Experience Unique Wildlife, Sealife & So Much More
Explore Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania by land and sea, and you’ll discover a whole new meaning to the term wild life—including a memorable sunset penguin parade on Australia’s Philip Island. Windstar gets you up close and personal with countless species from wombats, dingoes, kangaroos and wallabies to wedge-tailed shearwaters, black swans, manta rays, and killer whales—you can even hug a koala in Mooloolaba. But that’s just the beginning. This unique region offers up icons like the Great Barrier Reef, the famed Sydney Opera House, Kangaroo Island’s Remarkable Rocks, Freycinet National Park’s Wineglass Bay, Fjordland National Park, and the home of The Hobbit. Windstar also takes you down the road less traveled to immerse you in the area’s intriguing convict history, traditional Maori culture, and incredible wine country. Sip your way from Australia’s Barossa and Yarra Valleys to New Zealand’s esteemed Marlborough region and the Gisborne wine trail. Wine, wildlife and natural wonders await you Down Under.
Sydney to Auckland - 15 Days
Start your adventure in Sydney by getting your feet wet at Bondi Beach and visiting the Opera House. On Christmas Day, embark on Phillip Island where hundreds of penguins come ashore at sunset. From Melbourne, head to Yarra Valley to taste exquisite local wines. Retreat to nature in Launceston, famous for its Cataract Gorge; or sip sparkling wine along the Tamar River. Explore Freycinet National Park’s pink granite peaks and snorkel in secluded bays. Sail into Tasmania’s picturesque Hobart Harbor tucked beneath Mount Wellington where the Bonorong Wildlife Park awaits. Relax en route to New Zealand and cruise scenic Fiordland National Park. Upon arriving in Bluff, snap a photo of the Bluff international sign. Discover Dunedin’s Scottish and Maori heritage and Edwardian architecture. From Lyttelton, ride a double-decker bus to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre or spend the afternoon punting on the Avon River. Wellington invites food lovers to taste their way through town, or venture out to the famous site of the Lord of the Rings. Set sail for the finale in Auckland, where the 1000-ft Sky Tower offers views of the city’s natural beauty and urban landscape.
Cairns to Benoa - 16 Days
Arrive early in Cairns to allow extra time to wander the Cairns Esplanade, explore the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Daintree National Park, and experience the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef—one of the largest, most diverse ecosystems on the planet and the world’s only natural wonder visible from space. Thursday Island offers the adventure of a wet landing and an introduction to the indigenous Torres Strait Islanders. Cultural exploration continues in Yirrkala, an Aboriginal artisan city where bark paintings, weaving and some of the finest Didgeridoos abound. In the cosmopolitan city of Darwin, don’t miss Mindil Beach, Kakadu National Park, and Crocosaurus Cove, home to turtles, water buffalo and saltwater crocodiles. Cross the Timor Sea to Kupang, Indonesia where friendly locals delight in showing their tenun ikat woven cloths and secluded beaches. Expand your idea of color upon entering Ende, Flores. This small hidden harbor is the launch point to visit Mount Kelimutu volcano with its mysterious 3-color crater lakes and Blue Stone Beach, known for its gorgeous multi-colored rocks.
Melbourne to Sydney - 13 Days
Feel the pulse of Australia in Melbourne; wander cobbled laneways to discover local art, artisan coffee, and local distilleries. The Barossa Valley outside Adelaide beckons you to taste your way through Australia’s wine country while Kangaroo Island’s Remarkable Rocks and Admiral Arch offer opportunities to see wildlife roam free against an incredible backdrop. While at sea watch for blue whales as gannet dive deep in pursuit of underwater prey. Visit Port Arthur’s museum—once a 19th century penal settlement, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in the picturesque harbor of Hobart tucked beneath Mount Wellington and prepare your senses for the lively Salamanca Market and old growth forests at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness. Pink granite peaks and Wineglass Bay are the pride of Freycinet National Park; swim, snorkel, and see black swans. From Launceston, venture to Cataract Gorge for panoramic views and return to Tamar River to sip sparkling wine. Phillip Island’s sunset penguin parade is truly a sight to see, as are the Australian fur seals and koalas. The wildlife journey continues in Eden, known for its Killer Whales. The swan song in Sydney brings a bustling harbor, and of course, the iconic Opera House.
