Australia, New Zealand
Melbourne, Port Douglas, Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Great Barrier Reef
Dates are customizable for private departures.
Designed for families of all ages, this exciting, two-week journey leads your family far from home to the adventurous landscapes of New Zealand and Australia. Including hopping kangaroos, Aboriginal encounters, Hobbiton, and active volcanos, these two weeks will allow you to savor the iconic Australian and New Zealand experience without needing to rush or travel too much. You can check-in and relax before exploring and discovering with an expertly crafted mix of private day trips and family experiences.
Melbourne – The Australian Experience
After landing at Melbourne’s international airport, you will be transferred to Brighton, which is a charming, beachside suburb that is nestled by the gentle waters of Port Phillip Bay. Here, you can absorb a laid-back, coastal experience while only being 20 minutes from the heart of Melbourne. Brighton has a colorful and leisurely vibe, and you can find a diverse selection of great cafes and restaurants, enjoy a feeling of space on the golden beach, and experience snippets of local culture in nearby markets. This day will be at your leisure.
Melbourne – The Great Ocean Road by Helicopter
You will first take off from Melbourne and ease into the day with some time on a small golden beach. Next, you will fly above the famous ocean road, where sandstone cliffs will shimmer from the window as a thick forest and bush cover the interior. This coastline of twists and turns is mostly famous for the 12 Apostles, which is a series of dazzling limestone formations that have been cast adrift in the South Pacific. Here, you will disembark and walk along wooden promenades for some iconic photos and views before flying inland and across the Grampians on your way back to Melbourne.
Melbourne – Kangaroos and Koalas
This morning, you will explore a forest of eucalyptus trees in search of bashful and sleepy koalas. A tracker will go ahead of you and provide GPS coordinates to your guide, so you will not need to walk too far without a sighting. Afterward, your kids can search for the calm marsupial as it clings to its branch. Kangaroo encounters are much more spectacular. By gazing across open plains, you will see mobs as they form. You cannot move too close to such enormous animals, but you can observe their iconic behavior in the wild rather than in a zoo.
Melbourne – Exploring Melbourne
Today will be left free so that you can customize the day with anything you or your kids desire. You can explore the old Victorian arcades and architecture before indulging in a visit to Australia’s best art gallery: the National Gallery Victoria. Your children may be more interested in contemporary art, which is visible all over the city. From Brighton, you can walk or ride a tram up the coast to St Kilda, which is a very lively beachside suburb. You can also consider a ferry trip to Phillip Island, where there can be more wildlife encounters.
Port Douglas – Rainforest Activities
By taking a direct flight, you will experience the endless space that Australia provides. Cute and enchanting, Port Douglas is a small beachside town with very little traffic or noise. It is popular with senior travelers but also excellent for families because the beach is very safe for swimming, and there is enough space for kids to run around and play. This day will be at your leisure, and your guide can arrange activities, such as walking trails in the Kuranda Rainforest and a cableway that will lead you through the Kuranda canopy.
Port Douglas – The Great Barrier Reef
This morning, you can have a leisurely breakfast and stroll on the beach before a boat trip to the world’s largest coral system. By disembarking at a floating pontoon, you will find some space to relax and stay dry. This is an excellent tour for families because everyone can do their own activities before you all meet up on the pontoon. Guided snorkeling is a great way for more confident swimmers to explore the corals and colors. You can also snorkel from the pontoon in an area that is protected by lifeguards. You can also stay dry by exploring in a semi-submersible craft with a glass-bottom.
Port Douglas – Aborigine Family Tour
Deep in the rainforest, you will ask the spirits for a blessing in the local Aboriginal way. On a privately guided tour, you will learn how an Aboriginal nation traditionally survived and thrived in the rainforest. Each tree and plant has its use, so you will learn how they make rope and soap in addition to what materials they choose when building shelter. Small bugs and insects provide food, and you can have a try at eating local snacks like live ants. After a 90-minute trail through the forest, you will indulge in lunch with a different Aboriginal tribe.
Auckland – Australia to New Zealand
A direct Air New Zealand flight connects Cairns with Auckland. People are often amazed by how far the two countries are apart. Cairns to Auckland is still a four and a half-hour flight. If you add on the two hour time difference, then all of them will be eaten up by traveling. Your flight will leave late in the morning, so you should not be too rushed this morning. After touching down at Auckland’s international airport, you will be transferred to your luxurious accommodation in the south of the city. By staying south, you will remove unnecessary travel time and already be halfway to Hobbiton.
Rotorua – Iconic Hobbit Holes
The Kiwi experience is all about exploring the great outdoors, so you will jump straight into North Island landscapes on a privately guided tour that will lead you from Rotorua to Hobbiton. Hobbiton was chosen as a location because nothing artificial can be seen from any of the 44 hobbit holes. Everything will look like it has been pulled out of a fairytale, and nothing has been changed since they finished filming. After your walk and lunch, you will continue by road to Rotorua. You will check-in to your hotel, and the rest of the afternoon can be customized with your private guide.
