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Australia / Newzeland - 22 Days

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Australia / Newzeland
Day 1 – Overnight Flight
Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled flight aboard an internationally recognized airline. Cross the International Date Line and “lose” a day. You’ll land in Sydney to go through customs. Your flight then continues to Cairns in the Great Barrier Reef State of Queensland.
Day 2 – Overnight Flight
Today, your flight continues to Cairns in the Great Barrier Reef State of Queensland.
Day 3 – Cairns
Welcome to Cairns! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and then escorts you to your hotel, where you will spend the next three nights. You are free to spend the remainder of the day as you wish, whether you want to catch up on your sleep or begin your own explorations of this tropical paradise. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow “down under” travelers.
Included meals: breakfast (in flight), dinner
Day 4 – Cairns
One of the highlights of your stay in Queensland is this morning’s boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral bed. There will also be opportunities to go snorkeling or view the brilliant colors of the barrier reef from the underwater observatory. Enjoy an included lunch this afternoon.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch
Day 5 – Cairns
Spend the day at your leisure. Choose to go out on your own, discovering the cafes and shops of the wharf district or strolling along the harborfront esplanade. You may also opt for a half-day guided trek into the Kuranda Village and Rainforest on the cusp of the Atherton Tablelands.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 6 – Alice Springs
This morning, board a plane bound for the very center of the Australian continent-Alice Springs and the Australian Outback. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 7 – Alice Springs
You’ll have free time this morning to make your own explorations of this charming frontier town. Alternatively, join an optional Aboriginal Dreamtime excursion, held just a short distance from Alice Springs, in Red Bush country. Learn about Aboriginal religion, mythology and music. Later this afternoon, enjoy a comprehensive tour of Alice Springs. You’ll see many buildings dating back to Australia’s colonial days, including the Stuart Town Gaol and the Old Telegraph Station.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 8 – Ayers Rock
Begin the day with an optional sunrise flight (and champagne breakfast) via hot air balloon over the “Red Center.” This afternoon, journey by motorcoach through the desert to the breathtaking Uluru National Park, where you will spend the night. Upon arrival, a guided sightseeing tour introduces you to the Olgas, a cluster of towering rock domes.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 9 – Melbourne
Visit magnificent Ayers Rock, located nearly 900 miles from the nearest city, in the heart of the Australian outback and close to the Tropic of Capricorn. On a guided sightseeing tour, you’ll learn about the rock’s history. For 20,000 years, native Aboriginal tribes have worshipped this dramatic monolith (which they call Uluru), whose red hues shift with the changing light. Following your visit, board a flight to Melbourne.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 10 – Melbourne
Melbourne has long stood in Sydney’s shadow as Australia’s calling card, but the city (pronounced something like “Melbuhn” by Aussies) is a beautiful, diverse, down-to-earth collection of 19th-century architecture, trams, sprawling parks and charming suburbs. On today’s guided tour of the city, you’ll see Flinders Street Station (meeting point for Melburnians), South Bank, Tudor-influenced Cooks’ Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens (residence of Captain Cook’s parents before it was moved here from Yorkshire), St. Paul’s Cathedral, Town Hall, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Melbourne Park, setting for tennis’ annual Australian Open. This evening, travel to nearby Phillip Island for a memorable optional excursion-the nightly “Penguin Parade” on Summerland Beach, when thousands of tiny penguins waddle up from the sea to nest.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 11 – Melbourne
Today is free to embark on your own exploration of Melbourne. You might wish to browse the stalls of the Queen Victoria Market or shop along South Bank, which houses the massive Crown Casino complex. Our recommendation: Don’t miss venturing out to Melbourne’s eclectic suburbs-Carlton, Fitzroy, Richmond, South Yarra and St. Kilda among them. You’ll be rewarded with an amazing collection of international cuisine (including some of the best Chinese and Vietnamese food outside of Asia), unique architecture and a true small-town feel. Alternatively, join an optional Steamtrain and Winery excursion to the Yarra Valley, where you will have the opportunity to taste the excellent wines of the region. Also included in the optional excursion is a ride on the historic “Puffing Billy” steam train on its way to spectacular Emerald Lake.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 12 – Sydney
Board your flight to Sydney, host of the summer 2000 Olympic Games. After transferring to your hotel, you may explore the city on your own before tonight’s included dinner.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner
Day 13 – Sydney
Sydney boasts one of the world’s best natural city settings. Situated directly by the harbor of Port Jackson, with the gargantuan Harbor Bridge and Opera House jutting out into the skyline, it is truly a sight to soak in. Step inside the iconic Opera House for a guided tour. On your guided sightseeing tour, learn about the convicted criminals who arrived here in the late 18th century to become Australia’s first European settlers. Pass by Chinatown and the grand public buildings on Macquarie Street. See Darling Harbor, the Rocks and world-famous Bondi Beach. In the evening, take an optional ride to the top of Sydney Tower, where you’ll dine on Asian Fusion cuisine while you take in panoramic views of the city, the Blue Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean.
