SOUTH PACIFIC WONDERS
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From vibrant Melbourne to remote Kakadu National Park, on this Australia and New Zealand tour, you’ll explore the famous cities, observe native wildlife, learn about Aboriginal culture, and witness incredible scenery every step of the way. You’ll travel from Melbourne to Auckland with overnights along the way in Hobart, Adelaide, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Cairns, Sydney, Mount Cook, Queenstown, and Rotorua.
Tour highlights include opportunities to see Australia’s native wildlife during an excursion to Kangaroo Island—an out-of-the-ordinary adventure offered by Lark Tours. Here, see sea lions, koalas, New Zealand fur seals, kangaroos, and wallabies. Another unique experience Lark Tours includes on this Australia and New Zealand tour is a cruise through Kakadu National Park’s most famous wetland, where you’ll have an opportunity to see crocodiles. In Tasmania, see the famous Tasmanian devil. In Rotorua, you’ll visit Rainbow Springs to view New Zealand’s native bush and wildlife, including kiwis, a national symbol.
In addition to amazing wildlife, you’ll also witness spectacular scenery on this tour through Australia and New Zealand. Snorkel or take a watercraft tour at the remarkable Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a drink as you watch the sunset at Ayers Rock (Uluru), and enjoy views of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), a geological splendor. Witness some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery during your cruise on Milford Sound in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. In Rotorua, see New Zealand’s largest geyser, boiling mud pots, and silica terraces at Te Puia.
Learn about Aboriginal culture when you tour the base of Uluru and learn of its significance to the Aboriginal people. View Aboriginal rock petroglyphs in Kakadu National Park, and enjoy a traditional Hangi dinner in New Zealand—another special experience offered by lARK TOURS.
All of this—and much more—await you on this incredible Australia and New Zealand vacation!
DAY 1 Arrive in Melbourne, Australia
Welcome to the “Land Down Under” and Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne. Hotel rooms are available for immediate check-in. Please schedule flights to arrive by 3 pm in order to attend this evening’s welcome briefing and dinner at your hotel.
DAY 2 Melbourne
Start your day with a city sightseeing tour that includes landmarks such as Federation Square, Queen Victoria Market, FITZROY GARDENS, Parliament House, the Shrine of Remembrance, and more. Today’s lunch is served on board the historic [Globus Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] COLONIAL TRAMCAR RESTAURANT. Enjoy fine food and drink as you wind your way through the streets of Melbourne, a truly unique experience. In the evening, you may wish to take an optional excursion to Phillip Island and see the famous Penguin Parade.Breakfast
DAY 3 Melbourne
A full day to explore more of this cosmopolitan city. You may wish to shop for a favorite souvenir at Queen Victoria Market, stroll along the Yarra River, see the city from new heights at the Eureka Skydeck, or explore Melbourne’s many lanes and alleys. You may also want to consider a day tour to see the “Twelve Apostles” along the Great Ocean Road or visit the nearby Yarra Valley to sample the region’s award-winning wines.
DAY 4 Melbourne–Hobart
Fly to Hobart, Tasmania, home of the famous Tasmanian devil. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] WALKING TOUR of Hobart’s historic waterfront district, followed by dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D
DAY 5 Hobart. Excursion to Port Arthur
Our first stop this morning is at the TASMANIAN DEVIL CONSERVATION PARK to see and learn about the famous Tasmanian devil, once almost extinct. You’ll also have a chance to interact with some of Australia’s other native animals, like kangaroos, wallabies, quolls, and parrots. Next, we visit some of the Tasman Peninsula’s famous features, such as the blowhole, the Devil’s Kitchen, and the Tasman Arch. Then, on to PORT ARTHUR HISTORIC SITE. Originally designed as a timber camp, the town grew in importance as it began housing convicts. On a guided tour, hear stories of former prisoners, and see the ruins of the 4-story penitentiary, a grim reminder of Australia’s days as a penal colony.Breakfast
DAY 6 Hobart–Adelaide
Today, fly to Adelaide (via Melbourne). Upon arrival, enjoy an orientation tour of this colonial city. During your free time today, you may wish to stroll Adelaide’s bustling Central Market, visit the Art Gallery of South Australia, or enjoy al fresco dining at one of the city’s many restaurants.
