This two-week trip to Australia and New Zealand will get your heart pumping with one-of-a-kind adventures and unusual destinations. Tick off the main sights in Sydney, then switch to lesser-known Port Lincoln, where you'll come face-to-face with great white sharks. Dive the Great Barrier Reef and visit Kuranda before flying to New Zealand, where big thrills await in Queenstown with jet boats, wilderness cruises, scenic hikes, and wine tasting.


  • Face your fears with great white shark cage diving in Port Lincoln
  • See tropical fish and colorful coral up close with a Great Barrier Reef dive trip
  • Take an adrenaline-filled jet boat ride along Queenstown's Dart River
  • Hike the famous Routeburn Trail in the South Island's Fiordland National Park 
  • Get off the beaten path with a cruise across the remote Doubtful Sound

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney (Australia), Harbor Experience Cruise Sydney
Day 2 Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, Afternoon Panoramic Sydney Sights Sydney
Day 3 Full-Day Blue Mountains Hike Sydney
Day 4 Fly to Port Lincoln, Explore Port Lincoln
Day 5 Shark Cage Diving Adventure Port Lincoln
Day 6 Fly to Port Douglas, Explore Port Douglas
Day 7 Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Dive Port Douglas
Day 8 Full-Day Kuranda Rail & Skyrail Excursion Port Douglas
Day 9 Fly to Queenstown (New Zealand), TSS Earnslaw Farm Tour & Dinner Queenstown
Day 10 Full-Day Jet-Boat Adventure & Funyak River Safari Queenstown
Day 11 Full-Day Routeburn Track Guided Hike Queenstown
Day 12 Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise Queenstown
Day 13 Half-Day Central Otago Wine Tour, Onsen Evening Session Queenstown 
Day 14 Depart Queenstown  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney (Australia), Harbor Experience Cruise

Welcome to Sydney
Sydney is home to the deepest natural harbor in the world

G'day and welcome to Australia! A driver will meet you on arrival at Sydney Airport for your private transfer to your hotel. This metropolis feels like the heart of Australia thanks to its famous landmarks, historic neighborhoods, world-class culinary scene, prime waterfront location, and pristine beaches. The afternoon is yours to explore as you wish. Start with a visit to Sydney's iconic harbor and soak up views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge over a drink at a waterfront bar, like the Opera Bar, to get your bearings.

This city is known around the world for its scenic harbor, so what better way to explore than via the water? This afternoon you'll take in Sydney's most famous sights and neighborhoods on a leisurely 90-minute scenic cruise around Sydney Harbour. Board the boat and soak up views of shimmering skyscrapers, national parks, golden beaches, secluded bars, and—of course—the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Relax on deck with a refreshing drink in hand while listening to colorful commentary.

Day 2: Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, Afternoon Panoramic Sydney Sights

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is home to the oldest lifesaving club in the world

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 beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. Learn more about local bush foods and how these plants were used traditionally and adapted to the modern plate and palate, all while tasting some for yourself!

This afternoon it's time to explore Sydney with a local. After lunch, you'll hear fascinating stories of early convict history in The Rocks area and see iconic views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Shop till you drop at the Queen Victoria Building and explore the trendy Oxford Street district. Head east for a scenic walk around Tamarama and Bronte, and enjoy a refreshing drink at the famous Bondi Beach while admiring bronzed Aussie lifesavers. Then wave goodbye to your guide and find somewhere for a relaxed sunset drink or dinner.

Day 3: Full-Day Blue Mountains Hike

The Three Sisters , Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters rock formations in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney

Set off on a full-day adventure to the Blue Mountains. Your day begins with a visit to Calmsley Hill, a working farm home to kangaroos, emus, wombats, and koalas, where you can enjoy some morning tea and wander the tranquil surroundings. The journey continues to one of the spectacular Jamison Valley lookouts, where you can take in panoramic vistas. Next, visit the remote Eaglehawk Lookout to experience the Three Sisters rock formation in all its glory. Watch as the sunlight brings out magnificent colors that change throughout the day.

Then you'll arrive at Evans Lookout, where you'll be given a picnic lunch pack and instructions for the hiking track. Set off exploring valleys and ridges as you hike from Evans Lookout to Govetts Leap, all the while looking out across Australia's Grand Canyon, the Grose Valley. Your hike concludes at one of the most famous lookouts in Australia. On the return to Sydney, pause at the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens to see the ancient wollemi pine. 

