Itinerary & Activities
Finally, the first day of your Australia and New Zealand Adventure is here! Your trip of a lifetime begins in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand, nicknamed the City of Sails. We will check in to the Auckland Rydges, located steps away from the energetic and bustling waterfront. We’ll experience the thrill of sailing an authentic America’s Cup Yacht on Waitemata Harbour, taking in the city's iconic landmarks. Work hard on the grinders, hoist the mainsail, and take the helm of this magnificent vessel! You’ll have the rare opportunity to view New Zealand’s only colony of Antarctic penguins at the Sea Life Aquarium. Ascend to the top of the Auckland Sky Tower, the city's most famous landmark. Get ready for unparalleled views of up to 50 miles in every direction. We'll make new friends and start bonding with fun introductions and ice-breakers at our group orientation.
We’ll head to the Northland to stunning Hokianga, site of where the first Maori explorer landed in New Zealand over a thousand years ago. After checking in to the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, we’ll set out to explore this amazing location. We’ll spend a day in mystical Waipoua Forest, home of Tane Mahuta, a 2,500 year-old Kauri tree known as the “Lord of the Forest”. We’ll take a guided hike through the woods, learning how nature is intertwined with the lives of the Maori, New Zealand’s indigenous people. You’ll have the opportunity to plant a native tree to mark your visit to this very special place. Climb to the top of sandstone formations and get ready for our super Sand-Boarding adventure. Plummet down massive dunes on a body board and right into Hokianga Harbour! We’ll end our stay by learning the ancient Maori craft of bone-carving. Create your own special piece to help you remember you time in this very magical part of New Zealand.
We check into the comfortable Copthorne Hotel near the beautiful Bay of Islands. We’ll visit the traditional carved wood Waitangi Wharenui (meeting house) as we follow in the footsteps of Maori chiefs and British delegates and learn how this important historic site became the birthplace of modern New Zealand. Kayak among the mangrove trees and up the serene Waitangi River to Haruru Falls, which translates to "Thundering Noise" in the local Maori language. Next, we hop aboard our catamaran for our relaxing cruise through the Bay of Islands. We'll weave throughout the 144 tiny islets that dot this most scenic bay on our way to the Hole In The Rock, a cave thought of as good luck by Maori warriors. The Bay of Islands also happens to be a favorite playground of Bottlenose Dolphins. If we are lucky we will get to watch the dolphins frolicking in the bay!
We will visit "bubbling" Rotorua, a town synonymous with thermal activity and Maori culture. Our home is the Millennium Hotel, located on beautiful Lake Rotorua. Explore Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, where geysers dazzle you with their grand sprays of steam. Marvel at Prince of Whales Feather Geyser, The Blue Pool, and a host of gurgling mud pools. Next, we will experience the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour and see some of the actual locations where the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed! Hold on tight as we Jet Boat to mighty Huka Falls, New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction. The adrenaline will be pumping during on-water maneuvers such as 360 degree spins, fishtails, and powerbrakes! An evening at Tamaki Maori Cultural Show gives us an authentic Maori cultural experience. Experience the ancient ceremony of powhiri as we are welcomed into the pre-European Maori village. Our group will be entertained by a powerful cultural performance, including action songs, poi, stick games, and the world-famous Haka, the Maori War Dance. We’ll board our charter boat for a cruise to White Island, an active marine volcano rising from the Pacific. You’ll be able to walk right into the crater during this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Get ready for an incredible White-Water Rafting Adventure down the highest rafted waterfall in the world on the Kaituna River! Finally, no visit to Rotorua is complete without the thrills of OGO, one of New Zealand's most popular activities.
Get ready to go Down Under as we board our flight to the Gold Coast, world-renowned for having the most popular beaches in Australia! We'll stay at Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, located right in the middle of the action. Spend time soaking up the sun and relaxing on the coast's beautiful white-sand beaches. Get your feet wet in the clear azure waters as you learn to catch waves during our Professional Surf Lessons. Next, we'll enjoy Movie World Theme Park, one of the country's largest parks with rides, shows, and games for all ages. Get ready for the Batwing Spaceshot, plunge down the thrilling flume in Wild West Falls, and put on your seatbelt as you rocket through Arkham Asylum at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour! Experience the 4D film Journey to the Center of the Earth and get ready for exciting action on the set of Hollywood Stunt Driver. We'll take in the Australian Outback Spectacular's "Spirit of the Horse," a unique evening dinner show filled with outback music, drama, and action – a perfect taste of Aussie outback culture.
A short flight takes us to Cairns, gateway to the Tropical North and home of the most stunning scenery in Australia. We'll check into the Doubletree Hotel, perfectly situated on the Cairns waterfront. Enjoy an evening performance at Tjapukai, the award-winning Aboriginal Cultural Park. A perfect introduction to the 40,000 year-old Aboriginal culture, this interactive experience showcases Aboriginal rituals, dance, and traditional foods. We'll visit the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat, a refuge for Australian animals such as crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas, and countless exotic birds. Covering 8 acres, this wildlife immersion exhibit is made up of open and interactive environments, allowing for guests and kangaroos to mingle in a natural setting! Next, we enter Wooroonooran National Park, part of the UNESCO Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, and visit Josephine Falls. Take an easy walk through the jungle and emerge at the falls, where Josephine Creek plunges down a gorgeous set of cascades. Enjoy a dip in a fun Swimming Hole and slide down a Natural Water Slide on a smooth sloping rock face.
We'll cross into classic Outback Country, where dingoes and kangaroos roam free. We will be welcomed as guests at a traditional working cattle station and homestead, open only for our group. We will stay in dorm-style cabins as we learn about the challenges and rewards of living in the outback. Channel your inner Indiana Jones by learning how to crack a whip and the proper technique for throwing a Boomerang (and yes, it really does come back to you!). We'll really appreciate a simpler way of life as we spend the evening star-gazing, listening to tales of life on the range, and enjoying a classic Australian BBQ.
Next, we head into Daintree National Park, the oldest continuously growing rainforest on earth. We'll stay at the Ferntree Rainforest Eco-Lodge, offering us a superb location in the jungle. Get ready to fly across the rainforest canopy and get a bird's eye view of the world as we go Jungle Surfing, an exhilarating zip line ride among the treetops. With over 50% of all species endemic to Australia found in Daintree, there is wide variety of flora and fauna to explore. We’ll walk the floor of this ancient forest as we explore the nocturnal wildlife of the dark jungle on our guided Night Hike.
We catch our flight to Sydney and settle in to the Park Royal Sydney, located steps from famous Darling Harbour. Take in a performance at one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, the Sydney Opera House. We'll weave among historic buildings and narrow laneways in the historic Rocks District, home to Australia's first settlement. Next up is a day in the idyllic Blue Mountains, located just outside of town. You’ll marvel at the stunning scenery from a variety of perspectives. We'll hop aboard a ferry for our cruise through Sydney Harbour, arriving at famous Manly Beach. Enjoy lunch on the Corso, filled with surf shops, cafes, galleries, and street entertainment. No visit to this incredible city would be complete without experiencing the Sydney Harbour Bridge Night Climb. We'll climb to the bridge's summit, 440 feet above Sydney Harbour, for incomparable views of the city as it sparkles at night. When you reach the top, you will have a sense of achievement that you will remember forever – you've conquered an Australian icon recognized the world over!