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17 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

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17 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

An amazing seventeen day trip exploring Australia and New zealand, sample the delights whether its discovering the medicinal benefits of bush tucker and the bewitching power of Aboriginal fire-making and storytelling, lunching with Bondi Beach locals and getting first-hand the story of surf and rescue at the oldest lifesaving club.



Our adventure map




Day by day

First Day Arrive Auckland

On arrival in Auckland, you are transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm). This evening meet your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and dinner at 'Eight' at The Langham. Your personal meal is prepared for you from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and delicious desserts.

Hotel:            The Langham

Second Day enjoy Auckland Sightseeing and Free Time

A morning cruise on Waitemata Harbour is followed by a sightseeing tour including Bastion Point, the War Memorial and Viaduct Harbour. Spend some free time exploring on your own or relaxing at your hotel.

Third Day go from Auckland to Rotorua 

Travel into the Waikato region to explore the incredible Waitomo Glow Worm Grotto at the Waitomo Caves by boat with a Local Expert. Continue to Rotorua to visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve. You'll be accompanied by a Local Expert to view New Zealand's biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs. This evening, enjoy a Be My Guest traditional Maori Hangi dinner accompanied by local wine and a concert at the Tamaki Family Marae.

Hotel:              Millennium

Fourth Day Travel from Rotorua to Christchurch

Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park with a Local Expert. Discover Rainbow Trout and native flora and fauna. You may even spot a kiwi! Next stop is the Agrodome Sheep Show for a taste of farm life. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Christchurch. On arrival board your coach for a tour to see how the city is slowly being rebuilt as a consequence of the devastating earthquake of February 2011.

Hotel:                Novotel

Fifth Day Train from Christchurch to Franz Josef

Board the TranzAlpine train in Christchurch for your journey over the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. At Hokitika you'll visit a New Zealand greenstone (jade) factory, a Local Speciality. Travel along the coastal road to Franz Josef Glacier for a short walk to view the glacier and perhaps take an optional scenic flight (weather permitting).

Hotel:              Scenic Franz Josef Glacier

Sixth Day Journey from Franz Josef to Queenstown

Enjoy a coastal drive with views of the Tasman Sea. Climb over the Haast Pass winding through Mount Aspiring National Park. Then your journey takes you past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and heads along the Kawarau River through the Kawarau Gorge. Finally you will visit the historic village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, previously one of the world's richest rivers, before arriving in Queenstown.

Hotel:               Millennium

Seventh Day its onto Milford Sound

Journey over the Devil's Staircase along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. You'll drive through the Homer Tunnel before reaching Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch and cruise with Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls high above you. Later, return to Queenstown.

Eighth Day take a Sightseeing Choice in Queenstown

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Ride the Thunder Jet on Lake Wakatipu, join a wine tour, play a round of golf or take a gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon, relax with a spa treatment at Millbroook Resort or explore Queenstown on a Segway.

Ninth Day go from Queenstown to Christchurch

You may wish to take an optional scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting). Later in the day continue on to see Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, where you stop to view the Church of the Good Shepherd. Join us for a visit to Morelea Farm. You are welcomed into the home of your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor to enjoy a Be My Guest lunch in their 600 acre garden. Travel over the colourful Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

 Hotel:              Novotel

Tenth Day fly from Christchurch to Melbourne

This morning you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Melbourne, Australia. On arrival you are transferred to the hotel. Join your Travel Director on a city sights tour including a private walk through Melbourne's famous hidden lane-ways, a Local Speciality. You'll discover the city's eclectic little lanes, arcades, café society and fascinating shops. Your sightseeing concludes in Lygon St, Melbourne's ‘Little Italy', where you're free to enjoy local cuisine at the restaurant of your choice.

Hotel:             Crowne Plaza

Eleventh Day enjoy some Free Time in Melbourne

Spend the day as you wish. You may consider an excursion to the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island or perhaps a trip along the spectacular Great Ocean Road.

Twelfth Day Travel from Melbourne to Cairns

This morning you will be transferred to Melbourne Airport for your flight to Cairns, Queensland. On arrival visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, a celebration of the living history of the Indigenous people of the rainforest. Discover the medicinal values of bush tucker and enjoy professional theatre incorporating traditional Aboriginal dance, fire making and storytelling. Join an Indigenous staff member for a fun introduction to Aboriginal art and see how Aboriginal culture is expressed in their artwork. Complete your own boomerang dot painting, which you can take home as a souvenir of your Local Speciality experience.

