Highlights of Australia & New Zealand


Departure dates

From 25/09/2022 to 09/04/2023

What's included

Melbourne Laneways Walking TourGreat Barrier Reef CruiseSydney Harbour Cruise SydneyOpera House Locally Guided TourRainbow Springs and Kiwi HatcheryTamaki Maori Village, Cultural Performance & DinnerHobbiton tour and breakfastMilford Sound Nature CruisePostmasters Dinner in QueenstownDark Sky Project – Crater Experience Britten Stables (BMG).
Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver GuideLocal Specialists (Guides)Centrally located premium hotels.

Itinerary / more information

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Melbourne! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and dinner at the South Wharf riverside pub, The General Assembly. It's a great opportunity to get to know everyone in a unique setting!
  • Day 2 - Explore Melbourne on a city sights tour then discover its eclectic little laneways, arcades, caf? society and street art on a private walking tour. The rest of your day is free. You may like to take an optional experience to Phillip Island to see the famous penguin parade or maybe you'd prefer to relax or even experience some of Melbourne's well-known food and culture.
  • Day 3 - Today is free for you to explore the delights of Melbourne. You may like to take a full day optional experience to the Great Ocean Road to discover the stunning coastline and the Twelve Apostles. Or maybe treat yourself to a theatre production or indulge in some world class fare at one of the city's famous eateries.
  • Day 4 - Get excited for a bucket list experience today as you depart Melbourne to the sacred, ancient site of Uluru. Flying over dry salt lakes and red desert before your MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience on your first of many visits to Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park over the next two days. In Aussie's cultural heartland amidst the rusty red landscape, you're treated to a classic Uluru sundowner of nibbles and sparkling wine. Sit back and watch the sky ignite in red, yellow, and purple gazing at massive and powerful Uluru. At 348 metres high, 'The Rock' is taller than the Eiffel Tower and a magnificent site to behold. Take it in and connect to the land as the sun sets and the spinifex grasses blow in the red dirt. You'll conclude your epic day at the Desert Gardens Hotel for a Stays with Stories experience. This indigenous-owned hotel surrounded by desert trees and distant Uluru showcases the natural beauty of the landscape and is a beautiful spot to stay in and relax or join an Uluru BBQ Dinner Optional Experience, watching the changing desert colours and enjoying an informative star talk of the southern night sky.
  • Day 5 - Experience Uluru in a different light with magical sunrise. Savour every second as, hot cocoa in hand, the dawn makes its way across the desert and illuminates Uluru. After a grand start to the day, tour the base of Uluru with your Travel Director to learn about its ancient rock and art hear stories of the Anangu people, caretakers of this remote arid landscape. After history and natural beauty are interwoven in this memorable morning, you'll then have a bit of free time to go for a dip in the pool or browse the shops and galleries of Town Square shopping village before continuing your journey through the desert plains to Kata Tjuta. Explore on a walk amidst its towering, mindboggling domes through Walpa (meaning "wind") Gorge to a lookout. You're then treated to another stellar sunset from a different vantage point at Kata Tjuta. Without many of the crowds at Uluru, you may have the beauty of this Hidden Gem to yourself. A glass of sparkling wine with new travel mates in a beautiful setting is the perfect way to end your day.
  • Day 6 - Your last day at Uluru is off to another gorgeous start with an exclusive, private visit to the kaleidoscopic Field of Light art installation of artist Bruce Munro. Experience the darkness of night change to a rainbow-coloured dawn lit up from a field of changing colours with Uluru in the distance. You'll feel like you're walking through flowers in this totally unique Uluru sunrise experience, then as dawn continues to creep across the land, you'll end the experience watching the desert awaken over Uluru from the top of a sand dune, coffee or tea in hand You've already seen so much beauty this morning and now it's time to make some of your own as you Dive into Culture with a Local Specialist Aboriginal artist at Maruku Arts Dot Art Experience. You'll learn about Western Desert Art from Indigenous artists before painting your own piece of Australian aboriginal art as a memento. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience of creating personalized art that tells your story is an insightful and hands on way to gain a better understanding of Aboriginal culture. End your day heading to Cairns for a change of scenery and more beautiful sites.
