Day 1 – Welcome to Queenstown
On arrival to Queenstown, you will pass through immigration, collect your luggage and clear customs before making your way to the arrivals hall.
Located in the alpine region of the South Island, Queenstown is built around glittering Lake Wakatipu and is set in amid notable mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak, Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill. The land is one of mountain ranges, canyons, rivers, lakes, rain forest, grassland and fresh mountain air – a region that is a natural marvel to behold. In town, night life is electric with romantic cafes and restaurants dotting the scenic water front. Fantastic shopping and spas are also in ample supply around the city. Additionally, the gondola up the mountain slope provides breath-taking views of Queenstown.Starting Accommodation:
Day 2 – Milford & Glaciers Heli Experience
The Milford Sound and the Glaciers excursion takes you from Queenstown on a journey over the rugged Otago high country and out over the Southern Alps where the landscape dramatically changes. U-shaped valleys carved by glaciers millions of years ago are lined with primeval native-beech forests. High alpine lakes glisten like jewels as you soar towards Milford Sound. Upon reaching Milford Sound, take in the scale and beauty of the enormous sea cliffs and the many waterfalls that pour out from the valleys. On the return leg to Queenstown, touch down on a glacier. The helicopter is then turned off for you to enjoy the calm silence of this incredible alpine environment.Starting Accommodation:
Day 3 – Dart River Wilderness Safari
Transfer from Queenstown by coach to Glenorchy and the mouth of the Dart River to board the 18-foot specially prepared jet boat. The Wilderness Safari takes you on a spectacular 90-minute jet-boat journey through the Dart's ever-changing braided river system where you'll be surrounded by snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys and waterfalls.
The tour includes an easy guided 30- to 40-minute walk through the 'Heritage Trail' at Paradise where your knowledgeable guide will enliven your walk with an informative and entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest, the unique flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating Maori and colonial history of the area. You'll also journey by coach via a scenic back-road route, while hearing stories about the surrounding countryside and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including 'The Lord of the Rings'.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Travel to Christchurch via Mount Cook
Your driver-guide will collect you from your Queenstown hotel to embark on your privately guided drive. The tour begins with a scenic drive through the spectacularly rugged Kawarau gorge where the mighty Kawarau River follows the road through precipitous bluffs and rock-strewn hillsides. Pass through Cromwell, in the true heart of the Central Otago wine and fruit-growing region - a quick stop at one of the local fruit stalls is a must. Traveling along the shores of Lake Dunstan into the Lindis country, one gets a sense of just how remote and sparsely populated the area is. Past Omarama, the first of two large alpine-fed lakes appears into view with Mount Cook, or Aoraki as it is known to the local Maori, forming an impressive backdrop.
Stop at the Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook with time for lunch at your own expense, and optional activities such as scenic flights (additional cost and weather dependent). The journey then continues through the Mackenzie Country and down onto the fertile Canterbury Plains. On arrival into Christchurch, the Garden City and New Zealand's second largest city, enjoy a brief orientation tour of the city center before being dropped at your city accommodations.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Arthur's Pass National Park and Tranz Alpine
You will be transferred from your city hotel to Christchurch station to board the famous TranzAlpine Train. Sit back and relax during a train journey that will take you across the Canterbury Plains, wind its way through the stunning Waimakariri Gorge and pass over massive viaducts and through tussock-covered high country before heading into the Southern Alps.
You are met at Arthur's Pass by your guide who will take you through the National Park, where short walks may be taken to experience forests, rivers and mountain vistas. Following the old stage-coach route, travel down the spectacular Otira Gorge, testament to the road builders of the 1860s. As the tour travels through the high country, a stop can be made to view Cave Stream, where it burrows underground in an area of limestone cliffs and gorges, craggy outcrops and a setting of surrounding mountains. The incredible Castle Hill rocks, unique weather-worn and rain-smoothed outcrops of limestone are seen from the highway. The more adventurous may wish to walk to the top of the rocks for magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. The return journey to Christchurch will include a visit to the Waimak Gorge where the Waimakariri River enters the vast Canterbury Plains. Lunch is included during today's excursion.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Travel to Melbourne
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Melbourne. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Crowne Plaza Melbourne
Day 7 – Koalas and Kangaroos, In The Wild
See Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD! Interact with wild animals in their natural habitats on this full-day, fully-inclusive, private eco-tour, led by an experienced Wildlife Guide.
Walk through natural bush-land to meet wild koalas, then learn about each one's history and social life from your Wildlife Guide and Koala Researcher. Help create new koala habitat for future generations of baby koalas by participating in the Make a Home for Clancy Koala project. Join wild mobs of Kangaroos on the plains and in open forests. Their natural instinct is to flee humans, but with care we often get close enough to take photographs and observe their complex social life. The natural environments we visit are also home to parrots, fairy-wrens, emus, honeyeaters, possums, wallabies and lizards. Your Wildlife Guide will help you find and understand them, and show you how to look for wildlife wherever you travel in Australia.
