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This jam-packed itinerary uncovers some of the best of Australia and New Zealand. Begin by taking in the iconic sights of Sydney on a guided bike tour. Roll through the misty Blue Mountains on a four-wheel drive tour and then head to the Outback, watching a magical sunset over Uluru Rock. Discover wildlife like crocodiles in Daintree Rainforest and snorkel among marine life at the Great Barrier Reef. Get to know Auckland on a guided tour, witness geothermal wonders in Rotorua, ride the famous TranzAlpine train, and tour world-famous wineries, concluding with a glacier walk and a cruise on Milford Sound.
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At a Glance
- 18 nights hand-picked high quality hotel accommodation
- Private airport departure and arrival transfers
- All domestic flights and transfers as detailed on the itinerary
- Fully insured rental cars as detailed on the itinerary
- Guided bike tour in Sydney
- Blue Mountains small group 4WD tour
- Sunrise Kata Tjuta tour
- Sunset Uluru tour
- Daintree Rainforest small group 4X4 tour
- Great Barrier Reef cruise
- Auckland city private guided tour
- TranzAlpine train
- Lake Matheson Sunrise & Guided Glacier Walk
- Milford Sound cruise
- 24/7 support from our expert staff throughout the trip
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Sydney: Arrival into Sydney, Australia
Your adventure begins with arrival into Sydney International Airport. You’ll be met by private transfer for the drive to your hotel in the stay where you’ll stay for the next three nights. After taking time to settle in and get refreshed, an hour-long tour will provide a behind-the-scenes look of the Sydney Opera House. Learn about its rich history and unique architecture as you explore its many theatres and venues. If you want to stretch your legs after the long flight, the Opera House to Botanic Gardens Walk is one of the most popular things to do. You’ll find many waterfront restaurants nearby too.
Day 2 Sydney: Guided City Bike Tour
After resting up, you’ll join a guided bike tour for a fun way to see the highlights while getting to know your way around the city. You’ll get an insider’s perspective from your guide while checking out hidden gems and popular sights. Some of the iconic landmarks you’ll see may include Mrs. Macquaries Point which offers a beautiful view of the harbour, the Secret Garden, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks neighbourhood with its historic lanes and picturesque Lavender Bay. Afterward, fuel up with a delicious meal along the harbour with many eateries offering award-winning dishes and spectacular views.
Day 3 Sydney: Blue Mountains Small Group 4WD Tour
This morning you’ll join a small group tour with pickup from your hotel to head into the Blue Mountains in a four-wheel drive. It’s filled with cascading waterfalls, beautiful gardens, dramatic cliffs and home to the iconic Three Sisters sandstone rock formation. Aboriginal legend tells that it represents the three sisters who were turned to stone. Your expert guide knows how to avoid tourist bottlenecks and will bring you to the best spots without having to battle the crowds. You’ll discover flora and fauna while learning about the region’s history and enjoy lunch at a picturesque lookout point too.
Day 4 Uluru: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Today you’ll say farewell to Sydney taking private transfer back to the airport where you’ll catch your flight to Uluru Rock in the Outback. Upon arrival, a private driver will meet you for transfer to your accommodation in the Red Centre. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring remote Uluru-Kata Tjuṯa National Park at your leisure. It’s best-known for the world-famous Uluru Rock, one of Australia’s most photographed natural wonders. The Rock forms the centrepiece of the park and bears numerous inscriptions made by the ancestral indigenous peoples. The Kata Tjuta, fiery red domed-shaped rocks, are another one of its impressive features.
Day 5 Uluru: Kata Tjuta Sunrise Tour
An early morning pickup will bring you on an unforgettable sunrise tour. You’ll watch the sun creep up over the red landscape, witnessing the daylight transform its colours. Your knowledgeable guide will explain the significance of this region to the indigenous people who left their mark in the intricate rock art as well as its geological history. Afterwards, you’ll be returned to your accommodation to enjoy time on your own. This evening, you’ll join a sunset tour that will take you to Uluru to marvel at the ancient Aboriginal artwork and enjoy one of the country’s most stunning sunsets.
