Grand Australia & New Zealand    *alt*

20 days, from £6140
Tauck
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Description

The ultimate in Australia New Zealand tours, our 20-day adventure includes the desert Outback, tropical rainforests, coral reefs, glacier-capped mountains, dramatic fjords, and cosmopolitan cities. Keep your camera at the ready to capture the amazing sights of the Great Barrier Reef, the dramatic waters of Milford Sound, and the setting sun on Uluru (Ayers Rock). From a "Foodie Tour" of Sydney to a green-lipped mussel cruise, jet boat, sky tram and helicopter rides, a day in the Outback and a special Maori cultural experience, this comprehensive trip "down under" - enhanced by exclusive charter flights in Australia and New Zealand - has it all! Looking for an all-Australia or all-New Zealand Journey? Try our Spotlight on Australia 2018 or Spotlight on New Zealand 2018.

Itinerary


 Day 1 Melbourne and the start of your Australia tour

Tauck's tours to Australia and New Zealand begin at 5:30 PM at The Langham Melbourne. A transfer is included from Melbourne Airport to The Langham Melbourne, where you'll enjoy a river-view room. Welcome to Tauck's grand Australia tour, where friendly g'days greet you from arrival to departure! Join us for a welcome reception and dinner tonight as you meet your travelling mates.


 Day 2 Melbourne's Victorian charms

You'll see a lot of Melbourne on a sightseeing tour of the city, including a guided walking tour to discover the real city (and its amazing coffee) along its distinctive laneways, the Shrine of Remembrance, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The rest of the day and evening are yours to spend as you please in Melbourne; enjoy lunch and dinner on your own today.


 Day 3 Fly to Uluru (Ayers Rock) & the Outback

Take a morning private charter flight to the heart of Australia's desert Outback, arriving at Ayers Rock (Uluru) for lunch and an overnight stay at Sails in the Desert in the country's 'Red Centre". In the evening, the light of the setting sun bathes the mystical rock with a palette of ever-changing color... and you'll enjoy the natural "show" with canapes and champagne over looking the monolith.


 Day 4 From Uluru to a rainforest skyrail in Queensland

Aboriginal traditions define life in the Outback, especially at Uluru (Ayers Rock); learn about the "dreamtime" legends associated with this massive monolith on a guided tour this morning. Fly via private charter to Cairns in Queensland, gateway to the amazing Great Barrier Reef. Head to the mountain village of Kuranda, where you'll board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, taking you over and through the rainforest canopy. Continue on to Silky Oaks Lodge, your luxury eco lodge on the Mossman River adjacent to Daintree National Park, to begin a three-night rainforest resort stay.


 Day 5 Cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef

Spend a full day exploring one of Earth's most incredible "living" sites, the Great Barrier Reef - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only living structure on Earth visible from the moon. You'll cruise to the Agincourt Reef today, at the edge of Australia's Continental Shelf. Enjoy unbelievable swimming, snorkeling and marine views with superb underwater visibility. Spend the evening at leisure back at your rainforest lodge.


 Day 6 Optional balloon ride and a day at leisure

Early risers may choose to soar over the Atherton Tablelands on an optional hot air balloon ride* at dawn (an additional ?150 per person). The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish at your rainforest resort and spa, or explore the area as you please. Enjoy a special themed dinner tonight at the lodge.


 Day 7 Crocodile adventures and on to Sydney

Learn all about crocodiles at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, where a tour and feeding presentation precede an exclusive boat cruise on the lagoon. After lunch, fly to Sydney via private charter for a four-night stay in the city's heart at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.


 Day 8 Sydney Harbour cruise & the Opera House

One of Australia's most famous iconic sights takes center stage today when you visit the amazing Sydney Opera House on a personally guided tour. A private luncheon cruise on Sydney Harbour is a fabulous way to unwind and relax, while getting a good look at some of this extraordinary city's landmark sites from the water. Sydney sightseeing continues as you view The Rocks, Kings Cross and other highlights on a city tour; spend the rest of the day and evening exploring on your own.


 Day 9 A Sydney "Foodie Tour"

Accompanied by an informative, knowledgeable local guide, taste your way through some very cool culinary nooks and crannies on a Sydney 'Foodie Tour' focusing on cultures that have emigrated to Sydney over the past decades, presenting their history through food. Check out (and sample) a variety of local eateries including an Italian deli, gelato shop, fish market, a 150-year-old pub (with a craft beer tasting), and a post-WWII pie-cart-turned-cafe. Spend the rest of the day exploring Sydney as you please.


