Australia, New Zealand
Port Douglas, Melbourne, Sydney, Christchurch, Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, Great Barrier Reef
Dates are customizable for private departures.
Handcrafted for senior travelers, this will be a relaxing 14-day vacation that includes Port Douglas, Melbourne, Sydney, Christchurch, New Zealand’s West Coast, and Queenstown. Australia and New Zealand can provide you with a bit of everything, even when you travel slow and only have two weeks. Some of the exclusive experiences include tropical beaches, lazy days, dramatic fjords, glaciers, artistic cities, enchanting histories, indigenous wildlife, and cruising down a river at sunset.
Day 1 - 2
Port Douglas – Easing Into Your Surroundings
After landing at Cairns Airport, you will be privately transported to Port Douglas, where your boutique accommodation will be located on the beachfront. Nothing will be planned for these two days, so you can check-in to the Australian atmosphere, indulge in a stroll on the beach, visit the nearby rainforest, and prepare yourself for all the other destinations that are yet to come. It can be difficult to fly halfway around the world and then dive straight into activities and exploration. Port Douglas will offer you a beautiful place to recover from any travel fatigue and jet lag. After these two days are finished, you should be fully settled into your vacation.
Port Douglas – Discovering the Great Barrier Reef
Like everywhere on your itinerary, Port Douglas has spectacular surroundings. This morning, you will travel on a speed boat to a pontoon in the Pacific. A long chain of 2,900 individual reefs, the Great Barrier Reef stretches 1,400 miles along the coast of Australia. You will be exploring part of the northern section, which is where there are larger marine species and an opportunity to discover the reefs without getting wet. The boat will dock at a floating pontoon, which will be your base for a few hours of exploring. You can indulge in some guided snorkeling here and can also cruise around the reefs in a semi-submersible vessel. While exotic fish and marine creatures can impress, the highlight will be the reef itself with so many colors and shapes that are clustered in artistic harmony.
Melbourne – Exploring Art and Architecture
Today, you will bid farewell to Port Douglas as your local guide transfers you to Cairns for a morning flight to Melbourne. Your boutique hotel will be situated near Flinders Street Station in the heart of old Melbourne. This is an excellent location for senior travelers because it will allow you to easily explore the riverside, the city’s art galleries, and the city’s Victorian charm. From Flinders Street Station, you can also take train service to some of Melbourne’s beachside suburbs. After an airport transfer, you will have some time to rest and freshen up before a private city tour in the afternoon. Your guide will plan a route that is suited to how far you want to walk, using the city’s old-world trams to connect different locations.
Melbourne – Encounters with Kangaroos and Koalas
Although you can witness indigenous wildlife in small sanctuaries, it is not the same when the animals are not in their natural habitat. Mobs of kangaroos skip across Australia, especially in the Victoria state, and koalas still survive in the wild. Clinging on with fingers and nails, they live in eucalyptus trees, rarely moving more than 20 meters a day. Usually, you can move close enough to watch koalas open their sleepy eyes, and, almost always, they will go straight back to sleep. With kangaroos, it is difficult to predict how close you will come. Sometimes, a mob is on the move or behaving skittishly, so you may see them hopping around in the distance. You can take a few steps forward before your guide analyzes the marsupials’ reactions.
Sydney – History Tour and Sunset Dinner Cruise
After a short flight to Sydney, you will transfer to your luxury accommodation in Circular Quay. A local guide will show you the city center from the cobblestone charm of The Rocks to the glorious Victorian architecture. Sydney’s center is as much about the stories as it is the buildings, and you will continue your evening with a cruise along the Parramatta River. By departing from Circular Quay, you will cruise under Sydney Harbour Bridge to Darling Harbour before gliding under the bridge again and out toward the Pacific. Dinner will be served as you pass the city’s icons from the place where explorers first touched down to neighborhoods of riverside charm. By the main course, you will have heard about the city from both an Aboriginal and explorer perspective, and by dessert, you will be cruising back to Circular Quay with city lights twinkling all around you.
Sydney – Performance at the Sydney Opera House
Yesterday will have been a relatively busy day, so today will be left completely free. There is a lot to see and do in Sydney, and you can customize the day to your interests. One option will be to travel to some of the city’s famous beaches like Bondi. If you are feeling active, there is a superb walk from Bondi to Coogee. Another option will be to take the public ferry along the Parramatta River to Manly, which is a beachside suburb on the opposite side of the city. If you want to partake in a day trip, then consider the Blue Mountains, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of stunning views and a blue-clad forest. This evening, you can walk from the hotel to the Sydney Opera House in less than ten minutes. Most people visit the opera house on a guided tour, and many forget that this is a functioning building.
Day 8 - 9
Christchurch – Highlights of a Revitalized City
Today, you will fly between Australia and New Zealand and lose two hours when you jump forward in time zones between Sydney and Christchurch. After a private airport transfer, you can spend the evening exploring Christchurch’s city center, where there is a large pedestrianized area and a number of delicious restaurants. Christchurch will feel more like a charming village than a city. Its history is recent, largely due to an earthquake that severely devastated and scarred the city. These scars are still visible today with piles of rubble and the incomplete frames of buildings that are half-collapsed to the ground. Christchurch may not have fully recovered, but you will find that the recovery process is incredibly exciting and innovative. You will have all of this helpfully narrated by a private guide today.
