Australia & New Zealand Explorer
Day 1 Sydney
Arrive in Sydney at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group welcome meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit the Botanical Gardens or the famous Opera House. Please note: if you have pre-booked the Sydney Bridge Climb, the Auckland Sailing and Queenstown Jet Boat your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity throughout your tour, days are subject to change: Bridge Climb (Day 1 - Sydney), Sailing (Day 14 - Auckland) and Jet Boat (Day 19 - Queenstown). For more information on the Extra see the Optional Activities section.
Day 2 Sydney (1B,1L)
Explore Sydney with a walk through harbour-side to the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Rocks area. Enjoy an early lunch then board a sleek former America's Cup racing yacht for a thrilling sailing adventure on one of the world’s finest harbours. Meet in the early evening for an optional drink or dinner. We may head beachside to Bondi where there are plenty of excellent dining options. Note: the December 24th departure will include a snorkelling tour in Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef instead of the sailing trip in Sydney harbour due to holiday schedules.
Day 3-4 Port Douglas (2B,1L)
Fly to Cairns then travel up the coastal road to an Aboriginal village, taking an interpretive walk with the locals and learn about traditional ways of life and survival techniques in Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge. On Day 4, option to take a Great Barrier Reef snorkelling trip. Enjoy the colourful resort town of Port Douglas. Take time to stroll the main streets, window-shopping on your way. Spend two nights at a local resort. Estimated travel time-Day 3: 3 hour flight Sydney to Cairns 1 hour drive Cairns to Port Douglas
Day 5-6 Cairns (2B)
Return to Cairns, with free time to enjoy this tropical city. On Day 6, take an excursion to the UNESCO-designated Queensland rainforest on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and explore the canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway, through a lush tropical paradise framed by rugged mountains, waterfalls and ravines. Travel on authentic timber carriages between Cairns and the village of Kuranda, via hand-hewn tunnels and across towering bridges, through the awe-inspiring Barron Gorge. Experience the exotic beauty of North Queensland’s tropical rainforests, marvelling at the incredible array of plants and animals encountered all along the way. We also glide above the canopy of this World Heritage rainforest and learn more about this ancient ecosystem with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Estimated travel time-Day 5: 1 hour drive Port Douglas to Cairns
Day 7 Cairns/Uluru (1B)
Catch an early morning flight to Uluru, arriving with plenty of time to explore the Red Centre at your leisure. Estimated travel time: 3 hour flight
Day 8 Alice Spings (1B)
Witness the sunrise over Uluru and enjoy an interpretative walk around the base of the rock, before arriving at Alice Springs for the night. Awake before sunrise to watch the colours change over Uluru. An interpretive walk around the base of Uluru gives explanation about its significance to local people. Estimated travel time: 10 hours Travel distance: 770 km
Day 9 Alice Springs/Ghan Train (1B,1D)
Enjoy the morning in Alice Springs before catching the overnight Ghan Train. Considered one of the world's greatest historic rail journeys, enjoy dinner onboard and admire the passing scenery before settling into comfortable, private cabins for the night. Originally the Afghan Express, the name The Ghan was inspired by the pioneering Afghan cameleers who blazed a permanent trail into the Red Centre of Australia over 150 years ago. Estimated travel time: 25 hours train journey-one night and two days, one way 1,559km.
Day 10-11 Adelaide (2B,1L)
After a midday arrival, enjoy an orientation walk in Adelaide with the CEO. On Day 11, embark on a full-day wine tour to the famed Barossa Valley with wine tasting and lunch. One of Australia's oldest wine regions, Barossa can be found in South Australia, approx. 60km northeast of the city of Adelaide. Founded by German settlers in the mid 1800's, wine was and is a way of life and many of the 750 grape growing families in the region has been producing wine for multiple generations.
