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Discover the South Pacific Wonders including New Zealand's North Island 2020

18 days with Collette Vacations   Rating: Deluxe

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 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 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 arboreal herbivores. Take an exciting cruise on the lagoon and watch for crocodiles before enjoying a delicious Aussie barbecue. (B,D)

Day 5 Cairns - Great Barrier Reef - Cairns
Board a high speed catamaran for an exciting excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. This immense series of 2,800 coral reefs 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 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
See where the original English colonists first settled in 1788 during a city tour of Sydney. Highlights of your tour include Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and the fashionable suburb of Darlinghurst. Discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights as you take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Then you’re in for a unique experience as you learn firsthand about opals during a special presentation at the National Opal Collection. Later this evening, you may choose to take in an optional dinner and performance at the Sydney Opera House. (B)

Day 8 Sydney
Embrace the exciting city of Sydney during a day of independent exploration. Tonight, say farewell to Australia while 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 and learn about the warm-hearted Maoris as well as 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 you 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 for 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 - Mt. Cook Region
Journey through New Zealand’s unspoiled wilderness and arrive in the Mt. Cook region, where permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks. This is where famed New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary honed his skills before conquering Everest. You may choose to take a nature walk or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps. (B,D)

Day 14 Mt. Cook Region - Arrowtown - Queenstown
Traverse the spectacular countryside as you set off for the beautiful turn-of-the-century Gold Rush settlement of Arrowtown. Take time to stroll its quaint, historic streets. Arrive in Queenstown and have time to explore independently. (B)

Day 15 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown
En route to Milford Sound, enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley as you travel through an ancient beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. During a breaktakingly beautiful cruise 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 16 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 jet boat ride on the Shotover River; or join an optional tour taking you through the majestic Queenstown countryside showcasing many of the locations where blockbuster movies have been filmed. (B)

Day 17 Queenstown
Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Bob’s Cove and Mt. Earnslaw as you cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu to Mt. Nicholas High Country Farm. During an exclusive, behind-the-scenes visit to this authentic family-run merino sheep farm, you will follow the journey of merino wool from mustering sheep through the creation of modern wool garments. Enjoy a freshly prepared farmer’s lunch before sailing back to Queenstown. Later this afternoon, it’s your choice! You may go bird watching at the Kiwi Birdlife Park -OR- take a gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for stunning panoramic views of the region. Gather for a farewell dinner overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains. (B,L,D)

Day 18 Queenstown - Tour Ends
Your tour comes to a close today, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful adventure. (B)
All This Included
See what life is like “Down Under” on this incredible journey along the coast of Australia and through New Zealand's North and South Islands. 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 during lunch at a family-run merino sheep farm and experience Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. From the tropical splendor of Australia's Great Barrier Reef to the ethereal beauty of New Zealand's glacial fjords, enjoy the best of the South Pacific.
  • 26 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
Highlights
  • Come to know Australia’s people at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center.
  • Get up close and personal with koalas and native crocodiles at Hartley’s Croc Farm.
  • Take a guided tour of the fascinating Sydney Opera House.
Accommodations
Cairns: Flynn Crystalbrook Collection Hotel 
Sydney: Novotel Sydney Darling Square 
Auckland: Rydges Hotel 
Rotorua: Millennium Hotel 
Christchurch: Pavilions Hotel 
Twizel: Mackenzie Country Hotel 
Queenstown: Millennium Hotel 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Pre Night Hotel:
  • Flynn Crystalbrook Collection Hotel
Post Tour Extension:
  • 3 Night Fiji Extension ( Land Only )
Post Night Hotel:
  • 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.