New Zealand, Australia, Reef & Rainforest [L24]
23 Days / 21 Nights - Australia & New Zealand
Australia: Rainforest Retreat, Great Barrier Reef Resort, Sydney, Ayres Rock (Uluru), Melbourne
New Zealand: Christchurch, Queenstown, Auckland
The Rainforest Retreat is located in World Heritage Lamington National Park - 2 hours by road south of Brisbane and 1 1/2 hours by road west of the Gold Coast. Lamington National Park is home to a vast array of unique flora and fauna. Pademelons, gliders and possums, frogs and the amazing array of birdlife makes the retreat a nature lover’s paradise.
Stay on this Island which is a true coral cay right on the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef. Here you can swim straight off the beach to an endless garden of coral where the waters are literally teeming with beautifully coloured fish and marine life. It's what you don't see around the island that makes the resort so special.
Sydney is Australia's oldest city, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country's capital in everything but name. It's blessed with sun-drenched natural attractions, dizzy skyscrapers, delicious and daring restaurants, superb shopping and friendly folk. Bursting with character, Sydney is a vibrant city catering to all your desires whether you seek exhilaration and exploration or 100% relaxation.
About 450 kilometres by road from Alice Springs, Uluru-Katatjuta National Park is home to the most recognised Australian landmark - Uluru (previously called Ayers Rock). World-Heritage listed, Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park covers an area of approximately 1325 square kilometres of striking landscape. In addition to the Rock the park also includes Kata Tjuta (previously called the Olgas).
Melbourne is set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. The city itself, laid out in a large rectangle and boasting a lively and cosmopolitan pulse, sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometres from the bay. From cutting-edge architecture and blockbuster musicals to art exhibitions and popular festivals, Melbourne is a city where cultural pursuits are woven into the fabric of everyday life.
Located on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch - just like the rest of New Zealand - is a city of contrasts. It is a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty. A growing cosmopolitan ambience also adds a touch of excitement without overt flashiness.
Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of the World. A reputation earned through the actions of a number of locally residing thrill seekers who have developed several unbelievable, adrenalin stirring, sanity-reducing adventures in a wildly exciting environment. Queenstown has, over the years, quietly expanded into all sorts of attractions, including new wineries, art galleries, arts trails and challenging golf courses.
Auckland's blend of landscape, Polynesian culture, glistening harbours and modern city environment creates an unbelievable lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world. Not only is Auckland close to the beaches but it is also close to over twelve different Islands. The Auckland lifestyle is ranked among the best in the world. It is one of the best cities to visit and one of the best to live in.
Travel Package Features
- Accommodation- Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park (2 Nights), Great Barrier Reef Island Resort (2 Nights) (Includes Breakfast), Sydney (4 Nights), Ayres Rock (Uluru) (2 Nights), Melbourne (4 Nights), Christchurch (2 Nights), Queenstown (2 Nights), Auckland (3 Nights)
- International & USA Domestic Air (Not Included in pricing. Please enquire for flight pricing to be included.)
- Australian Domestic Flights - Brisbane to Gladstone, Gladstone to Sydney, Sydney to Ayers Rock, Ayers Rock to Melbourne
- New Zealand Domestic Flights - Queenstown to Auckland
- Transfers: All transfers are included (as detailed in the Itinerary).
- Ferry Transfers: Gladstone to Heron Island Return by ferry (Heli upgrade available).
- A Meal Plan is included at the Great Barrier Reef only.
- Lunch is included on some day tours.
- All other meals are not included.
- Day Tours in Sydney: Sydney Opera House, Blue Mountains And Australian Wildlife; Melbourne: Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and Fairy Penguins, National Sports Museum; Ayers Rock: Tour Pass; Christchurch: Alpine Safari, Coach Tour to Queenstown; QUeenstown: Gondola Ride, Doubtful Sound; Auckland: Bay of Islands, Rotorua
- Other Day Tours are Optional (not included)
- Visa Issuance for entry into Australia
- F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organised Group Tour)
- Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Travel Package Detailed Itinerary
- (Day 1) - US Domestic Flight, Hometown to Los Angeles (own arrangements)
Your Home City flight to Los Angeles will be selected to suit the International Departure Flight to Australia.
Please allow 3 hours between arrival of your US domestic flight and departure of your International flight.
- (Day 1 cont) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Brisbane (own arrangements)
Travel to Australia on your vacation. After departing from Los Angeles you will be provided with an evening meal. You can relax, have a drink, watch a movie, review your itinerary or just rest. You will be given breakfast before landing in Brisbane, Australia. You lose one day crossing the International Date Line, but don't worry you'll catch it up again on your return flight to the USA.
The Qantas Boeing 747-400 is equipped with the latest entertainment features of any Airline. The overnight flight to Australia can be a good opportunity for sleeping or to watch the latest movies after your evening meal.
Please confirm with the airlines at Check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record.
- (Day 2) - Car Transfer, Brisbane Airport to Rainforest Retreat
Travel by private luxury sedan from the Airport in Brisbane, Australia to your vacation accommodation in the Rainforest.
