Australian Highlights & Best of New Zealand

From €11995 per person
  • Depart From:
    DUBLIN
  • Destination:
    Melbourne to Sydney & Auckland to Christchurch
  • Depart Date:
    01 Feb 2019
  • Return Date:
    06 Mar 2019
  • Duration:
    34 Days in total

Australian Highlights

13 Day Guided Holiday | Melbourne to Sydney

The Tour

Revealing sprawling red desert landscapes, turquoise tropical waters and buzzy cosmopolitan cities, this diverse journey is one that ticks all the boxes. Wander through Melbourne’s lively cobblestoned laneways, share a gourmet barbecue with a local family in Alice Springs, and feel the heartbeat of the ancient Red Centre. Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and cruising on Sydney’s spectacular harbor are more of the iconic experiences you’ll enjoy.

Highlights

  • Indulge in a unique dining experience on board Melbourne’s Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
  • Discover Melbourne’s hidden laneways & arcades
  • Savour a unique Aussie BBQ experience at Earth Sanctuary
  • Toast an Uluru sunset with sparkling wine
  • Experience a spectacular Red Centre sunrise
  • Discover Aboriginal rock art & learn about sacred sites at Uluru
  • Explore Kata Tjuta & hike through Walpa Gorge
  • Interact with local Aboriginal artists & create your own dot painting masterpiece
  • Cruise and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean at famous Bondi Beach
  • Experience the Sydney Opera House on a guided tour

Best of New Zealand

18 Day Guided Holiday | Auckland to Christchurch

The Tour

From the pristine white beaches of the North Island to the snow-capped peaks of the South, you’ll explore every nook of New Zealand on this magnificent journey. A heart-pounding haka welcomes you to Rotorua for a taste of Māori culture, while a world-renowned train journey tops off your time in The Land of the Long White Cloud with scenic splendour.

Highlights

  • Cruise through ‘Hole in the Rock’ in the Bay of Islands
  • Discover Waitomo & its Glowworm Grotto
  • Immerse yourself in Māori culture at the Tamaki Māori Village 
  • Journey through Mt. Ruapehu Tongariro National Park
  • Explore Te Papa Museum of New Zealand 
  • Savour a BBQ at Morelea 
  • Travel past magical glaciers, mountains & rainforest en route to Milford Sound
  • Taste Central Otago stone fruit at a orchard
  • Discover Franz Josef Glacier
  • Visit a jade factory & see artists at work
  • Walk around Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
  • Travel aboard the TranzAlpine Train
  • Included Choice experiences 
  • New Zealand wines with all hotel dinners
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide

Australian Highlights

13 Day Guided Holiday | Melbourne to Sydney

Day 1 Welcome to Melbourne

Get to know your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening at a Welcome Reception and dinner on board Melbourne’s famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Elegant décor and silver-service dining as you glide through city streets in a vintage W-class tram makes for a memorable introduction to Melbourne, frequently judged one of the world’s most liveable cities.

  • Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 3 nights
  • Included Meals: Dinner with wine

Day 2 Melbourne

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. You might like to take an optional trip to Phillip Island to see the famous penguin parade, or simply relax, explore the galleries, or experience some of the city’s celebrated eateries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Melbourne Free Time

Today is free for you to further explore the delights of Melbourne. Alternatively you could take an optional journey along the renowned Great Ocean Road to discover a stunning coastline and the towering limestone arches of the Twelve Apostles. In the evening, you might like to take in a production at one of Melbourne’s renowned theatres.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Melbourne – Alice Springs

Fly to Alice Springs this morning and visit the unique School of the Air to learn how this school-with a-difference delivers education to children living in remote outback areas. Pause at the headquarters of the iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service, renowned for providing a ‘mantle of safety’ in the Outback for almost a century. This evening, join the Falzon family for a homecooked gourmet Be My Guest BBQ dinner, and later listen as they speak of their passion for ecology, astronomy and culture.

  • Hotel: Mercure Alice Springs Resort
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Dinner

Day 5 Alice Springs – Uluru

Travel through the red quartzite peaks and gorges of the rugged West MacDonnell Ranges today, then spend the afternoon relaxing or enjoying your resort’s facilities. Sparkling wine is served this evening as you watch the sun set behind the massive sandstone monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock).

  • Hotel: Desert Gardens Hotel, 2 nights
  • Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Uluru & Kata Tjuta

This morning, witness the magical Uluru sunrise, then tour the caves at the base of Uluru and marvel at the ancient rock art to be found there. Later, travel over red desert plains to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and take a walk at Walpa Gorge through some of the tallest domes of this majestic rock formation. Enjoy sparkling wine with your traveling companions as the sun sets over Kata Tjuta.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 Uluru – Cairns

Join an Indigenous artist today for a fun introduction to Western Desert Art. Your Anangu artist will provide you with cultural insights, explaining the meanings of local totems and assisting you to complete your own painting to take home as a memento of your experience. In the afternoon, board your flight to Cairns. A tropical city in Far North Queensland, Cairns is considered the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

  • Hotel: Hilton Hotel Cairns, 3 nights
  • Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 Cairns Free Time

Today is free for you to pursue your own interests in this vibrant tropical city. You may choose to gain some insights into Indigenous culture at the award-winning Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, or travel to Kuranda, ‘The Village in the Rainforest’ on the historic scenic railway. Alternatively, just relax and enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 Great Barrier Reef

Board a sleek, high-speed catamaran today and cruise out to the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkelling (equipment provided), or view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board before you return to Cairns. After some time to relax, join your traveling companions for a delicious evening meal overlooking the Cairns waterfront.

Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine

Day 10 Cairns – Sydney

This morning, fly on to Sydney, where your day is at leisure. Our Travel Director will give you hints and tips on the best places to eat, and after dinner why not take a stroll around this famous harbour city.

  • Hotel: Sofitel Wentworth Hotel Sydney, 3 nights
  • Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 Sydney

Enjoy a tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House with a local guide this morning before putting your feet in the sand at legendary Bondi Beach. Enjoy lunch on one of Sydney Harbour’s most prestigious cruise vessels, then spend the rest of your day exploring the city at your leisure. This evening, you may choose the option of attending an opera or theatre production under the world-famous sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Included Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 12 Sydney Free Time

Today is yours for further exploration of Sydney. The energetic might tackle the iconic Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb, or perhaps you’d prefer to take an excursion to the majestic Blue Mountains just outside the city. Spend your last evening in Sydney with your Travel Director and companions in a local restaurant by the water.

Included Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner

Day 13 Farewell Sydney

Say farewell to your fellow travelers when your vacation comes to an end this morning after breakfast

Included Meals: Breakfast

Best of New Zealand

18 Day Guided Holiday | Auckland to Christchurch

Welcome to Auckland

On arrival in Auckland you’ll have time at leisure for relaxing or exploring. This evening, meet your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception at your hotel.

Hotel: The Cordis

Day 2 Auckland – Bay of Islands

Travel through Northland’s lush farmland, arriving this afternoon in the stunning Bay of Islands. Experience spectacular scenery as you cruise through game-fishing waters to the rugged Cape Brett Peninsula.

  • Hotel: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Water View Rooms, 2 nights
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 3 Bay of Islands – Included Choice

Today, choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Go sailing aboard a historic tall ship or take a mini tour of historic Russell. Explore the Waitangi Treaty Grounds or enjoy a relaxing tour of Kerikeri and sample organic wines, and taste delicious chocolates!

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Bay of Islands – Auckland

Enjoy time at leisure before returning to Auckland. Your journey takes you to Whangarei and then Parry Kauri Park to walk among New Zealand’s native forest giants. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner at Eight restaurant at The Cordis.

  • Hotel: The Cordis
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 5 Auckland – Rotorua

See the sights of Auckland and then head south to the Waitomo Caves, where you’ll glide through the twinkling Glowworm Grotto.

  • Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, 2 nights
  • Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Rotorua Included Choice

This morning embark on one of your Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Unwind at the Polynesian Spa, tour the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, visit the Hobbiton movie set or explore Rotorua and its sparkling lakes in an amphibious WWII-era Duck. Tonight enjoy a Highlight Dinner and concert at the Tamaki Māori Village, where you can wander through the traditional settlement and enjoy an authentic Māori Hangi meal.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 7 Rotorua – Wellington

Say Haere Ra (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a hidden little spot, Huka Falls. From here the road unfolds into a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Journey south over the Central Plateau and along the Kapiti Coast to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Enjoy an exclusive after-hours guided tour of Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. Before leaving there, top off the night with a Highlight Dinner.

  • Hotel: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 8 Wellington – Blenheim

Discover more of Wellington this morning. Later, cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound then travel to the villages of Picton and sunny Blenheim. Tonight, enjoy a Highlight Dinner prepared from local produce and matched with fine Marlborough wines.

  • Hotel: Chateau Marlborough
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 9 Blenheim – Christchurch

Travel to Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore (an optional whale-watching flight is available). On arrival in Christchurch see the extensive work carried out to rebuild the city after the earthquake of 2011.

  • Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
  • Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 Christchurch – Twizel

Visit Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor, on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Enjoy a Be My Guest barbecue lunch in their garden and gain an insight into a lifetime of farming. This afternoon view the famed Church of the Good Shepherd on Lake Tekapo.

  • Hotel: MacKenzie Country Hotel
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Lunch, Dinner with wine

Day 11 Twizel – Dunedin Included Choice

Head to Oamaru, with its celebrated white limestone buildings. Then make your way to New Zealand’s southernmost city, Dunedin.  Choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Tour stately Larnach Castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway, take a wildlife cruise or an interactive tour of Speight’s Brewery.

  • Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 12 Dunedin – Te Anau

Today, travel through lush green sheepgrazing country on your way to Te Anau.

  • Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 13 Te Anau – Queenstown

Experience the magnificence of Fiordland National Park. Explore Milford Sound on a Nature Cruise. Learn about the history of the region and benefit from the knowledge of your specialist nature guide.

  • Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights
  • Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 Queenstown Included Choice

Today, choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Ride the Shotover Jet, take a gondola to Bob’s Peak for thrilling luge rides, visit Kiwi Birdlife Park or take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon. Enjoy a cruise this evening across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 15 Queenstown – Franz Josef

Stop to visit the faithfully-restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, and enjoy the tastes of stone fruit at Cromwell. You will then travel over Haast Pass and view Thunder Creek Falls on your way to Franz Josef Glacier.

  • Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine​​​​​​

Day 16 Franz Josef – Punakaiki

Explore the glacier this morning, then spend some time amongst temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Travel to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone, then on to Punakaiki. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.

  • Hotel: Punakaiki Resort
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 17 Punakaiki – Christchurch

Board the iconic TranzAlpine train this afternoon and embark on one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. Back in Christchurch, join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.

  • Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Day 18 Farewell from Christchurch

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking. 

 

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