AU4 Australia & New Zealand Tour

The Best of Oz & Aotearoa


Flashy, historic Sydney; Ayer's Rock and the Red Centre; Great Barrier Reef cruise; Auckland city tour; Rotorua thermal springs and geysers; Scenic Queenstown; Stunning Doubtful Sound cruise


Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Thu 21 Nov 2019Sat 07 Dec 2019 $6830 USD
Sat 07 Mar 2020Mon 23 Mar 2020 $6830 USD
Sat 21 Nov 2020Mon 07 Dec 2020 $6830 USD

The above prices are subject to an additional $370 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included (any exceptions are listed in red below), but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.

Due to the nature of internal flights which need to be issued far in advance, this tour requires a $1000 per person deposit.

Optional Single Supplement: $1698 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $855 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.

Tour Overview

This is an excellent alternative to our much longer combination of Australia & New Zealand tour, covering the main highlights of both in an efficient, well-paced and affordable package.

Regions visited: Oceania And South Pacific
Countries visited: Australia and New Zealand


(Carol Stream, IL, US)

The highlights were: Uluru and Alice Springs, great tour of Sydney, and I loved Queenstown. All guides were knowledgeable and friendly. Great restaurants chosen. Our tour leader was knowledgeable, friendly, considerate and patient. Hotels were very good. A trip of a lifetime! So very glad I took it!

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Sydney
Today we arrive in Sydney, New South Wales.

Sydney is regarded as one of the world's greatest coastal cities. The odd thing is that when the British explorer Captain James Cook sailed up the east coast of Australia in 1770 he missed the site altogether. He saw the Sydney Heads, of course, but did not guess that a vast harbour lay behind them. So when a British fleet arrived to establish a colony in Australia in 1788 it went first to nearby Botany Bay. Within days, however, Sydney Harbour was discovered and the settlement moved there.

Overnight in Sydney.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Sydney: City Tour
Today we tour Sydney. We include a cruise on Port Jackson, Sydney's harbour, much like Captain Cook once did many years ago. Sydney is regarded as having one of the finest harbours in the world. The odd thing is that when the British explorer Captain James Cook sailed up the east coast of Australia in 1770 he missed it altogether. He saw the Sydney Heads, of course, but did not guess that a vast harbour lay behind them. So when a British fleet arrived to establish a colony in Australia in 1788 it went first to nearby Botany Bay. Within days, however, Sydney Harbour was discovered and the settlement moved there.

We pass the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, various sandy white beaches, and the exclusive homes that line Sydney's harbour on our way to the Pacific gateway. The Harbour Bridge spans one of the most narrow inlets of the harbour and is one of the largest arch bridges in the world. The bridge is affectionately known as "the Coathanger." Our tour also takes us to Bondi Beach, Paddington, Oxford Street, and King's Cross.

Overnight in Sydney.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Sydney: Blue Mountains
This morning we drive by coach westward to the Blue Mountains, named for the blue haze created by the eucalyptus oil in the air above the mountain gum forests. The Blue Mountains National Park includes almost 600,000 acres of sandstone plateau, forested river valleys and deep gorges. We'll visit the Wentworth Falls Reserve for a short walk and spectacular views of the valley, followed by a drive along Cliff Drive to the Echo Point Visitor Information Center where we will see colourful parrots, lorikeets and rosellas, which gather at the center's panaramic windows. There is a nice view here of The Three Sisters formation, in legend members of the Katoomba tribe who were unlucky in love.

Return to Sydney.

Overnight in Sydney.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Sydney - Fly to Uluru (Ayer's Rock)
Today we fly to Uluru (Ayer's Rock), located in the centre of the continent.

Uluru is an incredibly impressive monolith 5 km (3 miles) in length and over 300 m (1,000 feet) high! Uluru is a remnant of ancient mountains which long ago weathered away, leaving the sandstone monolith standing alone in the desert. In 1989 scientists found evidence that Uluru, the Macdonnell Ranges, and a cluster of huge rock domes named Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) were part of a single plateau. Although British explorers trekked through the Red Centre as long ago as 1844, none of them visited Uluru until 1873, when it was named Ayers Rock after a colonial administrator of the day, Sir Henry Ayers.

We visit Uluru for a short walk at the base before travelling to the sunset viewing area.

