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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery

29 days 28 nights
Melbourne to Christchurch
from NZD$9,653pp
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Discover the best of Australia and New Zealand in this 29 day journey. Starting in Melbourne, Australia you will drive the iconic Great Ocean Road and across to Adelaide to uncork some of Australia's best wines and visit quaint coastal villages. Explore iconic natural wonders including Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Daintree Rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef before crossing the Tasman Sea.
From Auckland you will travel through Rotorua to witness its geothermal activity and Maori Culture, before crossing over to the South Island, driving through landscapes straight out of the Lord of the Rings on your way to Queenstown. Finally, you'll head up the West Coast, passing ancient glaciers before taking the TranzAlpine Train back to Christchurch.

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Itinerary
Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 1
Private transfer Melbourne Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside customs exit 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!

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne

In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 2
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. For a spot of retail therapy, catch the 86 or 96 tram from the CBD to the bohemian Brunswick Street shopping district for an eclectic mix of second hand vintage and high-end boutique stores. On the opposite side of the city, the Docklands open-air entertainment precinct boasts a myriad of public artwork, family fun activities such as glow in the dark mini golf, and a variety of dining options lining the marina. Get there easily on the free City Circle tram, or wander over the Bourke Street footbridge. 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 - Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Chocolate & Dessert Walking Tour with Chocoholic Tours

Join a local tour guide for a delightful stroll through Melbourne’s famous arcades and secret laneways as you discover the beautiful chocolatiers and pâtissiers tucked away down the back streets of Melbourne sampling chocolates and sweet treats along the way!
Visit five of the most secret chocolatiers and dessert bars in Melbourne. They are all exclusively Australian, and many are unique to Melbourne, all with their unique tastings and experiences. While the specific spots you visit will vary from tour to tour, amazing food and incredible experiences are guaranteed on every tour.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - River Gardens Tour with Melbourne River Cruises

Within moments of Melbourne’s cultural Arts precinct, you are cruising through Melbourne’s picturesque gardens, parkland’s and some of the city's famous sporting arenas.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne

In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 3
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.

Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula

Located on the coast just over an hour south of Melbourne, is the beautifully quaint Mornington Peninsula. Take the scenic route and stop to see Brighton's brightly coloured bathing boxes on the way. These miniature beachfront cabins are unique to the beaches in Port Phillip Bay and are iconic to the region.
Although fairly small in size, the Mornington Peninsula has a wealth of things to do. Its quaint towns and stunning beaches offer everything from scuba diving to stunning gardens and of course, exceptional wine and food. Although famed for its Pinot Noir, the 50 plus wineries in the region produce over 200 different wines, why not treat yourself to a bottle for later?
After a day on the peninsula, it's time to head back to Melbourne.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne

In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 123 kms / 76 miles : 2.1 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 4
Melbourne to Apollo Bay

Begin your journey by heading south to the picturesque town of Torquay, recognised as the surfing capital of Australia, thanks to the famous Bells Beach. Follow the coast from Anglesea to Lorne, here we recommended a short detour to Erskine Falls. You can park close to the 30 metre cascading waterfall, or take a walk through the lush rainforest to stretch your legs.
The final stretch of your journey from Lorne to Apollo Bay has been described as one of the most beautiful and breathtaking drives in the world.
Your destination, Apollo Bay is the starting point for some of Australia’s most famous short and multi-day walks and is the perfect base to explore the Great Ocean Walk and surrounding Otways rainforest. Take a swim in the waters of the southern ocean, wander along the coast and explore rainforests and waterfalls, ferns and crystal clear streams.

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay is the starting point for some of Australia’s most famous short and multi-day walks and is the perfect base to explore the Great Ocean Walk and surrounding Otways rainforest. Take a swim in the waters of the southern ocean, wander along the coast and explore rainforests and waterfalls, ferns and crystal clear streams. Sit and watch the whales travel along the coast in migration season or gaze at the glow worms at Melba Gully. Apollo Bay has a reputation for the freshest seafood which you can enjoy in a range of restaurants, or check out the local distillery and brewery for a refreshment.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Walk with Wildlife Tour with Wildlife Wonders

Immerse yourself in the wilds of the Otways at Wildlife Wonders, just 5km outside of Apollo Bay. Enjoy a 75-minute guided walk through the magical Otways bushland, where you'll discover lush tree-fern gullies, eucalypt woodlands and spectacular ocean vistas. Your conservationist guide will share with you the secrets of the bush and the plants and animals who call the Otways home.
All the profits from Wildlife Wonders go directly to the Conservation Ecology Centre, working to conserve the unique Australian plants and animals across the Otways.

Your accommodation: Comfort Inn The International

The Comfort Inn The International is centrally located in the charming seaside town of Apollo Bay. A popular stop along the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay is home to the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse and a range of natural sights, including the dramatic Great Ocean Road.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 161 kms / 100 miles : 2.4 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 5
Apollo Bay to Port Fairy

The first part of your drive today will take you to the iconic Twelve Apostles, perhaps the most famous landmark on the Great Ocean Road, and stopping here is a must. You can park at the carpark and follow the paved path to the lookout, or to take some time and stretch your legs take the path down Gibson's steps to the beach. Descending down these 86 stairs carved into the cliff face, reaching the beach you are treated to a closeup view of these incredible rock formations. 3 minutes further along what is known as the Shipwreck Coast, you will find the stop-off point for Loch Ard Gorge, a glistening inlet of striking blue water surrounded by sheer sandstone cliffs. Beyond the town of Port Campbell, stop at the London Bridge and The Grotto for more stunning sights and photo opportunities.
Explore the coastal city of Warrnambool where you might be lucky enough to spot southern right whales calve off Logan Beach if you are travelling between May and October. From here, it's a 30-minute drive to your destination of Port Fairy.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - 12 Apostles to London Bridge Scenic Helicopter Flight

An energetic, 15 minute flight that packs in the must-see Great Ocean Road sights. Catch the highlights of the Shipwreck Coast from a luxury helicopter. See the 12 Apostles, London Bridge, and more from breathtaking heights. London Bridge is a thrilling addition to any Great Ocean Road tour.

