Welcome to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland! Today you’ll meet your Travel Director and fellow travel companions at a Welcome Reception, before enjoying a unique ‘Be My Guest’ experience at City Winery – Brisbane’s first urban winery. Over a dinner hosted by the Group Sommelier or Winemaker, you’ll learn about the inner workings of this micro-winery, which sources grapes from across Australia's celebrated wine regions. Learn about how food and wine work together in this unforgettable food and wine pairing. It is the perfect introduction to Brisbane’s modern, vibrant and generous spirit.
This morning we’ll head to Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital. Australia's wildlife is uniquely its own and much-loved by the world. See how AAT Kings works with the Wildlife Warriors and go behind the scenes to see how the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is giving injured wildlife a second chance. Over a twelve month period, between 6,000 and 8,000 animals are brought to the hospital for lifesaving treatment. Returning to the city, we’ll join an indigenous walking tour of Brisbane. As the captivating sounds of the Didgeridoo ring out, we’ll uncover the fascinating history, art and rich cultural heritage of Meeanjin (Brisbane City) with an Aboriginal guide, whose ancestors inhabited the shores of the Brisbane River for over 40,000 years. The evening is yours, perhaps to explore the Queen Street Mall, Queen’s Wharf or the trendy bars and restaurants of Brisbane’s South Bank.
Fly to an unspoilt island paradise in the very heart of Queensland’s Whitsundays, Hamilton Island. Slip straight into relaxation mode as you contemplate life on ‘Hamo’ – as it’s affectionately known by locals – marvelling at its long white beaches and teal water, brimming with marine life. Book your spot on a sun lounger at the pool, head for a walk on one of the island’s many hiking trails or grab a golf buggy to explore this car-free coastal wonderland at your own pace (driver’s licence still required). This evening you can enjoy sunset cocktails at One Tree Hill. Perched on a hilltop, the One Tree Hill lookout has some of the best views over the Whitsundays and is the perfect spot to end your day. Grab dinner at your hotel before heading to bed, tomorrow is a bucket-list day of epic proportions.
Explore the Whitsundays, an island archipelago in the Coral Sea – and your tropical gateway to the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Sail across the impossibly blue waters of the World Heritage-listed marine park to explore the hidden corners and colourful depths of the reef, making a stop at Whitsundays’ floating pontoon, the perfect platform from which to experience the amazing marine life and corals of the Whitsundays. Swim or snorkel (equipment provided), before indulging in a buffet lunch, while a whole other world swims peacefully below. Or take a scenic flight from the pontoon and experience the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, from above – including the famous Heart Reef, a stunning composition of coral perfectly formed in the shape of a heart (optional experience).
Spend the day in complete relaxation or continue exploring the natural beauty of the island. Enjoy a coffee at the marina, lace up your hiking boots and head up Passage Peak for flagship views across the archipelago. Don your swimming togs for a dip in the warm waters off Catseye Beach – or go in search of Coral Cove, one of the island’s most secluded stretches of beach. Island life does not get better than this. We highly recommend booking a catamaran cruise to Whitehaven – the most beautiful beach in all of the Whitsundays (and arguably, Australia). This stunning beach is 98 per cent pure white silica, providing a blindingly bright backdrop for the bay’s swathes of turquoise water (optional experience).
An easy start to the day gives you some more time to enjoy Hamilton. Savour a leisurely breakfast, sneak in one last swim and soak up the views – soon we’ll board our afternoon flight to Sydney. This evening we’ll catch the sunset from Sydney’s iconic Darling Harbour, watching the city light up around us as we enjoy dinner at a waterside restaurant.
This morning we’ll join a Behind the Scenes Sydney Opera House Tour. You’ll walk up the steps and under the ‘sails’ of this iconic building, to delve into the heart and history of one of the world’s most beloved opera houses. Take in the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the spectacular Concert Hall, before pausing on the lower concourse to watch the world go by. For a change of scene, we’ll head to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. Enjoy some free time in order to wander along the strip, heading in and out of surf shops, which stand shoulder to shoulder with fashion boutiques and gift stores. Grab a bite to eat at one of Bondi’s sidewalk cafés – or dip your toes into the warm Pacific Ocean. Active souls can follow the boardwalk as it twists and turns above sandstone cliffs, past Australia’s oldest lighthouse for dramatic views across the ocean. This afternoon we’ll get involved locally at Our Big Kitchen, a community organisation that encourages individuals to help provide meals for those in need. This evening is at leisure, so take the opportunity to explore Sydney’s vibrant CBD, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay.
Get your final fix of Sydney with a full day to explore. Soak up incredible city views on a ferry trip to Manly Beach, wander around the Royal Botanic Gardens, or get your adrenaline racing with a thrilling walk up (and over) Sydney Harbour Bridge. With so much to see and do, you’ll need every last second available. This evening you’ll join your Travel Director and fellow travel companions for a Farewell Dinner cruise around Sydney Harbour. Have your camera handy as you sail past Sydney’s most iconic sights, your Australian adventure is coming to end.
Departure day. It’s a final, fond farewell to Sydney as we transfer you to Sydney Airport for your onward flight. Welcome to Queenstown, New Zealand. This evening, join your Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed set in the historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. With its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, it's the perfect venue for your exclusive Regional Dinner.
Get a feel for real country life this morning when we meet our host Laura for a Be my Guest Experience. Born and raised on a sheep and deer farm in the deep south of New Zealand, Laura will share her story of her life growing up in the country. Try your hand at sheep mustering, whip cracking as well as the chance to feed and pet the farm animals. You'll leave feeling more like a local than a visitor. Enjoy free time 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.
While Queenstown wears its Global Adventure badge proudly, it’s also the perfect place to relax and explore. The town boasts great shopping with luxury brands, iconic New Zealand design stores and boutique fashion. If bungy jumping or tree-to-tree ziplining aren't your cup of tea, consider an Optional Experience to spectacular Milford Sound, travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Fiordland National Park. Experience magnificent scenery and many 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 for your cruise.
Today we depart the adventure capital of New Zealand Queenstown and head north to the City of Sails, Auckland. This evening, why not dine at one of the many eateries on Federal Street, a hotspot for food lovers right on your doorstep. With an impressive accolade of awards between them, there is something to suit every taste at Federal Street.
Today we journey south through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860’s. Join our 'Local Specialist' in a starry wonderland - a cavernous galaxy of twinkling bright green and blue glow-worms that light up the Ruakuri Caves, Waitomo. This evening, we join our hosts at the Mitai Maori Village for an authentic introduction to Maori culture, experience a delicious Hangi feast and cultural performance.
Visit 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. Continue to the Living Maori Village Whakarewarewa and 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. Later we'll join our Travel Director and new-found friends for a Farewell Dinner at Terrace Kitchen on the Lakefront.
Bid farewell to your epic Antipodean adventure as you are transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.