Australia & New Zealand

Rocks, Reefs, & a Fjord Cruise

  • Date

    January 22-February 10, 2024 | Mon / Sat – 20 Days 

  • Location

    Melbourne | Phillip Island | Sydney | Ayers Rock | Cairns | Kuranda | Great Barrier Reef | Queenstown | Arrowtown | Wellington | Rotorua | Auckland


Set your sights on an incredible journey to Australia and New Zealand! Dive or snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself at Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Australian Outback as you experience the stillness and beauty of the desert lands. Tour the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Queenstown, and Auckland. Discover Aboriginal Australia and Maori New Zealand with visits to cultural parks, and cruise Milford Sound, Lake Wakatipu and Auckland Harbor.


  • Tours of Melbourne, Sydney, Queenstown, Wellington, and Auckland
  • Visit the fairy penguin colony on Phillip Island
  • Cruise Sydney Harbour and tour the Sydney Opera House
  • Three nights at Ayers Rock with sunset and sunrise viewings
  • Stargazing at the Field of Light Dinner
  • Anangu Dot Painting experience
  • Great Barrier Reef cruise with opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive
  • Ride the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Tour and dinner on a sheep farm
  • Northern Explorer Train
  • Rotorua Maori performance
  • Waitomo Caves and Glowworm Grotto
  • Auckland Harbour cruise


  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Melbourne, Australia and from Auckland, New Zealand
  • Internal flights per itinerary
  • Escorted
  • 17 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling


A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.

This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.

Mon, Jan 22: Board overnight flight to Melbourne, Australia.

Tue, Jan 23: Cross the International Date Line.

Wed, Jan 24: Arrive in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia—known as Australia’s cultural capital. It has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature. Enjoy a city sightseeing tour, discovering Melbourne’s past and present. Stop at Cooks’ Cottage, the North Yorkshire home of the world-famous British explorer, Captain James Cook’s, parents. It was built in 1755, and was moved, brick by brick, from England to Melbourne in 1934. Transfer to the Savoy HotelMelbourne for two nights. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city. (Meals: Lunch)

Thu, Jan 25: Today spend a relaxing morning acclimating to the time zone before heading out for a trip to Phillip Island, home of the largest colony of fairy penguins in the world. View koalas, seals, native birds, and pelicans in their native habitat. This evening, enjoy up-close viewing of the little penguins as they waddle along the most popular pathway at the Penguin Parade. (B,D)

Fri, Jan 26: Fly to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and see the Sydney Opera House on a private guided tour. You will be taken behind the scenes to experience the magic behind the extraordinary opera, ballet, symphony, and dramatic performances. Check in to the Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney for a three-night stay. And today is Australia Day! Get ready to celebrate with festivities and fireworks over the city. (B)

Sat, Jan 27: This morning, begin with a welcoming sightseeing tour of Sydney including stops for panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean at Watson’s Bay. Arrive at famous Bondi Beach before visiting Paddington to view its restored 19th-century Colonial Terraces. Afterward, proceed to Circular Quay for a lunch cruise through the Sydney Harbor. Enjoy stunning harbor views, interesting commentary on the diverse marine life, and a delicious buffet lunch. (B,L)

Sun, Jan 28: Today is yours to explore! Wonder through the historic laneways of The Rocks neighborhood, visit the Olympic Park, or relax on one of Sydney’s famous beaches. Or join the group on one of two optional excursions*: spend the day travelling into the beautiful Blue Mountains with stops to take in the stunning vistas, visit a working farm with kangaroos, wombats, and koalas, and experience the view of Govetts Leap and the magnificent waterfall. Or, summit the Sydney Harbour Bridge on this once-in-a-lifetime guided journey. (B)

Mon, Jan 29: Depart by air for Uluru (Ayers Rock). Transfer to the Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort’s premium hotel and check in for three nights. Meet a local Anangu artist and an interpreter to learn how their ancient symbols, stories, and culture are shared through artwork. Practice some introductory Pitjantjatjara words (language spoken by Anangu). Then put your knowledge to work at a fun introduction to the unique desert art form of dot painting. Tell your own story on canvas; a creation you get to take with you! Later, travel through the desert enjoy the award winning, A Night at Field of Light experience. With Uluru as your backdrop enjoy canapes while viewing an unforgettable sunset. As darkness falls, the colored lights of 50,000 glass spheres gently sparkle to life. 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, Jan 30: Rise early to watch as the gradual rising sun changes the colors of Uluru. The 2,800-foot rock seems to change continually as the light moves across it. Return to the resort for breakfast and an afternoon at leisure. Late this afternoon, travel through the desert to The Olgas (Kata Tjuta) — 36 massive red rock domes. Enjoy a glass of wine while viewing the Uluru sunset. (B)

Wed, Jan 31: Fly to Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy lunch upon arrival. Check in to the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort for a three-night stay, located close to shops, dining, and a wharf overlooking the Coral Sea. (B)

Thu, Feb 1: Travel in comfort on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway as it meanders through the ancient rainforest and on to Kuranda, the famous “Village in the Rainforest.” Learn about the history of this engineering triumph while taking in the breathtaking scenery. In Kuranda you’ll have time to explore the village and browse through the markets. Board the Skyrail for a 90-minute ride as it spans an ancient tropical rainforest. At the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, immerse yourself in the Aboriginal culture performances with authentic music, dance, storytelling, and interactive activities such as boomerang demonstrations. (B) 

Fri, Feb 2: Spend a full day on the Great Barrier Reef. Take a fast, stable catamaran to a stunning coral reef location. Access the reef from an all-weather activity platform. Lunch is served, and changing rooms and showers are available. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, scuba dive, or see the reef from a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat. (B,L,D) 

