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21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

21 days 20 nights
Christchurch to Sydney
from NZD$8,784pp
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Showcasing the very best of Australia and New Zealand, this 21 day experience gives you a taste of the best from each country. Travel through New Zealand's Southern Alps, home to glaciers that meet with rainforest and mountain peaks that Sir Edmund Hillary trained on before leading the first team to the summit of Mt Everest. Continue your journey north, discovering local Maori culture and bubbling mud pools in Rotorua before crossing the Tasman Sea to Australia.
Here, you will experience the magic of Uluru (Ayers Rock) under the stars, then dip below the surface to discover the Great Barrier Reef. Wander through the ancient Daintree Rainforest, cruise through Sydney Harbour and take a day trip to the Blue Mountains to meet some unique wildlife before heading home.

Classic driving toursThe Hobbit & LOTRWildlife & nature

This Tour Also Features

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Day One - Welcome to Christchurch
Tour day 1
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 1
Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Itinerary information by APP & in country support

Access to our exclusive Touring App. The App includes your full itinerary and reservation details, all available online and offline as well as lots of other great information such as restaurant guides, weather forecasts, and local activity suggestions. Instant itinerary updates and changes are available and it's easy to keep in touch with us. The App is free and easy to download on your mobile using Android or IOS.
You also have access to our free call number and after-hours service if you require support while on tour.

Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch, New Zealand's self proclaimed garden city is a bright and vibrant destination. Known for its large green belt, the wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens make for a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Take the double decker hop on/hop off bus for an easy way to see the sights, or ride a historic tram across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral.

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.

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Day Two - Cross the Southern Alps on board the iconic TranzAlpine scenic train, then its a beautiful drive to Franz Josef
Tour day 2
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 2
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Train Station

A private driver will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the Christchurch train station in time for your train journey.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Christchurch to Greymouth

Your early morning departure is rewarded with incredible scenery today onboard the TranzAlpine Scenic Train, considered one of the world's great train journeys. It travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through the lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the West Coast glaciers.

Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Greymouth to Franz Josef

Leaving Greymouth today you will head south to Franz Josef and Glacier Country. Pass through Hokitika and be sure to take a detour to the spectacular Hokitika Gorge, a turquoise coloured river surrounded by native bush-clad cliffs.

Continue on through Ross, a historic gold mining town where several buildings still remain intact. As you travel further down the coast you’ll also go through Hari Hari, the town where Guy Menzies, the first person to fly solo over the Tasman crash landed. Follow the coast through several small towns before catching a glimpse of the Franz Josef glacier as you arrive into the town centre.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Only a breath away from the Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel is located in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Here you will find all of the amenities you would expect, as well as being close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer in the beautiful Westland region.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 167 kms / 104 miles : 2.0 hours

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Day Three - Explore Franz Josef and Westland National Park
Tour day 3
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 3
Half Day Franz Josef Glacier Eco Tour

This tour starts with a short drive in the courtesy vehicle to the glacier carpark. Enjoy walking through regenerating forest for your first glimpse of the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. Your experienced guide will take you off the beaten track as much as they can safely, to discover hidden waterfalls and 'dead' ice, and lots of other treasures. Your guide will keep you captivated with an amazing interpretation of glaciation, geology and the natural history of this incredibly dynamic environment, make the most of the amazing photo opportunities.
Suitable level for beginners and all ages and abilities. Easy to moderate walk.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight with The Helicopter Line

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Only a breath away from the Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel is located in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Here you will find all of the amenities you would expect, as well as being close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer in the beautiful Westland region.

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Day Four - Get your camera ready for the spectacular scenery of the Haast Pass, then over the Crown Range to Queenstown
Tour day 4
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 4
Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)

Heading south you pass through the second glacier town of Fox Glacier. A short side trip to view the glacier is easy before heading along the coast and more classic West Coast bush scenery. At Knights Point Lookout elephant seals can often be seen basking on the sandy beaches at the far end of the point. Crossing the massive Haast River you turn inland and head into the valley climbing through mountains littered with waterfalls.
The Haast Valley offers a spectacular view of the river and its enormous power. The Blue Pools near Makarora are a great 30 minute walk. Lakes Wanaka and Hawea guide you into the township of Wanaka before you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. This drive should be planned as a whole day to really enjoy the scenery and to allow time to explore the walks, and many stops en route.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skyline Gondola Queenstown and Buffet Dinner

With breathtaking views across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, the Skyline Complex is a must-do. Catch the fully enclosed gondola to the summit for a remarkable panorama of the city surrounds. Wander the outdoor viewing decks then enjoy a gourmet buffet meal in the Stratosphere Restaurant.

