Travelling to Australia and New Zealand, for most, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the world ‘down under’. This itinerary has been perfectly designed to cover both countries. Spend three nights each in the waterside cities of Perth and Sydney. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and watch the sun set over Uluru. And in the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, learn Maori traditions in North Island; and marvel at majestic scenery - mountain-backed lakes, glaciers, fiords and winelands - in South Island.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Perth.
We arrive into Perth this evening and transfer to our hotel, conveniently located in the vibrant city centre with a choice of restaurants on your doorstep.
Famously isolated, Perth is completely surrounded by nature with the Indian Ocean to one side, and the Australian outback on the other. We waste no time in getting to know the city’s elegant streets and stunning parks with a tour. There’s time to discover the eclectic colonial port area of Fremantle and take a cruise along the Swan River, past the multi-million-dollar mansions that occupy the waterfront.
Staying just a short stroll from the Swan River, Supreme Court Gardens and Perth Mint (home to the One Tonne Gold Coin!), it’s easy to find ways to spend your free day. You may choose to venture to Rottnest Island to view the quirky local wildlife species, the Quokka. Or maybe join an optional wine cruise excursion into the picturesque upper Swan Valley and the prestigious Sandalford Estate, for a unique ‘behind the scenes’ winery tour.
We transfer to the airport for a flight to Alice Springs (which may be indirect) and on arrival drive to ANZAC Hill, where the great view highlights the town’s compact size, with mountains in the distance. We continue to our hotel.
From Alice Springs, we journey to Australia’s most famous natural spectacle, Uluru, a large sandstone rock formation, thought to have started forming 550 million years ago.
After settling into our hotel, we make our way to the rock area itself as the sun begins to set. The rock’s hue captivatingly changes minute by minute and it’s easy to see why this area is so magical and spiritually important to the local indigenous people.
Wake early for a glorious sunrise viewing of Uluru, before a tour of the base illustrates its enormity. Nearby Kata Tjuta is our next destination, a group of 36 red rocks soaring out of the desert. As well as a tour of the unusual rock shapes, you may spot some of the many species of reptiles, mammals and birdlife that call them home.
Later, we fly to Cairns and transfer to our hotel for the next four nights.
Today is free to spend as you wish. The hotel is a city-centre oasis and its lovely pool area may persuade you to relax in your surroundings and recharge your batteries. Or perhaps take a walk into Cairns to discover the shops and bustling markets or relax on a stroll along the esplanade with its attractive lagoon.
Today is a highlight for many as we step aboard our full-day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. We’ll spend time at a sand island, fringed by a reef of beautiful coral gardens teeming with colourful marine life. There’ll be time to view the unique reef environment from the deck; snorkelling in the warm, calm, translucent water to meet the colourful reef fish face-to-face; or from a semi-submersible boat.
Morning and afternoon tea, and buffet lunch are included, before we return to Cairns later in the day.
Today is at leisure to enjoy Cairns and its tropical surroundings. Spend more time relaxing by the pool, visit the captivating aquarium or peaceful Botanic Gardens or join an optional excursion further north to Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the sea.
Our discovery of tropical Queensland at an end, we return to the airport for our flight to Sydney.
Australia’s most famous city is the final and perhaps the most anticipated Australian destination of our odyssey. We take a tour of Sydney’s highlights including the iconic Opera House, Australia’s oldest park - the wonderful Royal Botanical Gardens, and Hyde Park, home to Sydney’s ANZAC Memorial.
This afternoon, sit back and relax on our cruise of the famous harbour, which will allow us to see this eye-catching city from an alternative perspective.
Today is a free day, and you’re spoilt for choice on how to fill it. Perhaps travel to quiet Botany Bay, where Captain James Cook and, later, the First Fleet of convicts anchored in Australia, or stay in the city to visit the museums to learn all about Australia’s past.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Pylon Lookout and numerous galleries are also an option, or explore the historic alleyways of The Rocks, relax in the lovely Botanical Gardens, or maybe see a show at the Opera House.
