Trip Type : Private Guided
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change
Australia & New Zealand Adventure: From Kata Tjuta To Mount Aspiring tour

Australia & New Zealand Adventure: From Kata Tjuta To Mount Aspiring

Nature Expeditions International
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: 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
22 days
From: $ 9,275 $ 422 / day
Checking price



  • Listening to the Aboriginal creation story and learning ancient bush skills in the shadow of Uluru (Ayers Rock)
  • Traversing the bush on a camel for sunset views of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
  • Four-wheel driving and sand-boarding (easy and safe) down the immense dunes of pristine Stockton Beach
  • Hot air ballooning near Alice Springs
  • Gazing in wonder at incredibly skillful and varied paintings of Utopia’s Aboriginal artists
  • Taking a dolphin and whale watching cruise through the sparkling blue waters of Nelson Bay
  • Wine-tasting in the Hunter Valley; feasting on a gourmet bush barbecue while listening to an award-winning astronomy presentation on the southern night sky
  • Taking a Dot Painting workshop from an Aboriginal artist
  • Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Horseback riding through natural Australian bushland to a beautiful lagoon
  • Cruising through Sydney Harbour in a Benetau yacht
  • Whitewater rafting down the picturesque Barron River
  • Funyaking through the remote wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park, observing stunningly scenic locations featured in the movie Lord of the Rings
  • Cruising through the tranquil waters of Milford and Doubtful Sounds
  • Phenomenally scenic hiking, cruising and/or kayaking along the idyllic coastline of Abel Tasman National Park
  • Attending a traditional Maori concert and hangi dinner
  • Tube rafting or floating in a boat through the incredible Waitomo Caves to view the magical phosphorescent lighting created by glowworms
  • Hiking amidst Rotorua’s geothermal activity
  • Jet boating down the Dart River
  • Visit the art studios and wineries of picturesque Nelson.

Short Description

Australia, the world’s largest island and smallest continent, is a land of tremendous natural diversity, encompassing the Outback, rainforests, and the Great Barrier Reef. Separated from other land masses over 50 million years ago, Australia’s wildlife and plants have evolved in many unique ways: the platypus, kangaroo, spiny anteater, koala, dingo, wallabies, wombats, and 530 species of birds are found nowhere else. And isolated from Western explorers until two centuries ago, the Aussies themselves have developed a very distinct (and appealing) set of character traits!

New Zealand is a land of startling contrasts and unparalleled natural beauty. Writer James Michener once wrote that "New Zealand is probably the most beautiful country on earth." Majestic fjords, alpine peaks and massive glaciers contrast with lush green farmland and thermal geysers. And, because it was isolated from other land  masses for millions of years, New Zealand is home to many unique  species of plants, birds, and mammals. Amidst all this beauty reside  the enchanting cultures of the Maoris and the Pakeha, whose ways co-mingle while retaining their individual distinctiveness.

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.
Trip Type Private Guided
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Sydney
End City Auckland

Trip Includes

  • All included soft adventures (camel trekking, rafting, hiking, snorkelling, horseback riding; sand boarding, 4WD, etc.)
  • 35 meals as indicated above
  • Accommodations for 19 nights in first class (4 star) hotels and/or yacht (deluxe 5 star upgrades and downgrades available)
  • All transfers and land transportation
  • Private and small group touring
  • Entrance/park fees

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Days 1-3: En Route To Sydney

Meals: Lunch

Fly to Sydney, crossing International Date Line and arriving on the morning of day 3. You will be met and privately transferred to your hotel (guaranteed early check-in). Your exploration begins with a lunchtime cruise through magnificent Sydney Harbour, viewing the Opera house, Sydney’s wonderful skyline, and many other harborside highlights. After the cruise, you’ll enjoy a private walking tour of the “Rocks”, the historical district that was the site of Sydney’s original settlement in 1788. Grace Hotel - 4 stars

Note: You may upgrade to the deluxe Inter-Continental, Four Seasons, Observatory or Park Hyatt.

