Australia & the Pacific - Best Tours & Trips 2019

801 Australia & the Pacific tours from 151 tour companies. 208 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.
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 ad ... Read More
All Australia & the Pacific tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Climate

Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Itinerary Focus

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Australia North to South – Darwin to Melbourne

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 130 / day
$ 1,819
From : $ 2,911
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Explore kakadu national park
  • Spot crocs on a river cruise
  • Clink glasses at an outback pub
  • Awe at majestic uluru
  • Sleep underground in coober pedy
  • Marvel at the 12 apostles along the great ocean road
Visits:
Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia
View Trip

New Zealand South Island Explorer

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 300 / day
$ 3,305
From : $ 4,462
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Share amazing moments with your fellow travellers. As you'll be in a small group, the trip retains a fun, personalised atmosphere throughout
  • Spend several nights in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, where's you'll have tonnes of time to explore
  • Cruise Milford Sound watching out for he spectacular views.
  • Franz Josef Glacier is every adventurer's dream. Take a guided hike across the glacier, get your blood pumping on a quad bike ride around the area or enjoy unrivalled views on a scenic flight
Visits:
Milford Sound, Queenstown, Christchurch, New Zealand
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Australia: Bay of Fires Walk

Walking Connection
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4 days
$ 575 / day
$ 2,300
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Mt William National Park
  • 10 Guests Maximum
  • Spectacular ocean views
  • Expert naturalist guides
  • Bird-rich waters of Ansons Bay
  • Swim, snorkel or kayak
  • Full service spa & treatments
  • Fine Tasmanian wines
  • Stunning architecture
  • Over 20km of pristine coastline
Visits:
Arizona, Tasmania, Australia
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Australia & New Zealand

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
19 days
$ 300 / day
$ 5,699
From : $ 7,289
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Picturesque Queenstown
  • Milford Sound
  • Farm Stay (Fairlie, NZ)
  • Great Barrier Reef (Cairns)
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Harbor Bridge (Sydney)
  • Australian Wildlife Park (Sydney)
Visits:
Auckland, Cairns, Dunedin, Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Queensland, Queenstown, Sydney, Australia, New Zealand
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7 Day Cod Hole, Coral Sea & Ribbon Reefs Liveaboard

7 days
$ 381 / day
$ 2,666
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
Highlights
  • Join Spirit of Freedom 7 days and nights diving the two diverse eco systems of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea.
  • Your cruise will include the Ribbon Reefs, the 'Cod Hole' a chance to explore Lizard Island, Osprey and possibly Bougainville Reef, Coral Sea.
  • The first part of your tour will include the magical Ribbon Reefs, the 'Cod Hole', and a chance to explore Lizard Island.
  • On the second part of the cruise we will travel to Osprey Reef inn the Coral Sea to dive its sheer walls and experience the shark dive at 'North Horn'.
Visits:
Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
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The Southern Drift summer 2018

Trafalgar
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 488 / day
$ 5,850
From : $ 7,196
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • City Tour
  • Cruise
  • View
  • Visit
Visits:
Christchurch, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Australia, New Zealand
View Trip

Australia Family Adventure

National Geographic Expeditions
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 666 / day
$ 7,990
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Snorkel and dive in a magical world of rainbow-colored fish, turtles, starfish, and sponges at the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Go spearfishing with members of the Kuku Yalanji people, and learn about their ancient heritage while cooking up the day’s catch.
  • Get up close to kangaroos, emus, and wallabies at a wildlife park, and even have a chance to feed them.
  • In the heart of the outback, venture into sandstone canyons beneath towering red rocks, and enjoy dinner under the desert stars with an astronomer.
Visits:
Blue Mountains, Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
View Trip

Australia & New Zealand Adventure

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
19 days
$ 279 / day
$ 5,299
From : $ 6,518
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • See the picturesque Queenstown
  • Explore Milford Sound one of the most scenic in the world
  • After a spectacukar visit to Dunedin have a great Farm Stay (Fairlie, NZ)
  • See the Great Barrier Reef (Cairns)
  • Explore Sydney Opera House
  • See the impressive Harbor Bridge (Sydney)
  • Awesome Australian Wildlife Park (Sydney)
Visits:
Auckland, Cairns, Dunedin, Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Australia, New Zealand
View Trip

The Complete South Pacific

Collette
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
27 days
$ 293 / day
$ 7,899
From : $ 9,716
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Savor a memorable bush dinner in the Australian Outback.
  • Take in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour.
  • Brace yourself as you meet a Tasmanian Devil.
  • See koalas in their natural setting during a stop at a koala conservation center.
  • Feel at home when overnighting at a New Zealand family’s home.
  • Explore the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Tour the sandstone domes known as Kata Tjuta at the base of Ayers Rock.
  • Witness the Little Penguins on the beach at Phillip Island.
Visits:
Alice Springs, Auckland, Cairns, Christchurch, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Mount Cook, Queenstown, Rotorua, Sydney, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Wellington
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Around the World

