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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Explore d esert Outback, tropical rainforests, coral reefs, glacier-capped mountains, dramatic fjords, and some of the worlds most popular cosmopolitan cities on our in-depth exploration of Australia and New Zealand... 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 – creates memories of a lifetime.

  1. Day 1
    Arrive Melbourne

    Tour begins: 6:00 PM, The Langham Melbourne or Park Hyatt Melbourne. A transfer is included from Melbourne Airport to The Langham Melbourne or Park Hyatt Melbourne. Your journey begins with a welcome cocktail reception followed by dinner at the hotel.


    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Discover Melbourne's Charm

    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 rest of the day and evening are yours to spend as you please in Melbourne; enjoy lunch and dinner as you please.


    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Fly to Uluru & 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 canapés and champagne overlooking the monolith.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  4. Day 4
    Uluru to a Skyrail & More 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. Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, taking you over and through the rainforest canopy; disembark in the mountain village of Kuranda. 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.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Choices at the 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. Activity choices include a catamaran cruise to the Agincourt Reef; an adventure boat trip for scuba divers and snorkelers; or a relaxing spa day at the lodge. Enjoy a leisurely dinner and evening at your resort.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Optional Balloon Ride / Day at Leisure

    Early risers may choose to soar over the Atherton Tablelands on an optional hot air balloon ride* at dawn (an additional charge per person; see pricing details). 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 dinner tonight at the lodge.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Crocodiles, koalas and on to Sydney

    It's all about crocodiles at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures; have a meet and greet with a crocodile and blue tongue lizard and snake... plus visit a private enclosure where you might come across Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Agile Wallabies, Pademelons, Koalas, Wombats and more. You'll also have an opportunity to hold a koala and have your photo taken... attend a tour and feeding presentation... and take an exclusive boat cruise on the lagoon. After lunch, fly to Sydney via private charter for a three-night stay in the city's heart at InterContinental Sydney, in guest rooms overlooking Sydney Harbour.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Sydney Opera House, a Sydney Harbour cruise, and sightseeing
    Begin the day with a visit to one of Australia's most famous iconic sights, the amazing Sydney Opera House, and a private tour.  Next, a private cruise on Sydney Harbour – complete with morning tea – is a fabulous way to introduce yourself to this extraordinary city, taking a good look at some of its landmark sites from the water. Sydney sightseeing continues as you view highlights on a city tour, then spend the rest of the day exploring as you please. Dinner this evening will be a "dine-around" from your choice of several select local restaurants.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Walking tour of "The Rocks" & the time spent as you please
    Historic and legendary, discover Sydney's popular neighborhood of "The Rocks" this morning – a story beginning with the arrival of the Britain's "First Fleet" in 1788 and continuing to the present day. Afterwards, return to your hotel; the remainder of the day and evening are yours to spend as you wish in remarkable Sydney.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Fly to Wellington
    Bid Australia a fond farewell this morning and board a flight across the Tasman Sea, bound for New Zealand Whether you purchase your international flights independently or through Tauck, all guests are required to purchase an additional on-tour flight (the trans-Tasman flight on Day 10, Qantas flight 161 between Sydney and Wellington) on their own, which is not included in the total tour cost. Tauck will not be able to assist in the purchase of that flight. First stop is Wellington, New Zealand's intimate waterfront capital with an impressive artistic and cultural edge. Accommodations for the next two nights are Club Rooms at InterContinental Wellington; enjoy a 3-course dinner at the hotel this evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Wellington Wonders

    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. The remainder of the day is free to explore Wellington as you please.


    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Blenheim & Marlborough Sounds
    Tauck puts a charter plane at your service today for a flight to Blenheim on New Zealand's South Island, and a two-night stay in the heart of the Marlborough wine country. Upon arrival, head off on a visit to the Marlborough Sounds. Besides producing great wine, this region is one of the most beautiful and picturesque areas in the country, and 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. Following your cruise, drive to Chateau Marlborough in Blenheim where you'll enjoy dinner at your leisure this evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  13. Day 13
    Blenheim's Bounty & a Warbird Dinner
    A memorable day in the Blenheim area begins with a visit to a working private farm for a sheep shearing demonstration and sheep dog experience; morning tea at the homestead with the farmer and his family; and a walk through their extensive gardens. Continue on to Brancott Winery for a wine tasting and three-course lunch with matching wines at the Brancott Heritage Centre, then return to the hotel for some free time. Join us this evening for a Tauck Exclusive event: a visit to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre – which displays an incredible collection of World War I and II aircraft and memorabilia owned by film director Sir Peter Jackson – for "Dinner with the Warbirds," featuring a tour of the museum's "Knights of the Sky" and "Dangerous Skies" exhibitions, and a three-course dinner showcasing seasonal Marlborough produce and a selection of quality Marlborough wines.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  14. Day 14
    Fly to Te Anau
    Today, depart Blenheim and fly off aboard Tauck's charter to Manapouri (Te Anau) in the magnificent Fiordlands region, for two nights at an ideally located hotel. Enjoy lunch at your hotel, then join us at Fiordland Cinema for the Fiordland World Heritage Status wilderness presentation. Mysterious, evocative, exhilarating and utterly spectacular, filmed mostly from a helicopter across extremes of season, climate and terrain, it will take you on an unforgettable journey through one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on Earth. Enjoy some wine and cheese before returning to your hotel for the evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  15. Day 15
    Fiordland National Park & Milford Sound
    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 scenic nature luncheon cruise among the sheer cliffs and glacier-hewn inlets of beautiful Milford Sound. Return to Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas late afternoon; enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  16. Day 16
    To Queenstown and lunch at a winery