Hotel:            Hilton

Thirteenth Day sample the Great Barrier Reef

First up today you'll visit the Cairns Wildlife Dome to encounter crocodiles, koalas and other unique Australian animals. Then get ready for an experience of a lifetime - board a high speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy an informative reef education presentation with a Local Expert. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft, just one meter underwater. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet Regional Meal before you return to Cairns.

Fourteenth Day Fly from Cairns to Sydney

This morning you'll be transferred to Cairns Airport for your flight to Sydney. On arrival there's time to relax at your hotel or explore this exciting city before boarding a Captain Cook Sunset Dinner Cruise. Enjoy a contemporary two course a la carte meal and the mesmerising views of Sydney at night. You'll pass magnificent waterfront homes, beaches and parkland's and all the main harbour attractions including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Hotel:             Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbor

Fifteenth Day its Sydney Sightseeing

Prepare yourself this morning for the spectacular views on the cliff-top coastal walk from Tamarama Beach. The walk features stunning vistas, beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools. Your destination is famous Bondi Beach for an iconic Australian experience. You'll be greeted by a local surf lifesaver before a Regional Meal at an Aussie institution, the Returned Servicemen's Club, with its views over the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Your host will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club where you'll learn about the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving, a Local Speciality. Later, return to the city to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens and see panoramic harbour views from Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. Top off this highlight day on a tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House with a Local Expert.

Sixteenth Day enjoy Sydney Free Time

Spend the day relaxing or shopping for souvenirs. Celebrate this evening at a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant by the water with your Travel Director and new-found friends.

Last Day Depart Sydney

Time to bid farewell as we transfer you to Sydney Airport for your flight home (flights any-time).

Whats included

Sightseeing Highlights

City tour in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney.

Cruise on Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, Milford Sound, Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and Sydney Harbour.

Scenic drive through the Kawarau Gorge and through the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train.

See tropical fish, coral and native Australian animals in Queensland.

View native animals at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekepo and glacier at Franz Josef.

Visit the Glow Worm Grotto at Waitomo Caves, a thermal valley in Rotorua, a jade factory in Hokitika, the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach.


16 hot buffet breakfasts, 6 dinners, (including Welcome Reception, 3 two or three-course dinners, Be My Guest and Farewell Dinner), 4 lunches, (including 1 lunch, Be My Guest and 2 Regional Meals).

Be My Guest

Enjoy a Maori Hangi dinner at the Tamaki Family Marae.

Gain an insight into New Zealand farm life with lunch on a working farm.

Cultural insights

Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.

Explore the geothermal valley at Te Puia.

Visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

Experience the Agrodome Sheep Show.

Tour the Waitomo Caves.

Discover the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Journey through the Sydney Opera House.

Watch skilled artisans carving greenstone (jade) in Hokitka.

Taste the sumptuous stone fruit at Mrs. Jones' Orchard at Cromwell.

Discover Melbourne's hidden laneways.

Join an Aboriginal artist to paint your souvenir boomerang at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.


Optional Extras

We offer a range of Optional Experiences and entertainment options to complement our trips. These are purchased when you are on your trip, via your Travel Director. Depending on the region visited, these can be paid with cash or credit card. We are sorry but at this time we are unable to display all optionals for this trip. Where available, these Optional Experiences will be added to our website shortly.

 Where you stay

All hotels included in your tour package are hand-picked, of an outstanding standard and far better value than if booked individually. Our valued travel partners who organise these tours also own the Red Carnation Hotel Group and where possible Red Carnation Hotels are used and please see our link for further details.

Travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets are provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
  • A travel wallet with your documentation
  • 17 nights First Class accommodation
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included
  • Airport transfers are provided on the first and last day of your guided holiday

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are multi-award winning Globe Best Tour operator in the world 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA, IATA and ATOL protected
  • Part of the Trade Right Foundation

Best prices, more information and booking

Great Discounts are available – please speak with our expert who can arrange extra unique discounts.

Only £100 per person deposit required (except for last minute bookings).

By booking through us you will receive additional customer service and extra discounts.

Please ask our expert about last minute special offers available throughout the year.

If this is not quite what you are looking for, please mail us we have many great alternatives.

You can call our expert on 0207 620 8963 – UK time 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (this number is specifically for this or similar multi-day tours of Britain, Europe or World-Wide) or out of those hours please leave a voice-mail for a call back.

Alternatively email us at and request a call back or if you prefer mail, we can send you more details from there.