- (Days 2 to 4) - 2 Nights Accommodation at Rainforest Retreat
Travel to your accommodation at the Rainforest Retreat, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
Your vacation Rainforest Retreat is located in one of Australia's most enchanted rainforests. You will enjoy the spectacular mountain view on your drive to this eighty year old hideaway. The Rainforest Retreat offers a range of guestrooms to cater to all tastes, from the grandeur of the luxurious Canopy Suites through the most popular Mountain View Rooms to the simple yet comfortable Garden View (subject to availability). Most rooms also take advantage of the magnificent mountain views. Enjoy the birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. Or relax from your travel and ponder the beauty of life as you sit on a rock amongst the ferns and greenery and admire waterfalls, creeks and other pleasures of nature.
- Optional Add-On (Pricing Available On Request) - Rainforest Activity Pass
This Rainforest Discovery Pass can be used to participate in many activities while in the Rainforest.
Your pass is good for 6 activities and can be shared between individuals in your group, throughout your stay. The available activities include Morning, Afternoon and Evening Activities such as Guided Rainforest walks, 4WD Bus Excursions, Flying Fox, Adventure Activities, Spotlighting Walk, and Glow Worm Tour. There is an adult pass as well as a children's pass (ages 4-15).
Activity Pass also available for 8 activities.
- (Day 4) - Car Transfer, Rainforest Retreat to Brisbane Airport
Travel by private luxury sedan from your vacation accommodation at the Rainforest Retreat to the Airport in Brisbane, Australia.
- (Day 4 cont.) - Australian Domestic Flight, Brisbane to Gladstone
Travel within Australia by domestic air from Brisbane to Gladstone.
- (Days 4 to 6) - 2 Nights Accommodation at Great Barrier Reef Resort
Travel to your accommodation on a Great Barrier Reef Island, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
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This luxury vacation resort is set amongst a dazzling parade of aquamarine waters, shimmering white sand beaches and colour-splashed reef teeming with life. It's what you don't see around the island that makes the resort so special. You won't see any buildings above the tree line. And you won't bump into any day trippers either. The reef vacation experience is exclusively for guests, a unique experience few other resorts in the world can offer. There's a relaxed island lifestyle that sets the island apart, a sophisticated yet casual resort atmosphere. Here the emphasis is on exploring and discovering the natural attractions that have made Heron famous around the world. The vacation resort rooms are equipped with either balcony or terrace, as well as tea and coffee making facilities, refrigerators, hairdryers, and many more. In order to help guests leave the outside world behind, televisions and telephones, while available on the island, are not found in guest rooms.
Breakfast, 2 course or buffet lunch and 3 course or buffet dinner. Upgrades available (pricing upon request).
- (Day 6) - Australian Domestic Flight, Gladstone to Sydney
Travel within Australia by domestic air from Gladstone (via Brisbane) to Sydney.
- (Day 6 cont) - Shuttle transfer, Sydney Airport to Accommodation
Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Sydney, Australia.
- (Days 6 to 10) - 4 Nights Accommodation in Sydney
Travel to your accommodation in Sydney, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 4 nights.
Embrace Sydney's best location with this four star vacation accommodation ideally nestled in the heart of the city. Overlooking Wynyard Park you will enjoy this icon of time-honored tradition, warm hospitality and friendly personal service. Just a short stroll away from many famous attractions including the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, The Royal Botanical Gardens and more. You will love the luxury of the close accessibility to public transportation including light rail access, train station, the bus system and nearby Circular Quay which will allow you to see much more of Sydney and surrounds. Featuring: 446 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, 2 restaurants, 4 bars, indoor heated pool, sauna, spa, and gymnasium. Amenities: air conditioning, daily maid service, fridge, iron & board, radio channels, shower, coffee & tea, ensuite bathroom, hair dryer, shaving adaptor, sprinklers, smoke detectors, television, telephone, internet access (broadband), data port, wake up calls, mini bar, and 24 hour room service. With all this and more take time out to experience the wonders of Sydney while enjoying all your accommodation has to offer.
Upgrade Available (Upon Request): Stunning 5 Star Property
- Insider's Tip - Sydney Explorer Bus
The Sydney Explorer is a Hop On, Hop Off, sightseeing bus that takes in 27 key landmarks of the inner city (Opera House, Darling Harbour) and eastern beaches (Coogee and Bondi).
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This unique city tour through Sydney departs from Circular Quay every 20 minutes starting at 8:40am, with the last round-trip service departing at 5:20pm. You can get on or off at any of the stops on the route. After traveling through some of Sydney's most exclusive residential areas, the tours take in some of Sydney's most spectacular coastlines and beaches. The bus travels every day along a 30km route and makes numerous stops. The bus trip takes 2 hours to complete the whole journey (with no stops). Buy your tickets onboard ($39 AUD for Adult ticket). Use your ticket stub to get amazing discounts at each stop location. Please Note: Sydney Opera House is one of the stops if you would like to do the Explorer on the same day as your Opera House tour.
For additional information, please visit: http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tours/australia/sydney.htm#tourlandingposition
- (Day 6) - Day Tour, Sydney Opera House Tour (1 Hr)
On your vacation participate in an inspiring tour of the opera house in Sydney, Australia.
