The land "down under" comes alive as you savor the amazing contrasts of sophisticated cities with spectacular scenery and cultural wonders. Begin your tour in cosmopolitan Melbourne where you'll visit Fitzroy Gardens and the Parliament House. A special trip to Phillip Island is included where you'll witness hundreds of penguins waddle from the sea to their burrows in the dunes in what is dubbed the legendary Little Penguin Parade. A 3-day adventure in the rugged Outback will introduce you to the Aboriginal life and culture of Alice Springs. You'll view the mystical wonder of the huge monolith called Ayers Rock. From Cairns, you will enjoy an exhilarating catamaran ride to your Green Island base for views of the Great Barrier Reef's colorful coral and fish. Your stay in Sydney will provide a firsthand view of its legendary landmarks, including a performance at the famed Sydney Opera House. A fun-filled breakfast with the national icon, the kangaroo, and a visit to a wildlife park offer you an opportunity to meet some of Australia's famous wildlife. New Zealand's South Island promises some of the finest scenery in the world and a special dinner with a local Kiwi family. From the beautiful English city of Christchurch, you’ll explore the snow-capped peaks, river gorges and waterfalls of New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Franz Josef Glacier region In Queenstown, enjoy a day of leisure to explore this charming village and a cruise on Milford Sound before taking off for massive Mt. Cook, New Zealand's well-known national park. Back in Christchurch, visit a working farm for a sheep shearing demonstration, and enjoy dinner and a presentation on the history of the city's first settlers at a restored mansion.
Day #1 1 and
Day #2 Depart from Home - Today you will board your overnight flight for your trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Crossing the International Dateline, you skip a day ahead.
Day #3 Arrive Melbourne, Australia - Tour Begins - Your tour begins in the beautiful Victorian city of Melbourne, set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay and boasting a lively and cosmopolitan pulse.
Day #4 Melbourne - Today’s tour of Melbourne features Fitzroy Gardens, valued for their historic, architectural, and horticultural significance. Later, you may like to participate in an optional tour that travels to Phillip Island, arriving at the fascinating home of the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins. See hundreds of these lovable birds waddling out from the sea as they cross the beach to their burrows in the dunes during the Little Penguin Parade. On this option you will also visit the interpretation center where you will learn about the life of the Little Penguins and their significance to the area. Dinner is included on Phillip Island when you purchase this option.
Day #5 Melbourne - Alice Springs - You fly to Alice Springs, located in the heart of Central Australia and the Outback. A sightseeing tour includes the Old Telegraph Station and Anzac Hill, with its excellent view of Alice Springs and the surrounding area. Gain insight into the educational system in the Outback with a visit to the School of the Air - you may even see a class in session! A special experience is in store for you this afternoon as you will have the opportunity to meet the young Aboriginal group, Drum Atweme. Supported by the tour group Foundation, Drum Atweme is a musical group comprised of at-risk youth from the local community. Tonight, enjoy a memorable dinner in the bush complete with entertainment under the stars.
Day #6 Alice Springs - Discover the culture of the Aboriginal people this morning during the ‘Dreamtime Tour’. Your specialist guide, along with members of the Walpiri tribe, will tell you their stories of creation and show you the every day activities of the Aboriginals. You will meet these people at their camp and watch as various dreamtime stories are depicted in paintings.
Day #7 Alice Springs - Ayers Rock - Today you drive to Ayers Rock in the heart of the Australian Outback. This huge monolith and the sandstone domes of the Olgas were created through the process of upheaval and erosion. As the sun sets, enjoy a champagne toast and watch as Ayers Rock magically changes color.
Day #8 Ayers Rock - Cairns - This morning, you may take advantage of the option to experience the majesty of sunrise on Ayers Rock as you make your way there via the back of a camel! This afternoon, tour the Olgas and the base of “the Rock,” learning about their significance to the Aboriginal culture before leaving behind Australia’s Outback. This afternoon you are off to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. One of the world's most spectacular natural attractions, the reef was established as a marine park in 1975 and is a collective haven for thousands of species of sea life, as well as turtles and birds. In 1981 the United Nations designated the Great Barrier Reef a World Heritage site.
Day #9 Great Barrier Reef - Board a high-speed catamaran for an exciting excursion on the Great Barrier Reef. From your base on Green Island, you are able to explore the reef in many ways. Enjoy a trip on a glass bottom boat* where beautifully colored fish swim beneath in their natural habitat. Choose a stroll on the walking trail to take in the rain forest and the beaches, snorkel or watch the fish and sea turtles swim past from the pier. You may also visit the underwater observatory. For a more adventurous encounter with the reef, optional scuba diving and an outer reef tour are also available.