Accommodation: Scenic Suites Queenstown
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Scenic Suites Queenstown offers guests exquisite style, comfort and spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps. The hotel prides itself on its four star hospitality that will make your stay in Queenstown even more memorable.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 344 kms / 213 miles : 4.6 hours

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Day Five - The day is yours to discover all the scenic spots and fun activities on offer in Queenstown
Tour day 5
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 5
Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Milford Sound Flight and Scenic Cruise with Return Flight

Departing Queenstown Airport, you enjoy a scenic flight to Milford Sound. During the flight, you will experience panoramic views of spectacular alpine scenery, lush rainforest, and finally Milford Sound. Once on the ground at Milford Airport, you are transferred by coach to the Real Journeys Visitor Centre to board a Real Journeys luxury vessel for a cruise the full-length of Milford Sound. The vessel provides excellent viewing and there is plenty of time available to enjoy the waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. Sheer cliffs starting hundreds of metres below the surface of the water rise spectacularly to the sky. It is 16 kilometres from the head of the fiord to the open sea and Real Journeys cruise ships will take you there and back comfortably in around two hours. Dolphins and seals can often be seen, and following a large downpour the waterfalls that line the fiords are magnificent, particularly the 146 metre high Stirling Falls. The luxury vessels stop at various points and offer excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. The cruise is accompanied by comprehensive commentaries. Following the cruise, you are transferred the short distance to Milford Airport by coach for your return flight.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Enjoy a scenic cruise from central Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm on board the historic steamship, TSS Earnslaw. On disembarking, you'll be welcomed and escorted through the beautiful lakeside gardens to the Colonel's Homestead for dinner. Here, you’ll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare as you watch. Choose from the  seasonal menu which includes an expansive array of New Zealand meats and produce, followed by a delicious array of desserts, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea & coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration offers you a glimpse of life in the high country. On the magical night-time cruise home, you can enjoy the camaraderie of a singalong with the ship’s pianist or breathe in the fresh night air on the moonlit decks as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.

Accommodation: Scenic Suites Queenstown
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Scenic Suites Queenstown offers guests exquisite style, comfort and spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps. The hotel prides itself on its four star hospitality that will make your stay in Queenstown even more memorable.

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Day Six - Follow the Kawarau Gorge to Central Otago, then over the Lindis Pass towards Aoraki Mt Cook
Tour day 6
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 6
Queenstown to Mt. Cook National Park

Leaving Queenstown you'll head through the Kawarau Gorge and over the historic Kawarau Bridge -  a popular bungy jumping location. Choose to participate in this daredevil sport or watch others instead. Continue through Gibbston and be sure to stop at one of its many vineyards for a tasting. As you leave the gorge you'll arrive in Cromwell, known for its many fruit orchards. If you're a foodie at heart, we recommend taking a side trip to Bannockburn for a complete food and wine experience at one its many award-winning wineries and restaurants.

Cromwell itself sits at the head of the Kawarau Gorge and the old historic town is well worth the visit. Completely submerged when the Clyde Dam was built and Lake Dunstan established in 1992, the remnants of the old Cromwell town provides a unique snapshot into this areas history. Head over through the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand’s highest roads, with the summit reaching 971 metres. It's tussock covered hills are a barren but beautiful sight as you descend into the Mackenzie Basin. You'll go through the towns of Omarama and Twizel - the last stops before you arrive at Lake Pukaki and take the Mount Cook Highway to arrive in the small village. Please note there are no food or shops at Mount Cook you will need to stock up prior to arriving in Mount Cook if you wish to self cater.

Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 256 kms / 159 miles : 2.9 hours

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Day Seven - Today it's an iceberg adventure, before a lovely drive through rolling Canterbury farmland
Tour day 7
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 7
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch

Leaving Mount Cook national park, travel a short distance before stopping at the visitor centre on the southern shores of Lake Pukaki. Learn about the formation of the region and take in the spectacular views of Mt. Cook. Lake Tekapo also displays the same reflective qualities of Lake Pukaki - making the waters a bright turquoise. You’ll go through the small town of Tekapo, home to some of the most photographed subjects in the country, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog statue. It's a great place to take a scenic flight, enjoy a guided horse trek, a boat trip on the pristine lake or just marvel at the magnificent views. From here you travel through Burkes Pass and into the rich farming valley that surrounds Geraldine. Continue on across the vast Canterbury Plains to arrive in Christchurch City, your destination for the night.

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 327 kms / 203 miles : 3.7 hours

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Day Eight - Explore Christchurch before flying to the Rotorua in the North Island for a chance to experience Maori culture up close
Tour day 8
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 8
Depart Christchurch today

Explore more of Christchurch before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Domestic Flight - Christchurch to Rotorua

This cost for this flight is additional to your tour, we can book this flight for you.

Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Tamaki Maori Village Cultural Tour and Hangi Dinner

Journey back in time to a Pre-European lifestyle experience of customs and traditions. Enjoy the night's festivities with the people of Tamaki Maori Village as you are treated to a banquet of succulent foods cooked the traditional Maori way. Rediscover the Maori village as it comes alive to the sound and activities of tribal songs, dances, myths, and legends and browse throughout the largest after hours tribal marketplace in Rotorua. Includes a hangi buffet feast that has cooked slowly underground.

Accommodation: Pullman Rotorua
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Pullman Rotorua is surrounded by surreal scenery and iconic attractions. Discover shooting geysers, bubbling mud, natural hot springs and magical forests.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 7 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

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Day Nine - Explore the culture and thrills on offer in Rotorua
Tour day 9
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 9
Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. Geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to one of the Maori Villages should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs.
Spike your adrenaline at Velocity Valley Adventure Park on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Alternatively, head up the Rotorua Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill.
Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colourful volcanic attractions.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - National Kiwi Hatchery Tour

The National Kiwi Hatchery Tour is a special opportunity to gain insight into and view this highly regarded conservation centre. Developed with the visitor experience in mind, the hatchery boasts special viewing opportunities and is hosted by kiwi expert guides who ensure guests leave fully informed and all questions answered. Learn all about New Zealand’s intriguing national icon and the efforts of the kiwi husbandry team, see and discover what it takes to hatch and rare chicks, and if you’re lucky, see baby chicks in person!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rotorua Canopy Tours: The Original Canopy Tour

Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees. In between the thrill of the ziplines and suspended tree bridges, your guides will share their passion and knowledge for the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa

Hell’s Gate mud spa is a historic New Zealand experience. The healing properties of the geothermal mud and sulphur mineral water have been used by local Māori for over 800 years. Open and clean your skin by lathering it in the unique mud, before exfoliating and cleansing with a soak in the sulphur spa. Your body and soul will feel revitalised after this soothing experience.

Accommodation: Pullman Rotorua
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Pullman Rotorua is surrounded by surreal scenery and iconic attractions. Discover shooting geysers, bubbling mud, natural hot springs and magical forests.

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Day Ten - Rotorua to Auckland stopping at Hobbiton Village on the way
Tour day 10
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 10
Rotorua to Matamata

Leave the steaming vents and boiling pools of the geothermal region behind as you make your way through the lush dairy pastures of the Waikato. Take in the emerald green landscapes most famous for their role in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Arrive into the small town of Matamata, for a visit to the fully intact set of Hobbiton.

Hobbiton Movie Set tour from Shires Rest

Become immersed in the The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. Located just outside of Matamata - in the heart the lush Waikato farming region, your tour will begin with a drive through a picturesque sheep farm. You'll then be taken through Hobbit Holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and the Party Tree while your guide shares behind-the-scenes tales and insight into the making of the films.

Matamata to Auckland

Your drive continues north west crossing the dairy country of the Hauraki Plains before arriving at State Highway 1. The Bombay Hills guide you to Auckland City

Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
This modern and spacious hotel allows you to relax in style while enjoying the world-class casino, more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bars, a theatre, free live entertainment on selected nights and the iconic Sky Tower - all right on your doorstep!
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 241 kms / 149 miles : 2.9 hours

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Day Eleven - Cross the Tasman Sea to Australia
Tour day 11
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 11
Depart Auckland today

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

International Flight - Auckland to Melbourne

This cost for this flight is additional to your tour, we can book this flight for you.

