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- from $7,343 PP
This comprehensive 21-nights itinerary covers New Zealand’s the North and South islands, as well as many of the highlights of Australia, starting in Auckland. Just a few of the highlights include delving into Maori culture, cruising through an underground river in Waitomo Glowworm Caves and exploring the Hobbiton film set before flying to the capital of Wellington for a guided tour. On the South Island, discover stunning Lake Tekapo, soaring Mount Cook, and cruise spectacular Milford Sound. Fly to Melbourne, Australia starting with city sights before meeting Phillip Island’s penguins, marvelling at Uluru, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef and touring Sydney too.
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At a Glance
- 21 nights hand-picked high quality hotel accommodation
- Private airport departure and arrival transfers
- All domestic flights and transfers as per the itinerary
- All domestic transfers
- Waiheke Island tour
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour
- Hobbiton Film set tour
- Rotorua Sightseeing Tour
- Maori Cultural Performance & Hangi dinner
- Guided sightseeing tour in Wellington
- Akaroa wildlife cruise
- Day trip to Lake Tekapo & Mount Cook National Park
- Milford Sound cruise
- Guided sightseeing tour in Melbourne
- Phillip Island day trip
- Uluru & Olgas guided tour
- Uluru sunrise tour
- Great Barrier Reef cruise
- Daintree National Park tour
- Sydney Opera House tour
- Sydney sightseeing our
- Blue Mountains day trip
- 24/7 support from our expert staff throughout the trip
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Auckland: Arrival into Auckland, New Zealand
Your grand tour begins with your arrival into Auckland where you’ll be welcomed by your private driver for transfer to your hotel in New Zealand’s largest city. You might want to visit the Viaduct Harbour to enjoy the bustling waterfront scene with dozens of restaurants and bars to sample. The nearby Sky Tower is Auckland’s most iconic landmark, a great place to get a perspective of the city as it provides a 360-degree view from the top. There are two restaurants for dining with that unforgettable vista as well and if you choose to do so, the admission to the tower will be waived.
Day 2 Auckland: Waiheke Island Tour
A guided tour this morning begins with the short ferry ride to Waiheke Island. Here you’ll enjoy the island’s wine and tasty locally produced specialty foods, starting with a visit to an award-winning olive oil mill. Visit two vineyards, sampling various varietals alongside gourmet snacks while your expert guide tells you all about them. Some of the gastronomic delights you might enjoy, include delectably fresh oysters from Te Matuku Bay, a local green herb spread, wild honey and artisan cheeses. The grand finale is a platter lunch at a vineyard restaurant. Afterward you’ll hop back on the ferry to Auckland.
Day 3 Rotorua: Waitomo Glowworm Caves & Hobbiton Film Set
Travel south from Auckland towards Waitomo where you’ll enjoy a guided tour through the world-famous glowworm caves. Hop into a boat to glide across the underground river where the sparkling lights of the glowworms highlight the magnificent stalagmites and stalactites. Afterwards you’ll tour the Hobbiton film set discovering how this working farm was transformed into Middle Earth for the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies. You’ll see the Green Dragon Inn, hobbit holes and more while learning about some of the insider filming secrets. When your tour concludes you’ll head to Rotorua to spend the next two nights.
Day 4 Rotorua: Sightseeing Tour + Maori Cultural Performance & Hangi Dinner
Your day begins with a guided tour through Rotorua, starting at Te Puia to learn about the indigenous Maori culture. You’ll stop at woodcarving and weaving schools to witness firsthand how these art forms are passed down through generations. Visit a working organic farm, the Agrodome, to see a sheep-shearing display and watch sheepdog trials. Finally, discover native flora and fauna at Rainbow Springs Nature Park. This evening enjoy a Maori culture performance and feast on a delicious hangi dinner on sacred Maori grounds. You’ll learn about their traditions, explore Maori art forms and even take part in ancient rituals.
Day 5 Wellington: Flight from Rotorua + Guided Wellington Sightseeing Tour
This morning take private transfer from your Rotorua hotel to the airport for a flight to New Zealand’s capital. Upon your arrival in Wellington, a private driver will bring you to your accommodation and after you’ve settled in, you’ll join a guided sightseeing tour. Enjoy a beautiful view from the top of Mount Wellington, see the Parliament buildings and the famous Beehive, and enjoy the Botanical Gardens, Before making the return to your hotel, you’ll drive around the spectacular Wellington coast too. The evening is yours to spend as you like – there are a wide range of outstanding bars and eateries here.