  • Day 7 - Today you get to experience Cairns your way with a full day to explore this tropical city or head out on an Optional Experience. Why not take in the view with a balloon flight over the Atherton Tablelands, the hot air ballooning capital of the southern hemisphere? Or, explore the Daintree Rainforest diving into nature on a guided, interpretive walk learning traditional hunting and gathering skills as you search for bush tucker of mud crabs, fish, and mussels and feast on your catch. You could also see the rainforest on a historic rail journey winding across bridges and through tunnels to Kuranda village where you'll explore its colourful and interesting arts and crafts. Enjoy a different view soaring through the trees on your return trip on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Looking for a bit of wildlife on your adventure? Pair your trip to Kuranda with a visit to Hartley's Crocodile for a wetlands cruise through the ecologically significant Melaleuca wetlands, the home of the saltwater crocodile. After another incredible day exploring, share your stories and photos of the day over an optional dinner at Ochre Restaurant enjoying local fare using native ingredients.
  • Day 8 - Experience the beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Great Barrier Reef over a day of play on the water. The day begins as you board a high-speed catamaran and then it's up to you how you'd like to explore this underwater wonderland: Don your mask and fins (equipment provided) for an immersive look at this kaleidoscope of fishes and reef. Or, stay dry and explore the world's largest living reef system from the comfort of a semi-submersible craft. However you adventure, the whole way you're surrounded by beauty and insights on the local ecology and environment from your local guide. Be sure to just kick back, too. Your cruise includes an onboard tropical lunch and plenty of time to soak up the glorious Aussie sunshine. Sure to be a bucket list day, relive the highlights with your travel mates over dinner on the Cairns' waterfront at Salt House. Here you'll indulge in regional seafood highlighting fresh, local ingredients and prepared on their custom-built wood fired grill.
  • Day 9 - It's 'farewell, Cairns' and 'hello, Sydney' on the last leg of your Australia highlights tour. Check into your Sydney hotel before discovering the delightful Sydney Harbour from the water on a Dinner Cruise. Not only will you cruise past the world-famous Opera House and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you will enjoying a menu focusing on local food and wine as you're rewarded with these stellar views.
  • Day 10 - There's plenty to discover in Sydney today and you'll kick it off on a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Entering through the stage door, you'll hear the story of a building 'that changed the image of an entire country' as you learn the history of this iconic structure and appreciate its beauty from another perspective. Next up is another iconic Sydney site: Bondi Beach. Not only will you get to see the Bondi Icebergs ocean pool, dip your toes in the sand, and soak up the surfer life but you will have a local Surf Life Saver take you into the members only Bondi Surf Life Savers Club. This Be My Guest experience not only takes you behind the scenes to learn about this historic club, but you will gain an in depth understanding of the important work that these members do in saving lives on this famous beach. Your hosts will take you to a celebrated Bondi Beach restaurant for lunch with views over this stunning beach.
  • Day 11 - The bustling city of Sydney is yours to see the sights, or you might choose to venture farther out on an Optional Experience. If you're looking to get out in nature, join a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains. The first stop is at the Sydney Zoo for a fun and fascinating look at Australia's native animals including wombats, Tasmanian devils, and of course, koalas before the eucalypt haze of the Blue Mountains looming in the distance, for fresh mountain air and breathtaking scenery. Here you'll visit the famous Three Sisters rock formation--each towering at over 900 metres high--to hear the Aboriginal legend and soak in the views. Wherever you venture, there's dining options aplenty from the waterfront Circular Quay to Chinatown's famous yum cha to a rooftop bar for dazzling views of the harbour.
  • Day 12 - Now that you've gotten your bearings in beautiful Sydney, you have a final day in town for more city sightseeing. Why not begin in the famous Rocks District dating back to before the arrival of British settlers in the late 1700s for a look at the historic buildings and pubs? Or, take in culture viewing aboriginal artefacts at of one of the city's many museums. For a peaceful break among the flowers, check out the tucked away Royal Botanic Gardens. And if you're looking for more of a local scene lined with boutiques and cafes, the hot spot neighbourhoods of Paddington and Surry Hills call. You might choose to take an Optional Experience climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you love adventure and views, this climb up 134 metres above Sydney Harbour is a great way to view this wonderful city. However you chose to spend your day, you'll end by gathering with your travel companions and Travel Director for a celebratory three-course Farwell Dinner at Portside Sydney Opera House to recap your favourite sites in Australia. Cheers to an epic adventure!
