- Admire the "City of Sails" with a dinner cruise on Auckland Harbour
- Spend an evening experiencing Maori song, dance, and food at Te Pa Tu
- Enjoy a driving tour of the Great Ocean Road and see the Twelve Apostles
- Witness the best sunset at Uluru with a special Sounds of Silence dinner
- Experience Sydney when you climb the famous Harbour Bridge at sunset
|Day 1||Arrive in Auckland, Private Walking Tour, Dinner Cruise||Auckland|
|Day 2||Transfer to Rotorua via Hobbiton & Waitomo Glowworm Caves||Rotorua|
|Day 3||Kiwi Tour & Maori Arts, Te Pa Tu Maori Feast & Performance||Rotorua|
|Day 4||Fly to Melbourne (Australia), Evening Dinner, Tales & Cocktails Tour||Melbourne|
|Day 5||Full-Day Great Ocean Road Trip||Melbourne|
|Day 6||Fly to Uluru, Wintjiri Wiru Aboriginal Drone Show||Uluru|
|Day 7||Desert Awakenings Tour, Painting Workshop & Sacred Sites Tour||Uluru|
|Day 8||Fly to Sydney, Taronga Zoo Wild Australia Experience, Sunset BridgeClimb||Sydney|
|Day 9||Bush Tucker Tour, Panoramic Sydney Sights, Surry Hills Dining Walk||Sydney|
|Day 10||Morning Tea Cruise, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland, Private Walking Tour, Dinner Cruise
Kia ora! Welcome to New Zealand's North Island! Begin your adventure in Auckland, where a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. With two bustling harbors and more than 500,000 sailboats and yachts, it's easy to see why Auckland is nicknamed the "City of Sails." You'll set out on foot to discover central Auckland's hidden lanes, legends, and stunning landmarks on a private three-hour walking tour. Stop for refreshments as you get to know the city with a local guide who will share fun stories. Then, finish a late afternoon aperitif and tasting platter on Auckland's waterfront.Head back to the hotel to refresh before joining a special harbor cruise. You'll set off from Waitemata Harbour as the sun dips into the water. The first port of call is Auckland Harbour to see the skyline views. Next, you'll sail toward Westhaven Marina, enjoying appetizers and drinks as you cruise. Finally, sit down to dinner with a view of Auckland Harbour and finish the evening with dessert while leisurely sailing to Viaduct Harbour.
Day 2: Transfer to Rotorua via Hobbiton & Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Today, you'll journey three hours south to Rotorua, New Zealand's famous geothermal city. This area is one of the world's most active volcanic regions, and you'll find bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers, and signs pointing to natural hot springs. Your scenic transfer passes through J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth and the Hobbiton Movie Set, where you'll explore Bilbo's house and drop into the Green Dragon Inn to sip ale, cider, or ginger beer.
Next, visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to discover an ancient world 30 million years in the making. Glide through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto and experience a serene ambience like no other under this galaxy of tiny living lights. Finally, you'll arrive in Rotorua in the early evening. Settle into your hotel and enjoy a quiet evening.
Day 3: Kiwi Tour & Maori Arts, Te Pa Tu Maori Feast & Performance
Today, you'll discover New Zealand's geothermal landscapes in Rotorua, famed for its green and orange sulfur pools, bubbling mud baths, and spurting geysers. You'll see all this at the Te Puia Springs, home to Pohutu Geyser, which erupts up to 20 times a day, shooting a plume of scalding water up to 100 feet (30 m) into the sky. After, visit the Kiwi Conservation Centre, a refuge for native birds, including New Zealand's national emblem, the flightless kiwi. Next, learn about carving and weaving at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute.
Tonight you're invited as a manuhiri (guest) to Te Pa Tu (Tamaki Māori Village) for a celebration and feast. Enjoy kai horotai (appetizers) as you listen to stories and songs and watch dance performances in the forest amphitheater. Then, follow your Māori guide by torchlight to your three-course hākari (feast). Select from a table of hāngī dishes (meat, fish, and vegetables cooked underground in a pit) and other local specialties from Aotearoa, the Māori name for New Zealand.
Day 4: Fly to Melbourne (Australia), Evening Dinner, Tales & Cocktails Tour
After breakfast, take a private transfer to Rotorua airport for your four-hour two-part flight to Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia. On arrival, another driver will transfer you to your accommodation. Drop your bags and set out to get lost in Melbourne's back streets, laneways, and arcades. This city is famous for its laneway culture, so get lost seeking out local designers, quirky bars, and incredible street art.
This evening's tour takes you into the heart of Melbourne's elegant and lively nightlife. It starkly contrasts the city's dark past, shaped by curious characters on both sides of the law. Begin with a dinner that reflects Melbourne's fantastic culinary scene, and learn about the city's history from a local guide. Next are some of the best spots in town, many of which are deliberately hard to find, and you can enjoy this firsthand insight into all that Melbourne has to offer.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Full-Day Great Ocean Road Trip
Wake up early and embark on another epic day trip—this time, you're traveling along one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world: the Great Ocean Road. This stretch of highway runs 150 miles (240 km) down Victoria's southwest coast, passing national parks, limestone rock formations, seaside bluffs, coastal mountain ranges, and incredible beaches. This is a full-day, 11-hour trip where you'll have ample time to stop and enjoy the highlights.
