Explore a host of wonders across Australia and New Zealand—from the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru to Milford Sound; and gain insights into the ancient cultures of Australia's Aboriginal people and the Māori of New Zealand.

Starting at: $10,595 * Price includes special offer * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sydney Opera House at night
 Australia's Great Barrier Reef
 The Great Barrier Reef
 Clown fish amid the anemone, the Great Barrier Reef
 Tropical fish and coral, the Great Barrier Reef
 A person swimming with a sea turtle, Great Barrier Reef
 Sea fans, Great Barrier Reef
 A colorful starfish found at the Great Barrier Reef
 Tropical fish and coral of the Great Barrier Reef
 Daintree River and Rainforest
 Flora in the Daintree Rainforest
 Boardwalks in the Daintree Rainforest
 Australian Azure Kingfisher, Daintree Rainforest
 A rare Southern Cassowary in the Daintree Rainforest
 Uluru or Ayers Rock
 The Olgas at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
 Sunset over Uluru
 Night sky in Australia
 Sydney skyline, early evening
 The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
 Koala
 Wallabies
 Looking out over Queenstown. Credit: Chris Sisarich/Tourism New Zealand
 Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables
 View from Mt. Cook. Credit: Hannah Coles
 Dramatic Milford Sound with Mitre Peak. Credit: Rob Suisted/Tourism New Zealand
 Wines of New Zealand. Credit: Chris McLennan/Tourism New Zealand
 Maori sculpture
 Maori woman with traditional tattoos. Credit: James Heremaia/Tourism New Zealand
 Traditional Maori greeting, or <i>Hongi</i>. Credit: Chris SisarichTourism New Zealand
 Maori Haka performance. Credit: James Heremaia/Tourism New Zealand
 Traditional Maori meeting house
 Rotorua's Te Puia. Credit: Eric Lindberg/Tourism New Zealand

Splendors of Australia and New Zealand

22 days from $10,595 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Explore a host of wonders across Australia and New Zealand—from the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru to Milford Sound; and gain insights into the ancient cultures of Australia's Aboriginal people and the Māori of New Zealand.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Smithsonian Journeys tours always have unique interesting itineraries and always have a very interesting like-minded set of other traveling companions. The lecture information always help better understand the countries and geology better. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

This was the very best trip I have ever taken. I will travel with Smithsonian Journeys again and again! Thank you so much. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

This was the only tour we found that went to every place we wanted to visit in Australia and New Zealand (including the Outback!). 

- Richard S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Expectations: This Classic Land Journey features long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some days include activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (muddy/slippery walking or hiking trails, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators), and walking in city centers where coaches are prohibited. The itinerary features use of local transportation including train, cable car, and boat, as well as several internal plane rides. Some days may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time is included throughout the itinerary.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Smithsonian Journeys tours always have unique interesting itineraries and always have a very interesting like-minded set of other traveling companions. The lecture information always help better understand the countries and geology better. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

This was the very best trip I have ever taken. I will travel with Smithsonian Journeys again and again! Thank you so much. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

This was the only tour we found that went to every place we wanted to visit in Australia and New Zealand (including the Outback!). 

- Richard S.

Itinerary: Spring 2024

Days 1-2 — Depart the U.S. for Cairns, Australia

Fly to Australia, losing a day as you cross the International Date Line.

Days 3-5 — Australia's Far North—Cairns, Kuranda, and The Great Barrier Reef

Arrive in Cairns, transfer to your hotel, and gather for a welcome dinner. The next day, ride the historic Kuranda Railway from the coast up through World Heritage-listed Barron Gorge National Park, traversing tunnels and canyons on your way into the lush mountains. Stroll through picturesque Kuranda, and board the world’s longest gondola cableway for a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy. Then spend a day exploring the Great Barrier Reef, where more than 2,800 coral reefs make up one of the world’s richest marine ecosystems. On a full-day excursion to Michaelmas Cay, go swimming and snorkeling or climb into a semi-submersible vessel for a closer look at the reefs. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Cairns/Sydney

Enjoy a morning to explore Cairns. Depart this afternoon for Sydney and settle into your hotel before dinner. (B,D)

Day 7 — Sydney/Alice Springs

Fly to Alice Springs, the capital of the Outback. The first stop is Alice Springs Reptile Centre.  At Anzac Hill, take in expansive views and see the monument to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in the World Wars. Visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service, the first comprehensive aerial medical organization in the world, then tour the School of the Air, which provides education to children in remote communities scattered across the Outback. Relax around a campfire, enjoy musical entertainment, and look for the Southern Cross and other constellations at a traditional “bush” dinner. (B,D)

Day 8 — Alice Springs

Venture into more rugged terrain the next day on an Aboriginal cultural walk and nature tour at the Alice Springs Desert Park, where we learn about this ancient culture in a natural bush setting. Visit Simpsons Gap, an Aboriginal spiritual site, and explore Standley Chasm. (B,L)

Day 9 — Uluru

This morning, depart by coach for Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a World Heritage site and home to the Anangu Aboriginal peoples.  Explore the base of Uluru and delve into local culture at a nearby museum. (B,D)

Day 10 - Uluru and Sydney

Take a walking tour of the otherworldly Olgas rock formations and watch the sun set over Uluru, the fabled sandstone monolith that rises 1,114 feet above the plain. Then fly to Sydney, arriving late in the afternoon. (B)

Day 11 - Sydney

Admire the views of the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge during a lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour. Spend time at Featherdale Wildlife Park, where koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and dingoes roam freely amid ten acres of rain forest, eucalyptus, and gardens. Visit the Rocks District and enjoy dinner on the waterfront. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Sydney and Christchurch, New Zealand

