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Grand Tour of Australia with New Zealand add-on

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Grand Tour of Australia with New Zealand add-on

Day 1: UK via Singapore
Today you’ll depart on your scheduled flight to Perth.

Days 2 – 3: Perth
You will arrive in Perth in the early hours of day 3. You’ll stay here for four nights. A half-day sightseeing tour is included during your stay. Optional excursions include a cruise on the Swan River in Fremantle.

Days 4 – 5: Perth
Relax after your flight then explore at your leisure. Perth features golden beaches, superb restaurants, lush parks and a lovely warm climate.

Day 6: Darwin
Today, you’ll fly to Darwin – the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and gateway to some of the fantastic natural landscapes and unique flora and fauna Australia has to offer. Enjoy an included city tour before checking in at your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 7: Kakadu National Park
You’ll stay overnight in this stunning national park – and today, you’ll see waterbirds and crocodiles in their natural habitat as you cruise on the famous Yellow Waters Lagoon. You’ll take a ‘Jumping Crocodile Cruise’ on the Adelaide River, to witness giant crocodiles leaping from the water.

Day 8: Katherine
You’ll drive to Katherine and Nitmiluk National Park via the stunning Nourlangie Rock, where you’ll stay tonight.

Day 9: Darwin
Start today with a cruise through the Katherine Gorge, carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River. Find out more about the ancient rocks and caves decorated with Aboriginal rock paintings, as well as the area’s unique wildlife.

You’ll return to Darwin for an overnight stay.

Day 10: Alice Springs
You’ll fly to Alice Springs this morning to begin your two-night stay in this Outback town. A half-day tour is included, showing you the Flying Doctor base, the old telegraph station and – depending on the time of your visit – the famous School of the Air, which uses the Flying Doctor service and internet broadcasts to connect schoolchildren in remote locations.

Day 11: Alice Springs
Alice Springs is situated in an area of natural springs and red desert. Today, you can join an optional excursion into the MacDonnell Mountain Range to see the stunning Standley Chasm. There’s also the chance to take a dawn balloon flight.

Day 12: Ayers Rock
Today you can take a camel ride if you wish. Camels were introduced into the Outback in the 19th century to help with the construction of transport routes across the desert, and as you travel through the heart of Australia, we’ll be stopping at a camel farm.

Arriving at Ayers Rock, you can take an afternoon excursion to the mysterious Olgas – striking, domed rocks looming large above the desert. At sunset, you’ll visit Ayers Rock itself. Watching the colour of the rock change as the sun goes down is the perfect finish to your day.

Day 13: Cairns
Visiting Ayers Rock for sunrise is an unmissable experience. You can also tour the base of the rock and view Aboriginal rock paintings. This afternoon, you’ll fly to the tropical city of Cairns to begin your four-night stay.

Day 14: Cairns
Explore a whole new world today on our included trip by catamaran to the outer Great Barrier Reef. It is a 1,400-mile wonderland of breathtakingly beautiful coral and colourful marine life, studded with unspoilt tropical islands.

Marine life comes incredibly close to the boat, meaning you can experience the reef without getting wet if you wish from the comfort of a semi-submersible submarine or an underwater observatory. Alternatively, you can go snorkelling – all the equipment is provided as well as lots of guidance from the crew. Lunch is included on today’s tour.

Days 15 – 16: Cairns
Relax and soak up the sun in Cairns, or take advantage of the wide range of excursions on offer – such as a ride on the Kuranda Railway. Regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys, it will take you through lush tropical vegetation and past spectacular waterfalls.

Day 17: Sydney
The distinctive ‘sails’ of the Sydney Opera House await you today, as you fly to cosmopolitan Sydney for a four-night stay.

Day 18: Melbourne
Our half-day tour of this beautiful harbour city takes in Bondi Beach, Darling Harbour and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair – exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench by convicts in 1810, as a gift to Governor Macquarie’s wife, Elizabeth.

Days 19 – 20: Sydney
Explore Sydney at your leisure, joining our optional excursions if you wish. These include a harbour cruise, a tour of Sydney by night and a trip to the beautiful Blue Mountains.

Day 21: Canberra
Today you’ll drive to Canberra for an overnight stay. An included tour features the government buildings and the Prime Minister’s lodge. En route, you will stop at a sheep station for a sheep-shearing demonstration followed by a barbecue lunch.

