21 Days New Zealand and Australia
Following is a sample itinerary that can be customized just for you.
21 Days New Zealand and Australia provides a rich and well rounded look at acclaimed destinations while providing a number of full days free to immerse yourself in some of New Zealand and Australia’s most iconic cities. Begin in Auckland, the City of Sails, travel to Waitomo’s renowned glow worm caves and on to the cultural and geothermal marvel of Rotorua. From a base in Motueka, explore the Nelson Region and Abel Tasman National Park, then on to Christchurch before flying south to Queenstown. Experience the best of Fiordland with an overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise, then head to Melbourne, your first Australian destination. Explore the city and learn about the wilderness and wildlife of the region before hopping over to the beach paradise of Hamilton Island. Complete your Australian experience with an exploration of the beautiful harbourside city of Sydney.
Trip at a Glance
Day 1: Arrive Auckland, half day Auckland tour / 2 nights: Auckland
Day 2: Full day Auckland
Day 3: Private tour to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves / 2 nights: Rotorua
Day 4: Full day Rotorua
Day 5: Fly to Nelson, drive to Abel Tasman Region / 2 nights: Abel Tasman
Day 6: Full day Nelson region / Abel Tasman National Park
Day 7: Train to Christchurch / 1 night: Christchurch
Day 8: Half day Christchurch tour, fly to Queenstown / 2 nights: Queenstown
Day 9: Full day Queenstown
Day 10: Drive to Manapouri, Overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise
Day 11: Return to Queenstown / 1 night: Queenstown
Day 12: Fly to Melbourne, Australia / 3 nights: Melbourne
Day 13: Full day Melbourne
Day 14: Full day Wildlife Tour
Day 15: Fly to Hamilton Island / 3 nights: Hamilton Island
Day 16: Full day Hamilton Island
Day 17: Full day Hamilton Island
Day 18: Fly to Sydney, half day Sydney tour / 3 nights: Sydney
Day 19: Half-day Sydney tour
Day 20: Full day Sydney
Day 21: Return to U.S.A
- Discover Waitomo’s renowned glow worm caves
- Experience Rotorua with a private tour
- Adventure in Abel Tasman National Park
- Enjoy a private tour of Christchurch
- Experience iconic Fiordland with an overnight Doubtful Sound cruise
- See native wildlife in their natural environment on a full day Wildlife Tour outside Melbourne
- Enjoy several days relaxing and exploring the beautiful beaches of Hamilton Island
- Discover Sydney with a half day guided tour
- Take time to discover Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Melbourne, and Sydney at your own pace.
21 Days New Zealand and Australia
Following is a sample itinerary that can be customized just for you.
Day 1 – Arrive Auckland, half day Auckland tour
Kia Ora and welcome to Auckland! This afternoon you will depart on a half-day introductory tour of the city and local neighborhoods. Visit Mt Eden, Auckland’ smost famous volcano with magnificent views of the city, and drive through the Auckland Domain, home to the Auckland Museum. Explore Auckland’s trendy neighborhoods and visit several of her stunning beaches. Drive across the iconic Auckland Harbor Bridge and visit Devonport, the picturesque old North Shore marine village with wonderful views back to the city.
The Auckland metropolitan area is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with a population approaching 1.4 million residents, 31 percent of the country’s population. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world and the melting pot of European, South Pacific and Asian cultures and strong indigenous Maori heritage brings an abundance of unique dining, shopping and touring experiences. Auckland’s waterside location has fostered the locals’ love affair with the sea, earning it the nickname “City of Sails”. A cloak of rainforest covers the surrounding hills, dozens of dormant volcanic cones dot the landscape and enchanting islands are scattered throughout the vast Hauraki Gulf. 2 nights: Auckland.
Day 2 –Full day to explore Auckland
Allow this full day to explore and discover the City of Sails. We look forward to working with you to customize your experience in Auckland.
Day 3 – Private Tour to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves
This morning you will depart Auckland heading south with a private tour. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmland of the Wakaito region to the world famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Begin your guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers to view stalactites formed over thousands of years by the constant dripping of water. Marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide quietly beneath the lights of thousands of glow worms suspended from the cave ceiling. Continue the journey to Rotorua, through the forested Fitzgerald Glade and over the Mamaku Saddle before descending into the city of Rotorua.
With its unique volcanic landscape, living Maori culture, natural hot springs and plenty of options for outdoor activities and adventure, Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most famous destinations, located in the heart of the North Island. Rotorua is one place where the turbulent forces that formed New Zealand are most evident. This city, on the Volcanic Plateau, has one of the world’s most lively fields of geothermal activity and sits squarely on the Pacific Rim of Fire. Rotorua is also the ancestral home of the Te Arawa people who settled here more than 600 years ago and their presence offers the visitor numerous cultural experiences. 2 nights: Rotorua.
Day 4 – Full day to explore Rotorua
Allow this full day to explore Rotorua, where the choices are abundant for Maori cultural experiences and viewing amazing geothermal activities. Consider taking in one or more of the geothermal areas and Te Puia for a cultural experience. The Rotorua Museum is another favorite spot, set amongst the beautiful Government Gardens on the edge of Lake Rotorua. We look forward to working with you to tailor your Rotorua experience to best suit your interests.
Day 5 – Fly to Nelson, drive to Abel Tasman Region
This morning you will board a flight bound for Nelson. On arrival in Nelson, make your way to the Abel Tasman Region.
