First Choice

Highlights of Australia & New Zealand

22 Day Guided Vacation | Melbourne to Christchurch

Travel Period

A perfect mix of modern cities and ancient landscapes characterises this epic journey across two nations. The Great Barrier Reef and breathtaking Milford Sound complement a world of ancient Aboriginal tradition in Australia’s Red Centre and vivid Māori culture in Rotorua. From tropical Cairns to the towering mountain peaks of the land of The Long White Cloud, you’ll be amazed at every turn.

Prices From Code: IMZB

$9092

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.

$12232

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.

$8187

Child i A child must be accompanied by a person 18 years+. Some tours have minimum age requirements.
Prices above are per person, land only, in USD
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Highlights of Australia & New Zealand

First Choice

22 Day Guided Vacation

Melbourne to Christchurch

A perfect mix of modern cities and ancient landscapes characterises this epic journey across two nations. The Great Barrier Reef and breathtaking Milford Sound complement a world of ancient Aboriginal tradition in Australia’s Red Centre and vivid Māori culture in Rotorua. From tropical Cairns to the towering mountain peaks of the land of The Long White Cloud, you’ll be amazed at every turn.

Highlights

Insider Knowledge

Explore the vibrant energy of Melbourne at the heart of the action - on its cosmopolitan streets. You will be provided an in-depth perspective on all the iconic sights and some hidden gems.

Local Connection

Meet an outback family who reveal to guests their passions for astronomy and sustainability as you dine under the stars

Cultural Immersion

Visit Tamaki Māori Village where Māori Culture and traditions take centre stage with an authentic Hangi.

Sustainable Footprints

The National Kiwi Hatchery – contribute to the ‘Operation Nest Egg’ breeding program.

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

Today you fly from Melbourne to Alice Springs. On arrival visit School of the Air and hear how this school delivers education to children living in remote areas. Next stop is the Royal Flying Doctor Service, where you'll learn about this facility that provides a 'mantle of safety' to the people of the outback. This evening Joe, Dan, Tommy and Ben Falzon invite you to ‘Be My Guest’ for a home cooked gourmet BBQ dinner at Earth Sanctuary World Nature Centre. Join them as they share stories of ecology, culture and astronomy and even lead you on a sing-along accompanied by the didgeridoo and guitar. It will be a night to remember!

Hotel: Mercure Alice Springs Resort

Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Dinner

Travel through the West MacDonnell and James Ranges and pause to view majestic Atila (Mt. Conner) often mistaken for Uluru, before arriving at Ayers Rock Resort. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy the resort’s facilities. Later, travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Witness and photograph the striking colour changes of Uluru at sunset whilst enjoying canapés and wine.

Hotel: Desert Gardens Hotel, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfasts

This morning view the magical Uluru (Ayers Rock) sunrise. Afterwards, gain insight in to the traditional owners of the land, the Anangu, as you tour the caves at the base of Uluru discovering ancient rock art and hearing stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Travel through the desert plains to Kata Tjuta and take a walk at Walpa Gorge. Later experience a Kata Tjuta sunset with sparkling wine and nibbles.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Rise early to experience the ethereal Field of Light art installation. Wander through the paths surrounding 50,000 hand-crafted frosted glass spheres of light. As the sun rises, join your fellow travellers on top of a sand dune to watch the desert awakening over Uluru. Meet an Indigenous artist for a fun introduction to Western Desert Art. Your Anangu artist will provide you with cultural insights, explaining the meanings of local totems and assisting you to complete your own painting to take home as a memento of your experience. In the afternoon board your flight to tropical Cairns.

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

Included Meals: Breakfast

Today is free for you to do as you choose! Maybe visit Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for an insightful look at indigenous culture or journey to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures for an opportunity to encounter native Australian animals. You may choose to travel to Kuranda on the historic scenic railway or just sit back and enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Get ready for an experience of a lifetime - board a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft, just one metre underwater. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns. This evening enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the Cairns waterfront.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

This afternoon fly to Sydney where you will have a free evening to do as you please.

Hotel: Intercontinental Hotel Sydney, 3 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

A day of sightseeing around this stunning harbour city awaits! Discover Sydney's famous Eastern Suburbs and wiggle your toes in the sand at famous Bondi Beach. Next return to the city for a guided tour of iconic Sydney Opera House before taking to the water on a Captain Cook lunch cruise, sailing around the glistening harbor while you enjoy a fresh seasonal menu. Spend the rest of your day seeing the sights of your choice or maybe even take an optional experience to climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Lunch

Today is free for you to do as you choose. Why not take a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains for fresh mountain air and stunning scenery. You’ll visit the charming village of Leura, see the famous Three Sisters rock formation and visit a Wildlife Park to see some of Australia’s cuddly native animals. Spend your last evening in Sydney together along with your Travel Director and companions in a local restaurant by the water.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

This morning you say goodbye to Australia and fly to New Zealand! This evening meet your Travel Director for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel in Auckland.

Hotel: The Grand by SkyCity, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

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: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

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: Breakfast, Lunch

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 BoatShed. Set in the restored historic Railway Shipping Office and relocated to its lakefront setting in 1936, The Boatshed with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables is the perfect venue for your highlight dinner.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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 Arrowtown then 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: Breakfast, Dinner

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: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

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

Situated on the banks of the famous Todd River, Mercure Alice Springs Resort offers spectacular views of the towering River Red Gum. Well-manicured lush green lawns of the hotel create a relaxing atmosphere, letting you soak in the Australian Outback charm in the Northern Territory (NT).

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Hair Dryer
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Radio
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Internet Access
  • Phone
  • Mini Bar
 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

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

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

  • • Moderate level of fitness required for walks at Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon
  • • Walking on uneven surfaces is required to complete the walks, though there are alternate options available

Dining

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

Flight Information

  • • Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 12 noon into Melbourne Airport
  • • Day 4 – Melbourne to Alice Springs: QF796
  • • Day 7 – Ayers Rock to Cairns: QF1854
  • • Day 10 – Cairns to Sydney: VA1418
  • • Day 13 – Sydney to Auckland: VA141
  • • Day 16 – Auckland-Queenstown: NZ623

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