Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

76 Views
18 Days From

$10525

$10194

Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

18 Days Starting in Melbourne (VIC) and ending in Christchurch (Nz)

Visiting: Melbourne, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch

Tour operator:

Trafalgar

Tour code:

QCANA2M24

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

From: $10525 $10194 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$332

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Want a bit of everything? Sun, sand, city life, and wilderness all take center stage on this Australia and New Zealand tour. Find yourself gliding across the Great Barrier Reef and getting to know the cities before Queenstown, Milford Sound, and hearing tales of Maori Warriors in just 18 incredible days.

Highlights

  • 1 Welcome Reception (WR)

  • 2 Lunch (L)

  • 15 Breakfast (B)

  • 3 Dinner (D)

  • 3 Regional Dinner (RD)

  • 1 Be My Guest (BMG)

  • 1 Farewell Dinner (FD)

  • Rotorua: Immerse yourself in Maori traditions at a fun and entertaining evening, including a cultural performance and three-course seasonal meal meal at Te Pa Tu Maori Experience.

  • Hurunui: Step onto a working hill-country sheep farm. Experience what it is like to farm Merino sheep & Angus cattle in this beautiful part of the country. See the animals graze pastures in the open air and learn about where the best natural products come from.

  • Cairns: Join us to plant some trees which will help in the restoration of rainforest in Far North Queensland.

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Itinerary

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Day 1: Welcome To Melbourne

Location: Melbourne

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza

Meals Included: Welcome Reception

Stylish and friendly Melbourne extends a warm welcome to your epic tour (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). You’ll soon see you’re staying right in the heart of the action on the banks of the Yarra River, the perfect springboard for your time in the city. After settling into your hotel, get to know your Travel Director and fellow travelers over a Welcome Reception at The General Assembly. Perched on the Yarra River’s South Wharf, this modern pub is a great introduction to Melbourne’s cosmopolitan vibe. Relax and tuck into a three-course dinner with specialties such as Fisherman’s bend pie, schnitzel, and mac & cheese croquettes, washing it down with your choice of local wines and 15 beers on tap.

Day 2: Uncover Melbourne's Laneways

Location: Melbourne

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza

Meals Included: Breakfast

Delve into the city this morning on a walk with your Travel Director to discover the little lanes, arcades, and café society of stylish Melbourne. View its famous, edgy street art - in the striking contrast to federation buildings and churches that Melbourne is known for - and immerse yourself in the city’s robust coffee aroma, admiring the exquisite Victorian façades lining grand boulevards. After your orientation, you have the rest of the day to get a feel for the city strolling or finding a spot on the Yarra River to grab a drink, taking advantage of the time to do a little souvenir shopping, relaxing back at your hotel, or choosing an Optional Experience such as the popular viewing of the daily sea-to-shore trek of the tiny, adorable penguins on Phillip Island. This rare wildlife encounter is a fascinating look at the penguins’ life and one you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Day 3: Cairns, In The Tropics

Location: Melbourne, Cairns

Accommodation: Hilton

Meals Included: Breakfast

Get ready for a change of scenery and “locals” today as you fly north to Cairns. Then get right in the action meeting a Local Specialist for a private wildlife encounter at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures on a boat cruise through, where the crocs are the stars of the show popping up from the murky waters or lazing on the bank. Safe in your boat, your local guide will give you the inside scoop on the life and habits of these Cairns’ area locals. Inspired by your introduction to wildlife, you’ll love your next experience helping take part in a Rainforest Restoration project to protect the natural wonder of the nearby Notophyll Vine Forest, an area older than the Amazon. Your helping-hand planting trees supports the protection of this rare type of dry rainforest from development and restores it to its former glory as an important wildlife corridor rich with native birds - a mission you’ll feel good contributing to. Back in town, enjoy your evening on your own sampling some of the city’s famous seafood around the Cairns Marina or visiting the Cairns Night Markets, where you’ll find it hard to make a choice from over 70 open-air stalls of local specialties.

Day 4: View Colorful Coral And Tropical Fish

Location: Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns

Accommodation: Hilton

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

No matter where you hail from, today is a bucket list experience exploring the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef as we set sail on a high-speed catamaran —and you have a full day to do it. Kick off the day, then don your mask and fins for a snorkel (equipment provided) exploring this underwater wonderland up close. You’ll think you’re inside an aquarium as you wind your way through the rainbow of reefs and fish. Or, stay dry in your semi-submersible, air-conditioned craft with an underwater observatory to view the tropical species that live in the world’s largest coral reef system. Your local guide shares all their insights on the reef and its ecology. Learn about the colorful fish and plants that call the reef home and why it’s so important to protect this beautiful and fragile ecosystem. Refuel with lunch and afternoon tea and coffee under the glorious Aussie sunshine before you cruise back into the city, all smiles after an amazing day.

