New Zealand and Australia harmoniously combine two paradigms of a vacation romance. They offer pure escapism and a chance to get lost in the world's most spectacular landscapes. But they also provide shared journeys to renowned destinations and a myriad of unique experiences. Deserted beaches, fjords, uninhabited islands, iconic cities, vineyards, endemic wildlife… this romantic getaway to Australia and New Zealand blends absolute private bliss with an inimitability you can't find anywhere else...
Welcome to New Zealand and the Bay of Islands
New Zealand's wilderness has many sides. There's the evocation of Middle Earth, the rugged alpine scenery, iconic volcanic leftovers, and the tropical bliss of uninhabited islands. On this trip, you'll be immersed in it all, and it begins with perhaps the most surprising; the tropical delights of the Bay of Islands. Land at Kerikeri Airport in the north of the country, and any travel aches are soon soothed by the elegant topography. Gaze out from your villa at world-famous Eagle's Nest and the 144 islands that dot the bay, their white beaches resplendent against a backdrop of vivid green. Take a dip into the private heated horizon edge pool and admire the panorama, before a sumptuous three-course dinner is served on your personal terrace. Intimate, serene, enchanting; this first stop is just a taste of what's to come.
Day 2 - 3
Majestic Private Yacht Trip Through the Bay of Islands
Secluded bays hide behind rich coatings of the forest, hidden beaches rarely see human eyes, and tropical reefs lay just below the sapphire surface... the Bay of Islands offer a captivating expanse of untamed beauty. Experience it all in regal style with your own private yacht, a 72-foot cruiser picking a route to the most untouched and concealed islands. An expert skipper and personal chef are also on board, one revealing the hidden marine delights and the other concocting an innovative menu dictated by your tastes. They're both discreet and stay well in the background, ensuring that you have the whole boat for personal romantic revelry. Laze away on the majestic outdoor deck, grab the snorkeling gear and swim into the azure waters, and survey the luxuriant interiors of the en-suite master bedroom.
This elegant means of escape is an idyllic way to soak up New Zealand's natural wonder in all its tranquil beauty. As evening comes around you anchor in a calm bay, with no other boats or people breaking the immersion in nature. You decide the route your yacht takes; after all, this is your boat for two days. Choose to tour uninhabited islets far from the mainland, journey to the best marine parks, or cut down the sailing time and explore uninhabited islands with postcard-perfect beaches.
A Helicopter Ride to The Romantic Bliss of Hawke's Bay
New Zealand's stunning panorama of landscapes is magnificently revealed from the air. Meandering rivers dissect expansive forests, mountains always seem to snake along the horizon, and a tapestry of green hills and farmland provide the gentle contrast. Today you helicopter over this aesthetic brilliance, the chopper's low cruising altitude ensuring endless panoramas and intimate details. You'll cross the whole of the North Island, flying above Middle Earth and admiring a landscape virtually untouched by concrete. Touch down in Hawke's Bay. With thunderous surf roaring beneath the cliffs, and a concoction of forests and farmland rolling into the distance, this quaint retreat is your base for the next two days. You'll be sleeping in a charming traditional cottage and soaking up the gentle pace of rural New Zealand.
An Indulgent Vineyard Tour and Famed Culinary Delights
This cute corner of New Zealand is perhaps its most famous for sensual treats. Today you journey through the vast vineyards and boutique wineries, stopping to indulge in the finest bottles the nation has to offer. Chardonnay is the renowned standout, aided by long summer days and the cool ocean breeze, and taking on crisp notes of fragrant summer fruits. But Hawke's Bay revels in innovation and experimentation. Try Pinot Noir in charming stone cottages, sample Cabernet Sauvignon on artistic vineyard terraces, and visit five to six vineyards during the day. Supplementing the liquid goodness are further treats for the palate, and an organic tasting lunch is included. Like all journeys in New Zealand, expect to see few other people on the road, and have thousands of potential stops for glorious landscape photographs. Return to the country estate and tonight's dinner includes the very freshest New Zealand lamb.
