Experience the contrasts of New Zealand & Australia covering Mountains, Fjords, Glaciers, thermal geysers, harbors, wildlife, Reef and much more! If you have been waiting to find the perfect bucket list trip for New Zealand & Australia this one covers it all! This exciting itinerary is crafted to flow seamlessly traveling by plane, tour bus and train and chock full of amazing experiences and values.
- Economy class lights from Los Angeles (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
- Domestic Australia & New Zealand flights
- 3 Nights Queenstown In 4* accommodation
- Full Day Queenstown - Franz Joseph Glacier Day tour
- 2 Nights Franz Joseph Glacier in 3* accommodation
- Bus transfer Franz Joseph Glacier - Greymouth
- Tranz Alpine Express Rail Journey from Greymouth to Christchurch
- 1 night Christchurch in 4* accommodation
- 2 nights Rotorua in 4* accommodation
- Full day tour Rotorua - Waitomo Caves - Auckland
- 2 nights Auckland in 4* accommodation
- 4 Nights Perth in 4* accommodation
- 3 nights Sydney in 4* accommodation
- 4 nights Port Douglas - the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef in 4* accommodation
- Shuttle airport transfers in Queenstown, Christchurch, Rotorua, Auckland, Perth, Port Douglas & Sydney
- All taxes & fuel surcharges
Day 1 - Depart
Depart Los Angeles for your overnight flight to Auckland. Consider upgrading to Skycouch, Premium Economy or Business Class with Air New Zealand.
Day 2 - Cross International Date Line
Day 3 -
Arrive New Zealand
Upon arrival in Auckland, connect to your flight to Queenstown. On arrival into Queenstown you will be transferred by Supershuttle to your accommodation. Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps. Renowned for adventure sports, it’s also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns.
Days 4 & 5 -
Explore Queenstown at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Wilderness Jet Safari
A scenic drive takes you along the edge of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy where you will board a Dart River jet boat for a 1 and a 1/2 hour journey through the Dart River's ever-changing braided river system. You will be thrilled by the jet boat's capabilities and awed by your surroundings of breathtaking snow-capped mountains, ancient native forest, waterfalls, and glacier valleys frozen in time. The jet boat ride is followed by an easy 30-40 minute guided walk through ancient native Beech forest. The tour finishes with a journey by 4WD safari vehicle along a back-road route while hearing stories about the surrounding countryside and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including 'The Lord of the Rings'. Tour concludes approximately 6 hours after commencement
- Discover Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Depart Queenstown and travel alongside Lake Wakatipu and then through farming countryside to Te Anau where there will be a short rest stop. From Te Anau, the overland journey to Milford Sound is a showcase of sheer mountains and towering cliffs, rugged valleys and native rain forest surrounded by teeming waterfalls and glacial lakes. The glass-roof coach offers reclining seats, multi-lingual commentary, additional legroom and are fitted with WIFI and USB ports. Experienced coach drivers tailor each journey to ensure the best photo stops are included for short walks and photo opportunities along the way. On arrival, board a vessel for an extended and leisurely cruise on board a small catamaran with a two hour duration and English only commentary. Cruise the full length of the fiord in comfort on a modern, spacious vessel with comfortable indoor seating and large, tall windows for panoramic viewing of spectacular Milford Sound. With a flexible and relaxed itinerary, enjoy a large and wide open outdoor, upper level deck for excellent wildlife viewing including seals, dolphins and penguins when in season. Tour concludes approximately 12 hours after commencement.
- Appellation Central Wine Tours
Appellation Central offers guided tours showcasing Central Otago's fine wine and cuisine. These tours venture into the heartland of Central Otago visiting vineyards in Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Small groups and custom fit minibuses ensure a relaxed and interactive day out from Queenstown and a great way to experience Central Otago.
- Nomad Safari - Skippers Canyon
A half-day heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. Hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley. Navigate this awe-inspiring canyon and visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge, township of Skippers, and the restored school house - gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment.
- Zipline Ecotour
Commence an ecotour on Queenstown's original zipline course and the perfect starter to your adventure experience. Comprised of four ziplines, starting and finishing at the top of the Skyline gondola, the tour is designed to start low and slow and gradually build your confidence as it gets progressively longer, higher and faster. All ages love the interaction this guided aerial tour has to offer.
