Australia & New Zealand Explorer

Comfort, Sydney to Queenstown

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Australia or New Zealand? Do both! There’s never been a better time to get a taste of the world Down Under, and on this adventure, you’ll do so via trains, canopy cable cars, and private yachts. There’ll be no lack of sights to see as you explore Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, walk around iconic Uluru, visit Aboriginal villages, and explore ancient rain forests. Add in an overnight wilderness cruise and you’ve got yourself a trip that memories are made of.

What’s included

  • Private yacht sailing on the Sydney harbour and Sydney orientation walk
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway to Queensland rainforest with canopy tour on a Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
  • Aboriginal dreamtime walk through the Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge
  • Sunrise interpretive walk at Uluru
  • Walk through the Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta
  • Melbourne orientation walk and dinner on the historic Colonial tramcar restaurant
  • Visit scenic Bridal Veil Falls
  • Dinner cruise on Raglan harbour
  • Visit a geothermal Maori village with a local guide
  • Enjoy traditional Maori hangi feast and entertainment
  • Orientation walk in Christchurch
  • Ride the scenic TranzAlpine Train
  • Queenstown gondola ride
  • Wilderness day cruise (winter) or overnight wilderness cruise (summer) on Doubtful Sound
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Learn about aboriginal and maori myths and traditions with local experts
  • Ride the rails on 2 historic trains
  • Explore an ancient rainforest by foot and canopy cable car
  • Revitalize yourself in geothermal pools
  • Enjoy an overnight cruise through remote doubtful sound in search of wildlife
  • Cover more ground with included internal flights

