Australia and New Zealand Expedition

22 Day Inspiring Journey | Cairns to Queenstown

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From 5 October 2021

$12175 Adult Twin
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$16125 Single
$12175 Child

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Australia and New Zealand Expedition

22 Day Inspiring Journey | Cairns to Queenstown

Australia and New Zealand Expedition

22 Day Inspiring Journey | Cairns to Queenstown | Travel Period: 1 Apr 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Australia and New Zealand Expedition

22 Day Inspiring Journey

Cairns to Queenstown

Enjoy a soulful sojourn, from the tropical rainforests and reefs of northern Australia to the culinary capital of New Zealand. This Inspiring Journey will delight your every sense as you encounter ancient cultures, indulge in delicious foodie flavours and admire an exquisite natural setting that is simply out of this world.

Why you'll love this trip:

  • Discover the rainforest, reef, outback and desert.
  • Connect with 17 local specialists
  • Indulge with amazing dining experiences under the stars at Uluru and within the sails of Sydney Opera House
  • Enjoy an Aboriginal cultural adventure in the Daintree Rainforest

image map

Indulge

Dining under the stars with the Sounds of Silence dining experience at Uluru

Explore

Walk a trail to a waterfall in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains

Immerse

Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and Sail on Sydney Harbour

Relax

Relax at Polynesian Spa, New Zealand’s original and iconic geothermal bathing experience, the ultimate relaxation experience

Welcome to Tropical North Queensland! This afternoon meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception followed by a Welcome Dinner at Reef House Restaurant. Nestled under Melaleuca trees with views across the Coral Sea, you will dine on modern Australian cuisine using fresh North Queensland produce.

Hotel: 3 nights

Included Meals: Dinner with Wine

Today will be an incredible day to remember. Join your Indigenous Guide on an exclusive journey to discover the Daintree and gain rich insight into the deep relationship the local Kuku Yalanji people have with their land. Learn about cultural traditions, bush foods and traditional medicine; experience traditional hunting techniques, have a go at spear throwing and if you are lucky, see a mud crab. Enjoy lunch in the quaint township of Daintree Village, a community perched on the banks of the Daintree River. This evening take the opportunity to relax and dine at your leisure.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

Board a Quicksilver wave piercing catamaran for your cruise to Agincourt Reef, at the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The friendly professional crew will take you to an underwater world that is a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour and brilliance. Choose to snorkel (equipment provided) or you can stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible. You can watch the fish-feeding from the unique underwater viewing platform and underwater observatory. A hot and cold tropical buffet including fresh prawns, meats, salads and fruit is served before you return to Palm Cove this afternoon.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we fly from Cairns to the heart of the Red Centre, Uluru. This afternoon you’re off to the domes of Kata Tjuta where you’ll join your Travel Director for a guided-walk through Walpa Gorge. The large, steep dome-like formations of Kata Tjuta are amazing to walk through and have great cultural significance for the Aṉangu people. Later this afternoon you will witness a spectacular Uluru sunset. Enjoy nibbles and sparkling wine while you watch Uluru change colour as the sun sets below the horizon.

Hotel: Sails in the Desert Hotel, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

Rise early to experience the renowned Field of Light, where 50,000 glass spheres in colours of ochre, deep violet, blue and gentle white, have been installed within sight of Uluru. Wander through the paths and then, from the dune-top, watch as the dawn creeps across the desert plain and lights up the Red Centre. After breakfast you will have the opportunity to take a walk around part of the base of Uluru and hear timeless stories, see rock art, and visit Mutitjulu Waterhole. Then it’s off to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre for an insight into the history of the local Anangu people. This evening a Local Dining Experience at the award-winning Sounds of Silence Dinner under the sparkling outback sky will leave you delighted.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

This morning experience the changing colours and magic of the sunrise over Uluru before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. From here you will travel towards Kings Canyon. Your first stop is Curtin Springs which has been home to the Severin family since 1956 when Peter Severin arrived with his young wife Dawn, their toddler son Ashley and 1,500 head of cattle! Sit down to a BBQ lunch and meet one of the locals as you hear about the Severin family and the logistics of running a million acre cattle property. After lunch the journey continues to Kings Canyon Resort. Later that evening you will enjoy a delicious dinner at Carmichael's Restaurant.

Hotel: Kings Canyon Resort

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

Perfect for observing the changing colours of the landscape, today you're off on a sunrise 6km Rim Walk exploration of the spectacular Kings Canyon. As you venture around the rim, highlights include the domed ‘Lost City’, and the luscious ‘Garden of Eden’. If you’d prefer a more relaxed walk you can opt for a walk along the Creek Bed. Afterwards we’re travelling through more of the outback past the West MacDonnell Ranges and then continue to Alice Springs. This evening be entertained with stories of the outback as you enjoy a Bush BBQ dinner under the stars.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Highlight Dinner

This morning we’ll visit the School of the Air to learn about outback schooling and about the technology used to teach children in these remote areas. You will also visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service to learn about how this organisation is saving lives in the outback. Later you will take your flight to Sydney where you will have a free evening to explore the vibrant city.

Hotel: The Langham Hotel Sydney

Included Meals: Breakfast

Head off on a day of discovery to the expansive UNESCO World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park. Breathe in the pristine air and discover the icons such as the Three Sisters at Echo Point and Govett’s Leap Lookout to see spectacular Bridal Veil Falls before you delve deeper, travelling off the well-worn track to secluded lookouts and peaceful short bushwalks where we may be the only ones around. You’ll be awarded views across the valleys as far as the eye can see and picture-perfect memories to take away. This afternoon arrive at your hotel and after taking the time to relax, enjoy a delicious meal featuring produce sourced from local Blue Mountains suppliers.

Hotel: Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Travel to the Hunter Valley for a day of good food, great wine and beautiful scenery. You’ll indulge with exclusive private wine tastings at boutique vineyards and sit down to an exceptional tasting lunch before spending the afternoon doing as you wish at your hotel. You may like to sit on your balcony with a good book and bottle of wine or treat yourself to one of their many day spa options. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the resort.

Hotel: voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

Get ready for a day sailing on Sydney Harbour. Become part of a boat sailing crew on board a luxury yacht. You can take the helm, work the grinders or simply sit back and relax as you sail past the harbour’s iconic sights like the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and small secluded coves surrounded by multi-million-dollar waterfront homes. It’s a day you’ll remember for years to come. This evening is free for you to explore and discover one of Sydney’s incredible local restaurants.

Hotel: The Langham Hotel Sydney, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a morning of Sydney sightseeing including Sydney’s beachside Eastern Suburbs, taking a stroll along the coastal walk for incredible views over the Pacific Ocean and wild coastal cliffs. In the late afternoon join a VIP guided tour of the famous Sydney Opera House before a memorable dinner at Peter Gilmore’s iconic Bennelong restaurant in the sails of the Sydney Opera House itself.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

The Australian leg of your Inspiring Journey concludes after breakfast when you’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward flight to spectacular New Zealand. Upon arrival at Auckland Airport you'll be transferred to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. This evening join your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception followed by dinner.

Hotel: 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Following a city sights tour of Auckland this morning we board the ferry to Waiheke Island. With pristine beaches, world class wines, and fantastic cuisine its easy to see why Waiheke Island is considered the jewel in the Hauraki Gulfs crown. Just 35 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland you’ll feel like you’re a world away as we embrace the essence of Waiheke with our local guide. Enjoy wine tasting at some of Waiheke’s award-winning vineyards, including a light lunch before we cruise the Hauraki Gulf back to the city. Tonight, enjoy a free evening; why not try one of the many restaurants in Wynyard Quarter or the Viaduct.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Your leisurely discovery of New Zealand’s North Island continues as you follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to the famous Waitomo Caves for an exclusive 5-star Eco Glow Worm experience. Your guide sets the scene for a cave experience where you will see glow worms, cave formations and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave. Journey to the volatile landscapes of Rotorua, where Maori culture takes centre stage. Visit the Tamaki Maori Village for insights into the local rituals and traditions of this fascinating culture. Embrace their gracious Hongi greeting, experience the heart-pounding wero challenge and enjoy a Local Dining Experience, the delicious flavours of the Hangi cooked in the earth with geothermal steam.

Hotel: Pullman Rotorua, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast, Local Dining Experience

Today, visit Whakarewarewa Living Village where you’ll be accompanied by a Local Guide to view New Zealand’s biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs. Later, the day is all yours to explore the sacred lands, thermal marvels and Maori traditions of Rotorua. You could indulge in a spa treatment at the Polynesian Thermal Spa or if you’re up for a challenge, take the native forest zipline adventure tour with Canopy Tours.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

This morning visit 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. Later, fly to Wellington. Spend the evening at your leisure, enjoying dinner at one of the quirky cafes at Courtney Place or Cuba Street.

Hotel: Sofitel Wellington, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

A harbourside city, Wellington is rich in natural beauty, but the wild wind has driven an exciting indoor life, too: there’s a world-leading café culture, great multicultural restaurants, contemporary art and live music. This is your chance to know it like a local on a guided walking tour. Discover the stunning waterfront to the hidden laneways in the bohemian area: the heritage Cuba Street precinct. Once dimly-lit back alleys, these newly rejuvenated laneways are now home to some of the country’s funkiest bars, boutiques and breweries. Experience premium batch peanut butter tasting from an artisan supplier, and a taste of the Capital’s very own chocolate and you’ll see for yourself that Wellington really is the coffee and craft beer capital of New Zealand! This afternoon, we continue to the urban eco-sanctuary of Zealandia, admiring the extraordinary efforts of conservationists who have reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife that were absent from mainland New Zealand for over a century.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

This morning, explore New Zealand’s fascinating culture, nature, heritage and art at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, Then it’s time to prime yourselves for a few days of adventure, flying to Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. On arrival, journey to the goldrush village of Arrowtown. Enjoy a tour of Queenstown, and gaze at the natural splendour in its midst – from the peaks of the Remarkables to beautiful Lake Wakatipu.

Hotel: 3 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

Travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, over the Devil’s Staircase and along to Manapouri on the edge of Fiordland National Park. Here your journey to the breath-taking pristine wilderness scenery of Doubtful Sound begins. Cruise across Lake Manapouri then take a coach trip over Wilmot Pass before you immerse yourself in the beauty and vastness of remote Doubtful Sound on a Wilderness Cruise. Keep a look out for wildlife including dolphins, fur seals and even occasionally penguins. Later enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

Explore exciting Queenstown your way! Perhaps take a minibus tour through spectacular Skippers Canyon or immerse yourself among the boutique vineyards and spectacular scenery of Central Otago on a Boutique Wine tour. Your Journey Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences. As your final day ends enjoy a Celebration Dinner at one of the local restaurants with your Journey Director and new-found friends.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Celebration Dinner

For now, all that’s left to say is a fond farewell as your inspiring journey comes to an end after breakfast. Throughout today you will be transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight.

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

In the heart of Australia's Red Centre, the hotel beautifully contrasts Uluru's raw natural beauty with a luxurious outback holiday experience.

Soaring white sails crown Ayers Rock Resort's Sails in the Desert Hotel, shading 228 luxury five star rooms and suites.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Air Conditioning
  • Heater
  • Private balcony, terrace or veranda
  • Mini Bar
  • LCD HD TV
  • ISD/STD phone
  • In-room safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • High speed cable internet and Wi-Fi
  • Bathrobe
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Retreat to the luxury of Kings Canyon Resort after an active day of hiking through the rugged terrain of Watarrka National Park. The sensitively designed property is located in Watarrka National Park, just nine kilometres from Kings Canyon. Naturally, the Kings Canyon Resort has been built to blend in harmoniously with the surround.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Shower
  • Air-conditioning
  • Wi-Fi
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Insect screens
  • Hairdryer
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Blankets
  • Refrigerator
  • Iron / Ironing Board
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The hotel is nestled beneath the famous MacDonnell Ranges. All rooms feature a private balcony with views of the nearby 18-hole Alice Springs Golf Course, the Todd River, swimming pool or the MacDonnell Ranges.

    Features

  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Mini Bar
  • 26” LCD flat screen with Austar
  • In-house movies
  • In-room safe
  • Free wireless internet access
  • Swimming Pool
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Dramatic Harbour views. Quaint cobbled streets. Historic brick buildings. Discover a secluded tranquillity nestled in the heart of The Rocks district of metropolitan Sydney.

    Features

  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Wi-Fi
  • TV
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Ensuite
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Swimming Pool

Escape to the world famous World Heritage listed Blue Mountains and enjoy luxury resort accommodation at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa. Just 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney CBD, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spais a renowned haven for relaxation and a delight for gourmets in one of Australia’s most beautiful destinations, picturesque Jamison Valleys and escarpments, abundant wildlife and a scenic attractions right at your doorstep.

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

On 28 hectares of gardens, this all-inclusive resort is 8 km from Hunter Valley Gardens and Hunter Valley Zoo, as well as 11 km from the Vintage Golf Course.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Bathrobe
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Air Conditioning
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Radio
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Balcony or Terrace
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Dramatic Harbour views. Quaint cobbled streets. Historic brick buildings. Discover a secluded tranquillity nestled in the heart of The Rocks district of metropolitan Sydney.

    Features

  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Wi-Fi
  • TV
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Ensuite
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Swimming Pool
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Pullman Rotorua is expected to be popular with international and domestic business and leisure travellers, due to its exclusive 5-star offering and prime central CBD location and within 500metres from the Rotorua lakefront.

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Ideally positioned in the Central Business District and government hub, Sofitel Wellington is within walking distance from the major tourist attractions, with many restaurants and cafes nearby. The hotel provides great views of lush hillsides and the Botanical Gardens.

    Features

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air-conditioning
  • Gym facilities
  • Dry cleaning service
  • TV
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hair Dryer
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
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

  • Hand-picked accommodation, selected to immerse you in your destination
  • Most meals, including Local Dining Experiences. See Dining tab below.
  • Complimentary refreshments throughout the journey
  • Travel by bespoke vehicle with reclining seats, WiFi and air-conditioning
  • A maximum of 22 guests to share your journey
  • Expert Driver Guide escorts
  • All entrance and National Park fees
  • Sustainable Travel Kit, including refillable water bottle and backpack
  • Exclusive immersive activities and interaction with local communities
  • Built-in leisure time, to explore destinations as you wish
  • Airport transfers (see Flight Information below)

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • Warm layers in cooler months
  • Camera
  • A sense of adventure

Fitness Requirements

  • Good level of fitness required for the three hour Kings Canyon Rim Walk
  • Low to moderate level of fitness required for the Kings Canyon Creek Bed Walk
  • Kata Tjuta: Moderate level of fitness required. Uneven surfaces to complete Walpa Gorge walk

Dining

  • 21 Full buffet breakfasts
  • 7 Lunches
  • 1 Local Dining Experience
  • 10 Dinners with Wine
  • 1 Highlight Dinner
  • 1 Celebration Dinner

Flight Information

  • Day 1 – Flights to arrive prior to 2.00pm into Cairns Airport
  • Day 4 – Cairns to Ayers Rock (required internal flight)
  • Day 8 – Alice Springs to Sydney (required internal flight)
  • Day 13 – Sydney to Auckland: flights to arrive prior to 1pm into Aukland Airport (required internal flight)
  • Day 17 – Rotorua to Wellington: NZ8235 (required internal flight)
  • Day 19 – Wellington to Queenstown: NZ605 (required internal flight)
  • Day 22 – flights to depart anytime from Queenstown Airport
  • Required Internal Flights: are to be purchased in order to fulfil the itinerary and are not included in the land content price

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