Day 4: Port Stephens Or Hunter Valley Or Blue Mountains National

Option 1: Port Stephens/Nelson Bay/Stockton Beach

Today you’ll drive along rivers, rugged mountains, forest, and colonial towns to reach Port Stephens. The area is famous for its picturesque harbor, wide pearly-white beaches, towering sand dunes, crystal clear water, and natural bushland. You’ll enjoy an exciting, incredibly scenic 4WD “soft” adventure over the immense sand dunes of Stockton Beach, a wild and pristine 25-mile beach. You’ll even have an opportunity to go sand-boarding (seated; very safe) down the dunes!

After lunch in Port Stephens, you may choose between two activities. Your first option is to go on a 1 1/2 hour dolphin-watching cruise through the sparkling blue waters of Nelson Bay (whales are sited from June-August). The viewing success rate for dolphins is 97%. Swimming is popular during the summer. You will also enjoy a tasty seafood lunch.

Your second option is a scenic horseback riding excursion through natural Australian bushland to a lagoon (or along Stockton Beach for a surcharge). Return to Sydney.

Option 2: Hunter Valley (vineyards)

You’ll travel northward through picturesque countryside and along the Watagan Mountains to reach Hunter Valley, a lovely region famous for winetasting, historic towns, and bushland walks. Look for resident wildlife, including kangaroos, goanna lizards, and Bellbirds, before stopping at “The Pines” for morning tea. Continue on to Wollombi Township, where you’ll stroll around town and visit a historic pub to sample Dr. Jurd’s Jungle Juice. You’ll then tour several of Hunter Valley’s 56 different wineries, some of which date back over 100 years. You’ll enjoy lunch and high quality winetasting.

Option 3: Blue Mountains National Park

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today you'll explore the wilderness of Blue Mountains National Park by 4WD. You’ll enjoy panoramas of rugged cliffs and deep forested valleys, hear the calls of native birds and observe Australian wildlife. You’ll travel across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and past the site of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games site before enjoying morning tea with wild kangaroos deep in the Australian bush. See kangaroos up close plus friendly parrots and cockatoos. In the high Blue Mountains you'll see waterfalls, magnificent canyons and Australia's most famous sight, the remarkable 3 Sisters. Travel on backcountry 4WD tracks leading to amazing lookouts that only our modified, small group vehicles can access. Lunch today is at a gorgeous historic mountain hotel. You may then either ride on the thrilling Scenic Railway in Katoomba (the steepest passenger railway in the world) or enjoy a short walk to nearby Katoomba waterfalls & gallery. Your day concludes with a visit to Sydney’s premier animal wildlife park, where you may see and pat koalas and kangaroos. Grace Hotel

Day 5: Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Private airport transfer for your flight to Ayers Rock (within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park), sacred site of the Aboriginals and a spectacular natural landmark that leaves one speechless. 

This afternoon, you’ll enjoy a private tour of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), a series of 28 gigantic rock domes hidden in a maze of fascinating gorges and crevasses. This place is very sacred to the Aboriginal people. You’ll hike through the Walpa Gorge, learning about the ancient geology and unique flora of this arid environment. 

In the evening, you’ll drive into the desert where chefs will prepare a gourmet barbecue for you amid the spectacular scenery and tranquility of the Outback. Following dinner, the table lamps will be turned off and, in the total darkness of the outback, an astronomer will speak about the various constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. Sails in the Desert (B, D) Optional hotel upgrade to Longitude 131.

Note: We have included two nights at Uluru (Ayers Rock) to include a wide range of cultural experiences. However, we will gladly reduce your stay to 1 night if you prefer.

Day 6: uluru (Ayers Rock) – Liru Walk, Dot Painting, Camel Trek

Meals: Breakfast

Your special day begins with a sunrise tour of the base of Uluru (Ayers Rock), where you may examine Aboriginal rock paintings and weathered caves. You’ll then embark on the fascinating Liru walk with Aboriginal guides, retracing the path of the Liru ancestors through the bushland near Uluru. You’ll hear about the tragic fate of the Blue Tongue Lizard Man and learn ancient bush skills such as making kiti (bush glue), carving wooden tools with sharpened stones, making fire and throwing a spear. End your morning at the highly educational Uluru Cultural Center.

