Aboriginal and Maori culture reach far beyond the exported cliches. On this unique tour, you travel with guides from different Aboriginal regions, exploring the heartbeat of ancient tradition. Then fly to New Zealand for a week of showcasing how Maori heritage continues to shape the future of the islands. Authentic and intimate, this tour takes you beyond typical narratives, taking you on a journey into the cultures and mysteries behind iconic names.
Sydney – Welcome to Australia
A relaxed day in the sun, a chance to reenergize after the flight and adjust your body clock to the time difference. Australia is a big island cast adrift in the South Pacific, far from anywhere. You'll be picked up at the airport and transferred to a boutique hotel in The Rocks, a waterfront residence within walking distance of famous sights like the Syndey Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. The day is free for you to relax, soak up the welcoming atmosphere around the harbor, and take in your first impressions of the country.
Sydney – The Rocks Dream of Aboriginal Heritage
Uluru – Mystery and Stars at Kata Tjuta
Darwin – The Sacred Red Rock of Uluru
Day 5 - 6
Kakadu National Park – Exploring the Final Remaining Aboriginal Realm
Cairns – First Impressions of the Coast
Cairns – Learning How to Paint With a Local Artist
Cairns – Busk Tucker and Fishing in The Daintree
Auckland – Welcome to New Zealand
Auckland – Introductions to Maori Culture
Rotorua – The Haka and a Hangi Dinner
Rotorua to Bay of Islands – Exploding Geysers and a Journey Through the Volcanoes
Day 14 - 15
Bay of Islands – Unique Waka Experiences with the Ngapuhi Tribe
Bay of Islands to Auckland – Departure
- Fully immerse yourself in the Aboriginal world of Australia, exploring all its wonderful complexities and hidden stories
- Journey to the heart of Maori culture and discover all the inspiring traditions that continue to grace New Zealand
- Watch the sun set over the mysterious rocks of Kata Tjuta then watch it rise beside the mammoth monolith of Uluru
- Journey into the final stronghold of Aboriginal culture with three days in Kakadu National Park
- Learn all about bush tucker and foraging in the rainforest, then use traditional methods to find food along the coast
- Paint Aboriginal art with a local artist, creating your own story of dots and lines
- Get treated to all the iconic Maori traditions, like the haka war dance and a unique hangi dinner
- Paddle through the Bay of Islands in a timeless Maori canoe and spend the night at a village along the water
- Explore the incredible natural history of New Zealand and admire how it has been utilized by Maori tribes, notably at the exploding geysers of Rotorua
The history of the Pacific dates back thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. Some 250 Aboriginal tribes – or countries – covered Australia, each with their own distinct language and customs. Maori culture is equally complex, dozens of different tribes rowing out in their wakas (canoes) to meet the colonial invaders. This unique 16-day journey takes you behind the stereotypes and cliches, unraveling the mystery and heritage of the continent's indigenous residents. You'll see the famous red rock of Uluru, but you'll explore it through a cultural lens that challenges typical narratives. You'll admire Maori life in remote villages and piece together the intricate challenge of tradition meeting modernity. You'll go on journeys to the final heartlands of both Aboriginal and Maori culture, places far from everywhere that keep alive the true spirit of the countries' ancestors.
Spend nine days in Australia, starting in Sydney and an alternative walking tour that reveals some of the truths behind the first European landing in the country. An Aboriginal guide helps introduce local culture and how it relates to an urban context, and you have time to explore Sydney's famous waterfront sights. Fly to Australia's red center and marvel at the mystery of Kata Tjuta and Uluru, two sacred destinations for Aboriginal people. Next, you journey deep into the remote Kakadu National Park, with unique permissions to visit Aboriginal territories within the park. This is Australia's only true citadel of indigenous culture, an expansive stretch of scorched land and waterfalls that remain mostly in Aboriginal hands. Nowhere else can reveal their traditions and culture with such intimacy.
Completing the Australian leg of the itinerary are two days around Cairns and Daintree Rainforest. Here you learn two integral customs: paint with bamboo sticks and earth paint, telling your own story through cryptic dots and lines; then take a journey through forest and coast to find all the unusual foods that hide within the landscape. Like each day on this handcrafted itinerary you're with a different mob, or tribe, learning how Aboriginal culture is far more diverse than what we know as Western culture.
Fly to Auckland for two relaxed days in the City of Sails. A Maori guide helps showcase the iconic traditions of the land and you begin to piece together the stories of the people. Rotorua is arguably the beating heart of modern Maori life and your two days here reveal exploding geysers, war dances, and ingenious methods of cooking. Completing the itinerary is an exclusive opportunity to spend the night in a Maori village on the Bay of Islands. You'll be guests of the Ngapuhi tribe, rowing out to their island base in a traditional waka and fully submerging yourself in their lifestyles. Like every day of your Australia and New Zealand journey, there's a wonderful lesson in the symbiotic coexistence of man and nature.
$3,995 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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