Day 1: Depart USA. Your fascinating “Down Under” discovery begins today as you board your award-winning Qantas Airways flight.
Day 2: En route. Cross the International Dateline and “lose” one day en route. You’ll “regain” this day when flying from Australia back to the USA at the conclusion of your journey!
Day 3: Arrive Auckland (New Zealand). Afternoon arrival in the lively harbor city of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island. You'll be greeted at the airport and escorted to your upscale city-center hotel. Join your tour director for a welcome drink and a brief orientation walk. Crowne Plaza Hotel
Day 4: Auckland. On an included guided tour of "The City of Sails" drive via Parnell Village to Mission Bay, a delightful seaside suburb and journey along the picturesque waterfront. Travel to Bastion Point for spectacular city and harbor views. You'll also visit the Auckland Museum and learn about the native Maori culture as you view the fascinating exhibits and enjoy a colorful Maori performance. The afternoon is at leisure for independent exploration. This evening your join your fellow travelers for an included welcome dinner (B,D).
Day 5: Auckland/Queenstown. Today fly to Queenstown, a splendid lakeside resort town on New Zealand's stunning South Island, surrounded by the Southern Alps. This afternoon join your tour director for an orientation walk of this charming town. Your centrally located hotel is ideally situated near the shore of picturesque Lake Wakatipu. Novotel Lakeside Hotel (B)
Day 6: Milford Sound Excursion. Today’s excursion is reputed to be one of the most scenic in the world. Drive along Lake Wakatipu through dense forests and shimmering Lake Te Anau to Fiordland National Park and the Homer Tunnel en route to Milford Sound. Here you’ll board an unforgettable cruise through towering fjords and majestic waterfalls. Return to Queenstown early this evening. (B)
Day 7: At your own pace, enjoy the many exciting activities charming Queenstown offers. You may also visit famous Walter Peak Sheep Station across Lake Wakatipu. (B)
Day 8: Queenstown/Arrowtown/ Dunedin.
After breakfast depart Queenstown to nearby Arrowtown, a quaint former gold-mining postbuilt on a rich history. Take some time to admire the well-preserved buildings and walk through the leafy streets while you learn about its history. As you proceed on your journey, stunning countryside vistas unfold as you travel via the Kawarau Gorge to Dunedin, a vibrant town located at the top of the Otago Peninsula with an impressive architectural heritage and wealth of diverse attractions. Arrive at your centrally located hotel. Scenic Hotel Southern Cross or similar (B)
Day 9: Dunedin. This morning embark on an orientation tour of Dunedin. You'll also enjoy a guided visit to Olveston House, an impressive mansion built in the early 20th century, filled with art and period furniture and surrounded by a marvelous garden. In its center, Dunedin assumes the character of a city of Spires; towers, gables, of roofs bristling with turrets and of solid, gracious, generally stone buildings that earn for Dunedin the title of the most Victorian City of New Zealand. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore at your own pace or join an optional tour. (B)
Day 10: Dunedin/Mt. Cook Region/Fairlie. After breakfast depart Dunedin and drive to the spectacular Mount Cook region, gateway to the imposing Southern Alps. Proceed to Fairlie, a thriving farming region in the heart of the sheep grazing pastures of the Canterbury Plains. You will spend the evening on a working farm where your hosts invite you for a delicious home cooked dinner and conversation. This is certain to be one of the highlights of your trip! Farm Stay. (B,D)
Day 11: Depart New Zealand/ Melbourne (Australia). Following a hearty breakfast with your host family on the farm, proceed to the airport and board a flight across the Tasman Sea to Australia. Arrive in Melbourne, the stately capital of the State of Victoria noted for its vibrant culture, spacious parks and beautiful gardens. Transfer to your hotel, ideally located near the renowned Queen Victoria Market. Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Hotel. (B)
Day 12: On an included morning tour visit lovely Fitzroy Gardens and see City Square, the Victorian Art Center and the old Parliament House. Balance of the day is at leisure for independent exploration. You may opt to catch an award-winning performance or enjoy the delicious local cuisine and sample some of Australia's renowned wines. (B)
Day 13: Day at leisure for independent exploration. Stroll along the riverside promenade and relax in one of the many inviting outdoor cafes. We recommend an optional excursion to Phillip Island, the world’s largest reserve of fairy penguins. Here, every evening at dusk, the Fairy Penguins come home from the sea to their burrows in the sand dunes. It is a nightly ritual that will enthrall you as you observe the “parade” from the elevated boardwalk. (B)
Day 14: Melbourne/Cairns. Today fly northward to tropical Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Your centrally located hotel is close to the Esplanade and the ocean. Relax and enjoy your hotel’s swimming pool! Novotel Oasis Resort (B)
Day 15: Great Barrier Reef Excursion. Board a high-speed catamaran for an unforgettable Great Barrier Reef cruise to the beautiful coral cay of Green Island. With its unique reef and rainforest environment, this beautiful island provides a superior tropical experience. Green Island is the only coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest growing on it! It is home to numerous native plant species, colorful bird life and is surrounded by magnificent coral gardens. Your visit to this coral paradise includes a thrilling glass bottom boat ride to view some of the world’s most spectacular coral and fish. There is plenty of time to swim and take a walk through the lush rainforest on the island. Return to Cairns later this afternoon. (B)
Day 16: A day at leisure. You may join an optional tour aboard a scenic skyrail to the aboriginal village of Kuranda. (B)
Day 17: Cairns/ Sydney. Today, fly to spectacular Sydney, Australia’s oldest and most vibrant city. Settle into your elegant hotel, ideally located in the city center near the scenic Sydney Harbor, the renowned Opera House and the enchanting Botanical Gardens. Later, join your tour director for an orientation walk. Menzies Hotel (B)
Day 18: This morning embark on an included guided tour that takes in the old and the new. See the impressive Harbor Bridge, Sydney’s famous beaches including Bondi Beach, the Botanical Gardens, the celebrated Opera House and the historic Rocks area. The balance of the day is at leisure for independent pursuits. (B)
Day 19 & 20 : Two days at leisure to explore on your own. You may join an optional tour to the scenic Blue Mountains and to Featherdale Wildlife Park where you can hand-feed a kangaroo and cuddle a friendly koala! Consider a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sydney Opera House or a stroll along the waterfront towards the Rocks area. You may also join a Coffee Cruise or a splendid Sunset Dinner Cruise on the spectacular Sydney Harbor. (B)
Day 21: Sydney/USA. Today, bid farewell to "Down Under" and board your return flight. Cross the International Dateline and regain the day “lost” in the beginning of the trip. Your magical journey ends as you arrive Los Angeles the same day. (B)
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YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:
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INCLUDE airfare taxes,
fees & fuel surcharges