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Top Trip Memories

  • Touring Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, each urbanely beautiful but in different ways.
  • Sailing through French Polynesia -- Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, the Marquesas -- on a small ship.
  • Hiking the Milford or Routeburn tracks in New Zealand, followed by a cruise on scenic Milford Sound.
  • Riding a raft made of logs and palm leaves down a river, then hiking to a remote cave in Fiji to view the last bastion of cannibalism there in the 1860s.
  • Encountering long rows of giant stone money on the island of Yap in Micronesia, so heavy that no one bothers to move the “coins” when they change hands.
  • Marveling at the moai -- lines of huge statues -- on Easter Island, and visiting the quarry where they were fashioned before being transported for miles by still unknown means.
  • Viewing Uhuru (Ayres Rock), sacred to native Australians in the center of the Outback, as it glows red at sunset.
  • Exploring the lesser-known wildernesses of Australia’s Tasmania or New Zealand’s Stewart Island.
  • Experiencing the exotic on Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, or the Solomon Islands.
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Tour Tips

  • Australia and the Pacific is a huge region; each major island grouping deserves its own trip.
  • Though often combined, Australia and New Zealand  can each easily fill a tour of two weeks or more, so consider doing them separately.
  • Try to allow at least two or three weeks for a tour of the region if you are coming from the Americas or Europe, due to the long flights involved.
  • If you love scuba diving, try the islands of Yap and Palau in Micronesia, both for coral reefs and World War II undersea airplane wrecks.
  • Check with your tour operator to see if snorkeling equipment is included; pack your own if you’re difficult to fit.
  • Allow plenty of time to get your Australia visa  and check with your tour operator on visa requirements for other countries on your itinerary.
  • Keep in mind that it’s winter “Down Under” when it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and yes, it does snow on New Zealand’s South Island and southern Australia at that time.
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Australia & the Pacific Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.8 out of 5

100%

recommend

369 Reviews

  • Excellent 303
  • Great 91
  • Average 1
  • Disappointing 0
  • Terrible 0

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.8
  • Guide
    4.8
  • Activities
    4.8
  • Lodging
    4.8
  • Transportation
    4.8
  • Meals
    4.8

Tour Reviews

The most incredible experience

New Zealand Encompassed

5.0
January 2017
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
G Adventures took me all around New Zealand over the course of a month, and it was the best decision I ever made. To read more, visit the blog I wrote whilst out there at https://struttonontour.wordpress.com/category/new-zealand-tour/

Fabulous trip

Trails of New Zealand

5.0
January 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A tour of both North and South Islands with numerous short walks included which aren't listed on the trip notes. The scenery is just breathtaking (sometimes literally with some of the hills we walked up....) and just needs to be seen.
Seeing into the Red Crater at the top of the Tongarairo Crossing. The photographs just do not do it justice at all. Plus, you then get to run down the scree which is a lot of fun....

Excellent knowledge of the flora and fauna, I know more about NZ wildlife that that in the UK.... He also took us on numerous little walks to break up the long coach trips, many weren't listed on the trip notes but he knew them any way.

Even in summer, weather is variable. Actually, you are guaranteed rain in Westland... I used my light down jacket more than I thought.
You need DEET On the south island, sandflies are evil

Go on this trip.
Consider doing your own add on to go to the Bay of Islands or the Coromandel Peninsula while you are there.

Read more
5.0
January 2017
Intrepid
Recommend: Yes
I have never really camped before, now ready to book the Darwin to Perth, it was all just brilliant , can't believe I did it. I thought I loved India [ done 8 tours there] but now need to ditch the o/s brochures and work my way around the Australia one.

Our smiling Kiwi guide, Rossco, took care of everything for us and then some!

New Zealand Family Private

5.0
January 2017
Butterfield & Robinson
Recommend: Yes
We just returned from a fantastic New Zealand Family Biking trip! The South Island of New Zealand is spectacularly beautiful and what better way to see it than by bicycle (and foot, boat, plane, heli). Our smiling Kiwi guide, Rossco, took care of everything for us and then some!

