This 15-day itinerary perfectly blends beauty, culture, and thrilling adventures across Australia and New Zealand. Begin in Sydney, exploring its famous landmarks and the stunning Blue Mountains. Fly to Palm Cove, a tropical paradise home to the Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest. Cross over to New Zealand, landing in the adventure capital of Queenstown. Cruise the majestic Milford Sound / Piopiotahi, and finish in the vibrant city of Auckland.


  • Explore Sydney's iconic sights—the Opera House and Harbour Bridge
  • Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and visit the ancient Daintree Rainforest
  • Chase thrills in New Zealand's adventure capital, Queenstown
  • Take a fjord cruise across Milford Sound / Piopiotahi, then fly above it
  • Visit beautiful Auckland to explore the bush and beaches

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sydney (Australia), Free Time Sydney
Day 2 Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, Sydney Guided Bike Tour, Harbor BridgeClimb Sydney
Day 3 Full-Day Blue Mountains Hike Sydney
Day 4 Barbecue Cruise, Sydney Opera House Tour, Aboriginal Dreaming Tour Sydney
Day 5 Fly to Cairns, Transfer to Palm Cove, Free Time Palm Cove
Day 6 Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Experience Palm Cove
Day 7 Full-Day Mossman Gorge Adventure Palm Cove
Day 8 Rainforest Adventure & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour Palm Cove
Day 9 Fly to Queenstown (New Zealand), Skyline Gondola & Buffet Dinner Queenstown
Day 10 Full-Day Jet Boat Adventure & Funyak River Safari Queenstown
Day 11 Nevis Bungy, Kawarau Zipride Queenstown
Day 12 Full-Day Milford Sound / Piopiotahi Coach-Cruise-Fly  Queenstown
Day 13 Fly to Auckland, Free Time Auckland
Day 14 Full-Day Auckland Bush & Beach Tour Auckland
Day 15 Wētā Workshop, Depart Auckland  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sydney (Australia), Free Time

Welcome to Sydney
Welcome to Sydney, your home for the next few nights

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 iconic sights, 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.

Take a walk along the waterfront, then lose yourself in the cobblestone laneways of The Rocks, or browse the markets, boutiques, cafés, and pubs of upscale Paddington, whose unique terrace houses date to the Victorian era. If you're feeling adventurous, join a surf lesson at the famous Bondi Beach. Then when the sun goes down, book a table at one of Sydney's delectable five-star restaurants before taking on the city's best bars.

Day 2: Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour, Sydney Guided Bike Tour, Harbor BridgeClimb

Sydney BridgeClimb
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a bucket list experience

Kick off your day by getting to know the traditional owners of this land. On an Aboriginal bush tucker tour, you'll join a First Nations guide on an hour-long 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. Then, climb into the saddle of a bike and pedal across Sydney. Tick off all of the city's iconic sights with a guide, including the Opera House, bridge, Darling Harbour, Hyde Park, Chinatown, and more. You'll even make a special pub pitstop for a quick pint.

Gain a new perspective on Sydney when you join BridgeClimb for an epic adventure across the famous "coathanger." Commence your skywalk with a safety briefing, then embark on a three-hour journey that will eventually take you 439 feet (134 m) above sea level. You'll be treated to 360-degree views of the city, including east to the Opera House, west to the Blue Mountains, and the surrounding area. Back on solid ground, use the rest of your day to explore as you wish.

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 stunning 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 stunning Jamison Valley lookouts, where you can take in breathtaking vistas. Next, visit the remote Eaglehawk Lookout to experience the Three Sisters in all their 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. This is one huge day of adventure, fun, and unforgettable memories!

Day 4: Barbecue Cruise, Sydney Opera House Tour, Aboriginal Dreaming Tour

Sydney Harbour
Sail across Sydney Harbour, then go behind the scenes at the Opera House

Grab your hat and set off for an unforgettable small group cruise across the harbor this morning. From the water, admire the Opera House, Fort Denison, Luna Park, and more while tucking into an Australian barbecue lunch. After, you can enjoy fishing, kayaking, and swimming right from the boat. Back at the port, make your way to the Opera House for a behind-the-scenes look at this Sydney icon and World Heritage-listed building. A knowledgeable guide will share entertaining stories about the masterpiece of 20th-century architecture and take you into off-limits areas. 

This afternoon dive deeper into history with a tour that takes you beyond European colonization. An Indigenous guide will share the Dreamtime creation stories and culture of Sydney's Aboriginal people, which dates back some 60,000 years. Your 90-minute walk will explore ancient cultural sites near modern landmarks. Wander The Rocks, a historic harbor-front neighborhood, and hear tales of the beginning of time, back when ancestral spirits controlled the land, creating life and shaping the geology of the region.