Day 5: Cairns, It's All Yours

Location: Cairns

Accommodation: Hilton

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Soak up the atmosphere of sunny Cairns with a free day to explore the town, head further afield, or relax by your hotel pool. You can also choose to join a popular Optional Experience aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway through a lush forest past gorges, ravines, and waterfalls to Kuranda 'village in the rainforest.' Explore this quaint village of trails, wildlife sanctuaries, shops, and markets within a World Heritage rainforest before returning to the lowlands soaring above the canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Tonight, join the group to trade tales from the day at Ochre Restaurant. With views of the inlet and mountains, watch the boats come in over the Harbor Lights’ boardwalk as you enjoy Australian cuisine featuring the best local produce. Try their dry old Tablelands beef or Salt and Pepper Prawn with a craft beer, glass of wine from their extensive list, or cocktail highlighting their largest selection of Australian spirits in the region.

Day 6: Fly To Glorious Sydney

Location: Cairns, Sydney

Accommodation: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Meals Included: Breakfast

You're only six days into your Australia and New Zealand tour and the journey continues leaving the golden beaches of Cairns behind and heading to Sydney, Australia’s largest city, harbor, and fun-loving metropolis. Settle into your centrally located hotel before an afternoon and evening free to explore. You could soak up the incredible city views on a ferry trip to Manly, wander around the Royal Botanic Garden, or get your adrenaline racing with an Optional Experience thrilling climb up (and over) the Sydney harbor Bridge.

Day 7: Savor The Sights Of Sydney

Location: Sydney

Accommodation: Sofitel Wentworth Hotel Sydney

Meals Included: Breakfast

It's the ultimate in Sydney sightseeing today when you join a behind-the-scenes Opera House Tour with a Local Specialist before exploring the city from another angle - aboard a harbor cruise, sailing past Circular Quay, Shark Island, magnificent homes, beaches, and parkland, and the iconic white sails of the Opera House. Cross the harbor Bridge, soaking in the beautiful blooms of Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay. At this tucked away retreat overlooking Sydney harbor, meet a local volunteer and learn the story of how the garden was transformed, beginning in 1992 from unused railway land at the foot of founder Wendy’s house into a beautiful, whimsical secret spot. Take a walk around the grounds among the shrubs, herbs, and towering trees lining meandering paths, eyes peeled for the resident parrots, gulls, kookaburras and wagtails. Take a moment to enjoy the serenity of the garden, knowing that your visit, proudly a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, helps by contributing to the ongoing maintenance by volunteer gardeners of this enchanting garden. After a big morning, the rest of the day is yours to check out the sites.

Day 8: Sydney, It's Your Choice

Location: Sydney

Accommodation: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Meals Included: Breakfast, Regional Dinner

Get your final fix of Sydney by checking out its sights and sounds anyway you want on this free day. You might choose to wander further afield on an optional experience to the Blue Mountains, wander along the harbor foreshore through the Royal Botanic Garden or board a ferry to the beachside suburb of Manly. On your last night in town, take one last walk around the harbor before sitting down to a Regional Dinner saying a fond farewell to Australia before experiencing a change of scenery on the next leg of your journey in New Zealand.

Day 9: Kia Ora Auckland New Zealand

Location: Sydney, Auckland

Accommodation: The Grand by SkyCity

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Say a fond hoo roo to Australia on your Australia and New Zealand tour as you board your flight to Auckland. Upon arrival, ease into the warm, welcoming embrace of the City of Sails before meeting your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel right in the heart of the city, Gusto at the Grand. You’ll love their Italian cuisine with a New Zealand flair such as made-in-house pastas and made-from-scratch risotto and no doubt full of anticipation for your first full day in New Zealand tomorrow.

Day 10: Delve Into Auckland

Location: Auckland

Accommodation: The Grand by SkyCity

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning, you’ll see how the city earned its name as the ‘City of Sails’ as you jump right in with a city sightseeing tour showcasing the beautiful waterfront of Mission Bay, historic overlook of Bastion Point, and spacious gardens and sunken pool at the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial offering sweeping views of Waitemata Harbor and the North Shore. You’ll pass the Auckland Museum located on the dormant volcano Pukekawa, meaning 'hill of bitter memories' referring to tribal battles fought on the site until 1828. Your afternoon free. Pop into one of their many chocolate cafes for a treat after a full morning of exploring. You could join an Optional Experience to Waiheke Island for a wine tour, or, if you have a sweet tooth, join an experience to Giapo's ice cream.