Day 6 Christchurch: Flight from Wellington to the South Island
A short flight brings you to Christchurch on the South Island today. After taking private transfer to your hotel in the city, you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy it on your own. You might start your explorations in an unforgettable way, with a gondola ride up the slopes of Mount Cavendish, enjoying 360-degree views. Gaze out at the city, the Canterbury Plains and all the way to the Southern Alps in one direction and another brings views of beaches and the Pacific. There’s lots of creative street art to take in here too, with hundreds of murals adorning buildings across Christchurch.
Day 7 Christchurch: Explore Akaroa + Wildlife Cruise
A day trip will bring you to the charming village of Akaroa this morning, with time to explore this former British and French settlement. After your exploits you’ll embark on a wildlife cruise, bringing the opportunity to spot blue penguins, New Zealand fur seals and Hector’s dolphins, the rarest and smallest marine dolphins in the world. After returning to Christchurch, enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants or cafes. Discover a wealth of options, whether you’re looking for famous New Zealand lamb or international fare from Japanese to Italian, with new eateries seeming to pop up practically every day.
Day 8 Christchurch: Day Trip to Lake Tekapo & Mount Cook National Park
A day trip to Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook National Park is a definite highlight on the itinerary. You’ll travel through the Canterbury Plains before reaching the lake, with its colour so intense it looks as if it’s been Photoshopped. The stunning turquoise hue is the result of fine rock flour which flows from the region’s glaciers. From there you’ll continue toward Mount Cook National Park which showcases the tallest mountain in New Zealand, towering over the landscape at 12,218 feet. Take advantage of the many photo-ops and your guide will provide insight into the area’s history and the notable landmarks.
Day 9 Queenstown: Flight from Christchurch
It’s time to head to your next destination, Queenstown. Private transfer will bring you to the airport in Christchurch to catch the just over one-hour flight. You’ll have the rest of the day free to explore on your own.
Day 10 Queenstown: Milford Sound Cruise
Enjoy one of the must-dos on the South Island with a day tour to Milford Sound, a place Rudyard Kipling referred to as the “eighth natural wonder of the world,” with immense beauty surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. You’ll travel by coach, stopping in Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park where your boat waits for a cruise through the breathtaking landscape. Marvel at landmarks like Mitre Peak while watching for wildlife like seals, penguins and dolphins as you journey to Milford’s innermost reaches to the Tasman Sea and back. Return by coach or choose an optional fly over for a bird’s-eye view.
Day 11 Queenstown: Day of Leisure
Take the day to yourself to enjoy the adventure capital of New Zealand. You might want to ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak for a jaw-dropping view of the landscape and then ride the luge back down. Or join a tour to discover spectacular “Lord of the Rings” filming locations. There are endless hiking trails to explore, or you can take the thrilling jet boat ride through the Shotover River canyon. Queenstown is also the place that birthed bungy jumping, with many opportunities to try it like Kawarau Bridge. Afterward, grab a burger at famous Fergburger, said to be the world’s best.
Day 12 Melbourne: Flight from Queenstown to Australia
The second half of your grand tour begins today, leaving New Zealand for Australia. Private transfer brings you to Queenstown’s airport to catch your flight to Melbourne. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a private driver for transfer to your accommodation. Enjoy the evening at your leisure, perhaps sampling the eats in this foodie paradise with its abundance of fancy food trucks serving not only traditional food truck fare but gourmet options like prime wagyu beef burgers. You’ll discover an impressive culinary mashup of Eurasian street foods along with a wide range of restaurants from casual options to fine dining.
Day 13 Melbourne: Private Guided Sightseeing Tour
Meet your local guide for a private guided sightseeing tour of Melbourne’s landmarks while taking advantage of the opportunity to get insider tips for exploring on your own later. You’ll visit notable sights in Australia’s cultural capital, like the Royal Botanical Gardens, Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and Queen Victoria Market, here for over a century selling crafts, clothing and produce. Discover trendy coffee shops and interesting lanes filled with street art. After getting familiarized with the city, you can enjoy the afternoon wandering around and visiting what interests you most, and then find an enticing spot for dinner.
Day 14 Melbourne: Phillip Island Tour
Enjoy a leisurely morning, sleeping in or joining the local crowd at a popular coffeehouse. This afternoon, a local guide will take you to tour Phillip Island. The highlight is the Penguin Parade, when every evening at dusk, the tiny penguins return to shore after feasting in the sea, marching by the thousands back to the burrows. Before it begins, you’ll discover breathtaking scenery and other wildlife, including lots of kangaroos. At the Koala Conservation Center, you’ll traverse treetop boardwalks to see the animals in their natural habitat. Finally, learn more about the penguins before heading to the boardwalk to watch the “parade.”