Auckland to Auckland - 15 Days
Your adventure begins in Auckland. Stake out must-sees from 1,076-feet in the air at Sky Tower. Enter the yachters’ beloved Mercury Bay to explore beautiful beaches or try game fishing. An overnight in Wellington offers a chance to explore the Te Papa Maori cultural museum, gorgeous beaches, and a waterfront promenade. In Christchurch, visit Hagley Park Botanic Gardens and punt on the Avon River. Stroll Baldwin Street in Dunedin, designated a UNESCO City of Literature. On Stewart Island, see parakeets, tui and kiwi birds, and paddle picturesque bays.UNESCO site Fiordland National Park boasts many deep fjords, most notably Milford Sound. Spend a relaxing day at sea on the way to Picton, where fantastic hiking, biking and the exceptional sauvignon blancs of the Marlborough Region await. In Kaikoura, witness sperm whales, fur seals, and dolphins, and try local crayfish. New Zealand is teeming with sheep; find some of the country’s most beautiful Merino wool creations in Napier. Unveil the underlying Maori culture in Gisborne, and walk the wine trail. Tauranga’s sparkling harbor and blue skies welcome you to the home of The Hobbit and leave a lasting impression before your voyage concludes in Auckland.
Noumea to Cairns - 7 Days
Before embarking on your journey across the Coral Sea, spend the day exploring Noumea, New Caledonia. The World War II headquarters for the U.S. military in the South Pacific, Noumea offers history and a warm, welcoming atmosphere in addition to magnificent beaches and incredible views from several of the city’s bays. Consider a visit to the Aquarium des Lagoons, Noumea Cathedral, Coconut Palm Square or Jean-Marie Tijbaou Cultural Center. Then prepare to sit back, relax and feel the calming rhythm of life at sea with no interruptions. Time at sea aboard what feels like your own private yacht, relaxes and rejuvenates in preparation for adventure ahead in Australia. Upon arriving in Cairns, plan for extra time to wander the Cairns Esplanade, explore the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, discover the beautiful gorges, beaches and mountainous rainforest of Daintree National Park, and experience the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef.
Melbourne to Cairns - 11 Days
Whether you prefer to snorkel or witness vibrant marine life from the comfort of a glass bottom boat, dive into your Eastern Australian adventure at the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef—accessible from Cairns and Port Douglas. Watch for wedge-tailed shearwaters, sooty terns, and noodies as we pass Willis Island, and fall in love with Whitehaven Beach. Feel the rich maritime history the minute you step onto remote Middle Percy Island and experience rugged Fraser Island with a dip in picturesque Lake McKenzie or a drive on 75 Mile Beach, a veritable beach highway home to dingoes and birds of prey. Cuddle a koala at the Australia Zoo in Mooloolaba where the family of the late Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter, preserves his memory today. An overnight in Sydney brings opportunities to explore the famed Opera House, bustling Sydney Harbour, iconic Bondi Beach, and The Rocks, the birthplace of modern Sydney. Wake up and take in Melbourne and its insatiable thirst for artisan coffees, boutique gin and whisky distilleries, and the Yarra Valley’s famous Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wine.
Port Douglas to Auckland - 18 Days
Uncover the natural qualities that make Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand spectacularly unique during an 18-day combination cruise and inland tour. Drift along a river in the iconic UNESCO Daintree Rainforest, earth’s oldest and most continuous tropical forest. Swim or snorkel offshore in the Great Barrier Reef. Scan sandy beaches and shoreline grasslands of Freycinet National Park for waddling fairy penguins. Swirl and savor deep crimson hues and layered flavors in Australian Shiraz wines made from Barossa Valley old vines. Sample sweet Lamingtons—sponge cake dipped in chocolate and dusted with shredded coconut—paired with bush tea’s earthy, roasted-nut flavors. Peer skyward at towering coastal ranges and misty veiled waterfalls along Fiordland National Parks’ steep coastlines. Fly to Stewart Island and hike among countless waterfowl in a predator-free bird sanctuary. Admire Maori artwork and watch Waiata performances at Wellington’s Te Papa Museum. Take in North Island views in the Sky Tower while perched a thousand feet above Auckland.
Auckland to Cairns - 17 Days
Uncover unique butterflies, saltwater crocodiles, cute koalas and cultural contrasts throughout New Zealand and Australia during this 17-day combination inland tour and cruise. Swim and snorkel amid the Great Barrier Reef’s vibrant, aquatic splendors near your eco resort at the Thala Beach Nature Reserve to say in a treehouse bungalow. Drift a river surrounded by verdant beauty in the ancient Daintree Rainforest—the oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world. Inhale the passion fruit and green pepper aromas of a crisp local New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, considered by many wine experts to be among the best Sauv Blancs in the world. Glide across Halfmoon Bay’s deep and clear waters to a penguin rookery near Oban. Savor the refreshing sweetness of vanilla and honeycomb toffee in hokey-pokey ice cream, New Zealand’s favorite dessert and a summer icon around Picton. Sample the decadent pairing of fresh, creamy oysters and chilled sparkling wine at a prestigious oyster farm near Eden.