DAY 7 Adelaide. Excursion to Kangaroo Island
This morning, take a ferry to [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] KANGAROO ISLAND, home to unspoiled white-sand beaches, barking sea lions, dozing koalas, and amazing scenery. At SEAL BAY, there’s a chance to get up close to these magnificent creatures and learn more about them from a park ranger. Have your cameras ready as we visit REMARKABLE ROCKS with its stunning views, and ADMIRALS ARCH, a unique rock formation and home to a colony of New Zealand fur seals. Our last stop on the island is FLINDERS CHASE NATIONAL PARK, a sanctuary for native Australian animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas.Breakfast
DAY 8 Adelaide–Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Fly this morning from Adelaide to the “Center of Australia.” This evening, visit AYERS ROCK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known also by its Aboriginal name: Uluru. This massive sandstone monolith is one of the world’s most mysterious and religious sites. Enjoy a cool DRINK as you watch the sunset and the changing colors as they fall across the landscape. This evening, enjoy a truly unique Aussie experience—an [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] OUTBACK BARBECUE featuring a meal of typical campfire fare and awe-inspiring Outback ambiance.Breakfast
DAY 9 Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Today, enjoy a TOUR around the base of Uluru, learning of its significance to the Anangu Aboriginal people. There is time to relax at your resort before the afternoon takes us to a popular lookout to enjoy views of the magnificent KATA TJUTA (the Olgas), a geological splendor of views of some 36 brilliant domes.
DAY 10 Uluru (Ayers Rock)-Darwin
For an unforgettable experience, you may choose to rise early for an optional camel ride to watch the sunrise at Uluru. Later, fly to Darwin (via Alice Springs). Tonight, why not explore Darwin’s waterfront, lined with restaurants, shops, and walking trails?
DAY 11 Darwin–Kakadu National Park
Travel to KAKADU NATIONAL PARK, Australia’s largest national park covering almost 20,000 square kilometers. Spend time at WINDOW ON THE WETLANDS VISITOR CENTRE to learn more about the natural and cultural features including the abundant wildlife and the European and Aboriginal history of this region. Dinner this evening is at your hotel.
DAY 12 Kakadu National Park
Time to explore more of this massive park today. Spend time at the BOWALI VISITOR CENTRE to learn more about the flora, fauna, and geology of the park. Then, enjoy a [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] CRUISE through Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu’s most famous wetland. An Aboriginal guide will share the history of the region and point out wildlife that could include crocodiles, water buffalo, and an abundance of bird life. A short walk on an ancient trail takes us to see Aboriginal rock petroglyphs at NOURLANGIE ROCK. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Take a hike, join in an optional scenic flight over the park, or just relax at your hotel.
During the wet season (December through April), it can be difficult to see crocodiles in the wild.Breakfast
DAY 13 Kakadu National Park–Darwin–Cairns
Return to Darwin and enjoy a city sightseeing tour featuring the splendid BOTANIC GARDENS and ART GALLERY. There’s time to stroll the relaxed streets of Darwin, and take in the historic colonial architecture and buildings. Later this evening, fly to Cairns, “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef,” one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
DAY 14 Cairns. Excursion to the Outer Great Barrier Reef Excursion
Today, prepare for the experience of a lifetime when you board a catamaran and CRUISE to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Explore this underwater world that is a dazzling kaleidoscope of color and brilliance. Choose to SNORKEL, take a semi-submersible WATERCRAFT TOUR, or attend a presentation by a marine biologist.Breakfast
DAY 15 Cairns
A full day to explore more of this tropical paradise. You may wish to visit the Daintree Rainforest, considered to be the oldest rainforest in the world; stroll along the Cairns Esplanade, take a journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, enjoy a scenic sunset cruise, or shop for unique gifts and souvenirs at the popular Cairns Night Market. Your Tour Director will have suggestions to make the most of your day.
DAY 16 Cairns–Sydney
This morning, enjoy a special visit to CAIRNS TROPICAL ZOO for your chance to meet Australia’s native animals. You’ll also enjoy a talk by a wildlife keeper and the opportunity to have your picture taken with a koala! Afterward, fly to vibrant Sydney.
Starting April 1, 2016, the Cairns Zoo will be closed. Passengers will instead visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure for a guided tour to see native animals, including Cassowary, Wallaby, Quoli, and Crocodiles. For an additional fee, passengers can get their photo taken while holding a koala.
