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Adventures Downunder

19 NIGHTS

PLEASE NOTE: We can help you add, adjust and tailor the itinerary to suit your requirements.  Each clients itinerary is different. We work to your budget and take advantage of current specials in the marketplace for your time of travel.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 3 nights Sydney

  • 2 nights Uluru

  • 3 nights Port Douglas

  • 2 nights Auckland

  • 2 nights Rotorua

  • 2 nights Wellington

  • 1 night Christchurch

  • 2 nights Mount Cook

  • 2 nights Queenstown

  • Sydney Opera House tour

  • Sydney Highlights tour

  • Blue Mountains tour

  • Australian wildlife encounter

  • Sound of Silence Dinner, Uluru

  • Uluru Sunrise and Kata Tjuta tour

  • Cape Tribulation and Daintree tour

  • Great Barrier Reef day cruise with snorkeling

  • Auckland city highlights tour

  • Waiheke Island sunset wine and dine tour

  • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland tour

  • Hot pools and spa afternoon

  • Maori culture evening with hangi dinner

  • Wellington city highlights tour

  • Wellington city walking food tour

  • Christchurch city sightseeing tour

  • Mount Cook/Aoraki glacier boat cruise

  • Big Sky star gazing at Mount Cook

  • Mount Cook/Aoraki 40 minute scenic flight and snow landing

  • Milford Sound scenic flight and nature cruise

  • Queenstown sights tour and afternoon wine tasting

  • All transfers

  • Breakfast Daily

ITINERARY OVERVIEW:

Destinations:     Australia (Sydney, Uluru, Port Douglas), New Zealand (Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Mt Cook/Aoraki, Queenstown)

Experiences:     Culture, Scenery, Food and Wine, Wildlife, Relaxation, Adventure

No. of days:       20 days / 19 nights

There’s a lot packed into this itinerary that helps you visit popular locations in Australia and New Zealand while experiencing the best of each country.  Begin your adventure in Sydney and explore the iconic highlights before moving on to the Red Center to watch sunrises and sunsets over Uluru and surrounding landscapes.  With a complete change of scenery, you move from the desert to the tropical north and explore rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.  Head to New Zealand beginning in Auckland including a city highlights tour and wine tasting evening on beautiful Waiheke Island.  Get a cultural and geothermal experience in Rotorua before flying to Wellington to explore the capital city.  Christchurch is the first port of call in the South Island, enjoy a tour before driving to Mt Cook/Aoraki for a spectacular scenic flight and glacier cruise and night sky evening.  Finish your adventure in Queenstown where you will fly into Milford Sound on a scenic flight to board a nature cruise on the fiord.  Finish your time in New Zealand seeing Central Otago sights and sipping on wines before returning home.  

DAY BY DAY:

Day 1:   Arrive into Sydney, transfer to your accommodation.  This afternoon you get to enjoy a guided tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House.  The Sydney Opera House is one of the world's most recognizable landmarks and this is your chance to truly get up-close. Run your hands over the world-famous shell tiles, take a seat in the elegant custom-made white birch timber chairs and marvel at the vaulted ceilings. Visit areas off-limits to the public and capture photographs from rare vantage points. Explore theatres and foyers where more than 1600 concerts, operas, dramas and ballets take place each year. (Sydney 3 nights)

 

Day 2:   Today you get to explore Sydney on a small group tour covering all the essential Sydney highlights. Start in the historic Rocks precinct. See the convict built cottages, pubs and the first church in Australia.  Other highlights include the stunning Botanical Gardens Macquarie Street, Australia's first Parliament House, Mint, Hyde Park Barracks and St Mary's Cathedral. The tour continues onto Mrs Macquarie's Chair situated on the water's edge, here you will enjoy a walking tour of the harbor’s edge with magnificent views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Stop for lunch at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Australia's premier yacht club. After lunch continue through some of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs, pass by Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse and Watsons Bay, before traversing along the coastline to Sydney's most famous beach, Bondi Beach. Here you will have some time to soak up the atmosphere of this beachside Mecca. Stroll down the esplanade with the locals and maybe enjoy an ice cream.

 

Day 3:  Leaving the city behind you’re off to the beautiful Blue Mountains.  Discover the spectacular Blue Mountains and see native wildlife whilst you explore World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park. This rugged and beautiful region forms part of the Great Dividing Range, linking tropical north to temperate south, while dividing coastal cities from the vast Outback.  Arrive at Scenic World and join the optional Blue Mountains rides - Scenic Railway,

Cableway or Skyway. These rides are a great way to see the steep valleys, canyons and Three Sisters rock formation.  Stopping at a vantage point, you'll be treated to a spectacular view of the three sisters.  Discover Leura village where you will have free time for lunch or the chance to wander the streets. Next, we enjoy an afternoon encounter at Featherdale Park and have your photo taken with a cuddly koala, see kangaroos, wombats, dingoes and cute little penguins. Our last stop will be at Homebush Bay, the venue of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Here, you can catch your river cruise vessel back to Sydney and enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Parramatta River (own expense). If you do not wish to join the ferry, the coach will arrive in Sydney at approximately 6.00pm.

