Let us drive you around Australia and New Zealand. No one can make the region come to life better than our local chauffeur. Travel in style with our qualified driver/guides in a chauffeur driven car or minibus. They can take you off the main route to experience the real life of the area, and introduce you to the places you would miss when you travel on your own. Combine an Autralia trip with a trip to New Zealand.
style with our qualified driver/guides in a chauffeur driven car for Australia
New Zealand travel
This extensive 25 day tour of New Zealand and Australia covers all you would want to see in these two great countries. It is a sample only, and we can customize your private tour of New Zealand and Australia to meet your exact needs.
A highlight of any vacation is finding unique places to stay. Of course, every region has its special customs, cultures and styles. Capture the flavor by discovering Australia and New Zealand in a most civilized manner with a local driver as your travel guide, offering insight and a wealth of specialized knowledge. All of the chosen accommodations are of outstanding character and charm, and some are of architectural or historical importance. If you don't see exactly what you want here, please ask. Our recommended itineraries are just a suggestion.
Day One Arrive Auckland (D) On arrival at Auckland International Airport , you will be met by a representative and transferred by private vehicle to your city accommodation. Auckland city, sprawling across the isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is noted for its extensive parks and beautiful gardens. The warm, sunny climate encourages sub-tropical growth of all kinds. Unique to this city is a large number of extinct volcanic cones thrusting sharply upward out of a sea of houses. The highest, Mount Eden, is an ideal point to view this widespread metropolis, out across the Waitemata Harbour to the east and the Manukau Harbour to the west. The beautiful Waitemata Harbour gives Auckland a nautical flavour and is the largest and busiest port in the country. In contrast, the Manukau Harbour, formed during the same geological time as the Waitemata, is an area of mud flats and tidal channels, protected by a difficult bar at its mouth. Although Auckland lost to Wellington its position as seat of Government in 1865, it is still New Zealand's trade capital and centre of greatest population. Dinner is included this evening at your accommodation. Accommodation for two nights: Mollies Boutique Hotel (Villa Suite)
Day Two Auckland (B) Full Breakfast is included this morning. This morning you will be collected by your private driver for your city tour of Auckland. See the best of New Zealand's biggest city on Auckland City Highlights tour which includes: Queen Street, yacht marina, Mt. Eden with its 360 degree views, the domain and Parnell village, Paratai drive - the most exclusive homes in Auckland and the waterfront. Visit the Auckland War Museum. The collections of Maori Taonga (treasures) and South Pacific artifacts are the most important in New Zealand. Scars on the Heart, the story of New Zealanders at war, has powerful and realistic recreations of life on the front line, from the New Zealand wars through to Gallipoli, and present peace keeping activities. Sky Tower is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Ride the glass fronted lifts to the main observation deck where you can view Auckland below you through glass floors panels or make your way to Sky Towers outdoor observation deck to feel the breeze. You will then travel over Aucklands harbour bridge to the North Shore and visit Devonport. Enjoy time to wander the small village before returning to hotel. The afternoon is at leisure. Dinner by own arrangements.
Day Three Auckland Waitomo - Rotorua (BD) Full Breakfast is included this morning. This morning, travel with your private driver/vehicle and leave the city via the southern motorway and cross the Bombay Hills, before descending into the fertile farmlands of the Waikato Plains. Pass the tall twin stacks of the coal burning electric power station at Huntly. Travel through Ngaruawahia, home of the Maori King, continuing to the large inland city of Hamilton, the principal centre for perhaps the most productive agricultural and dairying district in New Zealand. Drive through the provincial farming centres of Te Awamutu and Otorohanga, before turning off the main road at Hangatiki to drive the short distance to Waitomo. Your guided tour will take you through over 250 metres of stunning underground scenery commencing with the impressive Cathedral with its amazing acoustics. The tour then proceeds along a low narrow passage to the Tomo, a deep limestone shaft. Other magnificent cave formations are viewed including the Banquet Chamber, the Pipe Organ and the Catacombs. The highlight of the tour is an unrivalled boat trip through the spectacular Glowworm Grotto. The roof sparkles with the lights of glowworm larvae as you glide silently through the grotto with the tiny lights also reflecting off the water. This afternoon leave Waitomo and pass through the farming centre of Kihikihi. Leaving the King Country, drive to Arapuni the site of one of the numerous dams which have been constructed on the Waikato River. Travel to Putaruru which, although small, is one of the main timber milling centres in this rapidly expanding forestry region. Continuing, pass through the Fitzgerald Glade and cross the heavily forested Mamaku Range to Lake Rotorua and the thermal area. Rotorua is the centre of an extensive thermal region and geysers, bubbling mud pools and steaming, sulphurous lakes give evidence of nature's frightening yet fascinating power. Rotorua and the surrounding lakes provide some of the world's best trout fishing. The Maori culture contributes greatly to the attractions of this holiday city. Here you can enjoy the culture and entertainment of our native Maori people. Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails & Dinner this evening at your lodge. Accommodation for three nights: Treetops Lodge (Lodge Room)
Day Four Rotorua (BD) Breakfast is included this morning This morning join your full day Cultural Eco Tour (small tour). Travel through forestry and farmland to NZ's largest boiling mudpool and see the Lady Knox geyser erupt. Visit Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland which lays claim to be New Zealand's most colourful volcanic area. Colours of every tint and hue are displayed in pools, lakes, craters, steam vents, mineral terraces and even the tracks you walk on. The self guided walk takes you through stunning geothermal activity. Features include: Primrose Terraces - over a hectare of naturally tinted, remarkably formed terraces, exquisite in their delicate lacework pattern. The largest in the Southern Hemisphere since the world famous Pink and White Terraces; Champagne Pool - unique in the world, a fifth of a hectare of bubbling, hissing water, with a beautiful ochre-coloured petrified edge; and Bridal Veil Falls - a cascade of mineral water over a deep, terraced silica formation, changing color from glistening white and lemon to emerald green. Travel onto Waimangu Volcanic Valley which was created by the eruption of Mount Tarawera. Enjoy a guided sightseeing walk through the valley of l,craters, steaming cliffs, and lakes. Spend the afternoon experiencing Rotoruas Maori culture and thermal activity and see how they are intricately entwined. First a guided tour through Te Puia, Rotoruas premier cultural attraction. This includes a visit to the wood carving school, art and craft gallery, Rotowhio Marae, weaving display, kiwi house and finally the Pohutu geyser. Next we visit the Lakefront area and Ohinemutu Point to learn more about Maori history and customs. A short visit to Kuirau Park to view a recent eruption site. Then finishing the day visiting the pristine and tranquil lakes of our amazing volcanic region, including views of Mount Tarawera with explanation of volcanic and Maori history. Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails & Dinner this evening at your lodge.
Day Five Rotorua (BD) Breakfast is included this morning Today is at leisure - activities include scenic flights including guided walks at White Island, off road monster 4WD & bush safari trips, or relax in the Polynesian spa pools. Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails & Dinner this evening at your lodge.
Day Six Rotorua Christchurch (BD) Breakfast is included this morning. This morning you will transferred by private vehicle to Rotorua Airport, where you will connect with your scheduled domestic flight to Christchurch (flight not included). On arrival into Christchurch you will be meet and transferred to your accommodation. Christchurch, "The Garden City" has many well-tended parks, reserves and squares but the civic love of beauty is often more apparent in the fresh lawns and burgeoning gardens of the suburban streets. The pioneering folk of an earlier era took thought for the future when they planted seedlings which have grown into mighty oaks and elms, soaring poplars and graceful willows which are seen in every part of the city. Much of the charm of this city starts and finishes with the beautiful Avon River which runs through the suburbs and the city itself and provides an almost rural atmosphere in the heart of the city. The Town Hall on the banks of the river, is a striking example of the city's progressive approach to new architectural ideas, and is a nice contrast to the many earlier colonial buildings. Dinner is included this evening. Accommodation for two nights: Huntley House (Garden Suite)
Day Seven Christchurch (BD) Breakfast is included this morning. This morning you will be collected by your private driver, for your city tour where you will discover why Christchurch is known as the 'Garden City'. Enjoy the charm of the award winning gardens, the tranquillity of the historic buildings which blend gracefully with the modern. See Cathedral Square, Mona Vale and the University of Canterbury, the Avon River and Hagley Park. Travel to the Sign of the Takahe, a historic roadhouse and enjoy magnificent views of the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps and the city of Christchurch. Dinner is included this evening.
Day Eight Christchurch Mount Cook (BD) Breakfast is included this morning. This morning, travel with your private driver/vehicle and travel across the fertile Canterbury Plains, noted for grain crops, to Ashburton - chief town of central Canterbury. In the distance, to the west, are the snow-capped Southern Alps. At the Orari River the road turns westward to Geraldine and over undulating sheep country to Fairlie and Burkes Pass, gateway to the high plains of the MacKenzie Country. Pass through scrub and tussock country past Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, following the Tasman River to the Hermitage Hotel. The hotel is nestled in beech forest at the foot of the mountains, with Mount Cook eight kilometres away in the distance. Dinner is included this evening. Accommodation for one night: Hermitage Hotel (Aoraki Wing Room)
Day Nine Mount Cook Queenstown (B) Breakfast is included this morning. This morning rejoin your driver and leave Mount Cook. Follow the Tasman River and the shoreline of Lake Pukaki into the Mackenzie Country. Beyond the scrub and tussock of the high plains, travel over the Lindis pass and follow the Lindis River through Tarras and on to Cromwell. Many parts of the old Cromwell now lay at the bottom of the newly created Lake Dunstan, part of the Clyde Dam project. From here follow the Kawarau River through rugged mountainous country into Queenstown. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu Queenstown is a year-round alpine resort that caters for all interests. It enjoys a magnificent setting amid steep mountain ranges and pockets of native bush with the jagged peaks of the Remarkables Range rising from the lake. The town is compact enough to travel around on foot and features over 100 restaurants. The lake was scooped out by glacial action thousands of years ago. A mysterious phenomenon causes the lake to vary several inches in depth every few minutes, giving credence to a Maori legend of an ancient Taniwha (demon) still breathing beneath the surface. Accommodation for three nights: Sofitel Hotel (Deluxe Lakeview Room)
Day Ten Milford Sound Day Trip (B) Breakfast is included this morning. This morning lift off in your personal helicopter and enjoy the spectacular flight to Milford Sound. Remote, mysterious and uniquely New Zealand, Milford Sound is a spectacular reminder of the forces of nature that shaped this land. Formed thousands of years ago during the ice ages, Milford Sound is the northernmost fiord in Fiordland National Park and is, without doubt, the most dramatic. Here in this place of unparalleled beauty, you will find cascading waterfalls, luxuriant forests and the towering pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising one full mile to the sky. No matter what the fiord's mood, shrouded in mist or with sun glistening on deep waters, it will inspire you. On arrival at Milford, take in a relaxing cruise on the Sound. Experience the stunning mountain scenery, waterfalls and unique wildlife from the comfort of your luxury vessel. Your pilot will meet you after the cruise and fly you back to Queenstown with a remote snow landing enroute. Return to your hotel.
Day Eleven Queenstown (B) Breakfast is included this morning. Today you will be collected from your hotel by your driver where you will enjoy full day local sights. Firstly explore this vibrant township of Queenstown. See the Mall which is Queenstown's main shopping area and a popular spot for café's and restaurants. The city's historic stone library was built in 1877 and St Peter's Anglican Church in 1932. Queenstown Gardens - a pleasant walk along the beach from town - has gardens, lawns and recreation areas. Then travel to the Skyline Gondola where you will be whisked up 450 metres to Bobs Peak. Enjoy the breathtaking views which extend almost 360 degrees from Coronet Peak around to the Remarkables and on to Cecil and Walter Peaks on the other side of Lake Wakatipu. This afternoon, travel to Gibbston Valley vineyard and enjoy a guided wine cave, giving you the unique opportunity to learn about the history of this special region, and to taste a selection of the finest New Zealand wines in the unique ambiance that the Wine Cave provides. The Gibbston Valley wine cave offers enthusiasts a chance to better appreciate the boutique wines produced by this award-winning winery and an opportunity to commemorate the revolutionary spirit of Central Otago's expert winemakers. Blasted out of the solid schist rock of the Central Otago mountains, the Gibbston Valley Wine Cave provides the perfect natural environment to mature their award-winning wines. Experience the feeling of travelling underground 76 meters into the Central Otago hillside within New Zealand's largest and most innovative wine cave. During your cave tour, youll taste three Gibbston Valley wines before making your way to the restaurant to enjoy a platter lunch, glass of wine followed by coffee/tea. Following lunch, travel past the Kawarau Bridge and view the bungy jumpers, then continue to Arrowtown. Stroll through this picturesque town and village that has retailed its old world charm and shop at leisure. Return to Queenstown.
Day Twelve Depart Queenstown (B) Breakfast is included this morning. At leisure until transferring to Queenstown Airport by private vehicle and connecting with your Australian flight to Australia SYDNEY ARRIVAL On arrival you will be met & transferred to your hotel by private transfer. Your suggested accommodation at: FOUR SEASONS HOTEL. Sydney, capital city of New South Wales, is the major gateway to Australia. Sydney is a maritime city, its natural harbour unsurpassed in beauty. Houses crowd to the land's edge interrupted by sheer rocky cliffs and preserved bushland and the striking forms of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House stand sentry to the city. Sydney has an international flavour. The numerous nationalities which have settled here contribute to a varied and fascinating blend of restaurants, shops and night- life. This afternoon will be free at leisure.
