23 Day Iconic Australia and New Zealand (Winter) (2023)

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on G Adventures 23 Day Iconic Australia and New Zealand (Winter). Discover the cultural and natural highlights of New Zealand and Australia on an epic 23-day adventure. Start off on New Zealand’s North Island with a Maori feast in Rotorua; then head south to cruise through majestic, wildlife-rich fjords. Queenstown—the adventure capital of the world—will serve up a healthy dose of adrenaline before we fly to Australia and eat our way through Melbourne on a walking lunch. Go behind the scenes at the Sydney Opera House, and dive in to explore the Great Barrier...read more Reef on a snorkeling excursion. Wrap up your adventure in Queensland by spending an afternoon with members of Australia's Indigenous community.

Please make your own way to the joining hotel. Our CEO will have a welcome meeting this evening. Auckland is a fantastic city with so much to see and do. Should you want more time to explore on your own, we recommend booking pre-nights. Stay: CityLife Auckland

Take an orientation walk in Auckland, one of the most multicultural cities in the Southern Hemisphere. We’ll then catch a ferry to beautiful Waiheke Island, a haven of world-class vineyards and idyllic beaches. Visit two wineries to learn about New Zealand's burgeoning wine industry and the history of viticulture in the country while sampling some of the local blends. Stay: CityLife Auckland (B)

Rotorua sits over an active geothermal zone with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. This is a fascinating region with Maori history and culture tied directly to the geothermal aspects of the land. Stay: Millennium Rotorua (B)

On a full-day excursion, head to the Maori-owned Kohutapu Lodge, our base for exploring New Zealand's indigenous culture. See ancient rock carvings and learn about their spiritual significance to the Maori people, both past and present. Watch as a hangi lunch is prepared the traditional way--buried in an underground pit—and enjoy the resulting feast with your Maori hosts. After lunch, take a walk through the 800-year-old podocarp trees in Whirinaki Rainforest, learning the history of the forest and spotting endemic birds and medicinal plants. Return to Rotorua for an optional evening meal or a well-deserved soak in the hot springs. Stay: Millennium Rotorua (B/L)

With free time in Rotorua this morning, opt to relax in one of the hot pools fed by water coming directly from the natural springs. Stay: Chateau on the Park Hotel (B)

Board the TranzAlpine train—one of the world’s most scenic rail routes—for a breathtaking journey through verdant plains, beech forests, and majestic, misty mountains. After a whistle stop at Arthur’s Pass—the highest pass in the Southern Alps— continue to the end of the line in Greymouth, gateway to the West Coast. Continue on a private vehicle to a rainforest lodge near the town of Franz Josef, our home for the next two nights. Stay: Rainforest Retreat (B)

Discover the natural wonders of the Franz Josef area on your own today. Opt to take a helicopter up to the stunning Franz Josef Glacier and hop out for an unforgettable hike on the jagged ice; embark on a walk in the area; soak up in natural hot pools surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery; and more. Stay: Rainforest Retreat (B)

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. Stay: Peppers Beacon Hotel (B)

Discover the glacially carved wilderness of Fiordland National Park on a cruise. Glide past shimmering waterfalls and towering cliffs, and look out for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and little blue penguins with our naturalist guides. Travel back to shore, head to Queenstown for the night. Stay: Fiordland Navigator Boat (B/D)

After breakfast spend the rest of the day at leisure in this fun-loving lakeside town, known as the adventure capital of the world. Opt to try bungee jumping, visit a vineyard for a tour, or simply wander around, cafe hopping and sightseeing. Stay: Peppers Beacon Hotel (B)

The day is yours to explore Queenstown. Choose to go bungee jumping at the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site; Cruise lake Wakatipu on a historic steamer; experience a thrilling jet boat ride; or visit a local winery to sample the region’s award-winning vintages. This evening, enjoy a cable car ride to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic vistas of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps and then have dinner together as a group. Stay: Peppers Beacon Hotel (B/D)

Fly from Queenstown to Melbourne, Australia, and enjoy free time in the city. Stay: Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne (B)

Embark on a food tour of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller. Home to many thriving immigrant communities, Melbourne has long been considered one of Australia’s gastronomic hubs. On this foodie walk through the city’s famed laneways, we’ll experience a range of flavors and cuisines over lunch at three popular venues. Start with an Asian entree with wine; move on to an Italian restaurant for a main dish accompanied with more wine, and finish off the tour with a gelato dessert at our third stop. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Stay: Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne (B/L)

Spend the day exploring vibrant Melbourne. Set out on an optional excursion on the Great Ocean Road, following spectacular sea cliffs along the windswept Southern Ocean. Visit some of the region’s top wineries or wander the city’s narrow cobbled lanes and alleys, discovering quirky cafés and colorful murals. Stay: Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne (B)

Accommodations in Uluru are limited and of varying amenities. We do our best to secure a mid-range hotel, but on occasion a more simple accommodation with fewer amenities may be used. Stay: Sails in the Desert (B)

Awaken at dawn to witness the sunrise over Uluru and see the famous Field of Light installation. Then delve into a full-day exploration of the ancient, red-hued landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. After breakfast, make your way to Kata Tjuta, Uluru’s neighboring natural wonder for a morning of exploration. Later set out on a guided walk around the base of the monolith, gaining insight into its sacred significance to the Anangu. Stay: Sails in the Desert (B)

Enjoy free time on our final morning in the Red Centre. Then pack up and head off to the airport for an afternoon flight to Sydney. Check in to our hotel and opt to join our CEO for a dinner out on the town in one of Sydney's famous neighbourhoods. Stay: Vibe Hotel Sydney (B)

Take it slow with a leisurely morning, or get up early and join your CEO for a walk around the Rocks area, a waterfront neighborhood that marks the spot of the first European settlement in Australia. It also holds a spiritual significance for the area’s indigenous people. Around midmorning, circle back and meet for a private tour of the Sydney Opera House. This afternoon, step aboard a private catamaran for a sunset sail around Sydney's famous harbor. Tuck into a delicious Australian Barbecue dinner as the sun sets in the background. Stay: Vibe Hotel Sydney (B/D)

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the best of Sydney. Walk the Rocks and stop by Maybe Sammy for a drink, which happens to be one of the best bars in Sydney. Take the ferry to Manly Beach or walk the Bondi Coastal walk and snap some photos. Or, spend a full day exploring the Blue Mountains on an optional excursion. Stay: Vibe Hotel Sydney (B)

We catch a very early flight to ensure we make the most of the day. Stay: Mantra PortSea (B)

Explore the Great Barrier Reef on a full-day catamaran tour to the Outer Reef. Immerse yourself in the largest coral reef system in the world, which teems with 1500 species of tropical fish, as well as whales, dolphins and porpoises. Hop into the warm waters off Australia's east coast and experience this marine wonderland for yourself. Lunch will be served onboard. Back in Port Douglas the evening is yours to do as you please. Stay: Mantra PortSea (B/L)

Enjoy a free morning in charming Port Douglas. Stroll the town’s boutique-lined streets and idyllic beaches or head to the Sunday markets to browse the stalls. Later in the day, join your fellow travelers for an exclusive cultural experience at Cooya Beach. Meet Indigenous guides for a welcome ceremony, and get acquainted with members of the Kuku Yalanji people. Our CEO will organize an optional farewell dinner to toast your adventures down under. Stay: Mantra PortSea (B)

After one last breakfast in Port Douglas, transfer back to Cairns where our tour ends at the airport mid-morning. Alternatively, extend your stay in Port Douglas. (B)


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