Australia or New Zealand? Do both! There’s never been a better time to get a taste of the world Down Under, and on this adventure, you’ll do so via trains, canopy cable cars, and private yachts. There’ll be no lack of sights to see as you explore Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, walk around iconic Uluru, visit Aboriginal villages, and explore ancient rain forests. Add in an overnight wilderness cruise and you’ve got yourself a trip that memories are made of.
- Service Level : Upgraded
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Discover Moment: Cairns
Your Discover Moment: Franz Josef. Private yacht sailing on the Sydney harbour and Sydney orientation walk. Kuranda Scenic Railway to Queensland rainforest with canopy tour on a Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Aboriginal dreamtime walk through the Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge. Sunrise interpretive walk at Uluru. Walk through the Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta. Melbourne orientation walk and dinner on the historic Colonial tramcar restaurant. Visit scenic Bridal Veil Falls. Dinner cruise on Raglan harbour. Visit a geothermal Maori village with a local guide. Enjoy traditional Maori hangi feast and entertainment. Orientation walk in Christchurch. Ride the scenic TranzAlpine Train. Queenstown gondola ride. Wilderness day cruise (winter) or overnight wilderness cruise (summer) on Doubtful Sound. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Learn about Aboriginal and Maori myths and traditions with local experts, ride the rails on 2 historic trains, explore an ancient rainforest by foot and canopy cable car, revitalize yourself in geothermal pools, enjoy an overnight cruise through remote Doubtful Sound in search of wildlife, cover more ground with included internal flights
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Itinerary Notes:Please note that due to seasonal weather the itinerary on Day 20 in Doubtful Sound varies from winter to summer months. The winter itinerary runs for all departures between June 4 - September 20. The remaining departures will follow the summer itinerary.
- Group Leader Description:This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
- Group Size Notes:Max 16, Avg 12.
- Meals Included:21 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
- Meals:Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the M/S Expedition or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
- Transport:Mini-bus, flight, train, boat, walking.
- About our Transportation:Our vans are mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver.
The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt while riding in our vehicles.
- Local Flights:All internal flights are included in this trip (including 1 flight between Australia and New Zealand) - Your CEO will give you your ticket on the day of flight.
- Solo Travellers:We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Comfort hotels (19 nts), local holiday home (1 nt), cruise boat (1 nt).
- My Own Room Exceptions:Day 20 Doubtful Sound cruise
- About Accommodation:Doubtful Sound Eco cruise
Designed along the lines of a traditional scow, the Fiordland Navigator blends old world charm with modern comforts that include spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon/fully licensed bar and an observation lounge. As you cruise through some of the fiord’s most stunning scenery, our knowledgeable nature guides will provide commentary ensuring you miss nothing, be it the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals or rare penguins you might encounter.
After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, you can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat or to simply relax onboard. For the more adventurous (or very brave), there’s even a chance to go swimming!
In the evening, enjoy a delicious three course buffet dinner prepared by our onboard chef and served in the dining saloon. Mingle with fellow travellers, savour some of the fine wines at our licensed bar and if the skies are clear in the evening, spend some time on the upper deck gazing at the stars.
Kick off the next day with a hearty cooked breakfast and spend the rest of the morning exploring other parts of the fiord. You then return to Deep Cove for the trip back to Manapouri.
-Three-course buffet dinner & cooked breakfast
-Includes kayaking and tendercraft (small boat) activities
-Private cabins with ensuite bathrooms and limited quad share bunk - style compartments
-Spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge
The Fiordland Navigator is a purpose built vessel designed to replicate a traditional trading scow and is perfectly suited to cruising the fiords.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:An arrival transfer is not included on this trip. Please make your own way to the joining hotel. A group meeting will be held by your CEO this evening. Please check the notice board in the hotel lobby for the time and details.
It is very easy to make your way from the airport to the hotel. Options are as follows:
By Taxi: $40-50, approximately 15km and shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.
By Shuttle Bus: $16 pp. Buy tickets at the 'Sydney Airporter' bus desk between exit gates B & C. Alternatively, there is the "Airport Connect' service in the same location. Book tickets online at www.airportconnect.com.au/
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office and after office hours emergency number
From outside Australia: +61 432 705 621
From within Australia: 0432 705 621
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:The max luggage allowance on domestic flights within Australia is 20 kgs, 1 checked bag and 1 carry on per person.
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend the use of a well-labeled duffel bag, soft bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). Suitcases or heavy luggage are not recommended for the health of the CEO! A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential as you will have the chance to walk and hike in different national parks during these trips. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
For days in the outdoors, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days spent hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.
- Packing List:-Documents
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•AUD & NZD cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Flashlight or headlamp
•Camera, memory card(s) and charger
•Electricity plug adapter
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
- Laundry:Laundry can be done at least once a week while on tour - most cities have laundromats where you can buy soap and wash your laundry in coin-operated machines. Your CEO will advise you along the trip where you will be able to do your laundry.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements as some nationalities need to show proof of an onward travel from New Zealand at the time entry.
