day 1 Auckland, New Zealand
The first thing to notice when you see Auckland is the 1,076-foot-high Sky Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere offering amazing panoramic views. The area was settled by the Maori around 1350 and was settled by Europeans in the early 1800s. The land here is rich and fertile and the economy is good. Take a ferry to Waiheke Island, known for its beaches, forests, vineyards and olive groves or stroll along Ponsonby Street known for arts, cafes, culture and historic villas.
12:00 PM TO 6:00 PM
day 3 Picton, New Zealand
Picton is the starting point for exploring the Marlborough region of New Zealand and their delicious sauvignon blanc wines. Tiny and picturesque, Picton is ideal for the naturalist or the foodie. Hike or bike along the 43-mile Queen Charlotte Track, explore the nearby wildlife sanctuaries, indulge your taste buds with refreshing white wine and taste the famous green-lipped mussels indigenous to Marlborough Sounds.
10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
day 4 Lyttlelton, (Christchurch), New Zealand
Established as a landing point for colonial settlers on their way to Christchurch, Lyttelton has been known as the “Gateway to Canterbury.” It is only 7 miles (11.8 km) from Christchurch. Take a double-decker bus in Christchurch to the Botanic Gardens, the International Antarctic Centre, Canterbury Museum or North Hagley Park. There are plenty of eclectic shops, cafes and bars on your way.
9:30 AM TO 7:00 PM
Dunedin (Port Chalmers)
day 5 Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand
A description of Dunedin would include its Scottish and Maori heritages, its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, its dramatic landscape that encourages hiking and cycling and a large student population. The nearby Otago Peninsula is home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and the rare yellow-eyed penguins. Dunedin has one of the world’s steepest streets – Baldwin Street and is a UNESCO designated City of Literature.
day 6 Oban, Stewart Island, New Zealand
The main settlement of Stewart Island is a haven for bird life like kaka, parakeets, tui and New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi. Pleasantly located on a vista of picturesque bays and coves with lush vegetation, activities around Oban include hiking, sea kayaking, diving, or take one of New Zealand’s Great Walks to Maori Beach, the site of a 1913 lumber mill.
7:00 AM TO 8:00 PM
Scenic Cruising Fiordland National Park
day 7 Scenic Cruising Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Be out on deck to experience the beauty of Fiordland National Park, the largest of the 14 national parks in New Zealand. It is a major part of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO site. Two rare bird species live here – the Takahe, thought to be extinct was found in the mountains here, and the Kakapo, the world’s only flightless parrot has refuge here as well.
10:00 AM TO 11:59 PM
day 11 Melbourne, Australia
The capital and most populated city of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is located on the large natural bay of Port Philip. The abundance of parks and gardens here has resulted in Melbourne being referred to as Australia’s “Garden City.” The Story of the Kelly Gang, the world's first feature film, was shot in Melbourne in 1906 and On the Beach was filmed here in 1959. The city’s delightful mix of architecture includes the UNESCO-listed Royal Exhibition building, the Venetian-gothic style Old Stock Exchange, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Flinders Street Station.
9:00 AM TO 11:00 PM
day 12 Phillip Island, Australia
The biggest attraction of tiny port Phillip Island is the daily Penguin Parade at sunset when the little penguins come ashore. There is also a large colony of Australian fur seals and there are koalas and birds in the mangroves along Cape Woolamai. The Phillip Island Circuit is also well-known for its motorcycle and car racing track.
The heart and soul of Eden is its location on Twofold Bay, the shore-based whaling station there and Old Tom, the legendary killer whale whose story is told at the Eden Killer Whale Museum. Eden remains a working port so rest assured the seafood eaten there will be the freshest around. Eden is a popular whale watching site and whales migrate to and from the Antarctic twice a year.
Best known for its distinctive harbor-front Opera House, which is a UNESCO site, Sydney is viewed as not only one of the most expensive cities in the world, but also one of the most livable. The metropolis surrounds the world’s largest natural harbor and covers about 44 miles. Sydney’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk offers a 360 degree view of the city and surrounding area. Other sites to see include the Royal National Park, the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 15 Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
Port Douglas is known for sitting adjacent to two UNESCO sites, the world’s largest reef system, Great Barrier Reef and the biodiverse Daintree Rainforest. It has delightful beach resorts and popular Macrossan Street, lined with boutique shops and restaurants. Swim in crystal-clear Mossman Gorge, crocodile watch at Daintree River, relax on the palm-fringed golden sands of Four Mile Beach or snorkel the Low Isles and the outer reef.
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 16 Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation
Breakfast at the hotel. Board your private transfer for a scenic drive to a full day at the oldest rainforest in the world. From the Kukli Lookout in Cape Tribulation view the majestic mountain peaks and the pristine white beaches. Witness the rare sight of two UNESCO sites together – the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef and the only place in the world where the rainforest meets the reef. Take the Daintree River Cruise to learn about the wildlife here, the bird habitat, tree snakes, unique plants and estuarine crocodiles you may see along the way. After an included lunch visit the Mossman Gorge Centre, the cultural hub of the Kuku Yalanji and learn about these indigenous people who have lived here for 50,000 years. Return to Thala Beach Nature Reserve to overnight.
(Includes breakfast at the hotel, lunch and overnight at Thala Beach Resort)
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
day 17 Great Barrier Reef Snorkel & Swim
Breakfast at the hotel and get ready for a full day at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s most famous UNESCO site and one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. Transfer to the Port Douglas marina and board a boat to the less-frequented outer reef rich with coral, fish, mollusks, visiting sharks, dolphins and turtles. Don your snorkel equipment and jump into the water for an active Barrier Reef experience with plenty of time to swim and snorkel amid the panorama of colorful fish and intricate coral gardens and the reef’s most iconic species such as sharks, stingrays, turtles, groupers and parrotfish. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch aboard the air-conditioned vessel and spend a few more hours at the mooring. Return to Port Douglas in the late afternoon and transfer to Cairns. Check in to the Riley Crystalbrook Hotel, the newest property in Cairns to overnight. Dinner and the evening are at your leisure.
(Includes breakfast at the hotel, lunch, and overnight at Riley Crystalbrook Hotel)
12:00 PM TO 12:00 PM
Breakfast at the hotel prior to check out and transfer to the Cairns Airport for your flight home.
(Includes breakfast at the hotel)
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.