Your accommodation: Ashmont Motor Inn and Apartments

Port Fairy is a historic seaside fishing village set on the Moyne River, located on the Princes Highway at the western end of the Great Ocean Road. On one side you will find what is known as the rugged shipwreck coastline and on the other, the picturesque East Beach which has the added bonus of being patrolled by lifesavers over summer.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 184 kms / 114 miles : 2.5 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 6
Port Fairy to Robe

Today, head along the coast to Portland. If you see a yellow flag outside the Visitor Information Centre, then it means that a whale has been spotted! Try your luck from one of the local vantage spots - in winter this can be either out on the breakwater or from the clifftop overlooking the bay, and in summer the best place is the Cape Nelson Lighthouse.
A popular side trip from Portland is to the Cape Bridgewater Blowholes and the Petrified Forest.
Continue through the town of Nelson, before crossing state lines into South Australia. Mount Gambier is the second-largest city in South Australia and has been built onto the slopes of a long-extinct volcano. Stop at the city's famous Blue Lake and the Umpherston Sinkhole to marvel its sunken terrace gardens.
From here it is another 1 hour 30 minutes to your final destination for the day, Robe.

Your accommodation: Robetown Motor Inn & Apartments

Stylish, modern motel and apartment accommodation located close to the centre of Robe, and within walking distance of shops, restaurants, cafes, and Robe's main attractions.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 293 kms / 182 miles : 3.2 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 7
Robe to Victor Harbor

Your first stop out of Robe should be at the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse in Kingston SE. Built in 1872, it was originally located out at sea and it housed two families with enough storage to keep several weeks of supplies. The lighthouse was decommissioned, brought to land and converted into a museum in 1976.
Cross the Murray River and your next stop should be in Strathalbyn. The town has beautiful heritage buildings in the historic main streets and if you like historic vehicles, you can stop in at Gilbert's Motor Museum.
Next stop is Goolwa, a small town that was once a thriving river port for paddle steamers bringing cargo from upriver. There's lots of history here including the famous Cockle Train, which runs to Port Elliot from Goolwa’s wharf precinct alongside the River Murray, on the oldest steel railway in Australia dating back to 1887. It takes in spectacular coastal scenery with perfect views of the Southern Ocean.
From here it's just a short drive to your destination, Victor Harbor. This historic coastal town has been a favourite with holiday makers and local fishermen for generations. No visit to Victor Harbor is complete without hopping on the iconic horse-drawn tram to journey across the causeway and explore Granite Island.

Coorong Discovery Cruise with Spirit of the Coorong

Explore the Coorong on this 3.5 hour Discovery Cruise departing from the Port of Goolwa. Travel along the historic wharf and towards the Goolwa Barrage before experiencing the waterways of the Coorong through the lock chamber. Watch fur-seals lay in the sun as you follow the last few kilometers of the Murray River, a river which stretches over 2,500km long. Cruise past the Murray Mouth and the opening to the Southern Ocean and head into the Coorong, also named 'Storm Boy country', as it was the setting of the 1964 novel Storm Boy written by Colin Thiele.
Pass by the quaint fishing village of the Coorong Shacks before departing the vessel for an optional guided walk through the dunes, Indigenous Midden site and along the bush-tucker trail which leads to the 90-Mile Beach and Southern Ocean. Learn the 'Coorong Shuffle', cultural interpretation and understand which it means to dig for Pipi's. Continue to cruise past Storm Boy filming sites and beautiful scenery while enjoying an afternoon tea as you meander back to Goolwa.

Your accommodation: Victor Harbor City Inn

Victor Harbor City Inn is conveniently located on the main street of Victor Harbor, just a short walking distance to all must-see destinations, Victor Harbor beach, and cafes & restaurants. The rooms are comfortable and offer quiet surroundings.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 347 kms / 216 miles : 3.8 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 8
Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor is a bustling coastal town at the bottom of the Fleurieu Peninsula, a popular holiday destination for South Australians and visitors alike. Adjacent the town waterfront is Granite Island, a 62-hectare conservation area that is home to an abundance of wildlife. The island is known for its Little Blue Penguin colony which you can see on a guided tour at dusk as they return from a day of fishing out at sea. Granite Island is accessible by a 630-metre causeway which hosts a historic horse-drawn tramway that has been in use since 1894, and still operates daily. Victor Harbor is also a great area for spotting southern right whales from the land between May and October. Their unique affinity for coastal inshore waters means they can often be spotted as close as 100m off the shore, providing a great view of their 18-metre, rotund bodies.
Victor Harbor is also home to the Steamway Heritage Railway, Australia's oldest steel railway, which you can cruise along on board the Cockle Train. The 30-minute journey takes you to the nearby town of Goolwa, gateway to the Coorong and the Murray River Mouth - where the mighty river meets the Southern Ocean.
If you're looking for a low-key end to your day in Victor Harbor, take a picnic blanket and some fish and chips to the lookout at The Bluff to watch the sunset and the vibrant stars appear.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sea the Fleurieu with The Big Duck Boat Tours

Departing from Victor Harbor, enjoy a 1 hour coach along the Wild South Coast Way to Wirrina Cove where you will board a custom RIB vessel for a 3 hour boat tour. Explore the incredible Fleurieu Peninsula with towering cliff-faces, rolling hills, with caves and hidden coves. Throughout this expedition, you'll encounter dolphins, fur seals, sea lions and seabirds as you boat past Second Valley, Rapid Bay, Cape Jervis and Deep Creek Conservation Park before finally disembarking in Victor Harbor near Granite Island. This tour only operates between October to April and may be reversed depending on the day which it is booked.

