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Grand Australia & New Zealand

Departs: 3/5/2019 Returns: 3/29/2019

25 Days | All Airfare Included

A comprehensive tour featuring 13 fascinating days in Australia & 10 scenic days in New Zealand.
Grand Australia & New Zealand Image 1

Daily Itinerary Items

Day 1-2 : Australia Bound
Following our included flight to California, we meet our Tour Director and board an Air New Zealand flight bound for the "Land Down Under." Enjoy delicious meals and attentive service. When we cross the International Date Line, we lose a calendar day.

Day 3 : Melbourne
Early this morning we arrive in Auckland and transfer to our flight bound for Australia. We clear customs in the charming Victorian capital of Melbourne renowned for its lovely parks and gardens. Our comfortable three-night home is at the Oaks-on-Market.

Day 4 : Tramcar Restaurant
Today our guided city tour of Melbourne includes Fitzroy Gardens, Flinders Street Station, Queen Victoria Market, the Shrine of Remembrance and Parliament House. Our four-course lunch is a memorable feast served aboard the first electric tramcar restaurant in the world! Enjoy this delicious meal as we travel around scenic Melbourne. The remainder of the day is free to wander along Southbank’s waterfront precinct, visit the Victorian Art Center, Crown Casino or Chinatown. B,L

Day 5 : Penguin Parade
This morning we visit the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. This region is well known for its farm-fresh produce, vineyards and breathtaking views. We'll enjoy lunch and a wine tasting at Dromana Estate Winery followed by a visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, home to over 60 Australian species. Next we go to Phillip Island, a sanctuary for seals and birds. Our day concludes with perhaps our most unique wildlife encounter as we witness the world-famous penguin parade. As the sun sets over this beautiful landscape we'll get an up-close and personal view of the world’s smallest penguin making its way back to land. Take a waddle on the wild side as we experience the magic of the little penguins returning home to one of the largest penguin colonies in Australia. L

Day 6 : Tasmania
We fly to Hobart to begin our exploration of wild and untamed Tasmania. Nearly one third of the Island State is protected within its fourteen national parks. We visit Richmond, one of Australia's most historic villages. The nostalgic charm of colonial days is present in the Georgian mansions, cottages, convict jail, bridge and Catholic Church. Later we tour Hobart and enjoy breathtaking views of the town from Mt. Wellington. Our accommodations for three nights are at the Old Woolstore Hotel. D

Day 7 : Eco-Cruise
Enjoy a three-hour guided eco-cruise along the spectacular coastline of Tasman National Park. Experience the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. Enter deep-sea caves, see playful dolphins, hundreds of seals and abundant bird species including albatross and sea eagles. After a delicious included lunch we visit the Port Arthur Historic Site. The settlement was a bold experiment and ground breaking attempt at reform and rehabilitation for the convicts of the colony. Port Arthur was a key part of the colonial system of convict discipline, but Port Arthur was much more than a prison. As we walk within the site, the powerful, personal stories of convicts, soldiers, free settlers and their families will reveal themselves to us. B,L

Day 8 : Tahune Airwalk
This morning we tour of the picturesque Huon River Valley and visit the Wooden Boat Centre which has been producing a range of beautiful timber boats crafted by hand for nearly 25 years. Later we take a walk through the tree tops of pristine forest at Tahune Forest AirWalk. The steel walkway footbridge averages heights between 60-90 feet above the forest floor, with the very last section, the cantilever, sitting at a height of 150 feet above the Huon River. B

Day 9 : Tropical Cairns
Today we fly to tropical Cairns in Far North Queensland. This is the gateway city to many of Australia’s natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy three pleasant nights at the Pacific Hotel Cairns adjacent to the waterfront and casino. All rooms feature balconies with superb views of the harbor and parklands. B

Day 10 : Kurandra Scenic Trail & Skyrail
Enjoy one of the most spectacular rail excursions in the world - the Kuranda Scenic Train. As we ascend, our journey provides unsurpassed views of World Heritage recognized rain forest, steep ravines and picturesque waterfalls within the Barron Gorge National Park. Later we visit the fascinating Kuranda Koala Gardens. This award-winning native wildlife attraction features some of Australia's most popular wildlife. A highlight is the unique opportunity to actually hold a koala as well as hand-feeding tame kangaroos and wallabies. After lunch at Frogs Restaurant we have the choice of visiting Birdworld Kuranda or the unique Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. There's time to visit the Kuranda Heritage Markets before we descend the magnificent MacAlister Range on Skyrail, a 4.7 mile gondola cableway. Enjoy spectacular views of the rain forest, tropical Cairns, and the Coral Sea as we glide over the rain forest canopy. B,L

Day 11 : Great Barrier Reef & Scenic Helicopter Ride
Today we experience one of the highlights of our tour, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. We cruise to Moore Reef located on the outer edge of the reef, the world's largest living organism. The reef is one of Australia's greatest national treasures and stretches more than 1,200 miles along the coast. We view vividly colored tropical fish and coral from the reef viewer, underwater observatory and glass bottom boat. Learn about the fish and marine life in this underwater wonderland. Enjoy breathtaking sights of the Great Barrier Reef on an included scenic helicopter flight. Swim, snorkel or just relax in this beautiful marine setting. B,L

