Duration: 15 days
Day 1 – Arrive Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). Early evening join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and dinner on board the famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, for what is not only a culinary delight, but a trip into a little piece of Victoria’s history. As you cruise the city streets of Melbourne, you’ll enjoy a seasonal menu and quality Australian wines. It’s a great opportunity to get to know everyone in a unique setting.
Day 2 – Melbourne Sightseeing
Join your Travel Director for a Cultural Insight. Your city sights tour includes a private walk through Melbourne’s famous hidden laneways. You’ll discover the city’s eclectic little lanes, arcades, café society and fascinating street art. Spend the rest of the day as you choose.
Day 3 – Melbourne – Cairns
This morning you will fly to Cairns. On arrival join your Local Specialist for a private wildlife journey at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. On a boat cruise you’ll encounter koalas, wallabies, birds and of course, crocodiles! This evening dine at Salt House, overlooking the Cairns waterfront.
Day 4 – Cairns Free Time
Today is free for you to discover Cairns. Perhaps take one of our Optional Experiences. You could journey on the Scenic Railway to Kuranda, where there’s time to explore the ‘village in the rainforest’ including the Heritage Village Markets. Then return to the lowlands high above the breathtaking canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park through some of the oldest rainforest in the world on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Day 5 – Great Barrier Reef
Get ready for an experience of a lifetime when you board a high-speed catamaran and cruise to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Covering approximately 35 million hectares, it is the largest reef structure and marine park in the world and offers an experience like no other. View the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkeling and experience this natural wonder up-close (equipment provided). Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before returning to Cairns.
Day 6 – Cairns – Sydney
This morning you’ll fly to Sydney. On arrival there’s time to relax or explore before boarding a Captain Cook Sunset Dinner Cruise. Enjoy a two course à la carte Regional Meal and the mesmerising views of Sydney at night. You’ll pass magnificent waterfront homes, beaches and parklands and all the main harbour attractions including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Day 7 – Sydney Sightseeing
Kick off this highlight day on a guided tour of Sydney Opera House with a Local Specialist. Later, your destination is famous Bondi Beach, for an iconic Australian experience. You’ll be greeted by a local surf lifesaver before a Regional Meal at an Aussie institution, the Returned Servicemen’s Club, with its views over the Pacific Ocean. Your host, a Local Specialist, will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club for an insight into the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving. Later spend free time exploring or shopping, enjoy an Optional Experience or maybe just take a stroll along the harbour front.
Day 8 – Sydney Free Time
The day is yours to explore this wonderful city. Why not take an Optional Experience to the spectacular Blue Mountains to see the Three Sisters. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a unique Be My Guest experience at Gardener’s Lodge Café. Meet Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Beryl, for an intimate dining experience featuring fresh local produce with traditional bush flavours. Experience a traditional Aboriginal Welcome to Country ceremony, native bush foods and insight into traditional culture including storytelling, music and dance. It will be an evening to remember.
Day 9 – Sydney – Queenstown
This morning say farewell to Sydney and fly to Queenstown, New Zealand. On arrival explore the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, before an orientation tour of Queenstown and surrounds. This evening join your Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed, set in the historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, is the perfect venue for your exclusive Regional Meal with wine.
Day 10 – Queenstown Free Time
You have a free day to do as you choose in New Zealand’s adventure capital. Why not take an Optional Experience to breathtaking Milford Sound for a cruise on the majestic fiord.
Day 11 – Queenstown Free Time
Today you may like to consider taking one of our Optional Experiences. You could ride the Shotover Jet, the most thrilling jet boat ride in the world! Perhaps join a wine tour at Gibbston Valley Winery or play 9 holes of golf on one of Queenstown’s spectacular courses. Choose from the immaculately groomed greens of a resort course or a simple fairway with rugged mountain peaks as your backdrop. You could take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon alongside the Shotover River to Skippers Point in Mount Aurum Conservation Area. Or why not enjoy a relaxing spa. You’ll be pampered at one of Queenstown’s luxurious day spas. Sink into a therapeutic hot pool or treat yourself to a selection of therapies at a local salon. This evening, consider taking the gondola ride to Bob’s Peak for dinner at the Stratosphere Restaurant.
Day 12 – Queenstown – Rotorua
Fly from Queenstown to Rotorua, the cultural centre of New Zealand. This evening join your travelling companions for a memorable Be My Guest dinner. Experience the heart-pounding wero (challenge) from a Maori warrior during a Powhiri, a ceremonial welcome, at the Tamaki Family Marae. Journey into the village and gain insight into life in New Zealand before European settlement. Feast on succulent meats and vegetables cooked in a hangi, the traditional Maori method of cooking in the earth.
Day 13 – Rotorua Sightseeing
This morning a Maori Local Specialist will accompany you around the Whakarewarewa Living Thermal Village, where you’ll gain an appreciation of Maori culture. See New Zealand’s biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a tour with a Local Specialist. You may even spot a kiwi! Then visit the Agrodome Farm Show, the multi-award-winning stage show, for a Cultural Insight and taste of farm life.
Day 14 – Rotorua – Auckland
Travel to the Waitomo Caves to see the incredible Glow Worm Grotto and Limestone Caves with a Local Specialist. You’ll take a silent boat ride through the subterranean cavern lit by thousands of tiny glow worms. Later, on arrival in Auckland you’ll see the sights on a city tour. This evening join your Travel Director and new-found friends for a Farewell Dinner at ‘Eight’ at The Langham. Your personal degustation is prepared for you from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and delicious desserts.
Day 15 – Depart Auckland
Time to bid you farewell as we transfer you to Auckland Airport for your onward flight