This one hour tour outlines the intricate and controversial history of the Sydney Opera House along with details of the unique design of this architectural masterpiece. You will visit a number of the six performance venues, including the magnificent wood paneled Concert Hall and the Opera Theatre as well as the new Utzon room. You will also visit the glass enclosed northern foyer areas which boast spectacular views of Sydney Harbour - a perfect photo opportunity.
Upgrade to Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate Available
- (Days 8 & 9) - Free Days to Explore
With Sydney at your fingertips, take the chance to explore the Darling Harbour area at your leisure, which is a modern collection of Shopping Malls, Parkland, Restaurants and Harbour Front activities.
The Monorail connection to the City Center provides quick transit, or walk to Circular Quay and catch a ferry to our wonderful harbour-side Taronga Park Zoo, or to the lovely tree-lined beach suburb of Manly. If visiting on a weekend then go to the Rocks Market and shop for local Arts, Crafts & unique Australian Souvenirs.
- (Day 7) - Day Tour, Blue Mountains and Australian Wildlife
On your vacation, discover the spectacular Blue Mountains via deluxe coach and see native wildlife Explore World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, located outside of Sydney, Australia.
This rugged and beautiful region forms part of the Great Dividing Range, linking tropical north to temperate south, while dividing coastal cities from the vast Outback. Pass by Homebush Bay, site of the 2000 Olympics. Discover Leura village, a delightful blend of groomed gardens and quaint shops, enjoy free time to wander the streets of Leura. Next we stop at Echo Point and see the famous Three Sisters rock formation. Travel through Katoomba, heart of the resort region within the Blue Mountains National Park and discover the remarkable beauty of Blue Mountains National Park, enjoy an easy walk or Visit Echo Point Lookout, see the Three Sisters and hear the ancient Aboriginal legends of this impressive rock formation, hear traditional Aboriginal Dreamtime tales interpreting the creation of local landmarks. Enjoy a 2 course lunch with tea, coffee or soft drink. Join the optional Blue Mountain rides - Scenic Railway, Cableway or Skyway (own expense). These are great ways to see the steep valleys, canyons and Three Sisters rock formation. Enjoy a short stop at Cahills Lookout for impressive mountain scenery. Next we enjoy an afternoon encounter at Koala Park and have your photo taken with a cuddly koala, see kangaroos, wombats, dingoes and cute little fairy penguins. Full Day Tour.
Depart approximately 8:15 AM, return at approximately 5:45 PM.
- Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - BridgeClimb Adventure
On your vacation climb the famous Harbour Bridge in Sydney.
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Achieve exhilaration and personal satisfaction as you climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For approximately two hours you, along with 11 other eager climbers and a climb guide, weave through catwalks, climb up ladders and then arrive at the most spectacular point of all - the upper arch climb. The steady incline to the upper arch leaves you free to focus your attention on your Sydney experience, with opportunities for 360 degree views of Sydney, including east to the ocean, west to the mountains and the harbour city surrounds. It is at this point that you not only have a bird's eye view of the beautiful Sydney Harbour and the city, but have the exhilaration of the truly rewarding experience of reaching the top to the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. When you reach the top you will have a sense of achievement that you'll remember forever - you've conquered an Australian icon recognised the world over! No other Sydney tourist attraction can give you this feeling of standing at the top of the world, with the Harbour spread before you. All climbers will be issued a complimentary photograph of your climb group.
- Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Hunter Valley Wines
Winery Tour in the Hunter Valley.
Departs Wednesday, Friday & Sunday in the morning (Full Day Tour). Credited with being one of the premier wine regions in the world, let us tempt your taste buds as we showcase 3 of the regions best wineries. We meander through the majestic Hunter Valley and include wine tasting at Wyndham Estate, McGuigans and McWilliams Mt Pleasant winery. Take the time to refresh your palette with local cheeses (own expense) or browse the quaint little gift shops of Wollombi. A delicious steak and vegetables lunch with damper (aussie bread) is included whilst you sit back and enjoy learning the "tricks of the trade". Partake in a tour of the wine making process. (Vegetarian meals available). Return to Sydney late afternoon. Evening Free.
Operates Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday only.
- Insider's Tip - Opal Shopping
View the world famous black opal, the 'Aurora Australis', valued at 1 Million Dollars; with the opportunity to bring home the colors of Australia with a beautiful piece of opal jewelry.
Australia is known as the country of origin for this splendid stone with 95% of the world's precious gem opal found in exclusively in Australia. Australian opal displays all the colors of the rainbow and holds a spectrum of colors found in nature, fire, the ocean and more. It is these contrasts that make opals a truly fascinating and unique gemstone with no two opals appearing exactly the same. In the Middle Ages the Romans considered opal a stone that could provide great luck, as it was believed to possess all the virtues of Emeralds, Sapphires and Ruby’s.
Share this unique experience and be educated about Australian Opal at Altmann & Cherny. Established in 1948 with hopes of sharing this unique gemstone with the world, they have built a reputation of excellence with 3 generations actively involved the families are considered leading opal experts. Please visit them at:
18 Pitt Street
Telephone: 61 2 9251 9477
- (Day 10) - Shuttle Transfer, Sydney Accommodation to Airport
Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Sydney, Australia, to the Airport.
