Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand

18 Day Guided Vacation | Melbourne to Christchurch

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$6475

Adult Twin i A person 16 years and over (note a person 16–17 years must be accompanied by a person 18 years and over). All prices are per person, land only.

$8950

Single i A person, who must be 18 years and over, travelling alone, must pay the single room price. All prices are per person, land only.

$5830

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$5830 Child

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Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand

18 Day Guided Vacation | Melbourne to Christchurch

Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand

18 Day Guided Vacation | Melbourne to Christchurch | Travel Period: 1 Apr 2020 – 31 Mar 2021

Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand

18 Day Guided Vacation

Melbourne to Christchurch

On this grand, wide-ranging journey, you’ll explore the two diverse and fascinating nations that lie on the shores of the Tasman Sea. Vastly different in size, and each offering unique landscapes and experiences, Australia and New Zealand share a well-earned reputation for warm hospitality and great cuisine. Discover kiwis and crocodiles, exciting cosmopolitan cities, the Great Barrier Reef and stunning Milford Sound.

Why you'll love this trip:

  • Cruise Sydney's glorious harbor and the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit a local home and former stables for morning tea
  • Cruise the magnificent and world-famous Milford Sound
  • Plant a tree at a Queensland rainforest restoration project

image map

Local Connection

Join a local family for a 'Be My Guest' morning tea and hear tales of the amazing world record-setting motorcycle designed in their garage.

Insider Knowledge

Immerse yourself in incredible tropical North Queensland, taking in its diverse nature and wildlife aboard a local crocodile-watching cruise.

Cultural Immersion

Visit a traditional Māori marae at Tamaki Māori Village, and enjoy a concert and an authentic earth-oven 'hangi' dinner

Sustainable Footprints

Plant native trees as part of our Rainforest Restoration project in Queensland, providing sanctuary for local birds and wildlife.

Get to know your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening at a Welcome Reception and dinner.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 2 nights

Included Meals: Dinner with wine

Explore Melbourne on a city sights tour this morning, then discover its gracious arcades, eclectic laneways and vibrant street art on a private walking tour.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Depart Melbourne by air this morning for Cairns, where you’ll join a local expert for a wildlife journey at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a cruise where you’re sure to encounter koalas, wallabies and crocodiles. Then join us and take part in a Rainforest Restoration project to protect this natural wonder.

Hotel: Hilton Hotel Cairns, 3 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

Board a high-speed catamaran today and cruise out to the iconic Great Barrier Reef beneath the sparkling blue waters of the Coral Sea. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkeling (equipment provided), or view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semisubmersible craft. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch on board before you return to Cairns.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today is free for you to pursue your own interests in this vibrant tropical city. This evening, you’ll be treated to a Highlight Dinner at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Experience a personal Welcome to Country ceremony, witness an entertaining high impact performance by an indigenous dance group and enjoy dinner accompanied by the sounds of the didgeridoo.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

This morning you’ll fly to Sydney, where you’ll have time to relax or explore before boarding a Magistic Cruises Dinner Cruise. Glide past magnificent waterfront homes, the legendary Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

Hotel: Hyatt Regency Darling Harbour, 3 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Enjoy a tour of the Sydney Opera House then head to Bondi Beach to visit an Australian institution, the Returned Servicemen’s Club. Your host, a local surf lifesaver, will lead you on an exclusive Be My Guest tour through the Members Only facility of Australia’s oldest surf lifesaving club, followed by lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest lunch

Explore Sydney at your leisure. This evening, join your Travel Director for dinner at a restaurant by the waterfront.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Fly across the Tasman Sea to the island nation of New Zealand. You’ll meet your Travel Director over dinner this evening at your hotel.

Hotel: Stamford Plaza Auckland, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

A morning city sightseeing tour is followed by free time when you can relax or explore.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Discover New Zealand’s native flora and fauna, including the iconic kiwi, at Rainbow Springs Nature Park. This evening, enjoy a Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Māori Village.

