DAY 1, September 07, 2020 | MELBOURNE
On arrival into Melbourne Airport, you’ll be met by your local guide in the arrivals hall and transferred by private vehicle with you to your luxury accommodation to ensure a seamless check-in.
Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is known as the Garden, Arts, and Sports capital of Australia. It has beautiful tree-lined boulevards, many parks and gardens, beautiful Victorian terrace houses, great restaurants, wonderful theatre and art galleries, and international sporting events that all combine to make this elegant city one of the world’s most livable.
Spend the afternoon at leisure to settle in and relax after your flight before meeting up with your fellow guests for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 2, September 08, 2020 | MELBOURNE
Following breakfast, meet your guide and group in the hotel lobby and embark on a private three-hour sightseeing tour of the city landmarks, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens, Shrine of Remembrance, and the thriving Arts Precinct.
Upon conclusion of your tour, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
DAY 3, September 09, 2020 | MELBOURNE-ULURU (AYERS ROCK)
Following an early morning breakfast, transfer by private vehicle to Melbourne Airport for your onward flight to Ayers Rock/Uluru.
Upon arrival at Ayers Rock Airport, you will be met and transferred by private coach to your accommodation where you’ll enjoy lunch at leisure as your check-in is arranged.
Following lunch and some time to freshen up, meet in the lobby and depart on a guided tour of Kata Tjuta National Park (the Olgas). Your local guide will share the significance of this sacred ceremonial site and explain the evolutionary and geologic forces that have shaped the region.
Later, continue onto Uluru. Travel through the landscape as the spectre of The Rock rises from the sand dunes to demonstrate its enormity and presence in this country. The closer you get the more you surrender to the realization of the sheer size of this monolith.
Enjoy canapés & sparkling wine at a scenic viewing area whilst watching the sunset over Uluru before returning to your resort for an interactive buffet dinner at the celebrated Ilkari Restaurant.
DAY 4, September 10, 2020 | ULURU–PORT DOUGLAS
Rise early this morning for a spectacular sunrise viewing of Uluru, one of Australia’s most recognized landmarks estimated to be over 600 million years old. Return to your hotel where you will have the opportunity to enjoy breakfast, shower, and finish packing.
Later in the morning following your check out, depart on a base Tour of Uluru. En route, your guide will share some history about the numerous sacred sites that you’ll pass along the way. These stories form part of what is known to the local Anangu people as “Tjukurpa” – the foundation of Anangu life and culture. Tjukurpa encompasses Anangu religion, law and moral systems, the creation period, and the relationship between people, plants, animals, and the land. Your guide will then take you to the Kuniya Walk and to the famous Mutitjulu Waterhole. The waterhole provided a key source of water for the Aboriginal people in the area and had been in use for many thousands of years. Here you will see wonderful Aboriginal rock paintings and come to understand their significance.
Following your tour and some time at leisure in the Town Square to explore and have lunch, transfer back to the airport to board your onward flight to Cains. On arrival into Cairns, you will be met by your local Akorn guide at the baggage carousel and transferred one hour by private vehicle along the coastal Pacific Highway to Port Douglas, catching glimpses of the spectacular Coral Sea along the way. On arrival at your accommodation, enjoy dinner and an evening at leisure.
DAY 5, September 11, 2020 | DAINTREE FOREST
This morning, meet your Akorn guide in the resort lobby and commence your full day tour at Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat where you’ll have the opportunity to hold a koala and get up close and personal with Australia’s most famous furry residents!
Continue onto the World Heritage Listed forest region of the Daintree National Park.
Stop at Mossman Gorge which forms the southern sector of the renowned Daintree Rainforest which was World Heritage listed in 1988 and is the last remnant of the oldest surviving rainforest in the world. Enjoy a guided walk with a member of the local Aboriginal tribe who will explain about their indigenous customs and survival techniques.
Continue south and enjoy a delightful afternoon at the Botanical Ark, a private ethno-botanical garden in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. Enjoy an interpretive garden tour with the founder of this tropical oasis, Alan Carle. Become inspired as you learn about the intrinsic link between rainforest plants and cultures and sample some of the most unusual and interesting tastes and sights imaginable.
