23 Day Pacific Explorer Itinerary

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Welcome to Christchurch New Zealand!

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city and the South Island's capital. A transfer has been arranged from the airport to your hotel.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Christchurch is our "Garden City", blessed with beautiful parks and gardens right in the heart of town. English heritage buildings sit side by side with innovative post-earthquake regeneration in this vibrant place.

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 Nights


Opened in 1913 this Italian High Renaissance Palazzo offers a feeling of grandeur with high ceilings and stunning architecture, the hotel passed the test in the recent earthquakes and remains an icon of the city. Comfort and spacious accommodation with an excellent breakfast available in the onsite restaurant.

Heritage Christchurch


Christchurch at Leisure

Today, why not relax with a punting trip down the Avon River? Gliding gently along in a flat-bottomed boat, you will take in Christchurch's 'must-see' historic attractions and botanic gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch

Easygoing Cycling Tour  Punting the Avon River  Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike
Punting in Christchurch


Travel to Oamaru - a Victorian Beauty

Your New Zealand Relaxed Adventure starts now, collect your car and head south on a the scenic drive to Oamaru the Victorian Beauty built to New Zealand's capital city.

Quirky Oamaru
While its façade is strictly of the Victorian era with ornately decorated grand white stone buildings that once housed upstanding banks, hotels and restaurants, the ‘Oamaruivans’ are certainly not. In fact, they are quite the contrary, unlike the Victorians they (the locals) are bohemian artisans, creatives and antiquarians who run ‘out-there’ galleries, museums, shops and venues – it has to be seen to be believed and you'll love it.

The Art of Victorian Futurism
One of these quirky manifestations is the Steam Punk Museum and workshop, housed in a beautiful but imposing free-standing Oamaru stone building. Outside the infamous Steampunk Engine SP001 greets visitors, belching flames, smoke and odd sounds. Inside the museum presents a theme of a dark post-apocalyptic vision of a future "as it might have been".

Blog Article: The Art of Victorian Futurism in Oamaru

Meet the Smallest Penguins in the World
Also worthy of a look is the nightly return to land of the Little Blue Penguin that nest under the local wharf.

Approximate Distance: 250 km | 155 miles   Total Driving Time: 3 hours 15 mins

Accommodation: Oamaru - 1 night

The historical part of Oamaru

Quiet and private Executive Motel Accommodation in a village like setting, Highfield Mews places you in the heart of Oamaru. Within easy walking distance of the town's cafés, restaurants, shops and Historic Precinct. Luxurious interiors complemented by unique design Highfield Mews is enhanced with many features and comforts that have resulted in these superb suites.

Free Wifi and bike hire just part of the excellent range of facilities on offer.


Dunedin - Scottish City of Grace and Grandeur

The Famous Moeraki Boulders
Visit the Moeraki Boulders 40 km (24 Miles) south of Oamaru. These other worldly boulders are steeped in Maori Legend. Scientists explain the boulders as septarian concretions formed about 65 million years ago. Crystallization of calcium and carbonates around charged particles in muddy undersea sediments gradually formed the boulders in a process taking as long as four million years. The soft mud-stone containing the boulders was raised from the seabed around 15 million years ago and sea erosion is exposing the erosion-resistant boulders.

Dunedin is now the second largest city in the South Island and positively thriving - a bustling university town that is packed with interesting sights from the wonderful cultural attractions to the thriving marine life and spectacular ocean front geography. Dunedin was founded by Scottish immigrants, who built the impressive buildings the city is now famed for. These buildings incorporate a diverse array of styles from Tudor, Jacobean, Georgian, Carpenter, Gothic and Arts and Crafts styles also feature - to some very fine examples of Neo-Gothic. Dunedin is regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the Commonwealth.

Approximate Distance: 125 km | 75 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Accommodation: Otago Peninsula - 2 nights

The former Dunedin Chief Post Office (1937), transformed the 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin into an elegant 4 1/2 star luxury hotel. It occupies an entire city block in The Exchange, the historic business centre of Dunedin. The impressive building was considered a monument to the importance of the role of the state and also to Dunedin's preeminent position as the country's most prosperous city. The Distinction Dunedin Hotel offers a variety of brand new accommodation to suit everyone from the businesses traveller requiring spacious and modern facilities to those wanting a relaxing weekend away.
The Distinction Dunedin Hotel


Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise

Join the highly rated Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise, a voyage of discovery among a unique diversity and abundance of wildlife (10-20 species), great beauty, dramatic views and significant geological features Passengers can see what cannot be seen from land, to greet the mighty Northern Royal Albatross as it sweeps in from the open Pacific Ocean and soars above the spectacular inaccessible cliffs of Taiaroa. These escarpments are alive with eight other species of birds nesting above families of Fur Seals. Close offshore, huge flocks of Sooty Shearwaters feed among other Shearwaters, Petrels and other species of Albatross. The abundance and diversity of wildlife makes a cruise different - a truly multi-species tour on a sheltered harbour that sparkles with scenic beauty, gems of geology and a colourful heritage.