Day 10 - 11
Rotorua – Customize your Adventure
Rotorua is filled with choice. Your guide will tailor your three nights to the interests of your family and the weather forecast. By kayaking across a bucolic lake, you can find natural hot springs and an afternoon of pure bliss, and riding on mountain bikes will allow you to explore some of New Zealand’s finest bike trails. There is an incredible white-water rafting route through the trees that ends with a waterfall drop. It is safe for children over the age of eight and the best choice if you want to show your kids some outdoor excitement. Hiking is another option, which can be done on a couple of volcanoes nearby. Included in one of these nights will be an evening of Maori entertainment.
Queenstown – Lords of the Rings Filming Locations
You will arrive in Queenstown just before midday and have a full afternoon to explore one of New Zealand’s most sublime areas. This afternoon, you will explore in a 4WD that will have you bumping off the trail to see Middle-earth and the sublime Wizards Vale. With a sword and cape, you can recreate scenes in the enchanting forests of Fangorn and Lothlorien. While the filming locations are always interesting for your kids, you will be in awe of the landscapes. This is a tour that will show you where scenes of The Lord of The Rings were filmed, but mostly, it is a 4WD journey across New Zealand’s stupendous and ever-changing landscapes.
Queenstown – New Zealand’s Prettiest Town
Today will be left free, so you can explore the town and make sure that everything is ready for your long journey home. An excellent, self-guided activity will be to ride the cableway up Bob’s Peak for spectacular views of the town and lake. A luge track can be found at the summit, and it is a great place for children to have some fun while you admire the views. You can also mountain bike back down, but you should note that it is recommended to take a guide because the trails are used by experts as well as beginners. Another option for today will be a short day trip to nearby Wanaka, but in a town as beautiful as Queenstown, you may want to stay local and appreciate your nearby surroundings.
Queenstown – Departure
From Queenstown, you will begin your journey home, which usually starts with a flight to Christchurch. After two weeks in Australia and New Zealand, you will be in awe of how much you were able to experience without needing to always be on the move.
- Experience the wide-eyed wonder as your family comes face to face with wild kangaroos and koalas
- Discover Maori traditions during an informal evening in Rotorua, including the famous haka dance
- Explore the Great Ocean Road by helicopter and touch down to otherworldly beaches and rocks
- Wander through the perfectly preserved Hobbiton movie set and reenact famous scenes during a Lord of the Rings filming locations tour
- Connect with the natural world during an intimately private Aboriginal tour through Mossman Gorge and its surroundings
- Luxuriate in two of the Southern Hemisphere’s cutest towns, Queenstown in New Zealand and Port Douglas in Australia
- Experience the great New Zealand outdoors with options for hiking, cycling, kayaking, and traversing active volcanos
- Marvel at the Great Barrier Reef on an exploratory tour that is tailor-made for families
Australia and New Zealand are a long way from everywhere, and taking your family to a continent down under can be the adventure of a lifetime. This is where kangaroos hop across the wild bush, Maori greet you with a haka war dance, and Hobbiton rivals the Great Barrier Reef for a child’s wide-eyed wonder. It’s easy to get carried away and try to do too much, especially when you only have two weeks. Long distances and continual travel can be tiresome, especially as a family. Furthermore, two weeks is not enough time to see all of these two countries, but it can provide a thrilling and laid-back journey through an eclectic variety of highlights and experiences.
Handcrafted for families with children of all ages, this exciting, two-week journey to Australia and New Zealand uses only four primary, overnight destinations. Private day trips will reveal everything from koalas to Aboriginal lifestyle and Lord of the Rings filming locations to active volcanos. By sticking to four destinations, you can unpack, get comfortable, and appreciate four very different aspects to your Australia and New Zealand experience. Local tours will showcase wonders, such as the Great Ocean Road, Mossman Gorge, which is complete with exploding geysers and an active volcano. At each destination, you will also have the time that is necessary to relax as a family without the constant need to pack up and move.
Melbourne will provide you with a city experience and is preferred over Sydney because there is more to do in the surrounding area. It is also a more relaxed city destination for families. You will be staying on the beach just south of the city, and here, you will enjoy a helicopter day trip to the Great Ocean Road and intimate encounters with kangaroos and koalas in the wild. Port Douglas will be your second Australian destination. This charming, beachside town is where you can completely unwind with available trips to see the Great Barrier Reef and long-standing Aboriginal culture.
You will then swap Australia for New Zealand with a direct flight to Auckland. This will be a travel day before you spend three nights in Rotorua, which is located in the heart of the North Island. By using this quaint town as a base, you can discover volcanos, lakes, forests, Maori communities, and the unmissable Hobbiton. With so much to do, your days will be customized with a private guide, so you can experience your version of the New Zealand outdoors. You will end your family tour in Queenstown, which is a magnificent town that is nestled beneath the mountains on the South Island. The change in landscape from Cairns and Rotorua will make it a really special stop while the wonderful variety of activities means that you can finish your vacation in a way that fits everyone’s mood.
$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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