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.
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.
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.
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.