The Dazzling Beauty of Queenstown
Cross to New Zealand's South Island and the landscape becomes imbued with drama. Mountains rise higher, their triangular peaks reflected in gaping lakes, and the soothing patchwork is replaced with redolent fjords and alpine vistas. After the islands and rural greenery of the North, you land in Queenstown, surrounded by precipitous mountains and the sublime Lake Wakatipu. It's a one-hour drive to Rotorua Airport, and then a couple of hours by domestic flight to reach Queenstown. The rest of the day is deliberately left free. Walk hand in hand along the pebbled lakeshore, take the cable car to a stunning summit above the town, and wander the quaint streets of this quiet secluded town.
Elevating the romance is an evening meal at one of the country's oldest and most celebrated restaurants. Spoil yourself in the cozy ambiance as their famed degustation menu is served in the exclusive wine library. Your Queenstown hotel is equally historic and atmospheric, as you've got an opulent suite at one of the finest luxury hotels.
Shared Adventures in the Fiordlands
Exploring the wilderness has an intrepid twist in Queenstown. Today is one of those destinations with unique experiences that neither of you is likely to have encountered before. Board a jet boat and cling on to the rails, as you hurtle through a glacial river, the skilled pilot skillfully passing by stark canyon walls and propelling the boat into 360-degree spins. Then run down a steep mountain slope above Queenstown and suddenly your feet leave the ground. You're flying, parasailing to be exact, a tandem pilot carving a route above the sapphire lake and between the white tinged summits. Return to Queenstown and spend the whole evening reliving the memories of adventures in the fjords.
A Helicopter Journey and Surreal Milford Sound
Every fjord is special, but Milford Sound can claim elevated bragging rights for beauty. A narrow channel of glacial water rolls between 4000-feet vertical mountains, seals and dolphins jump out of the blue waters, and thunderous waterfalls magically cascade out of the cliffs. After a glass-ceilinged coach journey over spectacular mountain passes, you board a cruise ship and coast out into Milford Sound. A layer of mist often hangs in the distance, a further dose of hypnotism to supplement the natural wonder on your 90-minute cruise.
Your journey back to Queenstown is equally spectacular. First the helicopter swoops low through Milford Sound, cutting between the mountains and then turning 180 degrees as it reaches the Tasman Sea. The pilot ascends, coasting across the seemingly endless myriad of individual sounds and fjords. Land in the wilderness and you couldn't be any further from civilization. Not even intrepid hiking trails make it to this untamed glacier in the Fiordlands. If ever there was a place to repeat your love, it's here, lost in a complete panorama of peaks and standing on a white glacial blanket. There's another hour of aerial astonishment as you fly back to Queenstown. Ensuring the romantic revelry isn't interrupted, a luxury chauffeur takes you from the helipad to the finest waterfront restaurant and a chic evening of unforgettable seafood.
First Impressions of Iconic Sydney
Fly west this morning, a direct flight taking you across the water that separates two island nations. Arrive in Sydney, and after a luxury chauffeur takes you to the central luxury hotel, the rest of the day is left free for your exploration. You'll quickly discover the enchanting attractions of Darling Harbour, the boats providing a soothing focal point to every photo. Just around the corner are more renowned sights: admire the dazzling white sails of the Sydney Opera House, wander the historic streets of The Rocks, and explore the harmonious juxtaposition of gleaming skyscrapers and colonial remains. Despite its fame and size, Sydney is relatively simple to navigate and explore together.
Sydney Bridge Climb and Luxury Evening Dinner Cruise
As the sun casts a glistening glow upon the Opera House sails, you're making tentative footsteps skyward. With each step, the Sydney buildings become smaller, and the panoramas reach further. You're walking together on the steel spine of the city, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge and indulging in one of Australia's unique experiences. Look right for ocean views, gaze left for urbanity blending with greenery, down below for boats sailing along Parramatta River, and glance straight ahead for indelible views of the Sydney cityscape. After you reach the summit, return down the opposite archway and remember to kiss for the camera on this renowned monument.
