18 Day Australia & New Zealand with Cairns & Ayers Rock

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$5699*

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*Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
This package is based on pre-confirmed flights via Air New Zealand and may only be purchased with these flights.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This moderately paced program features some group touring highlights, with ample time to participate in a variety of optional tours that are available, or to explore on your own. Most city to city transfers are via flight, There may be a couple of early mornings, dependent upon your group's flight schedule. Some optional and included sightseeing will require walking for extended periods of time, walking over uneven terrain, or travel in 4x4 vehicles over rough terrain. This is a Classic program. For more information, click here.

Flight Details


Accommodation Details

  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Escorted Package Includes

  • Flights Los Angeles-Cairns, Auckland-Los Angeles
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-flights: Cairns-Sydney, Sydney-Ayers Rock, Ayers Rock-Sydney, Sydney-Queenstown, Queenstown-Rotorua
  • 15 nights First Class accommodations
    • 3 nights Cairns
    • 3 nights Sydney
    • 2 nights Ayers Rock
    • 3 nights Queenstown
    • 2 nights Rotorua
    • 2 nights Bay of Islands
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers
  • 23 meals: 15 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of an English-speaking tour managers
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
 

Special Features

  • Visit the Great Barrier Reef at the Low Isles
  • View many of Sydney's highlights, including the famous Opera House
  • Admire the impressive rock formations at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise of Milford Sound with stunning views of Mitre Peak
  • Visit the Te Puia Thermal Reserve and learn about Maori traditions
  • Explore the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of New Zealand's most important historic sites

Is This Trip Right for You?

This moderately paced program features some group touring highlights, with ample time to participate in a variety of optional tours that are available, or to explore on your own. Most city to city transfers are via flight, There may be a couple of early mornings, dependent upon your group's flight schedule. Some optional and included sightseeing will require walking for extended periods of time, walking over uneven terrain, or travel in 4x4 vehicles over rough terrain. This is a Classic program. For more information, click here.


DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Australia
Depart for Australia

DAY 2, Tuesday - En Route
Cross the International date line en route to Australia and skip a day ahead

DAY 3, Wednesday - Arrive in Cairns
Arrive in Cairns, the tourist capital of tropical North Queensland and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. You'll be welcomed by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the exciting journey that lies ahead, followed by a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight: Cairns
Meals: Dinner

DAY 4, Thursday - Low Isles
Today, set sail to the beautiful 6000-year-old coral cay of the Low Isles in a high speed catamaran, a short journey across the Coral Sea, located in the inner Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This beautiful island is a one-stop tropical experience with its unique reef and rainforest, home to 126 native plant species, colorful birds and magnificent coral gardens. Stroll through the magical rainforest, snorkel at the inner reef, or laze on the white coral sands, there are many activities to choose from. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience
Overnight: Cairns
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5, Friday - Full Day in Cairns
Enjoy all of the delights of this resort city on your day at leisure or, join the optional Crocodile Farm Tour with lunch. Depart Cairns and head north to explore an eco-park and working crocodile farm. Learn about Australia's incredible wildlife and discover the park's five different ecological zones. Enjoy lunch before your return to Cairns. In the afternoon, participate in the optional Skyrail Experience with dinner. Ride the Kuranda Skyrail for great views of the rainforest canopy. Along the way, stop for a Ranger guided boardwalk tour and visit the Rainforest Interpretation Centre, lookouts and historical displays. Conclude your tour with an authentic Australian dinner
Optional: Crocodile Farm Tour with lunch
Optional: Skyrail Experience with dinner
Overnight: Cairns
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Saturday - Flight to Sydney
Depart Cairns and head south on a flight to Sydney, one of Australia's largest cities. Upon arrival, take a panoramic tour of the city. View the celebrated Sydney Harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the striking Sydney Opera House located on the water's edge, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pass historic buildings including the Parliament House, St. Mary's Cathedral and the Queen Victoria Building. Then, to The Rocks, a historic area where the city was founded by Captain Arthur Phillip and his working parties of convicts. Arrive at the hotel before dinner tonight
Overnight: Sydney
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Sunday - Full Day in Sydney
Spend your day at leisure to pursue your personal interests. Australia's largest city has something for everyone, from the glorious beaches to the stylish boutiques and top restaurants. Tonight, an optional lovely Dinner Cruise by catamaran on Sydney Harbour where you'll savor your dinner that includes a variety of dishes while enjoying the sights of illuminated Sydney from the catamaran's extensive deck
Optional: Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise
Overnight: Sydney
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8, Monday - Flight to Ayers Rock
Depart Sydney by flight to Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. This iconic monolith and the sandstone domes known as Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) were created over some 600 million years. Uluru is a sacred place and has a great spiritual meaning for the Aborigines of the area, known as the Anangu. Each cave and fissure of the monolith has a meaning in Dreamtime (creation of the world). After checking into your hotel spend the remainder of the day is at leisure. Tonight, attend the optional Sounds of Silence Dinner. As the sun sets over Uluru, enjoy sparkling wine and canapes while listening to the sound of a didgeridoo. Afterward, an unforgettable dining experience awaits you, as you sample local bush tucker, accompanied by assorted cultural entertainment. End the evening with stargazing. Listen to the resident star talker decode the constellations of the southern night sky
Optional: Sounds of Silence Dinner
Overnight: Ayers Rock
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Tuesday - Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Spend the morning at leisure, or experience the tranquillity of the pre-dawn land on the optional Desert Awakening Tour. See the first rays of sun reach across and set alight the expanses of Australia's Red Center. Continue along the Mutitjulu Walk and visit the waterhole that has provided the Aboriginal people with water for thousands of years. View examples of traditional Aboriginal rock art along the way before visiting the Kata Tjuta Cultural Center, home to a collection of handmade ceramics, traditional punu (woodwork) and art from the Anangu people. Later, return to the hotel. In the afternoon, explore the Walpa Gorge located in the Kata Tjuta portion of the national park, also referred to as the Olgas. A desert refuge for plants and animals, the area has an abundance of rare plant species. The hike takes you right between the sheer rugged walls of two of the tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. Spend time admiring the massive and unusual conglomerate rock formations that make this area famous. At sunset, proceed to the Uluru viewing area to enjoy complimentary wine as the setting sun casts a variety of color changes across the mystical sandstone monolith. Afterward, enjoy a barbecue dinner, in true Aussie-style amid a peaceful desert setting while listening to aboriginal stories from your local guide
Optional: Desert Awakening Tour (AM)
Overnight: Ayers Rock
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Wednesday - Flight to Sydney
Return to Sydney by flight and spend the balance of the day at leisure
Overnight: Sydney
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11, Thursday - Flight to Queenstown
Depart Sydney on a flight to Queenstown, named for Queen Victoria. Get ready for the next adventure as you're welcomed by your new Tour Manager to Queenstown. The town, nestled on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, is considered New Zealand's adventure capital. Its fabulous outdoor attractions and resort like atmosphere are enjoyed by international travelers and locals alike. Upon arrival, check into the hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight, enjoy your first dinner in New Zealand
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Friday - Discover Milford Sound
Enjoy a full day tour to Milford Sound! Travel to World Heritage Fiordland National Park, rich with dense rainforest, lakes and waterfalls cascading from rugged mountain peaks. Lunch is provided en route to Milford Sound. Stop at Te Anau and the glacier hewn Eglinton Valley before embarking on the cruise out into the fjord with scenic views of temperate rainforest, stunning Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Possible wildlife viewings include seals, birds and occasionally even dolphins or penguins as you marvel at the sights around you. Late afternoon, return to Queenstown
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13, Saturday - Full Day in Queenstown
Spend time on your own discovering always picturesque Queenstown. Walk along the streets of the sophisticated downtown area, with its trendy shops and restaurants or, be adventurous and ascend on the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak, high above the city for magnificent views of Queenstown, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Lake Wakatipu. Alternatively, participate in the optional Skippers Canyon adventure that follows this rugged road into the sheer cliffsides of the Shotover River Valley. During the tour, visit many historic sites and stop at Deep Creek to try your hand at gold panning at one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. Return to Queenstown along Skippers Road, with views of some of the "Lord of the Rings" film locations
Optional: Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure (AM)
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14, Sunday - Flight to Rotorua, Te Puia Thermal Reserve
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Rotorua. In the afternoon, journey to Te Puia, in Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, set amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity and thermal springs. Discover the unique lifestyle and traditions of the Maori and witness the phenomena of Mother Nature and how the Maori people live in harmony within this unique landscape and environment. You'll meet with a member of the local Maori tribe who shares the many aspects of traditional wood carving and its importance within the Maori culture. In the village observe the weaving demonstrations and traditional ways of creating piupiu (grass skirts). You’ll visit the kiwi house to view the nocturnal kiwi bird before continuing to the boiling mud pools and geysers. Then, enjoy a traditional Haka ceremony and Maori concert. Check into your hotel before dinner tonight
Overnight: Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15, Monday - Full Day in Rotorua
Spend a full day at leisure for independent explorations in Rotorua, or join the optional Hobbiton tour. Travel through the spectacular North Island scenery to Matamata, home to the Hobbiton movie set. Take a guided tour around the set and view Hobbit holes, the Party Tree, the Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn. Afterward, return to Rotorua. Tonight, participate in the optional home hosted dinner with a local family and experience a unique opportunity to learn about their values and traditions
Optional: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour (AM)
Optional: Home Hosted Dinner in Rotorua
Overnight: Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16, Tuesday - Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Explore New Zealand's most important historic site The Waitangi Treaty Grounds: birthplace of a Nation. Watch an introductory film about Aotearoa's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, created between the British and the North Island’s Maori chiefs. Later, take a guided tour of the grounds featuring iconic buildings and breathtaking examples of Maori architecture. View an authentic ceremonial war canoe, the world’s largest and stand in the spot where the treaty was signed. Tour the Museum of Waitangi Te Kongahu, a modern and comprehensive showcase of New Zealand's history. Don't miss the cultural performance outside the meeting house where Te Pitowhenua, a resident performing arts group, welcomes you with a traditional Maori welcome
Overnight: Bay of Islands
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 17, Wednesday - Full Day in Bay of Islands
Spend the day at leisure to discover the Bay of Islands unique culture and lifestyle or, participate in the optional Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise. Glide through the Bay of Islands and sail past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, to the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island. Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and other marine life. Tonight, share wonderful memories together on your last night in New Zealand. Bid goodbye to your Tour Manager and newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner that includes wine tasting of local varietals
Optional: Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise (AM)
Overnight: Bay of Islands
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18, Thursday - Depart New Zealand
Transfer to the airport in Auckland for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Crocodile Farm Tour with lunch

