Combine New Zealand's dramatic glacial landscapes with Australia's iconic rock and reef
Beach | City | Food & wine | Free Singapore stopover | History & culture | Lodges | Mountains | Natural world
This tailor-made itinerary combines Australia's big-city beaches and New Zealand's dramatic landscapes in a showcase of the countries' best experiences. You’ll start among Christchurch’s neo-Gothic architecture before boarding the spectacular TranzAlpine train to Greymouth, picking up your hire car to drive along wild coastal beaches and forests before reaching the world-famous Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. The remote Fiordland awaits next in Queenstown before you fly to Sydney and explore its bustling markets, stunning beaches and hiking routes. Then, take in the sacred Uluru before finishing with a relaxing few days in Port Douglas, all day spas, snorkelling, watersports and delightful waterside cafes. It’s all knitted together with stays in luxury boutique hotels and included hire car rental and transfers.
Day by day itinerary
UK to Christchurch
Begin your trip in relaxing style with complimentary airport lounge access before your overnight flight to New Zealand, arriving on day three.
Enjoy a private transfer on arrival in Christchurch to The Classic Villa, a charming boutique hotel in the heart of Christchurch's neo-Gothic architecture and winding canals. Enjoy sprawling, elegant rooms and marble bathrooms, your base for exploring New Zealand's 'most English city', all punting students and charming cycling routes. Make like a local and go punting on the Avon River, or perhaps stroll around the pretty churches and parks that dot the city. Then, come evening, enjoy a unique experience dining at restored tram restaurant Christchurch Tramway, or sample an excellent steak at Cook'n' With Gas.
Stay: The Classic Villa, Christchurch (Superior)
After breakfast, enjoy a private transfer to the train station ready to witness some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery on the TranzAlpine train journey. Here, enormous mountain peaks frame green and yellow forests as you navigate the backbone of the South Island. Mighty mountainous landscapes reward every turn before you traverse through heavy beech forests and reach Greymouth to pick up your rental car. Drive the ultra-scenic roads towards the south, along wild coastal crags scattered with beach driftwood before arriving at your hotel, the Distinction Fox Glacier. Surrounded by rugged alpine scenery and the imposing peaks of the Southern Alps, you'll enjoy a private balcony and lounge area alongside sumptuous breakfast buffets before days spent exploring the mighty Fox Glacier. The immense glacial mass, as well as its brother Franz Josef, flows nearly to sea level, the only place in the world where glaciers lie so close to the coast, plunging from nearly 3000m high. We recommend an unmissable heli-hike such as our Twin Glaciers by Helicopter tour that takes in Fox and Franz Josef as you watch them winding down the valley from above, before you descend to a snow landing and explore the icy expanse.
Stay: Distinction Fox Glacier Hotel (Superior)
Another spectacular drive awaits on day seven as you drive to Queenstown, traversing verdant forests and striking mountain passes before reaching the city. You’ve got three days to explore Queenstown's delights, framed by the Remarkables mountain range. We recommend an experience on New Zealand's emblematic fjords, such as a Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, where you'll sail through pristine waters and kayak among craggy coves, spotting penguins, seals and dolphins. Or, head out trekking – the Hollyford Track around Milford Sound is particularly scenic. Just an hour north of the city, you'll find Lake Wanaka, ideal for spotting wildlife on lake tours or heading guided fly-fishing expeditions. Come evening, relax in your hotel, Browns Boutique, reminiscent of an Italian villa swirling with vines, private terraces looking over iconic mountains and lakes, open fires and outdoor patios looking over the majestic alpine scenery. It’s just a few minutes to Queenstown's extensive bars and restaurants – The Bunker and Perky’s Floating Bar are firm favourites.
Stay: Browns Boutique Hotel, Queenstown (Superior)
After breakfast, return your rental car and board your three hour flight to Sydney, where, on arrival, you’ll take a private transfer to your central hotel. You're just moments from the bustle of Sydney’s famous fish market, the Harbour Bridge and the emblematic Opera House. Perhaps head to the historic Rocks district with its cobblestone lanes, courtyards, heritage cottages, harbour views and even convict-era pubs, or soak up the sun at Bondi and hike its dramatic coastal paths. End your Sydney exploration perfectly with a ferry trip to Manly, where a relaxed beach life vaunts fantastic scuba spots, stunning sandy stretches and a superb selection of delightful waterfront cafés.
Stay: Amora Hotel Jamison (Superior)
Take your transfer on day 13 to the spectacular Desert Gardens Hotel, one of the only resorts in the area with views of the famous Uluru, or Ayers Rock. The striking monolith is sacred to the local Aboriginal people and, come sunrise or set, spectacular shades of orange swirl around the landscape. We recommend either a guided tour or self-walk within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and don’t miss The Olgas – a massive collection of monumental rock domes dating back 500 million years. Back at base, rooms are elegant, charming and overlook sprawling gardens and gum trees. Indulge in the casual Mangata Bistro for dinner for native Australian 'bush tucker' flavours, or sample the delights of poolside Arnguli Grill & Restaurant, offering outback-inspired dishes among indigenous artefacts. Just moments away lie spectacular Ayers Rock lookouts, the wonderful Red Ochre Spa and charming shops and cafés.
Stay: Desert Gardens Hotel, Ayers Rock Resort (Superior)
Enjoy a private transfer to Port Douglas on day 15, a palm-fringed resort town that's all luxurious day spas, championship golf courses and designer boutiques alongside Aussie pubs, independent boutiques and local markets. Activities abound, from offshore big game fishing to snorkelling and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. We particularly recommend a sunset cruise where you'll sail at twilight and receive a welcome drink, canapés and use of a bar on board. The spectacular, adults-only Peninsula Boutique Hotel is your home for the next five nights, where you'll enjoy an oceanview suite with a beachfront location. Your spacious open-plan suite, native timber sliding doors and two-person soaker bath tub provide the delights inside, while large private balconies, tiered heated pools and a Jacuzzi are perfect for making the most of the tropical weather. Come evening, indulge at the hotel's popular restaurant on the Port Douglas foreshore, Hi Tide; expect the likes of tuna tartare, seared scallops and grilled lamb, accompanied by endless sea views.
Stay: Peninsula Boutique Hotel, Port Douglas (Superior)
Cairns to UK
Enjoy a private transfer to Cairns airport before your flight back to the UK, arriving on day 21.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
from £4,380 pp. incl. flights
from £4,815 pp. incl. flights
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Return flights between London, Christchurch, Queenstown - Sydney, Ayers Rock & Cairns
- A mix of private and shared transfers (Ayers rock only)
- 6 days medium car hire
- 17 nights accommodation staying in 4* (Superior) hotels on a mix of B&B and room only
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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