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Grand Australia & New Zealand 2020

20 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive Melbourne
Tour begins: 5:30 PM, The Langham Melbourne. A transfer is included from Melbourne Airport to The Langham Melbourne; you'll enjoy a river-view room. Your tour kicks off with a welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel. (D)

Day 2 Discover Melbourne's Charm
You'll see a lot of Melbourne on a sightseeing tour of the city, including a guided walking tour to discover the real city (and its amazing coffee) along its distinctive laneways, with an optional drop off at the Royal Botanic Gardens. The rest of the day and evening are yours to spend as you please in Melbourne; enjoy lunch and dinner as you please. (B)

Day 3 On to Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Take a morning private charter flight to the heart of Australia's desert Outback, arriving at Ayers Rock (Uluru) for lunch and an overnight stay at Sails in the Desert in the country's "Red Centre". In the evening, the light of the setting sun bathes the mystical rock with a palette of ever-changing color... and you'll enjoy the natural "show" with canapés and champagne over looking the monolith. (B, L)

Day 4 Explore the mysteries of Uluru, then fly to Queensland
Aboriginal traditions define life in the Outback, especially at Uluru (Ayers Rock); learn about the "dreamtime" legends associated with this massive monolith on a guided tour this morning. Fly via private charter to Cairns in Queensland, gateway to the amazing Great Barrier Reef. Head to the mountain village of Kuranda, where you'll board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, taking you over and through the rainforest canopy. Continue on to Silky Oaks Lodge, your luxury eco lodge on the Mossman River adjacent to Daintree National Park, to begin a three-night rainforest resort stay. (B, D)

Day 5 Cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only living structure on Earth visible from the moon. Cruise to the Agincourt Reef today, at the edge of Australia's Continental Shelf, for a day of swimming, snorkeling and underwater discoveries. Dinner is back at your rainforest lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Optional balloon ride and a day at leisure
Early risers may choose to soar over the Atherton Tablelands on an optional hot air balloon ride* at dawn (an additional charge per person; see pricing details). The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish at your rainforest resort and spa, or explore the area as you please. Enjoy a special themed dinner tonight at the lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Crocodile adventures and on to Sydney
Learn all about crocodiles at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, where a tour and feeding presentation precede an exclusive boat cruise on the lagoon. After lunch, fly to Sydney via private charter for a three-night stay at a fabulous hotel in the city's heart. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Sydney Harbour cruise & a "Foodie Tour"
A private cruise on Sydney Harbour - complete with morning tea - is a fabulous way to introduce yourself to this extraordinary city, taking a good look at some of its landmark sites from the water. Accompanied by an informative, knowledgeable local guide, taste your way through some very cool culinary nooks and crannies on a Sydney "Foodie Tour" focusing on cultures that have emigrated to Sydney over the past decades, presenting their history through food. Check out (and sample) a variety of local eateries including an Italian deli, gelato shop, fish market, a 150-year-old pub (with a craft beer tasting), and a post-WWII pie-cart-turned-café. Sydney sightseeing continues as you view The Rocks, Kings Cross and other highlights on a city tour; spend the rest of the day exploring as you please. Dinner this evening will be a "dine-around" from your choice of several select local restaurants. (B, D)

Day 9 Sydney Opera House & the city at leisure
One of Australia's most famous iconic sights takes center stage today when you visit the amazing Sydney Opera House on a personally guided tour. Afterwards, return to your hotel; the remainder of the day and evening are yours to spend as you wish in remarkable Sydney. (B)

Day 10 G'day to Australia, hello to New Zealand
Bid Australia a fond farewell this morning and board a flight across the Tasman Sea, bound for New Zealand! First stop is Wellington, New Zealand's intimate waterfront capital with an impressive artistic and cultural edge. Accommodations for the next two nights are at the InterContinental Wellington; enjoy a 3-course dinner at the hotel this evening. (B, D)

Day 11 Wonders of Wellington
Discover Wellington on a tour that begins city center with a cable car ride up to the city's Botanic Garden to see the award-winning rose garden and great views of the city, harbour, and Parliament Buildings. Next up is Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand's national museum, where you'll have a guided orientation to its five floors focusing on the country's exceptional nature, art, history, the Pacific and Maori culture. Touring its exhibits is like actually experiencing thousands of years of New Zealand's history in person, as motion simulators and interactive exhibits include you in the journey. Spend the rest of the day and evening pursuing what interests you most in Wellington. (B)

Day 12 To Blenheim & the Marlborough Sounds
Tauck puts a charter plane at your service today for a flight to Blenheim on New Zealand's South Island, and a two-night stay in the heart of the Marlborough wine country. Upon arrival, head off on a visit to the Marlborough Sounds. Besides producing great wine, this region is one of the most beautiful and picturesque areas in the country, and boasts delectable freshly caught seafood, including green-lipped mussels; sample them, along with local wines, on a luncheon cruise that celebrates New Zealand's bounty. Following your cruise, drive to your home for the next two nights, the 5-star Chateau Marlborough in Blenheim, where you'll enjoy dinner at your leisure this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Farm life, a winery lunch & "Dinner with the Warbirds"
A memorable day in the Blenheim area begins with a visit to a working private farm for a sheep shearing demonstration and sheep dog experience; morning tea at the homestead with the farmer and his family; and a walk through their extensive gardens. Continue on to Brancott Winery for a wine tasting and three-course lunch with matching wines at the Brancott Heritage Centre, followed by a stop for a chocolate tasting en route to the hotel for some free time. Join us this evening for a Tauck Exclusive event: a visit to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre - which displays an incredible collection of World War I and II aircraft and memorabilia owned by film director Sir Peter Jackson - for "Dinner with the Warbirds," featuring a tour of the museum's "Knights of the Sky" and "Dangerous Skies" exhibitions, and a three-course dinner showcasing seasonal Marlborough produce and a selection of quality Marlborough wines. (B, L, D)

