On this two-week journey to Australia and New Zealand, adventure through four cities and several iconic landmarks. Begin in Sydney to visit popular sites like Bondi Beach and the Sydney Opera House. Next, explore famed Ayers Rock and Uluru. Then, it's off to Melbourne for local sightseeing, a wildlife tour, and a free day of discovery. Finally, transport to Auckland to explore the city, along with a day trip to Bay of Islands for marine life sightings and views along the open water of New Zealand.

Highlights

  • Visit famous landmarks in Sydney, like Bondi Beach and the Sydney Opera House
  • Catch the unforgettable sunrise and sunset over Ayers Rock in Uluru
  • Learn about koalas and kangaroos in their natural habitat in Melbourne
  • Take a catamaran to Bay of Islands to spot dolphins and whales outside Auckland

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Sydney Sydney
Day 2 Sydney - City Tour Sydney
Day 3 Sydney - Free Day Sydney
Day 4 Travel to Uluru Uluru
Day 5 Uluru - Sunrise Tour Uluru
Day 6 Uluru - Free Day Uluru
Day 7 Travel to Melbourne Melbourne
Day 8 Melbourne - Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild Melbourne
Day 9 Melbourne - Free Day Melbourne
Day 10 Travel to Auckland Auckland
Day 11 Auckland - City Tour Auckland
Day 12 Auckland - Bay of Islands Tour Auckland
Day 13 Auckland - Free Day Auckland
Day 14 Depart From Auckland  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Sydney

Welcome to Sydney!
Welcome to Sydney!

Welcome to Australia! When you land in Sydney, proceed through customs and to the designated transfer area for your shuttle transfer to your accommodation. Upon arrival at the hotel, a local host will greet you and walk you through your trip itinerary.

The rest of the day is yours to enjoy. Some destinations to bookmark that don't overlap with your sightseeing tour tomorrow include the following: 

  • Royal Botanic Garden: Visit the Australian Rainforest Garden, along with the Palace Rose Garden, which is home to 1,800 roses
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales: View indigenous, colonial, and contemporary collections of art, from Picasso paintings to aboriginal works
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral: Tour the Gothic Revival-style architecture, stained glass windows, and the crypt with its mosaic flooring

Then, the evening will be at your leisure to enjoy a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Sydney - City tour

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

In the morning, embark on a local sightseeing tour. Visit many notable destinations around Sydney, such as the historic area known as The Rocks and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for scenic views of the harbor. Continue on past Kings Cross and Double Bay, through to Watson’s Bay and the famous Bondi Beach, where you will have free time to discover the area.

Return to your hotel early afternoon, and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 3: Sydney - Free day

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

Enjoy a free day to explore Sydney. First, consider making your way down to the BridgeClimb to reach the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge—440 feet above sea level—for an uninterrupted panorama of the city and its surroundings. From the top, soak up the world around you while your climb leader captures your photo. After completing your BridgeClimb, stop by the visitor center, located at the base, to learn more about the history, preservation, and celebration of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Following the BridgeClimb excursion, enjoy lunch, and then plan to visit one of Sydney's most famous landmarks: the Sydney Opera House. Enter beneath the iconic sails to discover what makes the venue so awe-inspiring. Uncover the stories, history, and magic of the Sydney Opera House with an educating guided tour.

Following the tour, head back to your hotel, and enjoy the rest of the day and evening on your own. Toast to your final night in Sydney, before your departure tomorrow.

Day 4: Travel to Uluru

Uluru sunset
Uluru sunset

This morning, transfer to the Sydney domestic airport to board your flight to Uluru.  Upon arrival, meet a private driver who will take you to your hotel. 

In the afternoon, discover the Ayers Rock region. Sacred to the indigenous people of Australia, this area is projected to have formed somewhere around 550 million years ago. Explore your surroundings within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which includes a tour of the Olgas (the domes of Kata Tjuta) and the Uluru monolith.

Following your first day of outdoor exploration, enjoy a glass of champagne and watch the color spectrum shift as the sun sets over Ayers Rock.

Day 5: Uluru - Sunrise tour

Wildflowers in Uluru
Wildflowers in Uluru

Awake in The Outback and enjoy the morning in the Red Centre. Travel to the nearby sunrise viewing area in Uluru to greet the first sunlight of the day as it travels across the desert plains. Enjoy a warming cup of tea or coffee as the morning sun slowly changes the color of Uluru.

Then, it will be time to transfer back to the resort to enjoy the rest of the day discovering the region at your own pace.

Day 6: Uluru - Free day

Sunset in Uluru
Sunset in Uluru

Today, enjoy a free day to explore Uluru. Depending on your preference, here are a few activities to consider and sites to see:

  • Mala Walk: This free path along Uluru’s base tells the story of the native Mala people; enjoy the scenic beauty on the walk, which is just over 1 mile
  • Field of Light: This art installation is a great pre-dawn or post-sunset activity, where a spectrum of colors lights up the desert with 50,000 solar-powered spheres
  • Kings Canyon: Visit Watarrka National Park and take on the 3.5-hour rim walk of Kings Canyon; the challenging, 500-step climb rewards hikers with incredible summit views
  • Maruka Arts: Take a dot painting or woodworking workshop among local artists at Maruka Arts, a collective of more than 900 Anangu artists from a total of 20 desert Uluru communities

The evening is at your leisure to enjoy the final night in the desert.