 

Day 4:    Today you leave Sydney, transfer to the airport for your flight to Uluru where you will begin your outback adventure.  This evening you have an unforgettable evening eating beautifully prepared food under the sparkling outback sky. The journey begins on a lone sand dune. A meandering path takes participants to an uninterrupted, 360 degree view of this vast landscape. In front is the fabled Uluru; behind are the domes of Kata Tjuta and possibly the most spectacular sunset you have ever seen. Here enjoy sparkling wine and a selection of delectable canapés. As the sun sets in a blaze of reds and oranges and into the starlit night, feast on a gourmet barbecue buffet of authentic Australian delicacies including barramundi, kangaroo, crocodile, bush salads and classic desserts, complemented by some of Australia's finest wines. Attention then turns to some of the world's best stargazing as the resident astronomer takes diners on an unforgettable tour of the spectacular southern night sky. (2 nights Uluru)

 

Day 5:  Early this morning you will be picked up from your accommodation to commence a morning Uluru Sunrise and Kata Tjuta tour. Travel to the sunrise viewing area, Talinguru Nyakunytjaku, and watch the first rays of sunlight creep across the desert plains. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits as the morning sun slowly changes the colour of Uluru. After watching the sunrise travel to the mystical 36 domes of Kata Tjuta enjoying panoramic views of the southern side of Kata Tjuta before arriving at the base of Walpa Gorge. Spend time exploring the gorge and the unusual conglomerate rock formations. The walking trail through Walpa Gorge follows the natural creek between two of the tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. Enjoy lunch back at your accommodation and the afternoon at leisure.

 

Day 6:   This morning you leave the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park and fly to Cairns to begin your tropical north adventure in Queensland.  After arriving in Cairns you will be transferred to Port Douglas. Spend the afternoon at leisure, enjoy the beaches. (3 nights Port Douglas)

 

Day 7:  You’re off to explore Cape Tribulation and Daintree today.  You will be picked up from your accommodation and head to Cape Tribulation, through some of the oldest rainforest in the world. Visit the Mossman Gorge Centre for the transfer into Mossman Gorge. Your guide will take you for a guided walk sharing their knowledge of this enchanting rainforest environment. Learn about the fascinating secrets of one of the world's oldest rainforests. Cruise on the Daintree River learn about the habitat of birds, tree snakes, unique plants and of course the estuarine crocodile. Enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch in the rainforest of Noah Valley. Next you drive to Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the reef. Walk on this world-renowned rainforest beach, admire the coastline and fringing coral reef from the Kulki Lookout.  After winding through the rainforest of the Alexandra Range, enjoy this spectacular lookout over the Daintree River Estuary, Snapper Island and beyond to the Coral Sea. Tour concludes at approximately 6.00pm, at which time hotel drop offs will commence.

 

Day 8:  Spend the day exploring the Great Barrier Reef.  Unwind while you snorkel, the pristine warm waters off the coast of Port Douglas to visit spectacular reefs and beautiful coral bombies. Even if you've never snorkeled before, this is an opportunity you can't afford to miss! The day consists of visiting 3 breathtaking sites on the reef with ample time to relax, enjoy and explore spectacular reefs with abundant marine life. The crew provides professional supervision and tuition, with a comprehensive snorkeling safety brief and guided snorkel tour. Flotation devices and in water assistance provided. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea are included.

 

Day 9:  Leaving Port Douglas you will be transferred to Cairns Airport for your flight to Auckland, New Zealand.  Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, dinner on the harbor is a lovely way to end an evening.  (2 nights Auckland)

 

Day 10:  Experience the highlights of Auckland city on a personal small group tour this morning. Be amazed by dramatic views of numerous volcanoes, expansive vistas across Auckland's Waitamata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean and the marine village of Devonport. On this Auckland City Highlights Half Day Luxury tour you will see why Auckland is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  This afternoon you will be heading to beautiful Waiheke Island.  Board the Fullers ferry to Waiheke Island to commence a Twilight Wine and Dine. A 40 minute cruise takes you across the Hauraki Gulf to Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island. On arrival at Mataitia board your coach to begin a late afternoon tour that visits the award winning Stonyridge Vineyard and Restaurant with its spectacular vineyard valley views for wine tastings, before heading to Batch Winery, the highest altitude vineyard on the island, which boasts stunning views across the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy a tour of their unique gravity-fed wine making facility, wine sampling, and a two course dinner with a small glass of wine while watching the sun set across Waiheke and the Hauraki Gulf. Finish off your evening with a coach back to Matiatia for your ferry back to Auckland.