Day 11: Rotorua, The Cultural Hub

Location: Auckland, Rotorua

Accommodation: Millennium

Meals Included: Breakfast, Regional Dinner

Journey through the dramatic scenery and landscapes of Waikato, passing through Cambridge, on your way to New Zealand’s cultural capital, Rotorua. On Cambridge’s tree-lined main street, learn about the town’s claim to fame as the training grounds for thoroughbred racehorses and famous jockeys. Your time in Rotorua kicks off to an extra cute start with the first of two MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences today, visiting the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa for a tour with a Local Specialist. At this national leader in kiwi husbandry, learn about the work being done to save this rare native bird. Get up close and see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process, and even newly hatched kiwi chicks - leaving you with an appreciation for those trying to save New Zealand’s national bird. This evening, Dive Into Culture at a Regional Dinner at Te Pā Tū Māori Experience, where you’ll journey into the forest to a time of warriors and ancient traditions. You’ll be welcomed by their Poi and Haka dances (and have the chance to join in). Top off this fun night with forest kai horotai (summer season canapés) and chef-choice aperitif followed by a seasonal three-course dinner and live music under the stars.

Day 12: Adventure Capital Queenstown

Location: Rotorua, Auckland, Queenstown

Accommodation: Millennium

Meals Included: Breakfast, Be My Guest

Lance O'Sullivan, a retired champion jockey, and his wife Bridgette invite you to an exclusive Be My Guest morning tea at the Red Barn on their working dairy farm in the Waikato district. Expect country banter and have a go at the forgotten art of butter churning. The feel-good vibes will follow you all the way to Queenstown, the self-proclaimed adventure capital of New Zealand. It makes perfect sense – there are ski fields, white-water river and bridges strapped with bungy cords wherever you turn. And then there’s the dining scene; Queenstown is home to some of the country’s most awarded restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for bulging burgers or lakeside tapas, ask us for recommendations on this leg of your Queenstown New Zealand tour.

Day 13: Cruise Milford Sound Fiord

Location: Queenstown

Accommodation: Millennium

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Rise and shine journeying through some of the best natural and dramatic landscapes you'll ever experience, along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and over the Devil's Staircase to Te Anau. Pass Mirror Lakes. Emerge from the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel towards Mitre Peak - named after its resemblance to a bishop’s mitre headdress - and Lady Bowen Falls before reaching World Heritage listed national park, Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. You get to the experience this treasure on a scenic cruise getting up close to sheer cliffs, white-capped peaks, and waterfalls as you watch for dolphins, penguins, and seals. Take it all in as you learn how the dramatic landscapes of Milford Sound were carved out by the erosion of ancient glacial ice. After a day of natural beauty, return to Queenstown for a free evening to stay in and wind down or dine at one of the restaurants overlooking Lake Wakatipu.

Day 14: Indulge Yourself In Queenstown

Location: Queenstown

Accommodation: Millennium

Meals Included: Breakfast, Regional Dinner

It’s your final day in Queenstown and the world is your oyster. Oenophiles will want to join an Optional Experience touring three premium boutique vineyards in the famous Otago region known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll indulge in vineyard and barrel hall tours complete with early history of the region and, of course, plenty of tastings as well as a platter lunch with the vines as your backdrop. Perhaps cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm for an authentic Kiwi Farming experience complete with a working sheep dog demonstration and gourmet barbecue lunch. With more sheep than people in New Zealand, you’ll know this is the real thing! This evening, we take a step back in time with our Travel Director over a Regional Dinner at the Postmasters Cottage built in 1907 in nearby historic Arrowtown. You’ll learn how after the cottage was almost demolished by developers, it was then saved and purchased by the passionate local community and ultimately restored and embellished with verandas and gardens. Lastly, sit down to fresh, local food and wines matched with friendly service that the kiwis are known for.

