Australia & New Zealand Encore

Rocks, Reefs & a Fjord Cruise

February 27 – March 17 , 2018


Tue / Sat - 19 Days

Set your sights on an incredible journey to Australia and New Zealand! Dive or snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself at Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Australian outback as you experience the stillness and beauty of the desert lands and enjoy a “Sounds of Silence” dinner under the stars. Tour the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Queenstown and Auckland. Discover Aboriginal Australia and Maori New Zealand with visits to cultural parks and cruise Milford Sound, Lake Wakatipu and Auckland Harbour.

Itinerary Hotels

Tue, Feb 27: Board overnight flight to Sydney, Australia.

Wed, Feb 28: Cross the International Date Line.

Thu, Mar 1: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Arrive in Sydney and check into the Hyatt Regency Sydney for a three-night stay.

Fri, Mar 2: Sydney. This morning a sightseeing tour of Sydney includes stopping for panoramic views of the city and of the Pacific Ocean at Watson’s Bay. Arrive at famous Bondi Beach for a brief stop before visiting Paddington to view its restored 19th-century Colonial Terraces. Proceed to Circular Quay for your lunch cruise aboard the mv Sydney 2000. Enjoy stunning harbor views with comprehensive commentary and a delicious seafood buffet lunch. Afterward, see the Sydney Opera House on a private guided tour. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Sat, Mar 3: Sydney. After breakfast, depart for Featherdale Wildlife Park, one of the largest collections of Australian animals in the world. Wander through the leafy walkways to observe koalas, wombats, kookaburras, parrots and kangaroos. You may even hand feed kangaroos, wallabies and emus. Return to Sydney and spend the rest of the day at leisure. (B)

Sun, Mar 4: Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Depart by air to Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Check-in to DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns for a three-night stay, located directly on the Cairns Esplenade - close to shops, dining, and a wharf overlooking the Coral Sea.

Mon, Mar 5: Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Spend a full day on the Great Barrier Reef. Take a fast, stable catamaran to a stunning coral reef location. Access the reef from an all-weather activity platform. Lunch is served, and changing rooms and showers are available. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, scuba dive or see the reef from a semi-submersible or glass-bottom boat. (B, L)

Tue, Mar 6: Kuranda, Queensland. Travel in comfort on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway as it meanders through the ancient rainforest and on to Kuranda, the famous “Village in the Rainforest.” Learn about the history of this engineering triumph while taking in the breathtaking scenery. In Kuranda you’ll have time to explore the village and browse through the markets. Board the Skyrail for a 90-minute ride as it spans an ancient tropical rainforest. At the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, immerse yourself in the Aboriginal culture performances with authentic music, dance, storytelling and interactive activities such as boomerang demonstrations. (B, D)

Wed, Mar 7: Uluru, Northern Territory. Depart by air for Uluru (Ayers Rock) and meet a local Anangu artist and an interpreter to learn how their ancient symbols, stories and culture are shared through artwork. Practice some introductory Pitjantjatjara words (language spoken by Anangu). Then put your knowledge to work at a fun introduction to the unique desert art form of dot painting. Tell your own story on canvas; a creation you get to take with you! Next, transfer to the Desert Gardens Hotel at Ayers Rock Resort and check in for two nights. Later today, travel through the desert to The Olgas (“Kata Tjuta”), 36 massive red rock domes. Enjoy a guided walk before traveling to Uluru’s sunset viewing area to witness the striking color changes as the sun sets. Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine before returning to the resort. (B)

Thu, Mar 8: Uluru. Rise early to watch as the gradual rising sun changes the colors of Uluru. Return to the resort for breakfast then travel back to Uluru to tour the rock’s base. The 2,800-foot rock seems to change continually as the light moves across it. Take an informative guided walk into Mutitjulu waterhole and view Aboriginal rock paintings, and learn about flora, fauna and Aboriginal history. Stop at the Cultural Centre before returning to the resort. Enjoy amenities at the resort or spend the rest of your day at leisure. In the evening, experience a second sunset over Uluru as you enjoy a Sounds of Silence Dinner in the desert. Feast on authentic Australian delicacies complimented by Australian wines. A stargazer guide takes you on a tour of the spectacular nighttime sky. (B,D)