Day 15 Uluru: Flight from Melbourne + Uluru & Olgas Tour
Heading to your next destination, private transfer will pick you up at your hotel in Melbourne to bring you to the airport where you’ll catch a flight to Uluru in Australia’s Red Center. Upon your arrival, another private transfer brings you to your accommodation. After dropping off your bags and taking time to refresh, a tour will reveal the fascinating history and beauty of the landscape. Discover the Olgas, a group of large domed rock formations, and remarkable Uluru Rock, a massive monolith rising out of the alien-like landscape. You’ll watch a glorious sunset over the Rock while sipping a glass of sparkling wine.
Day 16 Uluru: Sunrise Tour
Rise early this morning for a sunrise tour, traveling to the sunrise viewing area near Uluru. Warm up with coffee or tea while the morning light beams its first rays of the day over the landscape. Watch as the sun transforms the colour of the Rock and then return to your accommodation, enjoying the rest of the day to explore at your own pace. You might follow in the Aboriginal ancestors’ steps by taking one of the six walks around Uluru. The Mala Walk, guided by rangers along its base, is free and you’ll get to hear the story of the Mala people
Day 17 Cairns: Flight from Uluru
Take advantage of the morning to savour your last moments at Uluru before taking transfer to the airport where you’ll catch a flight to the tropical coastal city of Cairns. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day to explore at your own pace. An outdoor adventurer’s paradise, you’ll find lots of thrills here, including bungy jumping as this is the capital for extreme sports in Australia. There are nearly 200 trails in the mountains nearby for hiking, or you might enjoy the wildlife exhibit at Cairns Wildlife Dome, a rainforest environment with parrots, crocodiles, pythons, koalas and more.
Day 18 Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise
A full-day cruise on a high-speed catamaran will bring you to the Great Barrier Reef for another bucket-list experience. It’s world renowned for diving and snorkelling with an astounding array of marine life, including over 1,600 species of tropical fish, rays, sea turtles, dolphins, giant clams, sharks and more. The more than 3,000 coral cays and individual reef systems sit alongside countless stunning islands with pristine white sandy beaches. Enjoy sipping morning tea and dining on a buffet lunch on board, with time to snorkel in this amazing underwater world before returning to your accommodation in the late afternoon.
Day 19 Cairns: Daintree National Park
Discover Daintree National Park on a guided tour today, home to the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. It’s also one of the planet’s biodiversity hotspots, including 90 percent of Australia’s bat and butterfly species. Soak up the spectacular views of unspoiled deserted white sand beaches and mountains at Cape Tribulation the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, the only place on Earth where reef meets rainforest. Emark on a Daintree River cruise, watching for wildlife like saltwater crocs, tree snakes and birds, enjoy a tropical lunch and then conclude at Mossman Gorge Center to learn how the indigenous people lived off the land.
Day 20 Sydney: Sydney Opera House & Sightseeing Tour
Your final internal flight brings you to Sydney. After taking transfer to your hotel and settling in, head to the Sydney Opera House for a guided tour, exploring areas that are typically off-limits to the public while capturing photos from rare vantage points. Sit in the elegant custom-made chairs, gaze up at vaulted ceilings and discover theaters that have hosted countless performances. Afterward a sightseeing tour will take you through the historic Rocks precinct and Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair with its famous view of the harbour. Ending at famous Bondi Beach, relax on the sand before enjoying the evening on your own.
Day 21 Sydney: Blue Mountains Day Tour
On your last full day in the country, you’ll travel into the heart of a unique region, the Blue Mountains. Sip morning tea at Calmsley Hill, a working farm, and then meet up with koalas, kangaroos, emus, and wombats. Afterward you’ll travel through pretty villages, take in magnificent views and visit waterfalls on a short walk to lookout point. Dine on lunch while enjoying picturesque valley views before visiting various scenic lookouts like famous Govett’s Leap, a stunning waterfall plunging nearly 600 feet. Mt. Tomah Botanic Gardens is your last stop, bringing more sweeping vistas, enjoyed with orange juice or sparkling wine.
Day 22 Departure
Your grand tour through New Zealand and Australia comes to an end today. Depending on the timing of your flight, you may be able to do some last-minute souvenir shopping. After checking out of your hotel, you’ll take private transfer to Sydney International Airport to catch your flight back home.
What's not Included
- Your international flights – please contact your travel expert if you require assistance with flights
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
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