Located at the top northeast corner of New Zealand’s South Island, the Nelson Region offers a mild sunny climate year round and magnificent landscape from alpine lakes and raging rivers to wide sandy coastlines. Three National Parks are surrounded by fertile countryside providing fresh produce and fine wines. Travel through rolling hills and coastal landscapes visiting gourmet food producers, boutique wineries, and the studios of an extraordinary artistic community that thrives here. Nearby coastal towns are full of bustling cafes, charming boutiques and funky art galleries, waiting to be explored. 2 nights: Abel Tasman.
Day 6 – Full day Nelson Region / Abel Tasman National Park
Allow a full enjoy and discover the Nelson Region and Abel Tasman National Park. In the midst of some of New Zealand’s finest scenery enjoy the wilderness of national parks, beautiful golden beaches, clear blue water, small towns and villages and the opportunity visit local artists and artisans.
Whether you’re looking for an active day of tramping (hiking) and kayaking, or a lazy day at the beach (or a combination of both!) Abel Tasman National Park is the perfect destination. This is New Zealand’s smallest national park, protecting 23,000 hectares of the most natural stretch of easily accessible coastline in New Zealand. Famous hiking tracks in the area include The Heaphy, Leslie-Karamea Track, Mt Arthur Table and the Travers Sabine Circuit. We look forward to working with you to customize your time in the area.
Day 7 – Train to Christchurch
Make your way to Blenheim in the Marlborough Region, an area renowned for its white wines. Enjoy the picturesque drive through Marlborough’s beautiful wine country. In Blenheim you will board a train bound for Christchurch. This journey is stunning, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of the train and the rugged Pacific coastline on the other.
Christchurch City – “The Garden City” – has a relaxed pace and historical interest. Despite the earthquake of 2011, Christchurch remains the gateway to the amazing experiences that are on offer in the Canterbury region. While earthquakes have damaged much of the city’s heritage architecture, Christchurch’s traditional English ambience still abounds. The Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park, both iconic Christchurch landmarks, remain some of NZ’s most impressive public spaces. 1 night: Christchurch.
Day 8 – Half day Christchurch tour, fly to Queenstown
This morning depart on a half-day tour of the city. With a local guide, discover Christchurch and the city’s centre. Takein the progress of the rebuild following the 2010/2011 earthquakes. Learn about this event, its impact and exciting plans for the future. Delve into the history of the city and perhaps explore New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna in the beautiful Botanic Gardens. This private tour can be customized based on your interests.
On completion of your tour you will board a flight for Queenstown. Situated in the heart of the South Island, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by a The Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown has been regularly rated as one of the world’s top tourism destinations. It is known as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four-season alpine and lake resort. Queenstown was named because ‘it was fit for Queen Victoria.’ Certainly it’s lived up to that expectation. Today it’s an exhilarating alpine resort, perfect for both adventurers and leisure seekers. 2 nights: Queenstown.
Day 9 – Full day to explore Queenstown
Enjoy a full day exploring Queenstown. Queenstown’s city center is easily walkable and offers boutique shopping, arts and crafts, and lots of fun cafes and restaurants. The Queenstown gondola, reputed to be the steepest in the Southern Hemisphere, is a five-minute walk from the city center. The gondola carries visitors high above Queenstown for the best views in the region. Explore the city on your own or choose from a number of guided activities in the area. We look forward to working with you to customize your time in Queenstown.
Day 10 – Drive to Manapouri, Overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise
Depart Queenstown this morning for the township of Manapouri to begin your overnight cruise. Enjoy a short boat trip across lovely and deep Lake Manapouri before boarding a coach for the stunning trip up and over Wilmot Pass and down into Deep Cove where your Doubtful Sound overnight cruise begins. An overnight in one of Fiordland National Park’s remarkable sounds is far and away the most spectacular way to experience this world-renowned area. This enormous park is made up of over 1.2 million hectares of mountains, lakes, fiords and rainforests. The scenery in the park is humbling in its stunning array of magnificent waterfalls, raw, untouched wilderness, sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, all viewed against the backdrop of the majestic Cathedral Mountain range.
Day 11 – Return to Queenstown
Spend the morning exploring Doubtful Sound before returning to Deep Cover for the trip back to Manapouri and the completion of your overnight cruise. Begin the scenic drive back to Queenstown. 1 night: Queenstown.
Day 12 – Fly to Melbourne, Australia
This morning board a flight bound for Melbourne, Australia. Enjoy an evening exploring this vibrant and sophisticated city.
Set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne city is laid out in a large rectangle and boasts a lively and cosmopolitan pulse. It sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometers from the bay. The CBD is made up of precincts – distinct enclaves each with its own flavor and charm. Some are just a lane or two, while others cover the banks of the Yarra River or a busy CBD street. Extending around the bay are a number of inner suburbs, each with its own distinct character and personality. A short tram ride from the city center, Melbourne’s suburban neighborhoods are a must see to experience what life here is really all about. 3 nights: Melbourne.
Day 13 – Full day to explore Melbourne
This is a full day to explore Melbourne and the surrounding areas. Consider using the Melbourne City Circle Tram to explore the city – this free service provides a convenient way to get around central Melbourne. Take some time to visit historic Victoria Markets, opened in 1878. This Melbourne institution offers seafood and fresh fruit and vegetable stands, as well as clothing, crafts, jewelry and souvenirs. You might also consider taking part in a guided activity. We look forward to working with you to tailor your time in Melbourne to best suit your interests.