DAY 17 Sydney
Today’s sightseeing includes the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a guided tour of the interior and theaters. Then, travel to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair in the city’s BOTANIC GARDENS for a great photo opportunity and sweeping view of the harbor. Visit world-famous Bondi Beach for an insider’s tour of [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] BONDI SURF BATHERS’ LIFE SAVING CLUB. Meet with one of the lifesavers and learn about the history of the club, and the training needed to become a lifeguard. Lunch today is at the [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] North Bondi Returned Servicemen’s Leagues Club, located on Bondi Beach. Learn about the history of this special place and the courageous “Rats of Tobruk” while enjoying sweeping waterfront views and delicious food. Afterward, a CRUISE on Sydney Harbour highlights some of the city’s best views.Breakfast
DAY 18 Sydney
Enjoy a full day at leisure. Why not reach new heights on the thrilling Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb or take in amazing views from atop Sydney Tower? Take a ferry across the harbor and explore Taronga Zoo, join a walking tour along the cobblestone lanes of the Rocks, or relax on beautiful Manly Beach. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner at a WATERFRONT RESTAURANT with fantastic views of Sydney.Breakfast
DAY 19 Sydney–Christchurch, New Zealand-Mount Cook
Fly to Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, then travel south to magnificent MOUNT COOK NATIONAL PARK, named after New Zealand’s highest peak. Weather permitting, you may wish to join in a stargazing program this evening. The Mount Cook region offers some of the darkest skies in the world, perfect for viewing the southern night sky.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Spend the evening at the historic Hermitage Hotel, located at the base of Mount Cook. Enjoy splendid views, fresh mountain air, and all the modern amenities of this first-class property.Breakfast
DAY 20 Mount Cook–Queenstown
Start the day with a visit to the SIR EDMUND HILLARY ALPINE CENTER for unique insight into the history and culture of this region. Then, time to explore on your own. You may wish to enjoy a scenic walk or perhaps an optional scenic flight that lands on the nearby Tasman Glacier. Continue to Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital of the World.”
DAY 21 Queenstown. Excursion to Milford Sound
Today, travel through FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, the largest of New Zealand’s national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a scenic CRUISE on Milford Sound for views of cascading waterfalls, lush green rainforest, and a chance to see a variety of wildlife including seals, penguins, and dolphins. Have your cameras ready as you witness some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.Breakfast
DAY 22 Queenstown
A full day for you to explore Queenstown on your own. You may want to spend time window shopping at the many boutiques and art galleries in town, sample some local wines, or rent a bicycle and travel one of the cities many bike trails. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining. Tonight, CRUISE across Lake Wakatipu aboard the vintage TSS Earnslaw steamship to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Enjoy a tour of the farm and charming gardens, followed by a demonstration as the farm dogs round up the sheep for the farmers to shear. Afterward, enjoy DINNER at the farm.Breakfast
DAY 23 Queenstown–Rotorua
Fly north to Rotorua, home to fascinating Maori culture and geothermal wonders. This evening, enjoy a traditional HANGI DINNER, followed by an authentic MAORI CULTURAL PERFORMANCE.Breakfast
DAY 24 Rotorua
This morning starts with a visit to the AGRODOME, a working sheep farm where you will be delighted by a tour and show. Visit the nursery to see baby animals, and witness the artistry of shearing a sheep. Here, you’ll discover just how New Zealand became the world’s number-one wool-growing nation. Continue on to RAINBOW SPRINGS to view native bush and wildlife, including a walk through the kiwi bird enclosure. Last stop is TE PUIA, Rotorua’s most prominent thermal area, with New Zealand’s largest geyser, boiling mud pools, and silica terraces. The afternoon is at your leisure. You may wish to relax in a natural hot spring, zipline through the forest, be pampered at one of the city’s spas, or board a floatplane for flightseeing of this beautiful area. Tonight, why not join a local New Zealand family for dinner in their home?
DAY 25 Rotorua–Waitomo–Auckland
Leave Rotorua and experience the WAITOMO GLOWWORM CAVES. Travel by boat through underwater scenery and along narrow limestone chambers while your guide explains the formation and history of the area. The highlight of the tour is a visit to Glowworm Grotto. Glide silently beneath the lights of thousands of glowworms suspended from the cave ceiling. Continue to Auckland, where tonight’s festive farewell dinner is atop Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower. Enjoy wonderful views of the city and harbor below. The perfect ending to your holiday.Breakfast
DAY 26 Auckland
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.Breakfast