Day 12 : Sydney
We fly to Sydney, Australia's most vibrant city. On arrival we transfer to the Rydges World Square Hotel and settle in for a three-night stay. The remainder of the day is free. B

Day 13 : Opera House & City Sights
This morning we discover Sydney's many interesting landmarks, including the famous Harbor Bridge, the longest single span bridge in the world, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park, bustling Kings Cross and popular Bondi Beach. We tour the famous Sydney Opera House, considered by many to be one of the wonders of the modern world. We enjoy lunch in the historic Rocks, one of the most prestigious areas in Sydney with its beautifully restored buildings and spectacular views across the harbor. The Rocks' quaint cobblestone pathways are home to colorful markets filled with more than 200 eclectic stalls where you can find locally-produced home wares, beauty products and original photography, art, crafts and jewelry. B

Day 14 : Harbor Cruise
Today we enjoy Sydney's sparkling waterfront playground during a delightful harbor cruise sailing past pristine parks, golden beaches and charming harborside neighborhoods. During our luncheon in the Sydney Tower Revolving Restaurant, we see panoramic views of the harbor and city. Later there's time to visit the attractions of Darling Harbor, Sydney's favorite destination for leisure and entertainment, with more than 40 restaurants, cafes, museums, parks, theaters and specialty shops. L

Day 15 : Christchurch, NZ
This morning we bid farewell to Australia and fly to Christchurch located on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. On arrival we clear customs and transfer to our comfortable accommodations at the Distinction Christchurch Hotel. The remainder of the day is free. D

Day 16 : Glacial Lakes & Southern Alps
We travel across the picturesque patchwork farmland of the Canterbury Plains and enter the foothills of Geraldine and expansive Mackenzie Country. We stop to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd overlooking the pristine waters of Lake Tekapo and view the bronze statue of a sheep dog, erected as a tribute to the important role played by these animals in the development of high country farming. We drive along the shimmering turquoise glacial waters of Lake Pukaki set against the spectacular backdrop of Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps. We cross the Lindis Pass and tussock-covered plains of Mackenzie Country to the fruitlands of Central Otago, famous for the production of summer fruit - apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums. Our memorable day ends at The Heritage Hotel Queenstown for a relaxing two-night stay. The vistas from the Heritage Hotel provide a panoramic view of the towering 7,000-foot Remarkables mountain range, rising from the rippling waters of Lake Wakatipu. B

Day 17 : Kiwi & Birdlife Park
Enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast featuring local produce at the Kiwi & Birdlife Park. After breakfast we have the rare opportunity to meet New Zealand’s most iconic bird. Specially designed nocturnal houses allow us to view the kiwi during the day. Later we visit the historic and picturesque "gold rush" settlement of Arrowtown and view the Kawarau River suspension bridge, the "World Home of Bungy Jumping." The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy New Zealand’s adventure capital, offering jetboating, golfing, picturesque walks, and abundant restaurants and shops in one of the most scenic settings in the world. B

Day 18 : Milford Sound Cruise
Today we travel through an ancient ice age region, crossing pasturelands on our way to Fjordland National Park. We journey through beech forests and the beautiful Eglinton Valley climbing to Homer Tunnel before descending through the spectacular Cleddau Canyon to reach Milford Sound. Our cruise takes us past Mitre Peak, which rises 5,560 feet, striking Stirling Falls and Bowen Falls, cascading more than 500 feet. The falls flow from valleys formed by receding glaciers. Watch for sea lions and a variety of birds. Our accommodations in Te Anau are at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel. The town is nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Te Anau, with a spectacular backdrop of Mt. Luxmore and the Murchison Mountains. B,D

Day 19 : Larnach Castle & Dunedin
Departing Te Anau, we travel through some of New Zealand's most populated sheep country through Lumsden and Gore to historic Larnach Castle & Gardens nestled on the picturesque Otago Peninsula. With its exciting, sometimes scandalous, sometimes tragic history, its magnificent carved ceilings, antiques and breathtaking views, our guided tour of the castle and gardens offers a vision of the past and present. We arrive in Dunedin known for its Scottish heritage and Victorian and Edwardian architecture. We see some of the iconic city attractions such as the Speights Brewery, Cadbury World, University of Otago and the World's Steepest Street. Our comfortable accommodations for two nights are at the Distinction Dunedin Hotel. B

Day 20 : Taieri Gorge Railway
Today we enjoy a tour of Toitu Otago Settlers Museum dedicated to telling the story of the people of Dunedin and the surrounding area, whose character, culture, technology, art, fashion and transportation shaped New Zealand's first great city. After lunch in the country's oldest city we take one of the world’s great train trips. We depart the historic Dunedin Railway Station for a four-hour scenic train ride into the spectacular Taieri River Gorge. Travel aboard restored carriages through stunning scenery, crossing graceful wrought-iron viaducts spanning deep ravines while listening to the on-board commentary about the early pioneers and the building of the line. B,D

Day 21 : Lake Taupo
Today we fly to North Island. Our destination is the quaint town of Taupo that sits at the edge of New Zealand's largest lake. Taupo is the home to award-winning attractions, activities and breathtaking lake and mountain vistas. Our lodging for two nights is at the lakeside Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels Taupo.