 

Day 11:  Today you leave Auckland for Rotorua.  You’ll be picked up from your accommodation and will travel to Rotorua stopping on the way at Hobbiton the movie set and Waitomo Caves.  The first stop is at Hobbiton where you will be driven to the set itself and have one of the specialist Hobbiton guides take you on a walking tour around the 44 Hobbit holes. You will get the chance to have a photo in the doorway of a Hobbit house, see the Party Tree and stand by the gate to Bilbo’s house ‘Bag End’ overlooking the whole set to the hills in the distance. Before your buffet lunch feast in the Party Marquee (which is included in the price) enjoy a complimentary ale, cider or ginger beer in the Green Dragon Inn. After lunch continue on to Waitomo caves.  At Waitomo Glow Worm Caves one of their experienced guides will take you on a walking tour through the caves and talk about the limestone formations and the glowworms. At the end of the cave tour take the iconic boat ride to glide along through the world famous glowworm grotto (subject to water levels). Marvel in silence at thousands of magical glow worms, which are unique to the southern hemisphere, before exiting the cave.  Continue on to Rotorua. (Rotorua 2 nights)

 

Day 12:  Discover the Rotorua’s geothermal secrets on a Geothermal Wonderland tour this morning.  You will be picked up from your accommodation and experience the amazing geothermal activity, gushing geysers, boiling mud pools and the many colors of every tint and hue displayed in the pools, lakes, craters, steaming vents and mineral terraces of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Then enjoy the Waimangu Volcanic Valley nature walk amidst a stunning volcanic landscape with spectacular views of hot crater lakes, steaming cliffs, hissing fumeroles, colourful silica terraces, rare thermally adapted plants and the opportunity to see some of NZ's native birdlife. Overall walking time is approximately 2 hours for a distance of approximately 2 kilometres. Tour concludes at approximately 12:30pm.   Spend the afternoon in the stunning hot pools at the Polynesian Spa.  Tonight you will be picked up from your accommodation to have an indigenous evening experience combining cultural story telling, entertainment and a traditional hangi dinner at Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.

 

Day 13:  This morning you will be picked up from our accommodation and transferred to Rotorua airport for your flight to Wellington.  This afternoon you have a Wellington City Highlights tour. This is an unforgettable journey around the city's dramatic highlights, during which clients will travel around the earthquake-scarred South Coast to see the site of the Wahine ferry disaster and the distant ranges of the South Island, overlooked by coastal houses perched on the steep, rocky hills. Enjoy views of the harbour from the top of Mount Victoria and ride the steep cable car up to an incredible, far-reaching panorama. Visit the magnificent Parliament buildings and the famous Beehive and see the gorgeous, timber-built Old St Paul's Cathedral before visiting the national museum of Te Papa to experience the extraordinary mix of Maori and European history, amid the nation's natural and cultural treasures. Enjoy dinner at a waterfront restaurant.

 

Day 14:  Discover the inner city this morning on a walking food tour.  Discover fresh tastes in New Zealand's café capital, as we introduce you to the city, its local tastes, products and people on this popular tour. Stroll behind the scenes at some of our favorite Wellington food places with a personal guide, to taste hidden culinary treasures and meet some of the people behind some of the city's best food. This tour is perfect for finding out where to head this afternoon.  Spend this afternoon at leisure, in addition to revisiting interesting places from this morning’s tour, we highly recommend visiting Te Papa the national museum.

 

Day 15:  This morning you will be picked up from your accommodation and transferred to Wellington Airport for your flight to Christchurch.  This afternoon you have an afternoon city sightseeing tour.  See the rebuilding efforts following the earthquakes that damaged the city.  The trip begins on the western side of the city before travelling through the central city, the port and seaside suburbs and the Sign of the Takahe. The key highlights include Canterbury University, Riccarton House and Riccarton Bush, Mona Vale, Hagley Park, Antigua Boat Sheds, Botanical Gardens, Upper Worcester Boulevard (around the Museum and Art Centres), Victoria Clock Tower, Lyttleton, Evans Pass, Sumner, Mount Pleasant and the Sign of the Takahe. (1 night Christchurch)