Day Thirteen SYDNEY Breakfast at your hotel this morning Harbour Day Sailing will collect you at your hotel; Experience Sydney's true beauty onboard a Luxurious harbour vessel. Encounter many wonderful places of interest whilst travelling at your own pace. Soak up the sun and the fresh air. Cruise under Sydney Harbour Bridge and view the Opera House, Circular Quay and the Rocks. A great spot or taking a few photographs. After your sailing on Sydney Harbour you will be met by your private driver guide to commence your half day city sights of Sydney We travel to the charming Rocks area, where you take a stroll around the historic area, with its quaint old cottages, pubs & churches. Rejoin the vehicle & travel along Macquarie St, the seat of government for NSW, the Mint & Hyde Park Barracks. Travelling past St Marys Cathedral, you visit Mrs Macquaries Chair for an unsurpassed view of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House & Bridge. Continuing along the shores of Sydney Harbour, you travel through Kings Cross, Double Bay & Rose Bay. Passing by the up market real estate, we pause briefly for morning tea in the beautiful Sydney Harbour National Park. We then travel further to South Head, with its breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour & the city. Take a short stroll along the cliff tops & rejoin the vehicle to continue to Bondi Beach & Centennial Park returning to your hotel where your tour ends.
Day Fourteen SYDNEY (B) Breakfast at your hotel this morning Australian Wild Escapes private driver guide will collect you at your hotel for the following 4WD Blue Mountains touring (private charter); This fantastic Ecotour begins at your hotel & the historical Rocks area of old Sydney. Heading westwards across the coastal plain we make our way to the Great Dividing Range of Australia. It is here we leave the average Blue Mountains tourist behind & enter the National Park to unlock a piece of Australia We visit an ancient Aboriginal site & outstanding lookouts; examine rock formations & the unusual plants & wildlife that abound the area. From the quaint little village of Leura we skirt around Cliff Drive to Katoomba where you will find yourself looking out over the magnificent Jamieson Valley (Australias Grand Canyon) & the Three Sisters. We enjoy a delicious lunch including a selection of fine Australian wines with a cheese platter under the canopy of the Australian bush. Before returning to Sydney we drop into a hidden valley where we roam the area, seeking out the many kangaroos that graze in the wild (conditions permitting). Reluctantly we leave the National Park passing through the Olympic 2000 site, arriving at your hotel around 5.30pm.
Day Fifteen SYDNEY HAYMAN ISLAND (B) Breakfast at your hotel this morning Private transfer to Sydney airport. Fly Sydney to Hamilton Island (own arrangements). Connect with the launch transfer to Hayman Island. Hayman is an international standard resort complex offering the ultimate in luxury accommodation and service. Set in 13 hectares of tropical gardens and set around a giant swimming pool lagoon and freshwater pools, Hayman offers superb cuisine and a variety of water sports, tennis, fitness and spa centre. Your suggestion accommodation: HAYMAN ISLAND RESORT GREAT BARRIER REEF
DAY Sixteen and Seventeen HAYMAN ISLAND AT LEISURE. (B) Enjoy breakfast daily. These days are free to explore beautiful Hayman Island.
Day Eightteen HAYMAN ISLAND HAMILTON ISLAND CAIRNS DAINTREE (B) Enjoy breakfast this morning. Connect with the launch to Hamilton Island. Connect with your flight to Cairns (own arrangements). Upon arrival in Cairns you will be transferred to your accommodation in the Daintree. Your suggested accommodation: SILKY OAKS LODGE The Daintree and Cape Tribulation is a pristine region of lush tropical rainforests, deserted white beaches, sleepy rivers and breathtaking natural beauty preserved by World Heritage listing for future generations. A naturalist's paradise, the region brings the natural wonders of the reef and rainforest together and is recognised for its superb wildlife and eco-tourism.