On this tour you are saving wild koalas. Your tour cost includes a donation to the Koala Clancy Foundation to plant a koala tree on your behalf. As the Australian environment becomes hotter and drier, You Yangs koalas are seeking gum-tree forest close to water - but around the You Yangs that forest ceased to exist many years ago. Koala Clancy Foundation is partnering with farmers to plant millions of trees back along the rivers so that koalas have a safe place to live and breed in the coming years. Your contribution is appreciated - you cover the cost of a tree and someone to plant it.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Travel to Adelaide
Takeoff to Adelaide and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Travel to Kangaroo Island & Island Life Shared Day Tour
Takeoff to Kangaroo Island and continue on the next stage of your adventure.
Tour Kangaroo Island in style in a 4WD air-conditioned vehicle with a naturalist guide. This morning you fly to Kangaroo Island - wear appropriate casual clothing, as you are met on arrival by your guide to go straight into the first day touring. Today you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Island Life – to spend some time at a slower pace, a more connected and grounded place. This is a chance to learn about the Kangaroo Island community, the environment and the landscape.
Head out through Wisanger - past salt lakes first exploited by sealers in the 1800s’. Travel the back roads - seeking out wallabies, kangaroos and other creatures in the bush. Stop for a home-baked morning tea at Emu Bay - a long white sand beach which is the center of community life through the summer and a welcome slice of solitude in winter. Travel inland to Cygnet River - the largest drainage basin on the Island which morphs from a dry river bed in summer to a broad flood-out in winter. This region provides habitat for koalas, many parrots and bush birds in a setting first settled in 1819.
Learn about the history of the Eucalyptus oil industry - perhaps the most original Australian product. Visit a private property amongst the redgum forest and enjoy a barbeque lunch. After lunch check out the feeding and breeding habitat of the critically endangered Kangaroo Island glossy black cockatoo before continuing to Seal Bay. At Seal Bay take a private guided tour into the colony of Australian sea-lions where you can learn about the feeding and breeding behavior of these photogenic creatures. End the day at D'Estrees Bay where opportunities include looking for osprey or other seabirds, learning about Wreckers' Beach or taking a walk around the marine lagoon at Wheaton's Beach. After your day of touring, you will be dropped off at your accommodation.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – East End Explorer Shared Tour & Travel to Adelaide
Today is another full day of touring, taking you to the Dudley Peninsula which forms the east end of Kangaroo Island, and is a microcosm of the rest of the island. The north coast has hills rolling down to the sea and white sand beaches. Roadside vegetation forms an avenue overhead many of the narrow roads. Ice-age dunes and rugged limestone cliffs dominate the south coast, which is indented by high-energy beaches.
Start the day at Pennington Bay situated at the narrowest part of the Island. This Southern Ocean beach is a popular fishing and surf spot. Enjoy home-baked morning tea overlooking extensive wave-cut platforms and contrasting deep aqua water. Traveling east, enjoy endless views of the serene marine sanctuary which is Pelican Lagoon. Adjacent to the lagoon is an excellent kangaroo habitat and the tea-tree thickets harbor tammar wallabies sheltering from their constant predator - the wedge-tailed eagle.
The deep alluvial soils of Wilson River overlying limestone are perfect for grapevines. The team at False Cape Wines have a newly opened cellar door experience. Sample their range of wines and enjoy a local produce picnic overlooking the vines. Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, established in 1852, stands tall on an exposed headland. Explore the lighthouse precinct and the granite canyon known as ‘Devil's Kitchen’. This lighthouse shines a warning for sailors traversing the treacherous Backstair's Passage. The headland provides protection from ocean swells for Antechamber Bay. Take a walk on the long white sandy beach or seek out birds on the quiet backwaters of the Chapman River estuary. The final stop of the day is in Penneshaw, which has access via a 4WD trail known as Binney's Track. This runs adjacent to Baudin Conservation Park which provides habitat for a range of wildlife including glossy black-cockatoos, kangaroos, wallabies and echidnas. You will be dropped off after the tour at Kingscote airport for your flight back to Adelaide.
Takeoff to Adelaide and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Fleurieu Food, Wine & Wildlife
The Fleurieu has the land, the produce, the wildlife and its people living in harmony - the aboriginal Kauna people enjoyed the unspoiled habitat in ancient times. The rolling vine-covered hills in the McLaren Vale region feed over 60 small, very individual wineries. The vineyards snake down to the tumbling surf on the coast, where sea creatures such as whales and penguins thrive. The area enjoys a Mediterranean type climate influenced by the St. Vincent's Gulf only 4 miles away.