- (Day 10 cont) - Australian Domestic Flight, Sydney to Ayers Rock
Travel within Australia by domestic air from Sydney to Ayers Rock, the Red Centre of the country.
Travel to your accommodation in the heart of Australia, the Red Centre, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
Your 4 1/2 Star vacation accommodation is centrally located to all resorts and Australia touring facilities and offers a range of stylish accommodations, from shaded poolside rooms to the magnificent deluxe rooms overlooking the desert. You can relax from your travel in the comfort of your own private balcony or courtyard, or unwind in the hotel's refreshing pool, sipping cocktails. It's only a short stroll to the resorts numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably Australia's best sunset. Its spectacular display of colours across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert turns your vacation into a memorable event.
Airport shuttle transfers included.
- (Days 10 to 12) - Uluru Tour Pass
On your vacation explore the fascinating surroundings of Australia's Red Centre.
Day 1: Sit back and relax as you travel into the beautiful Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. You'll be amazed by the surrounds and incredible sight of Uluru in the distance.
As you enjoy the view, your experienced Driver Guide will give you an overview of the fascinating history of Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. The Aboriginal people have lived in the area for 22,000 years, so there's plenty of history to cover.
Panoramic Views from Viewing Platform
Just 40 kilometres to the west of the iconic Uluru, we'll take in the sites of Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas. When you stop at a viewing platform that boasts the most spectacular views of Kata Tjuta, be sure to have your camera at the ready.
Walpa Gorge Walk
Walpa (meaning windy) Gorge is a lush desert haven for plants and animals. The gentle but rocky track will lead you into a world of rare plant species and lush evergreen shrubs known as Spearwood. The Walpa Gorge Walk takes around one hour and here you'll have time to explore at your own pace and take many memorable photographs.
Wine and Nibbles
After the Walpa Gorge Walk, you'll head off to the Uluru Sunset Viewing Area. En route, you may see some dromedary camels casually strolling through the park. On arrival at the Sunset Viewing Area, you'll be served from a selection of Australian wines and nibbles while you absorb the enormity and beauty of your surroundings. You can just sit and relax or stroll around the area to find your own personal space to watch an amazing Red Centre sunset.
Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Arguably Australia's most recognisable and fascinating icon, Uluru (Ayers Rock) stands 348 metres high, however, most of its mass is below ground level. You'll be overwhelmed by its monolithic size, presence and inherent spirituality.
As the sun sets over the western horizon, you'll be witness to the majestic presence and many shades of colour for which Uluru is most famous. Be sure to have your Driver Guide take a photo of you with Uluru - although they say that the memory will stay with you forever!
Day 2: Today you'll rise early and travel to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku - the Uluru Sunrise Viewing area.
You'll be served tea or coffee while you begin to absorb the enormity and beauty of your surroundings.
Sunrise over Uluru
You'll have an incredible view through stunning desert landscape as the sun rises over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. From the viewing platform it is possible to see way into the distance, providing an ideal photo opportunity.
Uluru Base Tour
Once you’ve experienced the amazing sunrise over Uluru and enjoyed a relaxing morning tea, you’ll head towards the base of Uluru. Your experienced Driver Guide will join you on a tour around the base of Uluru and give you details on its geology and incredible history. You’ll be fascinated by the Aboriginal stories that go back many thousands of years.
Mutitjulu Waterhole Walk
The Mutitjulu Waterhole is a valuable source of water for the Aboriginal people in the area. Here you'll see wonderful Aboriginal rock paintings and learn about the Aboriginal and European history of Uluru.
Uluru - Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre
The Anangu people are the traditional custodians of Uluru and you'll be introduced to their way of life. See a vast array of ceramics, paintings and woodwork that provide an insight into the unique and spiritual culture of the Anangu people.
Note: The tour may be closed without notice due to weather or cultural reasons.
Includes: Transfers to and from accommodation, National Park Entry Fee
- Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Sounds of Silence
Dine under a million stars at the award winning Sounds of Silence restaurant
Travel out to a secluded dining setting in the middle of the desert. Sip on a glass of champagne with the sound of a lone didgeridoo filling the air as the sun slowly sets over the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) and Ayers Rock (Uluru).
Dine on a gourmet BBQ of Australian delicacies such as kangaroo, barramundi and buffalo, then sit back and take in the mystery of the desert at night as an astronomer takes you on a tour of the clear Southern night skies.
Minimum Age is 10 yrs
- (Day 12) - Australian Domestic Flight, Ayers Rock to Melbourne
Travel within Australia by domestic air from the Red Centre at Ayers Rock to Melbourne.
- (Day 12 cont) - Shuttle Transfer, Melbourne Airport to Accommodation
Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Melbourne, Australia.
- (Days 12 to 16) - 4 Nights Accommodation in Melbourne
Travel to your accommodation in Melbourne, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 4 nights.
Your 4 Star vacation accommodation is located in the heart of Melbourne, Australia. Its suites are equipped with kitchenettes, air conditioning, and ensuite bathrooms. Most are facing on to the hotel's private European style courtyard. The vacation accommodation is close to Chinatown. Or perhaps stroll to the Southern Cross Station and travel by tram throughout the city. For the less adventurous, Melbourne is the perfect launching pad for day tours to such places like Phillip Island and Penguins, or perhaps the Great Ocean Road.