Keep an eye toward the coast throughout the drive, as you're likely to spot whales and dolphins; on the inland side, you might even see echidnas and bandicoots. Stop for lunch at Apollo Bay, a tranquil seaside town set among the rolling coastal hills. You can also stretch your legs on a forest hike through the mountains of the famous Otway Ranges. You'll also visit the romantic cove at Loch Ard Gorge, then cap the adventure at the most incredible natural landmarks on the route: the Twelve Apostles, a group of ancient limestone rock formations rising out of the sea.
Day 6: Fly to Uluru, Wintjiri Wiru Aboriginal Drone Show
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is an unmissable experience and the spiritual heart of Australia's outback and desert plains. Today, you'll catch a three-hour flight to Ayers Rock airport, dropping you close to the country's most recognized natural wonder and into the home of the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara tribes, the traditional landowners of the area. This spectacular World Heritage Site has many natural springs, waterholes, rock caves, and ancient paintings to discover. Upon arrival, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.
Discover the magic of the Australian desert with an exceptional experience—the Wintjiri Wiru Aboriginal drone show. From the top of a dune, with breathtaking views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, you'll journey deep into the heart of Australia as ancient tales passed down through thousands of generations are retold. This immersive light show with drones, lasers, and projections illuminates the night, painting the dark canvas with vivid expressions of an ancient Anangu story. Dive into this immersive cultural journey and connect with living stories.
Day 7: Desert Awakenings Tour, Painting Workshop & Sacred Sites Tour
Rise early to experience the tranquil predawn under a canopy of stars. Watch as the distant domes of Kata Tjuta come into view as you enjoy a hearty Aussie breakfast of egg and bacon rolls, tea, coffee, and homemade damper (soda bread) with golden syrup. Then, your local guide will explain the region's natural history and show you animal tracks in the sand. Next, join a fun and organic dot painting workshop. For thousands of years, Anangu have shared their knowledge, keeping their culture alive, and you'll learn about traditional art, symbols, tools, and language as you paint.
Later today, dig deeper into the beauty of Uluru as a local guide drives you around the base, a distance of 6 miles (10 km). Take a short walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole on the eastern side of Uluru to see a vital water source sacred to Australia's Indigenous people. Then, explore caves and view ancient Aboriginal rock paintings, learning about their meaning. At dusk, relax with a wine and canapés as you marvel at the changing colors of the desert reflected on Uluru. You'll be awe-struck watching the monolith turn from bright red and gold to various shades of pink and purple.
Day 8: Fly to Sydney, Taronga Zoo Wild Australia Experience, Sunset BridgeClimb
It's time to swap the sparse outback for buzzing Sydney. A driver will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the airport in time for your three-hour flight. On arrival in Sydney, a private transfer will take you to your accommodation. Often mistaken as Australia's capital, Sydney is a vibrant coastal city with plenty to see and do. Drop your bags and board the Zoo Express, a rapid ferry that will take you to Taronga Zoo. This 52-acre (21 ha) zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, including tigers, gorillas, and (of course) koalas.
Day 9: Bush Tucker Tour, Panoramic Sydney Sights, Surry Hills Dining Walk
Kick off your day by getting to know the traditional owners of this land. On an Aboriginal bush tucker tour, you'll join an Indigenous guide on an hourlong tour through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Learn more about local bush foods and how these foods were used traditionally and adapted to the modern plate and palate while tasting some for yourself! Then, it's time to explore the sights of Sydney. Hear fascinating stories of early convict history in The Rocks area, and see postcard-worthy views of the famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Then shop till you drop at the Queen Victoria Building and explore the trendy Oxford Street district. Head east for a stunning walk around Tamarama and Bronte, and enjoy a refreshing drink at the famous Bondi Beach while admiring bronzed Aussie lifeguards. Wave goodbye to your guide and find somewhere for lunch. Later, eat your way across Surry Hills with a local foodie. Like an old, well-connected friend, they'll help you explore Sydney's fabulous small bar culture and restaurants while popping into hip fashion boutiques and on-trend interior stores.
Day 10: Morning Tea Cruise, Depart
It's your final morning on vacation, so squeeze in one last adventure if you have time before your departing flight. Embark on a two-hour boat cruise to take in Sydney from the water. While you explore the best sights and hidden secrets of the harbor, you'll enjoy a generous morning tea with coffee, tea, and juice. Back on dry land, it's time to go. A private driver will be waiting to take you to the airport in time for your departing flight home or onward. Safe travels!
More Great Australia Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Australia? Check out these other Australia itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in Australia and New Zealand, or discover the best time to visit Australia.
A note on diacritical markings: In order to support the best technical experience and search functions, diacritical markings have been omitted from this article.