Discover the style and spirit of Melbourne, your launch pad to an epic adventure through Australia and New Zealand. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). Tonight, we celebrate the beginning of an antipodean journey at a Welcome Reception and Regional Dinner.
'Dive Into Culture' this morning, joining your Travel Director for a leisurely exploration of Melbourne's famous hidden laneways. Discover the city's eclectic arcades, café society and vivid street art.
We fly to laid-back Cairns where we'll meet our 'Local Specialist' for a private wildlife journey at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Our boat cruise will take us through woodlands and rainforest, which provide sanctuary koalas, tropical birds and, of course, crocodiles. Then, 'Join Trafalgar' and take part in a Rainforest Restoration project to protect this natural wonder. Enjoy an evening at leisure.
Board a high-speed catamaran bound for the underwater wonderland that is the Great Barrier Reef. View the iridescent coral formations and colourful marine-life from your semi-submersible craft. Get your feet wet and snorkel for up-close encounters with this natural wonder (equipment provided). Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board in the golden Australian sunshine before you return to Cairns.
Spend the day at leisure discovering Cairns on your own terms. Consider joining one of Trafalgar's recommended Optional Experiences - a Scenic Rail journey to Kuranda to explore the 'village in the rainforest'. This evening, at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, you'll hear stories of the Dreamtime and witness an entertaining high impact performance by an indigenous dance group. Then enjoy a Regional Dinner accompanied by the sounds of the didgeridoo.
We fly to Sydney this morning and enjoy some time at leisure before boarding our Magistic Cruise. As we sail past magnificent waterfront homes and the iconic white sails of the Opera House, we'll indulge in a Regional Dinner against the backdrop of the city's beloved Harbour Bridge.
Celebrate the genius of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, whose Sydney Opera House is our first stop for a tour with a 'Local Specialist'. Continue to the golden sands of Bondi, to 'Connect With Locals', when you'll meet a local surf lifesaver who will share insights into the history of Bondi Beach and surf lifesaving during a 'Be My Guest' exclusive tour of the Members Only facility of Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club, and lunch paired with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Indulge in a free day to connect with Sydney and its beautiful natural surrounds. Consider joining an Optional Experience to the spectacular eucalyptus-clad Blue Mountains or ascend the imposing iron arches of Sydney Harbour bridge if you're feeling adventurous. Join your Travel Director for a waterfront Regional Dinner this evening.
New Zealand's adventure capital beckons, and we fly to Queenstown. You'll get your bearings on an orientation tour. Tonight's Regional Dinner is at The Boatshed, the historic and restored New Zealand Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. Enjoy delicious traditional cuisine with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.
Get a feel for real country life when we'll 'Connect With Locals' over a 'Be My Guest' experience with our host Southern Girl Laura. Born and raised on a sheep and deer farm in the deep south of New Zealand, Laura will share with you her story of growing up in the country. Then it's all hands-on as you have a go at sheep mustering, whip cracking, as well as the chance to feed and pet the farm animals. Laura is sure you'll leave feeling more like a local than a visitor. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon. An Optional Experience could see you taking a jet boat ride down the Shotover River, a minibus excursion through Skipper's Canyon or tempting your taste buds on a wine tour.
You have a final day in New Zealand's adventure capital to do as you choose. Why not take an Optional Experience to breathtaking Milford Sound for a cruise on the majestic fiord.
Our first stop is at the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. We then fly to Rotorua, the cultural capital of New Zealand, where this evening we'll 'Dive Into Culture' at the Mitai Maori Village for a Regional Dinner. Watch your Māori hosts issue their heart-pounding wero (challenge) during the Powhiri, a ceremonial welcome. Then, continue to the village to delve into what life was like in New Zealand before European settlement. Our encounter with Māori culture continues as we feast on succulent meats and vegetables cooked in a Hangi, sharing our meal with our indigenous hosts.
Visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a tour with a 'Local Specialist'. Continue to the Living Maori Village Whakarewarewa and 'Dive Into Culture' to gain in-depth insights into the lives of the Māori people and the special bond they share with this ancient land. See New Zealand's biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs.
The iridescent cave walls of Waitomo Caves are our first stop today as we navigate the depths of the incredible Glow Worm Grotto and Limestone Caves with a 'Local Specialist'. We continue to Auckland where we're see the City of Sail's iconic and unexpected highlights during a City Tour. Our in-depth encounter with Australia and New Zealand almost at its end, we'll join our Travel Director and new-found friends for a Farewell Dinner.
Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. Time to bid you farewell as we transfer you to Auckland Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).