Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand

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On this grand 18 day journey, you’ll explore the two diverse and fascinating nations that lie on the shores of the Tasman Sea. Vastly different in size, and each offering unique landscapes and experiences, Australia and New Zealand share a reputation for warm hospitality and great cuisine. Discover the Great Barrier Reef and stunning Milford Sound, kiwis and crocodiles, and the exciting cosmopolitan cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Auckland and Queenstown.


  • Melbourne City Sights
  • Great Barrier Reef Cruise
  • Sydney City Sights
  • Auckland sightseeing
  • Maori Hangi dinner
  • Tranzalpine Train journey
  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Franz Josef Glacier


Day 1: Welcome to Melbourne
On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a welcome reception and dinner on board the famous Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. It’s a great opportunity to get to know everyone in a unique setting. (D)

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 2 nights

Day 2: Melbourne
Join your Travel Director for your city tour including 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. Then there’s time to explore the city on your own. (B)

Day 3: Melbourne – Cairns
Say farewell to Melbourne as you fly to Cairns. On arrival join your local guide for a private wildlife journey at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a boat cruise and encounter koalas, wallabies, birds and of course, crocodiles! This evening feast on a delicious meal of fresh seasonal produce at Salt House with views of the Cairns waterfront*. (B,D)

* During 21st December 2017 - 31st March 2018 your dinner on Day 3 will be moved to Day 4 for a Be My Guest dining experience at Tjapukai Cultural Park instead

Hotel: Hilton Hotel Cairns, 3 nights

Day 4: Cairns ‘Free Time’
Spend your free day relaxing or exploring. Perhaps take an optional experience to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park* to discover the secrets of this ancient culture through theatre, didgeridoo and fire-making demonstrations and the famous Tjapukai dance. You could travel to Kuranda, the ‘village in the rainforest’, on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and return to the lowlands above the breathtaking canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park through some of the oldest rainforest in the world on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. (B)

Day 5: Great Barrier Reef
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 the comfort of a semi-submersible craft. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns. (B, L)

Day 6: Cairns – Sydney
Depart Cairns and fly to Sydney. On arrival there’s time to relax before boarding a Captain Cook sunset highlight dinner cruise. Enjoy a two course à la carte dinner and the mesmerising views of Sydney at night. You’ll pass magnificent waterfront homes and all the main harbour attractions including the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. (B, D)

Hotel: Hyatt Regency Darling Harbour, 3 nights

Day 7: Sydney
Kick off this highlight day of sightseeing on a guided tour of Sydney Opera House with a local expert. Later board your coach to see the Royal Botanic Gardens and visit Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. Your destination is Bondi Beach for an iconic Australian experience. You’ll be greeted by a local surf lifesaver before lunch at an Aussie institution, the Returned Servicemen’s Club, with its views over the Pacific Ocean. Your host will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club to learn about the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving. This afternoon if you want to see Sydney from above, take the climb of your life on Sydney Harbour Bridge ‘BridgeClimb’ (own expense). (B, L)

Day 8: Sydney ‘Free Time’
The day is yours to explore this wonderful city. Why not take an optional experience to the spectacular Blue Mountains. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a unique Be My Guest experience at Gardeners Lodge Café*. Join Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Beryl, for an intimate dining experience featuring fresh local produce with traditional bush flavours. It will be an evening to remember. (B, D)

Day 9: Sydney – Auckland
It’s farewell to Australia as you fly to Auckland, New Zealand. This evening meet your Travel Director for a highlight dinner at ‘Eight’ at The Langham. Your personal degustation is prepared for you from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and delicious desserts. (B, D)

Day 10: AucklandA morning city sightseeing tour is followed by a cruise on Waitemata Harbour. Later, you’ll have time to explore the city. (B)

Day 11: Auckland - Rotorua
Join a guide for a boat tour through the Waitomo Glowworm Grotto. Continue to Rotorua where a Maori guide will accompany you at Te Puia Thermal Reserve. This evening feel the thrill of a heartpounding wero (challenge) from a Maori warrior during a Powhiri, a ceremonial welcome at a By My Guest experience at the Tamaki Family Marae. Journey into the village and gain a cultural 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. (B, D)

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Day 12: Rotorua – Christchurch
Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park with a local guide and discover the native flora and fauna. You may even spot a kiwi! Next stop is the Agrodome Sheep Show for a taste of farm life. Now you’ll fly to Christchurch. (B)

Hotel: Novotel Christchurch

Day 13: Christchurch – Franz Josef
Board the TranzAlpine train for your journey over the Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass. At Hokitika visit a New Zealand greenstone (jade) factory, to see a master carver at work. 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). (B, D)

Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Day 14: Franz Josef – Queenstown
Enjoy a coastal drive with views of the Tasman Sea. Climb over the Haast Pass winding through Mount Aspiring National Park. Then your journey takes you past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and heads along the Kawarau River through the Kawarau Gorge. Finally you will visit the historic village of Arrowtown, before arriving in Queenstown. This evening join your Travel Director a highlight dinner at The Boatshed. Set in the restored historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office and relocated to its lakefront setting in 1936, The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, is the perfect venue for your exclusive meal with wine. (B, D)

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 3 nights

Day 15: Milford Sound Cruise
Journey over the Devil’s Staircase and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. Travel through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel en route to majestic Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch as you cruise with Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls high above you. (B, L)

Day 16: Queenstown ‘Free Time’
Today you may like to consider taking one 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 just explore Queenstown on your own. This evening perhaps ride a gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner. (B)

Day 17: Queenstown - Christchurch
Stop to see the morning sun glisten on Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd.  Join your fellow travellers for a Be My Guest experience at Morelea Farm. You’re welcomed into the home of your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor for to enjoy a barbecue lunch in their 240 hectare garden and gain an insight into the day-to-day operation of farm life. Just wait until you try the Pavlova. In Christchurch this evening celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner with your Travel Director and new-found friends. (B, L, D)

Hotel: Novotel Christchurch

Day 18: Farewell from Christchurch
Time to bid you farewell as we transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)

18 Day Guided Tour - NOW from £3683

Also available: 22 day Highlights of Australia & New Zealand from - £5295 with additional touring options and overnight stays at Alice Springs and Ayers Rock.

***EARLY BIRD OFFER - Save 7.5% when you book before 27th April 2018. Valid on selected dates, subject to availability, seasonal variations and conditions apply.***

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