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Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand

17 Days from $5,198 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Comfortable

The stillness of Milford Sound and ultimate glacier adventure dot your travels through New Zealand, but not before a brush with the surfing splendor of Aussie's Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.

Travel to Australia from the USA requires crossing the International Date Line. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1. Ensure your flights are booked two days prior to the start date of the tour itinerary.

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Overview

The stillness of Milford Sound and ultimate glacier adventure dot your travels through New Zealand, but not before a brush with the surfing splendor of Aussie's Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef.

Travel to Australia from the USA requires crossing the International Date Line. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1. Ensure your flights are booked two days prior to the start date of the tour itinerary.

  1. Sophisticated Melbourne extends a warm welcome as your first stop on this epic adventure through Australia and New Zealand. On arrival, transfer to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). Then it's on to the famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant this evening for a Welcome Reception and dinner with your Travel Director and fellow travelers.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Crowne Plaza
  2. Dive into culture and into the little lanes, arcades and café society of stylish Melbourne. Discover its edgy street art and immerse yourself in the robust aroma of coffee for which this city is so famous.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  3. We fly north to Cairns, where we'll meet a Local Specialist for a private wildlife encounter at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Here the crocs are the star of the show as we take to Hartley's Lagoon to see them cruise the murky waters or laze on the bank. This evening, enjoy an evening at leisure to sample some of the city's famous seafood.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Pacific Cairns
  4. Dip more than your toes in the tropical waters that surround the Great Barrier Reef—a full day to explore this underwater wonderland up close. Board a high-speed catamaran, then don your mask and fins for a leisurely snorkel (equipment provided) or stay dry in your semi-submersible craft to see the tropical species that live in the world's largest coral reef system. A tropical buffet lunch is served on board under the glorious Aussie sunshine before returning to Cairns.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  5. Soak up the leisurely atmosphere of Cairns with a free day to explore the city and its surrounds on your terms. Consider joining an Optional Experience to Kuranda, traveling by Scenic Rail to the 'village in the rainforest' and return to the lowlands on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This evening, connect with locals at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, where you'll hear stories of the Dreamtime and witness an entertaining high-impact performance by the indigenous dance group. Your Be My Guest dinner is served to the hypnotic sounds of the didgeridoo.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
  6. We leave the golden beaches of Cairns behind, bound for Sydney. Settle into your splendid surrounds before boarding a Captain Cook Sunset Dinner Cruise. Watch day turn to night against the backdrop of the beloved Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as you enjoy a two-course à la carte Regional Meal on the water.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
    hotel:Hyatt Regency (Darling Harbour View Room)
  7. Admire one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century during a guided sightseeing tour of the Sydney Opera House with a Local Specialist. Later, rub shoulders with the bronzed, beautiful people of Bondi Beach as you visit the Returned Servicemen's Club for a Regional Meal. Join a local surf lifesaver who will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club and share insights into surf lifesaving and the history of Bondi, which has been welcoming beach-goers since 1882.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
  8. Indulge in a full day at leisure to connect with the energy of this vibrant harbor city or consider joining an Optional Experience to the nearby Blue Mountains. Watch as the shimmering blue haze on the horizon turns to a dense canopy of eucalyptus trees and see the Three Sisters that tower above Jamison Valley. This evening, join your travel companions for dinner in a waterfront restaurant.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
  9. Say a fond hoo roo to Australia as you board your flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Ease into the warm, welcoming embrace of the City of Sails before meeting your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Stamford Plaza
  10. Embark on a city sightseeing tour, starting your journey at the city's beautiful waterfront. Ascend to Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial for magnificent views of Waitemata Harbour, which you'll have an opportunity to cruise on before the rest of the day at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  11. Immerse yourself in New Zealand's horse racing culture during a visit to Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan's home. Connect with locals over a sumptuous country-style lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato farm. Later, dive into culture and gain a deeper understanding of Māori traditions at the Tamaki Family Marae where you will enjoy a traditional Hangi Regional Meal and concert.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Regional Meal
    hotel:Millennium
  12. Keep a keen eye out for the shy kiwis that find sanctuary in the lush surrounds of Rainbow Springs Nature Park, joining your Local Specialist for an immersive nature walk. Then, continue to Te Puia Thermal Reserve in Rotorua to see its bubbling geysers, mud pools and thermal springs in the company of a Local Specialist. We fly to Christchurch next.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Distinction
  13. Experience a tor highlight this morning—a TranzAlpine train ride through the snow-capped Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. This spectacular train journey dates to 1914 and is rated as one of the world's most scenic train trips, forging through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. Later, admire vivid hues of greenstone during a visit to a jade factory in Hokitika, where you'll witness first-hand a Local Specialist master carver at work. Journey along the coastal road to Franz Josef Glacier for a short walk to view the imposing glacier and perhaps an optional scenic flight (weather permitting). Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel in the midst of a rainforest.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Te Waonui Forest Retreat
  14. Follow the Tasman Sea coastline en route to Queenstown. Continue over the Haast Pass, winding through Mount Aspiring National Park and past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before arriving in historic Arrowtown with its lovingly restored mining cottages and tree-lined streets that were once home to determined gold prospectors. Later, get your bearings during an orientation tour in Queenstown, then spend the rest of your evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Millennium
  15. Journey south, over the Devil's Staircase and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau, the gateway to South Island's spectacular fiords. The ancient rainforests of Fiordland National Park provide a lush, green backdrop for our drive past glaciers and mountain ranges. Emerging from the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel, we'll encounter the fragile beauty of Cleddau Valley and natural splendor Mirror Lake, the Chasm and Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Take to its still waters for an exclusive nature cruise with lunch, filled with pinch me moments. Return to Queenstown for an evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  16. Push your boundaries today as you discover why Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure capital, joining a recommended Optional Experience. Ride the Shotover Jet or take a 4WD mini-bus tour through Skippers Canyon. This evening, we take a step back in time with our Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed, set in the historic Railway Shipping Office built in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, is the perfect venue for your exclusive Farewell Dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  17. Our journey together has sadly come to an end. Say farewell to newfound friends as we transfer you to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    Great Adventures' modern high speed catamarans whisk guests away in comfort to the spectacular outer reaches of the reef. We ensure our guests have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate this most important World Heritage area. As part of the Quicksilver Group, Great Adventures' is committed to sustainable environmental practices and ongoing conservation for future generations to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