A cute seal


Travel to Te Anau - Gateway to Fiordland

Set amongst a skyline of great mountains and beside the gorgeous Lake Te Anau, Te Anau is one of the great scenic towns of the South Island. It's location in Fiordland puts Te Anau Township squarely on the doorstep to adventuresome of the most spectacular wilderness landscapes in New Zealand are accessed from here, including the incredible Milford Road, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau Glow Worm Caves and Milford Sound. The name Te Anau translates in Maori to 'Caves of Swirling Water' and until a relatively recent discovery, the origin of the swirling waters remained lost in old Maori legend. The town is surrounded by beauty and brimming with great accommodation options, dining, and unique attractions. 

Travel Time 3.5 hrs  Approximate Distance 300km | 185mi

Accommodation: Te Anau - 3 nights

Te Anau Gateway to Fiordland
Whitestones B&B is located 10km from Te Anau on a working deer farm. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity in generously sized King/twin rooms with ensuites and a purpose built guest/dinning lounge. Both rooms have fantastic views of surrounding countryside and mountains, complete with private entrances to all guest areas. Choose from an extensive breakfast menu and/or continental breakfast at a time to suit you.
Te Anau


Wairaurahiri Jetboat Deep into Southern Fiordland

Follow the River Deep into the Waitutu Rainforest. BBQ on a Wild West Coast Beach

Today will take you literally beyond the beaten track - this 94 km (58 mile) jet boat adventure provides access to the most remote section of Fiordland National Park. Beginning with a crossing of Lake Haroto, following the mighty Wairaurahiri River down to the rugged southern coast while dodging giant overhanging trees and massive gnarled, moss-covered branches – the rainforest is everywhere. This full Day Adventure includes several nature walks deep into the Waitutu rainforest viewing and identifying indigenous flora and fauna – You will soon realize why this place is considered a national treasure.

Finally on reaching the South Coast, we pull into an idyllic beach location for a delicious kiwi style BBQ is served with typical great Southern hospitality. The adventure continues and the return journey allows you to experience the full force of the Wairaurahiri River's mighty current as we travel upstream to the original departure point.

Wairaurahiri Jet


Milford Sound From the Air

Milford Sound flights are the best way to reach this isolated gem. Situated on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, it is a world renowned area of extraordinary beauty. Milford Sound is actually named incorrectly a sound, it actually is a true fiord, which measures 12 km long and is up to 320 metres deep. A glacier landing, along with several other remote landings, even a gourmet lunch somewhere in the wilderness – Tell us what you want and we can arrange it! 

Scenic Helicopter into Milford Sound


Travel to Wanaka

Wanaka is a compelling mix of spectacular alpine scenery, fine food, wine, and boutique shopping. The lakeside resort town of Wanaka is surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most wild and beautiful places. On the doorstep of Mount Aspiring National Park, the spectacular walks & hikes, skiing, water sports and boating options available here delight those passionate about the outdoors. Wanaka is a destination that’s charming in all seasons. Staying around town is just as enjoyable; delight in the many delicious eateries and bustling pubs and enjoy a stroll on the lakeside walkway or a swim in the refreshing waters. 

Approximate Distance: 227 km | 141 miles   Total Driving Time: 3 hours

Accommodation: Wanaka - 2 nights

A beautiful view of Lake Wanaka
Tin Tub Luxury Lodge is situated on a stunning lake hosting mountain views in a simply spectacular Lake Wanaka location. The lodge gracefully sits in a garden setting on the hills overlooking the lake and mountains yet only a few minutes from Wanaka Township. Perfect for all seasons with its solar heated swimming pool, sauna, hot tubs (in the Lodge rooms), a gym and a drying room for the avid skier.
Tin Tub Luxury Lodge Lake Wanaka.


Guided Rob Roy Glacier Day Walk

Get away from it all and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of New Zealand’s spectacular mountain landscape on a one day trek into the Mt Aspiring National Park. You'll be immersed in the dramatic mountain and bush scenery on this trek with views of the amazing glaciers of Rob Roy directly overhead. This guided trek takes you on a wonderfully scenic journey up the Matukituki valley where you will be surrounded by mountains and true wilderness. You will be escorted by knowledgeable and friendly guides with a wealth of experience in the mountains. 