Day 7: Travel to Melbourne

Melbourne
Melbourne

Welcome to Melbourne! Upon arrival at the airport, pick up your rental car and head into the city. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

If you do a bit of sightseeing, bookmark Flinders Street StationFederation SquareQueen 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 welcome dinner, along with exploring the local bar and pub scene—maybe even catch some live music.

Day 8: Melbourne - Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild

Meet wild koalas on a Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild day tour
Meet the native species on the Kangaroos and Koalas in the Wild tour

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. 

Return to your hotel after a day of touring, and relax and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 9: Melbourne - Free day

Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley

Enjoy a full day of leisure in Melbourne, or go on a nearby excursion.

Consider heading to the Yarra Valley, where you can do some of the following activities:

  • Visit the Rainbow Trout Farm, where you can take the family and catch your own rainbow trout
  • Make your way to the Rayners Orchard Farm, where you will get to pick your own fresh fruit produce
  • Go on a train ride on the Puffing Billy, Australia's premier preserved steam railway which takes you through the Dandenong Ranges
  • Link up with Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tours to explore the region and taste the local varietals

Alternatively, drive along Great Ocean Road, where there are scenic waterside lookouts, like The Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.  

Or, visit Phillip Island's Summerland Beach at dusk for the Penguin Parade, where little penguins come ashore in groups. 

The evening in Melbourne is on your own to enjoy.

Day 10: Travel to Auckland

Welcome to Auckland!
Welcome to Auckland!

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Upon arrival into Auckland, proceed through customs to collect your luggage and then to the shuttle point for your transfer to the hotel. Meet a local representative at the hotel, who will go through your New Zealand itinerary and answer any questions. 

The day is at your leisure. First, take a walk to the Wynward Quarter, a former industrial hub that is now an up-and-coming local hotspot. Then, visit the Auckland Fish Market for a fresh, local lunch. Next, board a 50-year-old, restored tram and ride to New Zealand's oldest neighborhood, Parnell, to discover its galleries and cafés. End the day at the historic suburb of Devenport for scenic waterfront lookouts.

Day 11: Auckland - City tour

Auckland at sunset
Auckland at sunset

This morning, join a half-day city sightseeing tour and travel through the city center, including Auckland's famous Queen Street, Karangahape Road—with its checkered past and eclectic vibe—and fashionable Ponsonby. Cross over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, enjoying views of the Hauraki Gulf and city skyline, and visit the Viaduct Harbour and the revitalized Silo Park waterfront precinct.

See historic buildings around the University of Auckland before continuing over Grafton Bridge to the Auckland Domain, the city's oldest park and, and at 185 acres, one of its largest. Developed around an extinct volcano, it features tropical gardens, duck ponds, and public art, and is also home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

After visiting the Domain, the tour continues through the boutique shopping area of Parnell Village for a tea stop along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive. Then, just above Mission Bay is one of the scenic highlights of your tour: Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park. Named after one of New Zealand's most revered prime ministers, the park offers stunning views over the picturesque Eastern Bays, Auckland city, and the Waitemata Harbour

The city tour ends with a trip back along the waterfront and finishes in downtown Auckland. Following the day of exploration, the evening is at your leisure.

Day 12: Auckland - Bay of Islands tour

Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands

Today, sit back and relax on your ride to the iconic Harbour Bridge by coach, and soak up the scenery of the rural countryside and sub-tropical route to Bay of Islands.

After arriving in Paihia, board the Dolphin Seeker, a catamaran licensed by the Department of Conservation for dolphin- and whale-watching. Enjoy the large, outdoor viewing decks as you cruise past the islands. Keep a lookout for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales, and other marine life as your experienced local skippers get up close to the action. Cruise past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, before arriving at the majestic Hole in the Rock. Admire the rock walls towering above, as the skipper navigates right through the narrow space (conditions permitting) before heading back into the inner islands of the bay.

Following the tour, return to Auckland, and enjoy the evening at your leisure. 

Day 13: Auckland - Free day

Views from inside the Sky Tower
Views from inside the Sky Tower

Enjoy a day at leisure to discover Auckland at your own pace.

Auckland is based around two, large harbors. In the center, the iconic Sky Tower—the tallest manmade structure in New Zealand—has views of Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafés. Ride the glass-fronted elevator up to gain access to exceptional city views. For an adventure, visit the SkyJump, which encompasses an 11-second adrenaline rush as you fall 53 stories.

Next, visit Mission Bay Beach, which is near the downtown area, and has a seaside boardwalk to enjoy the fresh air and water views. 

At night, head to Britomart for your choice of restaurants and bars, and enjoy dinner, followed by a stroll around the harbor.

Day 14: Depart From Auckland

Farewell, Auckland!
Farewell, Auckland!

In the morning, get some last-minute souvenir shopping in or go sightseeing around Auckland a bit, before transferring to the airport for your flight home. Safe Travels!