Your accommodation: Victor Harbor City Inn

Victor Harbor City Inn is conveniently located on the main street of Victor Harbor, just a short walking distance to all must-see destinations, Victor Harbor beach, and cafes & restaurants. The rooms are comfortable and offer quiet surroundings.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 9
Victor Harbor to Adelaide

Travel through the rolling hills of Mount Compass to the McLaren Vale wine region, a 50-minute drive north from Victor Harbor. Visit galleries and taste wine at some of the 45 cellar doors, including Yangarra, d’Arenberg, and the cute & quirky Down The Rabbit Hole Wines. McLaren Vale is also a haven for foodies and many of the cellar doors also showcase beautiful local produce and 'feed me' menus.
From here, it’s an easy 45-minute drive to central Adelaide. Wander the cultural boulevard of North Terrace – home to the South Australian Museum and Adelaide Botanic Gardens - and continue your stroll down to the Festival Plaza precinct and the River Torrens parklands, often playing host to an array of summer festivities.

Explore Adelaide

Adelaide is South Australia’s cosmopolitan coastal capital. Its ring of parkland on the River Torrens is home to acclaimed museums such as the Art Gallery of South Australia, displaying expansive collections of Indigenous art, and the South Australian Museum, devoted to natural history. The world renowned Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions are within driving distance, along with stunning beaches, national parks and riverland, making Adelaide an ideal base to experience South Australia's beauty.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 83 kms / 52 miles : 1.2 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 10
Explore Adelaide

With a growing small-bar scene, world-class art and music, and a festival calendar to rival that of any other Australian city, Adelaide is a destination worth discovering. Take time to explore its vibrant laneways, visit the iconic Adelaide Central Market, and go shopping in Rundle Mall. Slow things down and relax at the Botanic Gardens, jump on the iconic Popeye Cruise along the River Torrens, or take the tram out to Glenelg to explore the popular metropolitan beach, dine in one of the many foreshore restaurants, or even enjoy the beach cabanas in summer months.
Adelaide is also lucky enough to be surrounded by some of Australia's most famous wine regions, and a stop into one of the wineries or the National Wine Centre is highly recommended. A 30-minute drive east into the hills will take you to Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia, home to incredible food, strawberry fields and streets lined with artisan stores. On the way to Hahndorf, stop in at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens and the Mt Lofty Summit for a coffee with a view. You may wish to return via Belair and stop at the iconic Windy Point Lookout on your way for even more phenomenal views over the city and beyond, especially at sunset.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Australian Wine Master Class at the National Wine Centre of Australia

Take a guided tour of the National Wine Centre’s Wine Discovery Journey. Uncover the diversity of Australia’s 65 wine regions and meet some of the wonderful characters of the industry. Learn about the wine-making process from an expert and discover the key characteristics of the wine varieties grown throughout the country. After the tour, continue your wine experience in the Wined Bar with a Master Class of Australian wines. Enjoy premium examples of some of Australia’s best winemaking regions led by one of the National Wine Centre’s sommeliers.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Adelaide Central Market Delicious Lunch Tour

This tour uncovers the famous 150-year-old fresh produce market. Taste a delicious selection of foods from South Australian artisan food producers, meet the suppliers, Stallholders and producers whose families have traded the market for generations. This small-group tour is hosted by local guides and is serious fun for those with a passion for great food, and the people who grow and supply it to our tables.
After the tour, settle in for a delicious Market cafe lunch and watch the world go by, or if you are too full after the tour tastings, the guide can arrange a gourmet Italian panini picnic lunch to take away.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 11
Uncork McLaren Vale, Including Lunch with Small Batch Wine Tours

Venture off the beaten path with Small Batch to discover hidden-gem wineries on a premium share-group McLaren Vale wine tour like no other.
See, taste, smell and learn the difference between wine varieties like Grenache and Graciano, or Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Learn what effect the climate has on the taste of a wine. Ever wondered what happens between the grape and the glass? Why does Shiraz taste different depending on where it comes from? What makes a wine organic or vegan, and what difference does it make? Hear the answers to all your questions and more during an engaging day uncorking scenic McLaren Vale. Enjoy a flexible itinerary and a stellar lunch at The Salopian during the most personalised share-group McLaren Vale wine tour around!

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.
Meals included: Lunch

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 12
Return your vehicle to Adelaide Airport

Drop your vehicle at the Adelaide Airport as stipulated in your itinerary.

Own Arrangements Domestic Flight - Adelaide to Yulara

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

Transfer from Ayers Rock Airport to Accommodation

On arrival, after collecting your luggage, follow the courtesy hotel transfers signs and make your way outside the terminal and board the waiting AAT Kings coaches.

Yulara

Yulara is the resort township situated 10 minutes drive from the entry to Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park. This small outpost is the central hub that supports tourism around Uluru, but also helps to protect the fragile ecosystem and spiritual centre of Australia from modern human impact. Yulara hosts approximately 250,000 visitors each year in its range of accommodation ranging from glamping to poolside resorts. Take the opportunity during your visit to walk the path through desert vegetation to Imalung Lookout in the very centre of the village, providing stunning, uninterrupted views of Uluru.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wintjiri Wiru Sunset Dinner with Voyages Indigenous Tourism

Deep in the desert, an experience awaits! settle into the adventure of Wintjiri Wiru - "beautiful view out to the horizon" with a delicious drink of choice, before embarking on a short walk to where you will be watching the sunset from an open-air desert theatre. While the sun is setting let the unique flavors of the native ingredients satisfy your pallet as you delve into your gourmet dinner hamper! Sit back and watch the night sky as the amazing projections illuminate the sky above to pass on the story that's been passed on for generations before us and generations to come!

