First Choice

Highlights of Australia & New Zealand

22 Day Guided Vacation | Melbourne to Christchurch

Three World Heritage Sites on one tour? It’s a reality on this two-country adventure. Whether you’re drifting across the Great Barrier Reef, sailing Sydney Harbour, gazing at Uluru-Kata Tjuta or cruising through Milford Sound, this Melbourne to Christchurch tour has ‘pinch me’ moments abound. These moments come with experiences of Indigenous heritage, from Maori hangis in Rotorua to Aboriginal guides in the Red Centre.

Prices From Code: IMZB

$12061

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.

$14246

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.
Prices above are per person in USD
Child prices are available on request

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Highlights of Australia & New Zealand

First Choice

22 Day Guided Vacation

Melbourne to Christchurch

Three World Heritage Sites on one tour? It’s a reality on this two-country adventure. Whether you’re drifting across the Great Barrier Reef, sailing Sydney Harbour, gazing at Uluru-Kata Tjuta or cruising through Milford Sound, this Melbourne to Christchurch tour has ‘pinch me’ moments abound. These moments come with experiences of Indigenous heritage, from Maori hangis in Rotorua to Aboriginal guides in the Red Centre.

Highlights

Insider Knowledge

The best way to take the pulse of Australia’s most creative city is with a local guide, leading you through colourful back alleys.

Local Connection

Learn the meanings of Aboriginal Western Desert Dot Art from an Anangu artist before painting your own piece to take home.

Cultural Immersion

Dive deep into Indigenous culture at Te Pa Tu Maori Experience, where Māori culture is revealed through a traditional hangi meal and dance performance.

Sustainable Footprints

Your visit to a kiwi hatchery helps ensure the future of this adorable (yet endangered) bird for future generations of visitors.

Wildlife and Nature

Nature humbles at Milford Sound, where plunging cliffs and raging waterfalls meet inky dark water. On your cruise you’ll begin to understand why dolphins and sea lions love living here.

Itinerary

image map

Melbourne is known for its amazing food, as you’ll discover while meeting your fellow travellers tonight.

  Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine

Get your Melbourne bearings on a city tour, but make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes for when you hit the streets to explore hidden alleys covered in eye-popping murals. Spot a jazz bar or restaurant you fancy? The afternoon is yours to indulge.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

There are endless reasons to linger in Melbourne. But if you feel like exploring further afield, talk to us about a road trip along the Great Ocean Road (it deserves its name) or to Phillip Island. The penguins waddling from the ocean up the sand to their burrows is the cutest thing you’ll ever see.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

The rusty red landscapes of Uluru beckon as you leave Melbourne for Ayers Rock Resort, your backdrop this afternoon is the world’s largest rock monolith. Follow your guide to the perfect perch to capture Uluru as the last of the day disappears, glass of bubbles in hand (of course).

  Hotel: Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

The only reason to get out of bed before dawn? For a magical Uluru sunrise. It’s a spiritual place, with stories of the Anangu, caretakers of this remote arid landscape revealed while you tour the base. The red desert follows you to Kata Tjuta, where nature humbles as you walk through the towering domes of this ancient rock formation. Cheers to the end of another amazing day.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

So the other reason to rise in the dark is to witness Bruce Munro’s Field of Light, an installation of 50,000 orbs blanketing the outback. This is the countryside that First Nations artists immortalise in their paintings – try your hand at creating one during an intro to Western Desert art. Head to your next stop in sunny Cairns.

  Hotel: Hilton Hotel Cairns, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Cruising with crocs, a scenic railway ride into World Heritage listed rainforest, a wander along the Cairns Esplanade? Today the choice is yours.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

The world’s largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef, never fails to dazzle. Set out on a catamaran to explore a kaleidoscope of colour: over 1,500 species of fish, 215 different birds, 3,000 molluscs, six of the world’s seven marine turtle species, and 30 species of dolphins and whales are residents. Strap on a snorkel or visit an underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft to take in the menagerie without getting your hair wet. Tonight, celebrate the end of an incredible day at dinner on Cairns’ waterfront at Salt House for regional seafood plucked straight from the ocean, highlighting fresh, local ingredients, and prepared on their custom-built Argentinian wood fired grill.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

We hope you have a window seat, because the view of Sydney Harbour as you come in to land is one that postcards were made for. Join your Travel Director for a Highlight Dinner cruise around Sydney Harbour against the backdrop of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

  Hotel: Intercontinental Hotel Sydney, 4 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Bring your stamina: today is one of innumerable highlights. Go behind the scenes at the Sydney Opera House, discovering its architectural and performance secrets. If these sails could talk. One icon to another: The world’s most famous beach beckons this morning, with your chance to pad along the sand at Bondi with Sydney’s beautiful people. From Worked up an appetite? A local Surf Life Saver will take you into the members-only Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club. Learn about this historic club and gain an understanding of the important work that is done here saving lives on this famous beach. Next, a Be My Guest lunch with views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Lunch