- Insider's Tip - Federation Square
Mingle with visitors and locals alike at the centre of the city know as Melbourne's meeting place, Federation Square! Showcasing a creative mix of attractions it boasts 15 restaurants, cafes and bars and over 2000 events annually making this a must see in Melbourne!
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Winner of the 2006 and 2007 Victorian Tourism Awards, Federation Square embraces some of the world's most stunning architecture with a wide array of attractions. Situated on the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation the Square supports the nation's contemporary expression and values the heritage and traditions of the indigenous people of this area. Be sure to check out the Atrium, a major challenge made of glass, steel and zinc. Flanked by Zinc, this centre provides access to The Square which features the paved sandstone cobbles from Western Australia and spectacular views of the City, Southbank and the Yarra River. Don't forget to make a stop off at the Wharf which offers up the Riverland Bar and Cafe, Hire-A-Bike, Ferry Boat Drop off and Pick Up Service.
If you just happen to be in Melbourne on a Thursday night be sure to take advantage of the late night program! Open until 9pm, the Ian Potter Centre is the world's first major gallery dedicated exclusively to Australian art which showcases a spectacular array of over 20 galleries housed within this landmark architectural complex. Also open until 9pm, don't miss the Australian Centre for the Moving Image which is the first centre of its kind in the world with its dedication to the moving image in all its forms - from early cinema to the latest digital media - it certainly offers a unique experience for visitors from around the globe.
Tours can be booked via the Melbourne Visitors Centre onsite at Federation Square:
Tours Operate Monday - Saturday at 11am and 2pm
Guided Walking Tours: AUD$12- adults, AUD$10 concession
Guided Walking Tour and Lunch: AUD$35 per person
Photo Credit: Tourism Victoria
- Insider's Tip - Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Market is an historic Melbourne landmark and a Melbourne institution dating back to more than 120 years ago.
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Queen Victoria Market hasn’t been just a market. At different times in the past it has been a cemetery, a livestock market and a place to sell fruit and veggies (vegetables) wholesale. It is said to be the southern hemisphere’s largest open-air market offering a variety of fresh farm produce and, on Sundays, a wider range of merchant items which turn the market into a modern Arabian Nights bazaar. This is the place to buy your souvenirs.
Aside from the variety of wares offered at the Queen Victoria Market, buskers and street entertainment are a market feature, particularly on Sundays when Queen St is closed and becomes a place of cafes, carnival rides and other activities. And there's always the sound of spruikers cajoling visitors into buying their goods, and you can haggle for the best prices you're able to get.
The Queen Victoria Market trading hours are 6am to 2pm on Tuesday and Thursday; 6am to 6pm (with the general merchandise section closing at 4pm) on Friday; 6am to 3pm on Saturday; and 9am to 4pm on Sunday. The market is closed on Monday and Wednesday, and on Good Friday, Anzac Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. (Please double check times before you go.)
- (Day 13) - Day Tour, Great Ocean Road Adventure
Spend today on a tour of the most beautiful section of Victoria's south coast, an adventure along the Great Ocean Road.
Enjoy one of the world's greatest coastal drives - it's severity and striking contrasts will remain etched in your memory forever. Enjoy views of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay from the West Gate Bridge, Stroll along the pristine sandy beaches and wander through the sleepy seaside holiday towns. Discover the deep lush fern gullies and eucalypt trees that roll down to the sheer cliffs that plunge dramatically into the ocean. View majestic monoliths dramatically protruding from the sea including the Twelve Apostles which are the world's largest coastal limestone towers - an awesome spectacle. Marvel at Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge - millions of years of erosion have sculpted these incredible landmarks.
Departs Melbourne at 8:00 AM
Returns to Melbourne at approximately 7:30 PM
Upgrade available to include lunch.
- (Day 14) - Day Tour, Phillip Island Penguins & Wildlife
Phillip Island is home to an astounding array of wildlife, including Australia's largest fur seal colony, the little penguins and cuddly koalas. Enjoy getting close to koalas and kangaroos before joining the little penguins at dusk, as they emerge from the surf and waddle to their burrows.
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Leave Melbourne early afternoon and visit Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. See animals in their natural habitat. Hand feed kangaroos and wallabies and learn about the conservation work of this important sanctuary. This Eco-certified sanctuary showcases the famous and endangered faces of Australian wildlife, including southern bettong, eastern quolls and rare fluffy gliders. Get close to these beautiful animals with the opportunity to hand feed them, watch and be captivated like never before!
From here travel to Phillip Island and stop in at the famous Chocolate Factory (tour included). Visit the Nobbies and Seal Rocks, stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the spectacular views along Phillip Island’s rugged south coast. Next stop is Summerland Beach, home to Victoria’s largest colony of little penguins for the nightly Penguin Parade. Watch as hundreds of little penguins make their way across the beach and return to their sand dune burrows.
Upgrade Available to Private Viewing Platform (pricing available upon request)
Operates Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday only.
- (Day 15) - Day Tour, National Sports Museum
Experience the essence of Australia through the pride of sports.
