First Choice

Highlights of Australia & New Zealand

22 Day Guided Vacation | Melbourne to Christchurch

Travel Period

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

$12390

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.

$14575

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.

$11485

Child i A child must be accompanied by a person 18 years+. Some tours have minimum age requirements.
Prices above are per person in USD

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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

Local Connection

Tour the base of Uluru with your Travel Director to learn about its ancient rock and art hear stories of the Anangu people, caretakers of this remote arid landscape.

Insider Knowledge

The magic of World Heritage listed Milford Sound comes to life when you’re cruising in the company of NZ’s most informed guides.

Cultural Immersion

If you’ve never eaten a hangi, you’re missing out. It’s on the menu at Tamaki Māori Village, celebrating NZ’s cultural heritage and preserving traditions.

Sustainable Footprints

Your holiday of a lifetime protects Uluru, Kakadu and Litchfield, with National Parks fees preserving Australia’s immense wilderness areas.

Itinerary

image map

Welcome to Melbourne! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers 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!

  Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine

Explore Melbourne on a city sights tour then discover its eclectic little laneways, arcades, café society and street art on a private walking tour. The rest of your day is free. You may like to take an optional experience to Phillip Island to see the famous penguin parade or maybe you'd prefer to relax or even experience some of Melbourne's well-known food and culture.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Today is free for you to explore the delights of Melbourne. You may like to take a full day optional experience to the Great Ocean Road to discover the stunning coastline and the Twelve Apostles. Or maybe treat yourself to a theatre production or indulge in some world class fare at one of the city's famous eateries.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Get excited for a bucket list experience today as you depart Melbourne to the sacred, ancient site of Uluru. Flying over dry salt lakes and red desert before your MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience on your first of many visits to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park over the next two days. In Aussie’s cultural heartland amidst the rusty red landscape, you’re treated to a classic Uluru sundowner of nibbles and sparkling wine. Sit back and watch the sky ignite in red, yellow, and purple gazing at massive and powerful Uluru. At 348 metres high, ‘The Rock’ is taller than the Eiffel Tower and a magnificent site to behold. Take it in and connect to the land as the sun sets and the spinifex grasses blow in the red dirt. You’ll conclude your epic day at the Desert Gardens Hotel for a Stays with Stories experience. This indigenous-owned hotel surrounded by desert trees and distant Uluru showcases the natural beauty of the landscape and is a beautiful spot to stay in and relax or join an Uluru BBQ Dinner Optional Experience, watching the changing desert colours and enjoying an informative star talk of the southern night sky.  

  Hotel: Desert Gardens Hotel, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Experience Uluru in a different light with magical sunrise. Savour every second as, hot cocoa in hand, the dawn makes its way across the desert and illuminates Uluru. After a grand start to the day, tour the base of Uluru with your Travel Director to learn about its ancient rock and art hear stories of the Anangu people, caretakers of this remote arid landscape. After history and natural beauty are interwoven in this memorable morning, you’ll then have a bit of free time to go for a dip in the pool or browse the shops and galleries of Town Square shopping village before continuing your journey through the desert plains to Kata Tjuta. Explore on a walk amidst its towering, mindboggling domes through Walpa (meaning “wind”) Gorge to a lookout. You're then treated to another stellar sunset from a different vantage point at Kata Tjuta. Without many of the crowds at Uluru, you may have the beauty of this Hidden Gem to yourself. A glass of sparkling wine with new travel mates in a beautiful setting is the perfect way to end your day.  

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Your last day at Uluru is off to another gorgeous start with an exclusive, private visit to the kaleidoscopic Field of Light art installation of artist Bruce Munro. Experience the darkness of night change to a rainbow-coloured dawn lit up from a field of changing colours with Uluru in the distance. You’ll feel like you're walking through flowers in this totally unique Uluru sunrise experience, then as dawn continues to creep across the land, you’ll end the experience watching the desert awaken over Uluru from the top of a sand dune, coffee or tea in hand You’ve already seen so much beauty this morning and now it’s time to make some of your own as you Dive into Culture with a Local Specialist Aboriginal artist at Maruku Arts Dot Art Experience. You’ll learn about Western Desert Art from Indigenous artists before painting your own piece of Australian aboriginal art as a memento. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience of creating personalized art that tells your story is an insightful and hands on way to gain a better understanding of Aboriginal culture.

End your day heading to Cairns for a change of scenery and more beautiful sites.

  Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Today you get to experience Cairns your way with a full day to explore this tropical city or head out on an Optional Experience. Why not take in the view with a balloon flight over the Atherton Tablelands, the hot air ballooning capital of the southern hemisphere? Or, explore the Daintree Rainforest diving into nature on a guided, interpretive walk learning traditional hunting and gathering skills as you search for bush tucker of mud crabs, fish, and mussels and feast on your catch. You could also see the rainforest on a historic rail journey winding across bridges and through tunnels to Kuranda village where you’ll explore its colourful and interesting arts and crafts. Enjoy a different view soaring through the trees on your return trip on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Looking for a bit of wildlife on your adventure? Pair your trip to Kuranda with a visit to Hartley’s Crocodile for a wetlands cruise through the ecologically significant Melaleuca wetlands, the home of the saltwater crocodile. After another incredible day exploring, share your stories and photos of the day over an optional dinner at Ochre Restaurant enjoying local fare using native ingredients. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Experience the beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Great Barrier Reef over a day of play on the water. The day begins as you board a high-speed catamaran and then it’s up to you how you’d like to explore this underwater wonderland: Don your mask and fins (equipment provided) for an immersive look at this kaleidoscope of fishes and reef. Or, stay dry and explore the world’s largest living reef system from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft. However you adventure, the whole way you’re surrounded by beauty and insights on the local ecology and environment from your local guide. Be sure to just kick back, too. Your cruise includes an onboard tropical lunch and plenty of time to soak up the glorious Aussie sunshine. Sure to be a bucket list day, relive the highlights with your travel mates over dinner on the Cairns’ waterfront at Salt House. Here you’ll indulge in regional seafood highlighting fresh, local ingredients and prepared on their custom-built wood fired grill. 