Leaving Australia behind, we transfer to the airport for our flight to New Zealand. We arrive in the South Island and attractive Queenstown, a town on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and flanked by The Remarkables mountain range. We transfer to our hotel, excellently located for exploration of the area reminiscent of an alpine ski resort.
Part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site, stunning Milford Sound is set within the heart of Fiordland National Park. Bound by steep cliffs that soar vertically from the fiord and surrounded by a dense rainforest, that creates temporary waterfall cascades in days of heavy rain, Milford Sound is a beautiful serene area.
Perhaps its most impressive sight is Mitre Peak, standing 1,692m above sea level. As you sail towards it, you may even spot a bottlenose dolphin. The day is a long one, however the journey from Queenstown along one of the world’s finest alpine roads, is just as spectacular as the destination itself.
Enjoy a free day in a town that offers adventure and relaxation. The Skyline Gondola is just a short stroll from the hotel, offering views from Bob’s Peak across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Or a walk along the shores of the scenic lake is an ideal way to absorb this stunning setting. It will become clear how the Remarkables Mountains gained their name, as the ever-changing colours play across their faces. Those seeking something a little more adventurous may like to spend some of their free time by taking an optional helicopter flight or boat ride.
Gibbston Valley Winery is one of Otago’s founding wineries and their produce is world renowned. We’ll visit today, for a glimpse of the making and an enjoyable tasting, of the area’s lovely soft Pinot Noir. Afterwards we continue to Wanaka and our hotel, with lawns stretching to the scenic shores of Lake Wanaka, one of New Zealand’s largest and deepest lakes.
Our coach takes us past Lake Hawea and on through the Haast Pass and Mount Aspiring National Park, to embark on an exhilarating and unforgettable river safari on the beautiful blue waters of the Haast River to Roaring Billy Falls.
Later, we’ll continue onwards to Westland National Park and the world-renowned glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox.
After breakfast, we head inland and up into the spectacular Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass. Have your camera at the ready as we board the award-winning TranzAlpine train, for probably one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world, heading back down the mountain range through spectacular gorges and plummeting river valleys to Christchurch.
Our destination today is the historic French Village of Akaroa and its spectacular harbour, where we join a cruise sailing through majestic scenery formed by an extinct volcanic crater.
A number of species of wildlife may make an appearance: the rare Hector's Dolphin, native to New Zealand; the white-flippered penguin, the smallest penguin in the world; or the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. There are also five different cormorant or shag species that call the harbour home and a number of New Zealand fur seals.
We depart the South Island today, travelling to Christchurch Airport for a flight to Rotorua in the North Island. On arrival we transfer to our hotel, excellently located, overlooking the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Reserve.
Rotorua is one of the ‘jewels’ of New Zealand and the heart of the Maori culture - its crystal clear lake, thermal wonders and lush forests are a joy to explore. Today we visit the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, where the Maori continue to live in harmony with this unique landscape, amidst the eruptions of geothermal activity.
Later, we drive to Tamaki Maori Village to have an all-embracing cultural experience complete with a traditional ‘hangi’ feast, accompanied by song and dance.
We head north to Auckland and New Zealand’s largest city, formed on the ridges of volcanic lava flows. On arrival, our city tour introduces us to the heart of the ‘Queen City’ and its founder, Captain Hobson, before making our way to the suburbs and Parnell Village with its quaint boutiques, restaurants and Victorian-styled shops. The rest of the day is free to meander at leisure around the city with its sparkling waterfront location.
With a free day in Auckland, maybe ascend Auckland’s Sky Tower for breathtaking views over the city and its incredible backdrop, or if you feel like venturing a little further, there are several small islands reachable by ferry from Auckland’s two harbours. Alternatively take an optional cruise along Waitemata Harbour.
Our odyssey almost at an end, we transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
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