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South Pacific Wonders Including New Zealand's North Island 2018-2019

18 days with Collette Vacations   Rating: Deluxe

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Save $400 to $500 per couple off select trips. Expires December 14. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Days 1 - 2 Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight to Cairns, Australia.

Day 3 Cairns, Australia - Tour Begins
Your tour opens in Cairns, the tropical gateway to one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions and a World Heritage site – the Great Barrier Reef. Established as a marine park in 1975, the reef is a haven for thousands of species of sea life, as well as turtles and birds. (D)

Day 4 Great Barrier Reef
Board a high speed catamaran for an exciting excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. This is an immense series of 2,800 coral reefs which are home to amazingly diverse marine life. Explore the reef from your base on Green Island. Enjoy a glass bottom boat ride, stroll the island walking trails, relax on the beaches, snorkel or just watch the fish and sea turtles swim past from the pier. For a more adventurous encounter with the reef, an outer reef tour is also available. Whichever way you choose, you’ll see some of the world’s most fascinating marine and plant life. (B,L)

Day 5 Cairns
Come to know the history of Australia’s original inhabitants at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center. Here you’ll see traditional dances, learn how to play a didgeridoo or even throw a boomerang. Browse the renowned art gallery and visit the interpretation center’s artifact collection. At Hartley’s Croc Farm, get up close with crocodiles in their natural habitat! Boardwalks take you on a path of adventure through rainforests and woodlands, home to birds, reptiles and wallabies. You may meet some of the local koalas and chat with a wildlife naturalist to learn more about these cuddly creatures. Take an exciting cruise on the lagoon and watch for crocodiles before enjoying a delicious Aussie barbecue. (B,D)

Day 6 Cairns - Sydney
This morning, create your own adventure or simply relax and take in the tropical atmosphere. Later today, fly to the bustling city of Sydney. (B)

Day 7 Sydney
Tour Sydney and discover where the original English colonists first settled in 1788. Other highlights of your tour include Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and the fashionable suburb of Paddington. Discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights during a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Next, learn how raw opals are transformed into beautiful works of art at the National Opal Centre. This afternoon the choice is yours! Experience the area at your own pace with a 24 hour hop on hop off Sydney Harbour cruise pass. Hop off to explore places of interest or stay on and relax during a narrated cruise. Or choose to ascend the Sydney Tower Eye for incredible views and explore the renowned Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. (B)

Day 8 Sydney
Embrace the exciting city of Sydney during a day of independent exploration. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer suggestions. Tonight, say farewell to Australia by chatting with new friends and taking in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the scenic vistas of the harbour showcasing Sydney’s magnificent skyline, the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. (B,D)

Day 9 Sydney - Auckland, New Zealand
Fly to one of the world’s most inspiring and sought after destinations due to its clean air, stunning scenery, and friendly culture – New Zealand. Arrive in Auckland, the “City of Sails.” Auckland has the highest Polynesian population in the world, imbuing its chic atmosphere with the vibrant feel of the Pacific Islands. The evening is yours to explore New Zealand’s largest city. (B)

Day 10 Auckland - Rotorua
Get to know the best of Auckland during a panoramic city tour featuring the America’s Cup Village, the War Memorial, vibrant Queen Street and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Next, travel to the dramatic geothermal landscape of Rotorua. Known as the Maori capital of New Zealand, over one-third of Rotorua’s population has Maori roots dating back over 1,000 years. Tonight, experience an authentic Hangi dinner celebration where you learn about the warm-hearted Maoris and their lives before European colonists arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and since. Enjoy an immersive experience featuring authentic Maori entertainment such as the poi dance and the famous “Haka” war challenge. (B,D)

Day 11 Rotorua
This morning visit Te Puia, New Zealand's premier Maori cultural and geothermal experience. Witness a landscape of erupting geysers, bubbling mud pools and other geothermal wonders. The National Carving School and National Weaving School are located here, passing on age-old customs by teaching the tribal youth these traditional skills. Take part in an interactive demonstration on the art of weaving. You will also view the Kiwi bird and learn what is being done in an effort to remove the Kiwi from the endangered species list. Next, meet the skilled carvers who work with pounamu – New Zealand greenstone – at a local jade factory. Then, visit the Agrodome where you will see a fun sheep shearing demonstration and learn about the importance of agriculture to the nation. Tonight, relax or explore this lovely city on your own. (B,D)