Day 5: Fly to Cairns, Transfer to Palm Cove, Free Time

Palm Cove
Palm Cove is a tropical paradise north of Cairns
Plan your trip to New Zealand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today your final destination is paradise. Take a shuttle bus to Sydney Airport ahead of your scheduled flight to Cairns, the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and ancient Daintree Rainforest. On arrival in tropical far north Queensland, you'll meet a shuttle that will transport you to Palm Cove. This small, beachfront town is known for its luxurious but laid-back vibe and it sits between the Daintree Rainforest and the sparkling waters of the Coral Sea. Among the centuries-old melaleuca tree-fronted esplanades, you can do as little or as much as you like.

The rest of the day is yours to explore, rest, and relax. Choose to unwind with a luxury treatment at a local spa; dine on freshly caught seafood at a beachfront restaurant; eat take-away fish and chips under a pine tree; rent bikes and explore the coast; or simply soak up mesmerizing views of the Coral Coast.

Day 6: Full-Day Great Barrier Reef Experience

Full Day Marine World Outer Great Barrier Reef  - to pontoon
You can spot more than 1,500 species of fish on the Great Barrier Reef

Today you'll dive into one of the great natural wonders of the world. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system and 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 Great Barrier Reef spans over 1,430 miles (2,300 km). Today you'll board a boat destined for the outer reef. Here the all-weather Marine World platform awaits, your base to explore the reef.

Dive off the platform and snorkel among colorful fish, sea turtles, and even sharks. Join a semi-submersible reef viewer or glass bottom boat tour. Take a helicopter ride over the reef to soak up the grand scale from the sky. Or stay dry and simply view the reef from the platform's underwater observatory. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an essential ecosystem for the world's oceans, providing vital habitat and protection for marine life.

Day 7: Full-Day Mossman Gorge Adventure

Mossman Gorge
78 of Australia's 190 species of freshwater fish can be found in the Mossman River

Immerse yourself in the rainforest today with this unique full-day tour. You'll travel inland to nearby Mossman Gorge, the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park. Here, you'll be welcomed with a traditional Kuku Yalanji smoking ceremony, designed to cleanse you of bad spirits, and you'll have traditional rainforest body paint applied. Then, you'll enter the rainforests of Daintree, which are estimated to be more than 135 million years old. Enjoy an easy 90-minute hike across boardwalks, tracks, and bridges that offer spectacular views of mountains and waterfalls.

After lunch, travel to the Mossman River for a one-of-a-kind River Drift snorkeling tour. You'll literally go with the flow as you drift down the pristine river while admiring what lies beneath. Learn about the local history, flora, and fauna from your guide while looking at freshwater fish, turtles, butterflies, birds, and the elusive platypus. After the tour, you'll return to Palm Cove.

Day 8: Rainforest Adventure & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour

Spot endemic wildlife around the rainforest
Spot endemic wildlife around the rainforest

Today you'll set off to explore the stunning Atherton Tablelands, a biodiverse region with a variety of habitats, including tropical rainforests and volcanic crater lakes. Sit down for afternoon tea at the renowned Lake Barrine. Then, you may spot unique wildlife such as the Boyd's forest dragon, musky-rat kangaroo, and a range of rainforest birds, butterflies, and flying foxes. At dusk, you'll head to a viewing area by the river to search for the elusive and shy platypus, one of the world's most unique mammals.

After dinner at a local restaurant, embark on a spotlighting adventure in the UNESCO World Heritage Daintree Rainforest. You might even encounter the rare Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo, northern leaf-tailed gecko, ringtail possums, gliders, frogs, and owls. Many of these native animals are only found in this region of Australia.

Day 9: Fly to Queenstown (New Zealand), Skyline Gondola & Buffet Dinner

Welcome to Queenstown!
Welcome to Queenstown, where every day is an adventure

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 Cairns airport in time for your flight to Queenstown. On arrival, take another transfer to your accommodation and settle in.

The best way to appreciate the Queenstown area's majesty is to ride the Skyline Gondola over 1,400 feet (450 m) to Bob's Peak. At the top is a restaurant and bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of Queenstown and out to Coronet Peak and the Remarkables mountain range. Choose to stay for an unforgettable buffet dining experience at the top, or ride the downhill luge track back to town.

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 truly unique 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 to appreciate the unspoiled wilderness, with its snowcapped peaks, glaciers, and alpine lakes, at a slower pace.