Included meals: breakfast
Included entrances: Sydney Opera House
Day 14 – Sydney
Spend the day enjoying Sydney at your own pace today. Alternatively, opt for an excursion to the Blue Mountains and the famous “Three Sisters.”
Included meals: breakfast
Day 15 – Christchurch Region
Depart Australia this morning by plane and touch down in Christchurch, New Zealand. Continue on to Ashburton for a special opportunity to become acquainted with some “Kiwis” (as New Zealanders are nicknamed) over a home-hosted dinner with a local family.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner
Day 16 – Queenstown
Travel through some of New Zealand’s most captivating vistas today. Pass through the Canterbury Plains and the sheep-farming region around Ashburton. Then travel through Burton’s Pass into the high Mackenzie Country. After passing beautiful Lake Takapo, follow the Kawarau River into Queenstown.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 17 – Queenstown
After a free morning in Queenstown, take the Gondola Aerial Cableway 1,500 feet up Bob’s Peak, which overlooks beautiful lakes and mountain scenery. This evening, you might choose an optional steamship ride across Lake Wakatipu to visit the Walter Peak Sheep and Cattle Station, including a typical local dinner at the Homestead Restaurant (seasonal).
Included meals: breakfast
Included entrances: Gondola Aerial Cableway
Day 18 – Queenstown
Depart early this morning for a full-day included excursion to see the breathtaking scenery of Milford Sound. The journey takes you through the Five Rivers farming region and around the shores of Te Anau Lake and into fjord country. After climbing to the Homer Saddle and driving through the Homer Tunnel, follow the beautiful Cleddau River into Milford Sound. On arrival, board a boat for a cruise around the Sound. Created during the Ice Age, the fjord around which you’ll travel knifes out into the sea between native forests and sheer cliff faces. This is some of the most memorable scenery in the world, and the view of the mile-high Mitre Peak is truly unforgettable.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 19 – Queenstown
Enjoy this morning at leisure before embarking on a sightseeing tour of the Queenstown region. You’ll visit the Gibbston Valley vineyard for an included tasting in this famed wine region. Continue on to historic Arrowtown, a small settlement that was once the center of New Zealand’s gold rush days. Finally, you’ll witness the rushing Kawarau River from the Kawarau Bridge, the birthplace of bungy jumping.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 20 – Rotorua
Fly this morning to Rotorua in the heart of the North Island’s Maori country. This evening, enjoy a bountiful Maori Hangi Feast with your fellow travelers.
Included meals: breakfast, dinner
Please note : On some departures, flights to Rotorua may not be available. In these cases, an extra night in Auckland will be substituted for Rotorua on Day 20.
Day 21 – Auckland
Transfer to the city of Auckland, where you’ll have free time to explore on your own.
Included meals: breakfast
Day 22 – Auckland
Begin the day with a sightseeing tour of Auckland, the City of Sails, built upon two natural harbors, the Waitemata and the Manukau. Behold the fantastic vista of the cityscape and harbors from atop the volcanic slopes of Mount Eden. If you are continuing on our tour extension, transfer to the airport for your flight to Fiji. Otherwise, transfer to the airport for your flight home. By recrossing the International Date Line, you’ll reclaim the day you lost on departure, arriving home on Day 22.
Included meals: breakfast

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