- Station 2 Station Cycle Trail
The perfect half day, independent cycling trip experiencing the best that Queenstown has to offer. Enjoy a Spirit of Queenstown cruise to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm, stopping at Bob’s Cove to view flora and fauna up close and spectacular views towards Glenorchy, Mt Earnslaw, the Southern Alps and The Remarkables mountain range. Disembark the vessel and journey between Mt Nicholas and Walter Peak (high country farms) located on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu as you cycle along a quiet country road through open farm land. Breathe in the fresh mountain air, watch the landscape unfold and take in the panoramic alpine views while cycling 12 kilometres (about one hour) along a remote but public, shingle road to Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak. There’s an option to add on a BBQ lunch at Walter Peak before boarding the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw for the return cruise to Queenstown.
Image: Tourism New Zealand
Day 6 - Queenstown to Franz Josef
Take a sightseeing day tour from Queenstown to Franz Josef and discover the wild beauty of New Zealand's West Coast.
Leaving Queenstown, travel by luxury coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. Your driver guide will provide entertaining commentary and point out sites of interest as you pass by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. After a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park, you'll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging on the West Coast. This remote area has a ruggedly beautiful landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains. Skirt the coast and see waves crashing on rocky beaches before returning inland. Pass tree-fringed lakes and stop at a boutique salmon farm on the Paringa River, before arriving in the afternoon at the small village of Franz Josef. From here you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier.
The German explorer Julius von Haast named the Franz Josef Glacier after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, it is approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) long.
Day 7 - Franz Josef
Explore its spectacular scenery with one of the many local guiding companies or opt for a flightseeing tour via helicopter or plane (additional cost applies):
- Heli Hike
Combine an awesome scenic helicopter flight over the glacier with a unique guided walk amongst the ice caves, pinnacles and seracs of this pristine, alpine environment. You'll see the extraordinary colours of the ice-flow from above and then up close, on an unforgettable guided walk.
- Glacier Valley Walk
At the terminal face of Fox Glacier is a cave where the Fox River emerges from the ice and where ice collapses are often heard and seen. Although you will not walk on the glacier, your guide will show you ice that has travelled 13 kilometers from the base of the Southern Alps all the way to the river valley floor and may take you closer to the ice than the unguided public.
Day 8 -
Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch
This morning board your InterCity coach to Greymouth and check in for your Tranz Alpine Express Rail Journey to Christchurch
Take in the South Island’s stunning mountains and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine. New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey. Along this journey you’ll see epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest. The TranzAlpine is one of the world's great train journeys covering 223 kilometres (139 miles) one-way, taking just under 5 hours. You’ll traverse the majestic Canterbury Plains, to the backdrop of the mighty Southern Alps - the journey of a lifetime.
On arrival into Christchurch you will be transferred to your accommodation for your overnight stay.
Christchurch is set on the expansive Canterbury Plains between the wide sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean, the spectacular snow-capped Southern Alps and the volcanic hills of Banks Peninsula. The city is interwoven by two rivers linking parks, gardens and avenues. Known as ‘The Garden City’, Christchurch is the gateway to the Canterbury region and the spectacular experiences available within the South Island.
Christchurch City has experienced a dramatic change in the city’s landscape and innovations such as the Re START Container Mall, Pop-up Bars, creative ‘Gap Fillers’ and Greening the Rubble showcase the amazing energy of the city. This is a city in a transitional phase, buzzing with creativity and flair as the ‘rebuild’ gets underway. Innovative shops, businesses and buildings are continually popping up as the city rebuilds.
Image: Tourism New Zealand
Day 9 -
Fly Christchurch to Rotorua
Spend the morning exploring Christchurch, this afternoon transfer to Christchurch Airport for your nonstop flight to Rotorua, on arrival transfer to your accommodation for two nights stay.
Rotorua is 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. Try a hangi feast – cooked in the steaming ground, take a tour of an authentic pre-European Maori village or treat yourself to an indulgent spa therapy. If adventure is your thing, Rotorua has many attractions to get the adrenalin flowing; everything from skydiving and luging to zorbing and one of New Zealand’s best mountain bike circuits.