Day 22 : Orakei Korako & Maori Concert
Our day begins with a visit to Orakei Korako, one of the finest thermal areas in the world. On our walk through the Hidden Valley we’ll see silica terraces, boiling pools, geysers and an incredibly rare geothermal cave. Later we visit Lava Glass, Glass Blowing Studio and their unique Sculpture Garden featuring more than 500 glass sculptures. After lunch we cruise the Waikato River and see impressive Huka Falls, New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. Tonight we enjoy a special cultural evening featuring a Maori concert and hangi feast. Experience a customary Maori welcome and witness a powerful display of traditional songs and dance. B,L,D

Day 23 : Hobbiton & Hamilton Gardens
We travel to Alexander Sheep & Cattle Farm in Matamata, a combination working sheep farm and Hobbiton, The Shire from Middle-Earth. Our visit includes a drive through the picturesque 1,250-acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges and a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. The set has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit and remains as it was seen in these films and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. During our tour we see Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, double arched bridge and other structures and gardens built for the films. Later we take a pleasant countryside drive to the riverside city of Hamilton, one of the country’s fastest growing cities. It is the perfect place to experience friendly Kiwi hospitality. We visit the international award winning Hamilton Gardens. The gardens explore different civilizations, and recreate historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world. Our lodging is at the Novotel Hamilton Tainui Hotel. B,L

Day 24 : Auckland & Evening Flight
Today we visit Auckland, the largest Polynesian city in the Southern Hemisphere. We enjoy a brief sightseeing tour of the city including America's Cup Village, lively Queen Street and the Harbor Bridge before our lunch at the Fortuna Restaurant. Later, a captivating experience awaits as we ascend Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower. The tallest man-made structure in New Zealand offers breathtaking views in every direction. Visit Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, one of the Auckland’s top visitor’s attractions. We see the world’s largest sub-Antarctic penguin colony display, the magical Seahorse Kingdom and take an underwater journey to discover a diverse collection of aquatic life up close. Later we board our evening flight to Los Angeles. We cross the International Date Line and regain a day arriving early in the afternoon. Overnight accommodations are included near the Los Angeles International Airport. L

Day 25 : Homeward
This morning our adventure comes to an end, but the friendships and memories will last forever.

B - Breakfast; CB - Continental Breakfast; L - Lunch; D - Dinner; T - Tea

Additional Tour Information

Holiday Experience Includes
All Airfare
All fuel surcharges, government fees, airport & departure taxes (minimum value of $895)
• Holiday Vacations Tour Director specializing in the South Pacific
• Experienced Driver/Guides
• Baggage handling at hotels
$100 travel voucher for a future tour

29 Excellent Meals Featuring
• Tramcar Restaurant in Melbourne
• Frogs Restaurant in Kuranda
• Tropical breakfasts in Cairns
• Sydney Tower Revolving Restaurant
• MacKinnon Restaurant Te Anau
• Parcels Restaurant Dunedin
• Maori Concert & Feast in Taupo
• Bilbo's Party Marquee at Hobbiton
• Fortuna Restaurant Auckland

All Accommodations Featuring
• Oaks-on-Market in Melbourne
• Old Woolstore Hotel in Hobart
• Pacific Hotel Cairns
• Rydges World Square Hotel in Sydney
• Distinction Christchurch Hotel
• The Heritage Hotel Queenstown
• Distinction Te Anau Hotel
• Distinction Dunedin Hotel
• Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo
• Novotel Tainui Hotel Hamilton

Attractions & Highlights
• Melbourne sights
• Scenic Mornington Peninsula
• Dromana Estate Winery
• Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park
• Penguins at Phillip Island
• Hobart & Historic Richmond
• Tasman Island Cruise
• Port Arthur Historic Site
• Wooden Boat Center
• Tahune AirWalk
• Tropical Cairns
• Kuranda Scenic Train
• Kuranda Koala Gardens
• Choice of Birdworld Kuranda or the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
• Skyrail Rain Forest Cableway
• Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef
• Great Barrier Reef Helicopter Flight
• Guided Sydney Opera House tour
• Sydney City Sights tour
• Captain Cook Harbor Cruise
• Christchurch & Lake Tekapo
• New Zealand’s Southern Alps
• Queenstown & Lake Wakatipu
• Kiwi & Birdlife Park
• Fjordland National Park
• Milford Sound Cruise
• Larnach Castle
• Dunedin city tour
• Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
• Taieri Gorge Railway
• Orakei Korako Thermal Park
• Lava Glass Sculpture Garden
• Huka Falls River Cruise
• Alexander Sheep & Cattle Farm
Hobbiton Middle-Earth Movie Set
• Hamilton Gardens
• Auckland Sky Tower
• Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium

Tour Pricing

Category - Occupancy Price (Per Person)
Airport - Double $10199
Airport - Single $12299

Final Payment Date: 12/20/2018

Itinerary ID:66823188 | Tour Code: AUAZ0305191
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