SYDNEY, GREAT BARRIER REEF, CAIRNS, MELBOURNE, QUEENSTOWN, MILFORD SOUND, AUCKLAND, AND DUNEDIN
Switch hemispheres and experience all the thrills of a “down under” adventure. You’ll immerse yourself in contemporary cities and indigenous cultures, natural wonders and feats of modern architecture. Our escorted tour first whisks you off to New Zealand, where you’ll hit the urban gems of Auckland and Dunedin with stops along the way for waterfront towns and an overnight stay on a working farm in the Fairlie. From there, you’ll fly across the Tasman Sea to Australia. Here, you’ll explore the gardens and history of Melbourne, traverse the Great Barrier Reef—one of the seven natural wonders of the world—and see the famed sites of Sydney, including its iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
For COVID-19 updates, please scroll down to our Before You Depart section.
- 2 nights in Auckland
- 3 nights in Queenstown
- 2 nights in Dunedin
- 1 night in Fairlie
- 2 nights in Melbourne
- 3 nights in Cairns
- 3 nights in Sydney
- Round-trip international airfare from Los Angeles
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- All intra-South Pacific flights, ground transportation and transfers
- Accommodations at deluxe and superior first-class hotels
- One night accommodation on a New Zealand Farm with dinner (D)
- Full buffet American breakfast daily (B)
- A welcome dinner in Auckland (D)
- A farewell dinner in Sydney (D)
- Sightseeing tours including admission fees as indicated in itinerary
- English-speaking local guides
Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.
Depart from the U.S.
Your fascinating “Down Under” adventure begins today as you board your flight on the award-winning Qantas Airways. Airfare from the U.S. is included.
Cross the International Dateline and “lose” one day along the way. Don’t worry—you’ll “regain” it when you fly from Australia back to the U.S. at the end of your journey!
Arrive in Auckland (New Zealand)
Touch down in the lively harbor city of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island. You’ll be greeted at the airport and escorted to your upscale city-center hotel where you’ll join your tour director for a welcome drink and a brief orientation walk.
Crowne Plaza Hotel or similar
Time to go island-hopping—flying to South Island’s Queenstown, New Zealand’s lakeside resort destination surrounded by the Southern Alps. In the afternoon, you’ll accompany your tour director on a stroll through this charming town from your postcard-worthy hotel nestled near the shore of picturesque Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third-largest lake.
Millennium Hotel Queenstown or similar | Breakfast
Milford Sound ExcursionQueenstown
Experience a day on the town your own way—and at your own pace. Looking for something to do that’s a little farther afield? You could always visit the famous Walter Peak Sheep Station located on the opposite bank of Lake Wakatipu. Here, you can join a farmyard tour, catch a sheep shearing demo, help feed the farm’s wooly residents and watch professional sheep dogs hard at work.
Dunedin/Mt. Cook Region/Fairlie
Depart New Zealand for Melbourne (Australia)
Following a hearty breakfast with your host family on the farm, you’ll proceed to the airport and board a flight across the Tasman Sea to Melbourne, Australia. As Victoria’s stately capital, Melbourne is renowned for its vibrant culture, spacious parks and beautiful gardens. Relax on the airport transfer to your hotel, ideally located in the heart of this capital city.
Clarion Suites Gateway or similar | Breakfast
On an included morning tour, you’ll visit the 150-year-old Fitzroy Gardens that showcase a fine collection of fountains, statues and memorials—as well as Captain Cook’s circa-1755 family home. You’ll also see the City Square, the Victorian Art Center and the old Parliament House. The balance of the day is dedicated to independent exploration. We recommend the optional excursion to Phillip Island to watch the fairy penguin parade.
Today, you’ll board a northbound flight to tropical Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef—one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Here you’ll check into your hotel, where we encourage you to relax and enjoy the swimming pool—you’re in paradise after all!
Pacific Hotel Cairns or similar | Breakfast
Great Barrier Reef Excursion
Spend the day at your leisure right here in tropical Cairns. Or you may choose to take an optional tour aboard a scenic skyrail to the aboriginal village of Kuranda, where you can immerse yourself in the culture or get up close with the local wildlife.
Today, you’ll depart tropical Cairns for Australia’s oldest and most iconic city. Settle into your elegant hotel, ideally located in the city center near the scenic Sydney Harbour, the renowned Opera House that attracts over 8.2 million visitors annually and the enchanting Botanical Gardens. Later, join your tour director for an orientation walk to put your finger on the beating pulse of the city.
Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour or similar | Breakfast
Today, bid farewell to “Down Under” and board your return flight. Cross the International Dateline and regain the day “lost” in the beginning of the trip. Your magical Australia tour packages end as you arrive Los Angeles the same day.
We are working diligently to secure future tour dates and pricing for this itinerary. Please fill out the "Request a Future Date" form linked below and we will notify you once dates are available.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
Pricing is subject to change. Payment (non-refundable) should be made in local currency by cash, VISA or MasterCard only. Tours are subject to availability, minimum number of participants, and may not be offered on all departure dates. Once confirmed, missed optional tours are non-refundable. Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment.
Queenstown by Night with Skyline Dinner Tour
- From approx. $68 Per Person, dinner included
You’ll travel by gondola (cable car) to the top of Bob’s Peak, overlooking Queenstown. Here, you’ll indulge in a lavish buffet dinner at the Skyline Restaurant while savoring the wonderful views of the town, the lake and the surrounding mountains.
Walter Peak Farm Tour and Cruise
- From approx. $64 Per Person
Board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw for an afternoon cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Farm, where you’ll enjoy afternoon tea, stroll around the beautiful lakeside gardens, and see farm animals and work demonstrations before steaming back to Queenstown later in the afternoon.
