Discover Australia and New Zealand at a relaxed pace, on a journey that roams from Cairns to Queenstown via the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney and the natural wonders of the Red Center.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like... waking up to the majesty of Uluṟu and the Red Center, with its gums, red sands and endless skies. And discovering the meaning behind the ancient rock art you see, as you explore this iconic landmark.
Board your overnight flight to Australia (not included).
Cross the International Date Line.
Welcome to Cairns! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 2pm). This evening join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and delectable dinner at Salt House on the Cairns waterfront.
Get ready for an experience of a lifetime when you board a high-speed catamaran and cruise to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Covering approximately 35 million hectares, it is the largest reef structure and marine park in the world and offers an experience like no other. View the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft. You'll have the opportunity to go snorkeling and experience this natural wonder up-close (equipment provided). Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before returning to Cairns.
Today is all yours to relax or explore. Maybe take an Optional Experience to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to discover the secrets of this ancient culture. Or visit Hartley's Crocodile Adventures for an opportunity to encounter an array of wildlife including koalas, tropical birds, insects and of course, crocodiles!
Today fly from Cairns to Ayers Rock. This afternoon enjoy a leisurely drive through the desert plains to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Along the way you'll hear about the geological and cultural history of the area. Admire the view of the central valley of the domes of Kata Tjuta while you take in a magnificent outback sunset with nibbles and sparkling wine.
View the magical Uluru (Ayers Rock) sunrise. Afterwards, gain a Cultural Insight into the traditional owners of the land, the Anangu, as you tour the caves at the base of Uluru. This evening relax with nibbles and sparkling wine as you watch an Uluru sunset. Afterwards, enjoy an award-winning Uluru Barbecue Regional Meal. After dinner, gaze at the tremendous southern night sky as a Local Specialist gives you insight into the constellations.
Join a Local Specialist Aboriginal artist for a fun introduction to Western Desert Art. Your Anangu artist will explain the meanings of their totems, before assisting you to complete your own painting to take home as a memento of your experience. This afternoon you'll fly to Sydney. Your evening is free for you to explore. Your Travel Director can point you in the direction of some restaurants nearby your hotel. You'll be spoiled for choice.
A day of sightseeing around this stunning harbor awaits! Join a Local Specialist for a guided tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House to take a sneak peek behind the scenes before discovering Sydney's Eastern Suburbs and putting your feet in the sand on famous Bondi Beach. Later, take to the water for a Captain Cook Lunch Cruise Regional Meal. Enjoy a fresh seasonal menu while you sail around the glistening harbor. You'll pass magnificent waterfront homes, beaches and parklands and all the main harbor attractions. Then spend the rest of the day seeing the sights of your choice. This evening, why not experience a performance under the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House.
The day is yours to explore this wonderful city. Why not take an Optional Experience to the spectacular Blue Mountains. See the famous Three Sisters rock formation and visit Featherdale Wildlife Park. 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 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.
Say goodbye to Australia and fly to 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.
Travel to the Waitomo Caves to see the incredible Glow Worm Grotto on a boat tour with a Local Specialist. This evening join your traveling companions for a memorable Be My Guest dinner. Experience the heart-pounding wero (challenge) from a Maori warrior during a Powhiri, a ceremonial welcome, at the Tamaki Family Marae. Journey into the village and gain insight into life in New Zealand before European settlement. Feast on succulent meats and vegetables cooked in a hangi, the traditional Maori method of cooking in the earth.
A Maori Local Specialist will accompany you around the Whakarewarewa Living Thermal Village. See New Zealand's biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a tour with a Local Specialist. You may even spot a kiwi! Then visit the Agrodome Farm Show, the multi-award-winning stage show, for a Cultural Insight and a taste of farm life.
This morning you'll fly to Queenstown. On arrival explore the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown before an orientation of Queenstown and surrounds. See Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables Mountain Range and the home of the Bungy Jump at Kawarau Bridge.
A free day to do as you choose in New Zealand's adventure capital. Why not take an Optional Experience through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park for an unforgettable cruise on Milford Sound?
Today you may like to relax or consider taking another of our Optional Experiences. You could ride the Shotover Jet boat, join a wine tour, play a round of golf, take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon, relax with a spa treatment at Millbrook Resort or explore Queenstown on your own. This evening join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner at The Boatshed, set in the historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, is the perfect venue for your Farewell Dinner with wine.
Time to bid farewell as you are transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).
14 hot buffet breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners (including 2 Be My Guests').
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|9 Sep 17||25 Sep 17||$4,795pp||Request Quote|
Important Note: Departures between October 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 $1,540.
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 4 from Cairns to Ayers Rock: QF1851; Day 6 from Ayers Rock to Sydney: JQ661; Day 9 from Sydney to Auckland: QF143; Day 12 from Rotorua to Queenstown: NZ8742/641. 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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