Very Best of Australia and New Zealand (30 days, Melbourne - Auckland, 2014 - 2015)
It’s understandably difficult to choose between experiencing the spectacular sights of Australia or the fascinating Maori culture of New Zealand, which is why we’ve created a tour that encompasses all the best bits of each. While no place on earth can compare to the colourful corals of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, there’s nowhere on the planet that shares the same magical tranquillity of Milford Sound. As well as having the chance to experience a new spectacular city of your choice at the start of your tour, in just 30 days you’ll uncover all the highlights and hidden gems of two distinctly different, but equally amazing countries.
Book this tour by 3rd January 2014 to save £1,000 per couple and enjoy six FREE hotel upgrades worth up to £658 per couple, as well as a FREE two-night inbound stopover worth up to £698 per couple.
Our tours will fill up fast, so you'll need to book soon to secure your preferred date and tour.
Day 1: Depart from the UK (Onboard full meal service and complimentary bar service)
Today, you’ll fly with QANTAS from London Heathrow or with Emirates from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle or Glasgow, to a destination of your choice for an included three night stopover at no extra cost. Whether you opt for Singapore, Dubai or Hong Kong, you have a unique opportunity to explore another amazing destination. Flights from the UK to Singapore or Hong Kong will be via Dubai.
Day 2: Arrive at stopover (Onboard full meal service and complimentary bar service)
Choose from three outbound stopovers. Whichever destination you choose there’s no extra cost:
• Singapore • Dubai • Hong Kong
Regional airport departure times for Dubai vary, please call for details. Once you’ve arrived at your stopover destination, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. For the remainder of the day you’re free to explore whichever city you’ve chosen to visit. Please note, depending on which airline and stopover you choose, flight schedules and timings may vary slightly, which means the first five days of your itinerary may differ. For more information, please call one of our travel advisors. It’s also worth noting that your stopover won’t be escorted by a Scenic Tours representative, however you will be met upon arrival by a local representative.
Day 3: Scenic FreeChoice day (B)
After a full buffet breakfast to set you up for the day, you’ll enjoy a Scenic FreeChoice day where you can choose from a selection of exciting activities.
Day 4: Free Day (B)
After breakfast, the day is free for you to explore at your leisure, shop or just relax and make use of your hotel’s facilities.
Day 5: Onwards to Australia (B, Onboard full meal service and complimentary bar service)
A full buffet breakfast will be served at your hotel. This evening you’ll be transferred to the airport for your overnight flight to Melbourne.
Welcome to Australia! Once you’ve arrived in Melbourne you’ll be met and transferred from the airport for a three night stay at the Crown Metropol where you’ll experience contemporary luxury in its purest form. Early this evening you’ll enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow guests in the unique Tramcar Restaurant - a carefully restored historic tramcar that tours the streets of Melbourne as you dine on a delicious three-course meal, with complimentary drinks.
Three Night Stay: Melbourne
Discover Melbourne your way by choosing one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) a trip to Phillip Island where you’ll see Australia’s amazing wildlife and the magical penguin parade (2) a walking tour of Melbourne with entrance to the Eureka Skydeck including Sun and Stars (3) a trip on the Puffing Billy Steam Train through the Blue Dandenong Ranges (4) an exploration of the venues that host some of Australia’s favourite sporting events (5) or a morning Melbourne city tour by coach.
You have today free to make the most of Melbourne’s many attractions or to relax in the comfort of your hotel. The free City Circle tram is a great way to access the city’s sights - and Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and the Royal Botanic Gardens are all definitely worth a visit.
Today you’ll fly to Brisbane for a two night Special Stay at the Sofitel Hotel, perfectly located within walking distance of the city centre. You have the rest of the day to explore Brisbane, a city with a colourful and vibrant history, set on the banks of the sparkling Brisbane River. Why not wander through the Botanic Gardens? Or venture to South Bank where you can explore The Parklands, the cosmopolitan restaurants and boutiques of Little Stanley, and the cultural hub of Grey Street. This evening you’ll enjoy a buffet dinner at your hotel’s Thyme2 Restaurant, which offers a unique and inspiring dining experience and a wonderful atmosphere.