This afternoon, you may take an optional Dot Painting workshop during which you will learn about Aboriginal art and culture from aboriginal artists. You’ll even complete your own painting. 

Shortly before sunset, you’ll embark on a leisurely one-hour camelback trek, enjoying breathtaking views of Uluru, learning about the plant life and wildlife and hearing colorful anecdotes about this remarkable region. Sails in the Desert (B-continental)

Optional 1 Night/2 Day Add-On To Alice Springs

Meals: Breakfast

Day 1:

Meals: Breakfast

Private airport transfer for your short morning flight to Alice Springs, which is situated in the heart of Australia’s Outback or Red Centre. Upon arrival, you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel.

A historic land of Aboriginals, camel caravans, boomerangs and splendidly desolate open space, the Outback today still possesses a frontier charm befitting its heritage. You enter a vast land of sandy red river beds, startling ghost gums, and colorful birdlife. You’ll explore the bustling town of Alice Springs with its famous frontier town feel, unique museums and excellent craft shopping. Highlights of your private tour include the School of the Air, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Old Telegraph Station and the wonderful Mbantua Aboriginal Art Museum and Gallery. 

Optional excursion: you may take an easy quad biking excursion in the outback, riding through bush tracks, alongside mountain ranges and through sandy river beds. You are very likely to see kangaroos as well.   Crown Plaza Alice Springs

Day 2:

Meals: Breakfast

Your early morning hot air ballooning excursion will begin when the outback sky is still alight with bright stars. You’ll be aloft just as the first rays of sunlight light up this ancient red land. You’ll drift over the rugged landscape and be treated to panoramic views of the beautiful MacDonnell Ranges. 

You will then explore the world-class Desert Park that will introduce you to the highly unusual wildlife and flora of the Central Australian Desert. Walk among kangaroos and observe 120 species including the big-eared bilby, bandicoot and many birds of prey. Private airport transfer for your afternoon flight.

Day 7: Ayers Rock (Uluru)/ Port Douglas

Meals: Breakfast

Private airport transfer for your flight to Cairns. You will be met and privately transferred to Port Douglas, a charming, stylish fishing village situated along beautiful Four Mile Beach. Port Douglas is where the rainforest meets the reef. Free time to relax or explore on your own.  Peppers Beach Club Resort Port Douglas (Spa Suite)

Note: You may elect to stay at the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas or Silky Oaks Lodge in Mossman for a surcharge.

Day 8 Kuranda/Tjapukai Or Daintree Rainforest Or Whitewater Rafting

Option 1: Kuranda/Tjapukai

Your scenic railway trip from Cairns to Kuranda ranks among the great rail journeys of the world. The route ascends from the narrow coastal strip to the elevated Atherton Tableland, passing through a rugged dividing range filled with waterfalls, lakes, caves, rainforest, and gorges. You will have spectacular views of Cairns and Green Island, stopping at two stations along the way. Then stroll through Kuranda, a picturesque mountaintop village where you’ll have time to explore the markets and other attractions on your own. You’ll then take the Skyrail gondola down to Caravonica Lakes, stopping en route for a nature walk and impressive views of the Barron River.

This afternoon you’ll feast on a tasty lunch and then explore Tjapukai, a highly entertaining and educational theme park devoted to the Aboriginal people. Its entertainers are so warm, funny and full of interesting information that you may well fall in love with the culture! You’ll learn about mythology, history, medicinal plants, playing the digeridoo, spear throwing, dancing and boomerang throwing.