 Day 10 Sydney as you please

Today is yours to explore more of Sydney, your way. There is so much to see and do here - from museums to shopping, from Aboriginal art to an array of historic sites that tell the story of Australia's earliest days, Sydney's got it all! Cap the day by dining at a local restaurant tonight.


 Day 11 Farewell to Australia, hello to New Zealand

Your grand Australia tour comes to an end as you bid a final farewell and board a flight across the Tasman Sea for your grand New Zealand tour! First stop is Wellington, New Zealand's intimate waterfront capital with an impressive artistic and cultural edge. Accommodations for the next two nights are at the Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay; enjoy a 3-course dinner at the hotel.


 Day 12 Wonders of Wellington

Discover Wellington on a tour that begins city center with a cable car ride up to the city's Botanic Garden to see the award-winning rose garden and great views of the city, harbour, and Parliament Buildings. Next up is Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand's national museum, where you'll have a guided orientation to its five floors focusing on the country's exceptional nature, art, history, the Pacific and Maori culture. Touring its exhibits is like actually experiencing thousands of years of New Zealand's history in person, as motion simulators and interactive exhibits include you in the journey. Dinner tonight is a "dine-around" from a choice of Wellington restaurants.


 Day 13 Fly to the Marlborough Sounds & Te Anau

Tauck puts a charter plane at your service today, taking you first to Blenheim for a visit to the Marlborough Sounds on New Zealand's South Island. Besides producing great wine, this island boasts delectable freshly caught seafood, including green-lipped mussels; sample them, along with local wines, on a luncheon cruise that celebrates New Zealand's bounty. Then fly off aboard Tauck's charter to Manapouri (Te Anau) in the magnificent Fiordlands region, for two nights at an ideally located hotel. An a la carte dinner at your leisure at the hotel is included tonight.


 Day 14 Fiordland National Park & Milford Sound

Tauck's tours to Australia and New Zealand continue as you take a dramatic drive through the unparalleled scenery of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, then set off aboard a private boat (with a naturalist onboard) for a luncheon cruise among the sheer cliffs and glacier-hewn inlets of beautiful Milford Sound. Back at your hotel, enjoy a "Taste of Fiordland" dinner tonight.


 Day 15 To Queenstown and lunch at a winery

Make your way across more beautiful South Island landscapes to Queenstown, where you'll have lunch at the Amisfield Winery, set in an iconic stone building with gorgeous mountain views and known for its Pinot Noir. Your accommodations at the Sofitel Queenstown exude French-inspired sophistication in the heart of the city.


 Day 16 Adventures by jet boat & 'copter in Queenstown


Even if you're not all that adventurous, today's thrilling high-speed jet boat ride* through the rapids and narrow gorges of Skippers Canyon on the Shotover River - followed by a helicopter ride* - will both be memorable highlights of Tauck's tours to Australia and New Zealand! Head back down the mountain via Skyline gondola to spend the rest of the day as you wish in Queenstown. Dinner at the hotel is included this evening.


 Day 17 Lake Wakatipu cruise & South Island country life

From Queenstown, cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw today, continuing to the Walter Peak High Country Farm for a New Zealand farm experience; watch farm dogs rounding up sheep, see how shearing has been done through the ages, and enjoy a relaxing barbecue dinner. Return to your Queenstown hotel for the evening.


 Day 18 Charter flight to Auckland & Maori culture

Travel via Tauck's private charter flight from Queenstown to Auckland today for a two-night stay, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy an afternoon visit to the Auckland Museum with a Maori cultural presentation and music concert. Have dinner at your hotel tonight.


 Day 19 Wine tasting & lunch on Waiheke Island

Depart from Auckland's Ferry Terminal and head to nearby Waiheke Island, a mecca of farmland, forest and beaches - and vineyards; enjoy some sightseeing and a unique wine tasting and lunch at Mudbrick Vineyard. Ferry back to Auckland for some leisure time. Then join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at your hotel in the heart of the city, a fitting finale to Tauck's ultimate tours to Australia and New Zealand!


 Day 20 Journey home

Our tours to Australia and New Zealand end in Auckland. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Sofitel Auckland at Viaduct Harbour to Auckland Airport. You should allow three hours for check-in at the airport.