Rob Roy Glacier


Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

The road to Mt Cook is one of the most spectacular drives in New Zealand, it hugs the edge of picture perfect 'Lake Pukaki'. This exquisite opaque turquoise coloured lake is one of the most photographed in New Zealand and for good reason, its astounding colour is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles suspended in the waters of the lake and reflected out to you the viewer - The colour needs to be seen to be believed.

The Aoraki Mount Cook National Parks  landscape is a mixture of high country tussock, farmland and snow-capped mountains and includes the highest peak in Australasia - 3755m (12,319 feet). The region attracts mountain climbers, hikers and scenery fanatics. Heli skiing, heli hiking and aerial sightseeing provide visitors with amazing memories. A variety of walking trails begin in or near Mount Cook Village - most take only a couple of hours. In the bar of the local hotel, huge windows provide a perfect view of Mt Cook.

Approximate Distance: 206 km | 128 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 20 mins

​Accommodation: Mt Cook - 2 nights

A stunning view of Mount Cook

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook


Walking the Hooker Glacier Valley Track

Hooker Valley Guided Hike: 5 Hours Walking, Distance 11 km (6.8 mi)

Start your day with a guided walk up the beautiful Hooker Valley, providing breathtaking views of some of New Zealand's highest and most enthralling peaks. Enjoy a stunning 11 km (6.8 mile) trek along over mostly flat terrain (there are some rocky bits) to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier. The journey encompasses an Alpine Memorial and passes over the turbulent Hooker River by Swing Bridge to unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers. Your guide will point out the unique features of this alpine world as you enjoy lunch in the shadow of New Zealand's and Oceania's highest peak, standing at 3,754 metres (12,316 Feet)

Mount Cook Hooker Valley


Perth: Welcome to Western Australia

Welcome to Perth! Pick up your rental car, settle into your comfortable accommodation and relax in Australia's sunniest capital city.

Explore Australia's Sunniest City

With soft sandy beaches, epic skyscrapers, huge green parks, and a thriving street art scene, Perth is a fascinating town to explore. It's home to one of the biggest city parks in the world – Kings Park & Botanic Garden – right in the heart of town. It's even bigger than Central Park in New York! This is a great place to get your bearings with sweeping views of the Swan and Canning rivers.

Perth's urban villages and small bistros offer plenty of dining options: fuel up the whole family for exciting adventures along the Western Australian Coast tomorrow.

Accommodation: Perth - 2 Nights

Perth City


Perth at your Leisure

You have a free day to explore Perth any way you wish. This city has some awesome attractions to please travellers young and old. Keep kids of all ages entertained at Adventure World, a combination theme park/water park for fun in the sun. Barrel down the Kraken together, an enormous water slide which twists and turns right to the bottom. The Abyss, voted Australia’s best rollercoaster, is guaranteed to get your hearts pumping.

Perth Zoo specialises in rare, endangered species that will bring out the passion for animals in any child.

A 30 minute ferry ride from the city, Rottnest Island has sandy beaches, coral reefs and smiling Quokkas to meet. These cat-sized native creatures are known as the happiest animals in the world!

The Western Australian Shipwrecks Museum will have your kids mesmerised. They will love the galleries of relics from ships that have been wrecked along the WA coastline.


The serviced apartment-style hotel offers spacious 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments or studio rooms, which all feature balconies. Each apartment includes a fully-equipped kitchen and full laundry facilities making it suitable for both short term and long term stays. Accommodation also features cable TV, air conditioning and luxury bathrooms. Guests receive 572KBps of free WiFi per 24 hours.

Adina Perth Barrack Plaza


Perth to Cervantes: The Pinnacles Desert

Begin your adventure by travelling to the coastal fishing town of Cervantes via one of Australia’s most unique landscapes: the Pinnacles Desert.

Pinnacles Desert

Ten minutes from Cervantes, prepare for a weird and wonderful sight. The sandy yellow Pinnacles Desert is filled with rocky spires as far as the eye can see. There are thousands of these strange limestone formations, like giant stony desert mushrooms.

Settle down for the night in quiet Cervantes and get ready to meet some slippery sea lions tomorrow!

Accommodation: Cervantes - 1 Night

Approximate Distance: 198 km | 123 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 11 mins

Pinnacles Desert

Offering free Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar, Pinnacles Edge Resort is 5 minutes' walk from Cervantes Golf Course. All accommodation features cooking facilities. Some accommodation has a balcony or spa bath. The air-conditioned apartments and studios feature either a kitchenette or fully equipped kitchen. All include a desk, a flat-screen TV and a DVD player.