Option 2: Daintree Rainforest

Today you’ll explore Daintree National Park, the oldest living rainforest on earth. Protected by World Heritage Status, Daintree is a truly impressive rainforest where new species of flora and fauna are still being discovered. Your day begins with a drive along one of Australia's great scenic highways before arriving at the Daintree River. Accompanied by a naturalist guide, you’ll go on a hike while learning some of the fascinating secrets of the rainforest. After the walk, you may either ascend the Rainforest Canopy Tower to spot more wildlife or enjoy theatre presentations and interactive displays. Learn about the rich history of the region while continuing on to the tranquil Cape Tribulation Beach, where you may relax or walk around. Then go on a cruise down the Daintree River learning about the different types of wildlife and plants that make their home along this important waterway. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive and fearsome estuarine saltwater crocodile! Return to Port Douglas.

Option 3: Whitewater Rafting

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today you’ll embark on an exciting whitewater rafting trip down the picturesque Barron River (easy class 3 rapids). More experienced rafters may opt for the class 4 Tully River although this river is farther away than the Barron River.   Peppers Beach Club Resort Port Douglas (Spa Suite) (B, L)

Days 9 -11 Great Barrier Reef

You have two options for your experience on the Great Barrier Reef. 

Option 1: Coral Princess Cruise (3 nights; bi-weekly departures) 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Short morning transfer the Coral Princess, a 54-passenger first class vessel notable for its high level of comfort, impressive amenities, topnotch marine biologists, and its unique eco-cruise itinerary. For the next three days, you will explore the more remote channels, reefs, and islands of the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll stop at deserted beaches; swim, snorkel or dive in crystal clear water; and marvel at multi-colored corals and tropical fish. You will also enjoy guided rainforest walks. The Coral Princess is also equipped with a glass bottom boat. Among the places you will visit are Thetford Reef, Sudbury Cay, Coates or Nathan Reef, Dunk Island, the Family Group of Islands, the Hutchinbrook Channel, Pelorus Island, the Palm Group of Islands, Herald Island, and Halifax Bay. Disembark in Townsville the morning of day 12. Coral Princess – Standard Cabin

Note: You may upgrade to a Stateroom for a surcharge of $200pp. The cruises do not depart on a weekly basis, so if you are interested in the Coral Princess cruise option, please contact us for specific departure dates and availability.           

Option #2: Heron Island (3 nights; surcharge of $200pp over cruise option based on standard cabin; depart any day of the week) 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Private airport transfer for your flight to Gladstone, where you will take a catamaran ride to Heron Island. Unlike most resort islands, which lie inshore sheltered by the distant reef, Heron is actually part of the reef. The waters here are spectacular, teeming with fish and coral and ideal for snorkeling. You’ll enjoy guided reef walks and a beach with powder white sand. Covering only 40 acres, Heron is a breeding ground for thousands of green turtles, loggerhead turtles, and countless birds, including reef herons, noddy terns, and silver gulls. Heron is a paradise for snorkelers, divers and naturalists. The island offers a high quality nature education program. (Turtle season is from December-March, bird season from October-May, and whale season from June-August). Heron Beachside Suite. 

Return to Gladstone by catamaran on the morning of day 12. Heron Island Resort

Day 12: Great Barrier Reef/Auckland, New Zealand

Meals: Breakfast

Return to Gladstone by catamaran. Fly to Brisbane or Sydney and connect with flight to Auckland. You will be met and privately transferred to your hotel. Heritage Auckland

Note: Optional upgrade to Sebel Auckland or Hilton Auckland

Day 13: Auckland

Meals: Breakfast

Your private tour of Auckland begins with a scenic drive along the  waterfront to the quaint Victorian village of Parnell. You'll then enjoy panoramic views from an extinct volcano, Mount Eden, before  visiting Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World,  which features a penguin enclosure, underwater aquarium and dramatic Recreation of Robert Scott’s ill-fated 1912 South Pole Expedition. Then discover the Auckland Museum which houses a world-renowned collection of Polynesian artifacts. Your tour concludes with a short ferry ride to Devonport, a true marine village. Nineteenth century architecture blends with stylish restaurants, bars, galleries, museums and shops. Heritage Auckland

