Australia, New Zealand
Melbourne, Uluru (Ayers Rock) & Kata, Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Napier, Coromandel Peninsula
Dates are customizable for private departures.
On this adventurous 15-day vacation, you will do as the locals do, from listening to Aboriginal stories by the fire to tracking marsupials and vibrant city art. In Australia and New Zealand, you can venture off the beaten track to discover the authenticity of increasingly popular destinations. Handcrafted for senior travelers, this laid-back itinerary will help you connect with the soul of both Australia and New Zealand, from misunderstood pasts to the gregariousness of today.
Melbourne – Australian Introduction
Melbourne is a charming place to begin. Here, murals cover the sides of buildings as the city has recently transformed into a living art gallery. Lovely restaurants and cafes line the Yarra River, which will be ideal places to unwind after your flight. After landing in Melbourne, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your luxurious accommodation near Flinders Street Station. The location is ideal because the old city and riverfront will both be on your doorstep, but it is also easy to take a journey to the beach if you wish. This first day of your trip will be at your leisure, and you will find a superb variety of restaurants near your hotel.
Melbourne – City Street Art Tour
Melbourne is doused in colors and contrasts. In the city, you will be able to sense the past. Instead of just visiting the famous spots, your guide will use art to create an off-the-beaten-track journey through the city by tram and on foot. In the city, street murals dominate the main streets and back streets, making Melbourne feel like a living art gallery. It is the street art that ties old and new together, which is something that you will discover on today’s tour. Today will only be your second day down under, so you may still have a little jet lag.
Melbourne – Kangaroos and Koalas
Many people visit Australia to see marsupials at wildlife sanctuaries. Kangaroos and koalas live in the wild and not just in national parks. You can spot wallabies and kangaroos as they cross open grasslands and koalas as they cling to eucalyptus branches. You can also witness these iconic species and many more if you know where to look. Today’s private wildlife tour will allow you up-close encounters with marsupials in addition to showing you how these animals move and behave in their natural habitat. You cannot touch the animals, but you can enjoy an experience that is so much more authentic in the wild. It will be a half-day off-the-beaten-track tour that will leave you an afternoon to see more of Melbourne at your leisure.
Uluru – The Beauty of the Southern Sky
Most visitors to Uluru stay in the Ayers Rock cluster of hotels. Hardly anyone knows about the boutique camps that hide in the big red desert. These camps are more intimate and can offer a complete immersion into the wonders of the Australian Outback. After flying directly to Uluru, you will spend an afternoon at your camp, savoring the silence and solitude of the landscape. Few places are as laid-back, and there is a real beauty to the feeling of being so far away from the everyday world. All of your meals will be included during your time here because there is not any other building or settlement for at least 30 miles. As the heat fades, a private guide will lead you to Uluru, which is the monolith that burns red in the late-afternoon light.
Uluru – Aboriginal Stories
There is more than one big rock out here. The 26 domes of Kata Tjuta are equally hypnotic and even more spiritual. You can only visit a small proportion of the site because much of it is reserved for local communities. Kata Tjuta is the other piece in an Uluru experience, and it is best to visit during sunrise and the early morning hours. This will provide you with some time back at camp to relax through the middle of the day. During the afternoon, you will have a choice of desert exploration activities before you are treated to an authentic evening of Aboriginal stories. The Aborigines from this area are shy and rarely seen, so it is extremely special to personally meet a community leader and learn from their experiences.
Darwin – Saltwater Crocodiles and Waterside Charms
Today, you will fly to Darwin via Alice Springs. You should note that this itinerary can be customized, and this section can be extended by one or two days. Stunning natural attractions mark the route between Uluru and Alice Springs, and these can make for a two-day overland tour if you wish. Upon your arrival in Darwin, you will be transferred to your boutique lodge on the river. A local guide will provide an introductory tour, so you can enjoy some of the highlights before having the remainder of the evening to explore at your leisure.
Day 7 - 8
Kakadu National Park – Experiencing a Natural Realm
Kakadu is untouched Australia at its best and a destination that remains off the beaten track despite its countless attractions. It is the atmosphere here that you will savor and remember the most. Over these two days, you will venture on an overland tour through the western section of Kakadu, stopping at waterfalls, forests, billabongs, places of wildlife, and places known to the Aboriginal locals. An Aboriginal guide will show you across this space, teaching you about the use of every piece of flora. Leaves can be rubbed together to make soap, certain vines become rope, some trees make shelter, and others have sacred purposes. With accommodation in comfortable park lodges, you will be fully immersed in a landscape that has hardly ever changed since its inception.
Auckland – Immersed in the Kiwi Atmosphere
After returning to Auckland this morning, you will fly to New Zealand, which is a surprisingly long flight for two countries that look close together on the map. If you add the time difference, then this day will mostly be eaten up by travel. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted at Auckland’s airport by a local guide and transferred to your luxury hotel. A recently refurbished promenade lies alongside the hotel and can lead you to many different waterfront restaurants. The promenade can also provide you with a view of the many harbors and sailboats. Nothing will be planned for today, so you will have time to settle in to the New Zealand atmosphere.
Auckland – Sailing With the Locals
There are more boats per capita in Auckland than anywhere in the world. Therefore, the best way to do like the locals is to venture on a sailing expedition. Here, Pacific waters stretch from Auckland and are often dotted with green islands and pods of dolphins. This is not a motorboat tour. You will be sailing on the wind, feeling the breeze, and discovering the charms that reside in this lovely bay. The exact route will be flexible, and your tour will be private. You may also want to sail to Waiheke island and go wine tasting. You can also visit smaller and closer islands, where ice cream shops mark harbors, and the dolphins never seem to be far away.
