Welcome to Melbourne! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director for a welcome reception and dinner at the South Wharf riverside pub, The General Assembly. It's a great opportunity to get to know everyone in a unique setting.
Join your Travel Director for a city sights tour that includes a private walk through Melbourne's famous hidden laneways. You'll discover the city's eclectic little lanes, arcades, café society and fascinating street art. There's time afterwards to explore the city on your own, enjoy an optional experience or simply relax and watch the world go by.
This morning you will be transferred to Melbourne Airport for your flight to Cairns, Queensland. On arrival join a private wildlife journey at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a boat cruise and encounter koalas, wallabies, birds, crocodiles and more! There will be time to partake in regenerating the rainforest particular to the Wangetti Valley which Hartley’s is located in. Feel free to join is as much or as little as you can with this tree planting project and be a part of keeping the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics alive! This evening is free for you to choose from the numerous restaurants that Cairns has to offer.
Get ready for an experience of a lifetime - board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft, just one metre underwater. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns.
Today is a free day to do as you choose. A great option is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda, be amazed as you travel over and through World Heritage rainforest, explore quaint Kuranda village and later board the Kuranda Scenic Rail for this historic rail journey. If you’d prefer to spend the day relaxing by your hotel pool or sitting back at a local café you can do that too! In the evening re-join your travelling companions for a dining experience at Tjapukai Cultural Park. Hear dreamtime stories, witness a high impact dance performance and enjoy dinner with your local host to the sounds of the didgeridoo.
Following a leisurely start to the morning, it’s time to switch the tropical vibes back to city highlights as you fly to Sydney. What a way to kick off your arrival to Sydney with a dinner cruise enjoying the famous Sydney Harbour! You’ll pass under the Harbour Bridge, cruise past the Opera House and see many magnificent waterfront homes, beaches and parklands.
Kick off this highlight day of sightseeing on a guided tour of iconic Sydney Opera House. Later, your destination is famous Bondi Beach, for an iconic Australian experience. You’ll be greeted by a local surf lifesaver who will take you on an exclusive tour through Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club (generally members-only access) and share with you the history of Bondi and surf lifesaving. Allow your feet to sink into the warm sand before joining your host for a Be My Guest lunch. Chat about all things Bondi at an Aussie institution, the Returned Servicemen’s Club, with its views over the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Later enjoy some free time to do some shopping, enjoy an Optional Experience or maybe just take a stroll along the harbour front.
Today is free for you to do as you choose. Why not take a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains for fresh mountain air and stunning scenery. You’ll visit the charming village of Leura, see the famous Three Sisters rock formation and visit a Wildlife Park to see some of Australia’s cuddly native animals. If you’ve always wanted to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, today could be your chance on a thrilling Bridge Climb. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a farewell dinner on the harbourfront.
This morning you say goodbye to Australia and fly to New Zealand! This evening meet your Travel Director for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel in Auckland.
Embark on a city sightseeing tour this morning. Travel around the waterfront from central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata. This afternoon is at leisure.
Today, you’ll venture through Waikato region passing through Cambridge known as ‘The Town of Trees and Champions’ on your way to Rotorua. On arrival embark on an orientation of the area before visiting Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a guided tour of the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, the national leader in kiwi husbandry. Learn about the work being done to save New Zealand’s national bird, see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process and newly hatched kiwi chicks. This evening enjoys a traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Maori Village.
Your day starts with breakfast at Hobbiton, experience the iconic rolling hills and green pastures of the Hobbiton Movie Set as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies before continuing to Auckland to board your flight to Queenstown. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Queenstown.
Journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, over the Devil’s Staircase and along to Te Anau and its lake, the largest in the South Island. Experience magnificent scenery as you continue along this alpine highway to Fiordland National Park. Enjoy numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat, Hollyford Valley lookout (Pop’s view), Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel towards the iconic Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch and a cruise on this wonder of nature. Later, return to Queenstown for the evening.
Today choose from a range of optional sightseeing experiences. You could ride the world famous’ Shotover Jet or enjoy a cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue lunch at the Colonel’s Homestead. This evening, join your Travel Director for dinner at the BoatShed. Set in the restored historic Railway Shipping Office and relocated to its lakefront setting in 1936, The Boatshed with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables is the perfect venue for your highlight dinner.
Today you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, traveling through Central Otago to the Mackenzie region with time along the way to stop in Arrowtown then Cromwell, situated next to the pristine Lake Dunstan and taste delicious stone fruit at a local orchard. Continue over the dramatic Lindis Pass before reaching the Starlight Highway and Tekapo's world renowned UNESCO Aoraki McKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. This afternoon enjoys the views of Mt Cook before heading to the iconic Church of the Good Shephard. This evening, see amazing constellations that can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, including the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way. Your local specialist expert astronomy guide will enhance your knowledge and understanding of our Southern Skies as you admire and ponder the possibilities through our powerful optical telescopes.
Enjoy a relaxed start before heading north through South Canterbury, visit the charming boutique village of Geraldine as you travel through to Christchurch.
This morning see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. It is the world’s only cathedral made substantially of cardboard! After a Christchurch city sights tour, you’re invited to a Be My Guest morning tea at the home of Tim and Isabelle Weston, owners of Britten Stables. Formerly a horse stables for nearby Mona Vale Gardens and following that, the birthplace of the world-record-setting Britten V1000 motorcycle designed and built in the garage by Isabelle's late father, John Britten. The couple restored the original charm of Britten Stables and transformed it into the exquisite home that it is today. This evening, join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your new-found friends for a farewell dinner.
Your AAT Kings New Zealand holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. Your flights can depart any time today, and you will be transferred to Christchurch Airport.