The hardest decision you have to make today: explore more of Sydney, or head to the Blue Mountains, 11,400 square kilometres of World Heritage listed wilderness, a place where sandstone escarpments appear to cleave off the edge of the Earth and waterfall-cooled valleys of rainforest slip dreamily from the pages of a fairytale? The choice is yours.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Now you’ve found your bearings in Sydney, why not linger around the harbour – perhaps it’s time to glimpse it from above on a Sydney BridgeClimb? This bird’s-eye view certainly puts things in perspective. Back at ground level, you’re in the heart of the Rocks, the city’s original colonial settlement and a place of cobbled alleys and private galleries. Finally, a Highlight dinner back in the shadow of the Opera House at Portside Restaurant. Because you’ll never tire of glimpsing this beauty.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

All you have to do today is sit back and enjoy the view as you cross the Tasman to embark on your next adventure.

  Hotel: The Grand by SkyCity, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

We’ll take you out to Mission Bay and Bastion Point – have your camera poised – and then leave you to your own devices in the afternoon. Need suggestions? How about a cruise to Waiheke Island for a wine tour?

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Cute and cuddly, NZ’s national bird, the kiwi, is also endangered. Go behind the scenes on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery to learn how breeding programs are helping the population thrive. This evening your Highlight Dinner is prepared in an earthen hangi at the Te Pa Tu Maori Experience. It’s an eye-opening (and tasty) introduction to Māori culture.

  Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a film star? Today you’ll get a taste of celebrity lifestyle when you sit down to breakfast in the village of Hobbiton, the movie set of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. Take a guided tour past Hobbit Holes and the Mill, and wave to your fans.

  Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Sheer cliffs, thundering waterfalls, glaciers and rainforest – if there’s a destination more inspiring than Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, we’re yet to find it. After a cruise here (look out for dolphins and sea lions), we’re sure you’ll agree.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today is all yours. Love adventure? Ride the Shotover Jet. Oenophile? Arrange a tour to Otago wineries. Regroup for a Highlight Dinner at the historic Postmasters Cottage.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Arrowtown and Cromwell are known for their natural drama; just as enticing is the tasty stone fruit. Take a bite. Arriving at Lake Tekapo, you’re far from anywhere. Which practically guarantees dazzling stargazing in the UNESCO Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.

  Hotel: Peppers Bluewater Resort Lake Tekapo

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Ever wondered what life on the land is like? Meet Angie and Stan Taylor, who have farmed this countryside for more years than they care to remember. The stories you’ll hear over lunch.

  Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Lunch

Community spirit is strong in Christchurch; not only has the city rebuilt since the devastating 2011 earthquakes, but it’s thriving, with architectural innovations like the world’s first church built of cardboard. Take in the sights with an in-the-know local. Tonight, raise a glass to your travels at a Farewell Diner.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

How did three weeks disappear like that? Re-live all the memorable moments on your way home.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

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

Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert.

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Private veranda or courtyard
  • Heater
  • ISD/STD phone
  • Mini Bar
  • In-room safe
  • In-house movies
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Set amid tropical greenery on Cairns’ waterfront, this hotel is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef Terminal is just 400 metres from the hotel’s front doors, and both the Boardwalk and Esplanade dining precincts are just a short 2 minute stroll.

    Features

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

Discover an oasis of luxury in the heart of Auckland's vibrant city. The modern and spacious SKYCITY Grand Hotel allows you to relax in style while enjoying our world-class casino, more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bars, a theatre, free live entertainment on selected nights and the iconic Sky Tower.

    Features

  • Plasma television
  • Bathrobe
  • Luxury bathroom products
  • Mini Bar
  • Refrigerator
  • Air Conditioning
  • In-house movies
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Work Desk
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hair Dryer
  • In-room safe
 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

Near the shores of Lake Tekapo, in the heart of Mackenzie Country in New Zealand’s central South Island, is Peppers Bluewater Resort. Overlooking Lake Tekapo this resort is located in an intensely beautiful part of the world. Peppers Bluewater Resort is set amongst the purest natural landscape.

Your accommodation in Lake Tekapo reflects the beautiful landscape surrounding you. You can explore the natural wonders of Mount Cook and the Mackenzie region from here. Marvel at an International Dark Sky Reserve with millions of stars. Ride horses through the mountains, catch a scenic flight to Franz Josef glacier, go skiing, or immerse yourself in the Tekapo Springs Day Spa and Hot Pools.

 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. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Optional Experiences

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 72.00
Child Price: AUD 23.00

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: AUD 184.00

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 $199

Take to the sky on a 10-minute scenic flight. You will have the best seat to witness the iconic Great Barrier Reef from above.

