Australia & New Zealand Uncovered
22 Days | Wellington to Cairns
Uncover the core of Maori culture in New Zealand. Dive into the unparalleled Outback of Australia. This is Oceania, a paradise in the South Pacific. Admire the striking essence of Uluru (Ayers Rock) as you dine under the stars. Tour the Sydney Opera House to get a glimpse of the action behind the scenes. Choose how you spend the day discovering the legendary Great Barrier Reef – by snorkelling, hiking, relaxing or learning. Join a local Kiwi family for a home cooked dinner in Queenstown. Cruise through the dramatic Milford Sound and the organic splendour of Abel Tasman National Park. From sparkling coastlines to age-old traditions, take in the natural beauty and engaging society of these captivating countries.
Prices from $7,549 CAD per person based on double occupancy
Encounter the untamed vitality and the captivating culture of New Zealand and Australia – a perfect blend of wildlife and urban energy that is rooted in tradition but is ever evolving with the Outback air. Delve into the South Pacific heritage and get a close look at New Zealand’s Maori lifestyle and the roots of Australia’s Aboriginal groups.
Your journey starts in New Zealand. Feel the ever-present heartbeat of Maori culture on this set of islands. Comprised of natural beauty and striking contrasts, live the Kiwi lifestyle for the next 10 days. Say hello to Wellington, the colourful capital city of New Zealand. Take in the gourmet eats, seaside charm, and scenic coastline as you feel the warm ocean breeze of the “Windy City.”
Jump right into Maori culture as you are greeted with a traditional powhiri, an elabourate ceremony for welcoming guests. Marvel at the carved wakas, sleek canoes of intricate design, to get a glimpse into this captivating society at a Maori culture centre. Get exclusive access to an archaeological site not open to the public during a guided exploration of a waterfront pa (Maori for village). Taste Maori heritage in a Hangi dish and discover the roots of the culture at the Te Papa Museum. Admire the rolling waves as you share conversation, connecting over dinner.
Surrounded by green slopes and rolling mountains, the Cook Strait will offer a picturesque landscape as you cruise over the stunning waters on your way to the South Island. Visit Nelson, the oldest city on the island. Enjoy an evening at leisure to experience this coastal hub, full of local works and a trending foodie scene. This local art hub highlights works from the area, artisan food markets, and sparkling waters.
Explore the Nelson Market, a bustling open-air market featuring delicious foods and goods from local artists. Chat with New Zealander artisans as you walk along the spirited stalls and peruse an ever-evolving library of Kiwi crafts. Venture on to Kaiteriteri, a coastal paradise where you’ll set sail through the graceful natural beauty of Abel Tasman National Park. Coast over the crystal clear waters as you pass by verdant swathes of reaching trees huddled along the shoreline. A picnic lunch awaits at the Anchorage, a scenic bay set amongst a backdrop of gentle waves and sandy coasts.
This morning meet with a local artist at his studio to learn about New Zealand greenstone carving. Then, venture to Cape Foulwind and find yourself set among dramatic ocean overlooks, towering mountains, and rustling foliage. Watch the dynamic colony of fur seals lounging on the sun-soaked rocks and dipping into the crashing waves. Tonight, dine at your beachfront hotel, a natural haven of craggy peaks and lively waterspouts.
This morning, it’s your choice! Start the day surrounded by ethereal flora as you meander along Truman Track, a path that weaves through thick rainforest and onto a hidden beach below -OR- soak in a bit of coastal serenity and enjoy a leisurely morning at your hotel. Then, we gather to experience the natural phenomenon of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks. Feel the spray of the ocean crashing against these unique limestone formations with a flapjack façade. On your way to Franz Josef, New Zealand’s glacier country, you’ll get to experience Hokitika, better known as a “cool little town.” Discover the area’s seaside allure by combing the beach in search of New Zealand jade or perhaps you’ll explore the shops and eateries in town.
Choose how to start your day because it’s your choice! View the Franz Josef Glacier with a local guide, traversing an exclusive trail not open to the public -OR- get a glimpse of kiwis at the West Coast Wildlife Centre, where you’ll learn more about conservation and rehabilitation of this national icon. Enjoy free time to relax. Perhaps you will step into the rainforest and soak in the steamy thermal waters of the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools.