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  • Important Note: This departure is 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 $2,240.

Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Land Only price requires the following intra-trip 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 - NZ5785. GET guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book.

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.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

16 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Experience an evening of indigenous theatre, dance and music, including a Didgeridoo performance and a personal Welcome to Country ceremony at a privately hosted Be My Guest dinner at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns, Tropical North Queensland.
  • In the Waikato region of New Zealand, join your hosts the O'Sullivans for a Be My Guest lunch at the Red Barn on their dairy farm.

Dive into Culture

  • Discover Melbourne's eclectic hidden lanes, arcades and fascinating street art.
  • Gain an insight into their indigenous culture and traditions at the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua.

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Sydney, Rotorua, Hokitika.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tour in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch
  • Cruise on Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park
  • View Darling Harbour from your Sydney hotel room, the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
  • Visit Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Queensland, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Te Puia Geothermal Valley in Rotorua
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    Great Adventures' modern high speed catamarans whisk guests away in comfort to the spectacular outer reaches of the reef. We ensure our guests have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate this most important World Heritage area. As part of the Quicksilver Group, Great Adventures' is committed to sustainable environmental practices and ongoing conservation for future generations to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

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Reviews

Sunday, June 10, 2018
Jack Jimenez
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : the guides were good-Marty was flatout outstanding in every way. The accomadations and food were very good We saw a lot . I would recommend Get to everyone.
Vacation : excellent in all ways - highly recommend
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Guides were courteous, knowledgeable and very professional.
Vacation : Outstanding. Will travel with your organization again.
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Louise Sincaglia
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Very helpful. answered every question making you feel very comfortable.
Vacation : The trip was well planned and covered everything I wanted to see.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Cheryl Huffman
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The experiences Trafalger put together on this trip were wide and varying. Guides were excellent (Australia) and good (New Zealand).
Vacation : For the price, I expected a smaller (30-35) group. A FULL bus load, matched with the time of year (i.e. Chinese New Year) ensured CROWDS in every venue we traveled.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    Great Adventures' modern high speed catamarans whisk guests away in comfort to the spectacular outer reaches of the reef. We ensure our guests have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate this most important World Heritage area. As part of the Quicksilver Group, Great Adventures' is committed to sustainable environmental practices and ongoing conservation for future generations to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Franz Josef Glacier