Day 14: Waitomo Caves/Rotorua

Meals: Breakfast

Today, travel southward with your private driver to the Waitomo Caves, a vast underground network of water-sculpted, cathedral-like limestone grottoes. Here, you’ll have the choice of either tube rafting on an underground stream or floating silently on a boat to view the magical phosphorescent lighting created by glowworms overhead. You’ll then continue on to Rotorua, the “thermal city”, featuring geysers, boiling mud pools, hissing fumaroles and hot crystal springs. Rotorua is also the center of New Zealand’s rich Maori culture.  VR Rotorua Lake Resort (4 1/2 stars)

Note: Hotel downgrade or "ultra deluxe" upgrade available (Black Swan Boutique Hotel or Huka Lodge)

Day 15: Rotorua

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today you have two options. Your first option is to travel south to Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, where you can watch Lady Knox Geyser erupt to amazing heights. You will also see volcano craters, the Primrose Terraces, Bridal Veil Falls and a boiling lake at an active volcano. Take a 4WD safari through native forests where you will stop for lunch amidst spectacular views. Take a bushwalk to an amazing waterfall where you can swim in the crystal clear river. Travel to a hot thermal pool before visiting Rainbow Springs, where you'll visit the treasured Kiwi bird in the nocturnal house. You’ll learn about the bird's origins, habitat and about certain of its endearing characteristics.

Your second option is enjoy a private tour of Rotorua’s more conventional sites. At Whakarewarewa, hike past steaming pools, spitting mud ponds, and smooth silica terraces to reach Pohutu, a geyser that sometimes shoots to over 80 feet. Then visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where you can watch skilled Maori carvers and weavers at work, before stopping at Rainbow Springs and the Agrodome. This afternoon, explore the delightful Tudor-style Bath House and Government Gardens or “take the waters” at the renowned Polynesian Spa, where you can choose from various pools with different temperatures and mineral compositions. 

Tonight, you’ll visit a traditional Maori village for a powhiri (traditional welcome), Maori concert (song and dance) and a hangi dinner. You'll be introduced to the spirit, talents and humor of the Maori people. VR Rotorua Lake Resort

Day 16: Queenstown

Meals: Breakfast

Private airport transfer for your morning flight to Queenstown. You will be met and privately transferred to your hotel.  

Queenstown lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, opposite two imposing peaks and flanked by the saw-toothed 7,500 foot high Remarkables Range. Founded in the gold rush days of the last century, Queenstown is now the adventure capital of New Zealand and the jumping-off point for your excursions into the incomparable Fjordland National Park.  Heritage Queenstown (Lakeside Suites) 4 stars

Note: Optional upgrade to Millbrook Resort, Sofitel Queenstown, Eichardt’s Private Hotel or Blanket Bay.

Day 17: Queenstown

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today you may choose between two excursions. Your first option is a  private tour of the Queenstown area. You’ll explore the quaint and once-thriving gold mining town of Arrowtown (including its excellent museum); stop for winetasting and lunch at Amisfield Vineyard, and ride up to Bob's Peak on the Skyline Gondola for superb views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables and the city. You may also visit Cromwell and Bannockburn or tour Gibbston Valley Winery. 

Your second option is to go on a guided day walk (small group) along the famous Routeburn Track, considered one of the top 10 walking tracks in the world. The Routeburn Track traverses wild and scenic mountain country between the Hollyford and Dart Valleys at the base of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Your 6-hour moderate walk (8-12 miles) will expose you to luxuriant beech forest, waterfalls, many native birds (robin, fantail, parakeet, bellbird, kea) and tremendous mountain peaks and sheer rock faces. Heritage Queenstown (Lakeside Suites

Note: Other possible activities include whitewater rafting and hot air ballooning. You may add an extra day in Queenstown if you like.

Day 18: Mount Aspiring National Park Or Walter Peak

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Option 1: Today you’ll head to Mount Aspiring National Park, an untouched wilderness with ancient forests, sparkling waterfalls,  spectacular snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Here, you’ll enjoy an exhilarating jet boat ride down an incredibly  scenic section of the Dart River Valley. You’ll then float serenely down the  river in a funyak — a comfortable and stable inflatable canoe —  passing through remote wilderness, including narrow gorges with  crystal clear waters and cascading waterfalls. You’ll also enjoy a  short hike through a silver beech forest. At several points during your excursion you’ll be shown places of outstanding natural beauty that served as backdrops for scenes in the movie Lord of the Rings. 