Day 22: Melbourne
This morning, you’ll continue to Melbourne for a three-night stay. Your included city tour this afternoon will take in the Colonial-style buildings, wide boulevards and trams that give Melbourne a distinctly European feel. You will also see Captain Cook’s cottage and the old gaol where the notorious outlaw Ned Kelly was executed.

Days 23 – 24: Melbourne
There are many sightseeing and shopping possibilities in Melbourne and you are free to explore as you wish. You can also join our optional visit to Phillip Island, home to one of the largest colonies of little penguins in the world. Every sunset, these creatures emerge from the sea and waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows in a delightful ‘penguin parade’.

Day 25: Warrnambool
Start your journey along one of the most spectacular coastal routes in the world, the Great Ocean Road, to see the Twelve Apostles, the Arch and many other fantastic rock formations. You will enter Port Campbell National Park, renowned for its ragged and spectacular coastal landscape, before continuing to Warrnambool for an overnight stay.

Day 26: Barossa Valley
This morning, you’ll depart for the drive to the Barossa Valley via Mount Gambier, with its stunning volcanic lakes and scenery. You’ll arrive at your hotel this evening for an overnight stay.

Day 27: Adelaide
Our included tour of the Barossa Valley, famous for its wines, features a visit to the famous Jacobs Creek visitor centre for wine-tasting and lunch. Then it’s on to Adelaide for a two-night stay, with an included afternoon tour of the city.

Day 28: Adelaide
Explore Adelaide at your own pace, perhaps taking in Adelaide Zoo or the distinctive architecture of Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest German community. There are plenty of shopping opportunities too, especially at Rundle Mall.

Day 29: Adelaide/Auckland
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Auckland. The rest of the day is at leisure. You will stay here for two nights. The North Island was shaped originally by the fire of volcanoes. Today you’ll find a subtropical climate, thermal springs and geysers, rich farmland, glorious national parks, luxuriant forests and stunning lakes.

Day 30: Auckland
The beautiful city of Auckland is the largest in New Zealand, situated on North Island in the spectacular Hauraki Gulf. Here you’ll find a subtropical climate, thermal springs and geysers, rich farmland, glorious national parks, luxuriant forests, stunning lakes and more. Today we include a city tour then leave you to explore on your own and get used to the time difference.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 31: Paihia
New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is quite simply beautiful, and the journey northwards is equally special. Travelling up the Hibiscus Coast, you will visit the historic Treaty House of Waitangi, where in 1840 the Maori accepted British sovereignty over their traditional lands. Paihia is your base for the next three nights, the ideal spot from where to explore the Bay of Islands.

Day 32: Paihia
Today you are free to relax and explore Paihia’s three bays, or why not join your Tour Manager for what has been described as one of the finest scenic day tours in the world – a visit to Cape Reinga. On how many other day trips could you take a drive along Ninety Mile Beach, negotiate the Te Paki Quick Sand Stream, visit a lighthouse, send a postcard to the folks back home from New Zealand’s most northerly post box, and admire the spectacular view of the mighty blue Pacific meeting the deep green Tasman Sea? Surely a day to remember for the rest of your life.

Day 33: Paihia
Another day of relaxation in Paihia, or take the opportunity to cruise to Cape Brett, discovering more of the spectacular Bay of Islands. Be dazzled by glorious white sandy beaches and keep an eye out for the dolphins that play in the waters all around – truly a magical place.

Day 34: Rotorua
The warm, emerald green North Island was shaped originally by the fire of volcanoes, and evidence of this remains in the thermal springs surrounding Rotorua, which is your destination today. Your journey will take you south through Ngaruawahia, home of the late Maori Queen, before continuing to Rotorua, where you’ll stay for the next two nights.

Day 35: Rotorua
Boiling mud pools and spouting geysers add a touch of the dramatic to today’s visit to Te Puia in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. This area of natural hot springs is well-deserved of its reputation as a must-see sight. Another renowned natural highlight that has to be seen when in New Zealand is the rare kiwi bird, from where New Zealanders have earned their affectionate nickname. You’ll get the chance to see the kiwi for yourself if you join the optional excursion to Rainbow Springs, which also visits the Agrodome to see a display of working sheep dogs in action. This evening, there’s the opportunity to experience a traditional Maori concert and sample a Hangi, which is a meal cooked by steam underground, a method that has been used for centuries.

