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Your leisurely vacation kicks off in the laid-back tropical city of Cairns, where lush green jungle meets the Great Barrier Reef (flights to arrive prior to 2pm). This evening, connect with locals and join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and Be My Guest dinner at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, including indigenous dancing and a Didgeridoo performance.
Slice through the azure waters of the Coral Sea on board a high-speed catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef and to an astounding wonderland 'Downunder.' Witness the utopia beneath the ocean surface, observing the diversity of this living wall that spans over 1,240 miles along Australia's Queensland Coast. Sit back in a semi-submersible craft and admire the tranquil depths of the reef. You'll have an opportunity to go snorkeling (equipment provided), before indulging in a tropical buffet lunch with the knowledge that there's a whole other world swimming below.
Slow it right down in true Cairns style. Today is yours to experience this port city at your leisure, or let loose into the tropical rainforests of Queensland on an Optional Experience.
The chilled cityscape of Cairns behind us, we fly to the Red Center of Australia and to Uluru (Ayers Rock), spending the afternoon indulging in a leisurely educational drive through the terracotta-hued desert plains of the Outback to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Embrace this place of peace before watching the red and orange hues signal the end of another day, celebrated with sundowner nibbles and bubbles. We spend the next two nights at the Desert Gardens Hotel against the backdrop of the Outback's glowing red landscape.
This morning behold an intoxicating pink, purple and yellow dawn canvas set against the majestic red sandstone mound of Uluru. It's well worth an early start to your day, hearing about the caretakers of this spiritual center, the Anangu people, who have regarded this site as sacred for centuries. Dive into culture and spend your day in a soulful exploration of their ancient culture and traditions, until the larger-than-life sky turns a fiery shade of orange and red and gives rise to another opportunity to enjoy sundowners against an Uluru backdrop. Savor the flavors of an Aussie barbecue Regional Meal while the night sky lights up with billions of stars and a Local Specialist shares insights into the southern hemisphere's constellations.
Put paint to canvas with the help of your Local Specialist and Aboriginal artist who will share the symbolism behind the colors and totems used in Western Desert Art. Create your own masterpiece, then fly to cosmopolitan Sydney where you have a full evening to explore. Spend the evening ambling along the promenades of Darling Harbour for great waterfront dining, cocktail bars and entertainment before a busy day of Sydney sightseeing tomorrow.
Think beautiful beaches, iconic architecture and a tangible sense of vitality—Sydney will tick all these boxes and more. Join a Local Specialist for a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House—its white sails an iconic addition to the bustling Sydney Harbour. But it's the beautiful people of Bondi Beach with whom we get to spend some time, dipping our toes into the deep blue sea. Our encounter with Sydney's picture-perfect harbor hasn't quite come to an end as we board a Captain Cook Lunch Cruise Regional Meal and enjoy a fresh seasonal menu, sailing past the magnificent waterfront mansions, parklands, coves and golden beaches. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
Today is yours to explore the vibrant cityscape. This evening join your Travel Director for dinner at a restaurant on the Darling Harbour waterfront.
For now, it's time to say Hoo Roo Australia and Kia Ora New Zealand as we fly to the city of Auckland. This evening meet your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel.
Today we journey south towards a starry wonderland—a cavernous galaxy of twinkling bright green and blue glow worms that light up the Waitomo Caves. Join a Local Specialist who will explain the cave's historical and geological significance. This evening, we connect with locals, joining the Tamaki Family for a personal encounter with Māori culture and tradition and a delicious Be My Guest Hangi feast. Experience the spine-tingling Karaanga and participate in the Poi Dance or Haka, before relaxing around a bonfire and sharing stories about life in New Zealand.
Māori culture and traditions are explored today at the Whakarewarewa Living Thermal Village where you will join a Local Specialist who will show you how the community uses the natural geothermal resources as part of their daily lives. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a tour with a Local Specialist where you may even spot New Zealand's shy kiwi, followed by a visit to the Agrodome Farm Show where you'll dive into culture and gain insights into New Zealand farm life.
Our journey through 100% Pure New Zealand takes us to South Island and to the adventure tourism hotspot of Queenstown. We delve into the historic gold mining heritage of Arrowtown before an orientation of this global adventure capital.
If bungy jumping or tree-to-tree ziplining isn't your cup of tea, take an Optional Experience through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park for an unforgettable cruise on the Milford Sound.