Explore Rotorua at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Discover Rotorua
Experience Te Puia, a place of Maori culture and a thermal wonderland of impressive geysers and boiling mud pools. Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park, which showcases native flora and fauna as well as the New Zealand Kiwi. Then see NZ's agricultural industry in action with a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials at the Agrodome.
- Te Puia Steambox Lunch
Visitors can choose what they want to have cooked for their lunch before heading out on a special guided tour. As they participate in an interactive session, learning how to weave a flower, and tour the carving and weaving schools, their food is placed in a Nga Wha (steam vent) Puapua, which is located in the geothermal area that is the backdrop to the famous Pohutu Geyser. Heading down into the geothermal valley to the mud pools and hot springs, the tour concludes when, after watching their lunch being lifted from the Nga Wha, guests sit and enjoy a steam box picnic lunch on the geyser terrace.
Your guide will escort you through the ten acre site of where the Lord of the Rings movie set used to be. Your guide will explain all about what was needed to create the Hobbiton set and tell stories about what went on during filming. Check out the Hobbit holes from the film set. After viewing the Bag End, you can pet and feed the hand reared sheep and hand bottle feed lambs.
- Rotorua Redwoods Mountain Biking - Half
Right on the Rotorua's doorstep lies the best mountain biking area in New Zealand. There’s a little something for everyone in the Redwood Forest. The dirt here holds together better than anywhere in the world, and the area is packed with something for everyone from beginner to expert, and the forest is spectacular! Grade 1-5 riding - beginner to expert.
- OGO Rotorua
OGO Rotorua is an all-weather, all seasons, adventure with the longest downhill ball rolling tracks in the world! Speed up on the straights before riding up the sides of the 6 massive corners. Wet and Dry ride options - warm water in winter, cool in summer. Dry option available in Winter month. Hot tubs at top and bottom of hill.
Image: Tourism New Zealand
- Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo Caves
Commence a full day tour from Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo. Leave Rotorua in the morning and travel through lush farmland, including the intriguing Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery. Upon arrival in the small town of Waitomo enjoy a guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations. Finish this segment of the tour with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms. At the conclusion of the Glowworm Cave tour, take a break at the magnificent Waitomo Caves Visitor Complex. After a stop for lunch, the tour continues on through the beautiful King Country and Waikato regions before arriving in Auckland and transfer to your accommodation for your two nights stay.
Before saying farewell to New Zealand, enjoy the day in Auckland - explore or relax. Don't think of Auckland as a city, even though it's New Zealand's largest. Think of it as half urban, half marine - a cosmopolitan experience wrapped up in a fascinating water world and surrounded by over 50 islands.
- Time Unlimited - Auckland Highlight Luxury Half Day
Tour - Morning or Afternoon (also available for private
See the highlights of Auckland city with its 55 volcanoes and the marine village of Devonport on Auckland's North Shore. Be amazed by spectacular views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, dramatic views of several volcanoes and the marine village of Devonport.
- Bush and Beach - Coast and Rainforest
Visit Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, with panoramic views from the sweeping decks extending from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Next, your guides walk you through Auckland’s coastal rainforest to the West Coast Beach with soft black sand, enjoy a kiwi style picnic lunch before moving onto untouched original rainforest with mature 1000 year old Kauri trees, where 70 percent of the world’s native plants are found nowhere else in the world.
- Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise
Board your Explore Group vessel at Viaduct Harbour, Auckland to commence an Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise. Dine on the Waitemata Harbour, an experience not to be missed in Auckland. Enjoy great sailing and as the sun sets watch the night lights of the cityscape come alive. Sail where the wind takes while enjoying Auckland's city highlights; including sailing under the Harbour Bridge and other well-known landmarks along the harbours edge. The crew's local knowledge will give you the best harbour sailing experience Auckland has to offer. Cruise concludes at approximately 2.5 hours after commencement, back at Viaduct Harbour Auckland
- Waiheke Island - Wine Tour
All day tour of three vineyards with pickup from and return to Auckland ferry or Waiheke Island accommodation . This tour includes commentated scenic tour of the Island with time to stop for photographs. One vineyard may be replaced with an olive oil visit and tasting
Image: Tourism New Zealand
- Auckland to Perth, Australia non-stop
Depart Auckland on your non-stop flight to Perth, Western Australia. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for your four nights stay.