Journey through the thick rainforest and emerge on the “wild” west coast. With cliffs and beaches on your right and the southern snowcapped Alps on your left, there will be no shortage of riveting landscapes to capture your eye. Pause in Wanaka, a slice of tranquility nestled along a mountain-lined lake. Continue to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, and settle into your home for the next three nights.
Take in the Milford Sound, a surreal fjord stretching through the Southern Alps. En route, enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley and cross through an ancient red beech forest. Take in the natural splendour around you as you cruise along the waters of the dramatic Milford Sound. With cliffs rising up to nearly 4,000 feet, you’ll see why this is one of the most visited sights on the South Island. Following your cruise, return to Queenstown for an evening at leisure. You may choose to return to Queenstown via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Today is yours! Explore the adventure capital whichever way your heart desires. Perhaps you’ll choose an optional tour to Mt. Nicholas Farm, where you’ll get a hands-on experience with merino wool. Or you might choose to experience the thrill of a jetboat ride on the Shotover River. Tonight, gather around the table as a welcomed guest when you join a local Kiwi family for a home cooked dinner.
Wish New Zealand goodbye and enter Australia, home to expansive Outback and lively waterfront cities. Start your Aussie adventure in Sydney, the country’s largest city. Acquaint yourself with the streets on an orientation tour, gathering your bearings and getting a glimpse at the highlights. As the sun sets, admire the city skyline on a dinner cruise through Sydney Harbour and watch the sky transform into a myriad of pinks and oranges over the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Take a step into the past and explore the historic Rocks neighbourhood, situated along the edge of Sydney Harbour. Continue along to the port Circular Quay before strolling through the winding paths of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Here, you’ll delve into Aboriginal culture by learning about native plants and foraging for traditional foods. Go behind the scenes of the Sydney Opera House on an expert-led guided tour of this legendary venue.
Make the most of your final day in Sydney with a full day at leisure! You may choose to go on an optional Sydney Foodie Safari or take in a performance at the Sydney Opera House. Included harbour ferry passes will help you get around.
Set off on a short flight to Adelaide, the cosmopolitan hub of South Australia. Indulge in a wine tasting at d’Arenberg Cube, home to eccentric architecture and vibrant surroundings, and discover why the wine maker is referred to as the “Willy Wonka of Wines.” Visit Hahndorf, a charming village in the Adelaide Hills and the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. Get a taste of German cuisine and local flavours at tonight’s dinner.
Treat your taste buds to a full-day exploration of the Barossa Valley’s fine food and wine. Breathe in the calming essence of lavender at Lyndoch Lavender Farm, joining an expert on a guided tour of the estate. Savour a light lunch during a lavender tea party, featuring flavourful bites and lavender sweets. Your vintner voyage continues at the famous Seppeltsfield Winery, one of the oldest in the Barossa Valley.
Your adventure continues to the mesmerizing Uluru (Ayers Rock). After your flight from Adelaide Hills, relish in free time this afternoon before gathering for an unforgettable evening set in the stunning backdrop of this Aboriginal destination. Experience the Sounds of Silence dinner, a gourmet meal overlooking the glowing Uluru. As the sun drops behind the horizon and the Milky Way starts to twinkle, relax as you eat dinner under a bed of stars, overlooking Australia’s greatest natural wonder.
Get a close look at the iconic, monstrous red rocks emerging from the earth, sprung up as if beckoned toward the clouds. On a guided tour of Uluru’s base and the neighbouring Kata Tjuta rock formations, discover the heritage of Australia’s Aboriginal people. Fly to Cairns and enjoy an evening at leisure, getting to know this gateway to an underwater paradise.
Board a catamaran and sail to the Low Isles to discover the aquatic realm of the Great Barrier Reef. Spend the day however you please, perhaps choosing from a selection of included activities. Maybe you will soak up the sun and sprawl out on the shore of a tiny sand island, located along the outer reef. Or consider tapping into your adventurous side and go snorkelling in the rolling waves, uncovering an active pod of vibrant sea life. You can also meet with a marine biologist during an informative presentation, gaining insight into this protected habitat. Or maybe you’ll choose to join an expert on a heritage trail walk along the island.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax or explore the tropical city of Cairns. Toast to the end of your journey at a farewell dinner, reflecting on your Outback escapade.
Your tour of New Zealand and Australia comes to a close today.