Sophisticated Melbourne extends a warm welcome as your first stop. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). This evening enjoy a memorable Welcome Reception and Regional Dinner with your Travel Director and fellow travellers.
'Dive into Culture' and into the little lanes, arcades and café society of stylish Melbourne. Discover its edgy street art and immerse yourself in the robust aroma of coffee for which this city is so famous.
We fly north to Cairns, where we'll meet a 'Local Specialist' for a private wildlife encounter at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Here the crocs are the star of the show as we take to Hartley's Lagoon to see them cruise the murky waters or laze on the bank. Then, 'Join Trafalgar' and take part in a Rainforest Restoration project to protect this natural wonder.This evening, enjoy an evening at leisure to sample some of the city's famous seafood.
Dip more than your toes in the tropical waters that surround the Great Barrier Reef - a full day to explore this underwater wonderland up close. Board a high-speed catamaran, then don your mask and fins for a leisurely snorkel (equipment provided) or stay dry in your semi-submersible craft to see the tropical species that live in the world's largest coral reef system. A tropical buffet lunch is served on board under the glorious Aussie sunshine before returning to Cairns.
Soak up the leisurely atmosphere of Cairns with a free day to explore the city and its surrounds on your terms. Consider joining an Optional Experience to Kuranda, travelling by Scenic Rail to the 'village in the rainforest' and return to the lowlands on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This evening, you'll witness a Welcome to Country ceremony, hear stories of the Dreamtime, and see a performance by an Indigenous dance group, followed by a Regional Dinner at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.
We leave the golden beaches of Cairns behind, bound for Sydney. Settle in to your splendid surrounds before boarding a Magistic Cruise. Watch day turn to night against the backdrop of the beloved Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as you enjoy a two course à la carte Regional Dinner on the water.
Admire one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century during a guided sightseeing tour of the Sydney Opera House with a 'Local Specialist'. Later, rub shoulders with the bronzed, beautiful people of Bondi Beach and 'Connect With Locals' as you join a surf lifesaver who will take you on a 'Be My Guest' exclusive tour through the Members Only facility of Australia's oldest surf lifesaving club, which has been welcoming beach-goers since 1882, followed by lunch with views over the sparkling Pacific.
Indulge in a full day at leisure to connect with the energy of this vibrant harbour city or consider joining an Optional Experience to the nearby Blue Mountains. Watch as the shimmering blue haze on the horizon turns to a dense canopy of eucalyptus trees and see the Three Sisters that tower above Jamison Valley. This evening, join your travel companions for a Regional Dinner at a waterfront restaurant.
Say a fond hoo roo to Australia as you board your flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Ease into the warm, welcoming embrace of the City of Sails before meeting your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel.
Embark on a city sightseeing tour, starting your journey at the city's beautiful waterfront. Ascend to Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial for magnificent views of Waitemata Harbour, before the rest of the day at leisure.
Cross the rolling hills of King Country to Rotorua. Encounter New Zealand's indigenous creatures that find sanctuary alongside the crystal-clear mineral springs of Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Join a 'Local Specialist' who will help you spot shy kiwi amongst the native bush, ferns and trees. This evening, 'Dive into Culture' and gain a deeper understanding of Māori traditions, while enjoying a Regional Dinner at the Tamaki Maori Village.
There's time this morning for an Optional Experience to visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve to see its bubbling geysers, mud pools and thermal springs. We fly to Queenstown next.
Journey south, over the Devil's Staircase and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau, the gateway to South Island's spectacular fiords. The ancient rainforests of Fiordland National Park provide a lush, green backdrop for our drive past glaciers and mountain ranges. Emerging from the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel, we'll encounter the fragile beauty of Cleddau Valley and natural splendour Mirror Lake, the Chasm and Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Take to its still waters for an exclusive nature cruise with lunch, filled with pinch-me moments. Return to Queenstown for an evening at leisure.
Your final day in Queenstown could see you take an Optional Experience on the Shotover Jet boat or a cruise on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue lunch. This evening, we take a step back in time with our Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed, set in the historic Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, is the perfect venue for your exclusive Regional Dinner.
On your way out of the Queenstown region, visit historic Arrowtown with its lovingly restored mining cottages and tree-lined streets that were once home to determined gold prospectors. Then indulge in some of the area's delicious stone fruit at a local orchard. Pass a trio of sparkling lakes and traverse the Haast Pass. Continue to the luminescent icy depths of the Franz Josef Glacier, which you may choose to explore by air on an Optional Experience scenic flight (weather permitting).
Admire vivid hues of greenstone during a visit to a jade factory in Hokitika, where you'll witness first-hand a 'Local Specialist' master carver at work. Later, experience a Trafalgar highlight - a TranzAlpine train ride from Arthur's Pass through the snow-capped Southern Alps to Christchurch. This spectacular journey dates to 1914 and is rated as one of the world's most scenic train trips.
'Connect With Locals' Isabelle and Tim Weston for a 'Be My Guest' morning tea in their home, which was formerly a Horse Stables. This evening, join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.
Our journey together has sadly come to an end. Say farewell to newfound friends as we transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).