You may need to put your feet up after a day of adventuring in the adrenalin capital of New Zealand, but there is plenty to do if you've not had your fill. This evening, we celebrate our leisurely trip through Australia and New Zealand with a Farewell Dinner hosted at the historic and restored New Zealand Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. Enjoy delicious traditional cuisine and wine with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables at The Boatshed with new friends.
Bid farewell to your epic Antipodean adventure as you are transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).
14 hot buffet breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners.
|Start Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|9 Sep 19||23 Sep 19||$5,425$4,883pp||SAVE: $542Promo Code: PPTD119AARP members save an additional $100||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|28 Oct 19||11 Nov 19||$5,675pp||AARP members save an additional $100||Request Quote|
|13 Jan 20||27 Jan 20||$5,675pp||AARP members save an additional $100||Request Quote|
|2 Mar 20||16 Mar 20||$5,675pp||AARP members save an additional $100||Request Quote|
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.
With just enough time for some background commentary on the internationally renowned artist Bruce Munro, you will arrive very excited to see his latest artistic endeavor. Arriving in complete darkness, you will be able to enjoy the 50,000 spheres of light
Adult Price: $75.00
A peaceful one-hour camel ride through stunning sand dune country with the awe-inspiring backdrop of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Watch as the rising sun lights up Uluru and the surrounding plains.
Adult Price: $132.00
A 40 minute, a fixed-wing scenic flight is a great way to take in this amazing landscape. These small plane options with extended flights that include both Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Adult Price: $240.00
Experience a scenic helicopter flight over the Red Centre.
Adult Price: $95.00
Discover the spectacular Blue Mountains and see native wildlife whilst you explore the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. Pass by Homebush Bay, site of the 2000 Olympics. Discover Leura village, a delightful blend of groomed gardens and quaint shops. Stop at Echo Point and see the famous Three Sisters rock formation. See Katoomba in the heart of the Blue Mountains. Visit Scenic World for a chance to ride the steepest railway in the world (own expense). Enjoy an afternoon encounter at Featherdale Wildlife Park. Have your photo taken with a cuddly koala. See kangaroos, wombats, dingoes, and cute little penguins.
The Bridge Climb is a 3 1/2 hour guided journey to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It takes you along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 meters above Sydney Harbour. In Climb groups of up to 14 people, you’ll be led by one of BridgeClimb’s professional Climb Leaders on an adventure of the world’s most recognizable Bridge.
This is the best way to see Sydney in all its glory. See full panoramic views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Manly Cove, and Sydney’s spectacular Harbour and city skyline. This tour will leave you breathless! Great Views, Great Flight! After a safety briefing, we will use your own camera for some happy snaps in front of your helicopter to begin the memories of a sensational Heli Tour. Within 5 minutes your professional pilot will have you over the harbor flying past icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Watsons Bay, Rose Bay, and Manly Cove. Throughout the flight, your pilot will be providing you with expert commentary via voice-activated headset.
Adult Price: $220.00
You’ll head out over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and through the leafy Northern Suburbs, heading to the beautiful Hunter Valley. Today you’re going to taste some of the finest wines this country has to offer, amid the stunning landscape of the Hunter Valley. Your Driver Guide will give you details of the day’s itinerary as you sit back and enjoy the view. Includes a tasting platter lunch of seasonal local produce along with a range of wine tastings to complement the food.
Adult Price: $179.10
Tread in the footsteps of the convicts, larrikin gangs & locals of the past as you share a drink in 4 of Sydney’s oldest pubs. Between watering holes, your guide will take you through the alleys & cobbled streets of The Rocks as they share the gossip, shouts, and stories of Australia’s first European settlement. Tour includes a choice of a beer (285ml/10oz), house wine or soft drink at each pub. 2.5 hours in duration. The Rocks Pub Walk runs 11:30 am and 2:30 pm daily (except Friday nights). Commences from Harts Pub, Essex St & Gloucester Street, The Rocks.
Adult Price: $90.00
Discover Rotorua’s spectacular lakes area from the comfort of a fully restored World War II amphibious vehicle, able to travel on land and water. A 90 minute fun-filled and scenic journey that ventures onto the three Rotorua lakes, and is accompanied by an entertaining and informative commentary.
Adult Price: $89.00
Discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand, where you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in a fascinating two-hour guided tour.
Adult Price: $119.00
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)
Skippers Canyon Jet is 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.
Adult Price: $195.00
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