Geyser or glacier, Aboriginal philosophy or Maori culture, Melbourne's eclectic laneways or the natural beauty of Queenstown: the contrasts of two diverse nations are revealed, on this in-depth journey.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like... lunching with Bondi Beach locals and discovering stories of surf and rescue at Australia's oldest lifesaving club. And being amazed by super-fast shearers and the drama of a live auction, at Agrodome Farm Show
Board your overnight flight to Australia (not included).
Cross the International Date Line.
Welcome to Melbourne! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and dinner on board the famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.
Join your Travel Director for a Cultural Insight. Your city tour includes a private walk through Melbourne's famous hidden laneways. You'll discover the city's eclectic little lanes, arcades, café society and fascinating street art.
This morning you will fly to Cairns. On arrival join your Local Specialist for a private wildlife journey at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. On a boat cruise you'll encounter koalas, wallabies, birds and of course, crocodiles! This evening dine at Salt House, overlooking the Cairns waterfront.
Today is free for you to explore Cairns. Perhaps consider an Optional Experience.
Board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from a semi-submersible craft.
Depart Cairns on your flight to Sydney. On arrival there's time to relax before boarding a Captain Cook Sunset Dinner Cruise. Enjoy a two course à la carte Regional Meal and the mesmerising views of Sydney at night.
Kick off this highlight day of sightseeing on a guided tour of Sydney Opera House with a Local Specialist. Later, 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. Your host, a Local Specialist, will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club for insight into the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving.
The day is yours to explore this wonderful city. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a unique Be My Guest experience at Gardener's Lodge Café. Meet Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Beryl, for an intimate dining experience featuring fresh local produce with traditional bush flavours. It will be an evening to remember.
It's farewell to Australia as you fly to Auckland, New Zealand. This evening meet your Travel Director for a Regional Meal at 'Eight' at The Langham. Your personal degustation is prepared for you from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and delicious desserts.
A morning sightseeing tour is followed by a cruise on Waitemata Harbor.
At Waitomo Caves explore the incredible Glow Worm Grotto by boat with a Local Specialist. Continue to Rotorua to visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve, accompanied by a Local Specialist. This evening enjoy a Be My Guest traditional Maori Hangi dinner and concert at the Tamaki Family Marae.
Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park with a Local Specialist and discover the native flora and fauna. You may even spot a kiwi! Next stop is the Agrodome Farm Show for a Cultural Insight and taste of farm life. Now you'll fly to Christchurch.
Board the TranzAlpine train for your journey over the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. At Hokitika visit a New Zealand greenstone (jade) factory, to see a Local Specialist master carver at work. Travel along the coastal road to Franz Josef Glacier for a short walk to view the magnificent glacier.
Enjoy a coastal drive with views of the Tasman Sea. Climb over the Haast Pass winding through Mount Aspiring National Park. Then journey past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and along the Kawarau River. Finally you will visit the historic village of Arrowtown, before arriving in Queenstown. This evening join your Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. It's the perfect venue for your exclusive Regional Meal with wine.
Journey over the Devil's Staircase and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. Travel through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel en route to Milford Sound. Cruise the magnificent fiord with Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls high above you.
You may like to consider taking one of our Optional Experiences. Your Travel Director will be there to give you advice.
Late morning see Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, where you'll stop to view the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd. Then join us for a visit to Morelea Farm. You're welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor for a Be My Guest barbecue in their 600 acre garden. In Christchurch this evening celebrate your trip at a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and new-found friends.
Time to bid farewell as we transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your flight home (flights anytime).
17 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches (including Be My Guest), 9 dinners (including 2 Be My Guests').
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|6 Jun 17||25 Jun 17||$5,875pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|4 Jul 17||23 Jul 17||$5,875pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|15 Aug 17||3 Sep 17||$5,875pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|5 Sep 17||24 Sep 17||$5,875pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|19 Sep 17||8 Oct 17||$5,875pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|3 Oct 17||22 Oct 17||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|17 Oct 17||5 Nov 17||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|7 Nov 17||26 Nov 17||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|14 Nov 17||3 Dec 17||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|28 Nov 17||17 Dec 17||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|12 Dec 17||31 Dec 17||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|19 Dec 17||7 Jan 18||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|26 Dec 17||14 Jan 18||$6,550pp||Request Quote|
|2 Jan 18||21 Jan 18||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|9 Jan 18||28 Jan 18||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|16 Jan 18||4 Feb 18||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|23 Jan 18||11 Feb 18||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|30 Jan 18||18 Feb 18||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|6 Feb 18||25 Feb 18||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|13 Feb 18||4 Mar 18||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|20 Feb 18||11 Mar 18||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|27 Feb 18||18 Mar 18||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
|6 Mar 18||25 Mar 18||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|13 Mar 18||1 Apr 18||$6,350pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|20 Mar 18||8 Apr 18||$6,350pp||Request Quote|
Important Note: Departures between November 1 2016 - March 31, 2017 operate as per the 2016 itinerary.
Departures between October 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018 are subject to price, itinerary and hotel modification.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $1,860.
Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Land Only price requires the following intratrip flights to be purchased separately in order to fulfill the trip itinerary: Day 3 from Melbourne to Cairns: QF702; Day 6 from Cairns to Sydney: JQ957; Day 9 from Sydney to Auckland: QF143; Day 12 from Rotorua to Christchurch: NZ5373. Grand European Tours guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
U.S. citizens traveling to Australia and New Zealand must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Australia also requires an electronic visa which is obtained at the time of your airline ticket purchase.
You will be using the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar on your trip. You can use your debit or credit card for purchases. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Australia and New Zealand. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
Food in Australia and New Zealand is innovative and diverse. As island nations with strong agricultural traditions, culinary traditions here are guided by local ingredients and seasonal variations, as well as international influences. You’ll find a variety of seafood including fresh oysters and crab, grilled steaks and lamb chops, meat pies, and fish and chips.
We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable, lightweight clothing that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellent and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
It is not customary to tip at restaurants in Australia and New Zealand. If you would like to reward good service when dining out it’s appropriate to leave 10 percent gratuity for your waiter.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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