Overnight near Ayers Rock.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Uluru - Alice Springs
Today we travel over the Macdonnell Ranges to Alice Springs, located at almost the exact geographical centre of Australia. Many Aboriginals work as stockmen on the vast stations in this area, and reminders of their rich heritage are everywhere. Wild camels roam throughout the region, and the dry red earth and deep blue sky create a surreal atmosphere. Neville Shute wrote a famous novel, A Town Like Alice, in 1950. That book and the movie based on it put Alice Springs on the international map for the first time, but it was many more years before it began attracting tourists in telegraph station here after his wife, Alice, and the town which later grew up nearby took the same name.

On arrival in Alice Springs we will visit the panoramic ANZAC Hill and, time permitting, the Old Telegraph Station. "The Alice" began in 1872 as an overland telegraph station linking the north and south. Today it combines the vigour of the frontier-like environment with the convenience of modern facilities.

This evening we enjoy a typical outback meal at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Alice Springs.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Alice Springs Sightseeing - Fly to Cairns
Our half day tour of Alice Springs starts at the must see Alice Springs Desert Park. In the space of just a couple hours, you can discover many of the secrets of the Central Australian deserts. Hundreds of species of plants and animals found across Central Australian deserts can be seen. Our visit involves an easy walking trail through three desert habitats. Witness free-flying birds of prey in the nature theatre, see rare and endangered animals in the spectacular nocturnal house, hear the insights into the interlinking world of plants, animals and people from our local guides and enjoy a cinematic journey through four-and-a-half billion years of desert evolution during the 20 minute cinematic journey of "The Changing Heart".

We also visit Alice Springs School of the Air, which has been bridging education gaps caused by remote locations and providing schooling to children at cattle stations, roadhouses, Aboriginal communities, and national parks with daily lessons via satellite broadband to children aged 4 to 13 years since 1951. The school broadcast area covers 1.3 million square kilometres including most of the Northern Territory, the northern area of South Australia, and eastern area of Western Australia. This afternoon we fly from Alice Springs to Cairns, Queensland (via Brisbane).

Queensland is huge -- at about 1 745 000 sq km (667,000 square miles), the second largest state (Western Australia is the biggest) and more than twice the size of Texas. Taking the Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria into account, it has an enormous coastline over 7500 km (4,590 miles).

Queensland started out as part of New South Wales, used as a penal colony starting in 1824. An influx of free settlers, many who entered illegally, changed its face from prison to agricultural centre. In 1842 it was officially opened to free settlement and, by 1859, the population was large enough to justify its status as a separate colony. The settlers made their way with sheep, cattle, wheat, an abundance of natural resources and cash crops --including bananas, which gave rise to the rather derisive name the rest of Australia sometimes uses for Queensland natives: "Banana benders".

Due to our flight over the dinner hour (we will be fed on the plane), for Nov 2019 we have moved our included dinner to occur tomorrow, which was previously not included.

Overnight in Cairns.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 7 Cairns: Reef Cruise
Today we have a full-day cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch for 2600 kilometres (1,616 mi) and cover an area of approximately 344 400 sq km. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is sometimes referred to as the single largest organism in the world. In reality, it is made up of many millions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a
wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

Generally, the vessels offering reefs trips are large and comfortable with plenty of deck space and interior seating. A buffet lunch is served (included) and a wide range of beverages are available for purchase. Snorkeling equipment is available and included.

Overnight in Cairns.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 Kuranda Classic Experience
Today we enjoy the "Kuranda Classic Experience," whereby we experience wo of the most popular tourist attractions in the Far North Queensland. Glide above the canopy of World Heritage rainforest and learn more about this ancient ecosystem with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Your Skyrail experience should take approximately 1½ hours and includes spending time at the two rainforest mid-stations. Allow 20 minutes for each station, to enjoy Ranger guided boardwalk tours and visit the Rainforest Interpretation Centre, lookouts and historical displays.

We leisurely explore Kuranda, the famous 'village in the rainforest', before returning to Cairns aboard the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway. The famous Kuranda Scenic Railway was built over 120 years ago and winds its way through the tropical mountain ranges between Cairns and Kuranda.

Overnight in Cairns.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Mossman Gorge
Today we travel north to Mossman Gorge and the Mossman Gorge Centre, an indigenous eco-tourism development that serves visitors to the Mossman Gorge World Heritage site, part of Daintree National Park.

Mossman Gorge contains the oldest, continuously surviving rainforest on earth. Just one hectare of the 120,000 hectare forest can contain over 30,000 species of plants and animals. Considered by many to be the evolutionary cradle for much of Australia’s plant and wildlife species, the forest has managed to survive for over 135 million years. While at the park, we will explore a few of the easy trails and enjoy the beauty of this pristine rainforest, towering mountains and the dramatic Gorge.

