Australia & the Pacific - Best Tours & Trips 2019
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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.
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.
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 Per Day
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
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.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Picturesque Queenstown
- Milford Sound
- Farm Stay (Fairlie, NZ)
- Great Barrier Reef (Cairns)
- Sydney Opera House
- Harbor Bridge (Sydney)
- Australian Wildlife Park (Sydney)
- 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'.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Yellow-eyed Penguin
- Great Spotted
- Southern Brown & North Island Brown Kiwi
- New Zealand Kaka
- New Zealand Storm Petrel
- New Zealand Falcon
- Blue Duck
- North Island Kokako
- Long-tailed Cuckoo
- South Island Saddleback
- New Zealand Robin
- Pipipi (Brown Creeper)
- New Zealand Rockwren
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Australia & the Pacific Trip Reviews
931 Australia & the Pacific Tour Reviews - Summary 97% Recommend
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.
|Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea|
|Fiji Island; Great Barrier Reef, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Sydney Opera House, Tahiti and Many More|
|Scuba diving & Snorkeling, Wildlife viewing, Nature Viewing & Relaxing Retreat|
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