Tue, Feb 28: Board overnight flight to Cairns, Australia.
Wed, Mar 1: Cross the International Date Line.
Thu, Mar 2: Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Arrive in Cairns and check into the Novotel Oasis Cairns for a three-night stay.
Fri, Mar 3: Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Spend a full day on the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, scuba dive or see the reef from a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat. Lunch is served on a catamaran. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)
Sat, Mar 4: Kuranda, Queensland. Travel on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway through the ancient rainforest to Kuranda, the famous “Village in the Rainforest.” Board the Skyrail for a 90-minute ride as it spans an ancient tropical rainforest. At the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park enjoy the Aboriginal culture performances. (B,L)
Sun, Mar 5: Uluru, Northern Territory. Depart by air for Uluru (Ayers Rock) and transfer to the Emu Walk Apartments at Ayers Rock Resort for two nights. In the afternoon, travel through the desert to The Olgas (“Kata Tjuta”), 36 massive red rock domes. Enjoy a guided walk before traveling to Uluru to witness the striking color changes as the sun sets. (B)
Mon, Mar 6: Uluru. Rise early to watch as the gradual rising sun changes the colors of Uluru. Return to the resort for breakfast, then travel back to Uluru to tour the rock’s base. View Aboriginal rock paintings, and learn about flora, fauna and Aboriginal history. Stop at the Cultural Centre before returning to the resort. Enjoy amenities at the resort and spend the rest of your day at leisure. In the evening, experience a second sunset over Uluru as you enjoy a “Sounds of Silence” dinner in the desert. Feast on authentic Australian delicacies complimented by Australian wines. A stargazer guide takes you on a tour of the spectacular nighttime sky. (B,D)
Tue, Mar 7: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Catch your flight to Sydney and . Check into the centrally located Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney for three nights. (B,D)
Wed, Mar 8: Sydney. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sydney, Watson’s Bay and Bondi Beach. A cruise provides stunning harbor views. See the Sydney Opera House on a private guided tour. Evening at leisure. (B,L)
Thu, Mar 9: Sydney. Drive to Featherdale Wildlife Park, one of the largest collections of Australian animals in the world. Observe koalas, wombats, kookaburras, parrots and kangaroos. Hand feed kangaroos, wallabies and emus. (B)
Fri, Mar 10: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Depart by air for Melbourne. Upon arrival transfer to your four-star hotel, the Clarion Suites Gateway, for two nights. (B)
Sat, Mar 11: Melbourne. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Melbourne with a stop at Cook’s Cottage. Dinner is on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant with a sightseeing tour and a five-course meal. (B,D)
Sun, Mar 12: Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand. Fly to Queenstown, New Zealand and check into the Scenic Suites Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B,D)
Mon, Mar 13: Queenstown. In the morning, enjoy a highlights tour. Start with a ride on the Skyline Gondola and travel to the top to Bob’s Peak for breathtaking views. Then drive through the wine-growing region around the Kawarau River and visit the Bungy Jump at the Kawarau Bridge and the historic former gold-mining town of Arrowtown. Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure or choose an optional excursion: tour by 4WD vehicles to visit the historic Chinese Settlers Village and the film location for the Ford of Bruinen in the Lord of the Rings movies. Travel to the former gold-mining settlement of Macetown and try panning for gold. Or choose an optional whitewater jet boat ride on the Shotover River. Early in the evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. The captain will provide commentary as you sail. Upon arrival at Walter Peak High Country Farm, walk through the beautiful gardens to enjoy a buffet dinner and wine at the Colonel’s Homestead. Watch a brief farm show with sheep and sheepdogs or just relax in the bar before returning to Queenstown late evening. (B,D).