Day 4: Fly to Port Lincoln, Explore

Welcome to Port Lincoln
Venture into nature and experience the golden hour at Port Lincoln

It's not easy to get to Port Lincoln, but that makes it more worthwhile. Today a private driver will take you to Sydney Airport for your two-part flight to Port Lincoln, changing in Adelaide along the way. This small city on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia is known for its fishing industry, seafood, and sharks.

Tomorrow you'll go cage diving with the great white sharks, so today, you can simply relax or go explore all the town has to offer. Visit the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum to explore the seafaring history, with old vessels and a blacksmith's shop. Go hiking in the rugged Lincoln National Park, which is home to rare flora and fauna. Or, at the edge of the city, Winter Hill Lookout offers brilliant views of Port Lincoln and the surrounding islands and coves.

Day 5: Shark Cage Diving Adventure

Shark Cage Diving
Great white sharks are actually conflict-avoidant, but that doesn't stop them from being scary predators

Prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with awe-inspiring great white sharks, a thrilling aquatic adventure that will push the boundaries of your courage. On today's big voyage, you'll set sail in a sturdy vessel destined for the magnificent Neptune Islands Marine Park. It's here that the real adventure commences—and by now, your heart should be pumping out of your chest!

Take the plunge into the underwater world of these giant white pointer sharks, more commonly known as great whites. Your dedicated cage diving instructor will use natural fish berley (bait) to draw these colossal predators close to your secure cage where—with a bit of luck—you'll soon have front-row seats to witness the ocean's apex predators in all their glory.

Day 6: Fly to Port Douglas, Explore

Four Mile Beach, in Port Douglas
The golden sands of the crescent-shaped Four Mile Beach are a must-see in Port Douglas

Today you'll swap South Australia for far northern Queensland when you fly to the tropics. A private driver will take you to Port Lincoln's airport for the two-part flight to Cairns via Adelaide. Another driver will meet you for the transfer to your hotel in Port Douglas. This beachfront resort town is a favorite for exploring the two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef system, and the Daintree Rainforest.

The idyllic tropical escape of Port Douglas is also a great destination in its own right. Spend the rest of your day browsing charming boutiques, stroll along the palm-fringed Four Mile Beach, and enjoy an al fresco dinner beneath the stars.

Plan your trip to Australia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Dives

Dive the Great Barrier Reef
You'll be amazed at the variety of marine life while diving the Great Barrier Reef

Today you'll dive into one of the world's great natural wonders with a full-day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. The world's largest coral reef system is home to an incredible diversity of marine life, including over 1,500 species of fish, 30 species of whales and dolphins, and six species of sea turtles. Made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, the protected area spans over 1,430 miles (2,300 km).

Pack your swimsuit and sunscreen this morning and board a catamaran at the Port Douglas Marina, destined for the 21 dive sites at the outer edge of Agincourt Ribbon Reef. The boat will visit three different sites over five hours, each offering a new experience. You'll get to take two certified dives, giving you the opportunity to get up close with tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, and even sharks. After your two dives, relax on the sundeck and enjoy views of the Coral Sea before you return to Port Douglas.

Day 8: Full-Day Kuranda Rail & Skyrail Excursion

The Kuranda Scenic Rail
The Kuranda Scenic Rail is 23 miles (37 km) long and takes almost two hours

This morning ride the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway up to the mountain village of Kuranda, located about 15 miles (25 km) inland. A private transfer will drop you at the station, where you'll board the historic "Gold Class" carriages. The train snakes along historic hillside tracks and offers sweeping views of waterfalls, cane fields, and the Barron Gorge as you rise from sea level to 1,072 feet (327 m).

Marvel at the largest butterfly flight aviary in the country at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, or meet feathered friends at Birdworld. Then take a transfer to the award-winning Rainforestation Nature Park, and experience an Army Duck Rainforest Tour. Next, you'll join a guided tour at the Kuranda Koala Gardens, where you'll see crocodiles, wombats, snakes, dingoes, and a cassowary, and hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies. Finally, return to the coast via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and glide over the canopy of one of the world's oldest rainforest ecosystems.

Day 9: Fly to Queenstown (New Zealand), TSS Earnslaw Farm Tour & Dinner

Welcome to Queenstown!
Board the TSS Earnslaw, a historic steamship, for a farm tour and dinner

Today's final destination is Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital. Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Alps, this ruggedly beautiful region offers hair-raising thrills, beautiful vineyards, and historic gold-mining towns. Take a transfer to Cairn's airport in time for your connecting flight to New Zealand's South Island. On arrival, another private driver will be waiting to transfer you to your accommodation. Settle in and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the town.