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

There’s free time for an optional experience. Perhaps visit Te Puia, where a Māori guide will introduce you to their gift from the gods – mud pools, thermal springs and New Zealand’s largest geyser, Pohutu. This afternoon, board your flight to Queenstown.

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 3 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

Travel through Fiordland National Park to glorious Milford Sound. Cruise among sheer cliffs, massive waterfalls, glaciers and rainforest before you return to Queenstown in the late afternoon.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Explore exciting Queenstown your way today. Join your fellow travelers at The Boatshed, set in the historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office, for a Highlight Dinner.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Visit the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown, then indulge in some delicious stone fruit in Cromwell. Drive over the epic Haast Pass, past thundering waterfalls and ice-blue lakes. Continue to the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier.

Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Journey to Hokitika, known for its beautiful greenstone (jade) to witness a master carver at work. At Arthur’s Pass board the TranzAlpine for one of the world’s most scenic train rides through the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

Join Isabelle and Tim Weston, for a Be My Guest experience at their home, Britten Stables. Formerly horse stables, the couple restored the property and transformed it into the exquisite home it is today. Spend the last evening with your Travel Director at a Farewell Dinner

Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest, Farewell Dinner

Say goodbye when your vacation comes to an end this morning after breakfast.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.

Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort.
The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne is located on Spencer Street on the fringe of the CBD. Just a short stroll to Crown Casino, Docklands and South Wharf, Crowne Plaza Melbourne is a Southbank hotel ideally situated on the bank of the Yarra River.

    Features

  • 220/240 V AC
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Wi-Fi
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Microwave
  • Hair Dryer
  • Communal self-catering kitchen
  • Manual temperature control
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The Hilton Cairns hotel boasts a unique tropical setting, enjoying spectacular scenery surrounded by lush gardens. The hotel offers bright accommodation with spacious bathrooms and private balconies with stunning waterfront views of Trinity Inlet, the Cairns Esplanade and blue-green mountains beyond

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio
  • Phone
  • Private balcony
  • Bathrobe
  • Bathroom Amenities
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet Access
  • Mini Bar
  • Iron / Ironing Board
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

As one of Australia's largest hotel, we are a self-rated 4.5 star hotel with 648 rooms including 17 suites, we have what matters most to you like stylish rooms and a comfortable bed. Located in Sydney's Central Business District and overlooking the spectacular Darling Harbour, you'll be surrounded by all of Sydney's major entertainment and shopping districts including Pitt Street Mall and Queen Victoria Building with The Rocks, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House just a 15 minute walk away!

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Wi-Fi (additional cost)
  • In-room safe
  • Mini Bar
  • iPhone/iPad connectivity
  • Newly Refurbished
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Located in the heart of the city, just a short stroll from the Viaduct harbour and Auckland's best shopping and nightlife. Stamford Plaza Auckland hotel is the ideal spot for a luxury unwinding. Stamford Plaza Auckland hotel is one of Auckland's premier accommodation choices with extensive hotel facilities and amenities.

    Features

  • Wireless Internet access
  • Executive Desk
  • Safety deposit box (laptop size)
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • In-room Movies (fee applies)
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Work Desk
  • Mini Bar
  • Phone
  • Gym facilities
  • Bathtub and shower
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Centrally located in the city beside mystical Lake Rotorua, this hotel is just a brief stroll from the Rotorua Museum, Convention Centres and adjacent to a Polynesian Spa.

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Mini Bar
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Internet Access
  • Sky TV
  • Personalised message and wakeup service
  • Work Desk
  • Radio
  • Hair Dryer
  • In-room safe
  • Iron / Ironing Board
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is only minutes from Queenstown shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting and jet boating.

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Colour TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini Bar
  • Phone
  • In-room safe
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hair Dryer
  • Electric blankets
  • Broadband Internet access
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand’s pristine wilderness – Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests’ wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there’s no better place to take a deep breath and simply unwind.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat seamlessly incorporates measures that greatly reduce its environmental impact. Designed to stand the test of time, Te Waonui’s durable, New Zealand building design blends in with its stunning natural setting. Management and staff at Te Waonui actively support community-based projects to preserve our outstanding natural heritage in Franz Josef Glacier Town.

