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Fully Flexible Australia and New Zealand Vacation
This suggested independent vacation is Fully Flexible - you can depart any day you like. An ideal way to experience the sights and sounds of both countries, with your choice of hotels and endless options to add extra sightseeing experiences.We have selected the most popular places to stay and the key to this 18 day vacation is we can tailor it for you, depending on how you like to spend your time on vacation.
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy fabulous alfresco eateries, jump on a tram, wander the bustling city lanes, or perhaps shopping. Overnight: Melbourne, ibis Little Bourke Street (standard), Crown Promenade (first class), Langham Hotel (superior) for 3 nights
Depart this morning on a discovery of the city sights. Start with Melbourne’s lush parklands, elegant heritage and contemporary architecture. Highlights include the Yarra River, Captain Cook’s Cottage, Queen Victoria Market, Fitzroy Gardens and Albert Park, home to the Formula One Grand Prix. Visit the historic Shrine of Remembrance and stroll along Southbank’s waterfront precinct. Return to your hotel mid-afternoon. This evening a treat is in store! Dine aboard a magnificently restored tramcar as it trundles the streets of Melbourne (hotel transfers not included). (D)
This deluxe small group tour begins around 1:00pm and travels through Westernport Bay with spectacular views of French Island and on to Phillip Island, the “wildlife island.” Visit one of the few protected Koala colonies at the Koala conservation center. In the evening, Tonight you will experience the magnificent Little Penguins that come ashore at dusk from their ocean feeding grounds. It is a unique experience as the penguin colony enters the beach in groups and “walk and talk” loudly as they work their way into the dunes to their nests. Boardwalks give you a great view of the penguins in the dune area. Return to Melbourne, arriving late evening. (D)
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Cairns (flight not included). You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or wandering the various shops on Cairns’ Esplanade. Overnight: Cairns, Cairns Plaza Hotel (standard), Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort (first class) or Langham Hotel (superior) for 3 nights
This morning board a cruise to the famous Great Barrier Reef on a wave-piercing catamaran. Travel to the outer reef for a day you wont forget! Choose from a number of ways to explore the reef; semi-submersible boat ride, swim, snorkel or relax on the floating pontoon moored at Agincourt Reef. A delicious lunch is included and you also have the option of diving or taking a helicopter ride (additional expense) for spectacular aerial views of the reef. (L)
Today is at leisure. There is a variety of activities available we can suggest and book for you (optional, additional expense). We highly recommend a day to Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest, or take a scenic rail journey to Kuranda and travel on the Skyrail over the rainforest or combine Kuranda with Hartleys Crocodile Adventure to discover many native Australian animals—including crocodiles.
Transfer to Cairns airport where you’ll connect with your onward flight to cosmopolitan Sydney (flight not included). The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore this remarkable city. Overnight: Sydney, Ibis King Street Wharf (standard), The Menzies Hotel (first class) or Sydney Harbor Marriott (superior) for 3 nights
Today you’ll be picked up from your hotel to explore Sydney. See the Opera House, Botanic Gardens and Conservatorium of Music. Travel to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair for a view of the city and harbor. Continue to Darling Harbor, home to shops and restaurants, before heading for Kings Cross. Travel through the exclusive suburbs of Double Bay and Rushcutters Bay, then on to The Gap for spectacular ocean views. Arrive at Bondi Beach where you will see the famous Bondi Lifesavers. Enjoy a short stop here, then continue back to Sydney via trendy Paddington.
Your friendly and knowledgeable guide will pick you up in a luxury touring vehicle. Travel through the historical Rocks area. Experience the magnificent World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. Lunch at a unique rainforest canopy and continue on to the Three Sisters. This afternoon, seek out the kangaroos that roam the area. On your return to Sydney, pass by the Olympics 2000 site en route to your hotel. (L)
Transfer to Sydney airport for your flight to Queenstown, New Zealand (flight not included). On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Queenstown is a beautiful year-round alpine resort, set on a stunning lake and surrounded by mountains—perfect for adventurers or leisure seekers alike. Overnight: Queenstown, Mercure Resort (standard), Heritage Queenstown (first class) or Hotel St Moritz (superior) for 3 nights
Today is your time to enjoy this charming town. Quality shopping can be found in Queenstown, where you can find the perfect gift for those back home. Or, we can recommend activities in the area from an exhilarating jetboat ride, a scenic flight and alpine picnic or wine tasting (sightseeing optional, additional expense).
Travel along the edge of Lake Wakatipu, beneath the rugged Remarkables, to Te Anau before entering the Fiordland National Park. Stop at the Mirror Lakes before passing through the Hollyford Valley and the Homer Tunnel, then descend down to Milford Sound. Enjoy an unforgettable Cruise on the majestic Milford Sound followed by a spectacular flight back to Queenstown (subject to weather conditions). (L)
Travel to Mt. Cook National Park, which boasts New Zealand’s highest peak. Continue on to Christchurch via beautiful Lake Tekapo and the tiny “Church of the Good Shepherd.” Overnight: Christchurch, Chateau on the Park (standard), Peppers Clearwater (first class) or The George (superior) 2 nights
This morning, meet your guide for an informative tour through the “Garden City.” With modern architecture and historic buildings reminiscent of its colonial heritage, Christchurch is also set against a backdrop of beautiful parks, gardens and rivers. Highlights of this tour include Cathedral Square, Botanical Gardens, Canterbury Museum, morning tea at Mona Vale, and a drive up to the Port Hills for scenic views across the city. The rest of your day is at leisure.
Transfer to Christchurch airport for your flight to Rotorua (flight not included). You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. From the moment you enter Rotorua, you know you are somewhere quite different. Minutes from the city center, geysers of steaming water roar from the ground and the occasional scent of sulphur wafts through the air—a remarkable wonder of New Zealand. This evening you are welcomed into the world of the Maori people. Experience the pre- European lifestyle and customs of Maori ancestors as you enter the Maori Village. Tribal songs and dance performances are a highlight. Enjoy a night of traditional culture and entertainment while feasting on foods cooked in an earthen oven. Overnight: Rotorua, Ibis Rotorua (standard), Novotel Lakeside (first class) or Millennium Hotel (superior) for 2 nights (D)
This morning depart early to a landscape of erupting geysers, hot thermal springs and bubbling mud pools at Te Puia Thermal Village. Travel to a showcase of New Zealand’s flora and fauna including a kiwi bird, and an authentic farm tour and shearing demonstration. Then enjoy the spectacular views from the gondola. Return to your hotel around 2:00pm. (L)
Fly to Auckland (flight not included) where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Tonight features a unique combination of sailing and dining aboard the Pride of Auckland. After dinner, the sails go up for an exhilarating sailing experience. Optional, if you choose, you can travel to Auckland by coach and stop at Waitomo, arriving into Auckland in the evening. Overnight: Auckland, Mercure Auckland Windsor (standard), SkyCity Hotel (first class) or The Langham (superior) (D)
Tour concludes with your transfer to Auckland airport.
*Terms and Conditions: Flights are not included. Prices are ‘from’ per person, based on double occupancy and travel in low season. Please inquire for details beyond this date. Seasonal surcharges apply for other dates.
All prices, itineraries and routing are subject to change without notice. Prices are current at the time of posting (04/22/2011). Prices may differ when you book your travel and are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. All prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change. Please call for our current prices. CST# 2001136-50