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Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

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Solo travelers have the option to pay the twin share rate and be matched with a same-sex traveler on nearly all itineraries. On many trips, travelers can choose a solo room for a low single supplement, and on some departures, the upgrade is free. Free solo room upgrades are not available on all trips and/or departures, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Discounts (except for Global Tour Rewards) are not applicable to the solo room surcharge portion of the booking. Other conditions may apply.


Tour Itinerary

Want a bit of everything? Sun, sand, city life, and wilderness all take centre stage on this Australia and New Zealand tour. Find yourself gliding across the Great Barrier Reef and getting to know the cities before Queenstown, Milford Sound, and hearing tales of M?ori Warriors in just 18 incredible days.

  1. Day 1
    Welcome to Melbourne
    Stylish and friendly Melbourne extends a warm welcome to your epic tour (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). You’ll soon see you’re staying right in the heart of the action on the banks of the Yarra River, the perfect springboard for your time in the city. After settling into your hotel, get to know your Travel Director and fellow travellers over a Welcome Reception at The General Assembly restaurant. Perched on the Yarra River’s South Wharf, this modern pub is a great introduction to Melbourne’s cosmopolitan vibe. Relax and tuck into a three-course dinner washing it down with your choice of local wines and 15 beers on tap.Accommodation: Crowne Plaza
  2. Day 2
    Uncover Melbourne's Laneways
    Delve into the city this morning on a walk with your Travel Director to discover the little lanes, arcades, and café society of stylish Melbourne. View its famous, edgy street art - in the striking contrast to federation buildings and churches that Melbourne is known for - and immerse yourself in the city’s robust coffee aroma, admiring the exquisite Victorian façades lining grand boulevards. After your orientation, you have the rest of the day to get a feel for the city strolling or finding a spot on the Yarra River to grab a drink, taking advantage of the time to do a little souvenir shopping, relaxing back at your hotel, or choosing an Optional Experience such as the popular viewing of the daily sea-to-shore trek of the tiny, adorable penguins on Phillip Island (own expense). This rare wildlife encounter is a fascinating look at the penguins’ life and one you can’t find anywhere else in the world.Accommodation: Crowne Plaza
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Cairns, in the Tropics
    Get ready for a change of scenery and “locals” today as you fly north to Cairns. Then get right in the action meeting a Local Specialist for a private wildlife encounter at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures on a boat cruise through, where the crocs are the stars of the show popping up from the murky waters or lazing on the bank. Safe in your boat, your local guide will give you the inside scoop on the life and habits of these Cairns’ area locals. Inspired by your introduction to wildlife, you’ll love your next experience helping take part in a Rainforest Restoration project to protect the natural wonder of the nearby Notophyll Vine Forest, an area older than the Amazon. Your helping-hand planting trees supports the protection of this rare type of dry rainforest from development and restores it to its former glory as an important wildlife corridor rich with native birds - a mission you’ll feel good contributing to. Back in town, enjoy your evening on your own visiting the Cairns Night Markets. *If you are departing on an early flight from Melbourne, a boxed breakfast will be provided.Accommodation: Hilton
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    View Colourful Coral and Tropical Fish
    No matter where you hail from, today is a bucket list experience exploring the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef as we set sail on a high-speed catamaran - and you have a full day to do it. Kick off the day, then don your mask and fins for a snorkel (equipment provided) exploring this underwater wonderland up close. You’ll think you’re inside an aquarium as you wind your way through the rainbow of reefs and fish. Or, stay dry in your semi-submersible, air-conditioned craft with an underwater observatory to view the tropical species that live in the world’s largest coral reef system. Your local guide shares all their insights on the reef and its ecology. Learn about the colourful fish and plants that call the reef home and why it’s so important to protect this beautiful and fragile ecosystem. Refuel with a tropical buffet lunch and afternoon tea and coffee under the glorious Aussie sunshine before you cruise back into the city, all smiles after an amazing day.Accommodation: Hilton
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  5. Day 5
    Cairns, it's All Yours
    Soak up the atmosphere of tropical Cairns with a free day to explore the town, head further afield, or relax by your hotel pool. You can also choose to join a popular Optional Experience aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway through a lush forest past gorges, ravines, and waterfalls to Kuranda 'village in the rainforest'. Explore this quaint village of trails, wildlife sanctuaries, shops, and markets within a World Heritage rainforest before returning to the lowlands soaring above the canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Tonight, join the group to trade tales from the day at Ochre Restaurant. With views of the inlet and mountains, watch the boats come in over the Harbour Lights’ boardwalk as you enjoy Australian cuisine featuring the best local produce.Accommodation: Hilton
