Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand
On this grand, wide-ranging journey, you’ll explore the two diverse and fascinating nations that lie on the shores of the Tasman Sea. Vastly different in size, and each offering unique landscapes and experiences, Australia and New Zealand share a well-earned reputation for warm hospitality and great cuisine.
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Discover the Great Barrier Reef and stunning Milford Sound, kiwis and crocodiles, and the exciting cosmopolitan cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Auckland and Queenstown.
Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand Itinerary
Day 1 Welcome to Melbourne
Get to know your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening at a Welcome Reception and dinner on board Melbourne’s famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.
Day 2 Melbourne Sights
Explore Melbourne on a city sights tour this morning, then discover its gracious arcades, eclectic laneways and vibrant street art on a private walking tour. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 3 Melbourne – Cairns
Depart Melbourne by air this morning for Cairns, where you’ll join a local expert for a wildlife journey at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a cruise where you’re sure to encounter koalas, wallabies and crocodiles.
Day 4 Great Barrier Reef
Board a high-speed catamaran today and cruise out to the iconic Great Barrier Reef. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling (equipment provided), or view the spectacular coral and tropical sh from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board before you return to Cairns.
Day 5 Cairns Free Time
Today is free for you to pursue your own interests in this vibrant tropical city, or you may choose to visit Kuranda, ‘The Village in the Rainforest’. This evening be prepared for a special Be My Guest dinner at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Experience a personal Welcome to Country ceremony, hear stories of the Dreamtime, witness an entertaining high impact performance by the indigenous dance group and enjoy dinner accompanied by the sounds of the didgeridoo.
Day 6 Cairns – Sydney
This morning you’ll fly to Sydney, where you’ll have time to relax or explore before boarding before boarding a Captain Cook vessel for a Sunset Dinner Cruise. Glide past magnificent waterfront homes, and of course the legendary Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Day 7 Sydney
Enjoy a tour of the Sydney Opera House then head to Bondi Beach for lunch at an Australian institution, the Returned Servicemen’s Club. Your host, a local surf lifesaver, will lead you on an exclusive tour through Australia’s oldest lifesaving club. Your afternoon is free for exploring or shopping, enjoying an optional excursion, or maybe just taking a stroll along the Harbour front.
Day 8 Sydney Free Time
Spend today as you please. Perhaps see the famous Three Sisters rock formation in the majestic Blue Mountains just outside the city or visit Featherdale Wildlife Park. This evening join your Travel Director for dinner in a restaurant on the waterfront.
Day 9 Sydney – Auckland
Fly across the Tasman Sea this morning to the island nation of New Zealand. This evening meet your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel.
Day 10 Auckland
Start the day with a sightseeing tour and a cruise on Waitemata Harbour before time at leisure.
Day 11 Auckland – Rotorua
You’re invited to a Be My Guest lunch at the home of Lance and Bridgette O’Sullivan, New Zealand horse racing royalty. Enjoy a sumptuous country-style lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato farm. This evening enjoy a traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Family Marae.
Day 12 Rotorua – Christchurch
Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you’ll be able to observe many species of native fauna of New Zealand. You may even spot a kiwi! Visit Te Puia thermal reserve before flying to Christchurch.
Day 13 Christchurch – Franz Josef
Travel on the TranzAlpine train to Arthur’s Pass. Regarded as one of the world’s great train journeys, it passes through fertile farmlands to rugged gorges and ice-fed streams and lakes. At Hokitika visit a greenstone (jade) factory. Take a short walk to view Franz Josef Glacier.
Day 14 Franz Josef – Queenstown
Climb over the Haast Pass, winding past lakes and along the Kawarau River and Gorge. Visit historic Arrowtown before arriving in Queenstown.
Day 15 Milford Sound Cruise
Travel over the Devil’s Staircase to Te Anau and then through the rainforest of World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls, on your way to Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch while you cruise on this natural wonder. Return to Queenstown this evening.
Day 16 Queenstown Free Time
A full day to explore Queenstown at your leisure. You could take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon. Join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner at the Boatshed, with its views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.
Day 17 Farewell from Queenstown
Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
- Complimentary transfers between designated airports and AAT Kings hotels on scheduled start and end days of tours
- Hotel stays in stunning locations with selected meals included
- Sightseeing tours, often accompanied by local guides
- Entrance fees as specified on each itinerary
- Cultural experiences and local dining experiences on selected tours
- Travel in luxury coaches
- Experienced Travel Director and/or Driver Guide