Coromandel Peninsula – Away From the World
Coromandel is one of the North Island’s most off-the-beaten-track destinations. A unique lodge is hidden away here, backdropped by trees, and that gazes over the Pacific. It is a serene destination where the day’s itinerary can be tailored to your interests and moods. If you are feeling active, there is a nice 30-minute walk to another beach, or you can take a small boat tour along the coast through naturally carved coastal tunnels to pinnacles that rise above the surf. Another option will be to visit a hot water beach, where therapeutic water bubbles beneath the sand allow you to dig your own natural spa bath. If you desire, your guide can also dig it for you.
Coromandel Peninsula – Intimate Maori Experiences
Coromandel is also a region where Maori culture has really stuck to its roots. People live amid nature and preserve their spiritual practices, and this will be showcased on today’s Maori tour. A community leader will be the first to greet you before providing you with an introduction to the area and community. After his approval, a local guide will take over and show you how the Maori connect with a stretch of breathtaking wilderness. Later on the tour, you will dine with the community and sink your senses into very traditional food before exploring local greenstone and the meaning behind the pendants worn by every community member.
Napier – An Art Deco Town
Traveling overland is part of the New Zealand experience. One of the finest journeys is down the North Island’s East coast. When incorporating a few stops, it will take half a day to reach Napier, where you can enjoy one of the country’s most celebrated lunch spots before an afternoon of art deco exploration. Napier is a city in a time warp because the streets are virtually the same as when they were built in the 1920s. It will look entirely different from any other town in the Southern hemisphere, and your tour will reveal how the Kiwis incorporated European art deco. The evening will be at your leisure, and you will be able to see how Napier is a destination that is only really popular with senior travelers.
Napier – Charming Vineyards
Hawke's Bay vineyards dominate the valleys around Napier. Their elegance will create the perfect setting for your final day in New Zealand. While Hawke's Bay is one of the country’s oldest regions, it feels like an off-the-beaten-track gem. This is where you can get really personal with the wine tasting. A local guide will lead you to different wineries, where you can meet winemakers, cellar masters, and vineyard owners. Through personal connections, you can discover more about the wine and history of this soporific area. Wine tasting in Hawke's Bay is a lovely way to culminate any vacation and epitomizes the theme of this itinerary for seniors. You will be exploring but in a very relaxed and comfortable manner.
Napier – Departure
From Napier, you will fly to Auckland before connecting with your international departure.
- Soak up Aboriginal stories during an evening of local history in Australia’s red outback
- Lounge away an afternoon on a wonderfully off-the-beaten-track Coromandel beach, which is a spot that only locals know of
- Experience Australia’s most untouched national park during a two-day Kakadu adventure tailored for senior visitors
- Join the locals for a breathtaking day of Pacific sailing near Auckland
- Experience the soul of Melbourne during an offbeat street art tour that connects the past with the present
- Culminate your vacation with two days of wine tasting which will be led by winemakers and cellar masters in the Hawkes Bay vineyards
- Discover Australia’s wildlife with a stunning day of encounters with kangaroos and koalas with expert guides who know where to look
- Savor a day with a small Maori community, which is an authentic experience that helps you to cut through stereotypes and preconceptions
- Slowly explore some of the region’s most delightful urban locales with time dedicated to Auckland, Darwin, and Napier
Australia and New Zealand are both enormous countries. There is so much to do and see here, even if most itineraries stick to the same places and activities. Venturing off the beaten track is straightforward here and is an opportunity to discover an authenticity that most other visitors miss. During this adventurous 15-day vacation, you will explore a mix of well-known and lesser-known destinations, enjoying unique activities that will showcase the essence of these breathtaking nations. You will be able to partake in Aboriginal stories by the fire, tasting with winemakers, admiring wild kangaroos, and being immersed in the Maori way of life.
Everything over the 15 days is tailored to senior travelers. The pace is casual and laid-back with a new experience each day, but there are also no long days overly packed with activities. You can also set the pace of your discoveries, so that you are able to explore at a pace that is right with you. Handpicked hotels and lodges will ensure that you are comfortable while allowing you to bask in the charms of your destinations. A premium is placed on providing you with some of the countries’ best local guides. All your destinations can only be truly understood when you are in the hands of locals or people who can narrate the present and help you to experience the past.
You will begin your journey in Melbourne, where you will be immersed in city art and the charms of an incredibly cultural city. With three nights, you can rest after the flight and even venture out to Victoria’s wildernesses. Here, kangaroos will hop by you, koalas hang in trees, and you can experience Australia’s wildlife while staying in the city. Afterward, you will fly to Uluru for two nights of the desert and Aboriginal connections, which will be complete with burning red colors the dazzling Southern stars after dark. Darwin and Kakadu National Park will complete your Australian leg and are two destinations that are well known but have really preserved their off-the-beaten-track feel.
After flying to New Zealand, you will have two nights in Auckland with locals that will show you charming neighborhoods and Pacific waters. After a day of sailing, you will have two days on the Coromandel Peninsula, where off-the-beaten-track beaches will provide you with some downtime, and here, you can have intimate Maori connections. Napier and the nearby Hawkes Bay vineyards will prove to be a bucolic place to culminate your vacation, and your tour will include tasting with vineyard owners and savoring the landscapes. Like elsewhere in the country, you will find that you do not need to travel into the wild in order to venture off the beaten track and to enjoy incredibly authentic experiences.
$3,745 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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