Fri, Mar 9: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Depart by air for Melbourne, known as Australia’s cultural capital. It has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature. Upon arrival, transfer to the Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne for two nights. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city. (B)

Sat. Mar 10: Melbourne. Enjoy a city sightseeing tour, discovering Melbourne’s past and present. Stop at Cooks’ Cottage, the North Yorkshire home of the world famous British explorer, Captain James Cook’s, parents. It was built in 1755, and was moved, brick by brick, from England to Melbourne in 1934. The afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, glide through the streets of Melbourne on board the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant; and enjoy a five-course meal featuring local produce and a fully stocked bar. (B,D)

Sun, Mar 11: This morning fly to Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand. Upon arrival, check into the Scenic Suites Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)

Mon, Mar 12: Queenstown. In the morning, enjoy a highlights tour. Start with a ride on the Skyline Gondola and travel to the top to Bob’s Peak for breathtaking views. Then drive through the wine-growing region around the Kawarau River and watch the Bungy Jump at the Kawarau Bridge. Visit historic Arrowtown, once a ot spot for gold-mining. Then you are free to spend the afternoon at leisure or choose an optional excursion. You may choose to travel by 4WD vehicles to visit the historic Chinese Settlers Village and the film location for the Ford of Bruinen in the Lord of the Rings movies. Continue to the former gold-mining settlement of Macetown and try panning for gold. Another option; an exhilarating whitewater jet boat ride on the Shotover River! This evening gather back as a group for an included cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. The captain will provide commentary as you sail. Upon arrival at Walter Peak High Country Farm, walk through the beautiful gardens and enjoy a buffet dinner with wine at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant. Watch a sheepdog demonstration or just relax in the bar before returning to Queenstown for the night. (B, D)

Tue, Mar 13: Milford Sound Cruise. Transfer to Milford Sound via the Fiordland National Park, with stops en route. The scenic cruise on Milford Sound journeys the full length of the sound out to the Tasman Sea, with stops at various points and offering excellent viewing of dramatic waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. A buffet lunch is included on board. Take the scenic drive back to Queenstown after a mesmerizing day! (B,L)

Wed, Mar 14: Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand. Fly to New Zealand’s North Island and arrive in Rotorua, the center of an extensive thermal region, with geysers, bubbling mud pools and steaming, sulphurous lakes. Take a brief highlights tour on the way to your hotel, the Millennium Rotorua Hotel. Drive along the Rotorua lakefront, through the city center and the beautiful Government Gardens. Visit Rainbow Springs with a guided tour. Many of New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna are featured here. Visit the Kiwi Encounter to view the country’s national icon, the flightless kiwi bird. Check into your hotel. Later in the afternoon transfer to Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve & Maori Arts & Crafts Centre. Your Maori guide will escort you to the Maori Pa village site and the institute, where young Maoris are taught the intricacies of traditional carving. Visit the geothermal reserve and view the boiling mud pools and geysers. The evening is filled with a traditional Powhir (welcome) and Wero (challenge). Enjoy a concert of Maori performance of songs and dances followed by an authentic Maori hangi (buffet dinner) with food prepared in a stone-lined fire pit. Return to your hotel for one night. (B,D)

Thu, Mar 15: Waitomo Caves & Auckland. Visit Waitomo Caves, an impressive underground series of caves that includes the Cathedral and the Tomo, a deep limestone shaft. Then take a boat trip through the spectacular Glowworm Grotto. The roof sparkles with the lights of glowworm larvae that reflect off the water. Lunch is a New Zealand-style barbecue at Roselands Farm and Garden Restaurant. Drive to Auckland, the world’s biggest Polynesian city, with 190 different ethnicities. The city has a lively arts and culture scene, a wide range of food and craft markets, vineyards and outstanding restaurants. Spend two nights at the centrally located Langham Hotel. (B,L)

Fri, Mar 16: Auckland. In the morning discover Auckland on a sightseeing tour. Visit the Sky Tower for extensive views of the city and surroundings. The tower is the tallest manmade structure in New Zealand and offers incredible views in every direction. Drive along the waterfront of Tamaki Drive to Orakel and Mission Bay and the inner city suburb of Parnell and the gardens of the Auckland Domain. Explore the Auckland War Memorial Museum on a guided tour. Transfer to the Viaduct Harbor for a harbor cruise on the Pride of Auckland sailing yacht. The coffee cruise sails under the Auckland Harbour Bridge and around the beautiful harbor. You’ll have an opportunity to try your hand at steering and trimming the sails, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the views of the harbor and city. Return to the hotel with the balance of the afternoon on your own. Get together this evening for a farewell dinner at the Harbourside Restaurant on the Auckland Waterfront. Return to the hotel for your final night in New Zealand. (B,D)