Day 36: Wellington
The spectacular Huka Falls offer a perfect photo opportunity in a day of photo opportunities as you travel southwards through the Wairakei Valley to Lake Taupo, the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand, and on to the capital, Wellington. Sat on the southern tip of North Island, you’ll discover the highlights of the city on a tour that will help you get your bearings, before checking in to your hotel for the next two nights.

Day 37: Wellington
If yesterday’s tour of Wellington whetted your appetite, then today’s tour will be a feast for your senses. Discover the city on foot, with high points including Te Papa Musuem, the waterfront, the beautiful botanical gardens and even a trip in the famous Wellington Cable Car. Opened in the early 20th century to link Wellington and the suburb of Kelburn, this funicular railway isn’t just a tourist destination, it’s used by the locals every day to get to and from work and the university, located in Kelburn.

Day 38: Christchurch
The three-hour crossing across the Cook Strait from North Island to South Island offers the chance to reflect on all you have seen on your holiday so far, and to anticipate all that is yet to come. On arrival in Picton, you’ll continue on your journey to Christchurch. The beguiling South Island offers a complete contrast to the North. It’s a land of mountains, glaciers and spectacular fjords. Its sparse population of just one million people shares the island with 40 million sheep. Here amongst the grandeur of the snow-capped peaks, still fjords and rugged coastline you’ll find a warm welcome. This evening enjoy a traditional Kiwi dinner.

Day 39: Hokitika
From Christchurch you’ll board the TranzAlpine train for the spectacular journey into the Southern Alps. Surely a highlight of any visit to New Zealand, you’ll travel from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass, the highest railway station on the South Island. Be sure not to forget your camera, as the majestic gorges and towering snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps are simply jaw-dropping – family and friends back home won’t believe all your stories without seeing the proof for themselves!

You will then continue on to Hokitika. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure at your beachfront hotel.

Day 40: Fox Glacier
Your journey continues as you travel south today to the magnificent scenery and glaciers of the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier regions to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 41: Queenstown
The road through the Westland National Park has to be one of the most scenic ever built, crossing Clark Bluff and the Haast River Bridge. But don’t just take our word for it, experience it for yourself! Today’s journey ends in Queenstown, where you stay for two nights.

Day 42: Queenstown
With its reputation as New Zealand’s capital of adventure, there is plenty of action to be had in Queenstown, from bungy jumping and rafting to skydiving, there’s no end to the thrills. With a day at leisure in Queenstown, you can have as much – or as little – adventure as you’d like. Perhaps take an exciting ride on a jet boat, or if that’s a little too thrilling, then a relaxing cruise on Lake Wakatipu or a gondola trip may be more your cup of tea – there really is something for everyone here.

Day 43: Te Anau
Today we include a highlight of your holiday – a full-day excursion to beautiful Milford Sound – one of the most beautiful locations in New Zealand. Weather permitting, a boat trip on the fjord has to be the best way to take in the majesty and beauty of Milford Sound. Overnight accommodation has been arranged.

Day 44: Dunedin
With their eerie light, the amazing Glow Worm Caves are a sight to behold, before departing on the journey to charming Dunedin, a city originally planned and settled by the Church of Scotland. Your drive will take you via Lumsden, Gore and Balclutha.

Day 45: Omarama
It’s time to start travelling northwards again, stopping to see the Moeraki beach boulders. These huge, spherical rocks dotting a stretch of beach near Moeraki are shrouded in myth and legend as to their creation, but one thing is for certain, they are a spectacular sight to behold. You will than follow the Waitiki River inland to Omarama for an overnight stay.

Day 46: Christchurch
This morning you’ll head towards the Mount Cook region, stopping at Lake Tekapo before heading over Burkes Pass and continuing on across the Canterbury plains. Mount Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand at 12,000ft, and an optional scenic flight (weather dependent) will give you the chance to fully appreciate its enormity. Late afternoon arrival into Christchurch where you will stay overnight.

Day 47: Auckland/UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Day 48: UK
Arrival in the UK.