Day 14 – Full day Wildlife Tour
Today you will see a different side of Victoria by experiencing its amazing wildlife in a natural setting, all within easy reach of the city. Interact with wild animals in their natural habitats on a full day eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide. See koalas and kangaroos in the wilds of their natural habitat as you learn about the history of these iconic species. The natural environments you will be visiting are also home to parrots, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards, which your Wildlife Guide will help you find and understand.
Experience a different side of Victoria today with a full day guided Echidna Walkabout Tour. See koalas and kangaroos in the wild and interact with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full day, fully inclusive small group eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide. Walk through natural bush land to meet wild koalas and see wild mobs of kangaroos while learning about their history and social life from your Wildlife Guide. The natural environment you will visit is also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards, which your Wildlife Guide will help you find and understand.
Day 15 – Fly to Hamilton Island
This morning you will board a flight for beautiful Hamilton Island. On arrival the remainder of this day is free to relax and enjoy the resort or explore the island.
Perfectly situated on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, amongst Queensland’s 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and numerous activities. Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the beautiful Whitsunday’s, located just off the Queensland Coast. Access is easy, with direct daily flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Cairns. There are a wide range of restaurants, activities, shops and regular daily tours to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach. 3 nights: Hamilton Island.
Day 16&17- Two full days to explore Hamilton Island
These two days are free to relax or enjoy some of the many activities on offer on Hamilton Island. Spend time on a beach snorkeling, go sailing, jet skiing or sea kayaking, enjoy a game of golf or check in for a wonderful spa treatment. We look forward to working with you to customize your time on the island.
Day 18 – Fly to Sydney
This morning board a flight to Sydney. Sydney’s laid-back outdoor lifestyle and physical allure make it one of the world’s greatest cities to visit. The stunning and iconic harbor is Sydney’s natural playground, the dominant factor in so much of what the city has to offer. World-renowned beaches and five major national parks also deliver unforgettable experiences. The city has a wide-ranging cultural life, dynamic food scene and vibrant cityscape of outstanding contemporary and colonial architecture, along with a rich collection of Australian museums, historic buildings and indigenous artifacts that tell the fascinating story of the settlement of the continent. 3 nights: Sydney.
Day 19 – Half day Sydney tour
Depart this morning on a unique private tour of Sydney with your own driver in a classic Australian car from the 1960s. Explore the areas off the beaten path that locals love to visit. Your knowledgeable local guide will show you the city, beach and bushland and take you on a guided harbor walk. Hear insider tips and tales about this breathtaking harbourside city.
The afternoon is free to explore Sydney on your own.
Day 20 – Full day to explore Sydney
This day is free to explore Sydney and the surrounding region. There is so much to see and do in Sydney, a destination brimming with attractions, activities and famous landmarks. Your options are wide and varied, either on your own or as part of a guided tour. We look forward to working with you to customize your time in this great city.
Day 21 – Return to U.S.A.
Your vacation down under has come to a close, it is time to say goodbye to Australia and depart for home. We hope you enjoyed your adventure!
21 Days New Zealand and Australia
Following is a sample of accommodation options. Uniquely New Zealand has many hidden treasures in addition to these to share with you.
Sofitel – Located in the heart of Auckland’s thriving waterfront on the Viaduct Harbor, this luxury hotel offers a range of 172 premium room and suite options. Large windows and private balconies in every room provide plenty of light. The hotel also offers luxury spa services, an indoor lap pool and dining options in several in house venues.
Hotel De Brett – Hotel DeBrett’s iconic building has been stylishly reinterpreted into a 25-room luxury boutique hotel. Every room is individually designed and complemented with eclectic furniture and New Zealand art and photography. At street level the colorful Cornerbar places an emphasis on local craft beers and boutique wines.
Heritage – Set within one of the city’s most recognizable historic landmark buildings, the Heritage offers a luxury hotel experience with a range of accommodation types available including one and two bedroom suites. Hectors Restaurant, located in the hotel’s dramatic seven-story atrium, offers a locally sourced menu. Guests enjoy use of the hotel’s beautiful rooftop swimming pool. See image.
Solitaire – Solitaire Lodge Rotorua offers secluded luxury accommodation and attentive hosting from a spectacular lakeside location. Minutes from this resort you will find myriad activities including secluded hot water beaches, natural thermal hot springs, and world class trout fishing. All 10 luxury suites feature panoramic views of the lake and volcano through large picture windows. Experience luxury massage treatments and enjoy contemporary New Zealand cuisine prepared on site. See image.
Black Swan – The Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel & Spa offers luxury accommodation on the edge of Lake Rotorua in a garden setting. The eight luxurious rooms are beautifully appointed with lake and garden views. Enjoy fine dining on site with a Pacific Fusion theme.
Regent of Rotorua – This boutique hotel offers stylish accommodation in Rotorua with a restaurant and bar on site. Accommodation options include a range of guest rooms, studio rooms, boutique suites and two bedroom suites (which work well for families). Enjoy an outdoor heated swimming pool, thermal mineral pool and spa.
Abel Tasman Region
Bronte Country Estate – This estate, situated on a coastal orchard, is located approximately half way between Nelson city and Abel Tasman National Park. With several architecturally designed apartment-style villas available, the Estate has an option to suit everyone’s needs – each villa features a private patio and sea views. Enjoy the heated pool, use of the tennis courts, or a visit to the spa. See image.