Two Night Special Stay: Brisbane
To see the best of Brisbane, choose from the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) climb Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge and enjoy great views of the city (2) climb the Story Bridge and abseil down into Captain Burke Park (3) take the Croc Express to Australia Zoo (4) cruise along Brisbane River to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (5) or enjoy the spectacular views at Lamington National Park and a thrilling Tree Top Canopy Walk at O’Reillys. In the interest of safety and comfort, the operator of the Story Bridge Climb has imposed a maximum weight restriction of 20 stone 6Ibs for the Story Bridge Climb and 18 stone 1Ib for the Story Bridge Climb and Abseil.
After breakfast, you have the remainder of the morning in Brisbane before transferring to the airport for a flight to Cairns. Here, you’ll enjoy a four night stay at the Cairns Hilton, located near Trinity Inlet and the Marina.
Four Night Stay: Cairns
With so much to see and do in Cairns, we’ve given you a free day to spend as you please. If you’re in the mood to relax, why not have a swim in the “lagoon” - a free public swimming area located on the promenade near the pier? This evening’s Scenic FreeChoice dining options are: (1) a sunset cruise followed by dinner at a Waterfront Restaurant (2) or you can watch the sun set with great food at Mondo Bar and Grill in the Cairns Hilton Hotel.
No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll travel to Port Douglas and take a high-speed catamaran to a pontoon moored on the Outer Barrier Reef. Here, you can snorkel with an instructor, enjoy viewing the coral and sea life from a semi-submersible boat, and take a closer look at the fish and coral from an underwater observatory. A delicious smorgasbord lunch is served onboard the pontoon too. Scenic Enrich: One of today’s highlights is an included short helicopter flight over the Outer Barrier Reef (weather dependent). This scenic flight gives you a bird’s eye view of one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of the World’ and provides many fantastic photo opportunities.
Today is free for you to make the most of the many attractions in and around Cairns or to relax in the comfort of your hotel. To gain a greater insight into the region’s history and culture, visit one of Cairns’ numerous interesting museums and art galleries showcasing quality local artists, indigenous artists and international work for you to explore.
Early this morning, you’ll fly from Cairns to Uluru and transfer to the Ayers Rock Resort for an overnight Special Stay at the Sails in the Desert Hotel. Scenic Enrich: We have a special dinner prepared for you tonight with your Sounds of Silence experience - an evening of dining and indigenous entertainment under the outback sky. As the sun sets, you’ll be feasting on a superb barbecue served with complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks. After sunset, attention turns to the sky as your star talker takes you on a tour of the southern night sky.
Overnight Special Stay: Uluru
After watching the sun rise over Uluru with breakfast at the Cultural Centre, you’ll take a base tour of the Rock including the Mala Walk and Mutitjulu Waterhole. Later, you’ll fly to Sydney for a three night stay at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel - a heritage listed hotel, conveniently located within easy walking distance of the stunning Sydney Harbour and Opera House.
Three Night Stay: Sydney
Today Sydney is yours to discover. And so you can fit in everything you’d like to do, your Tour Director will be on hand to help plan your day of sightseeing in this fantastic city. Early this evening you’ll enjoy incredible views of Sydney Harbour’s iconic sights as you take a fabulous cruise including dinner, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks.
Today choose from the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) sail an America’s Cup yacht on Sydney Harbour - no experience necessary (2) a tour of Sydney Opera House which finishes with a delicious tasting platter (3) see Australia’s unique and wonderful wildlife at Taronga Zoo (4) a motorbike or motortrike ride from the Rocks Market to the lively Darling Harbour (5) a guided bicycle tour of the city (6) a visit to the Skywalk at Sydney Tower Eye (7) or a fun-filled kayaking tour of Sydney Harbour and a delicious picnic lunch.
Early this morning you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Christchurch, New Zealand. Here, you’ll enjoy a two night stay at the Novotel Christchurch - situated moments away from the Cathedral Square, Cashel St Pop-Up Mall, Hagley Park and Christchurch Business District. This evening you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner without even having to leave your hotel.
Two Night Stay: Christchurch
Today choose one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) punting on the River Avon followed by a tour of the Botanic Gardens (2) take the Penguin Express to the International Antarctic Centre, where you’ll meet Little Blue Penguins (3) board a classic 1960s London Double Decker bus for an informative tour of Christchurch (4) or discover the best of Christchurch during a leisurely bicycle tour of the city’s highlights.
Prepare to take an unforgettable journey onboard one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys, the TranzAlpine. As you travel from Christchurch across the Canterbury Plains and into the Southern Alps, you’ll voyage through spectacular mountains, deep gorges and wide meandering rivers to Arthur’s Pass. You’ll then continue by coach to the village of Franz Josef where you’ll visit the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier (weather permitting). Tonight you’ll stay at the Scenic Hotel in Franz Josef.
Overnight Stay: Franz Josef
Today you’ll travel to Queenstown for a three night stay at the Crowne Plaza hotel, located next to beautiful Lake Wakatipu. With your hotel being the perfect base for sightseeing, you have this afternoon free to explore Queenstown; browse the local shops, cafés and bars; purchase local art and crafts at Queenstown’s galleries and studios; or simply take in the stunning views of the lake and the Remarkables Mountains.
Three Night Stay: Queenstown
After breakfast you’ll journey to Fiordland, admiring the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the fascinating alpine desert along the way. In Fiordland National Park you’ll experience an unforgettable cruise on the Milford Sound - the most dramatic of Fiordland’s amazing glacier-carved fiords.
This morning you’ll enjoy a cruise aboard the iconic TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship - the only coal-fired steamship in operation in the Southern Hemisphere. Afterwards you’ll visit the Walter Peak High Country farm for a tour and barbecue lunch in the lovely gardens. Plus you’ll have chance to see the farmyard animals and explore the picturesque lakeside gardens. This afternoon you’re free to further explore Queenstown or relax in your hotel.
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Auckland, then continue to Rotorua, where you’ll spend two nights at the Millennium Hotel Rotorua. Scenic Enrich: This evening you’ll visit Tamaki Village, an authentic Maori village nestled in Rotorua forest. Here you’ll have the chance to see a Maori cultural show and hear stories about the villager’s ancestors and history, before enjoying a delicious dinner cooked in a traditional Hangi or earth oven.
Today choose one of the following included Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) enjoy the Agrodome Sheep Show and see the rare Kiwi at Rainbow Springs (2) an amphibious duck tour of Rotorua’s city and lakes (3) relax in the geothermal pools of the Polynesian Day Spa (4) take a thrilling 4WD safari adventure (5) or experience unique rail cruising through a stunning landscape.
Scenic Enrich: After breakfast in Rotorua to set you up for the day you’ll journey north to Longlands Homestead - a working farm located near the spectacular Kaimai Ranges. After gaining an insight in rural New Zealand life, you’ll sit down to a home-cooked roast lamb lunch. You’ll then continue to Auckland for a two night Special Stay at the luxurious Sofitel Hotel, where you’ll experience life on the waterfront in five-star luxury.
Two Night Special Stay: Auckland
Today choose from the following Scenic FreeChoice activities: (1) explore Waiheke Island’s history, nature, beaches and food (2) a morning tea cruise of the ‘City of Sails’ harbour (3) visit the Waitakere Ranges, walk in the rainforest and along the west coast’s black sand beaches (4) or discover Auckland on a sightseeing tour. Scenic Enrich: Tonight, you’ll say goodbye to New Zealand with great food and breath-taking views during a Farewell Dinner at the Sofitel’s Lava restaurant.
Your tour concludes this morning and you’ll be transferred back to the airport for your flight home. Alternatively, why not extend your holiday to visit family and friends or arrange a stopover to break up your journey home?
Please note that all Scenic FreeChoice options in Australia need to be pre-booked.
Meals: B: Breakfast, BB: Boxed Breakfast L: Lunch, HL: Highlight Lunch, D: Dinner, HD: Highlight Dinner
If you choose to extend your stay in Australia, please check transfer entitlements with your Scenic Tours travel advisor.