Day 1: Los Angeles:
Board your evening flight to Auckland, New Zealand.
Day 2: In Flight:
Cross the international dateline and ‘lose’ a day.
Day 3: Auckland:
Your Tour Director will meet you on arrival of one of our selected flights, in Auckland. An early morning check-in at your hotel has been arranged. Join an afternoon tour of Auckland, then enjoy a Welcome Dinner. Stay: Auckland, Crowne Plaza.
Day 4: Rotorua, Traditional Feast:
This morning travel to the Waitomo Caves for a tour of the glow worm grotto. Continue to Rotorua, an area rich in Maori heritage. Tonight experience Maori hospitality as guests at a traditional Hangi (feast) and cultural performance. Two Night Stay: Rotorua, Royal Lakeside Novotel.
Day 5: Rotorua, Country Homestay:
Today tour Te Puia Thermal Reserve, viewing geothermally heated boiling mudpools, hot springs and steaming geysers. See an agricultural show and sheep shearing display before viewing the flightless kiwi bird, the national animal of New Zealand. Later, perhaps experience a taste of rural living with a friendly New Zealand family via our optional Country Homestay. Alternatively you may choose to dine and stay at the hotel. Country Homestay option available tonight.
Day 6: Rotorua, Christchurch:
This morning is at leisure in Rotorua, before flying to the charming Garden City of Christchurch on New Zealand’s scenic South Island. Stay: Christchurch, Crowne Plaza.
Day 7: TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef:
Step aboard the TranzAlpine Train for an award-winning journey through spectacular gorges, river valleys and across the magnificent Southern Alps. Then continue down the rugged West Coast to Franz Josef Glacier, cutting through glacial valleys and into temperate rain forest. Stay: Franz Josef Glacier Hotel.
Day 8: Queenstown, Walter Peak Station:
Drive over spectacular Haast Pass and past the shores of tranquil lakes Wanaka and Hawea to the alpine resort of Queenstown. This evening cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw to historic Walter Peak Station for a special carvery dinner. Two Night Stay: Queenstown, Novotel Gardens.
Day 9: Milford Sound Cruise:
Enjoy the beauty of Fiordland National Park today as you cruise the full length of Milford Sound, beneath waterfalls, mountains and mile-high Mitre Peak. An optional return flight to Queenstown offers a unique perspective of the region (own expense).
Day 10: Queenstown, Mt Cook:
After a morning free, travel to Mt Cook National Park, home to Mt Cook, Australasia’s highest peak. Weather permitting, take a ski-plane flight over this spectacular alpine region, including a landing on a glacier to get a view from the roof of New Zealand (own expense). Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage.
Day 11: Fly to Sydney, Australia:
Travel via Lake Tekapo and the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue through Burkes Pass and over the plains of Canterbury to Christchurch, where you’ll board your flight to Sydney, Australia. Three Night Stay: Sydney, Shangri La Hotel.
Day 12: Sydney, Breakfast with the Koalas, City Sights, Harbor Cruise:
This morning, enjoy a truly unique breakfast with the koalas at a wildlife park. Then see Sydney’s iconic sights on a tour of the city and its surrounding beaches. Later take a luncheon cruise on Sydney’s harbor for great views of the famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House, then enjoy a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House.
Day 13: At Leisure in Sydney:
With free time today, perhaps join an optional tour to the Hunter Valley or visit the Blue Mountains to see the Three Sisters rock formation (own expense). Maybe stroll the famous Rocks area or head to the fabulous shopping precincts of Oxford Street, Pitt Street Mall or Queen Victoria Building.
Day 14: Melbourne, Colonial Tramcar Restaurant:
A short flight this morning takes us to Melbourne. On arrival, take a tour of one of the world’s most livable cities. Be tempted by the local produce on offer at the Victoria Market, see Parliament House and stroll through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens before a gourmet dinner while taking in the sights of Melbourne aboard the unique Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Two Night Stay: Melbourne, Hotel Sofitel.
Day 15: At Leisure in Melbourne:
Today is a free day to enjoy the delights of Melbourne. Perhaps step out to discover its art galleries and museums, stroll down to Southbank on the Yarra River, visit the city’s elegant shopping arcades or catch a tram to the seaside suburb of St Kilda for ice cream and a walk along the beach. Alternatively, take an optional tour to see the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island or drive along the famous Great Ocean Road to see the magnificent Twelve Apostles (own expense).
Day 16: Alice Springs, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Outback Dinner:
Join your morning flight to Alice Springs. On a tour here, visit the base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, see the Old Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs and enjoy views of the town from Anzac Hill. Tonight enjoy our special Outback Dinner and an Aboriginal performance. Stay: Alice Springs, Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Day 17: Camel Farm, Kata Tjuta:
Perhaps take a camel ride in the morning when you stop at a camel farm (own expense). Continue to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and visit Kata Tjuta, a cluster of 36 domes that dominate the park’s western skyline. Learn of Aboriginal legends surrounding this sacred place then tonight you may wish to dine at the Sounds of Silence desert dinner. Stay: Ayers Rock Resort, Sails in the Desert.
Day 18: Uluru, Cairns:
Tour the base of Uluru this morning, viewing rock art, caves and sacred sites. Learn the history of this ancient monolith then take a guided walk to Mutitjulu waterhole and hear of the ancient Aboriginal legends of the region. After a visit to the Maruku Arts and Crafts Gallery, board a flight to the tropical city of Cairns, gateway to Far North Queensland and the start of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world. On arrival, take in the local sights. Stay: Cairns, Shangri-La The Marina.
Day 19: Dunk Island:
Drive to Mission Beach then cruise to Dunk Island, the Island of Peace and Plenty and your home for the next two nights. The afternoon is free for you to explore the lush rain forest, wander the golden beaches or just relax and enjoy the warm tropical sun. Two Night Stay: Dunk Island, Garden Rooms.
Day 20: Great Barrier Reef Cruise:
Today cruise the turquoise waters over the Great Barrier Reef before mooring at Beaver Cay, the longest established Green Zone (Marine Sanctuary) on the reef. Here, swim, snorkel and view the colored coral, giant clams, fish and other marine life on a glass-bottom boat. Or just relax on the white sandy beach and soak up the tropical atmosphere.
Day 21: Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns:
Departing Dunk Island, follow the coastline north to Cairns. Journey to Kuranda, a picturesque mountain rain forest retreat. Enjoy some time to explore the lush surroundings and perhaps wander through the local markets then ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway through the rain forest and back down the mountain range to Cairns, where tonight you’ll say goodbye to your fellow travelers at a Farewell Dinner in Cairns. Stay: Cairns, Shangri-La The Marina.
Day 22: Cairns, Los Angeles:
Today after breakfast, your Royal Escorted vacation in Australia and New Zealand comes to an end, and you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Los Angeles.
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