Sat, Mar 17: In the morning, transfer to the airport in Auckland to board your flight home. Return the same day. (B)

Hyatt Regency Sydney, Sydney.
Sydney’s largest hotel is located in the heart of the city's central business district and overlooks Darling Harbour. Just a short walk from the major entertainment and shopping districts including Pitt Street Mall, the historic Queen Victoria Building, Chinatown and Darling Harbour, it's the perfect base from which to explore all this exciting city has to offer.

DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns, Cairns.
Superbly located on the Cairns Esplanade between the Coral Sea and World Heritage rainforest, the hotel is within walking distance to Cairns city centre, shops, dining, tours and the wharf, the step off point to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a tropical haven of relaxation, with the hotels unique rainforest atrium complete with tropical plants, rock pools and resident Barramundi fish in the centre of the hotel. There is a choice of guest rooms, from well-appointed premium ocean front rooms with a private furnished balcony overlooking the Coral Sea to superior and standard rooms that surround the unique rainforest atrium.

Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock.
Offering the only rooms with views of Uluru in Ayers Rock Resort, the hotel features welcoming rooms and locally inspired dining options. Accommodation options are diverse from deluxe rock view rooms to shady poolside rooms all located under a canopy of towering gum trees and garden beds dotted with native flowers. Please note hotel check out time is 10:00am.

Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne, Melbourne.
Located in the heart of Melbourne's central business district and recognised as one of Melbourne's finest 4 star boutique-style hotels. Built in 1928 and lovingly restored in every detail, the property offers modern facilities housed in a beautiful art deco style. Hotel facilities include an onsite restaurant and bar, 24 hour room service and fitness centre.

Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown.
Idyllically situated in Queenstown, overlooking Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables mountain range, this property embodies the spirit of its location. Its architecture and interiors offer intriguing works of art, bespoke furniture and refreshing colours. Decorated with style and elegance, its spacious rooms and apartment styled suites provide a sense of calm and serenity.

Millennium Rotorua Hotel, Rotorua.
Centrally located in the city beside mystical Lake Rotorua, this property is one of the most conveniently located and best appointed. You will find 227 elegant, air-conditioned rooms offering you a wide choice of accommodation styles, including the Club floor rooms with complimentary use of the exclusive Club Lounge. Many rooms offer excellent views of Lake Rotorua or the native garden.

The Langham, Auckland.
Distinguished among Auckland hotels, this five star property is a haven of tranquillity in the heart of the vibrant city. Located in central Auckland, the hotel features a luxurious day spa, a heated infinity pool and two restaurants. Choose from well appointed guest rooms and should you require extra space, there is a selection of elegant and spacious suites. As a resident of any of the breathtaking suites, you can avail yourself of the elite benefits of The Langham Club.

Australia & New Zealand Encore Pricing

Per Person*

Package with Air

Double P/P




Ambassadair Trip #7241

Ambassadair travelers at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Australia / photo: © Ambassadair

Highlights Include

  • Tours of Sydney, Melbourne, Queenstown and Auckland
  • Great Barrier Reef cruise with opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive
  • Train ride on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail
  • Two nights at Ayers Rock with sunset and sunrise viewings and stargazing at the Sounds of Silence dinner
  • Anungu Dot Painting experience
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park with opportunity to hand feed kangaroos and wallabies
  • Sydney Harbour cruise
  • Five-course dinner on the Colonel Tramcar Restaurant in Melbourne
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Auckland Harbour cruise
  • Tour and dinner on a sheep farm
  • Rotorua Maori performance
  • Waitomo Caves and Glowworm Grotto

Package Includes

  • R/T commercial air from Indianapolis to Cairns,
  • Australia and from Auckland, New Zealand
  • Internal tour flights per itinerary
  • 16 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 4 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Baggage handling
  • Escorted from Indianapolis

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