Day 6 Palm Cove: Flight to Cairns from Uluru
Enjoy a relaxed morning, sleeping in and lingering over breakfast before getting ready for your next destination. This afternoon you’ll take private transfer back to the airport to catch your flight to Cairns in north Queensland. You’ll be met by your private driver for the approximately 30-minute drive to the coastal suburb of Palm Cove. This relaxing tropical village is popular for weddings with its magnificent beauty that includes a palm-lined beach with soft sand and year-round warm water. You’ll have four nights here to enjoy it along with the beautiful esplanade, restaurants, indulgent spas boutiques, art galleries and more.
Day 7 Palm Cove: Daintree Rainforest Small Group 4X4 Tour
Get ready for a small group 4X4 tour through the world’s oldest continuously surviving tropical rainforest this morning. The ancient Daintree Rainforest is 180 million years old and home to abundant flora and fauna. You’ll learn about aboriginal bush medicines and foods and search for saltwater crocodiles that enjoy sunny on the muddy banks of the Daintree River. Keep an eye out for the brilliant blue Ulysses butterflies and pythons too. You’ll also travel to Cape Tribulation lookout, a breath-taking point where the rainforest meets up with the Great Barrier Reef. It provides fantastic views to the mountains, sea and Cape Trib Beach.
Day 8 Palm Cove: Great Barrier Reef Catamaran Cruise
One of the highlights of your trip will be enjoyed today – a catamaran cruise to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, home to an astounding array of sea life, including over 1,600 different tropical fish species, dolphins, sea turtles, giant clams and rays. Your cruise brings the opportunity to snorkel among this magnificent underwater world as well as join an optional glass bottom boat tour. You’ll have plenty of time to relax onboard too, soaking up the sun while surrounding by spectacular scenery that includes numerous island gems with pristine white sand beaches. The trip includes lunch and light refreshments as well.
Day 9 Palm Cove: Day of Leisure
Enjoy your last full day in Australia at your leisure, taking advantage of the many activities Palm Cove offers, including a wealth of water sports, or just relaxing on the beach. The northernmost beach in a trio of Cairns beaches that also include Kewarra, Trinity and Clifton, it’s been named among Queensland’s cleanest beaches providing the the perfect place to enjoy soft sands between your toes and the warm, inviting blue waters. There are rock formations to check out at the northern end, while giant ancient Melaleuca trees, native to Australia and over 500 years old, provide shade throughout nearly its entire length.
Day 10 Auckland: Flight to New Zealand
Rise early this morning as the Australian portion of your trip comes to an end. Your private driver will bring you to the airport in Cairns to catch your flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by private transfer for the short journey to your hotel in the city. After getting settled in, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore. You might want to walk along the waterfront, visit the New Zealand Maritime Museum or join a boat tour that will take you around the harbour. The harbour area hosts many outstanding restaurants and bars for dining afterward.
Day 11 Rotorua: Auckland Guided Tour + Drive to Rotorua
Meet your private guide for a sightseeing tour of Auckland this morning. Some of the highlights many include the iconic Sky Tower, Queen Street, the stylish suburb of Ponsonby and perhaps a drive over the Auckland Harbour Bridge for views of the city skyline and Hauraki Gulf. You may stop at Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park to enjoy a panoramic vista over the Eastern Bays, Waitemata Harbour and the city too. In the afternoon, pick up your reserved car and travel south to Rotorua, known for its remarkable geothermal wonders. Along the way you can stop to tour the Hobbiton film set in Matamata.
Day 12 Rotorua: Day of Leisure/Bubbling Pools and Mud Pots
Enjoy a full day in Rotorua to take advantage of its many attractions. Kuirau Park is New Zealand’s only free geothermal park and showcases many impressive geothermal features. Or tour the nearby Wai-O-Tapu complex, one of the most popular attractions in the region. It’s home to the country’s largest mud pool, the Lady Knox geyser and stunning pools like the Champagne Pool outlined in brilliant orange with the middle feature steamy jade waters. The spring is the largest in the area at about 200 feet in diameter. The Bridge, with hot waters fed from the Wai-O-Tapu spring, is a popular place to soak.
