AAT Kings - Contrasts of Australia & New Zealand - Itinerary


Welcome to Melbourne!

On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director for a welcome reception and dinner - it's a great opportunity to get to know everyone in a unique setting.

Included Meals: Welcome Reception - Dinner with Wine

Accommodation: Melbourne - 2 Nights (or similar)

Crowne Plaza Hotel Melbourne is located on Spencer Street on the fringe of the CBD. Just a short stroll to Crown Casino, Docklands and South Wharf, Crowne Plaza Melbourne is a Southbank hotel ideally situated on the bank of the Yarra River.


Melbourne's Famous Hidden Laneways Tour

Join your Travel Director for a city sights tour that includes a private walk through Melbourne's famous hidden laneways. You'll discover the city's eclectic little lanes, arcades, café society, and fascinating street art. There's time afterward to explore the city on your own, enjoy an optional experience or simply relax and watch the world go by.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Laneways Melbourne


Fly to Cairns & Crocodile Adventure

This morning you will be transferred to Melbourne Airport for your flight to Cairns, Queensland. On arrival join a private wildlife journey at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Enjoy a boat cruise and encounter koalas, wallabies, birds, crocodiles and more! This evening is free for your to choose from the numerous restaurants that Cairns has to offer.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cairns - 3 Nights (or similar)

The Hilton Cairns hotel boasts a unique tropical setting, enjoying spectacular scenery surrounded by lush gardens. The hotel offers bright accommodation with spacious bathrooms and private balconies with stunning waterfront views of Trinity Inlet, the Cairns Esplanade and blue-green mountains beyond
cairns Hilton


Great Barrier Reef Cruise & Snorkel

Get ready for an experience of a lifetime - aboard a high-speed catamaran and cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel and view this natural living wonder up close (equipment provided) or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft, just one metre underwater. Enjoy a tropical buffet lunch before you return to Cairns.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch



Cairns at Leisure

Today is one of decisions: explore the Cairns Esplanade, or head up into the hills on a Scenic Railway journey to Kuranda. You’re surrounded by some of the world’s oldest rainforest as you return to base via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. If that’s not humbling enough, tonight’s dinner at Ochre Restaurant on the waterfront uses native ingredients that the world’s oldest civilisation has consumed for millennia. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine



Cairns to Sydney in time for a Dinner Cruise

This morning you'll fly to Sydney!

On arrival, there's time to relax at your hotel or explore this exciting city before boarding a Magistic Dinner Cruise. Enjoy a contemporary two course a la carte meal and the mesmerizing views of Sydney at night. You'll pass magnificent waterfront homes, beaches and parklands, and all the main harbour attractions including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Included Meals: Breakfast - Dinner with Wine

Accommodation: Sydney - 3 Nights

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth offers a luxury escape without equal. Ideally situated in the heart of central Sydney’s business and shopping districts, this hotel is conveniently located 500 metres from the nearest ferry, train and bus stops and only minutes from famous Sydney attractions like the Opera House, Circular Quay, The Rocks and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Sofitel WentworthSydney


Sydney Highlights

Discover one of the great highlights of Sydney, the beautiful Sydney Opera House with a guided tour inside this iconic building. If there was ever a place that slipped from the pages of a fairy-tale, Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay is it. Overlooking Sydney Harbour, this pocket of floral paradise is explained by a local volunteer – did you know this was once unused wasteland? Your visit provides a contribution to the ongoing maintenance of the enchanting garden. Explore Sydney’s inner west and enjoy a lunch with the locals at the pub. Then drive through Sydney's hip Inner West to Batch Brewery where you will take part in a masterclass and learn how they combine creatively inspired limited release batches with sustainable practices. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Opera House


Sydney Free Day

Today is free for you to do as you choose. Why not take a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains for fresh mountain air and stunning scenery. You’ll visit the charming village of Leura, see the famous Three Sisters rock formation and visit a Wildlife Park to get up close and personal to some of Australia’s cuddly native animals.

If you’ve always wanted to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, today could be your chance on a thrilling ‘Bridge Climb’. Dinner tonight is beside Sydney Harbour. Because can you ever get enough?

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Blue Mountains


Fly to Auckland

Haere Mai and Welcome to the 'City of Sails'

Fly across the Tasman Sea to Auckland, the City of Sails. The remainder of the day is yours to do as you please. There is plenty to see and do in Auckland. New Zealand’s largest city is located between two large harbours and 48 extinct volcanic cones scattered over the city are evidence of its volcanic past. They also provide a perfect location for viewing the city! A diversely cultural place, Auckland is a great location for marine adventures, wine tasting, forest walks, and urban sophistication. Meet your New Zealand Travel Director over dinner at your hotel this evening.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island    Island Kayaking Adventure    America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky TowerRelax on the BeachRangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine TourWhale and Dolphin SafariMuriwai Surf Beach

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Accommodation: Auckland - 2 nights

Auckland Viaduct Harbour
A lavish hideaway resting high above the bustling night life of the city streets below. A place of understated luxury, bursting with warmth, where those seeking excitement can revel in the elegant sophistication of this uniquely intimate refuge. Centrally located surrounded by excellent eateries and nightlife.
The Grand by SkyCity


Auckland Sightseeing Tour

Embark on a city sightseeing tour this morning to Mission Bay. Keep your camera at the ready to capture spectacular panoramic views of the skyline, sprawling North Shore and Waitemata Harbour from Bastion Point and Michael Joseph Savage Memorial. Spend the afternoon as you wish.

Meals: Breakfast

Mission Bay


Auckland - Rotorua

Cute and cuddly, NZ’s national bird, the Kiwi, is also endangered. Go behind the scenes on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery to learn how breeding programs are helping the population thrive. This evening your dinner is prepared in an earthen hangi at the Mitai Māori Village. It’s an eye-opening (and tasty) introduction to Māori culture.

Meals: Breakfast and Highlights Dinner

Accommodation: Rotorua - 1 night

This 4.5 star deluxe property is perfectly situated next to mystical Lake Rotorua and is just a brief stroll from the City centre, close to many restaurants and bars. The hotel offers world class residential style accommodation that is suitable for those travelling on business and for leisure. Restaurant Nikau offers a good range of evening menu choices, from the Restaurant's famous Nikau Burger to fine dining options, while the Brassiere Poolside Restaurant is the perfect place to start your day with an alfresco style breakfast beside the geothermal heated pool.
Millenium Hotel Rotorua


Fly to Queenstown

Spend time at leisure this morning or consider an optional experience. You could visit Te Puia to meet the local Māori community for an introduction to their gift from the gods – the bubbling geysers, mud pools and thermal springs of Rotorua. Later, you’ll fly to Queenstown

**(airfare is not included and must be booked in addition to this itinerary - please contact us to confirm the most up to date details).

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Queenstown - 3 nights


Millennium Hotel Queenstown is only minutes from Queenstown central shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities and offers a peaceful haven from the variety of activities in this lively city. With many guest rooms and suites to choose from the centre boasts a gym, sauna, spa, bar and restaurant, feature contemporary city-inspired designed. Many of our rooms also offer scenic views of the city and mountains, providing the perfect backdrop to your journey.

Millennium Hotel Queenstown


Milford Sound Scenic Cruise - Fiordland

Journey over the Devil’s Staircase and along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and its lake, the largest in the South Island. Travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch while you cruise on this wonder of nature. Return to Queenstown this evening.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Milford Sound


Queenstown at Leisure

Sleep in, find a rooftop wine bar for lunch, take a stroll around the lake… wherever you wander, meet your fellow travellers for a Highlight Dinner at 1860s Postmasters Cottage.

Recommended Alternative Excursions are:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungy JumpExplore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon      Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise  Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

Meals: Breakfast and Highlights Dinner

Jet Boat Queenstown


Queenstown to Lake Tekapo

Today you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, traveling through Central Otago to the Mackenzie region with time along the way to stop in Arrowtown then Cromwell, situated next to the pristine Lake Dunstan and taste delicious stone fruit at a local orchard. Continue over the dramatic Lindis Pass before reaching the Starlight Highway and Tekapo's world renowned UNESCO Aoraki McKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. This afternoon enjoys the views of Mt Cook before heading to the iconic Church of the Good Shephard. This evening, see amazing constellations that can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, including the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way. Your local specialist expert astronomy guide will enhance your knowledge and understanding of our Southern Skies as you admire and ponder the possibilities through our powerful optical telescopes.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Accommodation: Tekapo - 1 night


Peppers Bluewater Lake Tekapo is the perfect place to explore the Lake, Mount Cook and the Mackenzie District. Surrounded by the breath-taking beauty of the Southern Alps, you’ll have access to numerous activities in the area such as kayaking, horse riding, trout fishing and enjoying the clear night skies. Peppers Bluewater hotel rooms are beautifully appointed with a range of options for couples and groups. 


Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

Ever wondered what life on the land is like? Meet Angie and Stan Taylor, who have farmed this countryside for more years than they care to remember. The stories you’ll hear over lunch...

Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Lunch

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 nights

Canterbury Plains
The Distinction Hotel is a brand new hotel opening in 2019 in the revitalised heart of Christchurch and Cathedral Square. Centrally located and a short stroll to the Botanical Gardens, New Regent Street, the Arts Centre, and Avon River. This luxury Christchurch hotel offers 179 elegant, air-conditioned hotel rooms including 3 floors of brand new Superior Rooms and Suites.
Distinction Hotel Christchurch



Community spirit is strong in Christchurch; not only has the city rebuilt since the devastating 2011 earthquakes, but it’s thriving, with architectural innovations like the world’s first church built of cardboard. Take in the sights with an in-the-know local. 

This evening join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Christchurch City Centre


Bon Voyage

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy this tour and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand 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! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast



Included Highlights 

  • Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Colonial Tramcar Restaurant in Melbourne
  • Be introduced to some native Australian animals at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
  • Tjapukai ‘Be My Guest’ Dinner with local host, welcome to country ceremony/creation story, indigenous dance and sounds of the didgeridoo
  • Take a walk beneath the famous sails of Sydney Opera House
  • Explore Auckland’s city sights
  • Experience Maori culture 
  • Spot a kiwi bird in Rotorua
  • Discover spectacular Milford Sound on a scenic lunch cruise
  • Explore the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown
  • View the waters of Lake Tekapo
  • Stargazing at UNESCO Aoraki McKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
  • Visit a working sheep farm

Premium Inclusions

  • Private car airport transfers on arrival and departure 
  • Airport meet & greet on arrival


  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Quality accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach


  • 16 Full Breakfasts
  • 2 Lunches
  • 1 Dinner
  • 5 Dinners with Wine
  • 2 Highlight Dinners
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
  • 2 Be My Guest Lunches

** Required Internal Flights: are to be purchased in order to fulfil the itinerary and are NOT included in the land content price - please contact us to confirm these details and any other itinerary updates

  • Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 12:00pm into Melbourne Airport
  • Day 3: Melbourne to Cairns VA1291 (*Required Internal Flights)
  • Day 6: Cairns to Sydney VA1418 (*Required Internal Flights)
  • Day 9: Sydney to Auckland QF143 (*Required Internal Flights)
  • Day 12: Auckland to Queenstown NZ623 (*Required Internal Flights)
  • Day 18: Flights to depart any time from Christchurch Airport
  • Airline schedules may change at short notice. Please consider possible flight disruption when booking your flights.​


18 Day Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

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What Tracy says about this tour: A bit city, a bit country; sometimes beachy, sometimes mountainous; in the company of locals and Indigenous guides – this epic Melbourne to Christchurch tour is diverse and dynamic.
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