    This morning, travel to the beautiful town of Queenstown, situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with the Southern Alps as a backdrop. Have lunch at the Kinross Winery, located in Gibbston Valley at the old Kinross Stateion. You'll hear the stories of the people behind the wines, learn about terroir and winemaker expression of the different Central Otago subregions, as well as being introduced to some outstanding wine. Your accommodations at the Sofitel Queenstown exude French-inspired sophistication in the heart of the city.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  17. Day 17
    Adventures by jet boat & helicopter 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 be memorable highlights. Head back down the mountain via Skyline gondola to spend the rest of the day and evening as you wish in Queenstown.

     

     


    Meals:   Breakfast
  18. 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. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to the Auckland Museum featuring a Maori cultural presentation. Following dinner at your hotel, your evening is free.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  19. Day 19
    Whisky 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 whisky tasting at The Heke. Ferry back to Auckland where you'll spend the afternoon as you please exploring what interests you most in Auckland, then join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at your hotel in the heart of the city.


    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  20. Day 20
    Journey Home

    Tour ends: 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.


    Meals:   Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

Explore desert Outback, tropical rainforests, coral reefs, glacier-capped mountains, dramatic fjords, and some of the worlds most popular cosmopolitan cities on our in-depth exploration of Australia and New Zealand...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 – creates memories of a lifetime.

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - Tour and 3-course "Dinner with the Warbirds" at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre featuring World War I and II aircraft, owned by Sir Peter Jackson
  • Private charter flights make the most of your travel time in the lands down under, speeding you from city to city in Australia and from one natural wonder to the next in New Zealand (6 flights in total) - Note: The total price does not include the Sydney - Wellington trans-Tasman flight on Day 10, which must be purchased with your international air ticket).
  • In Queenstown, take a jet boat ride on the Shotover River rapids at Skippers Canyon followed by helicopter sightseeing
  • Farewell cocktail reception and dinner at The Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
  • Full-day eco-cruise to the Agincourt Reef - swim and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit World Heritage Rainforest with Skyrail

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Accommodations

Chateau Marlborough

Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa
InterContinental Sydney
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
InterContinental Wellington
Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Silky Oaks Lodge
The Langham, Melbourne
Sails in the Desert

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.9
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 15 reviews - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Our goals were met and exceeded by Affordable Tours.

Tauck consistently does an amazing job and finds ways to exceed our expectations. This 3 week land tour of AUS and NZ was off the charts fantastic and a very easy way to see so much in so little time considering the distances between sites.

Tour director was noteworthy... very organized and sensitive to individuals needs. Loved the charter flights associated with this trip

This was our 7th trip with this operator, and as always, was excellent. The private planes made the extensive itinerary not only possible, but very enjoyable. We were pampered during the whole trip. The director, Marcie, was knowledgeable, funny, and worked constantly toward our enjoyment. She arranged a special place and transportation for us to watch the Super Bowl. The people we travelled with were interesting and fun. Thanks again, Tauck and Affordable Tours. Thanks to Sonny for arranging and booking the trip, as always, you do a great job. See you the next time. Roger & Debbie Shellhamer

The Tauck Grand Australia & New Zealand was a remarkable trip which was made even better by having a professiomal, personable, & knowledgeable Tour Director. There were 2 hotels that were not of Tauck quality but they were the finest hotels in the location we were visiting. The itinerary was full with numerous early morning starts & late afternoon returns. All in all it was a trip of a lifetime.

Touring with Tauck is an excellent experience. While costing a little more you get 150% more in value. Every aspect of the trip is top shelf.

Australia and New Zealand was our first tour with Tauck and they provide a premium experience consistent with their premium prices. Though we loved Tauck, we will continue to decide future tours with the major operators primarily based on itineraries, length of tour, and departure dates.

This was our best trip ever. Tauck never disappoints.

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