• Save up to 5% - Pay in Full by April 26, 2018

    Save up to 5% - Pay in Full by April 26, 2018

  • AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

  • Additional Savings for Past Travelers

    Additional Savings for Past Travelers

Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand

20 Days from $5,391 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Comfortable

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

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Overview

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

  1. Board your overnight flight to Australia (not included).

  2. Cross the International Date Line. 

  3. 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.

    meal(s):WR, DW
    hotel:Crowne Plaza
  4. 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.

    meal(s):BB
  5. 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 is free for you to choose from the numerous restaurants that Cairns has to offer.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Pacific Hotel
  6. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime: 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. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns. 

    meal(s):BB, L
  7. Today is free for you to explore Cairns.A great option is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda, be amazed as you travel over and through World Heritage rainforest, explore quaint Kuranda village and later board the Kuranda Scenic Rail for this historic rail journey. If you’d prefer to spend the day relaxing by your hotel pool or sitting back at a local café you can do that too! In the evening, re-join your travelling companions for a Be My Guest dining experience at Tjapukai Cultural Park. Hear Dreamtime stories, witness a high impact dance performance and enjoy dinner with your local host to the sounds of the didgeridoo.

    meal(s):BB, D
  8. Depart Cairns on your flight to Sydney this morning. 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 mesmerizing views of Sydney at night. You'll pass magnificent waterfront homes, beaches and parklands and all the main harbor attractions including the Harbor Bridge and Opera House.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hyatt Regency (Darling Harbor View Room)
  9. Kick off this highlight day of sightseeing on a guided tour of iconic Sydney Opera House. Later, your destination is famous Bondi Beach, for an iconic Australian experience. You’ll be greeted by a local surf lifesaver before enjoying a delicious lunch 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 and share with you the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving. Later enjoy some free time to do some shopping, enjoy and Optional Experience or maybe just take a stroll along the harbor front.

    meal(s):BB, L
  10. Today is free for you to do as you choose. Why not take a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains for fresh mountain air and stunning scenery. You’ll visit the charming village of Leura, see the famous Three Sisters rock formation and visit a Wildlife Park to get up close and personal to some of Australia’s cuddly native animals. If you’ve always wanted to climb Sydney Harbor Bridge, today could be your chance on a thrilling ‘Bridgeclimb’. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a farewell to Sydney with dinner on the waterfront.

    meal(s):BB, DW
  11. It's farewell to Australia as you fly to Auckland, New Zealand. This evening meet your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel in Auckland. 

    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:The Stamford Plaza
  12. A morning cruise on Waitemata Harbor is followed by a sightseeing tour including Bastion Point, the War Memorial and Viaduct Harbor. Spend some free time exploring on your own or relaxing at your
    hotel.

    meal(s):BB
  13. You’re invited to a Be My Guest lunch at the home of Lance and Bridgette O’Sullivan, New Zealand horse racing royalty. Enjoy a sumptuous country-style lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato farm. This evening enjoya traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Family Marae

    meal(s):BB, L, D
    hotel:Millennium
  14. This morning visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Discover native flora that grows around the crystal clear mineral water springs and you might even spot a kiwi or two! Next visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve where you’ll be accompanied by a Local Guide to view New Zealand’s biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs before flying 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. Later, continue to your hotel.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Novotel
  15. First up this morning you will board the TranzAlpine train and head out through the Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914, and is rated as one of the world’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snowcapped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. At Hokitika you’ll visit a New Zealand greenstone (jade) factory. 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). Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel. 

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Te Waonui Forest Retreat
  16. 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. 

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Millennium
  17. Journey over the Devil’s Staircase and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and its lake, the largest in the South Island. Travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park,
    sighting glaciers and mountain ranges. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lake, Pop’s lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, Mitre
    Peak and the Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch and a cruise on this wonder of nature. Later, return to Queenstown for the evening.

    meal(s):BB, L
  18. Today is a full day to explore Queenstown at your leisure. Choose from a range of optional experiences. You have the option to ride the Shotover Jet, join a wine tour, Perhaps, take a 4WD through Skippers Canyon, or enjoy a cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw over to Walter Peak Station for a BBQ lunch and farm show. This evening, join your Travel Director for dinner at the BoatShed. Set in the restored historic Railway Shipping Office and relcoated to its lakefront setting in 1936, The Boatshed wth its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, it is the perfect venue for your exclusive farewell dinner.

    meal(s):BB, DW
  19. Say farewell to your fellow travelers as your vacation comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Throughout today, you will be transferred to Queenstown Airport for your flights. 

    meal(s):BB
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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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
3 Jul 18 22 Jul 18 checkmark $5,675pp Request Quote Book Now
14 Aug 18 2 Sep 18 checkmark $5,675$5,391pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote Book Now

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 $2,080.

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 5 from Melbourne to Cairns: QF702; Day 8 from Cairns to Sydney: JQ957; Day 11 from Sydney to Auckland: QF143; Day 14 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.

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.

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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

17 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches (including Be My Guest), 9 dinners (including 2 Be My Guests').

Hidden Treasures

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Be My Guest

  • at an entertaining indigenous evening in Sydney, at a barbecue lunch on a New Zealand farm with your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor and at a Maori Hangi feast and concert in Rotoura.

Cultural Insight

  • Visit Melbourne's hidden laneways.

Local Specialist

  • at Sydney Opera House, Rainbow Springs Nature Park and a jade factory in Rotorua.
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.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

Trip not yet reviewed
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.

Print Itinerary

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.

Print Itinerary
  • 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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