Private transfer Melbourne Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Melbourne accommodation.

Arrive into Melbourne

Melbourne is the coastal capital of the state of Victoria. At the city's centre is the modern Federation Square development, with shopping, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art. As the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne has a hidden gem around every corner - Rich history, bustling laneways, rooftop bars, and world-class restaurants are just the beginning!

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Melbourne
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Discover the changing and unchanging face of Melbourne’s streetscape with a stay in the heart of the CBD. Vibe Hotel Melbourne dominates the intersection of Melbourne’s iconic Flinders and Queen Streets and allows guests to lose themselves in the city’s famed laneways and historic arcades – all of which are in striking distance from the hotel.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.4 hours

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Day Twelve - Today is yours to explore Melbourne
Tour day 12
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 12
Explore Melbourne

Melbourne is the cool, artsy capital of the state of Victoria. Renowned for its laneway art, cafes, bars, restaurants and museums, there is no shortage of things to do, see, eat and drink. Grab a coffee in Degraves Street, see the murals on Hosier Lane or Blender Lane, pop over to St Kilda and stroll along the promenade or visit one of the many museums.  To make the most of your time in Melbourne, we recommend taking a city tour to get true local insight into this vibrant city.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Half Day Melbourne City Sights Tour with Australian Natural Treasures Touring

This 4 hour small group tour of Melbourne city is all about getting you familiar with this fantastic city and what makes it tick. Melbourne is diverse in its people, culture, architecture, and pursuits. Let passionate locals show you why they love this city so much.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Melbourne City and Penguin Parade Tour with Gray Line

A fantastic combination of two tours; one introducing you to the fabulous city of Melbourne and the other, the most adorable Penguin tour to Phillip Island. City tour highlights include a delightful guided walking tour through your tour guide's favourite laneways and arcades, visit Fitzroy Gardens and spend time at Queen Victoria Markets. You will have free time for lunch (own expense) before joining the second part of your tour to witness the nightly ritual of the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island. On the way, visit Churchill Island and Koala Conservation Centre where you can look for koalas in their natural habitat from treetop boardwalks before watching the Little Blue Penguins find their way back to shore at sunset.

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Melbourne
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Discover the changing and unchanging face of Melbourne’s streetscape with a stay in the heart of the CBD. Vibe Hotel Melbourne dominates the intersection of Melbourne’s iconic Flinders and Queen Streets and allows guests to lose themselves in the city’s famed laneways and historic arcades – all of which are in striking distance from the hotel.

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Day Thirteen - Experience the magic of Uluru under the stars
Tour day 13
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 13
Private transfer from your accommodation to Melbourne Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Melbourne Airport in time for your departing flight.

Domestic Flight - Melbourne to Ayers Rock (Yulara)

This cost for this flight is additional to your tour, we can book this flight for you.

Hotel transfer Ayres Rock Airport to Hotel

A hotel transfer will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

A Night at Field of Light

This exclusive dining experience combines the award-winning ‘Sounds of Silence’ dinner under the outback sky with the once-in-a-lifetime Field of Light art installation.
With magnificent views of Uluru at sunset, a three-course bush tucker menu, premium selection of Australian wines and beers, fascinating star talk and a self-guided walk through the Field of Light art installation, your ‘A Night at Field of Light’ experience is complete.

Accommodation: Voyages Sails in the Desert
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
In the heart of Australia's Red Centre, Sails in the Desert hotel beautifully contrasts Uluru's raw natural beauty with a decidedly premium outback holiday experience. In a destination where one of the world's oldest cultures still thrives, the mystery, colour and wisdom of the local Anangu people is interwoven into every facet of Sails in the Desert's modern design.

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Day Fourteen - Explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Tour day 14
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 14
Explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Discover the spiritual heart of the Australian Outback. Home to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Watarrka National Parks, this desert region is blessed with natural wonders, world-class dining experiences and rugged beauty.
Visit local galleries to discover local Indigenous art and culture, take a scenic flight, or choose from one of the established walks in the region, from short ones suitable for very young children to the full 10.6-km loop around the base of Uluru.