    Features

  • In-room safe
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Pillow Menu (Choice of pillows)
  • Luxurious bed linen
  • Private balcony or courtyard
  • Electronic security key system
  • Air-conditioning
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Mini Bar
  • TV
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The newly renovated Distinction Christchurch Hotel is an urban escape combining sophisticated smarts and familiar warmth whilst standing proud amongst the buzz of the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square.

Ideally positioned in the heart of the city only a few minutes' walk from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and future Christchurch Convention Centre.

    Features

  • Wi-Fi
  • Sauna
  • Gym facilities
  • TV
Need accommodation before or after your tour?

Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts. Find out more

  • Quality accommodation
  • Travel in luxury coach
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Airport Transfers (see flight information below)

To ensure your holiday is filled with memorable experiences, we have included a range of quality Optional Excursions for you to choose from and partake in, if you wish, during your holiday. The excursions can be booked on tour through your Travel Director.

Adult Price: AUD 165
Child Price: AUD 82

Blue Mountains & Australia Wildlife (J15)

Explore the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. Stretching over one million hectares, the Blue Mountains is an inspiring mix of rainforest, canyons, tall forests and heathlands. Visit the famous Three Sisters rock formation up close from Echo Point before arriving at Scenic World where you can witness the vastness of the Blue Mountains as you join the Scenic Railway, Cableway and Skyway. These rides are a great way to see the steep valleys and canyons and follow the boardwalk along the valley floor. Stop in picturesque Leura at lunchtime and grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafés. Encounter koalas, kangaroos, wombats and other native animals.

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Adult Price: AUD 308.00
Child Price: AUD 208.00

Bridge Climb

The Bridge Climb is a 3 1/2 hour guided journey to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It takes you along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour. Climbing in groups of up to 14 people, you’ll be led by one of BridgeClimb’s professional Climb Leaders on an adventure of the world’s most recognisable Bridge. Prices from:

Adult Price: AUD 75.00
Child Price: AUD 22.00

Sydney Tower Restaurant Dinner

Enjoy a memorable evening perched high above the city with uninterrupted revolving views. This delicious buffet dinner includes over 40 freshly prepared dishes across a range of international cuisines including a selection of fresh seafood, salads, hot dishes and desserts. Prices from:

Adult Price: From AUD 95.00

The Rocks Pub Walk

Tread in the footsteps of the convicts, larrikin gangs & locals of the past as you share a drink in four of Sydney's oldest pubs. Between watering holes, your guide will take you through the alleys & cobbled streets of The Rocks as they share the gossip, shouts and stories of Australia's first European settlement. Tour includes: A choice of a beer (285ml/10oz), house wine or soft drink at each pub. 2.5 hours in duration. Runs 2:30pm & 6.30pm daily. Commences from Harts Pub, Essex St & Gloucester Street, The Rocks.

Adult Price: AUD 173.00

Great Adventures Introductory Dive

For an underwater adventure to remember, experience an introductory dive! It’s fun and no experience is necessary to take a fully supervised introductory dive. Professional and experienced instructors will guide you through every aspect of your dive, allowing you to have a relaxed, enjoyable experience.

Adult Price: AUD 57.00
Child Price: AUD 57.00

Ochre Restaurant - 2 Course Dinner

Ochre is an award winning restaurant with a dedication to local produce, crafting native ingredients into modern exciting cuisine. The menu changes seasonally and is unique in its use of Australian native foods and regional produce.

Adult Price: From AUD 99.00
Child Price: From AUD 45.00

Dinner and Harbour Cruise on Spirit of Cairns

A Cairns Dinner Cruise is the perfect way to end a perfect day in paradise. Step aboard the luxury catamaran Spirit of Cairns for a 2.5 hour evening cruise through the calm water inlet and waterfront precinct of Cairn. Enjoy fabulous dining and live music with the lights of Cairns City and mountain sillhouettes as your backdrop.