Your accommodation: Voyages Emu Walk Apartments

One or two bedroom apartments located only 20km from Uluru (Ayers Rock). With a modern design and fully equipped kitchen this accommodation offers the perfect place to relax.
Meals included: Speciality Dinner

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.3 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 13
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.

Didgeridoo Workshop - suggestion

Listen to the enchanting sounds of the didgeridoo. Yidaki, the traditional Aboriginal term for the didgeridoo, was discovered in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. During this workshop, guests are invited to try and play the didgeridoo.

Bush Food Experience - suggestion

Learn about Australian and local bush tucker and how for many centuries local Indigenous groups would hunt, gather and prepare these bush foods. This will be followed by a fun cooking demonstration utilising a flavoursome Indigenous ingredient that you can try at home.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Uluru Hop on Hop off - 1 Day Pass

One day pass entitles you to visit and enjoy Uluru unlimited times throughout a 24-hour period, from sunrise to sunset. This pass also entitles you to one only transfer to Kata Tjuta (Olgas) within that calendar day also.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Kings Canyon Experience Scenic Flight with Ayers Rock Helicopters

Your tour begins as you are picked up from your accommodation and driven to the helipad in air-conditioned comfort. After take-off you will fly direct to the iconic Kings Canyon. On the way, you will be able to take in the beautiful sights of Lake Amadeus, which is the Northern Territory's largest salt lake. Don't forget to keep an eye out for wildlife amongst the incredible natural landscape below.

Your pilot can also land at Kings Creek Station for refreshments, where you can enjoy the Creek Bed Walk at Kings Canyon before returning home. Please ask your travel specialist if you would like to request a landing.

Your accommodation: Voyages Emu Walk Apartments

One or two bedroom apartments located only 20km from Uluru (Ayers Rock). With a modern design and fully equipped kitchen this accommodation offers the perfect place to relax.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 14
Transfer from Accommodation to Ayers Rock Airport

Return transfers to the airport depart from outside your hotel approximately two hours prior to the scheduled flight departure times. Please check with reception for exact departure times.

Own Arrangements Domestic Flight - Yulara to Cairns

The 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.

Cairns

Cairns was settled by Europeans in 1876 who arrived in search of gold. Modern-day Cairns is now seen as the city "where the rainforest meets the reef" as it is the gateway to both the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef for the many tourists that pass through each year.
The main tourist centre in town is along the Esplanade, which has a swimming lagoon, bustling weekend markets, and plenty of great food options.

Your accommodation: Vision Cairns Esplanade

Located across the street from the ocean, these polished apartments have everything you need and so much more including, glass-fronted balconies with ocean views and room service. There's an outdoor lagoon-style pool and BBQ area, as well as a gym with a saltwater lap pool and a sauna. Parking is available.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 15
Outer Barrier Reef Cruise with Quicksilver Cruises - Lunch Included

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.

Your accommodation: Vision Cairns Esplanade

Located across the street from the ocean, these polished apartments have everything you need and so much more including, glass-fronted balconies with ocean views and room service. There's an outdoor lagoon-style pool and BBQ area, as well as a gym with a saltwater lap pool and a sauna. Parking is available.
Meals included: Lunch

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 16
Cairns to Daintree

The best route north is the Captain Cook Highway (State Route 44). This drive offers countless opportunities to stop and admire the breathtaking views or walk along the beach. Just 20 minutes north of Cairns is Smithfield, home to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway where you can take a bird's eye view of the world's oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, or divert a little further to Kuranda for the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Continue north through Palm Cove and onto Port Douglas, stopping on the way at Rex Lookout for a 180-degree view over the Coral Sea, with views to Double Island to the south. Stretch your legs on Four Mile Beach and grab some lunch or a coffee before continuing your drive. Back on the highway, you will pass through Mossman as you head north on your journey into the Daintree Rainforest.

Daintree

The world's oldest rainforest by an impressive 10 million years, surviving cataclysmic events that wiped out the dinosaurs, the Daintree exudes ancient energy to those who visit. The traditional custodians of the area, the Kuku Yulanji, have been living in complete harmony with their environment for 50,000 years.  Encompassing approximately 1200 square kilometres stretching from the Daintree River to the sea's edge, north to Cooktown and west to the Great Divide, this World Heritage-listed area is the single largest block of tropical rainforest in Australia. With creeping vines, emerald tree canopies and winding rivers below, there are memorable experiences to be gained for all. One of the most well-known natural features of the Daintree is Mossman Gorge, promising breathtaking scenery, unique wildlife and lush rainforest steeped in history and legends that have been passed down generations. Whether you are seeking luxury, immersive cultural experiences, or something more adventurous, the Daintree has it all.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dreamtime Walk at the Mossman Gorge Centre

A visit to Mossman Gorge is a must-do for anyone travelling to the beautiful Far North Queensland region. The Mossman Gorge Centre is the gateway to the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest, as well as a unique link to the lives, cultures, and stories of Australia’s Indigenous people and their connection to the natural environment.

Your accommodation: Daintree Wilderness Lodge

Daintree Wilderness Lodge is surrounded on all sides by the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park and is ideally situated halfway between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, in the very heart of the worlds oldest rainforest.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 104 kms / 65 miles : 1.5 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 17
Daintree to Port Douglas

Departing the Daintree you may wish to stop at Jindalba Boardwalk circuit for a short walk through the lush forest. Cross the Daintree River on the ferry and head south along Mossman-Daintree Road. Passing through the town of Mossman, you can take a detour to Mossman Gorge for a self-guided walk through this famous wilderness area. This is also a good opportunity to stop for lunch at the Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre. From here it is just a 20-minute drive to the beautiful resort town of Port Douglas.