The Resurgence – Set in 50 acres of native bush and on the edge of two national parks, this luxury eco lodge’s setting is pure New Zealand with 5km of hiking tracks to explore. Accommodation is in 6 unique “Bush Suites” and 4 boutique Lodge Rooms, all of 5 star standard and with beautiful views. Enjoy the pool and spa services as well as fine on site dining enhanced by fresh local produce and New Zealand wines.
The Foxes – The Foxes Luxury Boutique Bed & Breakfast is located in Ruby Bay, which forms part of Tasman Bay and is ideally central for both the Nelson and Abel Tasman Regions. Enjoy contemporary, architecturally designed accommodations in The Foxe’s two luxury suites with views the rural landscape, Tasman Bay and Nelson harbor.
Otahuna Lodge – Set in pastoral surroundings, Otahuna Lodge is an elegant Victorian mansion that offers its guests a unique luxury experience. New Zealand’s largest private historic residence has been revitalized into a luxury accommodation. Each of Otahuna’s seven suites offers refined comfort complete with ornate fireplaces and lavish bathrooms. Otahuna’s cuisine celebrates the best of seasonal New Zealand produce, with an emphasis on fresh Otahuna estate-grown offerings. See image.
The George – This luxury boutique hotel is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park, just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George boasts two award-winning fine dining restaurants. A range of 53 stylishly designed rooms and suites are available, many of them with views over Hagley Park and the Avon River.
Orari B&B – This boutique B&B is ideally located in the heart of Christchurch within easy walking distance of Christchurch’s cultural highlights. Featuring 10 beautifully appointed suites, this heritage listed grand Victorian home has been fully restored and refurbished. Queen and King suites are available and guests enjoy use of the elegant private lounge.
Terra Vive Luxury Suites and Apartments – Terra Vive is a luxury apartment accommodation located in the heart of Christchurch City within walking distance to the city center. Terra Vive offers 13 studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, as well as a number of luxury suites. Apartments are equipped with luxury spa baths, sunny private courtyards or balconies, kitchens and in-room laundry facilities.
Matakauri Lodge – Matakauri Lodge is an alpine lakeside retreat situated on Lake Wakatipu and only seven minutes from Queenstown. The main lodge offers accommodation in twelve luxurious guest rooms and suites; four suites are located within the main lodge with the remaining suites located in outlying cottages overlooking the lake. Each suite offers a private porch and open fireplace. The Owner’s Cottage features four suites in a freestanding residence – it is ideal for families, couples or friends travelling together. Enjoy fine dining on site, a dip in the infinity pool, and a luxury spa experience.
Queenstown Country Lodge –Queenstown Country Lodge is located in New Zealand’s Southern Lakes region, a rural setting close to Queenstown. The Lodge is set on 11 acres of secluded gardens and farmland and surrounded by mountains. Accommodation is available in 5 beautifully appointed guest rooms with pastoral views. Enjoy meals at the lodge and easy access to the area’s highlights. See image.
The Rees – This 5 star hotel sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is just a short walk from Queenstown’s town center. With panoramic lake and alpine views, the Rees offers a variety of luxurious and spacious accommodation options including 60 hotel rooms and 90 luxurious apartments, all with private balconies to take advantage of the spectacular views. Enjoy fine dining in the hotel’s dining room or bar and enjoy a personalized spa service.
The Dairy Hotel – This private luxury hotel is a quiet escape located in the center of Queenstown. Situated just a one minute walk from the Queenstown town center, The Dairy greets guests with an open fire in the communal lounge, an outdoor spa, delicious cooked breakfasts and home made afternoon teas. 13 guest rooms are available, each with a different view of Queenstown and the surrounding area.
Langham Hotel Melbourne – The Langham, situated on Melbourne’s Southbank Promenade, offers sweeping vistas of the Yarra River and Melbourne skyline. The hotel offers a range of guest rooms, club rooms and suites in addition to the option of the hotel apartment and the hotel presidential suite. Guests can expect exciting epicurean adventures in the hotel’s interactive restaurant and the opportunity to pamper themselves in the hotel’s award winning day spa and beautiful indoor pool.
Hotel Lindrum Melbourne – Hotel Lindrum Melbourne is a unique 59 room boutique hotel that combines modern design with the ultimate in contemporary facilities. Located adjacent to Melbourne’s city center in the Central Business district, Hotel Lindrum is well situated for access to some of the city’s best sights.
Dining is available in house in Felt Restaurant and the hotel’s Bar & Billiard Room. Felt Restaurant also offers a beautiful high tea service on Sunday afternoons. See image.
Alto Hotel on Bourke – Alto Hotel on Bourke is an environmentally rated boutique apartment hotel in Melbourne’s Central Business District. The hotel is located within easy walking distance to public transportation and many of the city’s highlights. The Alto offers a range of accommodation options, from guest rooms to studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments. Apartments are outfitted with fully equipped kitchens and the ground floor of the hotel houses a cozy lounge.
Qualia (Hamilton Island) – Qualia is a world class luxury resort on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays. This elegant resort offers 60 individually designed pavilions complete with private sun decks and infinity plunge pools overlooking the sea. Each guest villa has expansive sea views and is surrounded by landscaped Australian bushland and tropical palms. Enjoy fine dining and soothing spa treatments in house.