Depart Cairns and head north on a coastal drive through the Kuranda National Park to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, an eco-park and working crocodile farm. Learn about Australia's incredible wildlife and discover the park's five different ecological zones. Walk along pathways and boardwalks to view the various native fauna and attend live shows and feedings to learn more about Australia’s wildlife. Don’t miss the Crocodile Attack Show, featuring massive crocs snapping food from a pole. Enjoy lunch before your return to Cairns.

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.

Day #5 01 May 2019 - 31 May 2020 $120.00
Crocodile Farm Tour with lunch Thumbnail
Skyrail Experience with dinner

Ride the Kuranda Skyrail that takes you on an amazing gondola experience over the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. Along the way, stop for a Ranger guided boardwalk tour and visit the Rainforest Interpretation Centre, lookouts and historical displays. Arrive at the historic village of Kuranda, nestled high up the tropical mountains. Spend time at leisure to explore the village, the heritage markets and learn about aboriginal culture. On your descent, marvel at the magnificent views of Barron Falls and Barron Gorge National Park. Conclude your tour with an authentic Australian dinner.

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.

Day #5 01 May 2019 - 31 May 2020 $145.00
Skyrail Experience with dinner Thumbnail
Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise

Set out on the waters of Sydney Harbour in a luxury air-conditioned catamaran. Sail by the floodlit Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and other landmarks as you watch the city change colors with the sunset. Start with a glass of sparkling wine and enjoy your three course dinner with an array of international dishes including fresh seafood, meat, and vegetable dishes - an unforgettable dining experience!

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 2.5 hours.

Day #7 01 May 2019 - 31 May 2020 $115.00
Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise Thumbnail
Sounds of Silence Dinner

Tonight embark on an unforgettable dining experience as you sample local bush tucker (bush foods) accompanied by assorted cultural entertainment. The evening begins with chilled sparkling wine and canapés served on a viewing platform providing vistas of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The unique, reverberating sound of a didgeridoo will lead you into dinner as you settle down at your table. During dinner, enjoy a traditional Aboriginal dance performance and storytelling from the resident star talker as they decode the night skies and point out assorted planets and galaxies that are visible thanks to the clarity of the atmosphere, weather permitting. Note, this tour is not recommended for children under 10 years of age.

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.

Day #8 01 Sep 2019 - 31 May 2020 $170.00
Sounds of Silence Dinner Thumbnail
Desert Awakenings Tour

Experience the tranquillity of the pre-dawn land. See the first rays of sun reach across and set alight the expanses of Australia's Red Center. Continue along the Mutitjulu Walk and visit the waterhole that has provided the Aboriginal people with water for thousands of years. View examples of traditional Aboriginal rock art along the way before visiting the Kata Tjuta Cultural Center, home to a collection of handmade ceramics, traditional punu (woodwork) and art from the Anangu people.

Details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.