Please note
To maximise your enjoyment of this holiday a certain amount of walking is essential.

Accommodation throughout is in hotels of a comfortable standard, typical of the hotels you will stay in Australia are:

4-star Travelodge Perth
4-star Mirambeena Resort in Darwin
3.5-star Gagudju Crocodile Inn at Kakadu National Park
3-star All Seasons Katherine Hotel
3.5-star Aurora Alice Springs
3.5-star Outback Pioneer Hotel Ayers Rock
3.5-star Cairns Queenslander Hotel
3.5-star Travelodge Wynyard in Sydney
3.5-star Mercure Canberra or similar in Canberra
3.5-star Best Western The Travel Inn in Melbourne
3.5-star Sebel or 3-star Country Comfort Warrnambool Hotel
4-star Novotel Barossa Valley Resort
4-star Grand Chifley Adelaide
All hotels feature a restaurant and bar. Rooms have en suite facilities, TV, tea and coffee-making facilities and air conditioning. Some of the hotels also have a swimming pool.

In New Zealand you will stay in:

4-star Rendezvous Hotel or City Life Hotel in Auckland
4-star Pacific Resort or Scenic Hotel Paihia in Paihia
3.5-star Sudima Hotel in Rotorua
4-star West Plaza Hotel in Wellington
4-star Pavilions or 3.5-star Elms Hotel in Christchurch
4-star Beachfront Hokitika in Hokitika
4-star Scenic Circle Franz Josef Hotel at Franz Josef Glacier
3-star Goldridge Hotel in Queenstown
3.5-star Village Inn in Te Anau
4-star Mercure Leisure Lodge
3-star Kingsgate Hotel or Victoria Hotel in Dunedin
3-star Heritage Gateway Hotel in Omarama
All hotels have a restaurant and a bar. All guest rooms have en suite facilities, TV and telephone.

All hotels will be confirmed in your final documentation.


Included excursions and visits

Perth sightseeing tour (half day)
Darwin city tour
Cruise on Yellow Waters Lagoon in Kakadu National Park
Jumping Crocodile cruise in Kakadu National Park
Visit to Nourlangie Rock in Kakadu National Park
Katherine Gorge cruise
Byron Bay (full day)
Visit to camel farm
The Olgas visit
Ayers Rock caves visit
Great Barrier Reef catamaran trip
Sydney sightseeing tour (half day)
Sheep station visit
Canberra city tour
Australian War Memorial Museum
Melbourne sightseeing tour
Barossa Valley sightseeing tour
Visit to Jacobs Creek Visitors Centre for wine-tasting and lunch
Adelaide city tour
Auckland city tour including Auckland Museum
Treaty House of Waitangi
Te Puia Thermal Reserve
Lake Taupo
Wellington city tour
Traditional Kiwi dinner
Milford Sound (full day)
Glow worm caves
Moeraki Beach Boulders

Optional excursions

Cruise on the Swan River, Fremantle
MacDonnell Mountain Range and Standley Chasm
Dawn balloon flight over the Outback
Sydney harbour cruise
Sydney by Night tour
Blue Mountains
Phillip Island’s ‘penguin parade’
TranzAlpine Express
Cape Reinga (full day)
Cape Brett
Rainbow Springs
Maori Hangi dinner and concert

Your holiday includes

Scheduled flights, internal flights, overseas transfers & other transportation
27 nights’ accommodation on a room-only basis, plus 3 lunches
18 nights’ accommodation with breakfast plus 1 dinner (New Zealand)
The services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager
The services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager and Driver Guide (New Zealand)
Hotel porterage (one bag per person)
All airport taxes and security charges
UK Airline Passenger Duty
All state and local taxes

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TravelsphereWith 50 years’ experience in arranging escorted tours to exciting destinations across the globe, Travelsphere have built an excellent reputation founded on quality and value.

By choosing a Travelsphere escorted holiday you can travel with confidence, knowing that every aspect of your holiday has been carefully planned and arranged from start to finish. Further to this they are ATOL bonded and members of ABTA.

Travelsphere’s thorough planning of travel arrangements, itineraries and accommodation combined with the unique insight of their knowledgeable Tour Managers and Local Guides will enable you to experience the culture, traditions and hidden away places less accessible to other travellers.

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