Beach Club Hotel (Hamilton Island) – An adults-only oasis, this boutique resort sits right on Catseye Beach, overlooking the Coral Sea. With its spectacular beachfront location, private restaurant and lounge, child-free ambience and personalized service, the Beach Club Hamilton Island is the ultimate couples’ getaway. Choose from 57 luxurious rooms, each with a private terrace or balcony. Enjoy the resort’s infinity pool, enjoy complimentary access to watersports equipment and take advantage of the in house spa services.
Reef View Hotel (Hamilton Island) – With large, comfortable, modern rooms, this Hamilton Island Hotel offers a perfect getaway for couples, families, or groups of friends. The hotel is located directly opposite Catseye Beach and is close to many of the islands restaurants, activities and entertainment. So relax on your private balcony, take a dip in the stunning pool, and settle in for a laid-back stay. See image.
Park Hyatt Sydney – Positioned on the beautiful Sydney Harbor, Park Hyatt Sydney offers a luxury accommodation experience with views of both the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. The hotel boasts 24-hour butler service, a day spa with rooftop pool and sundeck, two excellent restaurants, a bar and a gallery featuring commissioned art from renowned artists. 155 guest rooms and suites are available.
InterContinental Sydney Hotel – InterContinental Sydney offers luxury accommodation overlooking the Sydney Harbor. Located in the cultural end of the city, the Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay ferry services, the Rocks Precinct and Darling Harbor are just a short walk away. The Hotel offers 509 club rooms, guest rooms and suites with city, harbor, opera house and garden views. Find in house dining is available in several wonderful restaurants (consider partaking in High Tea, offered in a beautiful atrium setting).
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – The luxurious Four Seasons Sydney is located on the footsteps of Sydney’s iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House and near the city’s vibrant shopping and business centers. Club rooms, guest rooms, and suites are available, all with stunning views. Enjoy the stunning outdoor pool, spa services, and fine dining in one of the hotel’s two restaurants and bar.
QT Sydney – QT Sydney is a boutique Sydney Hotel with an eye for modern design. The hotel blends the historic with the contemporary as is evident in the 200 carefully crafted guest rooms, most of which feature deep soaking tubs. In house dining is available in Gowings Bar and Grill and SpaQ offers an array of relaxing body treatments. See image.
Holiday Inn Old Sydney – Holiday Inn Old Sydney is well situated to access the best of Sydney’s attractions in the charming and historic Rocks District. The inn is just a short stroll from the famous Harbor Bridge and Opera House, Circular Quay, Botanic Gardens, and great shopping. 175 contemporary guest rooms are available and light refreshments are on offer in the hotel lounge. Guests enjoy use of the rooftop pool.
21 Days New Zealand and Australia
Following are guided touring suggestions that would work with your 21 Days New Zealand and Australia itinerary on days when activities have not yet been suggested. These options can be private, small group or large group. For a more personalized experience we suggest at least a small group tour, which are usually 12 or fewer people. Some touring options are half day and many require a full day.
Auckland City Sightseeing – Learn about the City’s history and discover a variety of scenery on an introductory half or full day, private, small group or coach tour. See Auckland’s highlights before driving across the Auckland Harbor Bridge to visit Devonport, the picturesque old North Shore village with wonderful views back to the city. A full day tour includes a trip the Waitakere Ranges, an ancient rainforest home to rare native flora, fauna, and towering native trees.
Sailing or Cruising on the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland – The Auckland America’s Cup Sailing Experience is a unique opportunity to participate as crew on an actual America’s Cup yacht. Take the helm, man the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the ride as you sail the beautiful Waitemata Harbour. Or simply cruise onboard a comfortable vessel showcasing the highlights of the harbor and beyond.
City Walking Tours, Auckland – Enjoy a walking tour of the city, with a culinary twist, as locals show you the vibrant side of the city. You will be introduced to three of the city’s most vibrant inner city foodie locations: the eclectic Britomart precinct, the beautiful Viaduct Harbor and the revitalized Wynyard Quarter.
Waiheke Island, Auckland – A trip to Waiheke showcases this magnificent island in the Hauraki Gulf. Art, wine, and scenic beauty allow Waiheke’s idyllic surroundings to deliver the perfect environment for the ultimate wine tasting experience. Start with a picturesque 35-minute ferry ride to Waiheke to meet your local guide. Choose from a range of tours, which can include wineries, visiting artists or taking in the scenic highlights of the island.
Auckland Wilderness Experience – Just 30 minutes from downtown Auckland brings you to the Arataki Centre. Absorb the local history and admire the traditional Maori carvings that stand guard there, before heading west to experience the black sand of the West Coast beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches. With experienced guides your eco-tour continues on to lush rainforest where you will hear native birdsong as you walk amongst New Zealand’s famous kauri trees and giant tree ferns.
Geothermal & Cultural Tour, Rotorua – Take an in depth tour of Rotorua with a local guide. Discover why Maori and later Europeans were attracted to the warm healing waters of this unique thermal area. Stunning lake and mountain panoramas provide an idyllic setting for lunch. See the destructive forces of the Mount Tarawera eruption at Te Wairoa, the Buried Village, and stroll through the excavated site. Experience the culture of the Maori people and amazing geothermal activity at the NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.