Adult Price: AUD 172.00
Child Price: AUD 86.00

Phillip Island - Penguins, Kangaroos & Koalas

If you’re curious about our native wildlife or just love animals, we’ve got you covered today! You’ll get up close to Australian animals, including koalas and kangaroos. On Phillip Island the main attraction awaits – the Little Penguins waddling up the sand to their dune burrow homes returning from their daily fishing excursion.

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Adult Price: AUD $235.80 Child Price: AUD $217.80

A cultural journey taking you from coast to rainforest experiencing natural beauty and ancient culture.
Learn traditional hunting and gathering skills as you search for bush tucker of mud crabs, fish and mussels before tasting and sharing what you have caught and gathered. A short drive away is the lush rainforest of Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre. Here you will experience the splendour of the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. Enjoy a guided interpretive walk through the ancient rainforest and along the banks of the pristine waters of the Mossman Gorge. Lunch & damper included.

Adult Price: AUD $198.90 Child Price: AUD $104.40

Enjoy this historical rail journey to Kuranda, with breathtaking views across the cane fields of Cairns, to the tropical rainforest of Kuranda. Upon arrival you will have around one hour to explore this fascinating village of colourful and interesting arts and crafts. At 11.30am, make your way directly to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to experience this iconic rainforest. After arriving at the Smithfield Skyrail Terminal, the coach will transfer you to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Explore the park, including the unique eco experience of the Wetlands cruise through the ecologically significant Melaleuca wetlands; the domain of the saltwater crocodile. (Operates Daily)

Adult Price: AUD $201.60 Child Price: AUD $135.00

Travel in air-conditioned comfort in your luxury purpose-built vehicle to Cape Tribulation, through some of the oldest rainforest in the world.  Included is morning tea and a driver guided walk at Mossman Gorge, a cruise on the Daintree River, delicious tropical BBQ lunch set amongst the rainforest, and a walk on famous Cape Tribulation Beach.

Adult Price: AUD $153.90 Child Price: AUD $81.00

Down Under Tours Kuranda Skyrail and Scenic Railway

Join your Down Under Tours coach transfer to Smithfield Station. Here you join Skyrail and marvel at the World's Most Beautiful Rainforest Experience, including time at both Red Peak and Barron Falls stations, both with spectacular lookouts. On arrival in Kuranda, the Village is yours to explore. The vibrant and colourful Heritage markets take place daily. Your return to Cairns is aboard the famous Kuranda Scenic Rail. Winding around curves, across bridges and through hand-hewn tunnels this amazing engineering feat is a tribute to our pioneers. Upon arrival at historic Freshwater Station, you will board your coach back to your accommodation.

Adult Price: AUD $199

Take a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef - spectacular! Prices from


Optional Experiences indicated are Australian or New Zealand dollars. Please note that occasionally weather or seasonal conditions may not permit their operation. Some also depend on a minimum number of participants and suitable time being available. Please see your Travel Director for a full list of experiences.

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • Water bottle
  • Warm layers in cooler months
  • Swimwear and beach towel (if swimming)

Fitness Requirements

  • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • 17 Full buffet breakfasts
  • 1 Be My Guest Lunch
  • 2 Lunches
  • 1 Be My Guest morning tea
  • 3 Highlight Dinners
  • 5 Dinners with wine
  • 1 Farewell Dinner

Flight Information

  • Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 12 noon into Melbourne Airport
  • Day 18 - Flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport
  • Required Internal Flights listed below are to be purchased in order to fulfil the itinerary and are not included in the land content price
  • Day 3 – Melbourne to Cairns: VA1291
  • Day 6 – Cairns to Sydney: VA1418
  • Day 9 – Sydney to Auckland: VA141
  • Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown: NZ5785/NZ5653 (except below departure dates)
  • Tour Start Date 16 April 2020: Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5783/NZ5653
  • Tour Start Date 12 November 2020: Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 10 December 2020: Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 17 December 2020: Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 31 December 2020: Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 07 January 2021: Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5653
  • Tour Start Date 10 January 2021: Day 12 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5653

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