Walking Tracks Around Port Douglas

Flagstaff Hill lookout track
1.5km. Allow 15 minutes.
If you need a picture worth framing (or posting) look no further than the Flagstaff Hill Lookout. Located at the summit of Island Point Road, it is an easy walk, bike ride or even short drive to the lookout viewing area. From here you will witness sweeping, majestic views of Four Mile Beach and the rainforest-clad mountain ranges to the south. Venture along the Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail down to Four Mile Beach and walk the plank (or viewing platform) and take in the 180-degree views to the Coral Sea, Low Isles, and Snapper Island to the north. Find the hidden Low Isles Lighthouse viewing platform located on the corner where Wharf and Island Point Roads meet.
Mossman Gorge
Embark on your own adventure through the Gorge with a voyage through the lush green rainforest. Soak up the wonders of the national park at your own pace as you navigate walking tracks and trails, including the popular Gorge Circuit. Pack a picnic lunch to savour at one of the many water holes, where you can find a quiet place to sit back, catch your breath, and appreciate the wonders of your surroundings. Find yourself under the towering canopy of the rainforest, beautifully framed by the striking mountains.
All of the walking tracks are clearly signposted and maps are also provided upon entry. Seasonal track closures may occur from time to time due to localised flooding or track maintenance. Please note, shuttle bus fees apply to the below Mossman Gorge walks. For a guided experience, we recommend joining a Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk, where an experienced interpretive Indigenous guide demonstrates traditional plant use, identifies bush food sources, and provides an enchanting narrative of the rainforest and their special relationship with this unique tropical environment.
Baral Marrjanga
270 metres. Allow 5-10 minutes.
Baral Marrjanga leads through the rainforest from the shuttle bus stop to a lookout with views of the Mossman River and the mountain ranges beyond. The track includes two sections of elevated boardwalk that pass through the lower rainforest canopy. The track is suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and the vision-impaired.
Lower River Track
300 metres. Allow 5-10 minutes.
This track starts at the shuttle bus stop and winds along the Mossman River before joining Baral Marrjanga. Several small lookouts along the track provide views of the river. Although most of the lower river track is easy walking, the steps can be slippery. Please take care and use the handrails provided.
Rex Creek Bridge
460 metres. Allow 10 minutes.
To reach the Rex Creek suspension bridge, follow Baral Marrjanga to the lookout and take the short, signposted track to the left.
Rainforest Circuit Track (from Rex Creek Bridge)
2.4km return. Allow 45 minutes.
This track begins on the far side of Rex Creek bridge. On the left, 80m from the bridge, a small lookout provides views of Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi). A little way past the lookout, the track divides to form a circuit that meanders through the rainforest.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - General Admission to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is one of the longest continually operating tourist attractions in Australia. The business began in 1934 as a roadhouse for weary motorists. Legend has it the original owner Pop Evans entertained motorists by feeding Charlie the crocodile, while scones cooked in the woodstove. Eight decades later, Hartley’s world-famous Crocodile Attack Show is as popular as ever with daily presentations that strike a perfect balance between entertainment and education.

Your accommodation: Martinique On Macrossan

Martinique is one of Port Douglas' best boutique apartments, blending comfort and a stunning setting. This charming boutique resort is the ideal base for unwinding and exploring. Martinique is located adjacent to Port Douglas Village where you will find excellent restaurants, cafes, boutique stores and art galleries, and is less than 5 minutes walk to Four Mile Beach.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 64 kms / 40 miles : 1.4 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 18
Port Douglas to Cairns

This short 70km drive will take you down the Captain Cook Highway (State Route 44) to the beautiful city of Cairns. Consider picking up some groceries in Port Douglas and enjoy a picnic on one of the many stunning beaches along your drive. Pebbly Beach, located approximately 15km south of Port Douglas is a bit of a deviation from the standard sandy beaches of the tropical north but is beautiful nonetheless. As the name suggests, the beach is covered with smooth, tiny stones and is popular among motorists to stop and explore.
Your next stop on your drive south will be Rex Lookout, with panoramic views of the Coral Sea and views of Double Island to the south.
Further south, you will reach the beautiful coastal village of Palm Cove. Spend some time wandering the paperbark-lined streets dotted with boutique shops and artisan cafes and restaurants. Finally, pass through Smithfield before getting off the highway and heading into Cairns.

Suggested International Flight - Cairns to Auckland

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

Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland Accommodation

You will be met at the Auckland airport by the driver and transferred to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand's self-proclaimed "City of Sails" is the country's largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests, and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or get out onto the water to experience the best views of the city.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Dinner Cruise with Explore

See Auckland after dark with this amazing on-water dining experience, not to be missed while you're in Auckland. Take in the sights of the Waitemata Harbour - then watch this photogenic city come alive with twinkling lights. Your experienced crew will talk about Auckland’s highlights and there will opportunity try your hand at steering.

At our sheltered mooring you'll be served delicious New Zealand fare - choose from a delectable three course menu catered for by a renowned Viaduct Restaurant.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart

Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland, Britomart is only minutes away from Queen's Wharf harbour in the heart of Auckland's CBD. Offering stylish, modern studio room and apartments, ideal for families, modern explorers or business travellers.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 59 kms / 37 miles : 0.9 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 19
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.

Auckland to Rotorua

The drive south from Auckland takes you past the Bombay Hills and into the rolling farmland and rich dairy pastures of the Waikato. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of greater Auckland area and it's here you turn inland to central Waikato. You’ll soon go through the town of Matamata where you can visit the fully intact Hobbiton film set used in the shooting of the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Continuing on, you’ll pass several small farming communities before telltale signs of steam and other geothermal activity signal your arrival into Rotorua.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - 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 of 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. Spend time wandering through Bagshot Row before being led inside a Hobbit Hole to view the detailed interiors, designed to provide an authentic glimpse into the dwelling of a Hobbit.