Air Tours, Rotorua – There is no better way to appreciate this area than to see it from the air. Take a scenic flight via Float Plane or Helicopter with Volcanic Air and get a bird’s eye view of the many lakes, rivers, mountains and geothermal activities that make up this area. For an amazing adventure fly out to the very active White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano and one of the only assessable island volcanoes in the world. By helicopter it is possible to land and take a guided tour with your pilot.
Te Puia, Rotorua – A guided tour of the Maori cultural center of Te Puia includes a visit to the New Zealand national carving and weaving schools where you can watch these disciplines in practice under the guidance of master carvers and weavers. The tour includes a visit to the award winning interactive galleries and Kiwi House, where you can see New Zealand’s flightless bird up-close, followed by a visit to Rotorua’s famous geothermal mud pools and geysers.
Cultural Evening Experiences, Rotorua – We recommend the group Mitai for a Maori evening cultural experience. In this beautiful natural bush setting you will see warriors in traditional dress paddling an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream. Marvel at the crystal clear waters full of eels and trout, flowing directly from the earth at the sacred Fairy Spring. Enjoy a Maori cultural performance, topped with a hangi feast, which you will see lifted from the ground where it has been cooking.
Lake Tarawera Cruise and Waterfall Walk, Rotorua – On the scenic lake cruise take in the stunning panoramas of Lake and Mount Tarawera and enjoy the informative commentary on the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption and the areas volcanic past. The rainforest walk follows the path of an ancient lava flow through a rainforest rich with ferns, lichens and mosses along the Tarawera River. See the river unexpectedly disappear into subterranean chambers before flowing underground then finally blasting out a sheer cliff face 30m high creating the spectacular Tarawera Falls.
Whirinaki Rainforest Adventure Walk, Rotorua – Head out for a full day Whirinaki Forest hiking experience among massive 1000 year old trees in this ancient forest and get face-to-face with rare New Zealand birds. You can hope to see kaka (a North Island parrot), yellow-crowned Kakariki (parakeet) and toutouwai (North Island robin) in their natural habitat. Experience one of New Zealand’s best day hikes in Whirinaki, an icon of New Zealand ecology.
Fly Fishing, Rotorua – Some of the best North Island trout fishing takes place around Rotorua. Take an adventure either by helicopter or 4WD and experience fishing for brown and rainbow trout in the clear rivers and streams of this fisher’s paradise. Rods, reels and waders can be supplied and the best time to fish is November to April.
New Zealand Riverjet’s Thermal Safari – Experience a fantastic geothermal wonderland and a thrilling jet boating experience in this 2 ½ to 3 hour trip. Jet boat down the Waikato River through the spectacular Tutukau Gorge – see abundant bird life, pine forests, steaming volcanic river banks and trout feeding areas on your way to Orakei Korako, one of New Zealand’s most popular geothermal attractions. This half day tour combines the scenic beauty of the area’s natural wonders with the excitement of a high speed jet boat ride.
Nelson region /Abel Tasman National Park
Hiking and Kayaking, Abel Tasman – Whether you’re looking for an active day of tramping (hiking) and kayaking, or a lazy day at the beach, Abel Tasman National Park is the perfect destination. Consider a combined hiking/kayaking tour, which allows visitors to explore the sheltered beaches and spectacular granite sculptures of the Southern coast with an easy kayak, then travel into the heart of the park, exploring her beautiful white sand beaches and lush forest on foot.
Sail Abel Tasman – Experience Abel Tasman’s stunning coastline aboard a sailing yacht. Either relax on board or get involved with sailing the boat – the choice is yours. Enjoy time ashore on Abel Tasman’s stunning white sand beaches, visit the Fur Seal Colony, and visit Split Apple Rock during your day sail.
Cape Farewell Spit, Abel Tasman – The very northern tip of the South Island, this is New Zealand’s longest sand spit and is an internationally renowned bird sanctuary. Enjoy a Lighthouse Tour out onto the Spit to the most northern point on the South island, Cape Farewell. View seals and their pups basking on the rocks below and see a variety of resident and migratory seabirds. Guides are passionate about the Spit and are committed to ensuring you get the most from your experience.
Fly Fishing, Abel Tasman – Nelson is world renowned for its spectacular fly-fishing locations. This region repeatedly records the most sunshine hours of all of New Zealand, combined with the crystal clear waters and dozens of rivers and streams to choose from, the guided fly fishing experience can be most memorable. Average catch size of brown trout in this region is approx 4lb-5lb, with catches of 8lb plus quite common and the chance of a trophy 10lb brown trout may only be a cast away.
Dart River Wilderness Safaris, Queenstown – This tour takes visitors on an exhilarating 1 ½ hour jet boat journey through the Dart River’s braided river system – taking in the dramatic scenery of snow capped mountains, ancient native forest, waterfalls and glacial valleys. Your safari includes an easy 30-minute guided trail walk where you will encounter ancient native beech forests and unique flora and fauna. Journey by 4WD coach via a scenic back-road route and stop to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including Lord of the Rings.
Paradise Tour, Queenstown – This personal small group tour takes you through the spectacular Paradise Valley with opportunities to take short walks in this impressive landscape. The mountain views are outstanding as you travel around the edge of Lake Wakatipu – find out why this tour is called the “Queensland Lord of the Rings Tour.” Visit Dart River Valley in Paradise, the ultimate photography location. In the afternoon visit a High Country Station – a true New Zealand experience on a 15000 acre organic sheep and cattle farm. Visitors have the option to experience a jet boat ride returning to Queenstown.
