Highlights of Australia & New Zealand: Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Sydney, Melbourne & Cairns - 14 Days
- Go wine tasting and extreme adventuring in Queenstown
- Visit the incredible Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park
- Explore the scenery and wildlife of the Blue Mountains outside Sydney
- Board a catamaran for a full day of Great Barrier Reef exploration
- Enjoy time with kangaroos and koalas on a day trip from Melbourne
|Day 1||Arrival in Auckland||Auckland|
|Day 2||Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Tour, & Drive to Rotorua||Rotorua|
|Day 3||Free Day in Rotorua & Hangi Dinner Experience||Rotorua|
|Day 4||Fly to Queenstown & Local Adventuring||Queenstown|
|Day 5||Milford Sound Tour||Queenstown|
|Day 6||Wine Tasting Tour of Queenstown||Queenstown|
|Day 7||Fly to Sydney & Free Day||Sydney|
|Day 8||Sydney Sightseeing & Harbour Cruise||Sydney|
|Day 9||Blue Mountains Day Trip||Sydney|
|Day 10||Fly to Melbourne & Free Day||Melbourne|
|Day 11||Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild Day Trip||Melbourne|
|Day 12||Fly to Cairns & Free Day||Cairns|
|Day 13||Great Barrier Reef Day Trip||Cairns|
|Day 14||Departure From Cairns|
Day 1: Arrival in Auckland
Welcome to New Zealand! Rated as the third-most liveable city in the world, Auckland is an exhilarating mix of natural wonders and urban adventures.
Transfer to the hotel, and the rest of the day is at your leisure. Enjoy the city, whether you’re looking for cultural experiences, the best restaurants, inner-city hot spots, beautiful beaches, or nearby island escapes.
Day 2: Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton tour, and drive to Rotorua
Check out of the hotel and take a journey into the heart of the Central North Island. Embark on a guided tour of the famous Hobbiton movie set, located inside a picturesque 1,250-acre sheep and beef farm near Matamata. During your guided tour, explore sights like Hobbit holes, the Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn, and learn how farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle Earth.
Next, visit the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Take a guided tour through impressive underground caverns and learn how stalactites, stalagmites, and other limestone structures were formed over millions of years. Your tour includes a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto—glide silently along an underground river as you gaze at the twinkling glowworms overhead.
After visiting Waitomo and Hobbiton, continue to Rotorua, arriving in the early evening.
Day 3: Free day in Rotorua and Hangi dinner experience
Enjoy the geothermal city of Rotorua at leisure. Then, experience Maori culture with traditional ceremonies, cultural performances, and an authentic hangi dinner at Tamaki Maori Village.
On arrival, enter into a living Maori village that comes alive with sights, sounds, and the activities of days past by including haka, poi, tattooing, weaving, carving, and arts of warrior training. Immerse yourself in the traditional Maori way of life. Participate in warrior training, the poi dance, and learn the haka (Maori war dance). Enjoy displays of the arts weaving, wood carving, and facial tattooing. Witness the earth being scraped away from the hangi pit by your Maori chef to reveal baskets laden with a sumptuous, mouth-watering feast cooked beneath the ground on hot stones. Enjoy a cultural performance of song and dance, followed by a traditional hangi buffet feast, before you return back to the hotel.
Day 4: Fly to Queenstown and local adventuring
Today, take a flight to Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s most exciting and beautiful destinations, and known as the “adventure capital of the world.”
During your day at leisure, consider the below:
- Take a thrilling jetboat ride on the Dart River
- Join a kayaking tour
- Visit one of the local wineries
Day 5: Milford Sound tour
Rise early, and take an unforgettable, scenic journey. Deep within Fiordland National Park sits Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most stunning natural attraction. With its magical combination of mountain peaks, ink-dark waters, and dramatic, forest-clad cliffs, it must be seen to be believed.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Wine tasting tour of Queenstown
After a morning at leisure, enjoy a wine adventure sampling premium vino. Experience the true flavor of local pinot noir and other wine varietals, stroll through the vines, and learn about the winemaking process of this beautiful region.