A different panorama is afforded this evening, your luxury boat sailing beneath the bridge and along the Parramatta River. A sumptuous dinner is served on the elegant top deck, the culinary brilliance accompanied by the quaint delights of watching the Sydney lights flickering on one by one. This luxuriant evening cruise is perhaps the finest way to tour the city, the deck offering views of all the famous sights, but without the traffic noise or other tourists. There are just a few tables on board, so expect plenty of space for this memorable amorous treat.
Day 11 - 13
Deserted Beach Paradise on Fraser Island
It seems almost automatic that a romantic escape should feature beach bliss. The next three days fulfill this promise as you're catapulted from city charms to the astounding splendor of Fraser Island. Sandbanks cover the island, explorable only by foot or by Land Rover. Hidden beaches are so white they almost blind the eyes, and the ocean juxtaposes rainforest and mangroves. And while it's true that private getaways often feature a beach paradise, it's rare that this comes in the form of the planet's largest sand island and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Settle into a private luxury beach house. A veranda offers stunning ocean views; the forests dazzle in the background, and a white sand beach stands just below your front door.
After the direct flight from Sydney to Hervey Bay, it's a short boat journey to your beach house. For the next three days, you're free to enjoy this beach paradise. Laze away the days or choose from a range of activities that explore the island. A guided Land Rover trip is included, and it's the best way to appreciate the enormity of this island of sand.
Australia's Cultural Hub – Melbourne
Your final stop is Melbourne, Australia's cultural heart and home to three distinct days of experiences. Today is free for you to stroll through the enchantment; alleyways are filled with cute cafes and boutique shops, colonial remains stand proudly between glass-fronted skyscrapers and opulent restaurants flank the Yarra River that divides the city in two. While Sydney's sights are well known and well marketed, Melbourne revels in its hidden charms, exuding a sleepy atmosphere that belies the city's size. Watch the city lights come on from a luxurious suite above the city at your luxury hotel, and soak up an ambiance of gentle serenity.
A Journey Along the Great Ocean Road
Snaking southwest from Melbourne is a coastline of rugged brilliance and untamed charm. Beaches stand empty beneath virgin rainforest; koalas cling to trees above the sand, fishing villages feel like a journey back in time, and bays are dominated by precipitous cliffs. It's all held together by the Great Ocean Road, a fabulous piece of tarmac that winds along this enigmatic coastline. A small group tour takes you along this famed route, and there are dozens of stops for inimitable landscape photos. Journey to the Twelve Apostles, sandstone rock pinnacles that stand like giant's fingers lost in the ocean. Continue to London's Bridge, a rocky outcrop surrounded by short walking trails along splendid ocean cliffs. And then return to Melbourne and get dropped at what is considered perhaps the city's best fine dining restaurant. A four-course dinner is included, complete with elegant atmosphere and French-inspired flavors.
Searching for Marsupials in the Wild
With this being a romantic escape, meeting the locals hasn't featured high on the itinerary. Today you say hello to two famous residents. Actually, you will probably meet hundreds of these marsupial residents as you explore the wilderness just outside Melbourne. Koalas are naturally bashful and quiet, hiding amongst the eucalyptus branches deep in the forest. Koala trackers have been out in the bush all morning, aiding your wildlife search by noting the GPS locations of the cute marsupials. Lucid eyes gaze down from the branches; a large yawn is redolent of the koalas' sleeping habits, and the cute smiles seem to be ubiquitous.
After lunch, it's another marsupial you're out to find, this time, one of the hopping variety. Spot the kangaroos on the grass plains and approach slowly, a few steps at a time ensuring that the congregation isn't fearful of your presence. Males box each other on hind legs, a female's provocative scent attracts a few eager followers, and barely a second goes by without a few kangaroos skipping across the field. Those with patience and an ability to stay silent can come to within phenomenal proximity of these endemic beauties.
Fond Farewells to an Enchanting Continent
It's time to say farewell to this enchanting continent and fly back across the Pacific. Check out the camera roll and spend the whole plane journey discussing which were the ultimate highlights from this diverse getaway.
- Spend two days on your own private yacht and sail through the uninhabited bliss of New Zealand's Bay of Islands
- Take a helicopter ride across the majestic Fiordland National Park, landing in the wilderness and admiring world-famous Milford Sound from the sky
- Enjoy a private vineyard tour and spend two days soaking up the romantic bliss of Hawke's Bay, a delightfully serene corner of New Zealand
- Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge and then sail underneath it on a luxury evening dinner cruise
- Indulge in tranquil beach paradise by spending three days on Fraser Island, a UNESCO recognized tropical heaven on the East Coast of Australia
- All romantic escapes should feature hand in hand strolls; on this vacation you will be walking across mountain peaks, over deserted sand, through cute towns, and into the wild in search of kangaroos
- Take a journey along one of the planet's most spectacular roads, the renowned Great Ocean Road just another highlight from your time in Melbourne
- Enjoy some of the continent's most romantic accommodation, including quaint beach villas, country cottages, and luxuriant city suites
Some say that Australia and New Zealand are places to get lost in, the continent offering the ultimate in indulgent escapism. Others would argue that these majestic islands are for searching for something, a rich tapestry of experiences and destinations awaiting the intrepid couple. Both viewpoints hold plenty of truth. There's a wonderful sense of freedom and privacy as you journey through the most spectacular landscapes on the planet. For most of this vacation, there's nobody else around and the two of you can fully immerse yourselves in natural splendor and romance. But this itinerary is also brimming with unique experiences for you to discover: helicopter rides, private yacht journeys, parasailing over fjords, koalas, kangaroos, beaches without footprints, a luxury dinner cruise through Sydney. New Zealand and Australia are elevated as destinations by their ability to combine both paradigms; with this handcrafted romantic getaway to Australia and New Zealand, you get a stunning romantic escape and a myriad of unforgettable experiences that can't be found elsewhere on the planet.
Kicking off the amorous vacation in style is the Bay of Islands, a tropical paradise of secluded coves and deserted beaches. For two days you cruise aboard your own private yacht, picking a route through uninhabited islands, calm sapphire waters, and marine parks. Your second New Zealand destination is equally hypnotic. The green landscapes of Hawke's Bay roll towards cliffs and ocean rollers, as this renowned wine region is famed for its quaint towns and soothing wilderness. Settle into a private cottage on a wonderfully rural country estate and soak up the tranquility. Then fly south and marvel at the fjords that cover the country's South Island. You're in Queenstown and now is the time for adventure; elegant parasailing journeys, jet boat rides into the rugged mountains, helicoptering through the fjords, and the stunning beauty of Milford Sound.
Next, you fly to Sydney and begin your Australian adventure. Spend two days in this city of delights, including climbing iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and a luxury dinner cruise as the lights of Sydney are reflected in the Parramatta River. From the charming city, you fly direct to a tropical beach paradise, the sandy wonder of Fraser Island being your base for three days of absolute serenity. With sand so fine it squeaks beneath your feet, and a private lodge gazing over the azure waters, this is a classic romantic getaway destination. There's time for one final stop. Captivating Melbourne completes your vacation and it's a city bursting with fine dining opulence and elegant evenings along the river. During the day, you'll be journeying along the spectacular Great Ocean Road and heading off into the wilderness in search of furry koalas and hopping kangaroos.
A handpicked selection of accommodation complements each destination, from luxury city hotels with breathtaking views to cute villas that assure absolute privacy. Domestic flights connect destinations and minimize travel time and tables are booked at some of the continent's premium romantic fine dining restaurants. Every couple is different. So while this itinerary is carefully tailored with affection in mind, every facet is fully customizable so that it responds to the exacting needs of you and your partner.
$4,245 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.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.84 stars based on 850 reviews
Reviewed By Chuck H.
Reviewed By Erica B.
Reviewed By Sarah L.
Reviewed By Patrick C.
Reviewed By Laura D.
Reviewed By John M.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era