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Melbourne's elegant façades and broad boulevards are your launchpad to an immersive encounter with Australia and New Zealand. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). This evening, get to know your Travel Director and fellow travellers at a Welcome Reception including a Regional Dinner.
Admire the city's Victorian architecture, arcades and eclectic little laneways revealing some of the world's most incredible street art as you 'Dive into Culture' on a private walking tour of the city - encounter the aroma of Melbourne's coffee culture around every corner.
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore stylish Melbourne or consider an Optional Experience along the Great Ocean Road.
Journey to the heart of the continent, the gateway to central Australia's soul-stirring landscapes. On our first stop, we join 'Local Specialists' to delve into the support that the School of the Air provides to isolated communities and the historic Telegraph Station, connecting Australia's north and south - with a single wire. Later, we 'Connect with Locals' over a 'Be My Guest' dinner at the Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre, where we'll meet the famous Outback Paramedic Falzon brothers and learn about the sustainable lifestyle they've established.
The rusty red landscapes of Uluru beckon today and we leave Alice Springs bound for Ayers Rock Resort. This evening, watch as the Outback sky ignites in shades of red, yellow and purple - the perfect backdrop for Uluru sundowners. Later, consider an optional authentic Aussie BBQ Dinner under the glittering southern-night sky. Our home for the next two nights is one of Trafalgar's 'Stays with Stories' - the Desert Gardens Hotel which reveals the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Watch night turn to day as you witness a magical sunrise over Uluru. 'Dive into Culture' and hear stories about the Anangu, caretakers of this remote arid landscape, touring the base of Uluru to discover its ancient rock art. This afternoon, continue your journey through the desert plains to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and enjoy a walk amidst its towering domes through Walpa Gorge. Admire yet another magnificent sunset paired with sparkling wine.
Rise with the birds and visit the kaleidoscopic art installation in the desert, the Field of Light. This soul-stirring start to your morning gives way to yet another magical experience on top of a sand dune to watch the desert landscape awaken over Uluru with a hot drink in hand. Later, join your 'Local Specialist' Aboriginal artist for a fun introduction to Western Desert Art and craft your own story as a memento of the experience. This afternoon fly to Cairns.
Ease into the laidback lifestyle of Cairns - a full free day to explore this tropical city or consider an Optional Experience to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park or Hartley's Crocodile Adventures.
Board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. Don your mask and fins for an up-close encounter with this natural wonderland (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the world's largest living reef system from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft. Before your return to Cairns, you'll enjoy a tropical buffet lunch under the glorious Aussie sunshine. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a Regional Dinner on the Cairns waterfront.
Fly south to Sydney and spend the rest of the day at leisure exploring the beauty of this harbour city.
Delve into the story of a building 'that changed the image of an entire country' joining a 'Local Specialist' for a guided tour of Sydney Opera House. Dip your toes in the Pacific waters of Bondi Beach, then board a Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise as you sail past Sydney's iconic harbour sights.
Enjoy a full free day to explore Sydney on your terms or consider joining an Optional Experience to the Blue Mountains to connect with nature. Admire the small-town atmosphere of Leura, see the famous Three Sisters rock formation and visit a Wildlife Park to get up close to some of Australia's cuddly creatures. Spend your last evening in Sydney with your Travel Director and companions enjoying a Regional Dinner at a waterfront restaurant.
Set your sights on New Zealand as you fly to Auckland, where this evening you'll join your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel.
Dive Into Culture with a city sightseeing tour this morning, including Mission Bay, Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial for sweeping views of Waitemata Harbour and the North Shore. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Journey through the dramatic scenery and landscapes of Waikato, passing through Cambridge, 'The Town of Trees and Champions', on your way to Rotorua. Once there, explore the wonders and crystal-clear mineral springs of Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Join a Local Specialist who will help you spot shy kiwi amongst the native bush, ferns and trees. This evening, Dive Into Culture at a Regional Dinner at the Tamaki Maori Village.
Enjoy breakfast in the charming village of Hobbiton, the movie set of the now iconic The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies, before continuing to Auckland to board your flight to Queenstown. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Queenstown.
Journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and over the Devil's Staircase to Te Anau. Experience magnificent scenery afforded by the Mirror Lakes, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Emerge from the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel towards Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Take to its still waters for a cruise filled with pinch-me moments. Return to Queenstown for a free evening. Speak to your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Queenstown.
A day at leisure could see you take an Optional Experience ride on the Shotover Jet boat or a cruise aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet BBQ lunch. This evening, join your Travel Director for a Regional Dinner at The Boatshed.
Leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown for Lake Tekapo, travelling through Arrowtown, with its lovingly-restored mining cottages, and Cromwell on the banks of Lake Dunstan. View the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd. Spend the evening stargazing in the world-renowned UNESCO Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.
Enjoy a relaxed start before heading north through South Canterbury, visiting the charming boutique village of Geraldine en route to Christchurch.
After a city sightseeing tour, 'Connect with Locals' Isabelle and Tim Weston for a 'Be My Guest' morning tea at their home, Britten Stables. Formerly horse stables, the couple restored the property and transformed it into the exquisite home it is today. Spend the last evening with your travel companions and Travel Director at a Farewell Dinner.
Bid farewell to your newfound friends as your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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