Once finished, we will return to Cairns and have the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Cairns.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Cairns, Australia - Fly to Auckland, New Zealand
Today we fly to Auckland, New Zealand.

Located in the northern part of New Zealand, the cosmopolitan city of Auckland is the largest metropolitan area in the country. The geographical location of Auckland is such that it lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the southeast, the Manukau Harbour to the southwest, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and northwest. The region is also the site of Auckland Volcanic Field, comprising of around 50 volcanoes. This is perhaps the most vibrant and bustling city in New Zealand. Auckland is also the biggest Polynesian city in the world, a cultural influence reflected in many different aspects of city life.

Overnight in Auckland.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Auckland: City Tour
This morning we begin our tour of Auckland. Travelling via Auckland's 'Golden Mile' (Queen Street), our tour takes us through the university grounds past many of Auckland's historical buildings. We will make a stop at the Parnell Rose Garden before continuing to Parnell Village, the Central Business District, the Mission Bay area, Tamaki Drive, and the Harbour Bridge before our visit to the Auckland Museum. Three expansive levels tell the story of New Zealand's history, from emergence as a nation through the loss and suffering of war, to their uniquely ancient natural history and priceless Maori and Pacific treasures.

Overnight in Auckland.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua
This morning as we depart from Auckland we will travel to the crest of Mt Eden and enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the city. This dormant volcano, complete with crater, allows us to clearly view Auckland's setting between two harbours.

We leave the 'City of Sails' and travel south through the rich farmland of the Waikato region before arriving at the world-famous Waitomo Caves. Here we will experience a guided tour of the underground limestone caverns and glowworm caves. After this unique experience we continue on to Rotorua, an area of abundant geothermal activity. Rotorua is in the middle of what is called the Taupo Volcanic Zone, which runs from northeast to southwest across the North Island. The area has long been a popular spa area and the locals make use of the hot steam that rises to the surface for heating their homes, cooking, and building their own private hot pools.

This afternoon we will visit the Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Arts and Crafts Center. Here we will discover boiling pools of mud and geysers that spout up to 30m (100 feet).

Overnight in Rotorua.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Rotorua - Fly to Queenstown
Today we fly to Queenstown, located on New Zealand's scenic South Island.

Queenstown is situated on Lake Wakatipu and location is stunning; the lake is beautiful and the surrounding mountain scenery adds to the overall splendour. At some point in our time in Queenstown we will take a gondola ride to the top of a mountain for a panoramic view of the town. Depending on the timing of todays flight, you may have some free time in Rotorua and / or time for an orientation upon arrival in Queenstown.

Overnight in Queenstown.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Queenstown: At Leisure
Today is a nicely-timed free day. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is New Zealand's premier four-season lake and alpine resort. Queenstown has a compact and sophisticated downtown area tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, there are amazing views from everywhere.

You may choose just to relax, wander the streets, and soak up the atmosphere of the region. Or you may wish to join one of the optional excursions available (booked locally), such as a lake cruise, wine tour, jet boating, or a local garden tour. Your Tour Leader can help you plan your day.

Overnight in Queenstown.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Cruise - Te Anau
We will depart Queenstown this morning and head toward beautiful Lake Manapouri. We cruise across the lake and then travel by road over Wilmot Pass, stopping along the way to experience some of Fiordland’s densest rainforest and to view the colourful alpine moss gardens.

In Doubtful Sound, we will board the spacious, purpose-built catamaran 'Patea Explorer' for a cruise through this pristine fiord. During the cruise knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin.

After our cruise we disembark and transfer to our hotel located in the charming lakeside town of Te Anau.

Overnight in Te Anau.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 16 Te Anau - Queenstown
Today we continue back to Queenstown, stopping en route for a cellar tour and tasting at Gibbston Valley Winery. Here we enjoy an informative explanation of the local wine making process, the various varietals grown, and a wine tasting held inside a cave!

Overnight in Queenstown.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Departure
Departure from Queenstown.


Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Metro Hotel Sydney Central

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Sydney
Country: Australia

Metro Hotel Sydney Central boasts 220 recently refurbished and well appointed guest rooms in the Deluxe, Superior and Junior Suite
... Most rooms offer views of the busy theatre, shopping and business precinct around Pitt and Campbell Streets. Security is our priority, and Metro Hotel Sydney provides a manned 24-hour reception desk, plus all floors can only be accessed with an exclusively programmed guest room key card. Room features include complimentary tea and coffee making facilities; small fridge; hairdryer; iron and ironing board; in-room safe; external laundry and dry cleaning (charges apply); in-room Wi-Fi (charges apply); complimentary Foxtel; pay-per-view movies.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Outback Pioneer

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Ayers Rock
Country: Australia

Australian hospitality has its own style of service that combines both professionalism and genuine warmth. You'll find this authentic brand
... service at the Voyages Outback Pioneer Hotel. It offers comfortable, affordable hotel rooms with a private bathroom and is perfect for the demands of travellers looking for quality service in relaxed surrounds.

The rooms feature air-conditioning and heating and have tea/coffee making facilities. As a guest at the Hotel you have access to all the facilities the resort has to offer; swimming pools, Resort Town Square shops, petrol station, tennis courts, visitor centre, tour desk and more. If you are catering for yourself, you can pick up supplies at the Supermarket at the Resort Town Square. Your stay includes a FREE Indigenous Activities Program, return Ayers Rock Airport transfers and free use of Ayers Rock Resort shuttle bus service.

This is a place where friendships are made and good times are had by all. Taste Australia's pioneering past, as you enjoy a beer and some outback delights at the do-it-yourself Outback BBQ, and swap stories of your day's adventures. Alternatively, opt for the peace and quiet of the Bough House Restaurant with a buffet dinner.

The Voyages Outback Pioneer Hotel is ideal for those who want to enjoy all that Ayers Rock (Uluru) has to offer.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Coral Tree Inn

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Cairns
Country: Australia

Coral Tree Inn is a resort-style holiday accommodation ideally located right in the HEART of Cairns City across from the
... and within a five minute walk to Cairns City Centre with its shops, restaurants, theatre, art galleries and casino.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Copthorn Hotel Auckland

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Auckland
Country: New Zealand

Located right on Auckland's waterfront, Copthorne Hotel Auckland HarbourCity provides quick and easy access to Auckland’s bustling Viaduct Basin, Central
... District, shopping, bars, restaurants, harbour activities and the Vector Arena.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Rotorua
Country: New Zealand

The Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, previously known as the Lake Plaza Rotorua, is the largest hotel in the area and
... a lakeside location that is second-to-none. Every room features an ensuite bathroom, wireless broadband internet, Sky Television.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Heritage Christchurch

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand

Christchurch is a long way from the Mediterranean – nevertheless, the opulence of an Italian High Renaissance Palazzo awaits you
... the Heritage Christchurch. Designed by Joseph Clark Maddison and opened in 1913, the hotel is listed as a category one building on the Historic Places Trust Register, reflecting its status as a building of national significance. The hotel’s grand design is fitting: after all, Christchurch is regarded as the Garden City, and is regarded internationally for its culture and refinement.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►


All transport, breakfast and dinner or lunch daily (hotels and local restaurants). All accommodation, air, land/water transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary.

Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers.


International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuity, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, domestic and international air taxes (if applicable). Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

This trip is offered twice a year: in early and late austral summer. That said, many regions covered do not have 4 distinct seasons like most places in North America. This itinerary covered a huge area and weather conditions experienced will be extremely varied.

AUSTRALIA: Generally warm or hot everywhere; tropical at Cairns, and warm to hot with mild nights in the southeast. It'll be just plain hot in the centre.

NEW ZEALAND: Again, quite varied north to south, depending on proximity to the sea. Generally milder than Australia, though we can still experience some heat. November is pleasant for wildflowers and green landscapes, while Feb-March will feature late summer conditions, perhaps with the start of some fall colour.

Transport and Travel Conditions

We shrink the greater distances with scheduled flights on local carriers (Qantas & Air New Zealand). Locally, ground transport is provided by private air-conditioned motor coach.

This is not a strenuous tour though it is busy, with plenty of moving around, full days of travel and/or sightseeing, and local city and town walking tours done at a leisurely pace. Though porters are available to assist with baggage at hotels, you must be independent with your luggage at airports.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range (3-star) hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout (probably shower only). Single rooms are limited in number and likely smaller than doubles.

In New Zealand, the sound that we cruise can vary depending on space availability and other scheduling considerations. We board either the Fiordland Navigator (Doubtful Sound) or the Milford Mariner (Milford Sound), both of which feature private twin-bedded cabins and operated by our partners, Real Journeys (view the full itineraries and vessel descriptions at

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, coach captains, local step-on guides in several locales.

Group Size

Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader




TOUR ENDQueenstown

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