Your accommodation: Quest Rotorua Central

Located in the heart of Rotorua, just a stone’s throw from the restaurant and shopping precinct. Purpose built in 2012, all apartments are equipped with modern fixtures, full cooking and laundry facilities that make Quest Rotorua Central your perfect home away from home.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 220 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 20
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 - Original Ziplining Experience with Rotorua Canopy Tours

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 - Te Pā Tū Evening Maori Cultural Experience

New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Attraction, presenting Te Pā Tū. Feast on song, drama, tradition, and divine seasonal kai (cuisine) within the forest Pā (village) blanketed by towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheatre. Te Pā Tū shares Māori history, traditions, and cultural aspirations across 4-hours of celebration and feasting. These events change with each season of the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar.

Your accommodation: Quest Rotorua Central

Located in the heart of Rotorua, just a stone’s throw from the restaurant and shopping precinct. Purpose built in 2012, all apartments are equipped with modern fixtures, full cooking and laundry facilities that make Quest Rotorua Central your perfect home away from home.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 21
Rotorua to Wellington

Today make your way South to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Pass through Taupo, before ascending the Central Plateau to the Rangipo Desert. Skirt the Tongariro National Park to pass through the military town of Waiouru. Descend the plateau to the Kapiti Coast and bypass seaside towns of Paraparaumu and Paekakariki to reach Wellington, your destination for the night.

Wellington City

Wellington home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini Melbourne', this (self-described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food, and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner-city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.
Head to Te Papa Museum for a history lesson and a ticket to one of its many international exhibitions or jump aboard the Wellington Cable Car at Lambton Quay - the only running funicular railway in the country. For those with an eye for boutique, fashion wander through Cuba St to sample some of the city's best vintage stores. Break for coffee at a hipster cafe and be sure to snap a pic outside the ‘Beehive,’ New Zealand’s parliamentary debate chamber.
Go behind the scenes at Weta Workshop Experience, the Oscar Award Winning design studio behind Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, and Avatar. If you're a foodie at heart, a two-hour round trip to Martinborough is a must-do. Take your time as you wind through spectacular wine country, and be sure to stop in at Martinborough Wines or Ata Rangi Martinborough. For an educational day out, learn about New Zealand's native species at Zealandia, the world's first fully-fenced eco-sanctuary and home to over 40 types of endangered and native birds.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zealandia By Night Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

Taking a night tour of Zealandia wildlife eco-sanctuary is an unforgettable experience and one that comes highly recommended. A conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand's rarest native animals, Zealandia is home to many remarkable species of birds, reptiles and insects living wild within a beautiful 225 hectare (one square mile) valley, just 10 minutes from the central city.
Your tour begins with an interactive exhibition before you walk through the gates of Zealandia predator-exclusion fence into the sanctuary. Your guide will then lead you on a torch-light walk through the native New Zealand bush. Possible sights include Kiwi foraging on the forest floor, tuatara hunting for food, glowworms shining, tiny Maud Island frogs in their enclosure, pateke (brown teal) ducks feeding at night and kaka (parrots) coming in to roost. Zealandia is one of the best places to see kiwi in the wild. Over 100 of these nocturnal birds live freely in their natural environment inside the safety of the sanctuary valley, so your chances of seeing one are high!

Your accommodation: CityLife Wellington

City Life Wellington is a suite style hotel with every amenity required for a comfortable stay, as well as being in a superb location to explore the compact city centre. Situated on Lambton Quay, you’ll find the best shopping, tourist attractions and cultural landmarks all within easy walking distance.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 441 kms / 273 miles : 5.3 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 22
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).
From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds and this region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays offer remarkable photographic opportunities. The final leg of your cruise travels through Queen Charlotte Sound before coming to an end in the picturesque town of Picton.

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.

Picton to Kaikoura

From Picton head south on State Highway One towards Blenheim, and the wine producing region of Marlborough. Ideally located to enjoy an afternoon sampling the local produce, stop for a guided wine tour with Full Day Marlborough Wine Tour.
Crossing the dry hills of the Marlborough ranges you head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view the native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals. To the east is the Pacific Ocean and to the west you'll follow alongside the Kaikoura Ranges before arriving into the bustling Kaikoura Township.

Kaikoura

The Kaikoura Coast is renowned for its abundant marine life, and this is huge visitor drawcard. Due to the teeming food supply in its icy seas, whales, seals and dolphins are frequently spotted year round in the area. Observe the fur seal colony basking in the sun at the tip of the peninsula and be sure to take a trip by boat to view the whales.
If you prefer, hop aboard a 30 minute scenic flight and see the coast by air. But if you're feeling really adventurous take a dip with the resident seal population on either a land or boat based trip. Kaikoura township has a charming feel and after a day of marine adventures is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat. not to be missed is a meal of fresh crayfish - the town's signature dish. Before you leave, visit historic Fyffe House for insight into the region’s Whaling Past.