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Fly to Glorious Sydney
    You're only six days into your Australia and New Zealand tour and the journey continues leaving the golden beaches of Cairns behind and heading to Sydney, Australia’s largest city, harbour, and fun-loving metropolis. Settle into your centrally located hotel before an afternoon and evening free to explore. Why not soak up the incredible city views on a wander around the Royal Botanic Garden?Accommodation: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Savour the Sights of Sydney
    It's the ultimate in Sydney sightseeing today when you join an Opera House Tour with a Local Specialist before exploring the city from another angle - aboard a harbour cruise, sailing past Circular Quay, Shark Island, magnificent homes, beaches, and parkland, and the iconic white sails of the Opera House. Cross the Harbour Bridge, soaking in the beautiful blooms of Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay. At this tucked away retreat overlooking Sydney Harbour, meet a local volunteer and learn the story of how the garden was transformed, beginning in 1992 from unused railway land at the foot of founder Wendy’s house into a beautiful, whimsical secret spot. Take a walk around the grounds among the shrubs, herbs, and towering trees lining meandering paths, eyes peeled for the resident parrots, gulls, kookaburras and wagtails. Take a moment to enjoy the serenity of the garden, knowing that your visit, proudly a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, helps by contributing to the ongoing maintenance by volunteer gardeners of this enchanting garden. After a big morning, the rest of the day is yours to check out the sites.Accommodation: Sofitel Wentworth Hotel Sydney
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Sydney, It's Your Choice
    Get your final fix of Sydney by checking out its sights and sounds anyway you want on this free day. But we have more than a few ideas. Perhaps a bird's-eye view of the city on the Sydney BridgeClimb. You might choose to wander further afield on an optional experience to the Blue Mountains. On your last night in town, take one last walk around the harbour before sitting down to dinner, saying a fond farewell to Australia before experiencing a change of scenery on the next leg of your journey in New Zealand. Tonight, celebrate your time in Sydney at a Regional Dinner with your Travel Director.Accommodation: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Kia Ora Auckland New Zealand
    Say a fond hoo roo to Australia on your Australia and New Zealand tour as you board your flight to Auckland. Upon arrival, ease into the warm, welcoming embrace of the City of Sails before meeting your Travel Director for dinner at The Grill and no doubt full of anticipation for your first full day in New Zealand tomorrow.Accommodation: Horizon by SkyCity
    Meals:   Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Delve into Auckland
    This morning, you’ll see how the city earned its name as the ‘City of Sails’ as you jump right in with a city sightseeing tour showcasing the beautiful waterfront of Mission Bay, historic overlook of Bastion Point, and spacious gardens and sunken pool at the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial offering sweeping views of Waitemata Harbour and the North Shore. You’ll pass the Auckland Museum located on the dormant volcano Pukekawa, meaning 'hill of bitter memories' referring to tribal battles fought on the site until 1828. Your afternoon free. Pop into one of their many chocolate cafes for a treat after a full morning of exploring. Or you could join the All Blacks Rugby Optional Experience or go for a sail on the Ted Ashby.Accommodation: Horizon by SkyCity
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Rotorua, the Cultural Hub
    Travel out of the city today through the dramatic landscapes of Waikato on your way to the cultural capital of Rotorua. Your first stop is the tree-lined streets of Cambridge, a town known for its training grounds for thoroughbred racehorses and famous jockeys. Travel out of the city today through the dramatic landscapes of Waikato on your way to the cultural capital of Rotorua. Your first stop is the tree-lined streets of Cambridge, a town known for its training grounds for thoroughbred racehorses and famous jockeys. Your destination this morning in Rotorua is the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, where you’ll join a Local Specialist for a tour. Learn about the work being done to save this rare native bird, get up close and see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process, and even newly hatched kiwi chicks at this national leader in kiwi husbandry. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience is not only fun but will give you fascinating insights into New Zealand’s national bird. This evening, journey into the forest to a time of warriors and ancient traditions as you Dive Into Culture at Te P? T? M?ori Experience. You’ll appreciate learning about the traditions of this fascinating culture through a traditional welcome, before watching and joining in Poi and Haka dances. Top off the evening with forest kai horotai (seasonal canapés) and chef-choice aperitif followed by a seasonal three-course dinner.Accommodation: Millennium
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  12. Day 12
    Adventure Capital Queenstown
