Explore New Zealand & Australia    *alt*

21 days, from £5749
Discover The World
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Description

There's no reason to have to choose between Australia and New Zealand on this small group escorted tour that allows you to experience both over 22 extraordinary days. Discover iconic Sydney, fashionable Melbourne, and welcoming Auckland; stand in the presence of sacred Uluru; explore ancient rainforests; and take in all the city life, mountains landscapes, glaciers, cultural moments, deserts, hot springs, and flat whites you can.

Highlights

* Spend time exploring the wonders of Sydney on a Harbour Cruise and orientation walk
* Take a walk with an Aboriginal guide through the Daintree Rainforest
* Marvel at Uluru during a sunrise interpretative walk
* Cruise Hauraki Gulf Marine Park in Auckland for a whale and dolphin experience
* Meet a Maori elder and enjoy a cultural show and traditional Hangi meal
* Enjoy a wilderness day cruise (winter) or overnight cruise (summer) on majestic Doubtful Sound

As part of the National Geographic Journeys travel style collection this tour allows greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam - all without sacrificing comfort. Quality accommodation is included throughout as well as more inclusions, such as meals, private transport and activities. Some light walking and hiking is involved, suitable for most fitness levels.

These group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip.

The tour starts in Sydney and ends in Queenstown. Highlights include a visit to spectacular Sydney, an Aboriginal walk through the Daintree Rainforest and a sunrise walk at majestic Uluru. Fly to Auckland from Melbourne for your New Zealand adventure which includes a wonderful wildlife cruise in the Hauraki Gulf, a visit to the glow-worm caves at Waitomo, a journey on the scenic TranzAlpine train and a Wilderness cruise in Fiordland National Park.

Maximum group size: 16

Itinerary


 Day 1 Sydney

Arrive at any time today. There are no activities until an evening welcome meeting so head out and enjoy the magical city of Sydney. Feel free to explore, but make sure you are back in time to meet the group at 19:00 hours. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.


 Day 2 Sydney (B,D)

Explore Sydney Harbour today and walk to the iconic Opera House and the Rocks area. In the afternoon, board a private yacht and enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise with barbecue dinner. Navigating the bays and coves, sit back on the sunbed and relax and enjoy views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.


 Day 3 Sydney - Port Douglas (B)

Fly to Cairns then travel up the coastal road to Mossman Gorge. Take an interpretive walk with a local Aboriginal guide and learn about traditional ways of life and survival techniques in the Daintree Rainforest.


 Day 4 Port Douglas (B)

Enjoy the colourful resort town of Port Douglas. Take time to stroll the main streets, enjoy the beach or opt to go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.


 Day 5 Port Douglas - Cairns (B)

Return to the tropical city of Cairns. National Geographic Exclusives: James Cook University Aquarium . Take an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the James Cook University research aquarium, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic grant recipient Dr. Jamie Seymour. Enjoy a private tour of the facility and get an up close look at some of these marvellous creatures, and we'll hear about the latest research from Jamie or one of his colleagues.


 Day 6 Cairns (B,L)

National Geographic Exclusives: Janbanbarra Jirrbal Rainforest People . Travel to Tully for an authentic and interactive, Indigenous experience, supported by G Adventures. Enjoy a private lecture about the history and culture of the Janbanbarra Jirrbal Rainforest people. Learn about their deep connection to the land and how they have continued for thousands of years, to live in harmony with nature. Our cultural immersion continues with a traditional lunch and participation in a painting class with Jirrbal Aboriginal artists.


 Day 7 Cairns (B)

Cairns is the adventure capital of Queensland, and the day is yours with free time to explore. Opt to go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, soar above the rainforest on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, or explore this stunning coastal city.


 Day 8 Cairns - Uluru (B)

Catch a flight to Uluru and witness the incredible sunset with a glass of bubbly.


 Day 9 Uluru (B)

Wake before sunrise to watch the colours change over Uluru. Continue on with a guided Mala walk around the base of Uluru gaining insight into its significance to the local Aboriginal people. Visit the cultural centre and learn about ancient beliefs and traditions portrayed in art, food, and music. Later, take a walk in Kata Tjuta National Park and view the beautiful red-domed rock formations. The afternoon is at your leisure.


 Day 10 Uluru - Melbourne (B)

Enjoy another sunrise over Uluru before flying to Melbourne for the night.


 Day 11 (B,L)

Go on a guided foodie walk through the laneways of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller for a three-course progressive lunch. Later, enjoy free time to explore Melbourne or the many wineries in the area.


 Days 12-13 Melbourne - Auckland (B)

Fly to Auckland, New Zealand and enjoy free time in the city. On your second day in the City of Sails Cruise Hauraki Gulf Marine Park on a research boat in search of whales, dolphins and sea birds. After our cruise spend one-on-one time with one of the expert crew to allow a deeper discussion on marine wildlife and conservation. Later, enjoy a short orientation walk and some free time to explore the city.


 Day 14 - Auckland - Raglan (B,L)

Drive a scenic route, visiting an eel farm which focuses on developing sustainable aquaculture. Enjoy lunch, featuring food which has been sustainably produced on the farm. Continue to the artsy town of Raglan, stopping at Bridal Veil Falls en route, and enjoy a cruise on the stunning harbour.


 Day 15 Raglan - Rotorua (B,D)

Drive to Rotorua, stopping for an excursion at Waitomo Caves where you'll take a boat ride through the cave and see thousands of flickering glowworms lighting up the walls. This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome and talk from a 'Kaumc?tua' (an elder in Mc?ori society). After, enjoy an extravagant performance about local myths, and legends while dining on traditional Hangi cuisine.


 Day 16 Rotorua - Christchurch (B)

Enjoy free time this morning in Rotorua before catching a flight to Christchurch. Take an orientation walk with the CEO to get a feel for the city.


 Days 17-18 Christchurch - Franz Josef (B)

Enjoy one of the world's great scenic train trips on the TranzAlpine train, crossing the scenic Southern Alps to New Zealand's glacier region. Disembark and finish the journey over the highest pass in the Southern Alps in a private vehicle before transferring to a beautiful rainforest lodge, our home for two nights.


 Day 19 Franz Josef - Queenstown (B)

Travel through the rugged rainforest along the west coast to Queenstown. Enjoy an evening gondola ride with spectacular views of the city.


 Day 20 Queenstown - Doubtful Sound (B,D)

Embark on an amazing wilderness cruise through scenic Doubtful Sound. Led by on-board naturalist guides we have the chance to see dolphins, fur seals, birds and penguins and an option to kayak. Spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins on board the Fiordland Navigator, with time to relax on deck, stargaze and enjoy some New Zealand wine. Please note that due to seasonal weather the itinerary on Day 20 in Doubtful Sound varies from winter to summer months. The winter itinerary runs for all departures between June 4 - September 20. The remaining departures will follow the summer itinerary. .


 Day 21 Doubtful Sound - Queenstown (B)

Enjoy morning wildlife viewing as we cruise back to port, then return to Queenstown for the final night. .


 Day 22 Queenstown (B)

Depart at any time today.

Notes
There are many optional activities available during your holiday, at extra cost. Please contact our expert team for further details. Please note this itinerary is subject to change. Occasionally we may need to make alterations. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The vans used in the Red Centre are mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver. The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seat belt while riding in these vehicles. All internal flights are included in this trip (including 1 flight between Australia and New Zealand). Your CEO will give you your ticket on the day. If you are travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, you will be able to select this option during the online booking process.