Adult Price: AUD $266 Child Price: AUD $246

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 $175 Child Price: AUD $92

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 330.00 + flight levy
Child Price: AUD 290.00 + flight levy

Hot Air Cairns - 30 or 60 Minute Flight

Enjoy a spectacular balloon flight over the Atherton Tablelands the hot air ballooning capital of the southern hemisphere.

*Additional $30.00 insurance levy to be paid direct to Hot Air Cairns applies.

** If your tour ends in Cairns, you must have post tour accommodation or a late departing flight. Ask us for details

Adult Price: AUD 175.00
Child Price: AUD 85.00

Phillip Island - Penguins, Koalas & Wildlife

If you’re curious about our native wildlife or just love animals, we’ve got you covered today! Start the day off with a visit to the Koala Conservation Reserve where you’ll join an experienced park Ranger and explore the tree top boardwalks to see the koalas up close in their natural habitat.Then there is the main attraction – The little penguins waddling up the sand to their dune burrow homes returning from their daily fishing excursion. Arrive at Phillip Island Parade Visitors Centre and learn about the life cycle of the little penguins and learn of the environmental and conservation initiatives in place to ensure the wildlife and vulnerable geology of Phillip Island remains protected.  As the sun goes down, head to the beach and watch as the Little Penguins battle the surf and make their way to their dune burrows. See the Little Penguins up close as they return to their nests to greet their families.

FIND OUT MORE

$55 Adult

Giapo Ice Cream - Kitchen Experience

Come and discover the thought processes behind the Giapo team’s imagination-fuelled creations and get an insight into their unique creative process and learn the story of how innovation and ingenuity are reshaping ice cream.

Adult: $55 NZD

Child: $30 NZD

The All Blacks Experience is an introduction to “kiwi culture” through the lens of our national sport. An immersive and emotive state-of-the-art guided journey that showcases the All Blacks and our national teams in Black, through exceptional innovation and technology. Celebrate New Zealand’s heritage and culture then stand up to one of the most powerful All Blacks Haka’s that you will ever see! At the conclusion of the guided tour, you have the option of testing your skills in our interactive zones - try out your kicking, catching, line-out and accuracy skills against legendary All Blacks.

NZ$420 Adult NZ$260 Child

Explore the alpine wonderland of the Southern Alps’ highest peaks and glacial lakes on this 45-minute scenic flight, including Murchison Glacier, Tasman Glacier, Main Divide, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, westland coastal rainforests and Mount Cook.

NZ$425 Adult NZ$325 Child

Air Safaris - Grand Traverse Scenic Flight

Explore the alpine wonderland of the Southern Alps’ highest peaks and glacial lakes on this 45-minute scenic flight, including Murchison Glacier, Tasman Glacier, Main Divide, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, westland coastal rainforests and Mount Cook.

NZ$219 Adult NZ$139 Child

Appellation Central Wine Tours - Boutique Wine Tour

An afternoon amongst the boutique vineyards and splendid alpine scenery of Central Otago. Taste wines at 4 premium vineyards over two contrasting wine regions, learn about the wine and pioneering history and visit the Historic Precinct of Old Cromwell. Includes a delightful platter lunch and a glass of wine with lunch.

NZ$180 Adult NZ$90 Child

Pure Glenorchy - Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour

Lord of The Rings Scenic Tour:  Visit the stunning locations from Lord of The Rings.  Encounter lsengard, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains, Ithilien and many more.  Experience the absolute beauty of the Dart River Valley and our closest world heritage area.  Learn about the remarkable history and unique culture of Glenorchy.  Our tour feature’s some of the world’s most spectacular scenery visiting Mt Aspiring World Heritage Area, Glenorchy, The Dart River Valley and Paradise.  Encounter ancient beech forest, braided rivers and glacier carved valleys.

Adult: $120.00

Child: 120.00

A 20 minute, fixed wing scenic flight is a great way to take in the amazing landscape of Uluru. This small plane operator offer extended flights that include both Uluru and Kata Tjuta.   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.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • • Local Specialists (Guides)
  • • Centrally located premium hotels

What to Bring

  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months
  • • Camera
  • • Comfortable walking shoes
  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • 21 Full Breakfasts
  • • 2 Lunches
  • • 2 Be My Guest Lunches
  • • 4 Dinners with Wine
  • • 4 Highlight Dinners
  • • 1 Farewell Dinner

Flight Information

  • • Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 12:00pm into Melbourne Airport
  • • Day 4: Melbourne - Uluru(Ayers Rock) JQ664 (*Required Internal flight)
  • • Day 6: Uluru(Ayers Rock) - Cairns QF854 (*Required Internal flight)
  • • Day 9: Cairns - Sydney VA1418 (*Required Internal flight)
  • • Day 13: Sydney - Auckland QF143 (*Required Internal flight)
  • • Day 16: Auckland - Queenstown NZ623 (*Required Internal flight)
  • • Day 22: Flights to depart any time from Christchurch

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