    Go from city to farm life today as you travel to the countryside for a dose of local hospitality at a Be My Guest experience in the Red Barn. Hear the history of this working dairy farm from local Dan, and get a feel for country life as you're invited to roll up your sleeves and make your own butter - butter churners, tiny mason jars and all! Later, sit down to a locally sourced farm to table morning tea prepared by the onsite chef. The feel-good vibes will follow you all the way to Queenstown, the self-proclaimed adventure capital of New Zealand. It makes perfect sense – there are ski fields, white-water river and bridges strapped with bungy cords wherever you turn. And then there’s the dining scene; Queenstown is home to some of the country’s most awarded restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for bulging burgers or lakeside tapas, ask us for recommendations on this leg of your Queenstown New Zealand tour.Accommodation: Millennium
    Meals:   Breakfast
  13. Day 13
    Cruise Milford Sound
    Skirt Queenstown’s gleaming Lake Wakatipu, and traverse the Devil’s Staircase to Te Anau, the alpine gateway to World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Once you’ve paused to admire the drama at Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat, Hollyford Valley lookout and Cleddau Valley, you’ll begin to understand why Rudyard Kipling called this the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’. Onboard your included nature cruise, enjoy commentary from your eagle-eyed Naturalist guide, who not only narrates on the immense geological history of the Fjord, but will point out fur seals and dolphins should they choose to come out to play. The cruise includes a delicious picnic lunch. After a day of natural beauty, return to Queenstown for a free evening to stay in and wind down or dine at one of the restaurants overlooking Lake Wakatipu.Accommodation: Millennium
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch
  14. Day 14
    Indulge Yourself in Queenstown
    It’s your final day in Queenstown and the world is your oyster. Oenophiles will want to join an Optional Experience touring three premium boutique vineyards in the famous Otago region known for Pinot Noir. Or feel the wind in your hair with an adrenalin filled jet boat ride on the mighty Shotover river. Perhaps take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm for an authentic Kiwi Farming experience complete with a working sheep dog demonstration and morning or afternoon tea. With more sheep than people in New Zealand, you’ll know this is the real thing! This evening, we take a step back in time with our Travel Director over a Regional Dinner at the Postmasters Cottage built in 1907 in nearby historic Arrowtown. You’ll learn how after the cottage was almost demolished by developers, it was then saved and purchased by the passionate local community and ultimately restored and embellished with verandas and gardens. Lastly, sit down to fresh, local food and wines matched with friendly service that the Kiwis are known for.Accommodation: Millennium
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  15. Day 15
    Breathtaking Lake Tekapo
    Leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown for Lake Tekapo, travelling through Arrowtown’s lovingly restored mining cottages, and Cromwell on the banks of Lake Dunstan. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped inside a painting as you see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd perched on the shores of the lake and built with stones gathered within a five-mile radius. Then the night sky calls as you spend the evening stargazing in the world-renowned UNESCO Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Your Local Specialist will show you the famous Southern Cross, Magellanic Cloud, and Milky Way as you gaze up in wonder and get a closer look using a powerful optical telescope. Cap off your adventures in this beautiful part of the world in a Stays With Stories accommodation at Peppers Bluewater Resort overlooking Lake Tekapo. Experience this location known for its bountiful stars strolling the sprawling grounds or from the comfort of your room.Accommodation: Peppers Bluewater Resort
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  16. Day 16
    Christchurch, the Garden City
    Get an early start to watch the sun rise over the lake or sleep in before heading north through South Canterbury to Christchurch, a beautiful English city rich in history and thriving after rebuilding itself from a devastating 2011 earthquake. Everywhere you look you can easily see how it’s earned its name, the Garden City. Begin at the Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral, to admire its colourful stained-glass windows and sustainable cardboard construction that gives it the nickname “The Cardboard Cathedral". See the highlights of the city including Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Earthquake Memorial, Bridge of Remembrance, and see the English punting boaters in their striped hats along the Avon River.Accommodation: Distinction
    Meals:   Breakfast
  17. Day 17
    Meet a Local Farming Family
    Travel through rolling countryside to Hurunui Hills, a hill-country farm in North Canterbury. Enjoy warm Kiwi hospitality with the Bamford Family, who have been farming at Hurunui since 1884, with six generations focused on producing premium Merino sheep, wool, and Angus cattle. Soak up the stunning scenery while you enjoy morning tea, meet the farm animals, and discover what it is like to live off the land on this unique By My Guest experience. Then visit a local vineyard, Waipara Springs Winery, where it's time to relax with a platter-style lunch among the vines. A big day leads to a big evening, joining your Travel Director and travel mates for with a celebratory Farewell Dinner featuring produce from the Canterbury region.Accommodation: Distinction
    Meals:   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner
  18. Day 18
    Farewell Christchurch
    Your adventure sadly comes to an end this morning. Before your transfer you to the Christchurch Airport, enjoy one last breakfast with your travel mates reflecting on your adventure, food, and wildlife-filled experiences across Australia and New Zealand (flights anytime).
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Dining Summary

  • 2 Welcome Reception (WR)
  • 18 Breakfast (B)
  • 3 Lunch (L)
  • 2 Dinner (D)
  • 3 Regional Dinner (RD)
  • 2 Be My Guest (BMG)
  • 1 Farewell Dinner (FD)

Be My Guest

  • Waikato District: Get a feel for country life at a Be My Guest morning tea on a dairy farm in the North Island.
  • Hurunui: Step onto a working hill-country sheep farm. Experience what it is like to farm Merino sheep & Angus cattle in this beautiful part of the country. See the animals graze pastures in the open air and learn about where the best natural products come from.

Dive Into Culture

  • Rotorua: Immerse yourself in Maori traditions at a fun and entertaining evening, including a cultural performance and three-course seasonal meal meal at Te Po Maori Experience at Te Puia.


  • Sydney: You'll learn who was the inspiration behind this secret garden on the Sydney Harbour foreshore.
  • Rotorua: Visit the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa and learn about the work being done to save New Zealand's national bird. Your visit contributes to saving the kiwi bird.

Must-see Highlights

  • Explore National Kiwi Hatchery in Rotorua, and Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in Tekapo with a Local Specialist
  • Discover Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Auckland, Arrowtown, Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, and Christchurch
  • Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Cairns and Wendy's Secret Garden in Lavender Bay
  • View Geothermal activity in Rotorua, and the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo
  • On the Great Barrier Reef, Milford Sound

Trafalgar Difference

  • Lake Tekapo: This resort overlooks the pristine waters of Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island.

Whats Included

  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Porterage where hotels provide this service
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • All land transport shown. All transfers shown
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • A Trafalgar bonus - all Intra-Air Flights: Melbourne to Cairns, Cairns to Sydney, Sydney to Auckland, Auckland to Queenstown

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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

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Ratings based off 11 reviews - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

Overall good trip but a couple of the Accommodations were not up to standard I thought

The Tour Directors in New Zealand and Australia were excellent. They were knowledgeable,helpful and patient. Their support and advice made a great trip even better.

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