Travel Spotlight: Small Group Tour of Australia & New Zealand
We polled the 17,000 baby boomer travelers in our Facebook audience a few months ago to determine their #1 dream destination for 2014. Overwhelmingly, the response was Australia and New Zealand.
In response, as newly minted expert travel advisors, we’ve decided to access our connections with the Virtuoso Travel Network to present you with a series of options for the dream trip-of-a-lifetime to Australia and New Zealand.
The very first option that came to our minds was to visit Australia and New Zealand in a small group Connections Tour with Abercrombie & Kent. We traveled to Spain last year with Abercrombie & Kent and had an absolutely fabulous experience.
What we really liked about the experience was that the group was strictly limited to no more than 24 guests, featured 4-star properties, had world-class, knowledgable guides to educate us about our destinations, helped us live like a local with absolutely fabulous interactions with real locals, gave us a fair amount of free time, and we came home with many new friends from all over the world to boot!
In our humble opinion, if you’re going to visit the lands down under, you will need to invest no less than two-weeks in order to see the major sights and be able to have a little time to kick your feet back and relax as well. Therefore, we decided to share with you a 16-day experience that will take you exploring Australia and New Zealand with style, comfort, fabulous dining, amazing experiences, and a nice bit of relaxation.
Want to know more about this tour? CLICK HERE for our information request form!
Abercrombie & Kent’s Australia and New Zealand ~ Two Worlds of Wonder Tour
Embark on Australia & New Zealand: Two Worlds of Wonder, an exciting journey to the land Down Under, filled with local connections that offer an authentic insider’s perspective. Pay a visit to a family-run sheep ranch in Coliban Park to learn about life in the bush, sip tea with its owners and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration to gain insight into one of Australia’s most important industries.
Gaze in wonder at fabled Uluru, its surface alive with the colors of the setting sun, while your indigenous guide offers an intimate perspective on how the traditional owners of the land survived in the arid Outback. For a change of pace, set out in search of “salties,” saltwater crocodiles, as you follow forest paths trod for centuries by the Kuku Yalanji people in Daintree Rainforest.
Explore the teeming marine life of the Great Barrier Reef alongside a qualified marine biologist, and then sit down to a seafood buffet during an afternoon cruise, followed by snorkeling, swimming and presentations by reef naturalists at an underwater theater.
Continuing on your journey, enjoy sparkling wine and canapés, followed by an authentic Australian “barbie” and stargazing with an expert. Later, get a behind-the-scenes view of the Sydney Opera House during a privately guided tour of the city’s most iconic building, called “one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity” by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
In neighboring New Zealand, absorb the beauty of alpine lakes, lupine-fringed meadows and pristine waterfalls, and cruise Milford Sound. Set in a glacier-carved fjord, it boasts deep blue waters, cascading waterfalls and rare wildlife.Before your journey winds down, take a wine cave tour to sample Pinot Noirs.
In Rotorua, experience an authentic Maori welcome ceremony and kapa haka (performing arts) concert, and savor a traditional Maori Hangi feast. Then, explore the Hobbiton movie set, and learn how the Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn and other structures in The Shire were created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. After exploring a world-renowned collection of Polynesian artifacts, including a sleek, 82-foot-long Maori war canoe, join the crew of an actual America’s Cup yacht for an unforgettable adventure.