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: Nevis Bungy, Kawarau Zipride

Nevis Bungy 134 Meters
The Nevis Bungy is the highest in New Zealand

Maybe skipping breakfast this morning is a good idea! You're about to take a leap of faith with the Nevis Bungy. Sitting 440 feet (134 m) above the rugged Nevis River, you'll spend 8.5 seconds falling for a breathtaking rush like no other. Getting there is half the fun with a 35-minute 4WD journey of New Zealand's backcountry. On arrival, you'll be harnessed up and board a shuttle for the Bungy Pod. Come ready to face your fears and tick off one of the greatest personal challenges of your life.

Bring the thrills down a few notches this afternoon at the Kawarau Zipride. With three ziplines crossing the river, you can race your group with single or tandem rides. Flying through the air you'll reach speeds of up to 37 miles (60 km) per hour while cruising 425 feet (130 m) alongside the Kawarau River.

Day 12: Full-Day Milford Sound Coach-Cruise-Fly

The world-famous Milford Sound
The world-famous Milford Sound is one of the most magnificent destinations for exploring nature

Today you'll experience the world-famous Milford Sound / Piopiotahi from the air and the water. From your glass-roofed bus, you can gaze up at the rocky mountains as you travel along Milford Road. Be mesmerized by the reflective Mirror Lakes, and quench your thirst with pristine glacial water at Monkey Creek. Travel through Homer Tunnel, carved out of solid rock. Marvel at The Chasm, a series of uniquely shaped rocks and potholes formed by the Cleddau River rushing into a dark narrow abyss. Finally, descend through the Cleddau Valley into Milford Sound / Piopiotahi.

Board a small boutique boat to enjoy views of Mitre Peak and towering cliffs. Cruise past rugged cliffs covered in magnificent native rainforest, with powerful waterfalls that tumble down into the fjord. Keep a look out for seals, dolphins, and penguins in the waters below. The return journey to Queenstown is equally rewarding. Board a 45-minute scenic flight and soar over the glacially carved valleys of Milford Sound / Piopiotahi and Fiordland National Park. Closer to Queenstown, enjoy a bird's-eye view of the rugged Central Otago region.

Day 13: Fly to Auckland, Free Time

Auckland's skyline
Auckland's waterfront skyline gives it the nickname the "City of Sails"

This morning a driver will collect you for a transfer to Queenstown's airport. You'll swap the South Island for the North Island when you land in Auckland today. On arrival, a private driver will transfer you to your accommodation in the city. New Zealand's largest metropolis is known as the "City of the Sails" as it's surrounded by water and sailboats can be seen everywhere.

Use the rest of today to explore the vibrant and diverse city as you wish. You could take a stroll around Waitemata Harbour and admire more than 500,000 sailboats and yachts. Besides the bustling urban center and chic waterfront promenades, Auckland and its surrounding area are home to 26 regional parks with landscapes from tropical rainforests to rugged coastline and golden beaches, which you'll explore tomorrow.

Day 14: Full-Day Auckland Bush & Beach Tour

View of Auckland skyline and volcanoes of Devonport from the North Head mountain
View of Auckland skyline and volcanoes of Devonport from the North Head mountain

Auckland is set on 52 dormant volcanic cones and between two harbors, the sparkling Waitemata and the brooding Manukau. Today you'll explore the best of the city's highlights on a full-day tour. Travel up Queen Street, through Auckland's central business district, past Auckland University, and through the inner city park, known as the Domain. Continue to the Ponsonby neighborhood, with its historic buildings before crossing the Harbour Bridge to Auckland's North Shore. Stroll on a beautiful beach before heading to Mount Victoria for panoramic views of the city.

This afternoon, travel 18.6 miles (30 km) from downtown Auckland to the city's largest regional park, the Waitakere Ranges. The Arataki Centre is perched high on the ridge with breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Admire the magnificent traditional Māori carvings before walking through lush rainforest, giant tree ferns, and New Zealand's famous kauri trees. Finally, experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast—feel black sand beneath your feet as you walk along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches in the world.

Day 15: Wētā Workshop, Depart Auckland

Pohutukawa tree which is also called the New Zealand Christmas tree in full bloom at Takapuna beach
Pohutukawa tree in full bloom at Takapuna Beach near Auckland

Curious about how things work in the movie business? Experience a world where the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred when you step into a film effects workshop this morning. Best known for their work on the "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Wētā Workshop is a five-time Academy Award-winning film effects company, and now you can explore the creative process of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy filmmaking with a 90-minute tour.

Sadly that was your final morning in Australia and New Zealand. When the time is right a driver will collect you for your transfer to Auckland airport. Have a safe flight home!

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Map of Highlights of Australia & New Zealand - 15 Days
Map of Highlights of Australia & New Zealand - 15 Days