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Located within iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is Australias greatest showcase of sports at the world-class National Sports Museum which honours Australian Football, cricket, soccer, Olympic Games and more! Immerse yourself in this spiritual home of sports contained within a new, modern museum on two levels of the MCGs new Olympic Stand. See over 2500 of the finest sports-related artifacts from Australias rich sporting history along with innovative interactive technology. The eight permanent exhibitions will offer insight into all levels of achievement, values, fair play and the pursuit of excellence of Australian sportsmen and women. It is recommended to spend at the least one to one and half hours touring the Museum. Re-entry is available the day of with your original entry ticket. Cafe is available for coffee and lunch (own expense).
Operation Days: Daily Estimated Times: Open: 10:00am Close: 5:00pm Last Entry: 4:00pm
Includes: Entry into the National Sports Museum with Audio Tour Walking Time - Approximately 10 minutes from Federation Square
nOTE: Times may vary on weekends for Event Days or Public Holidays
- Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Yarra Valley, Puffing Billy & Healesville Wildlife
This morning you are going to enjoy some good old fashioned fun amidst some of the most beautiful rainforest in Victoria. The journey will take you through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs with views of the Dandenongs in the distance.
The Dandenong Ranges, known to the locals as the Dandenongs, are beautiful low mountain ranges just 35kms east of Melbourne. At their peak, they rise to more than 630 metres and are cloaked in lush rainforests of Mountain Ash trees (the tallest flowering plant in the world), waterfalls, rolling hills and steep valleys. The region is home to the famous Puffing Billy Railway, numerous art and craft stores and cafés offering delicious homemade produce.
Nestled in the heart of the Dandenong Mountains is Grant’s Reserve – a haven in the wilderness. On arrival you will be charmed by the surrounding mountain hue and crisp clear air. While here you will enjoy a traditional Devonshire Tea of homemade scones, served warm with jam and cream, and tea, served in china tea cups – just a treat!
Grant’s Reserve is a paradise for bird life and will be you’ll be serenaded by the wonderful bird song that fills the valley. You can also handfeed some of the most striking Australian birds such as the colourful Crimson Rosella, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and pink-chested Galah. It’s a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get a photo.
Next you head the short distance to Belgrave, home of the famous Puffing Billy Steam Train, where you are in for a real treat! This century-old steam train is maintained in its original glory and runs to this day on its own mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook. Here you’ll go back in time as you get on board for a 30 minute ride through the heart of the rainforest. You’ll see the locomotive depot that services and maintains the train, head through the gorgeous Sherbrooke Forest and ride over the old Trestle Bridge. Just before Menzies Creek you can see stunning views of Port Phillip Bay before heading through Paradise Valley and on to the townships of Emerald and Gembrook. What a great ride!
From Gembrook you will then be on your way to the lovely little village of Sassafras. You’ll be travelling through thick rainforest that is home to all sorts of wildlife, so keep an eye out for Lyre Birds and Wallabies. Once in Sassafras you can take your time to explore the delightful antique and craft shops dotted throughout the village. You might even find a little something to take home with you.
Departs: Daily 8:10am
- (Day 16) - Shuttle Transfer, Melbourne Accommodation to Airport
Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation to the Airport in Melbourne, Australia.
- (Day 16 cont) - International Flight, Melbourne (Australia) to Christchurch (New Zealand)
After departing from Melbourne, this short International Flight takes you overseas to Christchurch, New Zealand.
- (Day 16 cont) - Shuttle Transfer, Christchurch Airport to Accommodation
Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Please note: For airport transfers - 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc - $5.00 each.
- (Days 16 to 18) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Christchurch
Travel to your accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
Your 4 Star vacation accommodation in Christchurch, located on New Zealand's South Island, offers a stylish boutique hotel, just metres from Cathedral Square, major business houses, convention facilities and prime attractions. The city, also known as the "Garden City" offers many opportunities to either rest from your travel or explore the city. Consider traveling to Arthur's Pass National Park, which has an incredible diversity of flora and landscape. Experience a breathtaking journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train winding its way through New Zealand's magnificent Waimakariri Gorge.
- Insider's Tip - Cathedral Square
Mingle with visitors and locals alike at the heart of Christchurch, Cathedral Square.
Take a short walk from your hotel to Cathedral Square, the heart of Christchurch. Located at the centre of the "four avenues" that form the boundaries of inner Christchurch and directly in front of the Christ Church Cathedral, the Square is home to public orators and entertainers and surrounded by historic buildings, including the old city post office. There are many restaurants, bars and cinemas all in the vicinity along with regular markets and several food stalls.
Cathedral Square is home to several historic Christchurch landmarks including The Godley Statue which was the first ever public statue in New Zealand. Erected in honor of the founder of Canterbury and cast from the metal of Russian guns used in the Crimean War the visit to this work of art is sure to be a memorable one! Be sure to check out a new addition, The Chalice. This hard to miss sculpture will be the towering inverted cone alongside the Cathedral. Including a World War One memorial, a four lime tree tribute to the four ships of Canterbury and the seven tree gift from the US Navy, The Square is definitely a place to pause and check out what Christchurch is about!
- (Day 17) - Day Tour, Alpine Safari
On your vacation travel by deluxe coach across the Canterbury Plains to the Waimakariri Gorge on New Zealand's South Island.