The thing that surprises most about Australia’s sunniest capital city is the incredible variety of experiences you can enjoy under its clear blue skies. Here, where the cityscape and natural landscapes live side-by-side, it’s possible to swim with wild dolphins, taste the fruits of WA’s oldest vineyards and spend the evening hopping between the lively small bars of Perth’s laneways, all in a single day.
Days 14 - 16 - Arcades
& Laneways Perth city walking
Explore Perth at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Arcades & Laneways Perth city walking
Join your Two Feet and A Heartbeat Walking Tours at Perth Town Hall, on corner of Barrak and Hay street to commence a 2 Hour Arcades and Laneways Tour. On this tour explore the more than 2.5km of arcades and various lesser known laneways throughout the city. Due to Perth's warm climate, the city centre was built with many arcades to keep shoppers shaded and cool. Through churches, shopping malls and public areas, these arcades and laneways provide interesting routes for locals to navigate through the city centre. Art Deco, ultra modern and even faux-Tudor, these are wonderful parts of the city that you will visit on this tour and learn of their origins and impact on the city. In recent years, some forgotten and under utilized laneways in Perth have been given a new lease on life. Through Government investment, the establishment small bars and cafes, pop-up cultural events and a proliferation of street art, these once ignored places are now hip and happening. It is very easy to spend a couple of leisurely hours exploring these hidden yet bustling/vibrant elements of life in Perth. With plenty of opportunities to grab a coffee on the go, have a tasty treat, or find some awesome places to come back to after the tour, your friendly guide will help set you up for an enjoyable adventure through the lesser known parts of Perth. Tour concludes at approximately 4:00pm, in the central city area of Perth.
- Rottnest Island Experience
You will board your vessel in Northport to commence a full day Discover Rottnest tour. Cruise to Rottnest Island and receive a guided introduction walk, then enjoy cycling around the island at your own pace or take a guided coach tour to discover the beauty and tranquility of Rottnest. Enjoy lunch at Rottnest Lodge, followed by free time at your leisure before boarding the ferry to depart the island and cruise back to Northport. Rottnest Island is lined with 83 of the most beautiful bays and beaches you will ever see, but what it’s really known for is being home to the happiest animal in the world. Quokkas are small marsupials, much like a very tiny kangaroo. Thousands of quokkas call Rottnest their island home and pose for the perfect picture. You’ll also spot dolphins and seals year round, plus humpback whales from September to December. One of the best ways to see Rottnest is by bike – there are no cars on the island. It’s the perfect day trip from Perth and don’t forget a #QuokkaSelfie is free
- Pinnacles Desert 4WD adventure
A Luxury Outback Tours vehicle will pick up you from your hotel to commence a full day Pinnacles Tour. First visit is the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Interpretive Centre, then drive into the Pinnacles Desert and travel the four kilometer trail for a unique experience to walk among this stunning phenomenon. The Pinnacles Desert is made up of thousands of limestone pillars, resembling an ancient ruin. After lunch at Cervantes, visit Thirsty Point to see pristine white beaches and sparkling aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. Go for a walk along the beach. Enjoy a visit to Lake Thetis to view Stromatolites, which are one of the earliest forms of life to evolve on our planet another of nature's wonders. Tour returns back to Perth late afternoon.
Image: Tourism Western Australia
Day 17 - Perth to
Transfer to Perth airport for your flight to Sydney. On arrival in Sydney shuttle service transfer to your accommodation for your three nights stay.
Blessed with a temperate climate, Sydney is Australia’s favorite city with the world’s most beautiful harbour. The harbour provides a playground for jet boating, sailing, swimming, harbor scenic flights, dining, fishing, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and sightseeing at the Sydney Opera House.
Days 18 & 19 -
Explore Sydney at your leisure or consider adding the following discounted sightseeing package at a cost of $280 per person.