Option 2: You’ll cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw to reach Walter Peak. You’ll enjoy a farmyard walking  tour that includes dog handling and sheep shearing demonstrations. Stroll though the magnificent lakeside gardens and wander among sheep, red deer and Scottish Highland cattle. You may also enjoy a short horseback riding trek (elective).   Heritage Queenstown (Lakeside Suites)

Day 19: Milford Sound

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Fiordland National Park is famous for having perhaps New Zealand’s most spectacular mountain and lake scenery, so prepare to take more photos than you ever have in a single day! This morning your private guide will drive you to Milford Sound a long one of the world's most spectacular routes. You’ll be treated to towering Mitre Peak, rugged alpine scenery, and a succession of cascading waterfalls, glaciers, sheer cliffs, and rainforests. Milford Sound itself is truly magnificent: almost-verticle cliffs rise 4,000 feet from the water’s edge, tremendous waterfalls plunge (520 feet) through space to the sea below, and playful bottle-nosed dolphins and fur seals abound. You'll cruise through the fiords of Milford Sound aboard a small vessel with a naturalist guide. Conclude your day with a phenomenally scenic flight (twin engine plane) back to Queenstown, passing over a multitide of snowcapped peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, lakes and fiords. (If the flight is cancelled due to weather, then you will be transferred in a private car.)    Heritage Queenstown (Lakeside Suites) (B, L)

Two optional extensions in fiordland national park:

Option 1: Doubtful Sound (1 day)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Fiordland Lodge on day 19. On day 20 you'll head to FIordland National Park and take a boat launch across Lake Manapouri, a lovely island-studded lake. After a short ride over the Wilmot Pass, you’ll  arrive at Doubtful Sound, where you'll embark on a three hour cruise aboard a catamaran. Virtually untouched by man, Doubtful Sound often overwhelms the visitor with a feeling of incredible solitude and serenity. Less physically dramatic than Milford, Doubtful is perhaps more atmospheric. On clear mornings, Doubtful can be peaceful and serene, with the tranquil beauty of its  surroundings mirrored in the waters. When lying beneath a curtain of mist, the fiord can have an air of mystery. At all times, Doubtful is  home to many pods of bottle-nosed dolphins and fur seals. Transfer to Queenstown. Heritage Queenstown.

Option 2: Milford Track Day Hike (1 or 2 days)

Overnight at Fiordland Lodge on day 19. The Milford Track, which traverses the heart of New Zealand's wild fiord country, has long been described as "the finest walk in the world". On day 20 you'll cruise across Lake Te Anau to the spectacular northern end of the lake, before disembarking and hiking one mile to historic Glade House. After lunch, hike for two miles through rich beech forest and along along the meandering Clinton River, observing birdlife and unique aspects of the valley. Return via Glade Burn track for lovely vistas of Lake Te Anau before returning by boat to Te Anau. You may overnight at Fiordland Lodge on day 20 or transfer back to Queenstown (arriving at 8:30pm).

Day 20: Nelson

Meals: Breakfast

Morning airport transfer for your flight to Nelson, a picturesque laid-back town known for its many art galleries, quality vineyards, sunny weather and access to Abel Tasman National Park. Private transfer to hotel. Highlights of your private afternoon include a scenic drive around Nelson along with visits to the stunningly unique World of Wearable Arts Museum, Neudorf Vineyard, Hoglund Handblown Art Glass (elective class) and other art studios and vineyards. Heritage Rutherford (4 stars

Note: You may upgrade to the delightful Edenhouse, situated in the lovely Orinoco Valley.