Explore our Gallery area which is packed full of informative displays showcasing modern day Antarctica, including the Antarctic treaty partners, the human impact on the continent, the wildlife and plant systems and Antarctica's effect on the globe. The gallery area encourages 'touching' of most of the exhibits to ensure visitors experience Antarctica in a fun and interactive way.
Visitors conclude their Antarctic journey with a 14 minute sound and light show. This majestic audio visual show captivates its audience and leaves visitors with a moving experience of "having been there".
See the launch of our stunning new audiovisual "Fly over Antarctica". Filmed by renowned adventure photographer Mike Single, this experience will take you on an unforgettable journey.
We are open every day of the year, including Christmas Day, from 9.00am.
Summer: 1 October - 30th April
9.00am - 7.00pm
Winter: 1 May - 30 September
9.00am - 5.30pm
- (Day 18) - Coach Tour from Christchurch to Queenstown
On your vacation travel by deluxe coach from Christchurch via the spectacular sights of the Southern Alps and Mount Cook to Queenstown, New Zealand.
Visit Mount Cook National Park and experience the beauty of this Alpine area dominated by Australasia's highest peak before continuing on to Queenstown, New Zealand's most famous vacation resort town.
The tour includes
LAKE TEKAPO: A spectacular sight on clear days of the Southern Alps at the far end of the lake.
MOUNT COOK: On arrival your choice to have lunch at a village cafe (own arrangements), or explore the walks in and around the village (1 hour approximate).
QUEENSTOWN: Arrive late afternoon and transfer to your vacation accommodation. The tour departs at 8:00 am terminates in Queenstown at 6:40 pm (approximately). Complimentary Hotel pickups and drop-offs are included.
- (Days 18 to 20) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Queenstown
Spend 2 nights in beautiful Queenstown surrounded by rugged mountains, majestic lakes, crystal clear air, and just so much to do.
From the sweeping entrance with its enormous stone fireplace, to the contemporary artworks on every floor, Your accommodation epitomises style and glamour in a wonderfully understated way. Nestled on a hillside overlooking Lake and Mountains, the alpine lodge-style design truly embraces its alpine setting and is superbly located in central Queenstown only minute’s walk from the resort’s renowned dining and shopping precinct.
Upgrade Available (extra cost):
Lake View Room
- (Day 18) - Gondola Ride
One of the first sights to captivate visitors to Queenstown is the distinctive outline of the Skyline complex high above town.
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Located an easy 5 minute walk from central Queenstown and exclusively accessed by scenic gondola, Skyline Gondola, Restaurant & Luge is a must-see attraction during your visit to Queenstown, New Zealand. The best views in the region are found here spread out in a spectacular 220 degree panorama, with breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkable mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It's truly magnificent and awe-inspiring!
Of course there's more to do than just admire the view! Enjoy a dinner or relax in the bar in the Skyline Restaurant. Casual dining is also available during the day in the Cafe. Thrillseekers can hurtle down the winding downhill Skyline Luge - it`s the fastest fun on wheels! or maybe take in the challenge of AJ Hackett`s Ledge Bungy or Swing, or take off on a tandem parapente flight. Various walking tracks can also be accessed from Skyline, from an easy 30 minute walk to a full day hike.
- (Day 19) - Day Tour - Doubtful Sound
When you discover Doubtful Sound you will be struck by its silence, a silence broken only by birdsong, or maybe the rushing of a distant waterfall.
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The beauty and isolation of Doubtful Sound are so compelling that it's difficult to believe you were in civilisation just a few hours earlier.
On arrival, board our spacious catamaran Patea Explorer for a three-hour cruise through some of the fiord's most stunning scenery. Throughout the cruise, a specialist nature guide provides commentary, answers questions and points out highlights.
Wildlife sightings are common in Doubtful Sound. Fur seals bask on rocky outcrops and the fiord's resident pod of bottlenose dolphins are often seen roving through the deep, dark waters.
*A picnic lunch can be pre-ordered before your tour for an additional cost. There is also a selection of cafe food aboard the vessel for purchase.
- (Day 20) - Shuttle Transfer, Queenstown Accommodation to Airport
Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand, to the Airport.
Please note: For airport transfers - 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc - $5.00 each.
- (Day 20 cont) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Queenstown to Auckland
Travel within New Zealand by domestic air from Queenstown to Auckland (North Island).
- (Day 20 cont) - Shuttle Transfer, Auckland Airport to Accommodation
Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand.
Please note: For airport transfers - 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc - $5.00 each.
- (Days 20 to 23) - 3 Nights Accommodation in Auckland
Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 nights.
Your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, is located on the city's spectacular Waitemata Harbour and features stunning water views, conference facilities, and a rooftop restaurant. Auckland's centre of entertainment, dining, and nightlife, the Viaduct Harbour precinct, is just a short walk away. Experience the rich New Zealand culture as you travel to Rotorua and its geothermal springs. Or maybe travel to New Zealand's Waitakere and Hunua Ranges, to the west and south of the city centre respectively, to take you deep into cool, peaceful rainforests.