Day 16:  You are off to Mount Cook today.  Pick up your rental car and make your way to Mount Cook/Aoraki stopping in Tekapo at the Church of the Good Shepherd and take in the sights of the spectacular Southern Alps mountain rain.  This afternoon enjoy a glacier boat cruise where you will be taken to the beautiful Tasman Valley. (The guide will lead a 20 minute walk over 1.5km on uneven track. Board a boat to explore the fascinating glacial landscape dotted with icebergs and the ever-changing ice face of the glacier. The boat passes so close to the icebergs you can touch them! Commentary from the guides imparts their knowledge and passion for this amazing alpine environment. This trip provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and some of the best photographic opportunities available in the national park.  This evening is all about stars! Join fully trained guides who will show you the beautiful southern night sky using the naked eye, state of the art astronomy telescopes and binoculars at the outdoor viewing platform or if the weather is not favorable then 'live' under their high definition digital dome planetarium. Unleash your imagination as you discover the neighborhood in the universe including the Southern Cross, seasonal ecliptic objects, planets, star clusters, moons, distant galaxies and even their very own galaxy, the spectacular Milky Way. (2 nights Mount Cook)

 

Day 17:   You get to see a birds eye view of Mt Cook/Aoraki this morning on a stunning 40 minute helicopter flight.  You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the helicopter terminal.  This is a premier flight over an amazing alpine region with vast snowfields, glaciers and a spectacular view of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. Land high above glaciers and experience what it feels like to stand in snow amongst the mountains. Following your flight drive from Mount Cook/Aoraki to Queenstown.  Spend the afternoon at leisure. Return your rental car.

 

Day 18:   This morning you will be collected from your Queenstown accommodation for transfer to your flight to Milford Sound.  Board your twin engine aircraft to commence a half day tour to Milford Sound. During the 35 minute flight, enjoy panoramic views of spectacular alpine scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest. Land at Milford Sound Airport and transfer to the Visitor Terminal for a leisurely nature cruise the full length of the fiord to the Tasman Sea. View spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and towering peaks and keep a look out for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins. Afterwards be transferred back to Milford Airport for a scenic return flight to Queenstown.  (2 nights Queenstown)

 

Day 19:  See the best of Queenstown today on a sights tour followed by an afternoon of wine and relaxation.  Enjoy a guided morning tour of Queenstown, to Skippers Canyon lookout, and through to Arrowtown's "must-see" attractions! Enjoy panoramic views of Coronet peak, Skippers Canyon and Lake Hayes, a visit to a lavender farm or local art gallery (seasonal), a tour through Lakes District Museum and a gold panning experience in Arrowtown. After lunch in Arrowtown discover Central Otago's scenic wine country on this fun and interactive afternoon tour. Enjoy tastings at three cellar doors within the Gibbston region, take a guided tour through New Zealand's largest wine cave, sample local cheeses and relax with a glass of premium wine.

 

Day 20:  Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

TOP ACTIVITIES:  Sydney   |   Uluru   |   Auckland   |   Rotorua   |   Wellington   |   Christchurch   |   Mt Cook/Aoraki   |   Queenstown

Customized Itinerary

  • All aspects of this itinerary can be changed to suit your requirements.

  • The itineraries provided are great introductions to your chosen destination.  You can create a travel plan using the itinerary provided or make modifications to destinations, activities and accommodation and create the dream trip you want.

  • Not every traveler is the same, we get that and so that’s why we recommend making changes to suit your needs. In fact, we insist - we want you to have the best trip.

  • If you would like any recommendations for dinner or shopping areas please let us know we are happy to help and make bookings for you where necessary.

Visa requirements:

To travel to Australia you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and we can process an ETA Visa for free for US Citizens.  We will need a copy of your Photo Page of your Passport.  Nationalities of any other countries please enquire with your agent to see if you are eligible for a free ETA Visa or if you need to apply for a Visitor Visa.

To travel to New Zealand you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. More information on the NZeTA application requirements and process can be found on our FAQ page here.

Travel Insurance:

We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment. We will provide a travel insurance quote at the time of booking, and you are free to use our recommended insurance with Travelguard, find your own, or book without insurance.

A product that we can offer is a Cancel For Any Reason policy that will provide you with 80% back in refunds.  If the cancellation is for medical reasons there is a 100% refund..

Additional information:

Downunder Journeys services travel requests from the United States and Canada for travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tahiti.  All pricing on this website is in US Dollars.

 

All of the sample itineraries on this website do not include airfares as the airfare price changes daily and to ensure you get the best possible price we will work with the best airfares at the time.  If you happen to buy your airfare first and then need a package to fit it, we can certainly help with that as well, just let us know.

 

As an idea for a 2-week vacation to Australia or New Zealand we recommend a budget of around $8,000-10,000 (including economy airfare), this would be for a 4 star and above itinerary, a little cheaper if we did more moderate accommodations.

ITINERARIES   |   Australia    |   New Zealand   |    Fiji   |   Cook Islands   |   French Polynesia    |   Multiple destinations

Manassas, VA, USA

info@downunderjourneys.com

Toll free: 1800-409-8496

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We have enjoyed over 30 years in the travel industry.

We're serious about travel and believe great personal service and customized itineraries offer the best way to travel.