Day 15: Breathtaking Lake Tekapo

Location: Queenstown, Lake Tekapo

Accommodation: Peppers Bluewater Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown for Lake Tekapo, traveling through Arrowtown’s lovingly restored mining cottages, and Cromwell on the banks of Lake Dunstan. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped inside a painting as you see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd perched on the shores of the lake and built with stones gathered within a five-mile radius. Then the night sky calls as you spend the evening stargazing in the world-renowned UNESCO Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Your Local Specialist will show you the famous Southern Cross, Magellanic Cloud, and Milky Way as you gaze up in wonder and get a closer look using a powerful optical telescope. Cap off your adventures in this beautiful part of the world with an overnight at Peppers Bluewater Resort overlooking Lake Tekapo. Experience this location known for its bountiful stars strolling the sprawling grounds or from the comfort of your room.

Day 16: Christchurch, The Garden City

Location: Lake Tekapo, Christchurch

Accommodation: Distinction

Meals Included: Breakfast

Get an early start to watch the sun rise over the lake or sleep in before heading north through South Canterbury to Christchurch, a beautiful English city rich in history and thriving after rebuilding itself from the devastating 2011 earthquake. Everywhere you look you can easily see how it’s earned its name, the Garden City. Begin at the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral, to admire its colorful stained-glass windows and sustainable cardboard construction that gives it the nickname “The Cardboard Cathedral.” You’ll take a tour of the highlights of the city including Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Earthquake Memorial, Bridge of Remembrance, and see the English punting boaters in their striped hats along the Avon River.

Day 17: Meet A Local Farming Family

Location: Christchurch

Accommodation: Distinction

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Be My Guest, Farewell Dinner

Travel through rolling countryside to Hurunui Hills, a hill-country farm in North Canterbury. Enjoy warm kiwi hospitality with the Bamford Family, who have been farming at Hurunui since 1884, with six generations focused on producing premium Merino sheep, wool, and Angus cattle. Soak up the stunning scenery while you enjoy morning tea, meet the farm animals, and discover what it is like to live off the land on this unique By My Guest experience. Then visit a local vineyard, Waipara Springs Winery, where it's time to relax over a platter-style lunch among the vines. A big day leads to a big evening, joining your Travel Director and travel mates for with a celebratory Farewell Dinner featuring produce from the Canterbury region.

Day 18: Farewell Christchurch

Location: Christchurch

Meals Included: Breakfast

Your adventure sadly comes to an end this morning. Before your transfer you to the Christchurch Airport, enjoy one last breakfast with your travel mates reflecting on your adventure, food, and wildlife-filled experiences across Australia and New Zealand (flights anytime).

What's Included

  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver

  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted

  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals

  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

  • All land transport shown. All transfers shown

  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

  • Optional Experiences and free time

  • A Trafalgar bonus - all Intra-Air Flights: Melbourne to Cairns, Cairns to Sydney, Sydney to Auckland, Auckland to Queenstown

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    The beauty of taking a guided holiday with us is that you’ll have the opportunity to meet and travel with people from all over the globe.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Vaccination against Covid-19 is not mandatory to travel with Trafalgar. However, we strongly recommend that guests are vaccinated before travelling. Please note that airlines and/or other authorities may have different requirements. It is the guest's responsibility to comply with these requirements at all times.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1947

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Trafalgar is a founding partner of the TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2008. So far, the charity has donated more than US$2 million to help underprivileged communities and support sustainable tourism around the world.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

Reviews of this operator

Renato Arrieta  

Best tour I joined so far

14-Jan-2023

My first time with Trafalgar and I see no reason why I should not join them again.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
King Ng, Lafayette, California  

Very well planned trip with timely breaks during the coach ride..

08-Nov-2021

It was a well organized tour group and we hit lots of interesting and beautiful scenes. Like our previous trips with Trafalgar, tourists were treated with well manner and professional tour guide/director, making our trip very enjoyable and delightful!

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Trusted Customer  

Best of Egypt

14-Jan-2023

We really did see the best of Egypt and beyond. Our tour guide, Mohammad, guided us through the rich history and the urban and rural life of such a unique and delightful country. We felt very safe and pampered.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Marshal Daguio  

Wonderful Best Of Turkey

06-Nov-2021

It was my first time with Trafalgar Tour and I had a wonderful trip from day 1 till the last day. The Tour Director, Yocel Atik is very knowledgeable and Excellent. The health director and coach driver are helpful and supportive as well. The hotels selected were comfortable especially Rixos Hotel and Movenpick Hotel. The Best of Turkey is better than I expected.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Barbara, Canada  

Irish Experience

09-Nov-2021

I am single and travel alone. I always feel secure and well-looked after when I travel with Trafalgar

Feefo Trusted Reviews

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    Trafalgar requires a minimum deposit of 350 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of trafalgar charges.

    Up to 91 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 90 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 80% of booking price.

    At 1 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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