This evening take a leisurely cruise across the beautiful Lake Wakatipu. The historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship will take you to the lakeside gardens of Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet dinner by the water. Soak up the alpine scenery at the homestead and watch as chefs prepare a seasonal bounty of succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Enjoy desserts and New Zealand cheese before the return trip, complete with a singalong from the ship's pianist.

Day 10: Full-Day Jet-Boat Adventure & Funyak River Safari

Canoe ride down the Dart River
Float down the Dart River in an inflatable canoe

Get ready for a an exciting outdoor adventure—the kind you can only do in New Zealand. Start with a drive north into the wilds of Mount Aspiring National Park, where you'll hop in a jet boat for an adrenaline-pumping ride down the glacier-fed Dart River. Feel the excitement as you zip along this shallow waterway at high speeds while your daredevil captain performs exhilarating spins. After the thrills, stop on the riverbank for a stroll and appreciate the unspoiled wilderness, with its snowcapped peaks, glaciers, and alpine lakes.

Return to the water at a more leisurely pace in an inflatable canoe. Paddle along a beautiful downstream route as your local guide reveals insight into the geology and history of the Dart River's sparkling channels. Pause at an ancient beech forest for a delicious picnic lunch, then you can venture into the wilderness and hike to hidden streams, rock pools, and granite river gorges like the dramatic Rockburn Chasm. Back in the canoe, continue downstream to the settlement of Paradise. From here, you'll take scenic roads back to Queenstown.

Day 11: Full-Day Routeburn Track Guided Hike

Full Day Famous Routeburn Trail
You'll spend today hiking the South Island's famous Routeburn Track
The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand's most renowned and picturesque hiking trails. Tackling this 20-mile (32 km) track takes two or three days, so today, you'll experience just part of it with a full-day hike that takes you deep into the countryside, where you'll enjoy the landscapes of Fiordland National Park and Mount Aspiring National Park. Surrounded by the sound of rivers, waterfalls, and native birds, you'll be transported to a world of peace and tranquility as you hike with awe-inspiring vistas of snowcapped mountains and ancient beech forests.

Day 12: Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise (ex Queenstown)
The magnificent landscape of rugged Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park

Experience the spectacular, remote wilderness of Doubtful Sound with today's special cruise. This sound is a beautiful, isolated fjord that's three times longer than Milford Sound / Piopiotahi and has a surface area of 10 times larger. With its rugged peaks, verdant rainforest, and hidden inlets, the natural wonder will take your breath away. There's no direct road access to Doubtful Sound, so after a transfer from Queenstown, you'll cruise across the picturesque Lake Manapouri, then take a bus over Wilmot Pass, New Zealand's most expensive (and scenic) road.

Pause along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening below. The isolation makes this fjord a very special place that only those in the know get to see. Board the Patea Explorer for a three-hour cruise. As you sail across the teal waters, your captain will provide commentary on the area and its history, pointing out landmarks like Browne Falls, which crashes 2,030 feet (619 m) into the sound. Look out for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and Fiordland crested penguins along the way. 

Day 13: Half-Day Central Otago Wine Tour, Onsen Evening Session

Vineyards in Cromwell
Cromwell's dry, arid landscape is perfect for pinot noir vines

Spend today exploring wine in the Central Otago region. Here you'll discover the scenic and diverse wine sub-regions of Gibbston, Bannockburn, and Cromwell with tastings at three boutique vineyards, followed by a platter-style lunch at a local wine country restaurant. Stroll through the charming historical settlement of Old Cromwell and learn about this wine region's early pioneering history and development through fun facts and anecdotes from your knowledgeable wine guide.

Relax this evening in a hot pool under the stars with a session at the Onsen Hot Pools. Based on the Japanese bathing tradition, Onsen offers cedar-lined steaming pools on a cliffside overlooking the Shotover River. Enjoy an hourlong soak accompanied by a drink and snack as you take in the alpine scenery. 

Day 14: Depart Queenstown

Ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob's Peak for amazing views like this
Ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob's Peak for amazing views like this
Your epic two-week adventure in Australia and New Zealand has come to an end. When the time is right, a private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and drive you to Queenstown Airport in time for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Australia & New Zealand Natural Adventure: Sydney to Queenstown - 14 Days
Map of Australia & New Zealand Natural Adventure: Sydney to Queenstown - 14 Days