Itinerary

Day 1 Sydney Please make your own way to the joining hotel. If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit the Botanical Gardens or the famous Opera House. Additional Notes: There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Please try to arrive before 7pm for an important group welcome meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Sydney (1B, 1L) Meet in the early evening for an optional drink or dinner. We may head beachside to Bondi where there are plenty of excellent dining options. Additional Notes: The sailing excursion today is a fast paced and authentic sailing experience on a racing yacht. If you are not interested in sailing, you can opt out and enjoy your afternoon on your own. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Sailing in Sydney Harbour Transport: Metro
Day 3 Sydney/Port Douglas (1B, 1L) Transfer to Port Douglas, our home for the next two nights at a local resort. Included Activities: Aboriginal Interpretive Walk Transport: Taxicab (0.50-1.00 hours) Plane (3.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 70km)
Day 4 Port Douglas (1B) Enjoy the colourful resort town of Port Douglas. Take time to stroll the main streets, window-shopping on your way.
Day 5 Port Douglas/Cairns (1B) Return to Cairns, with free time to enjoy this tropical city. Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 70km)
Day 6 Cairns (1B) Take an excursion to the UNESCO-designated Queensland rainforest on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and explore the canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Included Activities: Kuranda Scenic Railway Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Day 7 Cairns/Uluru (1B) Catch a flight to Uluru and witness the incredible sunset with a glass of bubbly. Included Activities: Sunset at Uluru Transport: Plane (3.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Uluru (1B) Awake before sunrise to watch the colours change over Uluru. The Mala Walk around the base of Uluru provides insight into its significance to the local Aboriginal people. Visit the cultural centre and learn about ancient beliefs and traditions portrayed in art, food and music. The afternoon is at your leisure. Additional Notes: Between November and March, there is extreme heat with temperatures averaging between 43-46°C (109-115°F) in the middle of Australia, especially around Uluru and Kings Canyon. This can lead to heat exhaustion and potentially become very dangerous. Be sure to drink plenty of water and replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks, coconut water or water mixed with electrolyte powder packets. The Mala Walk at Uluru is not permitted if temperatures exceed 40°C (104°F). During these hot months, we try to offer all walks early in the day to avoid the midday sun. Our CEOs will monitor the weather conditions to gauge the safety of any included walks and may need to call off a given day's walk due to extreme heat. Included Activities: Uluru Mala Walk Aboriginal Cultural Centre Visit
Day 9 Uluru/Alice Springs (1B) Enjoy another sunrise over Uluru, then take a walk in Kata Tjuta National Park and view the beautiful red-domed rock formations. Continue to Alice Springs for the night. Included Activities: Kata Tjuta National Park Transport: Minibus (6.00 hour(s), 470km)
Day 10 Alice Springs/Melbourne (1B, 1D) Catch a flight and arrive in the afternoon. This evening, board the historic colonial tramcar diner for a fun meal while cruising around the city streets. Included Activities: Historic Colonial Tramcar Dining Transport: Taxicab (0.50 hour(s)) Plane Taxicab (0.50-1.00 hours)
Day 11 Melbourne (1B) Enjoy a free day with option to explore the Great Ocean Road or the many wineries in the area.
Day 12 Melbourne/Auckland (1B) Fly to Auckland, New Zealand and enjoy an orientation walk with the CEO. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Plane (4.00 hour(s))
Day 13 Auckland (1B) Enjoy a free day with option to embark on a dolphin and whale watching boat excursion (seasonal) or explore the city.
Day 14 Auckland/Raglan (1B, 1L) Travel from Auckland to Raglan, going through the world's most productive dairy farming country. Stop at a working eco farm for lunch and to learn more about local conservation efforts, then head towards to the arts and surf town of Raglan for the night. In the afternoon, enjoy a cruise in the harbour including a light afternoon snack. Overnight in a holiday home overlooking one of the world's most famous surf breaks. Included Activities: Afternoon Cruise on Raglan Harbour Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 160km)
Day 15 Raglan/Rotorua (1B, 1D) Rotorua sits over an active volcano with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. This is a fascinating region with Maori history and cultured tied directly to the geothermal aspects of the land. Relax in one of the hot pools at the hotel fed by water coming directly from the natural springs. Included Activities: Bridal Veil Falls Walk Tamaki Maori Village Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 16 Rotorua/Christchurch (1B, 1L) This morning visit Whakarewarewa, a Maori village with a local guide who explains the geothermal aspects of the region and enjoy a light lunch of corn cooked in a natural hot pool and a traditional hangi pie. Fly to Christchurch and take an orientation walk with the CEO. Included Activities: Whakarewarewa Geothermal Village Visit Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle Plane (1.00-1.50 hours)
Day 17 Christchurch/Franz Josef (1B) Board the TranzAlpine train, considered to be one of the world's great train journeys. It crosses the stunningly scenic Southern Alps, traversing the entire country. Disembark the train and transfer to a beautiful rainforest lodge for the night. Transport: Train (4.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 18 Franz Josef (1B) Opt for various hiking adventures in the area, the most popular being a glacier trek. If relaxing is more your style, there are shorter day hikes and bush walks or local hot pools to take a dip.
Day 19 Franz Josef/Queenstown (1B) Early start to travel to the picturesque Lake Matheson. When the weather is right, you can get a great photo of the Southern Alps reflected in the lake. Follow the wild West Coast Road, through the rainforest before stopping for some short walks and waterfall visits. Included Activities: Gondola Ride Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00-9.00 hours, 365km)
Day 20 Queenstown/Doubtful Sound (1B, 1D) Drive the scenic route around the lake to the town of Manapouri, to arrive at an eco cruise boat which will be our home for the next 24 hours. After an afternoon of stunning scenery, spend the night moored in a secluded bay (seasonal), with time to stargaze from the deck with a glass of New Zealand wine Additional Notes: *Please note that the itinerary for this day varies in the winter: Winter Schedule 18 May – 20 Sept Doubtful Sound/Te Anau Drive the scenic route around the lake to the town of Manapouri. Travel by boat and bus to arrive at an eco cruise boat. Spend the afternoon cruising the stunning Doubtful Sound, one of the most untouched, remote places in the world. Marvel at the steep cliff walls and cascading waterfalls. The boat offers excellent chances for wildlife viewing in the area. Dolphins, penguins, seals and a variety of birds are some examples of what you can hope to see. In the evening, head to Te Anau for the night. We take in a screening of the award winning ‘Ata Whenua – Shadowland‘ Fjordland on Film documentary at the local cinema before having a group meal. Included Activities: Fiordland National Park Overnight Wilderness Cruise Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 21 Doubtful Sound/Queenstown (1B) Enjoy the morning on the boat before return to Queenstown late afternoon and opt for a farewell dinner with your group. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 22 Queenstown (1B) If you want more time to explore Queenstown, we recommend booking post nights with your agent if you are interested in the countless adrenaline-packed activities in the town known as the 'adventure capital of the world'. Jet boating, bungy jumping, mountain biking, and sky diving are some of the activities available. Included Activities: Departure Day
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