Today's tour departs Adelaide and first heads south to the picturesque McLaren Vale Wine Region with over 50 small to medium wineries. It is situated near the coast hence the area has a distinctly Mediterranean feel. Tours of the McLaren Vale wine region feature some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. Wineries include Wirra Wirra, d'Arenberg, Coriole and the historic Hardy's winery. Other attractions include the Olive Grove and Medlow Fine Gels. Then, head south to the coastal town of Goolwa, once a thriving paddle steamer port. Enjoy lunch at a local cafe, then travel alongside the beach up to the mouth of the River and travel to scenic lookouts in search of the Southern Right Whales that visit these shores with their newborn calves (seasonal - May to October). Call into Victor Harbor and take a ride on Australia's only horse-drawn tram along the causeway, which links the mainland to Granite Island. Return to Adelaide late afternoon.Starting Accommodation:
Mayfair Hotel (L)
Day 12 – Travel to Port Douglas
Takeoff to Cairns and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Sailaway - Outer Reef Mackay Cay
The adventure starts with an early departure from Port Douglas Marina. Sit back and relax on the beautiful yacht and set sail to the Coral Cays of Mackay or Undine Reefs. You will enjoy an authentic sailing experience, following the coastline and views of the Daintree mountains.
Once at the protected sites at the Coral Cays, nature activities will include snorkeling over the pristine coral reef with a qualified marine biologist offering reef interpretation on a guided snorkel tour. A glass bottom boat coral viewing tour is also on offer. Premium reef sites showcase abundant marine life, including encounters with turtles and an amazing display of giant clam gardens, beautiful corals and a wide variety of fish.
Exploring the white sands of the coral cays will relax the mind. Soak up the sun, peace and tranquility and swim in turquoise clear waters. Small numbers of guests ensure personal interactive communication with experience guides.
A tropical buffet lunch, morning and afternoon teas & coffees, supplied by local plantations, will compliment a day of adventure and relaxation. Expert guiding and 1st class services are all included from helpful, friendly crew. Please bring your bathing suit, a towel, sunscreen and a hat.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Daintree Rainforest Tour
Enjoy a privately guided tour with a professional guide traveling over the top of the Daintree Rainforest to the very edge of the 'Outback' to observe the native wildlife. The ecosystems experienced are from the Lowland Wet Tropics of the coastal strip through the upper forests and out to the very edge of the wonderful Eucalypt Savannah Outback. Odyssey Bound is able to take you into the wilderness of Cape York with a unique look at local culture and history. It offers an insight into the many creatures generally unseen. The early departure allows for encounters with creatures that would otherwise be missed. Traveling off the beaten track in areas not visited by the mainstream, this safari is ideal for people that simply seek to explore a little more than the normal day tours. The itinerary is always flexible to enable full enjoyment of 'life's little surprises.' Wear comfortable shoes and bring that camera.Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Travel to Sydney
Takeoff to Sydney and continue on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 16 – Sydney In Style Tour & Sydney Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate
Depart from your Sydney hotel to discover the fabulous city of Sydney. You will travel through the business district and shopping areas, see Darling Harbour and the vibrant China Town and drive along Oxford Street with its trendy terrace houses and boutique fashion shops. See Centennial Park, a 220-hectare urban parkland in Eastern Sydney. Reaching the coastline, see Bronte and Tamarama, then go on to explore the famous Bondi Beach. Spend 30 minutes walking the promenade or enjoying a coffee overlooking the beach.
From here, continue along the coastal drive past Macquarie Lighthouse to the Southern Headland of Sydney Harbour. Visit Watsons Bay before following the harbor foreshore towards Sydney City. You pass some of Australia's most exclusive waterfront suburbs where harbor mansions may be seen. Drive through Vaucluse, Double Bay before reaching the colorful Kings Cross. Head through Woolloomooloo and see the famous Harry's Cafe De Wheels. Visit Sydney's Botanical Gardens and enjoy some spectacular Harbour Bridge and Opera House views. Return to Sydney's CBD via Saint Mary's Cathedral, historic convict buildings, State Parliament House and the historical quarter of the 'Rocks.' Visit Sydney's Observatory Hill for amazing views over Sydney Harbour to the Blue Mountains. Drop off back at your Sydney hotel, restaurant or other city location.
Later visit the Sydney Opera House. Begin your journey by exploring underneath the sails with a spectacular Sydney Opera House Tour that takes you inside one of the world's greatest buildings of all time. The 60-minute guided tour offers the opportunity to experience the Sydney Opera House in its daily operation. Visitors are guided into theatres, given a fascinating account of the history and the architecture of the building and introduced to the excitement of Performing Arts in Australia. Please note that this is a walking tour, and there are approximately 200 steps in total. You may choose when to take your bento style box gourmet tasting plate: before or after your tour as lunch, or return for a bite later in the day (dining available 12pm-to-6.30pm). Sit back at Portside Restaurant and enjoy chicken and BBQ beef brisket sliders with chips, a selection of small-bowl salads with a bread roll, and a selection of mixed hot dumplings served in a bamboo steamer. Sit outside and soak in the Sydney Harbor views. It's an ideal way to experience one of the world's most stunning icons.Starting Accommodation:
Day 17 – Depart Sydney
Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred from your accommodation to Sydney International Airport.