Day 12 Rotorua - Christchurch
A short flight* brings you to the historic city of Christchurch. Devastated by an earthquake in early 2011, see firsthand how the city known as “the Garden City” is recreating itself. Make yourself right at home this evening when a New Zealand family welcomes you into their home for dinner. This is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Make new friends, learn about the customs of the “Kiwis,” and enjoy a home-cooked meal. (B,D)

Day 13 Christchurch
This morning, visit Willowbank Wildlife Reserve for a guided tour focused on New Zealand’s wildlife and natural heritage. As you walk through the forest reserve, learn about conservation efforts dedicated to saving native species while viewing them in their natural habitat. Return to Christchurch with time for exploration. You may wish to visit the informative and interactive International Antarctic Centre to learn about the 7th continent, or simply relax and enjoy what the city has to offer. (B)

Day 14 Christchurch - Mt. Cook Region - Queenstown
Traverse the spectacular countryside to Queenstown. Along the way, savor the chance to spot the highest peak in the Southern Alps, Mt. Cook, before stopping at a local fruit stand for an inside look at the produce of New Zealand. Arrive in Queenstown with time to explore before dinner this evening. (B,D)

Day 15 Queenstown - Arrowtown - Queenstown
Set off for the beautiful turn-of-the-century Gold Rush settlement of Arrowtown. Take time to explore independently and stroll its quaint, historic streets. Next, explore the Central Otago region where many of New Zealand’s best wines are grown and produced. During a stop at a local winery, visit their storage cave for a tasting of some of their famous wines. (B)

Day 16 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown
En route to Milford Sound, enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley. You’ll travel through ancient beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. During a cruise of the breathtakingly beautiful Milford Sound you will see why this fjord is one of the most visited sights on the South Island. With rock faces that rise nearly 4,000 feet on either side, the scenery will take your breath away. Following your cruise, you return to Queenstown. You may choose to return via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. (B,L)

Day 17 Queenstown
A free day offers a variety of optional activities to enhance your tour. Shop or people-watch in the village; partake in an optional, exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River; or join the optional "Journey through Middle Earth" tour which takes you through the majestic Remarkable Mountains and the breathtaking Queenstown countryside showcasing many of the spots where The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. This evening, take in the city of Queenstown from above. A breathtaking gondola ride takes you to dinner at the Skyline Restaurant overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains. (B,D)

Day 18 Queenstown - Tour Ends
Your adventure ends, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful adventure. (B)
Map
All This Included
Explore two great countries of the Southern Hemisphere – Australia and New Zealand. From the tropical splendor of the Great Barrier Reef on Australia’s northeast coast, to the ethereal beauty of glacial fjords on New Zealand’s South Island and Maori cultural and geothermal wonders on New Zealand’s North Island, this journey to the lands "Down Under" brings you the best of both countries at an enjoyable pace. Cruise Sydney Harbour and Milford Sound. Meet Australia’s wildlife up close. Discover the wonders of Aboriginal culture. Visit Auckland and gain insight into Polynesian culture. Experience an authentic Hangi dinner celebration. Visit the Agrodome and observe a sheep shearing demonstration. Indulge in regional flavors at a wine tasting and experience Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.
  • 25 meals
  • Centrally-located hotels provide a home away from home
  • Hotel-to-hotel baggage handling
  • A professional tour manager accompanies you throughout your trip
  • Expert local guides provide insightful, personalized tours
  • Unparalleled sightseeing includes all of the "must-sees"
  • Enriching cultural experiences bring the destination to life
  • Private climate-controlled motorcoach enhances your tour
  • Free round trip sedan service that takes you from your home to the airport when you purchase an air-inclusive Collette tour (within 50 miles of nearest airport gateway)
Highlights
  • Come to know Australia’s people at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center.
  • Get up close and personal with cuddly koalas and native crocodiles at Hartley’s Croc Farm.
  • Take a guided tour of the fascinating Sydney Opera House.
Accommodations
Cairns: Pacific Hotel
Sydney: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
Auckland: Rydges Hotel
Rotorua: Millennium Hotel
Christchurch: Pavilions Hotel
Queenstown: Millennium Hotel
Pre and Post Add-ons
Pre Night Hotel:
  • Pacific Hotel Cairns
Post Tour Extension:
  • 3 Night Fiji Extension ( Land Only )
Post Night Hotel:
  • Hilton LAX
  • Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Notes
  • This tour requires average physical activity. You should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground and cobblestoned streets.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Collette Vacations terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.