Day 7: Fly to Sydney and free day
Today, hop a flight over to Sydney, where your Australian adventure begins.
Spend the afternoon at your leisure, enjoying Sydney’s natural beauty, from unspoiled beaches to public gardens and, of course, the sparkling Sydney Harbour, before discovering its thriving restaurants, markets, and ancient culture.
Day 8: Sydney sightseeing and Sydney Harbour cruise
Start your tour with a million-dollar view on a Darling Harbour Cruise. Learn about Sydney's past, present, and future from the captain's commentary and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch that includes seafood, hot and cold dishes, salads, desserts, and cheeses.
After the cruise, board your coach and travel through the historic district known as The Rocks. Stop at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and take in a panoramic view of the Sydney Opera House and the harbor. At Bondi Beach, wander the shoreline and dip your toes in the cool, clear water, before returning to the city.
Day 9: Blue Mountains day trip
Explore the UNESCO World-Heritage-listed Blue Mountains on a day trip today. Take in the crisp, clean mountain air with distant blue, hazy horizons overlooking deep ravines with rainforest carpeting the valley floor.
Visit Featherdale Wildlife Park, which has the world's largest collection of more than 1,700 Australian native birds and mammals in a lush bushland environment. Walk through Koala Sanctuary, where there are plenty of photo opportunities alongside these furry favorites. Capture a selfie in one of the walk-in enclosures while hand-feeding kangaroos, wallabies, and pademelons.
Witness the amazing view from Echo Point and see the famous Three Sisters rock formation.
At Scenic World, ride the steepest incline Railway in the world. Or, gently ascend on the Cableway and ride on the Skyway, which glides between clifftops taking in the panoramic views of the Three Sisters.
An alternative to Scenic World is to head out of a light, self-guided bushwalk of the spectacular Blue Mountains.
Day 10: Fly to Melbourne and free day
Fly to Melbourne today, and the rest of the day is at your leisure. Relax after the flight or explore the town. If you do a bit of sightseeing, bookmark Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, Queen Victoria Markets, and the Royal Botanical Gardens, to start. Since Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia, expect funky street art and bohemian coffee shops tucked in many corners of the town.
The evening is at your leisure to enjoy a nice dinner, along with exploring the local bar and pub scene—maybe even catch some live music.
Day 11: Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild day trip
This morning, embark on the popular Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild day tour, which includes a walk through natural bushland to meet wild koalas. Then, learn about the species via your wildlife guide and koala researcher. Next, help to create a new koala habitat for future generations of baby koalas by participating in the Make a Home for Koala Clancy conservation project.
Then, join wild mobs of eastern grey kangaroos on the plains and in open forests. Their natural instinct is to flee humans, but with care, your wildlife guide will help you get close enough during this tour to observe their complex social life—and take some great photographs.
Other natural environments to visit are also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeater birds, possums, wallabies, and lizards. Your wildlife guide will help you locate and understand each species, and teach you how to spot wildlife wherever you travel in Australia.
Day 12: Fly to Cairns and free day
In the morning, take the ride to the airport for your flight to Cairns. Enjoy a full day of leisure to discover this tropical paradise. For a truly unique experience, consider a trip up to Kuranda on the Skyrail Gondola. For more wildlife excursions, visit Koala Gardens or the iconic Cairns Aquarium, which is exclusively dedicated to the habitat and species of Tropical North Queensland, followed by a meal at a restaurant with its own 18,000-gallon Under the Pier Shark Habitat.
Day 13: Great Barrier Reef day trip
Board a high-speed catamaran for a full-day cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and is home to more than 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays. Surrounding the reef are hundreds of picturesque tropical islands that contain some of the best golden beaches. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most sought-after tourist destinations.
Enjoy morning tea and a lunch buffet aboard the catamaran. Following the reef tour and some snorkeling, return to your hotel in the late afternoon, and enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Day 14: Departure from Cairns
Enjoy the morning to unwind and reflect on your trip to Australia and New Zealand. Then, make your way to the airport for your return flight home. Safe Travels!