- Panoramic City Sights small group half day
First stop is Observatory Hill which has a beautiful view of the Harbour and Harbour Bridge from the Gazebo Platform. Learn about the arrival of the first fleet and convicts, and see the historic Rocks area. Drive through the city to view iconic buildings on the way to Mrs Macquarie's Chair with views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Head to famous Bondi Beach for the opportunity to walk from Icebergs Restaurant South Bondi around the Esplanade to North Bondi. Then head to Watsons Bay for views of the city and shimmering water, and South Head. Travel back into the city and cross over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to North Head to view Balmoral Beach and enjoy a leisurely walk. Visit a secret location in Middle Head with amazing panoramic views of all of the Sydney region from North Head to the South including the City. Tour concludes at Taronga Zoo Ferry Wharf with an option of taking the ferry back to Circular Quay or enjoying the rest of the day at Taronga Zoo (entry at own expense). Or re-join your vehicle for transfer back to the city with drop off at Circular Quay or Darling Harbour.
- Sydney Harbour small group Harbour
Board your Sensational Sydney Cruises vessel at Circular Quay to commence a morning two hour Harbour Highlights cruise. Enjoy the company of a small group aboard a 52 foot motor yacht. Your captain and host will share the rich history of Sydney Harbour and its foreshore as you take in the sights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a light morning tea with coffee, tea, juice and water.
- Blue Mountains Day small group day Tour
Enjoy a small group tour to the Blue Mountains and see hidden locations and beautiful views of the region. This boutique tour provides an intimate touch, travelling in the luxury of a Mercedes Benz minivan. From Echo Point, the closest and best view of the Three Sisters, you will be able to witness the blue haze and the vast expanse of the Jamison Valley and experience for yourself the raw magic the Blue Mountains creates. Take a 1.5 hour hike down the Furber Steps walking track which offers scenic views and waterfalls, to the bottom of the valley. Visit a beautiful waterfall with great photo opportunities at Katoomba Falls Cascade and see breathtaking views of either Jamison Valley or Megalong Valley away from the crowds in a private location. Enjoy a hot filling lunch including a glass of beer, wine or soft drink. After lunch visit Featherdale Wildlife Park to see some of Australia's native wildlife. Your trip to Sydney is not complete without a cruise on the Parramatta River to Sydney Harbour. You will travel under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House before disembarking at Circular Quay.
Image: Destination New South Wales / Tourism Australia
Day 20 Sydney - Cairns
& transfer to Port Douglas
This morning you transferred to Sydney airport by shuttle service, for your flight to Cairns, the colorful capital of Tropical North Queensland and the major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The city is a gateway to an amazing selection of touring options encompassing the Reef, the Outback and the Rainforest. An hour north of Cairns brings you to Port Douglas, the closest town to the Great Barrier Reef with Rainforest clad mountains sweeping down to sparkling sandy beaches. Upon arrival into Cairns you will be transferred to your accommodation for your 4 nights stay
Days 21 - 23 - Port
Explore Tropical North Queensland at your leisure or consider adding the following discounted sightseeing package at a cost of $240 per person:
- Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef full day Snorkeling
Travel aboard Quicksilver's 45.5 metre high speed wavepiercing catamaran in air-conditioned comfort to a spacious reef activity platform moored in protective lagoons at the renowned Agincourt Reef, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Quicksilver has facilities to enable both swimmers and non-swimmers to experience this stunning reef world. Explore the reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible, the underwater observatory or by snorkelling. A range of optional activities are available including up to two dives for certified divers, and novices can experience the magic of scuba with a qualified dive instructor or an Oceanwalker helmet dive. Also available are guided snorkelling tours with a marine biologist and scenic helicopter flights over the reef (all optional activities at own expense).
- Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk
This half day tour includes a transfer to Mossman Gorge Centre where you commence the Dreamtime Gorge Walk. Experience the wonders of the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and discover pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna. Your experienced Indigenous guide will demonstrate traditional plant use, identify bush soaps and ochre paints. After your guided walk, spend time browsing through the centre's contemporary Indigenous art gallery, visit the gift shop or relax at the Mayi Café.
Image: Tourism Australia
Day 24 - Depart Port
This morning you will be transferred to Cairns airport. Depart Cairns for your flight back to Los Angeles.
Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for travel Monday - Thursday from Los Angeles (addon flights from your local airport available for an additional cost) for bookings by 31 January 2019; $60 supplement applies each way for travel on Friday to Sunday. Ask an Aspire consultant for pricing for other travel dates. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain blackout dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.
A passport with extended validity past your travel dates and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required to enter Australia; Aspire Down Under can issue your ETA for a processing fee of $25 per person. A copy of the picture page of your passport and payment for your ETA is required at the time of booking.