Welcome to the South Pacific and a journey that will introduce you to the many diverse regions of both Australia and New Zealand! You'll witness first hand unique cultures like that of Australia's Aboriginals and New Zealand's native Maori civilization. Your adventure begins in Cairns, an ideal setting-off point for the Great Barrier Reef. The majestic coral structures that make up the reef are home to the most diverse animal and plant ecosystem on earth. Your visit to Victorian Melbourne is where you'll enjoy a tour of Fitzroy Gardens and view the Little Penguin Parade on Phillip Island. A 3-night stay in Sydney will impress with its amazing must-see sights like the Sydney Opera House, where you'll enjoy a performance; and Koala Park, where you'll have the opportunity to pose with these cuddly creatures. Following an evening in Auckland, New Zealand's "City of Sails," enjoy dinner with a local Kiwi family in Rotorua. Your visit to Rotorua, one of New Zealand's most active geothermal regions, includes touring a Maori village and viewing the many hot springs and geysers in the area. In Wellington, New Zealand's capital city and decidedly British Christchurch, tour highlights include Te Papa Tongawera, New Zealand's national museum and time to explore on your own. Enjoy New Zealand' best-known national park and massive Mt. Cook before setting off for Queenstown and a cruise of Milford Sound, a spectacular fjord.
Day #1 1 and
Day #2 Depart from Home - Today you board your Qantas flight and begin the adventure of a lifetime to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, known for their friendly and welcoming nature. Crossing the International Dateline, you skip a day ahead.
Day #3 Cairns (Northern Beaches), Australia - Tour Begins - Your tour begins today in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, renowned for tropical rainforests, warm weather, friendly people and beautiful beaches. Tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner with your new mates.
Day #4 Great Barrier Reef - Board a high speed catamaran for an exciting exploration of the Great Barrier Reef. From your base on Green Island, you are able to explore the reef in many ways. Enjoy a glass bottom boat ride*, a stroll on the walking trail to take in the rainforest, relax on the beaches, snorkel or just watch the fish and sea turtles swim past from the pier. Optional scuba diving and an outer reef tour* are also available. You can do as much or as little as you like to explore the magnificent coral gardens of the reef.
Day #5 Cairns - Today visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center. You’ll see traditional Aboriginal dances, learn about the Aboriginal lifestyle, and even throw a boomerang or play a didgeridoo, a traditional instrument. Browse the renowned art gallery and visit the interpretation center which houses a collection of interesting artifacts. This afternoon a great experience awaits as you search for crocodiles in their natural habitat during a visit to Hartley's Croc Farm! While visiting you’ll also have the chance to meet some local koalas.
Day #6 Cairns - Melbourne - This morning you are at leisure to explore Cairns. Later, fly to Melbourne - Australia's most stylish city!
Day #7 Melbourne - Today you embark on a tour of Melbourne featuring Fitzroy Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance and the Parliament House. Later, travel to Phillip Island, a nature reserve and home of the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins. The Little Penguin is protected on Phillip Island and a staff of rangers works diligently to study and protect them. A highlight is sure to be the adorable Little Penguin Parade during which hundreds of lovable birds waddle out of the sea and cross the beach to their burrows in the dunes. 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.
Day #8 Melbourne - Canberra - This morning fly to Australia's capital city, Canberra. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic city tour visiting the Old Parliament House as well as the National Museum of Australia which interactively celebrates the land, nation and people of the country. The evening is yours to explore the city's shopping district and great eateries.
Day #9 Canberra - Blue Mountains - Sydney - Journey this morning into the majestic Blue Mountains which reside just outside of Sydney. Revel in the beauty of this World Heritage Site as you visit the famous Three Sister rock formation and Govett's Leap. Later, arrive into the bustling city of Sydney where the evening is yours to explore.
Day #10 Sydney - This morning you will see Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens, and the fashionable suburb of Paddington on a sightseeing tour of Sydney. You will also feel the power of one of the world’s most acoustically perfect architectural designs, the Sydney Opera House, during a guided tour. This evening you’ll enjoy a dinner cruise on beautiful Sydney Harbour during which you will be treated to spectacular views of Sydney’s greatest icons - the Harbour Bridge and world-famous Opera House.
Day #11 Sydney - This morning 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 Sydney Wildlife World's new interactive walk-through. Visit the koala sanctuary where you can see Australia's most famous animal species in its natural habitat. If you want to, you can even pet one! Later, enjoy an educational presentation on opals - learn how raw opals are processed from the dark mine shafts to artistic creations found in your favorite jewelry store. This evening, enjoy the friendly city at your leisure or join us for an optional tour.