A valid passport and visa is required. For some nationalities, the visa can be issued by your Travel Agency or the Australian Embassy via Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
To apply for an ETA online, travellers must hold a passport from one of the following countries:
- Brunei - Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- United State
More information about the ETA and how to apply can be found here:
If you do not hold a passport from any of the above countries, you cannot apply for an ETA online. You may be eligible to apply for an ETA through a travel agent, airline or an Australian visa office. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for other types of electronic visitor visas. See: www.immi.gov.au
Important notice for passport holders from 60 visa waiver countries, including the UK, Canada, USA, and EU:
Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
From 1 October 2019, passport holders from 60 visa waiver countries travelling by air or cruise and entering New Zealand without a visa (tourists) will need to hold an ETA before travelling to New Zealand. You will be able to apply for an ETA from July 2019.
For more information and full list of eligible countries please visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/nzeta
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:The Australian currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD) and currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in both countries and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's) and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in New Zealand in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate.
Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Tipping:It is not customary in New Zealand or Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) - do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip - but it certainly isn't expected.
- Optional Activities:Great Barrier Reef
- Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling from Cairns (174AUD per person)
- Skydiving (310-400AUD per person)
Great Ocean Road
- Great Ocean Road Day excursion (144-195AUD per person)
- Dolphin and Whale Watching Boat Excursion (160NZD per person)
- Surf Lessons (89NZD per person)
- Bone Carving (89NZD per person)
- Stand Up Paddle Lesson (79NZD per person)
- Hot Springs (30-50NZD per person)
- Franz Josef Quad Bike (65-160NZD per person)
- Helicopter Hike (459-539NZD per person)
- Health:Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
- Trip Specific Safety:Heed the caution signs at all times in National Parks and other remote areas in New Zealand and Australia.
Between November and March, there is extreme heat with temperatures averaging between 43-46°C in the middle of Australia, especially around Uluru. This can lead to heat exhaustion and potentially become very dangerous. Be sure to drink plenty of water and replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks, coconut water or water mixed with electrolyte powder packets. Our CEOs have been trained in first aid and are well-versed in the risks associated with this heat.
As a result of this heat some included walks may be closed in the interests of travellers health. Certain walks around central Australia including Uluru and Kata Tjuta are closed when weather is forecast to exceed 36°C. During these hot months, we will endeavour to offer all walks early in the day to avoid the heat. Our CEOs will monitor the weather conditions to gauge the safety of any included walks and may need to call off a given day's walk due to extreme heat.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEO has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
- Travel Insurance:Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- Minimum Age:You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
- Max Pax:Max 16, avg 12
- Group Leader:Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Itinerary (22 days)
Arrive at any time.
Explore Sydney Harbour and walk to the iconic Opera House and the Rocks area. Enjoy an early lunch then board a sleek former America's Cup racing yacht for a thrilling sailing adventure on one of the world’s finest harbours.
Fly to Cairns then travel up the coastal road to Mossman Gorge. Take an interpretive walk with a local Aboriginal guide and learn about traditional ways of life and survival techniques in the Daintree Rainforest.
On Day 4, opt to go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.
Return to Cairns, with free time to enjoy this tropical city.
Take an excursion to the UNESCO-designated Queensland rainforest on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and explore the canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Catch a flight to Uluru and witness the incredible sunset with a glass of bubbly.
Visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and take the informative Mala Walk around part of Uluru's base.
Enjoy another sunrise over Uluru, then take a walk in Kata Tjuta National Park and view the beautiful red-domed rock formations. Continue to Alice Springs for the night.
Catch a flight and arrive in the afternoon. This evening, board the historic colonial tramcar diner for a fun meal while cruising around the city streets.
Enjoy a free day with option to explore the Great Ocean Road or the many wineries in the area.
Fly to Auckland, New Zealand and enjoy an orientation walk with the CEO.
Enjoy a free day with option to embark on a dolphin and whale watching boat excursion (seasonal) or explore the city.
Take the scenic route to an artsy beach town, visiting a working eco farm en route for lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy a cruise around Raglan harbour including a light afternoon snack. Free evening in Raglan. Opt to try bone carving with local Maori, surf lessons, stand-up paddleboard lessons, sea kayaking, or simply explore the arts and crafts shops.
Enjoy breakfast and a free morning in Raglan. Drive to Rotorua, visiting scenic Bridal Veil Falls en route, and opt to enjoy a dip in the geothermal hot pools at the hotel. This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village to learn about local myths, and legends while dinning on traditional Hangi cuisine.
This morning visit Whakarewarewa, a Maori village with a local guide who explains the geothermal aspects of the region and enjoy a light lunch of corn cooked in a natural hot pool and a traditional hangi pie. Fly to Christchurch and take an orientation walk with the CEO.
Enjoy one of the world’s great scenic train trips on the TranzAlpine Train to New Zealand's glacier region.
Options are plentiful, choose from a helicopter hike, ice walking on the glacier, or soaking in the hot pools amongst the stunning scenery.
Travel through the rugged rainforest along the west coast to Queenstown. Enjoy an evening gondola ride with spectacular views of the city and option to eat dinner at a skyline restaurant.
Embark on an amazing wilderness cruise through Doubtful Sound with the chance to see dolphins, fur seals, birds and penguins and an option to kayak. We spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins with time to relax on deck, stargazing and enjoying some New Zealand wine.
Cruise back to port, enjoying the stunning views then return to Queenstown for the final night.
Depart at any time.