15 days
from $5,899

GROUP SIZE   ?

16 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL   ?

3

Australia, New Zealand: Cairns to Wellington

Explore the wonders of the lands down under


Uncover the people and places that make the South Pacific unique. Dive into the natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef, sip wine with locals in New Zealand and kayak through the lesser traveled Abel Tasman National Park.

 

 

Tour Highlights

  • Discover the Great Barrier Reef via catamaran

  • Kayak the Abel Tasman National Park

  • Traverse the Daintree Rainforest

Trip code: 15AUSNZ

Activity Level:
3

Unscripted experiences, insider access and authentic local flavors


Our team of travel specialists and local contacts have curated some of the best, most exclusive and authentic experiences, restaurants and accommodations in Australia, New Zealand to truly immerse yourself in a way that wouldn't be possible in larger groups or just on your own.

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Explore Australia & New Zealand

15 days

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Details

  • Countries Visited: Australia, New Zealand
  • Accommodation: Hotel (14 nights)
  • Single Supplement: Starting at $1,600
  • Transportation: Private Air-conditioned Vehicle, Domestic Flights, Catamaran
  • Airport Transfers: Group Arrival and Departure transfers included
  • Meals: 14 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • Passengers: Maximum 16, Average 12

Day-by-day itinerary from Cairns to Wellington

Day 1: Cairns
Welcome to Australia! Arrive today in Queensland, where the rainforest meets the sea. Gather this evening with your Local Leader and fellow travelers for a welcome meeting and tasting of Australian specialties at a local favorite restaurant. (d)

  • Our hotel in Cairns: The Abbott Boutique Hotel

Day 2: Cairns > Cape Tribulation > Cairns
We head deep into the rainforest today, visiting Cape Tribulation, located within the vast Daintree National Park. Here, we embark on a nature walk with a naturalist Insider Expert to discover the flora and fauna of the region. Keep your eye out for the Australian pelican, the “cassowary” and a multitude of tree frogs. Then, we search for local crocodiles and birds on a Daintree river cruise. Return to Cairns this afternoon and spend the evening as you wish. (b, l)

  • Our hotel in Cairns: The Abbott Boutique Hotel

Day 3: Cairns > Great Barrier Reef > Cairns
A natural wonder awaits us today. Our Great Barrier Reef adventure takes us to a lesser-known area, off the beaten path. The Frankland Islands Reef allows only 100 guests per day and is heavily protected from overtourism. Led by a local marine biologist Insider Expert, you can snorkel, dive,* or cruise on the glass-bottom boat to explore this underwater wonderland teeming with colorful fish, vibrant reefs and sea plants. We enjoy lunch and time to relax on the island before returning in late afternoon. (b, l)

  • Our hotel in Cairns: The Abbott Boutique Hotel

Day 4: Cairns > Sydney
A flight takes us to the bustling city of Sydney this morning. Upon arrival, the day is yours to delve into everything that Sydney has to offer. Explore the glittering harbor, city skyline and stunning gardens. (b)

  • Our hotel in Sydney: Rydges Central

Day 5: Sydney
After a historic walking tour of Sydney, we head to Bondi Beach to explore the white-sand beaches, boutique shops and scenic walkways. Tonight, gain a new perspective of Sydney Harbour during an evening Harbour cruise. (b, d)

  • Our hotel in Sydney: Rydges Central

Day 6: Sydney
Today is unscripted. Perhaps climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to view the city from a different vantage point, wander through the spectacular Royal Botanic Gardens or visit the world-famous Opera Bar overlooking Circular Quay. (b)

  • Our hotel in Sydney: Rydges Central

Day 7: Sydney > Queenstown
Today we leave Australia behind and cross the Tasman Sea to arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand. As the Kiwis say, Kia Ora! Surrounded by the aptly named Remarkable Mountains, Queenstown is the undisputed adventure hub of New Zealand. Spend the evening exploring the energetic city center with its unique bars and restaurants. (b)

  • Our hotel in Queenstown: Heritage

Day 8: Queenstown
Today is yours to create your adventure. Queenstown is the home to bungee jumping, so you may opt for that; or, discover the Shotover River by jet boat or whitewater raft. Keen to relax? This region has incredible wine tastings, spa possibilities or scenic walks. Your Local Leader will help guide your way. (b)

  • Our hotel in Queenstown: Heritage

Day 9: Queenstown > Milford Sound > Queenstown
A full-day excursion to Fjordland National Park awaits us today. The scenery along the way will astound you. After arriving, we cruise out on Milford Sound, coming up close with the fur seals basking on rocks and cascading waterfalls along the stunning fjords. We’re likely to see some local dolphins or an occasional penguin. Return to Queenstown by land or by plane.* (b, l)