Uluru Sacred Sights Tour with Emu Run Experience

Uluru is more than a landmark. This world-heritage listed monolith has been a significant cultural site for the Aboriginal people for many centuries. Discover the stories intertwined with Uluru and its surroundings on this fascinating tour. Depart Ayers Rock mid-afternoon for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Learn the significance of ancient Aboriginal rock art, about the areas flora and fauna, and culture of its traditional owners, the Anangu. Enjoy guided walks of the Mala and Mutitjulu Waterhole sacred sites. View ancient rock art and hear stories of traditional Anangu life Learn the Tjukurpa (creation) story of Kuniya and Liru.

Accommodation: Voyages Sails in the Desert
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
In the heart of Australia's Red Centre, Sails in the Desert hotel beautifully contrasts Uluru's raw natural beauty with a decidedly premium outback holiday experience. In a destination where one of the world's oldest cultures still thrives, the mystery, colour and wisdom of the local Anangu people is interwoven into every facet of Sails in the Desert's modern design.

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Day Fifteen - Fly to Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef
Tour day 15
Hotel transfer Hotel to Ayres Rock Airport

A hotel transfer will meet you at your hotel reception and transfer you to the Ayres Rock Airport to meet your departing flight.

Domestic Flight - Uluru/Ayers Rock to Cairns

This cost for this flight is additional to your tour, we can book this flight for you.

Private transfer from Cairns Airport to your accommodation

A private transfer will meet you on arrival at the airport and transfer you to your Cairns accommodation.

Accommodation: Mantra Esplanade, Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Located on the waterfront, Mantra Esplanade Cairns is the perfect base for your Tropical North Queensland stay. Situated just minutes from the yacht harbour – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, lively street cafes, fine dining restaurants, and Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, guests are never short of things to do.

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Day Sixteen - Today is yours to explore Cairns
Tour day 16
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 16
Explore Cairns and surrounds

Cairns is a laid back city with plenty of opportunities for adventure. You can take the Skyrail or Scenic Railway to Kuranda to explore the world's oldest continually surviving rainforest; journey by boat to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef to visit the largest coral reef system in the world, jump on a river rafting trip to get an adrenaline rush, visit one of the nearby islands, or simply relax and enjoy the Cairns Esplanade.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Daintree, Cape Trib & Bloomfield Day Tour with Billy Tea Safaris

Sit back and relax in comfort in a custom-built 4WD air-conditioned vehicle while listening to informative and entertaining commentary by your local naturalist guide. Group size is limited for a more personalised experience.
Spot crocodiles on a Daintree River cruise, learn about flora, fauna, and the history of the Daintree on a guided boardwalk tour, take a 4WD ride through a World Heritage-listed rainforest on the rugged Bloomfield Track, savour a traditional Aussie barbecue, sample traditional ‘Aussie’ billy tea, damper and tropical fruits in the company of wallabies and enjoy a homemade Daintree ice-cream on your journey home.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Chillagoe & Outback Tour with Billy Tea Safaris

Explore the Chillagoe Caves, Granite Gorge and other highlights of Tropical North Queensland on this full-day tour from Cairns. Ascend the McAllister Ranges looking for many different species of bush birds, including emus, wedge-tail eagles, squatter pigeons, kangaroos, and frilled neck lizards along the way to the first stop at Skybury Coffee Plantation in Mareeba for morning tea.
Travel out to Chillagoe while listening to the informative commentary by your guide who will share information about the region's wildlife, history, and aboriginal culture. Explore the Chillagoe-Mungaga Caves National Park with an expert local guide, travel through historic mining towns and small outback communities, see the Chillagoe Smelter Ruins, visit Balancing Rock for an amazing photo opportunity, see and learn about aboriginal rock art and visit Granite Gorge to see the wallabies. You'll also be treated to an Aussie outback pub lunch and tropical fruit tastings for afternoon tea.

Accommodation: Mantra Esplanade, Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Located on the waterfront, Mantra Esplanade Cairns is the perfect base for your Tropical North Queensland stay. Situated just minutes from the yacht harbour – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, lively street cafes, fine dining restaurants, and Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, guests are never short of things to do.