Benoa to Cairns - 13 Days
Natural splendors and architectural wonders beckon throughout this exceptional journey rich in expedition cruising excursions exclusive to small ports that very few other ships visit. This is small ship cruising at its best – remote islands teeming with wildlife and small villages with friendly locals. Observe Komodo dragons, wombats, koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies in their natural habitats at Komodo National Park near Loh Liang. Browse unique knit shawls and sample artisan-made nutmeg preserves among tiny shops and Portuguese colonial architecture in Ambon. Walk the gray stone battlements of Fort Belgica, the former protector of all nutmeg trade bound for Europe in the 1600s. Ride swift Zodiacs from the small port of Kokas to 35,000-year-old paintings and handprints throughout the caves and cliff walls of Andamata, globally recognized among the oldest human artwork on the planet. Snorkel amid schools of rare tropical fish and colorful, reclusive eels along the edges of the Great Barrier Reef. Gain insights on cutting-edge coral reef experiments and the latest conservation efforts from researchers at Australia’s Lizard Island Research Station.
Auckland to Sydney - 14 Days
Hailed as one of the world’s most livable cities, Auckland offers up Maori history, urban adventure, and natural wonders. In Christchurch, the Gateway to Antarctica, tour the International Antarctic Centre. Stroll Baldwin Street in Dunedin, designated a UNESCO City of Literature, and grab binoculars and swimsuits for birdwatching and kayak adventures on picturesque Stewart Island. For your New Zealand finale, find your perch up on deck for cruising Fiordland National Park to spot takahe and kakapo birds, bottlenose dolphins, seals, and penguins. Late night in Melbourne offers time to venture out to the Yarra Valley for wine tasting, or stroll the cobbled laneways of the “Garden City” to sample fine food and boutique gin and whisky. The hidden harbor on Phillip Island brings a unique opportunity to celebrate your journey with the sunset Penguin Parade. Enjoy a day at sea before embarking on Eden, where you can feast on fresh, local seafood and explore its towering lighthouse. Sail into Sydney Harbor for a swan song at the Opera House.
Melbourne to Benoa - 23 Days
Indulge in sunrays and fragrant tropical flowers in Asia’s hottest tropical archipelago as you discover contemporary city harbors and small port charms throughout Indonesia and Australia’s eastern and southern coastlines during this longer cruise. Sip cocktails adorned with bright blossoms and fresh fruit on a pristine Lembar, Lombok beach. Stand atop the stone battlements above Banda Neira, a former Spice Island stronghold, and imagine protecting Renaissance Europe’s entire mace and nutmeg supply. Savor the spicy deliciousness of Ayam Goreng Penyet, crunchy fried chicken crushed and mixed with chili paste. Dive or snorkel Triton Bay’s brilliant blue waters, as you swim to the center of the Coral Triangle, a region unmatched for vibrant coral and reef sea life anywhere else on our planet. Venture along the eastern Australian coast to spend days at the Great Barrier Reef, pristine beaches at Thursday Island, Airlie Beach and Fraser Island, and overnight in Sydney, a world-class city.
Hong Kong to Cairns - 27 Days
Unspoiled settings and uncrowded beaches abound during this extended cruise featuring visits to China, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. Swim and sunbathe before savoring enticing, locally sourced Filipino cuisine at a Windstar Signature beach party with the scenic splendors of the Hundred Islands as your backdrop. Snorkel among coral reefs adjacent to pristine white beaches, and browse boutique shops or dine at one-of-a-kind restaurants in Boracay, a verdant, palm-lined port inaccessible to large cruise ships. Drift through murky limestone caverns sculpted by underground water near Palawan in the Philippines. Amble among brightly painted Dutch architecture and spot the lingering European influences in the former colony of Ambon, now one of Indonesia’s most culturally diverse cities. Browse armor exhibits and military artifacts that protected Thursday Island colonists for nearly two centuries. Uncover an array of environmental threats affecting the world’s coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef during a highly informative tour at Australia’s Lizard Island Research Center
Melbourne to Hong Kong - 39 Days
Pamper yourself and your loved ones by spending nearly a month relaxing and exploring small coastal villages, pristine sandy beaches, and historic colonial fortifications and iconic landmarks throughout China, Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines with an overnight in Sydney. Search for traces of ancient coral that shaped and nourished lush, tropical jungles thriving throughout Hundred Islands National Park. Savor a sizzling skillet of Filipino ‘sizig,’ featuring pork or chicken topped with an egg that thickens as your meal cools. Wander amid the remaining Spanish walls in Intramuros, Manila’s oldest quarter, and march across the bridge moat to the gates of Fort Santiago, a fortress occupied by four nations over 400 years. Appreciate the real meaning of remote in the villages of Indonesia. Discover the importance of the world’s dwindling coral reefs at the Lizard Island Research Center, or see firsthand with extra time to dive and snorkel above the Great Barrier Reef. Stand eye-to-unblinking eye with large sharks and rays swimming in massive windowed tanks throughout Mooloolaba’s UnderWater World, Queensland’s largest aquarium.