High Country Discovery Tour, Queenstown – This half-day 4WD tour provides exclusive access to Mt Earnshaw Station, a 130-year-old working farm set in the spectacular alpine environment of the Paradise Valley. See sheep being shorn at an operational woolshed before moving on to view a number of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie locations. A visit to Glenorchy village, established in 1864, completes this tour.
Routeburn Track One-Day Guided Hike, Queenstown – Hike a portion of the world famous Routeburn Track set among towering ancient beech trees and blankets of moss and fern. This portion of the track climbs gradually, skirting the thundering Routeburn River, before arriving at the rich grassland of Routeburn Flats, then continues through more alpine forest and a vast alpine meadow to the Harris Saddle, some 1300 metres above sea level. High up in the clear mountain air a 360-degree view looks out along the Hollyford Valley to the Tasman Sea.
Wine Touring, Queenstown – Enjoy full or half day guided wine tours from Queenstown, with great scenery, gourmet food and the finest wine. Visit quieter parts of Central Otago and immerse yourself in the culture of wine, food and beautiful open spaces that people so often miss on a short visit to Queenstown. The principal varieties are Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, all producing excellent and award winning wines.
4wd Photograph Safari, Queenstown – Join award-winning photographers for an unforgettable photographic experience of some of the most amazing scenery in the world. They’ve scouted out the best “off the beaten track” landscape photography locations and have created four incredible 4WD photo safaris suitable for all levels of photography. From a half-day photographing the lush Paradise Valley (a film maker’s favorite) to a full day in the rugged Nevis Valley, your guides will take you to the best locations at the best time of day and provide expert tuition to help you capture incredible images whilst there.
Queenstown Scenic Flights – New Zealand is a land of spectacular contrasts, and Queenstown’s landscape changes from the woven greens and golds of the plains to jagged, snow-capped Alps in just minutes. There are a wide variety of flights to provide insight into this spectacular region. Fly in the latest helicopters available, with interpretive excursions that incorporate Queenstown, Milford Sound and the Fiords of southern New Zealand.
AJ Hackett Bungy, Queenstown – The world’s first commercial bungy jump opened at the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown in 1988. Twenty-eight people that day paid to leap off the 43 metre bridge with a bungy cord attached to their ankles. Now, just over 500,000 people from all around the world have jumped from the four sites AJ Hackett Bungy operates around Queenstown. The latest bungy site, Nevis Highwire opened in July 1999 and is the highest jump in New Zealand.
Queenstown Combos – These combos range from sightseeing outdoor experiences to total ’full on’ adventure packages and give you far better value than individually purchased trips.
Kawarau River Combos – the mighty Kawarau River is a great place to get an introduction to adventure, Queenstown style. From options of jetboating to rafting to a gondola ride, the Kawarau Combos are a great option for everybody.
Shotover River Combos – Get familiar with the Shotover River. Set amongst the rugged beauty and unspoiled grandeur of Skippers Canyon, this river is famous for its gold and adventure. Options range from jetboating, rafting and canyon swings to Gondola ride.
Hidden Secrets, Melbourne – Enjoy a guided walk with local guides (with morning, afternoon and evening departure options) through Melbourne’s beautiful lanes and arcades. You will discover local designers and specialty retailers, many of whom are only found in the city. A recount of Melbourne’s captivating history and an introduction to her amazing architecture will inspire locals and visitors alike. Morning walks focus on exploring Melbourne’s lanes and arcades while afternoon walks have a special emphasis on Melbourne’s unique architecture. Evening walks pay special attention to Melbourne’s food culture, making stops at a number of restaurants to sample local food and wine.
Melbourne Bike Tour – Get your bearings in this cosmopolitan city while you explore by bike, allowing you to see more in a few hours than many visitors manage to see in days. With a local expert, take in Melbourne’s trendiest streets, parks, shops, cafes, hidden laneways and multicultural neighborhoods. You don’t need to be a frequent or strong cyclist – this is a sightseeing tour requiring some riding with frequent stops to chat and explore.
Extraordinary Wildlife Experience, Melbourne – Experience a full day spent viewing and interacting with wild koalas and kangaroos (and more!) in their natural habitats on this small group eco-tour, led by an experienced wildlife guide. On your tour, located within easy reach of the city, also keep an eye out for parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards, which your wildlife guide will help you find and understand.
Philip Island Penguin Tour, Melbourne – Recognized as a world leader for environmental conservation, Philip Island’s sandy and rocky shorelines teem with wildlife. The northern side of the island is home to a variety of birdlife while the south side is home to pristine sandy beaches. Visit the Koala Conservation Center, stop to see the Nobbies rock formations overlooking the infamous Ball Strait, and finally take in the evening parade of Little Penguins, returning home for the night. Large coach and small group tours are available, departing Melbourne in both the morning and afternoon and returning late in the evening.
Yarra Valley Wine Tour, Melbourne – One of Australia’s leading wine making areas, the Yarra Valley is a short drive from Melbourne, making it an ideal place to visit in a day. The wines of the Yarra Valley are dominated by Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot in the red varieties and Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the white varieties. Tours to the Yarra Valley wine region can be done in a half-day or full day group tour or with a private guide at a time that suits.
