Australia and New Zealand have been desired destinations ever since travel was born. So much to do and see in both destinations that you could honestly spend over a month on these itineraries and not see everything that either destination has to offer. We recommend a combination trip, usually starting in Australia then working to New Zealand or reversed. Due to the flow of international air, you will typically have to backtrack through one of the destinations, so we like to let the air fare be the guide with respect to choosing Australia or New Zealand First.
Australia by itself is a massive undertaking. From the cosmopolitan vibrant cities of the East Coast such as Sydney and Brisbane, to the untamed natural beauty of the west, to the one and only Great Barrier Reef to the North, Australia has something for everyone and it’s a must visit destination on every travelers bucket list. The myriad of different regions and wide expanse of Australia means good trip planning is key to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.
New Zealand is downright spectacular and one of our permanent featured destinations. You can do New Zealand as part of an Australia trip or all by itself; there is plenty to do. The north and south islands are so very different from one another that you should take the time to explore both. From the green, sweeping vistas of the north island to the rugged mountainous terrain of the south, there is so much to see and do for the outdoor inclined that one trip is honestly never enough.
Keep in mind when contacting us for Australia and New Zealand that the seasons are reversed from that here in the United States. Our summer is their winter. Consequently, the shoulder seasons are when we recommend most to visit-Spring and Fall tend to have the best weather in Australia, where the tropical north is not too terribly hot and the south is quite warm.
New Zealand combines perfectly with Tahiti if wanting a trip that combines activity and relaxation. Daily flights from Auckland to Tahiti and from Tahiti to Los Angeles make for an ideal stopover on the way home.
Nights 1-3: Arrive into iconic Sydney and stay at one of our wonderful partner properties offering amazing views of the Opera House. The bustling cosmopolitan city of Sydney offers numerous dining options, museums, day trips, that 3 days will fly by. Its also nice to arrive straight into Sydney after your 15 hour flight to start getting adjusted to the massive time difference.
Nights:4-6: Once you have got your legs under you –its time for some diving and snorkeling! Head up to Cairns to explore the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) for a few days and behold more types of coral and marine life than you ever imagine could exist in one place! Cairns is a vibrant city with a lot of good dining options if you choose to stay in the city, however for those wanting something a bit more private and luxurious, be sure to ask about access to our partner properties offshore which have private accommodations nearly in the reef itself!
Nights: 6-7: With a daily flight from Cairns, there is no reason to not head straight over to Alice Springs and see the Uluru-Ayers Rock. Stay at one of our partner properties located right on the national park and watch the sunset over perhaps the most iconic image of Australia behind the Opera House.
Nights: 8-10: Time to head over to New Zealand for your second week. Connect straight on through to Auckland to get yourself adjusted to New Zealand for the first 2 nights. Have dinner down by the harbor and enjoy a fabulous seafood meal as you rub shoulders with numerous locals and tourists alike who frequent these popular eateries. Take a boat tour of the city or hire a car and do a self-drive, Auckland is the gateway to New Zealand in the same way that Sydney is for Australia. After 2 nights you will be ready to head onto more fun.
Nights: 11-14: Queenstown on the south island is a very popular jump off points as it serves as a great base for exploring the many hiking trails, glaciers, lakes, and adventure tours that originate from the area. The good news is that you can pretty much dock yourself here as a base for exploring all the natural beauty of the south island.
Nights: 15-18: From here you should head up to the north island and experience the wide open and untouched natural beauty that the island has to offer. Start in Wellington and work your way into the interior, where the lush greenery will make you feel like you are in a tropical rainforest. Explore the underground rafting in the Waitomo caves, or be humbled by the beauty of the Bay of Islands. Tip: Especially on the north island, self-driving is very easy. Don’t be scared to jump behind the wheel and do some exploring.
From here many guests will choose to return back to the US after an amazing 3 weeks in the south pacific, or they will extend to experience more of these beautiful destinations. The choice is yours as all trips are completely customized!