Discover the highlights of Australia and New Zealand on this epic adventure, exploring vibrant cities, breathtaking natural wonders, and unique cultural traditions. Experience an indigenous welcome in Sydney and witness the dazzling marine life of the Great Barrier Reef on an optional snorkelling or diving excursion. Enjoy a Maori feast in Rotorua, glide through majestic, wildlife-rich fjords, and end your journey in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.

Trip highlights

Fiordland National Park Overnight Wilderness Cruise, Spend an afternoon cruising dreamy Fiordland National Park, one of the most stunning and pure places on the planet. Steep cliffs and inspiring waterfalls serve as the ideal backdrop for the dolphins, penguins, seals, and thousands of birds that compete for centre stage – all on a nature-viewing eco-expedition you'll remember forever.

James Cook University Research Aquarium, Exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers, go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the research aquarium at James Cook University, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic grantee, Dr. Jamie Seymour. Get an up-close look at some of these creatures, and hear about the latest research here.

Meet a Maori Elder, Enjoy a private welcome in Tamaki Village from a Maori elder. Learn about the community’s traditions and myths, as well about the history of the Maori people and their connection to the Rotorua landscape.

Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise, Enjoy a private cruise and Aussie BBQ whilst navigating the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour.

Itinerary - 23 Days

Day 1 Sydney

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Sydney

Enjoy a traditional welcome ceremony this morning, followed by a guided tour of the historic Rocks district. This waterfront neighbourhood marks the spot of the first European settlement in Australia, and holds a spiritual significance for the area’s indigenous people. In the afternoon, board a private yacht for a sunset cruise and barbecue dinner on the Sydney Harbour, taking in views of the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

Day 3 Sydney/Port Douglas

Fly to Cairns and travel up the scenic coastal road to Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Embark on an interpretive walk with an indigenous guide at the lush Mossman Gorge, learning about the traditional ways of life of the region’s Kuku Yalanji people. Continue to the resort town of Port Douglas, our home for the next two nights.

Day 4 Port Douglas

Enjoy a day of leisure in charming Port Douglas. Stroll the town’s boutique-lined streets and idyllic beaches, and opt to go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Day 5 Port Douglas/Cairns

Return to the tropical city of Cairns and visit James Cook University for a behind-the-scenes tour of its research aquarium, founded by marine biologist and National Geographic Grantee Dr. Jamie Seymour. Get an up-close view of some of the aquarium’s fascinating creatures, from sea snakes to box jellyfish, and hear about the latest aquatic research from Jamie or one of his colleagues.

Day 6 Cairns

Spend the day on your own in beautiful Cairns, relaxing at the beach or setting out on an optional excursion. Choose to go scuba diving or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, which teems with thousands of marine species, or enjoy spectacular views along the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Day 7 Cairns/Uluru

Catch a flight to Uluru, in the heart of the Australian outback. Visit the Cultural Centre of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and learn about the beliefs and customs of the Anangu, the area’s traditional indigenous owners. Cap off the day with a glass of sparkling wine as you witness a crimson sunset over the fabled Uluru monolith.

Day 8 Uluru

Awake at dawn to take in an unforgettable sunrise over Uluru, then delve into a full-day exploration of the ancient, red-hued landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Set out on a guided walk around the base of the monolith, gaining insight into its sacred significance to the Anangu. Later, make your way to Kata Tjuta, Uluru’s neighbouring natural wonder. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore.

Day 9 Uluru/Melbourne

Enjoy one last sunrise over spectacular Uluru before catching a flight to Melbourne, known as the cultural capital of Australia.

Day 10 Melbourne

Spend the day exploring vibrant Melbourne. Set out on an optional excursion on the Great Ocean Road, one of the most picturesque coastal drives in the world; visit some of the region’s top wineries; or wander the city’s narrow cobbled lanes and alleys, discovering quirky cafés and colourful murals.