Great Ocean Road Tour, Melbourne – Recognized as one of the most beautiful drives in the world, the Great Ocean Road stretches 550 km along the southern coast of Victoria – this full day tour will provide a wonderful introduction to this wild area of Australia. Travel its highlights and you will discover some of the Australia’s most inspiring scenery. Discover seaside villages and beautiful beaches before heading inland through towering forests towards Port Campbell National Park to experience the unique sea stack sculptures of the Twelve Apostles. Throughout the course of the day see koalas and other unique Australian wildlife in their natural habitat.
Great Barrier Reef Cruise, Hamilton Island – Enjoy a comfortable high speed cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef, where you will board an incredible interactive pontoon and spend the day exploring the colorful underwater world of magnificent corals, colorful fish and marine life. Snorkel, see the underwater reef world from a semi-submersible, dine on the boat, learn about the reef from reef experts, and enjoy time relaxing in the sun on this fantastic full day reef cruise.
Whitehaven Beach Flight, Hamilton Island – Spend a few hours on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Fly by seaplane to Whitehaven Beach while taking in the breathtaking aerial view of the Whitsunday Islands and Hill Inlet. Soak up the sun at Whitehaven and enjoy spectacular photo opportunities on the flight in and out.
Best of Both Worlds Flight and Reef Experience, Hamilton Island – This tour includes an unforgettable flight over the Whitsundays, a visit to Reefworld (a permanently moored pontoon above colorful Hardy Reef) and an afternoon picnic on the pristine, world-famous Whitehaven Beach. Experience breathtaking views of the Whitsundays and the adjoining coral reef formations. Spend two hours snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing aboard the pontoon. Finally, explore world-famous Whitehaven Beach where you can swim and relax on the white sand.
Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island – If you choose Qualia as your Hamilton Island accommodation, Qualia offers a number of complimentary activities for guests with Signature Experiences available for an additional charge. Choose from boat cruises and charters to beach drops for those looking forward to spending the day on a secluded white sand beach with a picnic and snorkel gear. The resort is happy to organize diving and snorkeling opportunities on the fringing coral reef surrounding Hamilton Island. Trips to the Great Barrier Reef by helicopter and sea plane are an option, with dive instruction and guided dive safaris available on arrival at the Reef. Consider a round of golf on the stunning Hamilton Island Golf Club on neighboring Dent Island or explore the area by sea kayak, catamaran, or a self-guided walk.
Culinary classes and tastings are hosted by Qualia’s executive dining team and yoga and personal training are offered on site. Pamper yourself in Qualia’s luxurious day spa. Please inquire with your agent for more details about the complimentary activities and the Signature Experiences on offer at Qualia.
Sights of Sydney Introductory Tour – This half-day private touring experience has guests travelling around the harbor city in a vintage Australian car – a 1964 EH Holden. Discover the “off the beaten path” areas of Sydney that locals love to visit. This tour is led by a passionate Sydney local who will show you the city’s, beach, bushland and shore. Hear insider tips and tales about this stunning harborside city.
Sydney Harbor Cruise –Treat yourself to a Sydney Harbor lunch cruise on board a 52-foot power boat. Your captain and host will recount Sydney’s rich history and share stories of Sydney Harbor as you take in views of the city, Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House. Enjoy a BBQ lunch with regional wines and beers while you relax on deck and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge – The Bridge Climb is an iconic Sydney attraction. Enjoy a guided journey to the top of the Sydney Harbor bridge, travelling along the outer arch of the Bridge on catwalks and ladders all the way to the summit, 134 meters above Sydney Harbor. A half day tour, the Bridge Climb can be undertaken either during daylight hours or at twilight, for a truly unique experience.
Guided Bike Tour with Bonza, Sydney – This half-day sightseeing tour of Sydney with morning and afternoon departures introduces visitors to Sydney’s highlights by bike. See the city’s sights and some of her hidden gems, while expert guides ensure that you get the most out of your Sydney experience. Stop for a quick drink at a warm friendly pub at the halfway point before continuing on to take in all of Sydney’s stunning sights.
Guided Rocks Walking Tour, Sydney – The Rocks Village holds a unique place in Sydney’s colonial history – on this rocky peninsula in 1788 a fleet of British ships moored in Sydney cove. The ships carried a human cargo of convict exiles doomed to live out their prison terms in this alien land. Today the Rocks Village has retained its unique heritage qualities nestled as it is beneath Sydney’s Harbor Bridge. This guided walking tour allows visitors to experience the Rocks living history with a team of friendly and enthusiastic guides.
VIP Pass for Taronga Zoo, Sydney – Enjoy a fully escorted, behind the scenes tour of Taronga Zoo’s unique Australian animal collection in a small and personalized group. Get “up close and personal” with hand-raised native animals at Taronga’s Education Center and learn about the local wildlife. The tour includes a round trip ride on the Sky Safari cable car where visitors will discover way Taronga is known as “the Zoo with a View.”
Visit the Iconic Opera House, Sydney – Take a look inside one of the world’s most recognizable structures and experience this piece of architecture and engineering with a knowledgeable and experienced guide. The Opera House is a work of art that came into existence against strong odds to become one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world. Learn the engrossing story and history of this Sydney icon where live performances take place every day.
Boutique Wildlife Tour, Sydney – Just 90 minutes south of the city is the pristine bushland of the Southern Highlands. This afternoon and evening tour takes guests to this beautiful native bushland in search of the animals that make Australia so unique. Small, personalized groups travel in luxury 4WD vehicles to the Southern Highlands and, with the help of knowledgeable and passionate Naturalist Guides, search for kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, possums and more.