  • Our hotel in Queenstown: Heritage

Day 10: Queenstown > Mt Cook > Christchurch
We head north today, stopping at the famous Aoraki, also known as “Mt Cook”. Take in the stunning views of the skyscraping, snow-covered peaks of the highest mountain in all of New Zealand. Legend says, Aoraki and his three brothers were the sons of Rakinui, the Sky Father. While on a sea voyage, their canoe overturned on a reef. When the brothers climbed on top of their canoe, the freezing south wind turned them to stone. The canoe became the South Island, and Aoraki and his brothers became the peaks of the Southern Alps. We get local this afternoon when we visit a family farm for lunch. We arrive this evening in the city of Christchurch. (b, l)

  • Our hotel in Christchurch: Rydges

Day 11: Christchurch > Hanmer Springs
Enjoy an unscripted morning! This afternoon we head north to Hanmer Springs to enjoy thermal pools, hot springs and natural mineral waters, known to have healing properties. The surrounding forest offers excellent hiking options. We spend an evening at leisure here. (b)

  • Our hotel in Hanmer Springs: Heritage

Day 12: Hanmer Springs > Kaikoura > Nelson
A short drive brings us to Kaikoura, a stunning seaside town teeming with sea life. Explore the waters by kayak or take part in a whale watching cruise. Our adventure then continues north along the coast and into the Marlborough wine region, where sauvignon blancs are prevalent. We enjoy a tour and tasting at a local vineyard. (b)

  • Our hotel in Nelson: Grand Mercure

Day 13: Nelson > Abel Tasman National Park > Nelson
Head to spectacular Abel Tasman National Park this morning, one of the best kept secrets in all of New Zealand. Explore the golden sands and native forest as we journey by kayak in the crystal waters, followed by a picnic lunch and nature walk. Return to Nelson in the late afternoon for an evening at leisure to explore the town. (b, l, d)

  • Our hotel in Nelson: Grand Mercure

Day 14: Nelson > Picton > Wellington
Our adventure brings us to the Cook Strait, where we journey by ferry from the South Island across to the North Island — arriving in Wellington, the capitol city of New Zealand. Upon arrival, we toast our adventures with a discovery of New Zealand’s craft beers while on a walking exploration, followed by dinner. (b, d)

  • Our hotel in Wellington: Wellesley Boutique Hotel

Day 15: Wellington
Our adventure ends today. (b)

*Please note, diving at the Great Barrier Reef and flightseeing from Milford Sound requires an additional cost and waiver.

Things to know before traveling to Australia, New Zealand

CURRENCY:
The Australian Dollar (A$) is the currency of Australia.

Credit and debit cards are readily accepted just about everywhere in Australia. Occasionally there may be a minimum spend for both in smaller shops. You can usually withdraw money from shops where EFTPOS is available. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are common across Australia. ATM's may be limited in remote areas and your leader will advise you when to withdraw extra cash.

The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar (NZD).

CUISINE IN AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND:
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your Local Leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Australia eats multi-culturally. Everything from meat pies to ramen, laksa, pho, rice and pasta are part of the national diet.

Australia & New Zealand is renowned for its fresh air and clean waters. Fresh food, including dairy (amazing cheese and milk), produce, seafood and meat - especially lamb. From high end restaurants and gastro pubs and cafe's to local restaurants and suburban dairies there is plenty of choice for all budgets.

Vegetarians and Vegans are well catered for in Australia & New Zealand and most restaurants and cafes will have a good selection of vegetarian meals. Gluten and Lactose free diets are also well catered for.

Tap water is safe and delicious in cities and towns. Further out of town its best to check with your guide if in doubt. Please bring a reusable bottle and drink tap water where you can. You'll use less plastic, saving both the environment and money.

Australia & New Zealand has strict laws regarding arriving with fruit and veg into the country. Please pay attention to signs when arriving internationally.

NEW ZEALAND WEATHER:
The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months. July is the coldest month of the year. NZ can experience four seasons in a day, best to be prepared.

Christchurch:
Summer
Average High: 72 F
Average Low: 54 F

Autumn
Average High: 64 F
Average Low: 46 F

Spring
Average High: 63 F
Average Low: 45 F

AUSTRALIA WEATHER:

Sydney:
Summer (December – February)
Average temperatures range from 65.5 - 78.4°F. Its pretty humid

Autumn (March – May)
The mildest time of year when the humidity drops and average temperatures fall between 58 - 72°F.

Winter (June – August)
Sydney’s coolest months are June to August when average temperatures drop between 48 - 63°F. Rainfall is generally highest in June. July is the coolest month.

Spring (September – November)
In spring, days are warmer but the humidity is not as high as summer. Averages range from 51.8 - 73.4°F.

VISAS:
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarize yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

TRAVEL INSURANCE:
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ask your travel agent or Club Adventures team member for insurance options at time of booking.

Add-ons available before and after your trip to see the most of Australia, New Zealand

Pre-Night Add-ons

Pre-night accommodation is on request only for this product. Please ask a Club Adventures representative for more details.


Post-Night Add-ons

Post-night accommodation is on request only for this product. Please ask a Club Adventures representative for more details.


Optional Tours

We’ve already included everything you need to see! While there are no optional tours on this tour, your Local Leader can always point you in the right direction for you to write your own adventure.

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