Haast River Safari

Adult Price: $NZ 109 | Child Price: $NZ 59

Travel on a purpose built fully enclosed river jet boat with front-loading access. Great visibility is ensured, yet you remain warm, dry and comfortable, making this a unique and safe experience suitable for anyone of any age to participate in and enjoy.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 460 | Child Price: $NZ 322

Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox snowfields on this 40-minute scenic flight. Cross the main divide for breathtaking views of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Highlights include a snow landing, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and Mt Cook.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Twin Glacier Flight 30Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 315 | Child Price: $NZ 220.50

From a mantle of pure white snow, massive rivers of ice wind their way down glacier valleys. Explore the glaciers, an incredible natural phenomenon on this 30-minute scenic flight. Highlights include a snow landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Neve Discoverer Flight 20Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 245 | Child Price: $NZ 171.50

Lift off and fly up over the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to land amongst this alpine wonderland on a 20-minute scenic flight. Highlights include landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and a snow or icefall landing.

Queenstown

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Adult Price: $NZ 48 | Child Price: $NZ 23

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. They hold and display over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in our 5 acre Park, all of which are part of nationally managed programmes. Your entry fee supports their conservation work. They offer guaranteed kiwi viewing in our specially constructed nocturnal houses, audio tours (available in English and Japanese; allow 45min), Conservation Shows (11am, 3pm; allow 30min) and Kiwi Feedings (10am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 4.30pm; allow 15min). They offer an all-day pass and the park can be enjoyed in all weather. Experience conservation in action!

Queenstown

Shotover Jet

Adult Price: $NZ 149 | Child Price: $NZ 79

Enjoy a 30-minute jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River and through Shotover Canyon with the only company permitted to operate in this area. A major highlight is experiencing the famous “Shotover Jet Turn” where your boat spins through a full 360 degrees turn. Includes return transfers from Queenstown. (Duration: 1.5 hours in total)

Queenstown

Appellation Central Wine Tours - Boutique Wine Tour

Adult Price: $NZ 199 | Child Price: $NZ 139

An afternoon amongst the boutique vineyards and splendid alpine scenery of Central Otago. Taste wines at 4 premium vineyards over two contrasting wine regions, learn about the wine and pioneering history and visit the Historic Precinct of Old Cromwell. Includes a delightful platter lunch and a glass of wine with lunch.

Queenstown

Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour & Jet Boat

Adult Price: $NZ 195 | Child Price: $NZ 115

Skippers Canyon Jet are the only company to offer a complete 4WD tour of Skippers Canyon and access to the unique mining relics available in the Sainsbury gold claim museum. Following the winding, yet majestic Skippers road, which carves its way down from the Coronet Peak ski road, over the saddle and down “Long gully” through to Skippers Canyon; your guide will detail the history of the road, hardships of the miners and how many miners were killed building the road over a century ago.

Queenstown

Lakeshore, Forest And Bird Guided Walk

Adult Price: $NZ 109 | Child Price: $NZ 69

"The 'Lakeshore Forest and Bird' guided walk is a unique nature interpretative experience. Taken at a leisurely pace through native beech forest, with morning or afternoon tea/coffee on the lake-shore where you stop and enjoy views across the lake to The Remarkables and Cecil Peak. The walk begins in native shrub and beech forest, and the track leads down through the forest to the edge Lake Wakatipu. Great views can be had looking out through the trees and over the water to the mountains beyond. Return transfers from your Queenstown accommodation are included. "

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    Great Adventures' modern high speed catamarans whisk guests away in comfort to the spectacular outer reaches of the reef. We ensure our guests have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate this most important World Heritage area. As part of the Quicksilver Group, Great Adventures' is committed to sustainable environmental practices and ongoing conservation for future generations to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

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  • 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 24 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.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Great Barrier Reef

    Great Adventures' modern high speed catamarans whisk guests away in comfort to the spectacular outer reaches of the reef. We ensure our guests have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate this most important World Heritage area. As part of the Quicksilver Group, Great Adventures' is committed to sustainable environmental practices and ongoing conservation for future generations to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.

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