Day 21: Abel Tasman National Park

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today you'll enjoy a full day excursion to Abel Tasman National Park, renowned for its idyllic coastline of  crescent-shaped bays, golden sand beaches, clear waters, little islands and granite headlands sculpted by erosion. Upon arrival you'll have a choice hiking and cruising, or kayaking, through this jewel of a park. The park's famous coastal track will allow you to hike through luxuriant forest while enjoying intermittent views of pristine beaches and crystal clear green water. You are likely to see tui, bellbirds and pukeko. The kayaking is also excellent, and you'll likely spot fur seals as you glide along golden beaches to the nearby islands that protect the bay. Return to Nelson.  Heritage Rutherford

Note: You may add a second day to further explore Abel Tasman National Park. 

Day 22: Homeward Bound

Meals: Breakfast

Fly to Auckland or Christchurch and connect with your international flight, arriving on the same day.


Checking price
Price From $ 9,275
Price Per Day: $ 422 per day
Check Availability
  • Deposit Price: $ 1,000
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 2,100

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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Private - your group only

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations and Refunds: If you need to cancel your trip, please notify us in writing or by fax immediately. The cancellation penalty is calculated from the day we receive cancellation notice. (For those persons who do travel, there are no refunds for any unused meals, accommodations or other trip activities.) In certain cases, the cancellation policies of NEI's subcontractors will supercede NEI's policy. The cancellation penalty is calculated based on the schedule below.

Number of days prior to departure. Cancellation fee per person:

61+days $1,000 plus applicable airfare penalties

45–60 days 40% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties

30–44 days 60% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties

0–29 days 100% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties

Additional Information:

Change Fee for Multiple Changes to Confirmed Itineraries:

NEI will often customize trip itineraries for prospective travelers in order to meet their preferences and parameters. This process contributes greatly to the success of the tour but it is also very time consuming and we must, therefore, set limits on the number of changes made to an itinerary once it has been confirmed. Consequently, after all of the hotel reservations for a new booking have been confirmed with our local suppliers, NEI will accommodate one “free” set of simultaneous changes of the hotel portion of the itinerary. For any subsequent changes to the hotel portion of the itinerary, NEI reserves the right to charge a change fee of $200 per person. NEI will usually not charge any change fee for changes made to the activities or excursions, providing that such non-hotel changes are made at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date.



Nature Expeditions International is responsible for conducting this trip as outlined in the published itinerary. It reserves the right, however, to cancel the trip should it become affected by conditions beyond the company’s control. In such an event, NEI will return all monies paid to it by the affected participants, less an administrative fee of $200 per person, as full and final settlement.

NEI also reserves the right to substitute other lodging during the trip or to change the trip leader(s), itinerary, or travel arrangements if the staff believes it is in the best interest of all participants. In addition, NEI may decline to accept or retain any member or prospective member of an announced trip. Full refund for the unused portion of the trip will be paid to the affected participant in such an event.


Climate: The seasons in Australia and New Zealand are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring occurs from September to November, summer from December to February, fall from March to May, and winter from June to August.  Be prepared for the chill of desert evenings in the Outback, as well as for rain in the Cairns region. Average temperatures in Sydney range from 64 F (night) to 78 (day) in summer and 47 to 62 in winter. In subtropical Brisbane, average summer temperatures are 68 to 85, with winter temperatures dropping 10-15 degrees. In the Outback, temperatures vary from the high 60’s to low 90’s during the day, with night temperatures dropping to the mid 30’s in July and August. 


The climate in New Zealand ranges from subtropical in the north to temperate in the south and is a typical marine climate. Westerly winds bring 100-200 inches of precipitation yearly to the west coast  of South Island, whereas only 20-30 inches fall on the east coast. Rainfall on North island averages 40-70 inches annually and is heavier in the west. Average temperatures during summer range from the 50's to the 70's, and in the winter months highs average in the 30’s and 40’s.


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Trip Excludes

  • Airfares except helicopter fare to Barrier Reef (quoted separately)
  • Meals not included in itinerary
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry, passports or visas
  • Personal insurance
  • Other personal items
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Hotel Nights en route or return from Australia. New Zealand.

Meals Included:

35 Meals as indicated in itinerary

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With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
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