Australia & New Zealand Tour

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $2,899
  • Length: 18 days
  • Operator: YMT Vacations
  • 800-922-9000
    Destinations: Australia and the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand
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Tour Description

Experience the amazing sights and sounds of the “Land Down Under” on a journey to exciting Australia and New Zealand. Begin this unforgettable adventure in Melbourne, including both scheduled sightseeing of many highlights and plenty of opportunities to explore the State of Victoria’s capital at your own pace. Then, head through the Victorian countryside to Albury and Canberra before spending a few nights in Australia’s first settlement, Sydney. Now Australia’s second-largest city, a city tour of Sydney offers you Darling Harbour, Chinatown Gap, a luncheon cruise aboard a Captain Cook Cruise ship, and amazing views of the famous Opera House and Fort Denison. Transfer to Cairns, enjoying an excursion to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as well as a trip to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Say farewell to Australia and transfer to Auckland, the “City of Sails,” before visiting Rotorua and exploring the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.

Please note: this trip requires that each guest obtain an Australia visa. The processing fee associated with this visa, as well as the arrangements for the visa, are not included in the tour price. For United States and Canadian citizens, more information and an online application for a visa can be found at:

  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Albury, Australia
  • Canberra, Australia
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
  • Kuranda, Australia
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Rotorua, New Zealand

Itinerary

Days 1-2

(Sun.-Mon.) - Depart for Australia:

Your adventure begins as you depart the USA on your trans-Pacific flight. En route, cross westward over the International Date Line, losing a day in travel. Overnight in flight.

Day 3

(Tues.) - Arrive Melbourne, Australia:

After you go through customs and immigration, if you-ve purchase your air through YMT Vacations, a YMT representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. Your day is at leisure in Melbourne, a sophisticated state capital city filled with parks, gardens, wonderful museums, galleries and shops. Tonight, meet your tour guide for a Welcome Briefing.

Overnight: Travelodge Hotel Southbank (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 4

(Wed.) - Melbourne Sightseeing:

On this morning’s city tour, see the eclectic architecture of the modern business district, the Victorian Arts centre and the imposing pyramid-style shrine of Remembrance that dominates St. Kilda Road. The tour continues through fashionable Toorak Village, the colorful Fitzroy Gardens, and includes a visit to historic Cook’s Cottage. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. (B)

Overnight: Travelodge Hotel Southbank (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 5

(Thurs.) - Phillip Island Excursion:

Enjoy a morning at leisure, before departing on a tour through serene pasturelands and eucalyptus woods to Phillip Island. En route we make stops at the Koala conservation center, to watch these adorable marsupials in their natural environment. We arrive at Summerland Beach in time to watch the ritualistic Penguin Parade ’see the little fairy penguins waddle up the beach to borrow into the sand dunes. After a visit to the Phillip Island Visitors Center, we drive back to Melbourne, arriving by late evening. (B)

Overnight: Travelodge Hotel Southbank (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 6

(Fri.) - Melbourne to Albury:

We drive through the pastoral countryside to Albury, a friendly old frontier town set along the majestic Murray River (noted for its local wines). (B)

Overnight: Chifley Albury (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 7

(Sat.) - Albury to Canberra:

Today’s scenic drive follows the Alpine Way through the Australian bush, taking in views of Mt. Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak. Late afternoon arrive in Canberra, the capital of Australia - an impressive planned city built around a man-made lake. (B)

Overnight: Novotel Canberra (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 8

(Sun.) - Canberra Sydney:

This morning we tour historic Canberra - taking lakeside drive to see the national library and the carillion (a gift from Britain, Australia’s mother country), then drive along Anzac Parade, an avenue lined with monuments honoring the war veterans. View the majestic new Parliament House, before we drive east to Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. (B)

Overnight: Travelodge Hotel Sydney (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 9

(Mon.) - Sydney Sightseeing:

This morning tour the city’s highlights and learn about its robust and raucous history. See the Botanical Gardens, Darling Harbour, Chinatown, Kings Cross and the exclusive suburbs. Next, enjoy a scenic luncheon cruise along the famed harbor, and get picture-perfect views of Sydney’s iconic skyline. This afternoon is at your leisure. You can take an optional guided tour inside the landmark sydney Opera House, and learn the story behind its unique design. (B,L)

Overnight: Travelodge Hotel Sydney (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 10

(Tues.) - Full day in Sydney:

Today, enjoy time at leisure to explore Sydney on your own. Perhaps take a full day excursion to the scenic Blue Mountains, with a visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park to meet Australia’s unique animals including koalas, wombats, kookaburras, and of course kangaroos. This optional tour also includes a drive up into the mountains for beautiful views of towering waterfalls and the Three sisters rock formations, and for an exhilarating cable car ride through the valley. (B)

Overnight: Travelodge Hotel Sydney (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 11

(Wed.) - Sydney to Cairns:

Today fly to Far North Queensland, and the tropical city of Cairns, a modern metropolis with tourist friendly shops and restaurants. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax and enjoy this tropical paradise. (B)