Day 11 Melbourne

Embark on a food tour of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller. Home to many thriving immigrant communities, Melbourne has long been considered one of Australia’s gastronomic hubs. On this foodie walk through the city’s famed laneways, we’ll enjoy lunch at three popular venues and experience a range of flavours and cuisines. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 12 Melbourne/Auckland

Fly to Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, and enjoy free time in the city.

Day 13 Auckland

Take an orientation walk in Auckland, one of the most multicultural cities in the Southern Hemisphere. We’ll then catch a ferry to beautiful Waiheke Island, a haven of world-class vineyards and idyllic beaches. Visit two wineries to learn about New Zealand's burgeoning wine industry and the history of viticulture in the country while sampling some of the local blends.

Day 14 Auckland/Rotorua

Drive to the lakeside town of Rotorua, situated over an active geothermal zone and known for its volcanic features and rich Maori heritage. Stop en route at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and take a boat ride through this spectacular underground realm to see thousands of flickering glowworms light up in the dark.

Day 15 Rotorua

Spend a free day in fascinating Rotorua. Opt to explore a geothermal park, walking past bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools, or go on a white-water rafting excursion. This evening, visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome ceremony; then sit down for an exclusive talk with a Maori elder, learning about the community’s traditions, myths, and legends. Later, we’ll witness a captivating performance of Maori folklore while dining on an array of traditional foods prepared in a hangi, or underground oven.

Day 16 Rotorua/Christchurch

Enjoy time at leisure this morning before catching a flight to Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. In the afternoon, meet with a local expert for a walking tour designed specially for National Geographic travellers, exploring the city’s lesser-known paths and learning about Rekindle, a social enterprise that offers workshops on resourcefulness.

Day 17 Christchurch/Franz Josef

Board the TranzAlpine train—one of the world’s most scenic rail routes—for a breathtaking journey through verdant plains, beech forests, and majestic, misty mountains. Disembark at Arthur’s Pass—the highest pass in the Southern Alps—and continue on a private vehicle to a rainforest lodge near the town of Franz Josef, our home for the next two nights.

Day 18 Franz Josef

Discover the natural wonders of the Franz Josef area on your own today. Opt to take a helicopter up to the stunning Franz Josef Glacier and hop out for an unforgettable hike on the jagged ice; embark on a guided interpretive walk that follows a riverbed along the glacier’s retreat; soak up in natural hot pools surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery; and more.

Day 19 Franz Josef/Queenstown

Set out towards Queenstown on a drive along the South Island’s magnificent west coast. Stop at tranquil Lake Matheson, where, on a clear day, you can capture a postcard-perfect image of New Zealand’s highest peaks reflected in the water. Continue to Queenstown, pausing for short walks through the rainforest and visits to picturesque waterfalls.

Day 20 Queenstown/Fiordland National Park

Discover the glacially carved wilderness of Fiordland National Park on a cruise. Glide past shimmering waterfalls and towering cliffs, and look out for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and little blue penguins with our naturalist guides. Depending on the season, we’ll spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins, enjoying time to relax on deck and watch the stars.

Day 21 Fiordland National Park/Queenstown

Rise early for a wildlife viewing cruise along the pristine fjord. Then navigate back to Queenstown and spend the rest of the day at leisure in this fun-loving lakeside town, known as the adventure capital of the world.

Day 22 Queenstown

The day is yours to explore Queenstown. Choose to go bungee jumping at the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site; Cruise lake Wakatipu on a historic steamer; experience a thrilling jet boat ride; or visit a local winery to sample the region’s award-winning vintages. This evening, enjoy a cable car ride to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic vistas of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

Day 23 Queenstown

Depart at any time.

Show More

You are leaving this Website and being directed to an External Website.

Please read the privacy policy of the External Website to understand how your personal information will be treated.

GO NOW

You are leaving this Website and being directed to an External Website.

Please read the privacy policy of the External Website to understand how your personal information will be treated.

GO NOW