- Insider's Tip - Auckland Explorer Bus
The Auckland Explorer Bus is a hop on, hop off sightseeing tour visiting Auckland's big attractions, with full commentary.
This unique city tour through Auckland departs from the Ferry Building (End of Queen St) every 30 minutes starting at 9:00am, with the last round-trip service departing at 4:00pm (Winter Times on the hour only). You can get on or off at any of the stops on the route. Your ride on the Explorer Bus will take you to some of Auckland's major attractions, including Holy Trinity Cathedral, Mt. Eden, and the Sky Tower. You determine the length of your tour. With no stops, your ride will take approximately one hour. We encourage you to get off the bus and visit the attractions that interest you. The Auckland Explorer operates 365 days of the year, but attractions may not be opened on main public holidays. Tickets can be purchased the day of for $35 NZD for adults and $15 NZD for children (4-16 years of age).
For additional information, please visit: http://www.explorerbus.co.nz
- (Day 21) - Day Tour, Bay of Islands
Marvel at spectacular coastal scenery including the Hole in the Rock, Cathedral Cave and the inner islands while aboard a luxury catamaran. Also see the historic Waitangi Treaty House and a 'waka' (Maori war canoe).
Travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and enjoy spectacular rural & coastal scenery enroute to the Bay of Islands via Hibiscus Coast and Whangarei. Bay of Islands is one of the most picturesque and popular vacation sites in New Zealand and was the site of the earliest contact between the indigenous population and European settlers. Take a trip into the past and visit such historical places as the Waitangi Treaty House, see a traditional Maori Meeting House and a huge 'waka' (war canoe), Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Flagstaff Hill and the oldest building in the country (Kemp House) along with the oldest Church. In the early afternoon at Cape Brett, board a luxury catamaran for your cruising adventure through game fishing waters as you cruise past the Cape Brett lighthouse to the famous 'Hole in the Rock'. The excitement grows as you make a passage through the Hole and then continue on to the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave. On your return journey relax and enjoy subtropical paradise views with your favourite drink as you meander through the inner islands back to Cape Brett which are world renowned deep sea fishing grounds where porpoise (dolphins) and schools of fish are frequently seen. With the Bay of Islands' combination of great fishing, diving, sailing and other water sports with some of New Zealand's most significant historic sites you will be sure to have fun!
Includes: Pickups from accommodations, admission to Waitangi Treaty House, a Cape Brett cruise and boxed lunch.
- (Day 22) - Day Tour, Rotorua
On your vacation travel by deluxe luxury coach to the Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves and the spectacular geothermal regions of Rotorua, New Zealand.
DEPART AUCKLAND: Travel the main Southern Highway through small rural townships steeped in early pioneer history. Your host serves morning tea during this sector.
WAIKATO:Travel through New Zealand's largest dairy and sheep farming province. Travel the outskirts of Hamilton City via the small farming settlements towards the King Country, birthplace of the Maori Monarchy.
WAITOMO GLOW WORM CAVES: Join a guided tour through this world-famous cave formation, climaxed by drifting silently in a boat through a glow worm cavern lit up with thousands of tiny glow worm lights.
LIGHT LUNCH:Served on-board as we make our way to Rotorua through magnificent rural farmland with its vast numbers of grazing animals.
ROTORUA: New Zealand's highest city, 305 meters (1000 feet) above sea level, located inside the rim of a volcanic crater. An area of great geothermal activity. We visit the following attractions:
AGRODOME FARM TOUR: An introduction to New Zealand farming, with a 45-minute tour of an authentic working farm in all-weather, all-terrain vehicles. Watch a sheep being shorn and hand-feed the animals.
LAKE ROTORUA: Drive through the foreshore park past the hundreds of ducks and swans. Then through the beautiful historic Government Gardens.
TE PUIA INSTITUTE (MAORI ARTS & CRAFTS AND WHAKAREWAREWA THERMAL RESERVE):
One of Rotorua's most famous attractions. See woodcarving, weaving displays, Maori village and the thermal valley with the famous Pohutu Geyser, fumaroles, colourful silica deposits and boiling mud pools.
RETURN TO AUCKLAND: Your attraction-packed day concludes as the coach travels through the beautiful horse breeding district of Matamata and the pastureland of the Hauraki plains. A light snack is served on this sector.
- (Day 23) - Shuttle Transfer, Auckland Accommodation to Airport
Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, to the Airport.
Please note: For airport transfers - 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc - $5.00 each.
- (Day 23 cont) - International Flight, Auckland to Los Angeles (own arrangements)
Today depart Auckland and fly to the USA. Enjoy an in-flight dinner and movie with arrival in the USA. Note: you will be traveling back across the International Date Line. Gain that day back you lost on the way over, you actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Auckland.
Note: Flight may include a stop over in Australia.
Your flight home will give you the opportunity to reflect on your New Zealand vacation. Please tell your friends if you have enjoyed the experience and direct them to "ABOUT AUSTRALIA " for information via our website at www.aboutaustralia.com
- (Day 23 cont) - US Domestic Flight, Los Angeles to Hometown (own arrangements)
The connection flight to your Home City from Los Angeles will be selected to suit the International Arrival flight from Australia.
Please allow 3 hours between arrival of International flight before departure of your US domestic flight.