Mantra PortSea (or similar)
Day 4: Port Douglas
Enjoy the colourful resort town of Port Douglas. Take time to stroll the main streets, enjoy the beach, or opt to go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Mantra PortSea (or similar)
Day 5: Port Douglas/Cairns
Return to the tropical city of Cairns. Take an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the James Cook University research aquarium, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic grant recipient Dr Jamie Seymour. Enjoy a private tour of the facility and get an up close look at some of these marvelous creatures. We'll also hear about the latest research from Jamie or one of his colleagues.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Pacific Hotel Cairns (or similar)
Day 6: Cairns
Enjoy a free day to relax at the beach. Opt to explore North Queensland’s tropical rainforests or get your adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or bungee jumping.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Pacific Hotel Cairns (or similar)
Day 7: Cairns/Uluru
Catch a flight to Uluru. Visit the cultural centre and learn about ancient beliefs and traditions portrayed in art, food, and music before witnessing an incredible sunset with a glass of bubbly.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge (or similar)
Day 8: Uluru
Awake before sunrise to watch the colours change over Uluru. Continue on with a guided Mala Walk around the base of Uluru, gaining insight into its significance to the local Aboriginal people. Later, take a walk in Kata Tjuta National Park and view the beautiful red-domed rock formations. The afternoon is at your leisure.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge (or similar)
Day 9: Uluru/Melbourne
Enjoy another sunrise over Uluru before flying to Melbourne for the night.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Oaks on Collins (or similar)
Day 10: Melbourne
Enjoy a full free day in Melbourne. Opt to visit wineries, explore the Great Ocean Road, or discover hidden gems in the city's famous laneways.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Day 11: Melbourne
Go on a guided foodie walk through the laneways of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller for a three-course progressive lunch. Later, enjoy free time to explore Melbourne.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Day 12: Melbourne/Auckland
Fly to Auckland, New Zealand and enjoy free time in the city.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Copthorne Hotel Auckland City (or similar)
Day 13: Auckland
Enjoy a morning orientation walk before catching a ferry to Waiheke Island. Visit two local wineries to learn more about New Zealand's burgeoning wine industry and the history of wine production in the country while sampling some of the local blends, of course.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Copthorne Hotel Auckland City (or similar)
Day 14: Auckland/Rotorua
Drive to Rotorua, stopping for an excursion at Waitomo Caves where you'll take a boat ride through the cave and see thousands of flickering glowworms lighting up the walls.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Millennium Rotorua (or similar)
Day 15: Rotorua
Enjoy a free day in Rotorua which sits over an active geothermal zone with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools. Opt to visit one of the geothermal sites, or go whitewater rafting. This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome and talk from a “Kaumātua” (an elder in Māori society). After, watch an extravagant performance about local myths and legends while dining on traditional Hangi cuisine.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Millennium Rotorua (or similar)
Day 16: Rotorua/Christchurch
Enjoy free time this morning in Rotorua before catching a flight to Christchurch. Take an orientation walk with your CEO to get a feel for the city.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Chateau on the Park Hotel (or similar)
Day 17: Christchurch/Franz Josef
Enjoy one of the world’s great scenic train trips on the TranzAlpine train, crossing the scenic Southern Alps to New Zealand's glacier region. Disembark and finish the journey over the highest pass in the Southern Alps in a private vehicle before transferring to a beautiful rainforest lodge, our home for two nights.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Rainforest Retreat (or similar)
Day 18: Franz Josef
Options are plentiful. Choose from a helicopter hike, ice walking on the glacier, or soaking in hot pools among stunning scenery.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:Rainforest Retreat (or similar)
Day 19: Franz Josef/Queenstown
Take a stunning scenic drive through the rugged rainforest along the west coast to Queenstown.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Day 20: Queenstown/Fiordland National Park
Embark on an amazing wilderness cruise through Fiordland National Park. Led by onboard naturalist guides, we have the chance to see dolphins, fur seals, birds, and penguins, with the option to kayak. Spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins (seasonal) with time to relax on deck and stargaze.
Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Doubtful Sound Cruise (or similar)
Day 21: Fiordland National Park/Queenstown
Enjoy early morning wildlife viewing along the fiord as we cruise back to port, then return to Queenstown.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Day 22: Queenstown
Enjoy a free day to explore on your own, visit a winery, or cruise on a historic steamship. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Opt to go bungee jumping, jet boating, skydiving, paragliding, or mountain biking. This evening enjoy a gondola ride with spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape.
Meals Included:Breakfast
Day 23: Queenstown
Depart at any time.
Meals Included:Breakfast