Day 12-13 Auckland (2B)
Fly to Auckland, New Zealand and enjoy an orientation walk with the CEO. On Day 13, embark on a dolphin and whale watching boat excursion, getting our first glimpse of the amazing wildlife of the region. Estimated travel time: 4 hour flight
Day 14 Raglan (1B,1D)
Travel through the world's most productive dairy farming country then head towards to the rugged West Coast of New Zealand. We stop at the scenic Bridal Veil Falls for a walk before heading to the arts and surf town of Raglan for the night. Options for the afternoon include bone carving with local Maori, surf lessons, stand up and paddle board lessons, sea kayaking, bush walking or simply walking around the villiage taking in the numerous arts and crafts shops. In the evening, enjoy a special included dinner cruise in the harbour. Overnight in a holiday home overlooking one of the world's most famous surf breaks. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 180 km
Day 15 Rotorua (1B,1D)
Explore the Lake Taupo region with a local guide and learn about local myths, legends and traditional cuisine of the Maori people. At night, relax in one of the hot pools at the hotel that has water coming directly from the natural springs. Estimated travel time: 3 hours
Day 16 Christchurch (1B)
Travel to a Historic Maori Village for a guided tour by a local Maori around the active geothermal area. Learn about the local tourism history in the geothermal areas and the history of the Maori people that populate the region. Fly to Chrischurch and, upon arrival, enjoy a orientation walk around Christchurch. Estimated travel time: 1 hour flight
Day 17-18 Franz Josef (2B,1D)
Board the TranzAlpine train, considered to be one of the world's great train journeys. It crosses the stunningly scenic Southern Alps, traversing the entire country. Disembark the train and transfer to a beautiful rainforest lodge for the night. On Day 18 opt for various hiking adventures in the area, the most popular being a glacier trek. A once-in-a-lifetime helicopter hike where you fly to the top of the glacier to trek around is also available. If relaxing is more your style, there are shorter day hikes and bush walks or local hot pools to take a dip. Estimated travel time: 4 hour train journey, 2 hour drive Travel distance:
Day 19 Queenstown (1B,1D)
Early start to travel to the picturesque Lake Matheson. When the weather is right you can get a great photo of the Southern Alps reflected in the lake. Follow the wild West Coast Road, through the rainforest before stopping for some small walks and waterfall visits. Our hotel is in the middle of Queenstown, an easy walk to most things. At night enjoy and included activity of riding a gondola to a hill top restaurant for dinner. Estimated travel time: 5 hours Travel distance: 365 km
Day 20 Doubtful Sound (1B,1D)
Drive the scenic route around the lake to the town of Manapouri. Travel by boat and bus to arrive at an eco cruise boat which will be our home for the next 24 hours. Designed along the lines of a traditional scow, the Fiordland Navigator blends old world charm with modern comforts that include spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon/fully licensed bar, an observation lounge and nature guides. Cruise through the stunning Doubtful Sound, one of the most untouched, remote places in the world. Marvel at the steep cliff walls and cascading waterfalls. The boat offers excellent chances for wildlife viewing in the area. Dolphins, penguins, seals and a variety of birds are some examples of what you can hope to see. Moor at a secluded bay for the night, feel free to use one of the boats' sea kayaks to explore the area more in-depth. *Please note that the itinerary for this day varies in the winter: Winter Schedule 18 May – 20 Sept Doubtful Sound/Te Anau Drive the scenic route around the lake to the town of Manapouri. Travel by boat and bus to arrive at an eco cruise boat. We spend the afternoon cruising the stunning Doubtful Sound, one of the most untouched, remote places in the world. Marvel at the steep cliff walls and cascading waterfalls. The boat offers excellent chances for wildlife viewing in the area. Dolphins, penguins, seals and a variety of birds are some examples of what you can hope to see. In the evening we head to Te Anau for the night. We take in a screening of the award winning ‘Ata Whenua’ – ‘Fjordland Film’ documentary at the local cinema before having a group meal. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 250 km
Day 21 Queenstown (1B)
Enjoy the morning on the boat before return to Queenstown late afternoon and opt for a farewell dinner with your group. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 250 km
Day 22 Queenstown (1B)
Depart at any time. If you want more time to explore Queenstown, we recommend booking post nights with your agent if you are interested in the countless adrenaline-packed activities in the town known as the 'adventure capital of the World'. Jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking, and sky diving are some of the activities available.