Day 14 Fly to Te Anau
Today, depart Blenheim and fly off aboard Tauck's charter to Manapouri (Te Anau) in the magnificent Fiordlands region, for two nights at an ideally located hotel. Have lunch at your hotel, nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau, and spend the rest of the day as you wish. (B, L)

Day 15 Fiordland National Park & Milford Sound
Take a dramatic drive through the unparalleled scenery of New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, then set off aboard a private boat (with a naturalist onboard) for a scenic nature luncheon cruise among the sheer cliffs and glacier-hewn inlets of beautiful Milford Sound. Enjoy the rest of the day and evening as you please; dine at your hotel this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 16 To Queenstown and lunch at a winery
Make your way across more beautiful South Island landscapes to Queenstown, where you'll have lunch at the Amisfield Winery, set in an iconic stone building with gorgeous mountain views and known for its Pinot Noir. Your accommodations at the Sofitel Queenstown exude French-inspired sophistication in the heart of the city. (B, L)

Day 17 Adventures by jet boat & 'copter in Queenstown
Even if you're not all that adventurous, today's thrilling high-speed jet boat ride* through the rapids and narrow gorges of Skippers Canyon on the Shotover River - followed by a helicopter ride* - will both be memorable highlights of Tauck's tours to Australia and New Zealand! Head back down the mountain via Skyline gondola to spend the rest of the day and evening as you wish in Queenstown. (B)

Day 18 Charter flight to Auckland & Maori culture
Travel via Tauck's private charter flight from Queenstown to Auckland today for a two-night stay, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy an afternoon visit to the Auckland Museum with a Maori cultural presentation and music concert. Have dinner at your hotel tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 19 A wine tasting & more on Wahiheke Island, and a farewell evening in Auckland
Take a ferry to nearby Waiheke Island, a free-spirited mecca of farmland, forest and beaches - and boutique vineyards. A sightseeing drive around the island takes you to Mudbrick Vineyard for lunch and a wine tasting, before returning to Auckland by return ferry. Join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at your hotel as we share memories of our journey in the "lands down under." (B, L, D)

Day 20 Journey Home
Tour ends: Auckland. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Sofitel Auckland at Viaduct Harbour to Auckland Airport. You should allow three hours for check-in at the airport. (B)
Map
All This Included
A feast for the senses... this is what you'll discover throughout Australia and New Zealand. Witness the red rock monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock) rising out of the desert Outback... bask in the pale glow of Sydney Harbour at sunset and sunrise... revel in the impossibly blue sky above Milford Sound and the green forests blanketing the ground below... go on a "foodie tour" for an Australian cuisine tasting experience, complete with multi-cultural influences... and then there are green-lipped mussels...
  • Tauck's exclusive charter flights in Australia and New Zealand mean more sightseeing and less waiting
  • Tauck Exclusive - Tour and 3-course "Dinner with the Warbirds" at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre featuring World War I and II aircraft owned by Sir Peter Jackson
  • Full-day eco-cruise to the Agincourt Reef - swim and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit World Heritage Rainforest with Skyrail, check out a crocodile farm and experience a special dinner that celebrates the culture of Australia's original people
  • "Foodie Tour" of Sydney
  • Private morning cruise on Sydney Harbour
  • Luncheon cruise on New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds featuring wine and the delicate green-lipped mussels
  • A Maori cultural experience and music concert at the Auckland Museum
  • In Queenstown, a jet boat ride on the Shotover River rapids at Skippers Canyon, and a helicopter ride
  • Farewell cocktail reception and dinner at The Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 42 meals (19 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners); gratuities to local guides, service charges, taxes and porterage
Highlights
  • Exclusive business-class charter flights in Australia and New Zealand
  • Sydney Harbour cruise
  • "Foodie" tour of Sydney
  • Aboriginal cultural presentations
  • Jet Boat ride
  • Eco-cruise to Agincourt Reef of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Maori cultural experience at Auckland Museum
  • Luncheon cruise on New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds featuring wine and the delicate green-lipped mussels
  • "Dinner with the Warbirds" at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Accommodations
Melbourne: The Langham, Melbourne
Uluru: Sails in the Desert
Mossman: Silky Oaks Lodge
Sydney: Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Wellington: InterContinental Wellington
Blenheim: Chateau Marlborough
Te Anau: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Queenstown: Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa
Auckland: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Notes
  • Tour has optional activites which may incur additional costs.
  • The following dates are Small Group Departures, averaging 24 guests: January 16, February 6, 20 & 27, October 1 & 22 and December 10.
  • The total price does not include the Sydney – Wellington trans-Tasman flight on Day 10, which must be purchased with your international air ticket.
  • Hot Air Balloon Option, Day 6 – add $239 per person (ask at booking)
  • Activities marked with an asterisk (*) are at your own risk; a signed liability waiver will be required.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Tauck 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.