Day 13 Wellington: Flight from Rotorua
Drop off your rental car at Rotorua Airport where you’ll catch a flight to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Upon arrival, private transfer will bring you to your accommodation. After settling in, enjoy wandering around the city. One of the best places to explore is Cuba Street, the center of the Cuba Quarter, a bohemian area featuring the food and culture of Cuba. It’s lined with boutiques, unique fashion retailers, eclectic cafes and art galleries. Street performances are popular too, from guitarists and other musicians to fire entertainers and marionette shows. You might also want learn about settler and Maori history at Te Papa Museum.
Day 14 Blenheim: Ferry to the South Island
Head to the ferry terminal this morning, just outside of the city center, to catch the InterIslander ferry to the South Island. It sails to Picton, where you’ll pickup another rental car for the short drive to Blenheim in the Marlborough region, famous for its wineries, with the Wairau Valley wineries just to the west of the city. While you could enjoy the beauty of the vineyard-covered landscape on a scenic drive, we highlight recommend renting a bike and riding to Cloudy Bay Vineyard for a tasting, about a 35- to 40-minute pedal away. Guided tours are available too.
Day 15 Christchurch: Drive from Blenheim
This morning you’ll travel south to Christchurch, about a 4-hour and 15-minute drive. The city was rocked my multiple earthquakes, including a 2011 quake that caused widespread damage and many fatalities. After checking into your accommodation, take a walk to see how well the city has managed to recover, with lots of vibrant street art adoring building walls. You might hop on a heritage tram witness sights like popular New Regent Street, Cathedral Junction, the Avon River, and Canterbury Museum while learning more about the city and its history from the driver. Regent Street makes a great stop with its excellent bars and eateries.
Day 16 Fox Glacier: TranzAlpine Train
Dropping off your rental car once again, today you’ll travel by one of the world’s most scenic trains. The TranzAlpine train will bring you across the majestic Southern Alps and through Arthur’s Pass National Park – here you’ll want to keep an eye out for the world’s only alpine parrot. Its plumage is olive green with brilliant orange under its wings and a green/yellow crown. It continues rolling to the west coast where you’ll arrive at Greymouth. Pick up another car here for a scenic drive to the town of Fox Glacier. The terminal face of the glacier is just a few miles away.
Day 17 Fox Glacier: Lake Matheson Sunrise & Guided Glacier Walk
This morning you won’t want to miss watching the sun rise over nearby Lake Matheson. It’s considered one of the top spots for a clear view of Mount Cook which soars 12,218 feet. At sunrise, the mountain is reflected in the lake’s still waters, creating a stunning scene ideal for photographs. Afterwards, join a guided walk to Fox Glacier’s terminal face – the short and easy trek will bring you up close to the glistening ice tinged with blue. You might also want to book a helicopter flightseeing experience for a bird’s-eye view of 12,218-foot-high Mount Cook and the glaciers below.
Day 18 Queenstown: Scenic Drive Over Haast Pass
Embark on one of the most epic road trips today, traveling from Fox Glacier to Queenstown. You’ll drive over Haast Pass in Mount Aspiring National Park which connects the coastal town of Haast with Wanaka and Queenstown. A memory card with plenty of room for photos is a must for all the incredible sights. You’ll enjoy views of Lake Wanaka, beech forests, dramatic mountain peaks, waterfalls, glaciers and rushing rivers. Driving straight through takes around four hours but add extra time for all the stops you’re bound to make. After reaching Queenstown, relax and enjoy the magnificent lake and mountain scenery.
Day 19 Departure
After nearly three weeks traveling through Australia and New Zealand, your unforgettable holiday comes to an end. You’ll have time to enjoy breakfast, and perhaps a little extra for picking up last-minute souvenirs. After checking out of your hotel, return your rental car and catch your flight out of Queenstown’s airport to begin your journey 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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