Sat, Feb 3: This morning, fly to Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand. Check in to the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside on the shores of Lake Wakatipu for the next three nights. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)

Sun, Feb 4: In the morning, choose an optional excursion*. Travel 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 or take an exhilarating whitewater jet boat ride on the Shotover River! This afternoon, enjoy a highlights tour of Queenstown. Then drive through the wine-growing region around the Kawarau River and watch the Bungy Jump at the Kawarau Bridge. Visit historic Arrowtown, once a spot for gold-mining. This evening, gather back as a group for an included 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 and enjoy a buffet dinner with wine at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant. Watch a sheepdog demonstration or just relax in the bar before returning to Queenstown for the night. (B,D)

Mon, Feb 5: 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. Lunch is included on board. Take the scenic drive back to Queenstown after a mesmerizing day! (B,L,D)

Tue, Feb 6: This morning, fly to Wellington, the capital city, located on the North Island. A sightseeing tour of the city will take you past the iconic bee-hive shaped Parliament building and to the top of Mount Victoria, which offers panoramic views of the city, the Cook Strait, and even the South Island on a clear day. End your tour with a ride of the Wellington Cable Car to the beautiful Botanical Gardens. A guided walk through the gardens will familiarize you with the unique native flora. Check into the Rydges Wellington and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B)

Wed, Feb 7: This morning, travel in style on the Northern Explorer Train, one of the Great Journeys of New Zealand. This trip will take you through the heart of the North Island, with views of the Kapiti Coast, the famous Raurimu Spiral and into the volcanic landscape of National Park. Each train carriage boasts panoramic windows to take in the views. Continue on to Rotorua, the center of an extensive thermal region, with geysers, bubbling mud pools, and steaming, sulphurous lakes. Check into the Novotel Rotorua Lakeside for two nights. (B) 

Thu, Feb 8: Start the day with a brief highlights tour of Rotorua. Drive along the Rotorua lakefront, through the city center and the beautiful Government Gardens. End the tour at the Waimangu Volcanic Valley Walk, which showcases a wide range of geothermal activity along with plants and birdlife in one of the newest eco-systems in the world. Later in the afternoon transfer to Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, and the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. Your Maori guide will escort you to the Maori Pa village site and the institute, where young Maoris are taught the intricacies of traditional carving. Visit the geothermal reserve and view the boiling mud pools and geysers. The evening is filled with a traditional Powhir (welcome) and Wero (challenge). Enjoy a performance of Maori songs and dances followed by an authentic Maori hangi (buffet dinner) with food prepared in a stone-lined fire pit. (B,D) 

Fri, Feb 9: Visit the National Kiwi Hatchery to view the country’s national icon, the flightless kiwi bird. Take a tour of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, an impressive underground series of caves that includes the Cathedral and the Tomo, a deep limestone shaft. Then 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 country style buffet at Crosshills Farm. 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. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner before checking in to the centrally located Cordis Auckland. (B,L,D)  

Sat, Feb 10: 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 Orakei and Mission Bay, and the inner city suburb of Parnell and the gardens of the Auckland Domain. Transfer to the Viaduct Harbor for a harbor cruise on the 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. This afternoon, transfer to the airport in Auckland for your flight home. Return the same day. (B)

*Additional cost applies for optional excursions not included in package price.

The Savoy Hotel Melbourne, Melbourne. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district and recognised as one of Melbourne’s finest 4 star boutique-style hotels.  Built in 1928 and lovingly restored in every detail, the property offers modern facilities housed in a beautiful art deco style.  Highlights: in-room coffee and tea maker • complimentary in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • spa • fitness center.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Sydney. An intimate boutique style hotel within a beautifully restored heritage listed building located in the heart of the city. The spectacular sights of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the tranquil Royal Botanical Gardens and some of the best shopping spots are only a short stroll away. Highlights: in-room coffee and tea maker • complimentary in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • spa • pool • fitness center.

Sails in the Desert Hotel, Ayers Rock. Ayers Rock Resort’s premium hotel. Named after the soaring white sails that crown its roof, and features decor focused on Aboriginal heritage and culture. The property also features an expansive gumtree lined swimming pool and a range of dining options. Highlights: in-room coffee and tea maker • complimentary in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • pool • fitness center • free guided walks.

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Cairns. An Oasis within the city, this property is set on 2.5 hectares of tropical gardens surrounding a freeform pool with swim up bar. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • spa • fitness center.

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, Queenstown. This hotel provides one of the most sought after locations for Queenstown hotels. The hotel’s elevated position gives fantastic views of the Southern Alps and over Lake Wakatipu. Highlights: in-room coffee and tea maker, microwave and refrigerator • complimentary in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • spa.

Rydges Hotel, Wellington. Overlooking the harbour, this centrally located hotel is upscale and close to shops and restaurants. Highlights: in-room coffee and tea maker, microwave and refrigerator • complimentary in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • pool • fitness center.

Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, Rotorua. Centrally located in the city beside beautiful Lake Rotorua, this property is one of the most conveniently located and best appointed featuring a geothermal spa and hot pools. Highlights: in-room coffee and tea maker, and refrigerator • complimentary in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • spa • pool • fitness center.

The Cordis, Auckland. Distinguished among Auckland hotels, this five-star property is a haven of tranquillity in the heart of the vibrant city. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • complimentary in-room Internet access • restaurant • bar • spa • fitness center.


  • Package with Air
  • Double P/P – $12,299
  • Single – $14,799

*Subject to change due to increase in exchange rate or fuel surcharge

Documents Required: Valid Passport & Visas; visit for specific requirements.