Day Nineteen DAINTREE (B) Breakfast at your hotel this morning Australian Wild Escapes will collect you at your hotel for your private 4WD tour; travel through the rich farming areas toward the World Heritage Listed forest region of Cape Tribulation. We step aboard our own personalised craft for a cruise on the mirrored smooth waters of the Daintree River. We cruise close to riverbanks and under the overhead canopy of the rainforest seeking out the vivid Ulysees Butterfly, Kingfishers and various other wildlife. The cruise takes us through silent backwaters where crocodiles can normally be seen basking banks Arriving on the northern side of the river we enjoy a home-style morning tea at Thornton Beach before returning to our vehicle and making our way towards Cape Tribulation and the Coral Sea. Just before we get there we stop at the outstanding panoramic picture postcard view at Alexandra Range Lookout. From here you'll have a spectacular view of the mouth of the Daintree River. Lunch is a special treat today, deep under the Rainforest canopy. We enjoy a delicious lunch with a chance and is a unique opportunity to enjoy quality food, whilst bathed in the serenity of the Tropical Rainforests. Our last stop and final lasting impression will be at one of the magical boardwalks. This is a specially constructed rainforest and mangrove walk, which will allow our guide to immerse you in the secrets of the rainforest. You may even get the chance to spot a brightly coloured Southern Cassowary. Fallen fruit and fruit on low branches is the mainstay of its diet so you may well see one ruffling through the undergrowth. You will be back at your accommodation late afternoon.
Day Twenty DAINTREE CAIRNS AYERS ROCK (B)Breakfast at your hotel this morning Private transfer from your hotel to Cairns airport. Fly Cairns to Ayers Rock (own arrangements). On arrival to Ayers Rock, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by a representative from Longitude 131.
Your suggested accommodation: LONGITUDE 131o AYERS ROCK RESORT Experimental travel is about providing a unique opportunity, allowing guests to be personally affected by their travel experience, be it spiritual, cultural or educational. Longitude 131 offers a true 'safari' experience in Central Australia and is a unique way to experience the desert, surrounding eco system, Aboriginal culture and expansive views of Uluru. Uluru national park, 450 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs, encompasses just a small portion of the vastness of central Australia. The spectacular Ayers Rock (Uluru) and the Olgas dominate the open barren landscape of sand plains and mulga woodland rising up out of what is now a buried mountain range. These magnificent peaks are of great significance to the region's tribal Aborigines and visitors to the park are able to see the many sights and cave paintings that form an important part of central Australian Aboriginal mythology.
|Did you know?
The Outback town of Silverton near the New South Wales/ South Australia border has featured in more than 140 films and commercials including Mad Max 2 , Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Razorback, Young Einstein, and A Town Like Alice.
Day Twenty one AYERS ROCK AT LEISURE A touring programme is included in
your package stay at Longitude. Please discuss touring options with your hotel
Day Twenty two AYERS ROCK - MELBOURNE You will be transferred to Ayers Rock airport today by a representative from Longitude 131. Fly Ayers Rock to Melbourne (own arrangements). Upon arrival in Melbourne meet your driver and transfer to your hotel. Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria and Australia's second largest city. It is the country's fashion and cultural centre and is often referred to as the 'Garden State' due to the magnificent parks and gardens throughout the city. The wonderfully preserved Victorian architecture of Melbourne gives the city a special charm, reminiscent of the great cities of Europe. Your suggested accommodation: LANGHAM HOTEL
Day Twenty three MELBOURNE (B) Enjoy full breakfast. This morning is free at leisure. Australian Wild Escapes will collect you at your hotel (early afternoon). Enjoy a short city sights tour. From your hotel your tour will take you southeast of the city to the rugged southern coastline. Tour Phillip Island and visit the Koala Conservation Centre to see a protected Koala colony. Walk in nature reserve bush land and wetlands to see Wallabies and birdlife in the wild. Penguins come ashore each evening at dusk. Boardwalks enable the visitor to gain close contact with the penguins in the dune area. Enjoy a fish and chip dinner at the Jetty Restaurant in the township of Cowes at Phillip Island. Return to Melbourne inland, arriving at your hotel late evening.
Day Twenty four MELBOURNE (B) Enjoy full breakfast. Meet your driver guide from Epicurean for your full day private charter. With a rich history stretching back to the first settlers, the Yarra Valley is not only one of Australia's oldest wine producing regions, but also one of the most diverse, containing large commercial enterprises and small boutique producers. Less than an hour's drive east of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to over 40 wineries and is best known for its success with pinot noir, fine chardonnays and also cabernet sauvignon and shiraz varietals. The Yarra Valley offers a unique food and wine experience, with many wineries specializing in the foods of the region at the cellar door and adjacent restaurants. Experience a private tasting in the Trophy Room at family owned De Bortoli Winery. Visit the Produce Store at Yering Station, showcasing produce from the Yarra Valley region and taste at the cellar door of local wineries. Visit Domaine Chandon Australia, ideally located in this world renowned wine-growing region. Producing premium quality Methode Traditionnelle sparkling wines from the classic Champagne grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, Domaine Chandon is dedicated to producing quality Austrailan wines.
Day Twenty five MELBOURNE DEPARTURE (B) Enjoy full breakfast. Meet your driver and transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
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