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Australia’s Outback to New Zealand’s South Island 2021-2022

21 days with Collette Vacations   Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save 15% to 20% off this trip. Expires December 4. Click here for eligible departures.

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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 – the Great Barrier Reef (UNESCO). 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
Soak up the tropical atmosphere – the morning is yours. Perhaps you will take an optional tour on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, taking you above the rainforest canopy for a bird’s-eye view of unspoiled nature. This afternoon, visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures to see crocodiles on a nature cruise. Head through rainforests on boardwalks to see animals such as wild birds, reptiles, and wallabies. Visit with a koala and chat with a wildlife naturalist to learn more about these furry creatures. (B)

Day 5 Cairns - Great Barrier Reef - Cairns
Board a glass-bottom catamaran and sail to the Low Isles to discover the aquatic realm of the Great Barrier Reef. Spend the day however you please, perhaps choosing from a selection of included activities. Maybe you’ll soak up the sun on a tiny remote island*, located along the outer reef. Or consider snorkeling in the rolling waves, uncovering a pod of vibrant sea life. You can also meet with a marine biologist or join an expert on a heritage trail walk along the island. (B,L)

Day 6 Cairns - Melbourne
Fly to the beautiful Victorian city of Melbourne. Set upon the shores of Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River, the city exudes a lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere. (B,D)

Day 7 Melbourne
Set out on a city tour and see Fitzroy Gardens and Melbourne’s bustling “laneways.” Then, it’s your choice! Enjoy free time to explore on your own -OR- visit the Melbourne Botanical Gardens and Shrine of Remembrance. With an afternoon to yourself, perhaps you will join an optional excursion to Phillip Island, home to the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins, where you’ll see hundreds of these birds waddle out of the sea and cross the beach to their dune burrows. (B)

Day 8 Melbourne
The day is yours. Often referred to as Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne is home to a plethora of captivating art, delicious cuisine, and unique neighborhoods. Perhaps you’ll wander through its vibrant “laneways” – narrow roads home to local restaurants, colorful murals, and trendy boutiques. Or, you may choose to join an optional full day journey through Yarra Valley, Australia’s Wine Country, where you’ll learn about the regional wines at a tasting paired with lunch. (B)

Day 9 Melbourne - Alice Springs
Experience the vast landscapes and tranquility of the Outback. Your flight takes you to Alice Springs, the perfect place to begin exploring this unique land. Tonight, continue your cultural immersion with a memorable bush dinner set against the backdrop of this unique desert environment. (B,D)

Day 10 Alice Springs
Access the history and culture of the Walpiri Aboriginal people during a "Dreamtime Tour.” A specialist guide shares Aboriginal creation stories and explains everyday life. This afternoon, discover a more modern side to Outback-living when you visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a lifeline to thousands across the vast terrain of Central Australia. Later, tour the Old Telegraph Station and Anzac Hill with its excellent views of Alice Springs and the surrounding area. (B)

Day 11 Alice Springs - Uluru
Traverse the “Red Centre” and head to Uluru (the Aboriginal name for Ayers Rock) in the heart of the Australian Outback. This huge monolith and the sandstone domes known as Kata Tjuta were created through upheaval and erosion. Tour the base of "the Rock," learning about its geology and significance to Aboriginal culture. Witness the changing colors of Uluru at sunset accompanied by a champagne toast. (B)

Day 12 Uluru - Sydney
This morning, tour Kata Tjuta before saying farewell to the rugged Outback. Fly to Sydney, an energetic metropolis. Upon arrival in Sydney, enjoy dinner in lively Darling Harbour. (B,D)

Day 13 Sydney
See where English colonists first settled during a city tour of Sydney, featuring Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens, and the fashionable suburb of Darlinghurst. Take an expert-led tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. You’ll have the chance to join a special presentation at the National Opal Collection. In the evening, consider an optional dinner and engaging performance at the famous Opera House. (B)

Day 14 Sydney
Deepen your exploration of Sydney’s many wonders with a day at leisure. Tonight, say your farewell to Australia and take in the scenic vistas during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the magnificent skyline and iconic attractions: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. (B,D)

Day 15 Sydney - Queenstown, New Zealand
Leave Australia behind and fly to Queenstown, New Zealand. One of New Zealand’s most popular towns, Queenstown is nestled against a picturesque bay and snowcapped mountains. Home to ski resorts, hiking trails and an abundance of natural beauty, the city is known as the “Adventure Capital of the World.” Settle into your new home for 3 nights. (B)

Day 16 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown
Soak in the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley as you travel through an ancient beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. Cruise the Milford Sound and see why this fjord is one of the most visited sights on the South Island. Following the cruise, consider returning to Queenstown via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. (B,L)

Day 17 Queenstown
Enjoy a day at leisure. Shop in the bustling village center or enjoy an optional and exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River. You might also consider joining an optional tour of the countryside, showcasing many of the locations where blockbuster movies have been filmed. (B)

Day 18 Queenstown - Mt. Cook National Park
Set off for the 19th-century settlement of Arrowtown, founded in the gold fever. Sample the freshness of the Central Otago region with a stop at a local fruit stand. Follow the Kawarau River and cross Lindis Pass before arriving in New Zealand’s most famous national park – Mt. Cook. Savor some free time in this Alpine paradise. You may choose to take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flightseeing tour (weather permitting) or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps. (B,D)

Day 19 Mt. Cook National Park - Christchurch
Depart for Christchurch this morning and pay a visit to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. A leader in the conservation of New Zealand species, Willowbank offers the chance to view New Zealand’s “Big 5” up close and personal. Later, join a local Kiwi family for a home hosted dinner. (B,D)

Day 20 Christchurch
Devastated by an earthquake in early 2011, see firsthand how the “Garden City” is recreating itself during a sightseeing tour that highlights the city’s magnificent gardens and elegant park district. The remainder of your day is free to continue exploring Christchurch on your own. As the day draws to a close, toast to your adventure down under at a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. (B,D)

Day 21 Christchurch - Tour Ends
Your tour comes to a close, leaving you with unforgettable memories of the South Pacific. (B)
Map
All This Included
Venture through the natural splendor of New Zealand's Southern Alps and the stillness of Australia’s rugged Outback. Delve into the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Take a “Dreamtime tour” in the Outback, introducing you to Aboriginal life and culture. Tour Sydney Opera House with an expert guide. Enjoy a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Meet Australia and New Zealand's famous wildlife up-close. Settle in for a 3-night stay in Queenstown. Cruise Milford Sound. From Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock) to snow-capped peaks and fjords, explore the diverse wonders of the lands Down Under.
  • 28 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
  • Overnight in the majestic Mt. Cook National Park.
  • Take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House – an architectural wonder.
  • Cruise Milford Sound taking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.
Accommodations
Cairns: Flynn Crystalbrook Collection Hotel 
Melbourne: Mantra on Little Bourke 
Alice Springs: Doubletree by Hilton 
Uluru: Desert Gardens 
Sydney: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Queenstown: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside 
Mount Cook: The Hermitage 
Christchurch: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Pre Night Hotel:
  • Flynn Crystalbrook Collection Hotel
Post Tour Extension:
  • 3 Night Fiji Extension ( Land Only )
Post Night Hotel:
  • Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Notes
  • This tour includes moderate physical activity. The itinerary blends some longer days with shorter days and more leisure time. Walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, up stairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected.
  • 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.