Franz Josef Glacier – New Zealand’s Wild West Coast
Today and tomorrow will be a celebration of your journey, beginning with a beautiful ride on the TranzAlpine railway from Christchurch to Greymouth. You can sit back in first-class comfort and gaze out through the customized windows. A patchwork of pastoral colors will give way to rugged mountains as the train ascends. After a long tunnel, you can see how everything is different. Volcanoes run down the spine of the South Island. The West Coast is known as Te Wahipounamu, and this entire area is regarded as a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are no towns or cities, only mountain passes, secluded beaches, great forests, and icy worlds. After disembarking in Greymouth, you will have lunch before a private transfer carries you to Franz Josef Glacier.
Queenstown – Through the Southern Alps
This morning, a helicopter will take you closer before touching down on a glacier. You can get out and walk on the ice, and it can be a little slippery, but your guides will assist you. This is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. After your heli-hiking tour, you will continue the journey. It will take around five hours of driving to reach Queenstown, but it is a route that is blessed with highlights. Mountain passes can provide you with spectacular moments, and as you descend toward Queenstown, there will be vineyards, where you can indulge in tastings and tours. These two days will involve a ton of travel, but it will mostly be private, so you can stop when you want and take your time. Queenstown will be the perfect place to relax after your journey.
Queenstown – New Zealand’s Prettiest Town
Today, you will wake up and gaze out onto Lake Wakatipu. You can step into the street to see more mountains because Queenstown is literally surrounded by rugged summits and slopes. This charming town is famous as a capital for adventure with activities like bungee jumping and jet boat riding. Today can be customized to your interests just like any day on this Australia and New Zealand adventure. You can extend your stay in one destination, miss out on another, and add some in other places. In Queenstown, it is easy to arrange activities locally, so you can see how you feel and what you want to do for the day.
Queenstown – The Wonder of Milford Sound
This morning, after a two and a half-hour journey by road, you will cruise through the sound, following dolphins and seals and passing waterfalls. At some points, the walls are vertical and stand more than 3,000 feet above the water. You will travel to the raging waters of the Tasman Sea before looping back to the harbor for your beautiful journey back to your luxurious accommodation by helicopter. Here, you can step out, inhale the tranquil air, and admire the endless natural beauty before continuing to Queenstown for your final night in New Zealand.
Queenstown – Departure
After two weeks in Australia and New Zealand, you will depart from Queenstown this morning and begin your journey home.
- Explore the mystic wonder of Milford Sound before flying over Fiordland and touching down on a glacier of natural ice sculptures
- Spend an enchanting morning with kangaroo mobs and sleepy koalas in an accessible wilderness that is close to Melbourne
- Savor Sydney in a laid-back style, including a sunset dinner cruise on the Parramatta River and a dinner performance at Sydney Opera House
- Embrace your journey with a spectacular TranzAlpine train trip across New Zealand’s South Island in addition to a private transfer through the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Ease into your experience down under with three nights in tropical Port Douglas, which is the finest, beachside destination in Australia
- Fly in a helicopter to a glacier and experience walking on the ice, which is an activity that is possible for all ages
- Explore Sydney and Melbourne with expert guides to learn about the history and to admire all the spectacular art
- Culminate your vacation in Queenstown, which is a charming Kiwi town that is nestled beneath beautiful mountains
Magnificent landscapes will set the scene for your Australia and New Zealand vacation. These countries are full of golden beaches that seem to stretch on forever, blue rivers that divide iconic cities, snowy mountains that stand majestic above pristine lakes, and the sight of kangaroos and koalas. You will explore both countries and a stunning range of settings from beach to city and from mountain to fjord. You can do everything at a laid back pace, even if you only have two weeks. This adventure to Australia and New Zealand is handcrafted for senior travelers and will offer a bit of all the experiences that make these countries so exciting. You can travel at your own pace and feel entirely immersed in the local atmosphere.
Your week in Australia will be split across three distinctive destinations. Port Douglas is a longstanding favorite of all senior travelers, and it is a charming, beachside town that will be perfect for recovering from jet lag and discovering the Australian vibe. Here, you can also explore the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet. Then, you will spend two nights in Melbourne and two nights in Sydney with local guides that will customize your city exploration. Melbourne will also be your base for an incredibly intimate morning with wild marsupials. In Sydney, you can sit back and cruise the Parramatta at sunset. Then, the following night, you will dine at the Sydney Opera House before indulging a live performance.
Your New Zealand experience is also split into three parts. Two nights in Christchurch will provide you with a serene introduction and insight into a city that has been revitalized after an earthquake. Afterward, you will embrace the South Island’s wild landscapes on a two-day journey to Queenstown and the Franz Josef Glacier. With a combination of trains, private cars, and helicopters, you will discover a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site and some of the world’s most scenic locations. Then, you will stop to soothe your muscles in a spa before enjoying three nights in Queenstown. A day trip to Milford Sound will continue your breathtaking sights, and you do not need to expect anything strenuous. This is New Zealand, which will provide you with a relaxing journey through a continent of highlights.
$3,495 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.
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.
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