Luxury New Zealand and Australia Tour

A More than 18 day trip to Australia & New Zealand 
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New Zealand and Australia continually push the boundaries of boutique luxury and unique splendor. This luxury New Zealand and Australia tour explores the untamed mystique of a continent in the most regal of styles; private helicopters, opulent yachts, indulgent vineyards, live volcanoes, deserted beach paradise; every day is a unique experience. This handcrafted itinerary harmoniously combines the finest of the countries' destinations, delivering the very best of a continent in three weeks of lavish bliss.

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Bay of Islands, Rotorua, White Island, Hawkes Bay, Abel Tasman National Park, Kahurangi, Queenstown, Central Otago, Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, Sydney, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Ningaloo, Western Australia, Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Melbourne

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: A Warm Welcome to New Zealand

New Zealand may be a long way from home, but one glance from the plane window assures you that the journey has been worth it. Tropical islands dazzle in the Pacific, exuberant green hills roll beyond the horizon, and every color appears to have been filtered through the vibrant lens of an old film camera.

Arrive in Auckland and a representative is waiting to ensure a smooth transfer onto your domestic flight. Then it’s just a short hop to Kerikeri Airport and the soothing sight of the Bay of Islands. Gaze down on the turquoise waters and settle into a sumptuous private villa featuring a soporific Jacuzzi overlooking an elegant panorama of omnipresent beauty.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Days 2 - 3: Luxury Private Yacht Cruising in the Bay of Islands

Gentle waves lull against 144 islands in the bay, the majority of them uninhabited and impossible to explore without your own vessel. Climb aboard a 72-foot private motor yacht, equipped with two sumptuous en suite bathrooms, large dining deck, regal interiors, and your own personal chef. The skilled skipper explains the options, and then the route is chosen by you, the Bay of Islands offering a myriad of journeys into luscious tropical islets, glistening shallow bays, hidden beaches, and marine havens. Stop in unknown corners that rarely see people, jet ski between corridors of green islands, and laze away with a 360-degree panorama of tropical beauty.

Wake up in the heart of this Pacific island paradise and day three offers a new collection of journeys through the Bay. Spending two days on board enables you to venture to the far reaches of this enchanting Eden, far away from any other tourists. The chef concocts a fine dining menu to your tastes, and there’s a fully stocked bar to accompany the cruising. Stop for a swim in calm sapphire waters, drop anchor beside untouched islands, and gently sail between sandy islets that glisten beneath the sky. The itinerary is dictated by your own preferences, and the Bay of Islands offers a stunning variety of choice for the ultimate yachting experience.

What’s Included: breakfast, private yacht, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Maori Culture in the Forests of Rotorua

New Zealand’s landscape is shrouded in mystique, every natural feature elevated by a subtle magic or peculiar enchantment. Take Rotorua, a calm town transformed by exploding geysers and evocative mud pools. Feast on this geological wonder by visiting the world-renowned geothermal delights, then wander into a virgin forest exuding Maori folklore. Sparkling waterfalls and a thick canopy of greenery surround you, then the trees rescind and the ocean shimmers down below. A Maori guide provides the narrative, teaching you about the forest’s harvest and providing an intimate journey into indigenous lifestyles. Spend the night in this mystical forest, ornately carved wooden villas providing omnipresent serenity and an opulent four-course dinner served beneath the ancient treetops.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Trekking to the Edge of a Live Volcano

Yesterday evening imbued a sense of calm enchantment, New Zealand’s landscape revealing a gentle side; fluttering birdsong, elegant views, 300-year-old creeping tree roots. Today showcases its drama. Take a boat to White Island, keeping your camera ready for the dolphins and whales often spotted from the open deck. An iconic crater dome begins to dominate the landscape.

White Island last erupted in 2001 and the volcanic activity is constantly monitored. Trek along the scorched rocks of the crater, stepping towards the hissing and bubbling that float from the abyss. Stand on the edge of the rim, gazing into the country’s most active volcano and savoring the inimitability of the experience. The journey continues along the volcanic fault line, following the underground fire to Mount Tarawera and admiring further dramatic scars on the landscape. After the thrill return to the forest for another night of blissful repose.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Incredible Helicopter Rides to New Zealand’s Finest Vineyards and Restaurants

New Zealand’s landscape bursts with intimate detail, yet ascend skyward, and a patchwork of brilliance reveals its scale. Yellow fields, rugged mountain peaks, thick forests, green valleys…a sublime mix of expansive vibrancy is visible from the helicopter window. You’ve got the pilot and propellers all day, so cross the Middle Earth evoking wilderness and touch down in Hawkes Bay, a boutique wine region that’s far off the tourist trail. Indulge in an opulent lunch at the award-winning Terroir Restaurant, then ascend across the deserted coastline and find yourself amidst a fairytale collection of forest, beach, river, and lake. You’re tucked into a delightful corner of the country, the Wharekauhau Country Estate completing the submersion into rural New Zealand utopia. Expect silence, sheep wandering past stone cottages, and vistas that extend from every angle.