Cruise on TSS Earnslaw and Dinner
- From approx. $96 Per Person, dinner included
All aboard the vintage TSS Earnslaw steamship for a voyage back in time across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Farm. After docking, proceed to one of the elegant dining rooms at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant overlooking the picturesque Beach Bay. You’ll be treated to a feast of authentic New Zealand country cooking before sailing back to Queenstown later in the evening.
Skippers Canyon Four-Wheel Drive Safari
- From approx. $145 Per Person, refreshments included
Tour of Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle & Wildlife Cruise
- From approx. $105 Per Person
Phillip Island and Fairy Penguins Express
- From approx. $120 Per Person
Michaelmas Cay (Great Barrier Reef) Upgrade
- From approx. $93 Per Person, lunch and tea included
Full-Day Kuranda Village and Scenic SkyRail Excursion
- From approx. $140 Per Person, lunch and tea included
Harbor Story Cruise
- From approx. $40 Per Person
Depart from Circular Quay on a leisurely cruise through the magnificent Sydney Harbor. You’ll gain a new from-the-water perspective of the Opera House, the city’s skyline and the Harbour Bridge, all while listening to interesting commentary and enjoying complimentary coffee. This cruise is available in the morning (10am, except on Sunday) or afternoon (2:15pm). Please note that transfers to and from pier are not included.
Rocks Guided Walking Tour
- From approx. $25 Per Person
Australian Wildlife Park
- From approx. $70 Per Person
- From approx. $239 Per Person, photo included
Experience the climb of your life! A professional team will take you on an exhilarating ascent all the way to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (warmly called the Coathanger), where you will pause to take in the unforgettable views from nearly 440 feet above the water. A complimentary souvenir photo of the climb is included, earning you the ultimate bragging rights back at home.
Sunset Dinner Cruise
- From approx. $75 Per Person, dinner included
Enjoy dinner with a view. You’ll depart King Street Wharf at 5pm to set sail on the magnificent harbor. A 3-course Contemporary Australian a la carte dinner (with set entree) will be complemented by local sparkling and still wine, beer and soft drinks. After dining and enjoying the harbor panoramas, you’ll return to King Street Wharf at 6:30pm. Please note that transfers to and from pier are not included.
Crowne Plaza HotelAuckland
Surrounded by the city’s shopping, theaters and restaurants.
128 Albert Street, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
Millennium Hotel QueenstownQueenstown
Located in the heart of the action with scenic city and mountain views.
32 Frankton Road, Queenstown, 9300, New Zealand
Scenic Hotel Southern CrossDunedin
The city’s largest and most established hotel, complete with on-property casino.
118 High Street, Dunedin, 9016, New Zealand
Clarion Suites GatewayMelbourne
120 apartment-style suites on the banks of the Yarra River in the heart of the city.
1 William Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
Pacific Hotel CairnsCairns
43 The Esplanade Cairns 4870 QLD Australia
Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour
319 – 325 Sussex Street
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Departing the U.S.: For the safety of everyone in the group, smarTours has implemented some COVID-19 travel requirements which apply to all tours regardless of destination. To learn more, click here.
Returning to the U.S.: In accordance with U.S. entry requirements, smarTours will arrange testing for the group in destination. Full details and requirements can be accessed here. More details including cost will be added when available.
Please note entry requirements are changing rapidly. For up-to-date information, please click the links below.
- Entry requirements
- State Department Travel Advisory Updates (Australia, New Zealand)
- Center for Disease Control Updates & Information (Australia, New Zealand)
Your flights from the U.S. and back are on Qantas Airways. We recommend that you check-in three-and-a-half hours before departure. Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least three-and-a-half hours. Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.
|2022: Jan. 4, Feb. 15, Mar. 15||TBA||TBA|
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
Qantas Airways does not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged at the airport upon check-in, and smarTours® is not involved with assigning seats. If you have a preferred seating choice, please make sure you check-in for your flight as early as possible.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the travel date. U.S. citizens require a visa to Australia and New Zealand.
Australia: U.S. passport holders require an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority/visa) to enter Australia. This visa can be secured online before the trip by logging into the official website at https://www.eta.homeaffairs.gov.au/ETAS3/etas. Please follow the procedures as listed on the official website to secure the ETA/Visa and pay online any applicable fees.
New Zealand: U.S. citizens may travel to New Zealand without a visa if they get an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) waiver before they travel. For more information and to apply for an NZeTA waiver, please visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta.
Non-U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets, along with final instructions and some additional travel tips, will be sent to you 7–10 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.
Immunizations are not currently required. However, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions.
Weather conditions will vary widely in the areas covered on this tour. Generally speaking, seasons “down under” are the reverse of our seasons. (When it’s summer in the U.S., it’s winter “down under.”) Cairns enjoys tropical weather with hot temperatures during their summer (Dec-Feb). Sydney’s weather is mild with highs varying from the 60s in their winter to the 80s during their summer. The South Island of New Zealand will be mild during their summer (60s and low 70s) and cool in their winter (high in the 40s). It’s always a good idea to dress in layers.
NON-INCLUDED MEALS AND SIGHTSEEING
The hotels used on this tour have several dining choices, from casual cafes to specialty restaurants. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) is about $20–$25 per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals. Optional sightseeing tours and evening activities will be offered.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars. Your hotels will be able to exchange cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds, and one carry-on not exceeding 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not overpack and that you take a variety of casual separates with climate and comfort in mind.