  Included Meals: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner

It’s ‘farewell, Cairns’ and ‘hello, Sydney’ on the last leg of your Australia highlights tour.

Check into your Sydney hotel before discovering the delightful Sydney Harbour from the water on a Dinner Cruise. Not only will you cruise past the world-famous Opera House and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you will enjoying a menu focusing on local food and wine as you’re rewarded with these stellar views.

  Hotel: Intercontinental Hotel Sydney, 4 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

There's plenty to discover in Sydney today and you’ll kick it off on a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Entering through the stage door, you’ll hear the story of a building 'that changed the image of an entire country' as you learn the history of this iconic structure and appreciate its beauty from another perspective. Next up is another iconic Sydney site: Bondi Beach. Not only will you get to see the Bondi Icebergs ocean pool, dip your toes in the sand, and soak up the surfer life but you will have a local Surf Life Saver take you into the members only Bondi Surf Life Savers Club. This Be My Guest experience not only takes you behind the scenes to learn about this historic club, but you will gain an in depth understanding of the important work that these members do in saving lives on this famous beach. Your hosts will take you to a celebrated Bondi Beach restaurant for lunch with views over this stunning beach. 

  Included Meals: Lunch, Breakfast

The bustling city of Sydney is yours to see the sights, or you might choose to venture farther out on an Optional Experience. If you’re looking to get out in nature, join a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains. The first stop is at the Sydney Zoo for a fun and fascinating look at Australia’s native animals including wombats, Tasmanian devils, and of course, koalas before the eucalypt haze of the Blue Mountains looming in the distance, for fresh mountain air and breathtaking scenery. Here you’ll visit the famous Three Sisters rock formation—each towering at over 900 metres high—to hear the Aboriginal legend and soak in the views. Wherever you venture, there’s dining options aplenty from the waterfront Circular Quay to Chinatown’s famous yum cha to a rooftop bar for dazzling views of the harbour. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Now that you’ve gotten your bearings in beautiful Sydney, you have a final day in town for more city sightseeing. Why not begin in the famous Rocks District dating back to before the arrival of British settlers in the late 1700s for a look at the historic buildings and pubs? Or, take in culture viewing aboriginal artefacts at of one of the city’s many museums. For a peaceful break among the flowers, check out the tucked away Royal Botanic Gardens. And if you’re looking for more of a local scene lined with boutiques and cafes, the hot spot neighbourhoods of Paddington and Surry Hills call. You might choose to take an Optional Experience climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you love adventure and views, this climb up 134 metres above Sydney Harbour is a great way to view this wonderful city. However you chose to spend your day, you’ll end by gathering with your travel companions and Travel Director for a celebratory three-course Farwell Dinner at Portside Sydney Opera House to recap your favourite sites in Australia. Cheers to an epic adventure!

  Included Meals: Highlight Dinner, Breakfast

Set your sights on New Zealand as you fly to Auckland, the City of Sails. You’ll see how the city got its nickname as you fly in over the islands and boats in the harbour. In fact, one in four New Zealanders owns a boat! On land, Auckland is known for being built on 53 dormant volcanoes (Two of which you have the opportunity to see!) And if you’re seeking a cosmopolitan vibe, Auckland will not disappoint. The city’s melting pot of cultures means there are a variety of restaurants, from the glamorous to the local hot spots, for you to sample both international and New Zealand fare. Enjoy simple and classic Italian fare at Gusto at the Grand this evening joining your Travel Director for an introduction to this colourful city.   

  Hotel: The Grand by SkyCity, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

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.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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.

  Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

  Included Meals: Highlight Dinner, Breakfast

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.

  Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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.

  Included Meals: Lunch, Breakfast

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 Postmasters Café. The historic cottage was once home to the town’s postmaster and has been a main street feature since the 1860s. Its old-world charm, complete with horse-hitching post, picket fence, beautiful gardens and hanging wisteria, has made it one of Arrowtown’s most photographed buildings and is the perfect venue for your highlight dinner.

  Included Meals: Dinner, Breakfast

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 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.

  Hotel: Peppers Bluewater Resort Lake Tekapo

  Included Meals: Dinner, Breakfast

Enjoy a relaxed start before heading north through South Canterbury, visit the charming boutique village of Geraldine as you travel through to Christchurch.

  Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

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.

  Included Meals: Farewell Dinner, Breakfast

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.

  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

Located on the marina in the heart of Cairns, the five-star Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina Cairns is the ultimate place to stay for business or pleasure. Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina Cairns is conveniently situated at the marina, with uninterrupted panoramic views of spectacular Trinity Bay, world-class Marlin Marina and breathtaking mountain ranges allowing you to experience the tropical north at its best.

    Features

  • Wi-Fi
  • Private balcony or courtyard
  • In-room safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Mini Bar
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Swimming Pool
  • Gym facilities
  • Business Facilities
  • Work Desk
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • In-house movies
  • Pillow Menu (Choice of pillows)
  • Bathtub and shower
  • Bathroom Amenities
  • Bathrobe
  • Flat Screen TV
 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.

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

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • Breakfast (21)
  • • Lunch (3)
  • • Dinner (8)
  • • Farewell Dinner (1)

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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