The tour was amazing and we had such an incredible Tour guide.

Best of New Zealand

5.0
December 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: No
This was the best time of my live. We had an awesome time and i'm looking forward to my next G-trip. Our Tour guide did everything to make our tour perfect. We had so much fun with him and not a single problem. With him we truly lived the dream!

Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Australia & the Pacific Trips & Tour Advice

All the way from Australia east to Easter Island, which lies off the west coast of South America, the Pacific islands possess a mystique like few others in the world. Tahiti, Bora Bora and other Pacific paradises are almost synonymous with “escape.”  The painter Paul Gauguin, who spent years in French Polynesia and is buried in the Marquesas islands, certainly thought so, as did the writers Herman Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others.

Australia and New Zealand

Australia, the island continent, and its neighbor, New Zealand, are on a good many bucket lists, and deservedly so.

Australia is amazingly diverse -- from its well-populated east and southeastern coasts, with world-class cities like Sydney and Melbourne beckoning, to its arid outback (which constitutes much of the country), from its northeastern rainforests to its southeastern mountains, from its trendy vineyards to its frontier-style cattle ranches, from its icons (urban and rural) like the Sydney Opera House and Uluru (also known as Ayres Rock), to its often-overlooked far-western and far northern cities like Perth and Darwin.

And of course there is its wildlife -- bounding kangaroos, shy koalas, and the impossible-to-make-up duck-billed platypus, which scientists once thought must be a hoax -- as well as its colorful history as a repository for English criminals, from whom many modern-day Australians are descended. Native aborigines, much in evidence in some parts of the country, add further to the Australians’ reputation as a yet-untamed, fiercely independent people.

Much of New Zealand is flat-out gorgeous,.with tropical beaches in the north and glacier-cut valleys in the south, mountain ranges and rainforest, fjords and caves lit by glow worms. The South and North islands are like two different worlds, and little Stewart Island to the far south adds a third. This is a place for nature lovers, for hikers who want to conquer some of the world’s most famous trekking trails (called “tracks”), and anyone who wants to enjoy the type of dramatic scenery filmed in The Lord of the Rings series.

Micronesia and Melanesia

The stars of Micronesia in the far west Pacific are the islands of Palau and Yap. Palau is known for its Rock Islands, hundreds of little forested islands with beautiful beaches and some of the world’s best diving spots. Little Yap to the north is equally prized for its diving spots among World War II wrecks. Palau is where men from Yap once quarried the stone used in their unique stone money; the more men who died in the treacherous canoe trips back to Yap, the more value the heavy rounded stones became.

Fiji, the centerpiece of Melanesia, is a lush island where beach resorts exist side by side with plenty of opportunities for adventurous hikes, canoe rides, waterfall swims, snorkeling, diving, and small-ship trips to some of the hundreds of out islands. About half the population is East Indian, having come here in the 19th century to work the fields.

Polynesia

Polynesians have populated much of the south and eastern Pacific over the centuries, ofren setting off in rafts and navigating by the stars to discover new islands, ranging from Tahiti to Easter Island and north to Hawaii. French Polynesia is the land of Bali Hai and bungalow resorts built on poles over the warm turquoise waters of Bora Bora and Moorea. Tahiti remains beautiful, if heavily populated in the Papete area.

The best way to explore the islands -- and those of the remote Marquesas, also part of French Polynesia -- is by small ship. Both luxury ships and semi-cargo vessels ply these waters.

Easter Island is the farthest east, and its prime attraction are the moia -- the huge, multi-ton stone statues of ancestors that were somehow transported from the central quarry to outlying areas around the island. Some tours of Chile, to which Easter Island belongs, include a stop here, several hundred miles out into the Pacific. It’s one of the ultimate bucket-list experiences.

Related Guides

Countries:

Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea

Attractions:

Fiji Island; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; Uluru Ayers Rock, Australia; Sydney Opera House, Australia; Tahiti and Many More

Top Activities:   

Scuba diving & Snorkeling, Wildlife viewing,  Nature Viewing & Relaxing Retreat

More Australia & the... Guided Tours

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