Pinnacles Edge Resort


Cervantes to Kalbarri via Jurien Bay

En route to Kalbarri make a stop at Jurien Bay, a favourite destination for Western Australian families. Hop on a boat and visit the Australian Sea Lions at their island home.

Jurien Bay Sea Lion Tour

The Australian Sea Lion is a protected species found only on the coast of Western Australia. Here in Jurien Bay you can visit the sea lions on & around their island breeding colony. You'll spend 1 - 1.5 hours watching the curious sea lions coming to check you out!

Don't forget to look for dolphins during your boat journey too.

Kalbarri: Where the Outback meets the Sea

Sitting at the mouth of the Murchison River, Kalbarri is known for its seaside cliffs, sand dunes and wild pelicans. Discover 400 million year old river gorges, dramatic coastal rock formations and a rainbow of wildflowers as you explore the secrets of this ancient landscape tomorrow.

Accommodation: Jurien Bay - 2 Nights

Approximate Distance: 377 km | 234 miles   Total Driving Time: 4 hours 6 mins

Sea Lion

Kalbarri Edge Resort comes alive at sunrise, coaxing guests to wake to uninterrupted views of the Coral Coast. Enjoy a five minute walk into Kalbarri town centre, The Murchison River foreshore, or a 5 minutes' drive to Kalbarri Golf Club.

Kalbarri Edge Resort


Kalbarri Sandboarding

Are you ready for an action packed morning? Take a thrilling guided 4WD trip along the sand dunes of Lucky Bay and learn how to sandboard down the slopes like a pro!

Surf the Kalbarri Sand Dunes

You can't beat the buzz of whizzing down the dunes on a sandboard. There are options for all ages: sitting down, lying down, standing up and even sand toboggans for tiny tots.

With safety gear on, your patient guide will train you on the small nursery dunes. Move to bigger slopes when you feel confident, then try out your new skills on the mighty “Superbowl”, a 280 foot high sand crater!

We guarantee you won't stop smiling the whole day Sandboarding is so much fun, and the gorgeous scenery of Lucky Bay is an awesome bonus.

Kalbarri Sandboarding


Kalbarri to Monkey Mia via Shark Bay

Continue north to Denham and the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.

Denham: Shark Bay World Heritage Area

Learn about Shark Bay’s hidden treasures at the awesome Discovery and Visitor Centre, or simply relax at Shell Beach and enjoy the sunshine.

Keep an eye out for the world’s oldest living fossils - the Hamelin Pool stromatolites, believed to be about 3.5 billion years old. This is one of only two places in the world that they can be seen!

Monkey Mia

Just north of Denham, the Monkey Mia Reserve is surrounded by red sand dunes, white sandy beaches and waters brimming with marine wildlife.

What can you see here? Wild dolphins, green turtles, dugongs, sea snakes, sharks, sting-rays, manta rays and even whales at certain times of year.

Scientists from all over the globe come to Monkey Mia to unravel the mysteries of the marine world. Tomorrow you have the chance to uncover the secrets of sea creatures great and small in this amazing location.

Accommodation: Monkey Mia  - 2 Nights

Approximate Distance: 399 km | 248 miles   Total Driving Time: 4 hours 10 mins

Shell Beach

Situated on the Western Australian coastline within the beautiful shores of Shark Bay, Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort offers beachfront accommodation. Shark Bay is home to one of the world’s best-known dolphin encounters. The property features a swimming pool, hot tub, bar, restaurant and tennis and volleyball courts. Facilities nearby the property include a general store and gift shop, and two food and beverage outlets located just a short walk from the Resort.

Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort


Monkey Mia: Sail With a Bunch of Animals

Have you ever seen a fish skipping? How about a sea-cow? Today could be your lucky day as you explore Monkey Mia Reserve on a huge, record-breaking ocean racing catamaran.

Wildsights Monkey Mia Nature Cruise

Wildsights is Australia's only wildlife sailing specialist operator, and their "Sail With A Bunch Of Animals" cruise is the best way to discover the magnificent variety of Monkey Mia marine life.

Prepare to spot dolphins, dugongs (sea-cows), turtles, sharks, sea-snakes, stingrays, sea birds, fish that skip across the surface and even flying fish occasionally!

You’ll discover the relationships between the animals; the reason for the behaviour you’re seeing; have some myths exploded and some secrets revealed. The experienced crew will share all best spots for photos so keep your camera ready.

You can laze about and relax or join in the fun of helping sail one of Australia’s ocean racing legends.