- Day 1: Arrive in Melbourne, Australia – Arrive in Melbourne, and gather tonight for a cocktail reception and welcome dinner. Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne | Meals: B L
- Day 2: Melbourne – Explore Melbourne today, viewing St. Paul’s Cathedral and the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. Then depart for the Barber family sheep farm in Coliban Park to learn about one of Australia’s most important industries. Enjoy morning tea with the family in their 1859 homestead followed by a sheep-shearing demonstration. You may also plant an Australian native tree, and then embark on a drive around the property to spot kangaroos in their natural environment. Return to Melbourne for dinner at your leisure this evening. Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne | Meals: B L
- Day 3: The Outback/Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Fly via Alice Springs to Uluru for a night in the heart of the Outback. Gaze in wonder at fabled Uluru, its surface alive with the colors of the setting sun, to perhaps form your own Spiritual Connection. Enjoy sparkling wine and canapés, followed by an authentic Australian barbecue. Then let an expert lead you on a tour of southern stars. Desert Gardens Hotel | Meals: B D
- Day 4: The Outback/Aboriginal Legends – Take a guided walk around Uluru and hear some of the legends that feature the monolith. Meet your indigenous guide and learn how the traditional owners of the land survived in the arid Outback. Afterward, fly to Cairns and transfer to your hotel for dinner with your fellow guests. Shangri-La Cairns | Meals: B D
- Day 5: Daintree Rainforest/Tribal Paths – Head north toward Daintree Rainforest. Joined by a local indigenous guide, follow forest paths trod for centuries by the Kuku Yalanji people, who have generously granted us access to their tribal lands. Cruise Daintree River to sight wildlife with an expert guide, keeping a lookout for “salties” — Australia’s infamous saltwater crocodiles. Explore Daintree township, and then spend the afternoon at leisure. Shangri-La Cairns | Meals: B L
- Day 6: Great Barrier Reef/The Spectacular Sea – Today, board an air-conditioned catamaran to Moore Reef via Fitzroy Island, and then transfer to a pontoon for a relaxing afternoon cruise of the Great Barrier Reef that includes a seafood buffet lunch, a marine life touch tank and opportunities to snorkel, swim and enjoy presentations by reef naturalists at an underwater theater. Shangri-La Cairns | Meals: B L
- Day 7: Sydney/The True Blue City – Bid farewell to the Coral Sea and the tropics as you take off for Sydney late this morning, arriving in the afternoon. Check into your hotel, which is within walking distance of shopping, parks and museums. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant. Four Seasons Hotel Sydney | Meals: B D
- Day 8: Sydney/The Harbourside – One of Australia’s iconic sights takes center stage today when you visit the Sydney Opera House on a personally guided tour. Go behind the scenes at a venue the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has called “one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity.” Four Seasons Hotel Sydney | Meals: B L
- Day 9: Sydney/Sydney at Leisure – Spend today exploring on your own. Then board a cruiser on Sydney Harbour to view some of this great city’s landmarks, including Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Luna Park, enjoying dinner on board. Four Seasons Hotel Sydney | Meals: B D
- Day 10: Arrive in New Zealand/ Majestic Queenstown – Fly to Queenstown, New Zealand, and transfer to your hotel. This evening, rendezvous with fellow guests for dinner at your hotel. Crowne Plaza Queenstown | Meals: B D
- Day 11: Milford Sound/New Zealand’s Scenic Wonders – Marvel at clear alpine lakes, lupine-fringed meadows and pristine waterfalls on an exhilarating day trip. After tea at Te Anau, drive through snow-covered peaks and verdant rainforest to embark on a lunch cruise of awe-inspiring Milford Sound. Set in a glacier-carved fjord, it boasts deep blue waters, cascading waterfalls and rare wildlife. Crowne Plaza Queenstown | Meals: B L
- Day 12: Queenstown/Fine Wines & Gold Mines – Enjoy a wine cave tour at Gibbston Valley Winery, renowned for its Pinot Noirs. Visit the Kawarau Bridge made famous by bungy jumpers, and then explore the historic Arrowtown gold-mining settlement. Ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak for vistas of Lake Wakatipu. Crowne Plaza Queenstown | Meals: B
- Day 13: Rotorua/The Cultural Heartland – Fly to Rotorua, where you stroll Government Gardens and visit Rainbow Springs. Tour the national carving and weaving schools, and then view bubbling mud pools and steaming geysers. Experience an authentic Maori welcome ceremony and kapa haka(performing arts) concert and savor a traditional Maori Hangi feast, for a memorable New Zealand Culinary Connection. Meet New Zealand’s endangered national emblem at Kiwi Encounter, an organization supported by A&K Philanthropy. Novotel Lakeside Rotorua | Meals: B D
- Day 14: Hobbiton & Auckland/Journey to Middle Earth – Journey to Matamata to experience the real Middle Earth on a tour of the Hobbiton movie set, and learn how the Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn and other structures in The Shire were created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Enjoy lunch and then continue to your hotel in Auckland. Crowne Plaza Auckland | Meals: B L
- Day 15: Auckland/America’s Cup Experience – View a world-renowned collection of Polynesian artifacts, including a sleek, 82-foot-long Maori war canoe. Later, join the crew of an actual America’s Cup yacht for an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime. Take the helm, man the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the action, as you ply the waters of beautiful Waitemata Harbour. Later, dine on regional cuisine. Crowne Plaza Auckland | Meals: B D
- Day 16: Depart Auckland – After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart. Meals: B
We don’t know about you, but we think this very special small group tour would be a complete blast!
Want to know more about this tour? CLICK HERE for our information request form!
24 is too many people. 12-14 max.
I can’t say that I disagree. If you prefer, A&K also has smaller groups available. If we can help, drop us an email. Thanks! 🙂