Relax and unwind on the veranda of this beautiful Queensland home and experience their Chef’s Table lunch, before returning to your hotel. This promises to be a highlight of your tour Downunder.
DAY 6, September 12, 2020 | GREAT BARRIER REEF
This morning, meet your private shuttle bus in the resort lobby and transfer the short distance to the Marina for a full day of snorkeling the Outer Reef of the Great Barrier Reef.
Enjoy the very best in comfort with spacious decks, day-bed style seating, air-conditioned saloons, and submerged platforms, extending the width of the vessel, to allow for easy access to and from the water. While out on the reef, delight in morning tea, a gourmet buffet lunch, and afternoon tea abroad your cruising vessel. You will return to the mainland in the late afternoon.
DAY 7, September 13, 2020 | CAIRNS-SYDNEY
Following breakfast, meet your guide and group in the resort lobby and transfer by private coach to Cairns Domestic Airport to board your onward flight to Sydney.
On arrival, you will be met by your local guide and transferred by private coach to your luxury accommodation in the heart of historic Sydney.
This evening, enjoy dinner at leisure and a chance to explore this magnificent city.
DAY 8, September 14, 2020 | SYDNEY
This morning, meet your guide in the hotel lobby and walk the short distance to Commissioner’s Steps, Circular Quay where you’ll board a private Morning Tea at Sea cruise and enjoy an idyllic cruise along the eastern foreshores of this magnificent harbour. Sit back and relax as your personal captain and host shares the rich local foreshore history as you pass famous city landmarks, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, and the bays and coves of the Harbour.
Disembark your cruise and enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant in The Rocks.
After lunch, depart on your half-day private sightseeing tour of Sydney, including a visit to iconic Bondi Beach where you’ll have an opportunity to get your feet wet, and Paddington Walk for shopping.
This tour will conclude at your hotel in the early evening.
DAY 9, September 15, 2020 | SYDNEY
Following a morning at leisure to relax, meet your guide and group in the lobby and proceed to the Sydney Opera House for lunch and a look at perhaps Australia’s most iconic building.
Enjoy lunch at the Opera Kitchen which plays host to some of Australia’s most innovative and celebrated food producers, chefs, and sushi artists. Relax and nosh away while taking in Sydney’s most spectacular views.
Later, commence your private Sydney Opera House journey by exploring underneath the sails with a spectacular private Sydney Opera House Tour, taking you inside one of the world's greatest performance venues.
This evening, enjoy your Australian Farewell dinner at Altitude Restaurant which boasts once in a lifetime views over the Harbour from 35 stories up!
DAY 11, September 16, 2020 | SYDNEY-CHRISTCHURCH
Rise early to meet your guide and group in the lobby and transfer by private coach to Sydney Airport to board your departure flight to New Zealand.
On arrival in Christchurch, met your local guide and depart on a brief sightseeing tour of this fascinating city,. Then board a handcrafted, flat-bottomed boat and embark on a leisurely glide along the tranquil Avon River in Christchurch, as a skilled punter in traditional Edwardian attire propels you slowly along the water. Punting on the Avon is an ecofriendly way to relax and enjoy Christchurch from a different perspective as you make your way from the historic Antigua Boat sheds, through the Botanic Gardens, and enjoy the spectacular flora that this ‘Garden City’ is famous for. Following your sightseeing, continue to your hotel situated on the edge of the tranquil Hagley Park and overlooking Cranmer Square.
Later, meet in the lobby and proceed on foot to the Curator’s House. Enjoy a Chef’s Table dinner at this stunning restaurant, situated in the scenic Botanical Gardens.
DAY 12, September 17, 2020 | CHRISTCHURCH-FRANZ JOSEF
This morning, meet your guide and group in the lobby and transfer by private coach to Christchurch Train Station.
From Christchurch Railway Station, depart on The TranzAlpine Express, one of the world's great train journeys, travelling coast to coast through forests and farmland, over the spectacular Southern Alps.
Disembark at the riverside town of Greymouth, a place proud of its history, brewery and broad-minded attitude to drinking hours that sprang from gold rush days of the 1860s. You can toast the Coaster's independent attitude at Montieth's Traditional Brewery where you’ll enjoy lunch and a pint! Continue on to your hotel in the quaint alpine town of Franz Josef.
DAY 13, September 18, 2020 | FRANZ JOSEF
Today, experience the Franz Josef Glacier at its most dynamic, during a three-hour private glacier walk led by your specialist hiking guide. Follow the glacier’s path through the remarkable landscape for an up-close look at the giant sheets of ice that form its forward face. Learn about the glacier's history, see what this majestic giant leaves behind, and learn the legend of Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere. Near the terminal face, after a brief climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the glacier’s rapidly changing terminal face.
This tour will conclude at your accommodation where you’re at leisure for the rest of the day to dine and explore the beautiful town of Franz Josef at your own pace.
During your free time in the afternoon, you may choose to visit the Glacier Hot Pools (included in your tour price) which are located directly behind the Te Waonui Retreat. Here you can relax and unwind in natural hot pools surrounded by the beautiful rainforest.
DAY 14, September 19, 2020 | FRANZ JOSEF–QUEENSTOWN
This morning, meet your guide and group in the lobby and transfer by private coach to Queenstown via Wanaka. You’ll stop for lunch in this picturesque ski town overlooking Lake Wanaka. Continue onto Queenstown and proceed directly to your resort where you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner at their celebrated flagship restaurant, the Millhouse.
DAY 15, September 20, 2020 | QUEENSTOWN
Meet your group in your hotel lobby and depart on your full-day Milford Sound Experience!
Board your purpose-built bus and travel along the Milford Road, one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes.
Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board a spacious vessel for a tour of the sound’s awe-inspiring scenery, sailing New Zealand’s southern fjords amid towering cliffs, viewing sparkling waterfalls and watching for the wildlife onshore. Keep a look out for seals basking on the rocks or dolphins frolicking in the water. The scenic cruise vessel has a purpose-built observation lounge and large deck, so you can be sure you’ll get some great viewing opportunities. Enjoy lunch onboard.
Return to Queenstown via bus, enjoying views across Lake Wakatipu en route. Arrive at your hotel in the early evening for dinner at leisure.
DAY 16, September 21, 2020 | QUEENSTOWN
This morning, meet your guide and depart on a full-day tour of Queenstown, including a visit to Gibbston Valley.
Begin your tour with a visit to the picturesque Arrowtown, an old goldmining settlement that retains much of its early character. It was the discovery of gold in Arrowtown which led miners by the thousands into the district and resulted in the formation of settlements adjacent to the gold diggings. From 1869, there was a small community of Chinese miners living in Arrowtown.
You will then visit the Kawarau Bungy Bridge. If you've heard of Bungy, you've heard of the Kawarau. The world's first and most infamous of leaps is still going strong, with tens of thousands of Bungy jumpers each year. If you choose to take the leap, there are a number of options; topple over backwards, forwards, with another person, spin or somersault.
Next, enjoy a wine tasting at Gibbston Valley Winery, one of the pioneers of this region’s wine industry. This small, sophisticated winery, set in spectacular mountain surroundings, has earned an international reputation for Pinot Noir as well as other thriving grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Blanc. Their 2000 Reserve Pinot Noir was named the Champion Pinot Noir of the World.
Enjoy a private tour including an exclusive tasting in New Zealand’s largest Wine Cave and a delicious lunch with paired wines. This tour will conclude at your accommodation.
DAY 17, September 22, 2020 | QUEENSTOWN - AUCKLAND
Meet your guide and group in the lobby and transfer by private coach to Queenstown Airport to board your onward flight to Auckland.
On arrival into Auckland, you’ll be met by your local guide and transferred directly to Auckland Museum where you will hear exciting stories of the Pacific as well as New Zealand’s people, flora, fauna and landforms, told in a series of fascinating exhibits. See a world-renowned collection of Polynesian artifacts, including an 80-foot long Maori war canoe built in 1836. During your visit, enjoy a performance of traditional song and dance by a Maori cultural group. You’ll also be treated to a He Taonga Maori Gallery Tour. Following some time for lunch at your leisure, transfer to your hotel in the heart of Auckland CBD.
This evening, enjoy dinner at a premier restaurant on your final night.
DAY 18, September 23, 2020 | AUCKLAND
Following breakfast, meet your driver in the lobby and transfer via private vehicle to Auckland International Airport to board your onward flight home.