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Australia & the Pacific - Best Tours & Trips

The Australia and Pacific region encompasses a vast expanse of ocean and islands ranging from the Land Down Under thousands of miles east to Easter Island. In between lie scenic New Zealand and a host of tropical islands inhabited by Micronesians (Palau, Yap), Melanesians (Fiji), Polynesians (Tahiti, the Marquesas), and the still often-wild islands of New Guinea, the Solomons and Vanuatu, all of which evoke images of South Seas adventures and remote island escapes. Whether you travel the Pacific by small-ship cruises or by air, knowing where to start is a challenge. Stride can help point the way to the Pacific islands of your dreams.

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Top Australia & the Pacific Experiences and Attractions

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Australia & the Pacific Trip Reviews

Australia & the Pacific Tour Reviews - Summary
96% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 199 Great 63 Average 8 Disappointing 3 Terrible 0
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals



Trekking New Zealand August 2018


Trekking in New Zealand

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was an excellent trip to genuinely experience a great variety of tracks
in NZ. We were able to tick off 4 of 9 of the Great Walks. Two of them,
Tongariro Northern Circuit & Abel Tasman, we had a longer closer look at.
Those & the Siberia Valley at Mt Aspiring NP will be enduring memories. So
many activities everyday with very little down time. A fair amount of time
spent in the van getting from place to place but unavoidable. Flights from
Wellington to Nelson by a small Cessna, helicopter ride into the Siberia
Valley & numerous water taxis helped conserve our time. All in all a great
Many but probably completing tracks when absolutely exhausted or perilously
returning down tracks in pelting rain & realizing I could conquer that fear.

We actually had 3 on this trip. All were good & had so very different

Don’t take a lot of clothes as there are opportunities to wash them a few
times along the way. They are dead serious about the weight limit on the
flight from Wellington to Nelson. Take a break from the internet because wifi
coverage is spotty & poor. The hotel in Queenstown is your best opportunity
to download a few pics. Go with an open mind & try to complete the entire
itinerary even if the weather is not the best.

Glad that the trip notes are now updated. The ones I worked off were copied
just before the trip & were inaccurate. Not so sure that the single
supplement is worth the money as there are only 6 nights where you actually
have your room ensuite. Didn’t expect it in the huts or camping but was
told I was to have it for 15 nights. I see in the the new trip notes that
ensuite isn’t likely on nights 2,3,8,10 & 11.

Read more

Operator Exodus Travels





Trails of New Zealand

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This trip is one of the best we have experienced with Exodus. The varied
walking, landscape and experiences on the trip make it an amazing adventure.
Beware though there are many long distances to cover (we did over 3500 Km in
the 19 days), but Ian and Sonya made it very interesting with their local
knowledge and frequent rest stops at interesting places. The highlight of the
walking was of course the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which on the day we did
it was truly spectacular with the Emerald lake just like the Guide books. The
Abel Tasman Coastal walk again like the guide book pictures. The Diamond Lake
and Rocky Mountain walk was tough but well worth it for the views. Other
experiences met all our expectations – Sailing on Tasman sea, Jet boat on
River Motukituki where at times we were in 5 inches of water, Helicopter to
Fox Glacier (paid locally) and overnight on Milford Sound in Fiordland.
Christchurch was sad to see but it is good to that they are beginning to get
the city rebuilt. It is important to note that a few walks and experiences
can be affected by weather. Although it was summer we dodged Storm Fehi –
Tongariro was closed the day after we walked it, Windy Wellington was stormy
Wellington, roads near Fox Glacier were closed due to landslides and they had
had no electricity for 3 days before we arrived. However we managed all the
planned itinerary except walking to Fox Glacier due to landslide. All in all
an AWESOME trip
Reaching the summit on the Tongariro Alpine Pass and seeing the Lakes as
shown in all the guidebooks

Ian was an excellent leader. He was a very confident and safe driver which is
important on this trip. He kept us up to date with weather and reasons for
his decisions in view of Storm Fehi. We had plenty of rest stops mostly in
very interesting places.

Take note of distances travelled in order to cover the area - New Zealand is
a huge country
Be aware that although summer itinerary might be changed due to weather

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Operator Exodus Travels



Awesome Trip to Australia February 2018


Sydney to Great Barrier Reef Tour

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
I had an amazing time traveling to Australia, we started in Sydney and moved further exploring the coast to Surfers Paradise. The highlight of this tour was no doubt sailing to Whitsundays islands! Whitehaven beach was absolutely breathtaking, you can never get sick of white sand and turquoise waters! And diving there was beyond all expectations! I had truly great experience, we stayed in very good hotels and had an unforgettable time in Australia.
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Operator Discovery Nomads



Wonderful Tour With Heart January 2018


Australia & New Zealand Adventure

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was my best trip to date. Jeremy Elsasser was the most Professional, patient, informative and kind Tour Guide that I have ever traveled with. I would gladly recommend Smartours because of the excellent guide and the wonderful tour. It was everything I had hoped for. Thanks to all. Read more

Operator SmarTours



The best of New Zealand January 2018


Trails of New Zealand

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
What an amazing trip! I cannot recommend it highly enough - it showcasts
everything that New Zealand has to offer, and despite travelling for 3 weeks
it is not enough. We wanted to stay longer, explore further, be stunned by
the mindblowing views. From the rolling hills on the North Island to the
majestic mountains and fields in Middle Earth and Milford Sounds on the South
Island - it is impossible to choose a favourite spot, and certainly calls for
another trip in the near future. I loved, loved, loved it, the country, the
people and how happy it made me.
I cannot pick a most inspirational moment, but Mount Aspiring National Park,
Milford Sound and Mount Cook left quite an impression - I am in awe. The
views! Simply stunning.

Fantastic leaders. I very much appreciated having two leaders, both very
friendly, approachable, fun and entertaining and of course, knowledgeable
about flora and fauna. Both were a treasure!

Be prepared for mindblowing views.


Read more

Operator Exodus Travels

Australia & the Pacific Tours and Travel Guide

Australia & the Pacific Attractions & Landmarks Guide

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.


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


Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea


Fiji Island; Great Barrier ReefUluru (Ayers Rock), Sydney Opera House, Tahiti and Many More

Top Activities:   

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

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