  • Day 13 - Set your sights on New Zealand as you fly to Auckland, the City of Sails. You'll see how the city got its nickname as you fly in over the islands and boats in the harbour. In fact, one in four New Zealanders owns a boat! On land, Auckland is known for being built on 53 dormant volcanoes (Two of which you have the opportunity to see!) And if you're seeking a cosmopolitan vibe, Auckland will not disappoint. The city's melting pot of cultures means there are a variety of restaurants, from the glamorous to the local hot spots, for you to sample both international and New Zealand fare. Enjoy simple and classic Italian fare at Gusto at the Grand this evening joining your Travel Director for an introduction to this colourful city.
  • Day 14 - Embark on a city sightseeing tour this morning. Travel around the waterfront from central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata. This afternoon is at leisure.
  • Day 15 - Today, you'll venture through Waikato region passing through Cambridge known as 'The Town of Trees and Champions' on your way to Rotorua. On arrival embark on an orientation of the area before visiting Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a guided tour of the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, the national leader in kiwi husbandry. Learn about the work being done to save New Zealand's national bird, see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process and newly hatched kiwi chicks. This evening enjoys a traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Maori Village.
  • Day 16 - Your day starts with breakfast at Hobbiton, experience the iconic rolling hills and green pastures of the Hobbiton Movie Set as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies before continuing to Auckland to board your flight to Queenstown. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Queenstown.
  • Day 17 - Journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, over the Devil's Staircase and along to Te Anau and its lake, the largest in the South Island. Experience magnificent scenery as you continue along this alpine highway to Fiordland National Park. Enjoy numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat, Hollyford Valley lookout (Pop's view), Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel towards the iconic Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch and a cruise on this wonder of nature. Later, return to Queenstown for the evening.
  • Day 18 - Today choose from a range of optional sightseeing experiences. You could ride the world famous' Shotover Jet or enjoy a cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue lunch at the Colonel's Homestead. This evening, join your Travel Director for dinner at the Postmasters Caf?. The historic cottage was once home to the town's postmaster and has been a main street feature since the 1860s. Its old-world charm, complete with horse-hitching post, picket fence, beautiful gardens and hanging wisteria, has made it one of Arrowtown's most photographed buildings and is the perfect venue for your highlight dinner.
  • Day 19 - 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 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.
  • Day 20 - Enjoy a relaxed start before heading north through South Canterbury, visit the charming boutique village of Geraldine as you travel through to Christchurch.
  • Day 21 - This morning see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, 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 a horse stables for nearby Mona Vale Gardens and following that, the birthplace of the world-record-setting Britten V1000 motorcycle designed and built in the garage by Isabelle's late father, John Britten. The couple restored the original charm of Britten Stables and transformed it into the exquisite home that it is today. This evening, join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your new-found friends for a farewell dinner.
  • Day 22 - Your AAT Kings New Zealand holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. Your flights can depart any time today, and you will be transferred to Christchurch Airport.
  • Prices quoted valid for sale until 04 July 2022 unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
  • Price is per person and subject to availability. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
  • Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
  • Local payments, "trip kittys" or food funds may apply and may be payable direct to the supplier on arrival or to your travel agent prior to your departure. Where applicable, these payments are included in the total price quoted.
  • Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
  • Additional conditions and travel restrictions may apply. Please enquire for further details.
  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies and government charges current at time of publication.
  • Additional levies, government charges and other applicable fees may apply and are beyond our control.
  • Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.
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  • Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or Bpay.
  • These prices are a guide to the best price. Prices are correct as at 29 June 2022 and are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases. Please enquire for further details.

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