Day #9 01 Sep 2019 - 31 May 2020 $145.00
Desert Awakenings Tour Thumbnail
Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure

This scenic Skippers Canyon tour is an adventure that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. You will travel the road that was hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley making this an exciting opportunity. During the tour, you will visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge and historical township of Skippers. The tour will also visit the restored school house where you will gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and the histories of life from the early days of this settlement. On the return journey, you will stop at Deep Creek where you can immerse yourself in the customs of the local area by trying your hand at gold panning at one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. The tour also offers you a view of some of the Lord of the Rings film locations along Skippers Road which was voted as one of the 25 most scenic roads in the world.

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.

Day #13 01 Sep 2019 - 31 May 2020 $145.00
Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure Thumbnail
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Departing from Rotorua this morning, enjoy a drive through spectacular North Island scenery. Arrive at the Hobbiton movie set, located in Matamata. Fall in love with the Alexander family sheep farm, just as acclaimed director Sir Peter Jackson did, as you journey through the undeniable beauty of the land, with the mighty Kaimai Ranges towering in the distance. Experience Middle-earth with a guided tour around the set. Visit some of the most famous locations; the hobbit holes, the mill, the party tree and the pond. Listen to fascinating stories of how Hobbiton came to be. Conclude the tour at the world-famous Green Dragon Inn, where you will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit Southfarthing beverage, before your return to Rotorua.

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.

Day #15 01 Sep 2019 - 31 May 2020 $99.00
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Thumbnail
Home Hosted Dinner in Rotorua

Savor a traditional home cooked New Zealand three course dinner accompanied by a glass of New Zealand wine, beer, or juice with a local family. Give yourself the chance to experience local culture in a relaxed and comfortable environment with fascinating conversation about the way of life in New Zealand, while also exchanging views and experiences with your hosts.

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours.

Day #15 01 Sep 2019 - 31 May 2020 $95.00
Home Hosted Dinner in Rotorua Thumbnail
Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

Take in the stunning views as you glide through the Bay of Islands and sail past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, to the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukokako Island. Keep an eye out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life. Learn about the history of the islands, especially the indigenous Maori and early European settlers, as you cruise through the inner Islands of the Bay.

Pick-up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.

Day #17 01 Sep 2019 - 31 May 2020 $89.00
Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise Thumbnail

18 Day New Zealand & Australia with Cairns, February 2019
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New Zealand and Australia was awesome! This trip was the longest we had ever been on but it was worth every day of it! I can’t wait to plan our next Gate 1 trip! So far this company has been so good!

Debra A. Magnolia, IL
18 Day New Zealand & Australia with Cairns, February 2019
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Our trip was great! We had beautiful sunny days everyday, even a few were close to 100 degrees ... Our Australia guide, Dana, was THE BEST! Cheers to her for showing us a fabulous time and giving us over and above attention and service. We would highly recommend the combination of New Zealand and Australia trip. I hope we can join another Gate 1 trip in the future.

Mary J. Lake St. Louis, MO
18 Day New Zealand & Australia with Cairns, December 2018
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It was truly amazing. New Zealand was pristine from the Mountain Views to the ocean and spectacular lakes. The air was so fresh and the water so clean. Australia was our highlight, but everyday the tour was more and more amazing. The additional excursions were great for seeing the wildlife and experiencing Australia and New Zealand for it’s true beauty. We enjoyed the city life, but enjoyed the small towns and wilderness even more. We thought being away for the holidays might of been a draw back, but the group we traveled with and the amazing tour guides of Richard from New Zealand and Pam from Australia filled our days and celebrated the holidays as if we were one big happy family. Thanks to them we had a wonderful time. Gate 1 really out did themselves with this amazing tour! Thank you for a memory of a life time!!! We are looking forward to our next tour with Gate 1!

Dina T. Middletown, DE
18 Day New Zealand & Australia with Cairns, November 2018
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Both countries were great, both guides knew there stuff and were very informative. This was our 10th Gate 1 trip and all continue to be as advertised. We look forward to #11 in January to Italy. Thanks for all your hard work and making our trip special Gate 1!

Dianne N. Tyrone, GA
18 Day New Zealand & Australia with Cairns, April 2018
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Great trip! We enjoyed visiting both countries. Linda, our tour guide in New Zealand was amazing! She is extremely knowledgeable and very professional!

Mary M. Weeki Wachee, FL
15 Day New Zealand & Australia, January 2018
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The trip was fabulous especially New Zealand. The beauty of that country cannot be described. We had a great time.

Karen C. Cumming, GA

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