Overnight: Mercure Harbourside Cairns Hotel (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 12

(Thurs.) - The Great Barrier Reef:

This morning, board a high- speed catamaran for a 90-minute ride out to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, where we moor close to Australia’s continental shelf. Swim and snorkel along the reef, or if you don’t want to get wet, you can cruise in a Subsea Explorer or view from the underwater observation decks to see the incredible array of brilliantly colored fish and coral. On board enjoy a sumptuous seafood buffet lunch and attend talks about this unique ecosystem from expert oceanographers. Return to Cairns by late afternoon. (B,L)

Overnight: Mercure Harbourside Cairns Hotel (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 13

(Fri.) - Full day in Cairns:

Today enjoy a leisure day in Cairns. Optional tours include a full day of local nature and history, starting with a drive to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Learn about Australia’s aboriginal culture as you explore the village, watch craft demonstrations and see the famous Tjapukai dance Troupe. You can take the skyrail cable car above the rainforest canopy, stopping at the informative Rainforest Interpretation Centre. Disembark in the delightful village of Kuranda, with time to explore the colorful markets before we board the Kuranda scenic Railway. This scenic train journey winds through World Heritage protected rainforest, and showcases majestic waterfalls and the incredible Barron Gorge. (B)

Overnight: Mercure Harbourside Cairns Hotel (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 14

(Sat.) - Fly Cairns to Auckland, New Zealand:

Today take an international flight from Australia to the island nation of New Zealand. Arrive in Auckland, a city whose beautiful harbor and residents’ love of boating, have given it the name the “City of Sails”. The city, like the country, is green, with lush subtropical vegetation covering the cones of mostly extinct volcanoes. Auckland is a lively city, filled with delightful shops and sophisticated restaurants. (B)

Overnight: Mercure Windsor Hotel (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 15

(Sun.) - Auckland Sightseeing:

This morning we take a scenic sightseeing cruise on the sparkling waters of Auckland’s harbor. See historic Devonport, the Harbour Bridge and the New Zealand naval base. Stop on Rangitoto Island and learn about the region’s history, flora and fauna. We continue our tour by coach, exploring downtown Auckland, quaint Parnell Village, and visiting the Auckland War Memorial Museum, that houses one of the world’s finest collections of Maori artifacts. (B)

Day 16

(Mon.) - Auckland to Rotorua:

This morning we drive south, crossing the Bombay Hills and descending into the farmlands of the fertile Waikato Plains. We stop in Waitomo for a guided tour of the unique and fascinating Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. This underground limestone wonderland offers stunning scenery, amazing acoustics, and a grotto that sparkles with the bright light of the tiny glowworms that reside all along its stone walls. After this excursion, stop by Waitomo Caves Restaurant for an included BBQ lunch. This afternoon arrive in the thermal wonderland of Rotorua. (B,L)

Overnight: Sudima Hotel Rotorua (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 17

(Tues.) - Rotorua:

This morning, your tour explores Rotorua’s thermal region, and teaches you about the history and culture of New Zealand’s native Maori people. Enjoy a guided walk through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, with its bubbling mud pools, mineral springs and shooting geysers. Visit Rainbow Springs and learn about the native flora and fauna, including Rainbow Trout and the adorable kiwi bird, New Zealand’s elusive national emblem. See a demonstration on Agrodome Sheep shearing, as well as a live showing of how the strong eye dog moves sheep. Then, we drive along Lake Rotorua’s waterfront and see the Government Gardens before returning to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure to relax or explore on your own. This evening, experience the unique culture of the Maori - watch a fierce “Haka” (war dance), native stick games, and enjoy a traditional “Hangi” dinner of local delights. (B,D)

Overnight: Sudima Hotel Rotorua (or similar accommodations as available)

Day 18

(Wed.) - Rotorua to Auckland and Depart for Home:

This morning drive back to Auckland, arriving at the Auckland International Airport in time for your departing flight home. You’ll gain back a day flying east over the International Dateline, arriving in the USA this same day, and taking home a suitcase full of memories and stories to share about your YMT vacation! (B)

Departures

Pricing Information

October 22, 2011

From $2,899.00 per person double occupancy.

From $850.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Sixteen nights of accommodations are based on twin/double occupancy in moderate, clean, comfortable hotels.
  • All entrance fees for sightseeing and special events as listed in itinerary.
  • Some meals included as listed in itinerary.
  • To your room baggage handling. Free baggage allowance is up to 50 pounds per person, to be contained in a single suitcase, while on the land portion of this vacation. Please check with your airline regarding checked baggage policies and fees.
  • Transportation provided by a professionally trained and accredited tour driver/guide who is licensed, bonded, and insured. Their knowledgeable on the local areas will provide you with a wealth of information, and their friendly service will make your trip a memorable experience.

Please note: this trip requires that each guest obtain an Australia visa. The processing fee associated with this visa, as well as the arrangements for the visa, are not included in the tour price. For United States and Canadian citizens, more information and an online application for a visa can be found at:

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes