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


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 Pacific Hotel Cairns boasts a magnificent location, personalised service and award winning hospitality.  The hotel is ideally situated on the picturesque Esplanade overlooking Trinity Harbour and the Reef Fleet Terminal and just a short walk to the night markets, convention centre and the Esplanade Lagoon.


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 a free day to do as you choose.

A great option is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to Kuranda, be amazed as you travel over and through the World Heritage rainforest, explore quaint Kuranda village, and later board the Kuranda Scenic Rail for this historic rail journey.

If you’d prefer to spend the day relaxing by your hotel pool or sitting back at a local café you can do that too!

In the evening rejoin your travelling companions for a Be My Guest dining experience at Tjapukai Cultural Park. Hear Dreamtime stories, witness a high impact dance performance and enjoy dinner with your localhost to the sounds of the didgeridoo.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Dinner


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

As one of Australia's largest hotel, we are a self-rated 4.5 star hotel with 648 rooms including 17 suites, we have what matters most to you like stylish rooms and a comfortable bed. Located in Sydney's Central Business District and overlooking the spectacular Darling Harbour, you'll be surrounded by all of Sydney's major entertainment and shopping districts including Pitt Street Mall and Queen Victoria Building with The Rocks, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House just a 15 minute walk away! Hyatt Regency Darling Harbour
Hyatt Regency Darling Harbour


Sydney Highlights

Discover the highlights of beautiful Sydney with a driving city tour.

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 Newtown 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


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 


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 Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Accommodation: Auckland - 2 nights

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

City 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


Auckland - Rotorua

Today, you’ll venture through the King Country region, which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s.

On arrival in Rotorua, embark on an orientation of the area before visiting Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Discover native flora that grows around the crystal-clear mineral water springs and you might even spot a kiwi or two!

This evening, enjoy a traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Māori Village.

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


Queenstown at Leisure

Explore Queenstown your way! Go wild with a jet boat ride or white water rafting. For the less adventurous there is a wine and garden tour, play a round of golf, or just enjoy wandering through the town and botanic gardens. 

This evening join your Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed, set in the historic Railway Shipping Office built-in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, is the perfect venue for your Highlights dinner this evening.

Recommended Alternative Excursions are:

Routeburn Day Walk Highest Bungy Jump Explore 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


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

Enjoy a relaxed start before heading north through South Canterbury, visit the charming boutique village of Geraldine as you travel through to Christchurch.

New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island, Christchurch sits on the very edge of the Canterbury Plains and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 nights

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



This morning see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. It is the world’s only cathedral made substantially of cardboard!

After a Christchurch city sights tour, you’re invited to a Be My Guest morning tea at the home of Tim and Isabelle Weston, owners of Britten Stables. Formerly horse stables for nearby Mona Vale Gardens and following that, the birth place of the worldrecord- setting Britten V1000 motorcycle designed and built in the garage by Isabelle's late father, John Britten. The couple restored the original charm of The Britten Stables and transformed it into the exquisite home that it is today.

This evening join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Morning Tea, Farewell Dinner


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
  • Meet a Bondi Life Saver for an insight into Australian beach culture join them for a traditional Aussie lunch.
  • Explore Auckland’s city sights
  • Experience Maori culture at Tamaki Family Marae
  • 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
  • Enjoy selected New Zealand and Australian wines with all hotel dinners


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


  •  17 Full Buffet Breakfasts
  •  2 Lunches
  •  1 Be My Guest Lunch
  •  2 Dinners
  •  4 Dinners with Wine
  •  1 Highlight Dinner
  •  1 Farewell Dinner

** 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 noon into Melbourne Airport
  • Day 3 – Melbourne to Cairns: VA1291
  • Day 6 – Cairns to Sydney: VA1418
  • Day 9 – Sydney to Auckland: VA141
  • Day 12 – Auckland to Queenstown: NZ623
  • Day 17 - Depart Christchurch any time


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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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