What’s Included: breakfast, helicopter ride, lunch, accommodation

Day 7: Private Cruising Through Abel Tasman National Park

The islands of Abel Tasman National Park feel different to those in the North. Volcanic peaks rise higher, a rugged charm accompanies the gentle waters, and virtually nothing is accessible by land. There’s a further sense of absolute escapism as the helicopter drops you by the harbor. A 50-foot private yacht whisks you off into the marine nirvana, cruising past camouflaged beaches and anchoring beside thick woodland. Snorkel into the colorful blue and explore island trails resonating with the sounds of New Zealand endemic delights. Choose to sleep on board or stop at an exclusive island resort with just a handful of villas.

What’s Included: breakfast, yacht tour, lunch, accommodation

Day 8: Helicoptering Into the Rugged Mountains of Kahurangi and Onwards to Queenstown

It’s time to cross New Zealand and unveil new aesthetics. The landscapes of the North Island are replaced by dramatic mountains and rugged topography, the South Island visually disparate from the rest of the country. A private helicopter ascends above gaping forest-clad valleys, with white tinged peaks dominating the horizon and lakes hiding between mountainous rifts. Land on top of the country as your pilot lowers the helicopter onto Boulder and Mount Benson. Uninhibited panoramas imbue a theatrical sense of scale, the whole of the South Island extending beneath your feet. These spectacular visuals continue as the helicopter journeys south and crosses the fiords, descending into the ubiquitous beauty of Queenstown.

What’s Included: breakfast, helicopter ride, accommodation

Day 9: Boutique Vineyard Tour in Central Otago

Today brings a change of pace. Following a few days of thrilling excitement, the prodigious vineyards of Central Otago offer a sensual utopian journey. While the landscape looks more Lord of the Rings than French Riviera, this boutique wine growing region provides a majestic range of charming creations. You’ll stop at four or five vineyards on this private tour, with a huge platter lunch accompanying the tasting. There’s a chic brilliance as a mix of large and small wineries are included, each with their own distinct specialties. Impressing the palate further is a world-famous seafood dinner at the Wai Waterfront Restaurant in Queenstown.

What’s Included: breakfast, wine tour, lunch, dinner, accommodation

Day 10: The Dazzling Beauty of Milford Sound and the Fiordlands

Milford Sound is arguably New Zealand’s most famous natural wonder, an extraordinary valley filled with glacial water and tumbling waterfalls. The only way to truly grasp its beauty is by helicopter, for Milford Sound is just one of many fiords (note that it was erroneously named a sound by the first colonial explorers) that cover this southern corner of New Zealand. Fly between the precipitous cliffs and pass the natural artistic remains of ice and snow. Land on a glacier and indulge in the view and then soar above the dazzling delights of Milford Sound.

Now the helicopter swoops low, skirting the edge of Milford’s steep mountains and propelling through the fiord's renowned layers of magical mist. Return to Queenstown and the afternoon is free to soak up this quaint town. For exceptional vistas, you can choose to parasail down from the mountain that dominates the town.

What’s Included: breakfast, helicopter tour, accommodation

Day 11: Welcome to Iconic Sydney

The wonders of Sydney are just across the ocean, its iconic bridge welcoming you to a city harmoniously blended into nature. Sydney could keep you occupied for months, a fantastic myriad of attractions, restaurants, and colorful history to explore. So the rest of today is deliberately left free, giving you time to explore the city at your own pace. Wandering the charming streets that extend from quays and harbors is always a highlight. As with all flights on this itinerary, a luxury chauffeur is waiting for you in the airport arrivals hall for a smooth ride to your hotel.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 12: Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge and a Night at the Opera House

Sydney’s cityscape is one of the melodic contradictions. Glass-fronted skyscrapers stand beside the famous sails of the Opera House, a snaking river dissects neighborhoods of opulence, and dotted across the horizon are thick shocks of green forest and blue ocean. The best view comes from the city’s heart and the pinnacle of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Climb the exposed steel ridges and gradually ascend for unadulterated vistas, 360-degrees of brilliance accompanying the exhilaration of the bridge climb. The dazzling white of Sydney Opera House is integral to the cityscape, but while most photograph it from the outside, you’ll be soaking up the atmosphere of the interior with a night at the opera. Expect a performance and show that befits the iconicity of the building.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 13: Luxury Dinner Cruise Through Sydney

A luxury saloon vehicle and driver is available to you today. This enables you to tour privately anywhere in the Sydney region; choose to head into the mythical haze of the Blue Mountains, the famous beaches of Bondi, wildlife sanctuaries filled with marsupials, or anything else that appears on your Sydney bucket list.