Your accommodation: Kaikoura Luxury Apartments

Waves Luxury Apartments offer the closest premium accommodation to the centre of Kaikoura, with mountain and ocean views from your own private balcony. Modern décor and spacious kitchen and living areas make for an enjoyable stay in this marine wildlife mecca.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 157 kms / 98 miles : 2.1 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 23
Kaikoura to Christchurch

Today you travel down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Whale Watch Kaikoura

Experience New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company. Whale Watch Kaikoura offer a once-in-a-lifetime, up close encounter with the giant Sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, occasionally make an appearance.
Cruise in style on modern catamarans, specifically designed for whale watching, featuring large passenger cabins and outside viewing decks. Passenger numbers for each tour are kept below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - International Antarctic Centre General Admission

The International Antarctic Centre aims to recreate the atmosphere and environment of Antarctica, providing visitors with an interactive, fun and educational experience. Feel the full Four Seasons of Antarctica, where you'll experience a custom-built snow and ice experience, then warm up in the Scott Base interior exhibit, a replica Antarctic field camp or other informative displays in the gallery. You'll also learn about life in modern day Antarctica, view real little blue penguins and experience a thrilling ride in a Hagglund all terrain vehicle.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Christchurch Gondola

In the Heathcote Valley, just fifteen minutes from the heart of Christchurch City, ride the Christchurch Gondola for nearly a kilometer to the collapsed rim of an extinct volcano, which exploded six million years ago. Take in the spectacular panoramic views of the central city, Lyttelton Harbour, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury Plains, and the distant peaks of the Southern Alps. Wander the summit complex, enjoy a coffee or lunch in the cafe, and choose one of many nature walks to explore or visit the Christchurch Discovery Rice, a dramatic reconstruction of the history of the Port Hills and Christchurch. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zipline & Native Forest Tour with EcoZip Kaikoura

Be Collected from your accommodation for a 3-hour Kaikoura adventure. Enjoy a scenic journey in an airconditioned van to the staging point, Kaikoura's beachfront airfield, you will be transferred into a comfortable 4WD where you will experience an iconic braided river crossing on the Kahutara river. Be greeted with gorgeous scenic views as you are surrounded by the green valleys of Rakanui station, passing livestock, and rolling farmlands. As you reach the base of the Zipline, you will be treated to a scenic lookout where you can see for miles the stunning hills and working station, the sweeping arc of the peninsula, and the snowcapped mountains. Here you will take on a thrilling adventure as you ride the 5 ziplines where you will get to zip along 2km of line, with the chance to ride alongside your mate on the twin lines. During the adventure, your experienced guide will tell you fun facts about the area and the history of Kaikoura. After riding the ziplines, you will get a chance to walk through the native forest, in winter there is the chance to get stuck in and plant a tree as part of the conservation program - Eco Zip is committed to planting a tree for every Zipline participant.

Your accommodation: Quest Cathedral Junction

Quest Cathedral Junction serviced apartment style hotel rooms offer guests a relaxed and comfortable Christchurch accommodation experience. Quest Cathedral Junction is located within the Christchurch CBD, only a short walk to Cathedral Square, New Regent Street Entertainment Precinct, Isaac Royal Theatre, Botanic Gardens.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.5 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 24
Christchurch to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

Today you'll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue colour. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.
Please note: There are no food shops at Mt Cook, and dinner options are limited to one restaurant. If you wish to self-cater, you must stock up before arriving in Mt Cook, or make dinner reservations in advance.

Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park

At 3754 metres Aoraki-Mt Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, located deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. From the Visitor Centre at the southern end of Lake Pukaki, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of this immense peak. As well as its impressive beauty, Mt Cook National Park is also home to a huge range of awe-inspiring sights and activities. Take to the air with Mt Cook Ski Planes for a scenic flight that includes a glacier landing. At around 27 kilometres long the Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest and a Glacier Explorers tour will give you the opportunity to see its unique features.
There are many short hikes in and around the park and these are well signposted. Those with an interest in the night sky should take a stargazing tour with the Hermitage Hotel. The region is considered to have one of the clearest night skies in the world and is one of the few gold-rated dark sky reserves worldwide.
The Hermitage Hotel complex offers fine dining, multiple cafes and a bar. Due to the remote location of the property, there are no shops and limited supplies at Mt Cook Village. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre for insight into this region's mountain climbing history. You'll also learn of Sir Ed's incredible achievements and his dedication to helping others around the world.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - 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.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

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: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 25
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown

Leaving the alpine region of Aoraki Mt Cook, you'll travel through the lakeside town of Twizel, then a little further to Omarama the gliding capital of New Zealand. Continue on over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand's highest roads with a summit of 971 metres. Arrive in the quaint village of Tarras, then continue on a short way to the historic Bendigo Reserve, one of Otago's original gold mining settlements.
Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards Gibbston, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview

Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview is located on Frankton Road, the main arterial route into Queenstown - With the centre of town only a short 10-minute stroll away.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 26
Explore Queenstown

Well-known as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’, Queenstown is home to a range of adventures, from the world's first and most famous bungy jumps to jet boat thrills, white-water rafting, and skydiving. However, Queenstown offers far more than a fast-paced, action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of beautiful 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. Take a stroll through the beautiful lakefront parks and gardens, browse through market stalls on weekends, dine in wonderful al-fresco restaurants, or ride on the 100-year-old historic Steamship - TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. Take the Queenstown Gondola up to Bob's Peak and soak up the panoramic views of the magnificent lake and mountain ranges. And after all of that, if you do want the adrenaline rush, Queenstown is known for taking your pick from the Shotover Jet, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge, or Heli-ski.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Jet Canyon Jet Boat Ride

Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to operate in the Shotover River Canyons. It's a thrilling ride! Skim past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet 'Big Red', as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. And a major highlight - hold tight for the world-famous Shotover Jet full 360-degree spins!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Nevis Bungy Jump with AJ Hackett

Welcome to the best thing you’ve ever done. Go full throttle with the 134m Bungy (the highest in New Zealand). Freefall for 8.5 seconds in a blitz of pure fear and adrenaline. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, because this will definitely put the cement in your coffee.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skyline Gondola Queenstown and 3 Luge Rides

In the heart of Queenstown, located 450 metres above town in the Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve is the Skyline Complex. A gondola ride to the summit makes for awe-inspiring views of the city surround. Arrive at the complex and wander the outside viewing decks for a picture perfect outlook. Then onto the Luge! The 800 metre luge track offers an exhilarating journey through banked corners, tunnels and dippers.

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.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview

Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview is located on Frankton Road, the main arterial route into Queenstown - With the centre of town only a short 10-minute stroll away.

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 27
Queenstown to Fox Glacier

Crossing the Crown Range the highest sealed road in the country, you'll pass through the alpine town of Wanaka. Following the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you'll enter the township of Makarora, gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park.  Stretch your legs on a walk to Blue Pools, a ten minute stroll through lush rainforest. Marvel at the native beech and countless waterfalls as you continue toward the West Coast.
Crossing the Haast River you are now truly in the wild west, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. Continue on to arrive in Fox Glacier, your destination for the night. Home to the largest glacier on the west coast, Fox is 13 kilometres long and ends in rainforest only 250 metres above sea level.

Fox Glacier

The mighty Fox is the largest and longest of the magnificent West Coast glaciers. Remarkably, it ends in temperate rainforest, 250 metres above sea level only twelve kilometres from the sea.
There are more peaks at the head of the Fox Glacier than in any other valley in New Zealand.
The Fox Glacier, like all glaciers, advances and retreats. Evidence of the latest surge forward can be seen in the bulging lower ice fall. Alpine Guides has access onto the lower part of the glacier via a secret track that climbs through regenerating native forest. From the track, you will have stunning views into the upper parts of the glacier. Fox Glacier township is the more "laid back" of the twin Glacier Country townships of Fox and Franz Josef, and people often comment on having chosen Fox for its relaxed atmosphere.
An excellent selection of cafés and a wide range of accommodations are available. The township enjoys breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest peaks, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Lake Matheson, the famous reflection lake, is a five-minute drive west of Fox Township and historic Gillespie's Beach, known for its crashing surf and distant snow-capped mountains, is only 25 minutes west by car.

 

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

Explore the glacial icefalls of not one but two glaciers - Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. Discover up close their neve and unusual ice formations - landing on the snowfields is a highlight and will make for superb photos, snowballs and memories. A 30 minute flight with snow landing. 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.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

The Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier is nestled at the base of the majestic Southern Alps, in the Westland World Heritage Park. Originally built in 1928 it has been refurbished to retain its charming atmosphere.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 321 kms / 199 miles : 4.0 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 28
Fox Glacier to Greymouth Train Station

The drive north from Fox and Franz Josef takes you through the historic gold mining region of Ross and the town of Hokitika, a great place to explore the craft stores, in particular the jade or greenstone. The largest town on the West Coast, Greymouth is also the starting point for the TranzAlpine Scenic Train.  Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's greatest train journeys, the TranzAlpine scenic train travels both ways from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the vast windswept Canterbury Plains, spectacular gorges, river valleys and native beech rainforest. A highlight for many is the crossing of the Southern Alps, passing through Arthur's Pass National Park, before descending to the Canterbury Plains and arriving in Christchurch.

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

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

Your accommodation: Quest Cathedral Junction

Quest Cathedral Junction serviced apartment style hotel rooms offer guests a relaxed and comfortable Christchurch accommodation experience. Quest Cathedral Junction is located within the Christchurch CBD, only a short walk to Cathedral Square, New Regent Street Entertainment Precinct, Isaac Royal Theatre, Botanic Gardens.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 197 kms / 122 miles : 2.5 hours

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Australia and New Zealand Sights & Scenery - Day 29
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

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

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Day 2 - Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Chocolate & Dessert Walking Tour with Chocoholic Tours NZD$0

Day 2 - River Gardens Tour with Melbourne River Cruises NZD$0

Day 4 - Walk with Wildlife Tour with Wildlife Wonders NZD$0

Day 5 - 12 Apostles to London Bridge Scenic Helicopter Flight NZD$0

Day 8 - Sea the Fleurieu with The Big Duck Boat Tours NZD$0

Day 10 - Australian Wine Master Class at the National Wine Centre of Australia NZD$0

Day 10 - Adelaide Central Market Delicious Lunch Tour NZD$0

Day 12 - Wintjiri Wiru Sunset Dinner with Voyages Indigenous Tourism NZD$0

Day 13 - Uluru Hop on Hop off - 1 Day Pass NZD$0

Day 13 - Kings Canyon Experience Scenic Flight with Ayers Rock Helicopters NZD$0

Day 16 - Dreamtime Walk at the Mossman Gorge Centre NZD$0

Day 17 - General Admission to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures NZD$0

Day 18 - Harbour Dinner Cruise with Explore NZD$0

Day 19 - Hobbiton Movie Set Tour NZD$0

Day 20 - National Kiwi Hatchery Tour NZD$0

Day 20 - Original Ziplining Experience with Rotorua Canopy Tours NZD$0

Day 20 - Te Pā Tū Evening Maori Cultural Experience - Dinner Included NZD$0

Day 21 - Zealandia By Night Wildlife Sanctuary Tour NZD$0

Day 23 - Whale Watch Tour Ocean's Cabin with Whale Watch Kaikoura NZD$0

Day 23 - International Antarctic Centre NZD$0

Day 23 - Christchurch Gondola NZD$0

Day 23 - EcoZip Adventures Kaikoura NZD$0

Day 24 - Glacier Explorers NZD$0

Day 26 - Shotover Jet Canyon Jet Boat Ride NZD$0

Day 26 - Nevis Bungy Jump with AJ Hackett NZD$0

Day 26 - Gondola and 3 Luge Rides with Skyline Queenstown NZD$0

Day 26 - TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dining NZD$0

Day 27 - Twin Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight with The Helicopter Line NZD$0

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NOTE: Quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and is subject to change.Terms and Conditions apply

Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

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