Day #12 Sydney - Christchurch, New Zealand - Queenstown - You leave Australia behind and travel to New Zealand, arriving in the picturesque resort village of Queenstown. Become acquainted with your surroundings during a spectacular dinner at the Skyline Restaurant, which overlooks the appropriately named ‘Remarkable Mountains.’
Day #13 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown - Today you will travel through beech forest into the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley via the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on the spectacular fjord of Milford Sound, experiencing breathtaking vistas at every turn. Following your cruise you will return to Queenstown. You may opt to return via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of the Southern Alps.
Day #14 Queenstown - Your day is at leisure. You may choose from several options to enhance your vacation. Shop in the charming village, relax and visit with new friends, or enjoy an optional ‘Safari of the Rings’ tour that takes you deep into the majestic landscape of the Lord of the Rings movies.
Day #15 Queenstown - Mt. Cook - Traverse the spectacular countryside to New Zealand’s most famous national park, Mt. Cook. En route, enjoy a stop at a local fruit stand to gain an inside look at the produce of New Zealand. Mt. Cook is one of the most impressive mountains in the world. You may choose to view the massive glaciers and extensive snow-covered mountain top terrain on an optional glacier flightseeing tour (weather permitting), or perhaps enjoy the park during a nature walk.
Day #16 Mt. Cook - Christchurch - Today you will journey through the rolling Canterbury hillside en route to Christchurch. Located on the Avon River, this charming city is considered “the most English city outside of England.” A sightseeing tour highlights magnificent gardens, the Neo-Gothic Cathedral and the downtown park district.
Day #17 Christchurch - Today you are on your own to explore this charming city. This evening you are invited to dine and make friends with a New Zealand family in their home. This is sure to be an unforgettable evening during which you will learn about the customs of the “Kiwi’s” and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Day #18 Christchurch - Picton - Wellington - Travel up the winding eastern coast to Picton where you will board the famous Interislander Ferry for one of the most scenic trips the world has to offer. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you cruise through the Marlborough Sounds and cross the Cook Strait, arriving this evening in the capital city of Wellington. Nestled between a sparkling harbour and the rolling hills of the North Island, Wellington was first settled by Polynesians in the 10th century.
Day #19 Wellington - Today you will enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of Wellington viewing the Beehive, New Zealand’s Parliament, historic St. Paul’s Church, and the government building, the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere. Following the tour, you will visit the national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongawera Museum.
Day #20 Wellington - Napier - Journey into the region of Hawke's Bay today, arriving in the city of Napier. Rebuilt in the 1930s after a devastating earthquake, Napier boasts some of the greatest art deco architecture in the world. This evening, a fantastic winery visit and dinner will help you to discover the flavors of the region.
Day #21 Napier - Rotorua - This morning, enjoy an art deco tour of this great city. You then travel to Rotorua, known as the geothermal wonderland and cultural capital of New Zealand. The evening is yours to explore this great city.
Day #22 Rotorua - This morning visit Te Puia, New Zealand's premier Maori cultural and geothermal experience. You'll be truly amazed by the landscape of erupting geysers, bubbling mud pools and other geothermal wonders! Here, the Maori keep their customs alive by teaching the tribal youth the skills of traditional carving, weaving and dancing. Take part in an interactive demonstration on the art of weaving and the importance of the Maori dress. You will also view the Kiwi bird and learn what New Zealanders are doing to try to remove the Kiwi from the endangered species list. Next, a visit to the Agrodome will give you insight into how wool, one of New Zealand’s premier products, is produced. You will see a sheep shearing demonstration here. This afternoon, visit a jade factory to see how the raw product is transformed into a fabulous gemstone. This evening you will receive a traditional Maori welcome at a Hangi meal followed by a traditional performance of songs, dances and other cultural festivities.
Day #23 Rotorua - Auckland - Nadi, Fiji - Today you will arrive in the beautiful paradise island of Fiji. Fiji retains all the primitive cultural fascination of the South Pacific and boasts expansive sandy beaches and clear ocean waters.
Day #24 Fiji - Your day is free to relax and enjoy your surroundings. An optional island tour is offered. Enjoy a lovely dinner this evening.
Day #25 Fiji - Tour Ends - Today your tour ends in Fiji.