Day #10 Cairns - Sydney - Explore the rain forest canopy this morning on an optional skyrail tour; make a few stops on the ascent to experience the beauty of this World Heritage Site. Depart for the exciting city of Sydney this afternoon. The evening is yours to independently explore one of the world’s friendliest cities.
Day #11 Sydney - Today is a full day exploring the fun-loving city of Sydney. Begin with a tour that includes sights such as Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and the fashionable suburb of Paddington. Discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sites as you take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Later, enjoy a fascinating opal presentation and learn how raw opals are transformed from the dark mine shafts to beautiful artistic creations. Later, visit Sydney Wildlife World, located on the shores of Darling Harbour, which showcases Australia's fascinating flora and fauna with three floors of exhibits. Within its walls, over 6,000 native animals are protected. Walk amongst the wallabies and birds when you experience the new interactive walk-through. Visit the koala sanctuary and see Australia's most famous animal species in its natural habitat…you even have the opportunity to pet one! This evening’s experience is unforgettable as you dine while cruising the harbour, enjoying views of the city’s great icons - the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
Day #12 Sydney - Your discovery of Sydney continues today with time to pursue your own interests. Stroll through the city streets, visit the historic Rocks District, or simply relax. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer suggestions.
Day #13 Sydney - Christchurch, New Zealand - Today you board your flight to begin your exploration of New Zealand. You arrive in Christchurch, a beautiful English city located on the Avon River. Christchurch is considered “the most English city outside of England.” A sightseeing tour highlights the city’s magnificent gardens, elegant park district and the historic Neo-Gothic Cathedral. A special treat is in store for you tonight as you dine with a New Zealand family in their home. Meet and talk firsthand with a friendly Kiwi family who are delighted to share their culture, traditions and home with you.
Day #14 Christchurch - Franz Josef Glacier Region - Traveling across New Zealand’s spectacular Southern Alps, you will marvel at the snowcapped peaks and beautiful river gorges as you wind your way past waterfalls and rugged mountain scenery. You may take a train ride (optional) aboard the Tranz-Alpine Express for a scenic trip through the Southern Alps. You’ll end your day in the Franz Josef Glacier Region which offers travellers a rare opportunity to experience a dynamic glacial landscape, in a temperate environment.
Day #15 Franz Josef - Queenstown - This morning you may choose to view the jagged snow-covered mountaintops by taking an optional flightseeing tour (weather permitting) over New Zealand’s beautiful glacier region. Board your coach and journey to Queenstown. An amazing landscape unfolds before your eyes as you pass through the rain forest, surrounded by the Southern Alps and twisting coastline, revealing New Zealand's most stunning scenery. Cross green glacial lakes, view thundering waterfalls and enjoy dramatic changes in scenery. After crossing the Haast Pass you arrive in Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s prettiest towns, nestled beside the mysterious Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Lakes district. This evening enjoy dinner at the Skyline Restaurant where you will enjoy spectacular views overlooking Queenstown, the Remarkable Mountains, and Lake Wakatipu.
Day #16 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown - Travel through beech forest into the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley via the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound, where you will enjoy a fascinating cruise. You may choose to return to Queenstown via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Day #17 Queenstown - Enjoy your day at leisure. Queenstown offers limitless diversions set amidst breathtaking Alpine scenery. Shop in the charming village of Queenstown or enjoy an optional and exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River.
Day #18 Queenstown - Mt. Cook - Enjoy a visit to Arrowtown, a boomtown during the 1800’s gold rush. Next, enjoy a tasting and tour at one of New Zealand's famous wineries. Stop at a local fruit stand to experience some of the delicious produce that grows in the Central Otago region. Crossing the Kawarau River, you see Lindis Pass before arriving in New Zealand’s most famous national park, Mt. Cook. There will be time to enjoy the Alpine paradise of Mt. Cook – a larger than life experience. You may choose to take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flightseeing tour (weather permitting), or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps.
Day #19 Mt. Cook - Christchurch - This morning, drive through magnificent landscapes as you return to Christchurch. Visit a working farm where you will view a demonstration by a skilled New Zealand “strong eye” sheep herding dog, followed by a sheep shearing demonstration. Learn how this New Zealand farm family has survived the changing times. Tonight, step back in time and experience the true elegance of Canterbury as you dine at a restored mansion and learn about the history of the first settlers of Christchurch.
Day #20 Christchurch - Auckland - Nadi, Fiji - Today you will arrive in the beautiful tropical paradise of Fiji. Fijians are warm and friendly, with a welcoming, vibrant South Pacific culture. The expansive sandy beaches and clear ocean waters draw visitors from around the world.
Day #21 Fiji - Your day is free to relax and enjoy your surroundings. An optional island tour is offered. Tonight, enjoy a lovely dinner.
Day #22 Fiji - Tour Ends - Your tour ends today in Fiji.