Tue, Mar 14: Milford Sound cruise. Transfer to Milford Sound via the Fiordland National Park, with stops en route. The scenic cruise on Milford Sound journeys the full length of the sound out to the Tasman Sea, with stops at various points and offering excellent viewing of dramatic waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. A buffet lunch is included on board. Return to Queenstown. (B,L)
Wed, Mar 15: Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand. Fly to New Zealand’s North Island and arrive in Rotorua, the center of an extensive thermal region, with geysers, bubbling mud pools and steaming, sulphurous lakes. Take a brief highlights tour on the way to your hotel, the Millennium Rotorua Hotel. Drive along the Rotorua lakefront, through the city center and the beautiful Government Gardens. Visit
Thu, Mar 16: Waitomo Caves & Auckland. Visit Waitomo Caves, an impressive underground series of caves. Take a boat trip through the spectacular Glowworm Grotto. The roof sparkles with the lights of glowworm larvae that reflect off the water. Lunch is a New Zealand-style barbecue at Roselands Farm and Garden Restaurant. Drive to Auckland, the world’s biggest Polynesian city, with 190 different ethnicities. The city has a lively arts and culture scene, a wide range of food and craft markets, vineyards and outstanding restaurants. Spend two nights in Auckland at the Skycity Hotel. (B,L)
Fri, Mar 17: Auckland. In the morning discover Auckland on a sightseeing tour. Visit the Sky Tower for extensive views of the city and surroundings. The tower is the tallest manmade structure in New Zealand and offers incredible views in every direction. Drive along the waterfront of Tamaki Drive to Orakel and Mission Bay and the inner city suburb of Parnell and the gardens of the Auckland Domain. Explore the Auckland War Memorial Museum on a guided tour. Transfer to the Viaduct Harbor for a harbor cruise on a Pride of Auckland sailing yacht. The coffee cruise sails under the Auckland Harbour Bridge and around the beautiful harbor. You’ll have an opportunity to try your hand at steering and trimming the sails, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the views of the harbor and city. Return to the hotel with the balance of the afternoon on your own. A Farewell Dinner is at the Harbourside Restaurant on the Auckland Waterfront. Return to the hotel for your final night in New Zealand.
Sat, Mar 18: The day is at your leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport to catch your flight. Return home the same day.
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns, Australia
Beautiful tropical surroundings make this a true resort-style treat. This multi-award-winning resort is located near the popular Cairns Esplanade. Highlights: contemporary guestrooms with private terraces or balconies • restaurant • bar • 24-hour room service • complimentary Wi-Fi access in lobby and public areas • fitness center • large lagoon-style pool with sandy beach and swim-up bar • day spa
Emu Walk Apartments at Ayers Rock Resort, Ayers Rock, Australia
Located near Uluru, Emu Walk Apartments offer spacious, contemporary, self-contained apartments decorated with stunning, indigenous design elements. Highlights: fully-equipped kitchen with microwave, stove to, refrigerator, dining, living and bedroom areas • complimentary Wi-Fi access • room service * pool • free guest activities program • access to Ayers Rock Resort’s restaurants, art galleries and swimming pools.
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Breathtaking heritage elements merge with contemporary features. This boutique-style hotel features large windows and high ceilings for a spacious atmosphere. Walk to major city attractions such as Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Royal Botanical Gardens Highlights: spacious, contemporary guestrooms • bathrobes provided during stay • in-room coffee and tea maker • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • two restaurants • bar • 24-hour room service • fitness center • steam room • indoor pool • spa.
Clarion Suites Gateway, Melbourne, Australia
Located next to mystical Lake Rotorua and just a brief stroll from the city center this modern hotel has a striking contemporary style. Highlights: stylish guestrooms • kitchenette • Wi-Fi and broadband Internet access (fees apply) • restaurant • café • 24-hour room service • heated indoor pool.
Scenic Suites Queenstown, New Zealand.
Take in the picturesque beauty of Queenstown from this luxurious hotel located blocks from Lake Wakatipu’s shore. Highlights: comfortable guestrooms with balconies or patios • in-room coffee and tea makers • restaurant • bar • 24-hour room service • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • spa.
Millennium Rotorua Hotel, Rotorua, New Zealand
Located next to mystical Lake Rotorua and just a brief stroll from the city center this modern hotel has a striking contemporary style. Highlights: • well-appointed, spacious guestrooms with A/C • in-room coffee/tea makers • high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi access (fees apply) • two restaurants • bar/lounge • 24-hour room service • fitness center • heated indoor pool • children’s and toddlers’ pools • spa • sauna.
SKYCITY Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand
Located next to the iconic Sky Tower (where you can view Auckland’s skyline) and SKYCITY Casino, this modern hotel . Highlights: modern, spacious guestrooms featuring designer bathrooms with luxurious amenities • in-room minibar and refrigerator • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • 16 restaurants located within the complex • seven bars • 24-hour room service • fitness center • spa • SkyWalk and SkyJump off the Sky Tower.