Day 1 – USA to Auckland
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.
Day 3 – Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Auckland, ‘City of Sails’, located between two stunning harbors, enjoys a mild year-round climate Auckland is the country's most visited region and largest urban area, offering exciting activities and great shopping.
The city lies across a 7-mile wide volcanic isthmus separating two harbors. The Waitemata to the east opens into the Hauraki Gulf, and to the Pacific Ocean. The Manukau Harbour to the west offers many estuaries and surf beaches and opens to the Tasman Sea.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves
Depart Auckland on board the Great Sights motor coach for your ride south to Hamilton.
Travel through the rich Waikato area, famous for its dairy farms, kiwi fruit orchards, thoroughbred horses...and the Waitomo Caves! You will enter subterranean limestone caverns to view the Glow Worm Grotto. Surely one of the wonders of the world. Then you'll continue over the bush clad Mamaku Ranges to Rotorua.Starting Accommodation:
Ibis Rotorua (L)
Day 5 – Cultural Touring and Hangi Concert
Depart from your Rotorua city accommodation for this small group tour of Rotorua's most natural and popular geothermal parks - Wai O Tapu and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. The two parks offer a variety of thermal activity; at Wai-o-tapu the colourful hot springs are the key features along with the famous Lady Know geyser. At Waimangu Volcanic valley the guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption which blew open this now spectacular, bush covered, geothermal park. The local naturalist guide will explain the volcanic processes of Rotorua and New Zealand, while you have the opportunity to view the volcanoes, geysers, New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool, and hot springs.
Gain an appreciation of New Zealand's Maori culture with visits to settlement sites and living villages. Learn about Maori customs, traditions, history and protocols new and old, with a guided visit to Te Puia, Rotorua's premier cultural centre.
In the evening, experience the warmth of the Maori people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting.
Share in the Powhiri - an ancient ceremony of welcome before you are invited into the Pre-European Maori village nestled within the native Tawa forest. Enter the living village, as it comes alive with the sights, sounds and activity of days gone by, including facial tattooing, weaving, carving and demonstrations on how food was cooked and preserved many years ago. See, touch, take time and talk to the people as you wander through the village - you may even be invited to take part in stick games and warrior training. Witness the earth being scraped carefully away from the hangi pit by your selected Chiefs, to reveal baskets laden with your sumptuous feast, which has been cooked beneath the ground on hot stones.
At the heart of the Village, enter the ancestral Meeting House, and relax as the family entertain you with a powerful Cultural performance, including action songs, poi, stick games and the famous 'haka' - Maori War Dance.Starting Accommodation:
Ibis Rotorua (D)
Day 6 – Rotorua to Queenstown (Via Christchurch)
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Queenstown. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Nestled beside the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, at the foot of the Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown is a year round resort, where you can be as active as you want, or just leisurely enjoy the magnificent scenery.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Milford Sound Tour
An early start as you leave your hotel and coach through some of the most beautiful countryside in New Zealand. On arrival at Milford Sound, board the vessel for a leisurely cruise along the sound to the Tasman Sea. The vessel stops at various points and plenty of time is available to view waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and seals. You may even see dolphins frolic alongside the boat. A buffet lunch is included during the cruise.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Dart River Jet Boating
Transfer from Queenstown by coach to Glenorchy and the mouth of the Dart River. Here we board the 18 foot specially prepared jet boat and thread our way through a maze of channels between river flats in only inches of water. Snow capped mountains surround you as you view the World Heritage Grandeur, and waterfalls cascade into the lush bush clad valleys - a magical, untouched place.
Your guide shares his knowledge and explains all about the area, then pulls into a bank so that you may explore the area by foot. This optional 30-45 minute guided walk takes you into the native forests at an area called Paradise in the spectacular Rees valley. You will then be collected by the 4 x 4 coach to take you back to Glenorchy, before transferring back to Queenstown. Trip duration is 6 hours. Your tour today will include a souvenir picture pack, which is a mini album from your day.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Coach from Queenstown to Christchurch
Travel from Queenstown to Mount Cook via the Lindis Pass and then down the Southern Alps to the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch. Lunch is included en route.
Christchurch is the South Island's largest city, beautifully encapsulates the best of what New Zealand has to offer. This is a vibrant city of exciting festivals, art galleries, theaters and great shopping. Award-winning attractions are available within the city and the surrounding countryside. Find out what variety really means; explore our unspoiled corner of the globe, where wilderness, adventure and sophisticated urban living can be found in perfect balance.Starting Accommodation:
Ibis Christchurch (L)
Day 10 – Akaroa Tour
On this amazing tour, visit the extinct volcanoes of Banks Peninsula and view the beautiful harbors & green farmland. Make photo stops at scenic places and enjoy morning & afternoon teas and a cheese tasting at the Barry's Bay Cheese Factory.
Once at Akaroa, included in your tour is a nature and harbor cruise on the Canterbury Cat. This cruise explores the volcanic harbor and sightings may be made of the world's smallest dolphin - the Hectors Dolphin, NZ Fur Seals and numerous seabirds.
If time allows, stroll through the village and along the waterfront, taking in the quaint French charm which is unique to Akaroa. Lunch is included today, and the return to Christchurch is around 5.30pm.Starting Accommodation:
Ibis Christchurch (L)
Day 11 – Christchurch to Cairns (Via Sydney)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairns. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
The major center in Tropical North Queensland is Cairns, a popular gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The city is fringed by lush rainforests and, to the north and south, are miles of white sandy beaches and turquoise oceans teeming with marine life.Starting Accommodation:
Cairns Colonial Club
Day 12 – Great Barrier Reef Tour
This morning, transfer to the wharf for your full day excursion to the Great Barrier Reef. You will have four hours at the reef site, to explore what makes the Great Barrier Reef one of the wonders of the world.
The day trip has been designed with the water enthusiast or novice alike - snorkel gear and instruction is provided for all guests, or stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible vessel, just one meter underwater.
Introductory and certified dives are run in conjunction with snorkeling day trips at an additional cost, and guided snorkel trips with a marine biologist are also available for a nominal fee. A tempting hot and cold buffet lunch is included, as well as morning and afternoon tea on board.Starting Accommodation:
Cairns Colonial Club (L)
Day 13 – At leisure, Cairns
Cairns is the gateway to Tropical Far North Queensland, a region of contrasts and surprises. It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, palm-fringed isolated beaches, Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands, World Heritage listed rainforests and the sun burnt outback. This dynamic area serves as a diverse hub for many attractions and activities of the Tropical North. Apart from the major tourism attractions of the reef and rainforest, there are many adventure sports such as white water rafting and bungee jumping, as well as other activities such as golf and trail riding.Starting Accommodation:
Cairns Colonial Club
Day 14 – Cairns to Sydney
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Sydney. Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel.
Sunny, sexy, sophisticated – Sydney basks as the shining star of the southern hemisphere. The stunning Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are the pride and joy, but there’s much more to offer.
Sydney’s sparkling harbor is the jewel in the city’s crown. It’s flanked by golden beaches and bush land, and is bisected by one of the most famous bridges in the world. Islands sprinkle its waters, and it’s crisscrossed by all manner of craft, from water taxis and yachts to tour boats and ferries.Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Sydney City Tour
Travel over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, stopping at Milson’s Point for a great photo opportunity of the Sydney Opera House. Visit Middle Harbour before a stop is made at Manly beach with time for afternoon tea (own expense). Travel Sydney's northern coast line and see beautiful white sandy beaches.Starting Accommodation:
Day 16 – At leisure, Sydney
This day is at your leisure. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions
Day 17 – Sydney to USA
You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flights.