When the afternoon turns to evening, you board the city’s most opulent boat and take a luxury dinner cruise through the city. Pass under the bridge, pause to admire a delightful sunset, and then watch the city lights slowly appear from your unique vantage point. A lavish four-course dinner with wine is included.

What’s Included: breakfast, driver, dinner cruise, accommodation

Days 14 - 16: Indulgent Beach Bliss and Swimming with Whale Sharks in Ningaloo

Australia has thousands of miles of untouched coastline to visit. While the Great Barrier Reef and tropical Cairns receive a disproportional number of visitors, the beaches of Northwestern Australia are devoid of footprints. Fly across the country and land in a vast piece of paradise, nothing but ocean rollers breaking the silence. Ningaloo offers all-year-round sunshine and a luxury escapism that’s difficult to find anywhere else on the planet. There’s not much planned for these three days. It’s a quiet part of the itinerary for wallowing in tropical euphoria and reveling in coastal delights.

But don’t think that Ningaloo doesn’t offer marine excitement. This coastline is one of the world’s greatest spots for swimming with whale sharks; jump into the sapphire and swim beside nature’s largest fish, shaking your head in disbelief at their immense frames. They’re friendly giants, cruising through the water unperturbed by your presence. While the international plaudits go to the Great Barrier Reef on the East Coast, many diving luminaries prefer the diversity of Ningaloo instead. Because as well as the dazzling tropical reef, there’s an abundant collection of sharks, macro life, eels, and rays. Divers and snorkelers are always spellbound, whether it’s their first or 50th time exploring the marine deep.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 17: An Evocative Journey to Uluru and the Red Center

Central Australia burns red, the dusty landscape vividly epitomizing Aboriginal culture. Standing proud and dominating the desert is Uluru, the world’s largest monolith that was previously known as Ayer’s Rock. This is not just a rock in the desert. It rises almost 1,000 feet into the air, takes over 30 minutes to drive around, and mystically changes color as the sun crosses the sky. A deep sense of spirituality accompanies the natural wonder; caves are filled with Aboriginal art, and it’s impossible not to connect with this ethereal natural sculpture.

Uluru is some 450 miles to the nearest settlement, so you’re firmly in the heart of the desert. The night sky isn’t adulterated by artificial light, and the Milky Way shines resplendently, the sheer abundance of stars making constellation spotting difficult. But fear not, a professional astrologer takes you on a tour, pointing out the planets and stars, and imbuing intimate knowledge about the universe above.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 18: Sunrise in the Domes of Kata Tjuta and Onwards to Melbourne

An early start is wonderfully rewarded as the sun rises between Uluru and Kata Tjuta, burning red as it pierces the horizon and illuminates these famous rocks. Everyone knows about Uluru. But few have pictured the 26 domes of Kata Tjuta, an equally spiritual Aboriginal site. Some of these domes rise higher than Uluru and nestled between their red exteriors is a valley of hypnotic beauty. It’s hard to escape the feeling of insignificance as you stand in the heart of these glowing rocks. In the early afternoon, a direct flight takes you from Uluru to Melbourne and the final stop on this itinerary.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 19: The Renowned Wineries of Victoria

Australia’s wines have an enviable world reputation, and a huge proportion of their famous exports come from the vineyards of Victoria. Today’s tour gives you a flavor of the region’s finest, half a dozen stops unveiling the famous brands and the lesser-known boutique wineries. Tasting sessions are accompanied by a lavish lunch and elegant views over Melbourne. Depending on your individual tastes, your guide will select the most appropriate vineyards, whether that’s a penchant for deep reds or a desire to sample the finest subtle whites. After a day of wine tasting, the fabulous Melbourne Riverfront is an idyllic place for fine evening dining and admiring the city.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, wine tasting, lunch, accommodation

Day 20: Sleeping Beside Wild Kangaroos and Koalas

Kangaroos box on the grass beside you. Others hop around, chasing females across the wilderness. In the surrounding trees you spot koalas peacefully resting on the eucalyptus branches and returning your gaze. Wallabies occasionally surround your lodge balcony, and vivid birds provide the harmonic soundtrack.

For your final night on this magical continent, you return to nature and the endemic marsupials that make Australia famous. You aren’t at a wildlife sanctuary or zoo. These are wild animals in their natural habitat. So sit back, relax, and wait for nature’s mesmeric show to unfold. Guided walks reveal more about the wildlife, as well as offering close encounters with the usually bashful koalas. And then there’s little better way to finish a vacation than waking up to a mob of kangaroos beside your villa. For ideas on how to extend your time in Australia, be sure read the Australia trip reviews.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 21: Farewell to a Magical Continent

Three weeks have flown by and this ultimate luxury vacation draws to a close. You’ve collected thousands of memories and have traversed the finest a continent has to offer. A luxury chauffeur takes you to Melbourne International Airport where your international departure awaits.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$4,495
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.