Dolphin feeding


Monkey Mia to Coral Bay

After departing from Monkey Mia, continue north and stop off to marvel at the Carnarvon blowholes which can reach up to 20m high. This natural spectacle is caused by the ocean forcing water through the sea caves and up through holes in the rock.

Coral Bay & Ningaloo Reef

Coral Bay is a marine paradise and one of Western Australia’s top family holiday spots. Named for the beautiful coral gardens lying metres from the shore, this laidback seaside location is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Ningaloo Reef is Australia's only fringing reef where the coral starts right at the water's edge. You'll spend two nights at the waterside Ningaloo Reef Resort to explore this incredible World Heritage Area.

Accommodation: Coral Bay - 2 Nights

Approximate Distance: 579 km | 360 miles   Total Driving Time: 5 hours 52 mins

Beach Western Australia

Located on the beachfront with a short stroll from the rooms to the beach, Ningaloo Reef Resort offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning, free in-house movies and a kitchenette. Each room at Ningaloo Reef Resort has either stunning ocean views or both garden and pool views. A private bathroom, TV with DVD player, and a lounge/dining area are also provided.

Ningaloo Reef Resort Coral Bay


Free day in Coral Bay

With more than 500 tropical fish species inhabiting the 300-kilometre-long reef, why not spend your day in Coral Bay by keeping them company?

Coral Bay Suggested Activities

Coral Bay has plenty of safe-water options for the whole family, and here are some suggested ways to enjoy your day (own expense):

•    Take a full day or half day snorkelling cruise of the Ningaloo Reef
•    Hire glass-bottom canoes or see-through boogie boards and search the crystal clear waters below you for cool   creatures.
•    Cruise the pristine waters on a glass-bottom boat with huge windows to enjoy the stunning coral formations
•    Join a half day eco-interaction tour to search for, and where possible snorkel with, the majestic Manta Ray.

If you prefer a lazy day, relax at the tropical gardens & pool at your accommodation, or bask on the beautiful beach - it's just 100 metres away!

Niggaloo Reef Snorkeling


Coral Bay to Exmouth

Continue along the coast to Exmouth, a small resort town on Western Australia’s North West Cape.


Exmouth is the perfect base to explore the grand landscapes of the Cape Range National Park and northern Ningaloo Marine Park. Visitors flock here from around the world to swim with whale sharks and even humpback whales!

Exmouth is also the gateway to the rugged Cape Range National Park, which features breathtaking canyons, limestone ranges and 50 kilometres of unspoiled coastline.

Accommodation: Exmouth - 2 Nights

Approximate Distance: 150 km | 94 miles   Total Driving Time: 1 hour 33 mins

Cape Range National Park

Featuring ocean or marina views from the private balcony, Novotel Ningaloo Resort overlooks Exmouth's stunning Sunrise Beach and provides an infinity pool, a restaurant and a bar. Guests have direct access to Ningaloo Reef. Ningaloo Resort is just a 5-minute drive from Exmouth Golf Club and a 10-minute drive from Cape Range National Park. All accommodations feature high ceilings, contemporary furnishings and satellite TV. Each has a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer. All apartments and villas include a 2-person spa tub.

Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort


Marine Adventures in Exmouth And Depart

Embark on an exciting ocean adventure today with Exmouth Dive Centre. Depending on the time of year you travel, here is what your day has in store:

Whale Shark Swim (March to August)

Swim and snorkel with gentle Whale Sharks, getting up close and personal with the world’s largest fish as they cruise the waters of Western Australia’s Northwest Cape.

Humpback Whale Swim (August to November)

Thousands of humpback whales grace the waters off Exmouth between June through to the end of October. You will have the opportunity to swim with them, or observe them from the comfort of the boat if you prefer.

Snorkel the Reef by Boat (rest of the year)

Snorkel the Muiron Islands and Ningaloo Reef for a holiday experience you’ll never forget. Enjoy a genuine coral reef adventure in a location unlike anywhere else in the world.

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy your 23 Day Pacific Explorer and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand and Australia as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand and in Australia! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in the Pacific. 

Whale Shark

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What Steve says about this tour: "Are you a sun-seeker who longs for the ocean? Are lakes & mountains more your thing? There's no need to choose between them with this awesome 23 day NZ & Australia itinerary! Begin with a sun-drenched self-drive journey to Western Australia's stunning beaches & reefs, where you can bask in the warm waters until your fingers and toes are wrinkled. Then fly to New Zealand for some fresh mountain air, historic cities, giant glaciers and the unforgettable beauty of Milford Sound. If you and your travel companions have differing holiday preferences, this itinerary will keep everyone happy!"
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Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price