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
21 days
$ 314 / day
$ 6,599
From : $ 7,409
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Panoramic London City Tour
  • Windsor Castle (London)
  • Great Pyramids & Sphinx of Giza
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Buddhist Temples (Bangkok)
  • Optional Floating Market (Bangkok)
  • Tanah Lot (Bali)
  • Bali Herbal & Nature Walk
  • Sydney Harbor Lunch Cruise
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park
  • Explore Fiji
  • Garden of Sleeping Giant (Fiji)
Visits:
Bali, Bangkok, Cairo, Sphinx, Sydney, Ubud, Egypt, Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand
View Trip

16 Day STORY's Australia & New Zealand Tour

STORY Land & Sea
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 461 / day
$ 7,379
From : $ 9,076
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • STORY Exclusive: Winery Visit in New Zealand
  • Sunset in Ayer's Rock - Sunrise at Ayer's Rock in the Outback
  • Full Day VIP Top Deck Cruise Experience on the Great Barrier Reef with VIP Lunch
  • World Heritage Rainforest with Skyrail
  • STORY departures feature exclusive charter flights in Australia and New Zealand
  • Australia's Natural Wonders: Koala, Kangaroo and Crocs, too!
  • STORY Exclusive Reception: Wine & Plates Cruise on Sydney Harbour
  • Cruise on the amazing Milford Sound, New Zealand
  • STORY Exclusive Reception: Farewell Reception in Queenstown
  • 25 Meals throughout your Journey
Visits:
Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Sydney, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia, New Zealand
View Trip

Easter Island

5 days
$ 520 / day
$ 2,600
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Discover the archaeological wonders of this extremely isolated island, with its 900 inscrutable moai statues—a megalithic wonder!
  • Immerse yourself in a wide range of explorations, from snorkeling the crystal-clear waters and pristine reefs offshore to cycling the gently rolling terrain—all in the company of expert guides
  • Hike to Maunga Terevaka crater to appreciate spectacular views of the island from its highest point
Visits:
Easter Island
View Trip

Fiji Escape

7 days
$ 571 / day
$ 3,995
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Snorkel over brilliant rainbow-colored coral reefs teeming with tropical fish and kayak through crystal-clear waters
  • Hike to sweeping mountain vistas with scenic waterfalls and go whitewater rafting on Class II and III rapids
  • Get off the grid with three days of relaxation in the unspoiled Yasawa archipelago
  • Share in the friendly Fijian culture as you join lovo feasts, watch traditional dances, and play with the local children
Visits:
Fiji
View Trip

Taste of Australia

Indus Travels
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 211 / day
$ 1,699
From : $ 2,429
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Journey to Bondi Beach, Australia's most famous surf beach
  • Tour through Melbourne’s city centre
  • Visit the Shrine of Remembrance, one of the largest memorials in the country
Visits:
Melbourne, Sydney, Australia
View Trip

Papua New Guinea - New Britain III 2020

5 days
$ 520 / day
$ 2,250
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Blue-eyed Cockatoo
  • Nicobar Pigeon
  • Black Honey Buzzard
  • New Britain Sparrowhawk
  • Melanesian Megapode
  • Knob-billed Fruit Dove
  • Finsch’s Imperial Pigeon
  • Song Parrot
  • Violaceous & White-necked Coucal
  • New Britain Boobook
  • Black-capped Paradise Kingfisher
  • Beach & White-mantled Kingfisher
  • Sclater’s Myzomela
  • White-backed Woodswallow
  • Black-tailed Monarch
  • Long-tailed Myna
  • Red-banded Flowerpecker & Buff-bellied Mannikin
Visits:
Papua New Guinea
View Trip
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Top Australia & the Pacific Experiences and Attractions

Australia & the Pacific Trip Reviews

208 Australia & the Pacific Tour Reviews - Summary 95% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 152
Great 44
Average 8
Disappointing 3
Terrible 1
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Addendum To Previous Review "RUN!!!"

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

This is an addendum to my previous review: The manager, Tordes, spoke with the owner and reached out to me on 3-27; we have agreed upon a mutual resolution and Indus has agreed refunded me in full.

Read more
Operator Indus Travels

Very nice

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Very nice equipment & was delivered in room & picked up as told when it was ordered.

Read more
Operator Special needs at Sea

Awesome Trip to Australia

5.0
  • 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.

Read more
Operator Discovery Nomads

Wonderful Tour With Heart

5.0
  • 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

Contrasts Of New Zealand

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Mark made sure that we had a great time and when we arrived without our luggage he did everything he could to locate it and have it delivered to us. Mark is a great guide and educator, he knew so much about each area we were at and made it very interesting.

Read more
Operator Trafalgar

A great trip

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

This was a great trip overall. You get to see a lot of NZ and can do some great walks and other activities. The range of places visited on both islands means that some days there is a lot of traveling but the guides work really hard to break the day up with short walks and stops.
Some of the more challenging walks rewarded you with great views and a real feeling of having achieved something. Jet boating and catamaran tip were both great experiences.

Both guides were knowledgeable and prepared you well for the next days activities.

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.

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 ReefUluru (Ayers Rock), Sydney Opera House, Tahiti and Many More

Top Activities:   

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

Top Australia & the Pacific Travel Companies

All Australia & the Pacific tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Australia & the Pacific trips.

801 trips from 151 tour companies with 208 reviews

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