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Day Seventeen - Discover the world's largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef
Tour day 17
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 17
Outer Barrier Reef Cruise with Quicksilver Cruises

This is an experience of a lifetime! Quicksilver’s wave-piercing catamaran and friendly crew will take you to a reef at the very edge of Australia’s Continental Shelf, to an underwater world that is a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour and brilliance.
Choose to dive, snorkel, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a Quicksilver semi-sub, just one meter underwater. Watch the fish feeding from Quicksilver’s unique underwater viewing platform and underwater observatory. Whichever way you choose, you’ll bring home a lifetime of memories from this living natural wonder.

Accommodation: Mantra Esplanade, Cairns
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Located on the waterfront, Mantra Esplanade Cairns is the perfect base for your Tropical North Queensland stay. Situated just minutes from the yacht harbour – the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, lively street cafes, fine dining restaurants, and Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, guests are never short of things to do.

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Day Eighteen - Fly south from Cairns down to Sydney before heading out for dinner on the Harbour
Tour day 18
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 18
Private transfer from your accommodation to Cairns Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the airport in time for your departing flight.

Domestic Flight - Cairns to Sydney

This cost for this flight is additional to your tour, we can book this flight for you.

Private Transfer from Sydney Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, a private transfer will collect you from Sydney Airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

Evening Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour

Sydney harbour is like a sunset painting in progress. The aquamarine colours of Summer give way to the warm orange hues of Autumn before deepening to a magical Winter twilight blue. Year-round, sun-up or sun-down and everything in between, the colours of Sydney Harbour will welcome you onboard the evening Dinner Cruise. This is the perfect start to an evening or stunning end to an amazing day in the greatest city in the world.

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Darling Harbour
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Zen is a state of mind, and you’ll find yours at Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour. This property offers guests a new side to Sydney, one that celebrates an eclectic blend of hole-in-the-wall restaurants and world-class sites in close proximity.

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Day Nineteen - Today is yours to explore Sydney
Tour day 19
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 19
Explore Sydney

Often mistaken as Australia's capital city, Sydney is a vibrant coastal city with plenty to see and do. Wander around Circular Quay for great views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge; explore the Royal Botanic Gardens, get your science and culture fix at the Powerhouse Museum, Maritime Museum or the Sydney Observatory; take a ferry and explore the Harbour, Luna Park or Taronga Zoo, or simply shop til you drop in the city centre. With plenty of great bars and restaurants, there is no shortage of things to see, do, eat and drink!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sydney Sights, Opera House & Bondi Beach Tour with AAT Kings

Discover the best that Sydney has to offer on this half day morning tour. Discover the iconic Sydney Opera House on a guided behind the scenes walking tour and see, feel and touch the magic that happens from rare vantage points that are off limits to the general public. Travel past Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral, Parliament House and the Art Gallery. Enjoy magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and continue on through Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, and Paddington as you make your way to the world famous Bondi Beach before returning to Sydney's CBD.

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Darling Harbour
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Zen is a state of mind, and you’ll find yours at Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour. This property offers guests a new side to Sydney, one that celebrates an eclectic blend of hole-in-the-wall restaurants and world-class sites in close proximity.

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Day Twenty - Head out of the city to experience the wildlife and scenery of the Blue Mountains
Tour day 20
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 20
Grand Blue Mountains All Inclusive Tour with Gray Line

Explore the World-Heritage listed Blue Mountains. Crisp, clean, mountain top air with distant blue haze horizons overlooking deep ravines with rainforest carpeting the valley floor. Waterfalls, sleepy hamlets and the rich warm smell of the Australian bush make this a very special place for every visitor.
Ride the steepest incline Railway in the world down to a lush and hidden valley below or gently ascend on the Cableway taking in panoramic views and ride on the Skyway which glides between cliff tops 270 metres above ancient ravines and the forest canopy. Experience Featherdale Wildlife Park, home to the world's largest collection of over 1,700 Australian native birds and mammals in a lush bushland environment. Enjoy lunch at Scenic World, overlooking the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley.
Finish the day with a relaxing cruise down the Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour while missing the peak hour Sydney traffic.

Accommodation: Vibe Hotel Darling Harbour
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Zen is a state of mind, and you’ll find yours at Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour. This property offers guests a new side to Sydney, one that celebrates an eclectic blend of hole-in-the-wall restaurants and world-class sites in close proximity.

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Day Twenty one - Depart Sydney today
Tour day 21
21 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand - Day 21
Private Transfer from your Sydney accommodation to the Airport

You will be collected from your accommodation and taken to the Sydney Airport.

Farewell from Australia

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