After a late morning tour of the Sydney Opera House, enjoy a free afternoon to discover the city on your own. In the evening, board a flight to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.” (B) 

Day 13 — Christchurch and Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

This morning’s orientation tour features the acclaimed Botanic Gardens and “Re:START Mall,” the vibrant civic area built from the rubble of the 2011 earthquake. Journey south by motorcoach to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, stopping en route at a working farm in Geraldine. Here, learn about wool handling and classing while witnessing a sheep-shearing demonstration, and watch trained sheepdogs skillfully muster Suffolk sheep. Learn about red and white deer farming and tour the working deer sheds and yards. Arrive at Mt. Cook in the Southern Alps, a stunning landscape of turquoise lakes and snowcapped mountains, and settle into your hotel before dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 14 — Aoraki Mount Cook

Set out for Mount Cook Village and visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center. Meander through the Hillary Gallery, commemorating Sir Edmund’s achievements, including the first ascent of Mount Cook’s difficult south face. After time in the village for lunch on your own, this afternoon is at leisure to discover Aoraki Mount Cook as you wish. (B,D) 

Day 15 — Queenstown

Travel through New Zealand’s lush fruit-growing region to Queenstown, stopping in the former gold mining town of Arrowtown. Enjoy a wine tasting and savory lunch at a renowned winery before continuing to the famed Kawarau Bridge where in 1988 AJ Hackett invented bungee jumping. Reach the “adventure capital” of Queenstown in mid-afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 16 — Milford Sound

Set out on a rewarding, full-day excursion to the World Heritage-listed Milford Sound. Glide through the breathtaking fjords on a nature cruise, watching for wildlife, waterfalls, and spectacular scenery.  Enjoy lunch on board. This afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to return to Queenstown on a scenic flight, taking in magnificent aerial views the Fiordland. (B,L)

Day 17 — Queenstown

Today is yours to pursue your own interests in Queenstown. You may consider a hike, a stroll along Lake Wakatipu, a day of wine-tasting, or any of the many adventure activities offered in the city. Your Travel Director will have recommendations. (B) 

Day 18 — Rotorua

Fly from Queenstown to Rotorua on the North Island. This geothermal landscape of geysers, bubbling mud pools, steaming thermal springs is a center of Māori culture. Take a panoramic tour of this city on the shores of Lake Rotorua. This evening visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Māori Cultural Centre for a traditional hangi dinner and Māori performance. (B,D) 

Day 19 — Rotorua

Venture along the leafy paths of Paradise Valley Springs for a closer look at native flora, fauna, and birdlife. Tour the National Kiwi Trust, and learn firsthand how injured kiwis—New Zealand’s flightless national bird—are rescued and  rehabilitated here. (B)

Days 20-21 — Rotorua and Auckland

Venture into  Ruakuri Caves to see the thousands of glowworms illuminate underground grottoes. Late this afternoon arrive in Auckland, the “City of Sails,” set atop more than 50 volcanic hills. Take a half-day city tour featuring the Auckland War Memorial MuseumAuckland Harbour, and the America’s Cup Village. Tonight celebrate your adventure at a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 22 — Depart for the U.S.

Early this morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Los Angeles (via Sydney), and connect with your flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

Itinerary: Fall 2024

Days 1-2 — Depart the U.S. for Sydney, Australia

Fly to Australia, losing a day as you cross the International Date Line.

Days 3 — Arrive in Sydney

We arrive in Sydney this morning and transfer to our hotel, where the day is at leisure to relax and refresh.  Tonight, we meet our fellow travelers and Odysseys Tour Director at a briefing followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel. (D)

Days 4 — Sydney

Today’s tour of this cosmopolitan city features The Rocks historic neighborhood, Darling Harbour and Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, Rose and Watson’s bays, and popular Bondi Beach. Then we board a catamaran for a lunch cruise around Sydney Harbour. (B,L)

Day 5 — Sydney

This morning we tour the iconic Sydney Opera House then visit Featherdale Wildlife Park, where wombats, dingoes, and koalas reside.  Our afternoon is at leisure; we dine tonight at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 6 — Sydney/Uluru

We depart by air for Australia’s Outback today, reaching our hotel in time for lunch on our own.  Late afternoon we visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is the traditional land of the Anangu Aboriginal peoples and home of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Olgas rock formations.  We tour the site’s Cultural Centre then watch the sun set over this fabled monolith that rises to a height of 1,114 feet.  Then we dine under the stars at a special Sounds of Silence experience. (B,D)

Days 7 — Uluru

Early risers have the option to watch the sun come up over Uluru this morning.  Then together we depart for the Olgas (Kata-Tjuta), the dramatic domed rock formations considered sacred to Aboriginal peoples.  Here we join in a traditional dot painting experience where we learn about the Anangu culture and way of life. (B,D)

Day 8 — Uluru/Cairns

It’s a travel day as we depart Uluru for tropical Cairns, gateway to Australia’s Far North. (B)

Day 9 — Cairns/Great Barrier Reef

This morning we board a boat for a day-long excursion to the Great Barrier Reef, at 1,200 miles long the world’s largest living organism and richest marine resource.  We pull up at Michaelmas Cay where we can swim, snorkel, or view the reef from a semi-submersible vessel. (B,L)

Day 10 — Cairns

It’s a full day, beginning at Mossman Gorge where we embark on a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk conducted by local Indigenous people.  Then we travel to the mountain village of Kuranda, surrounded by the world’s oldest living tropical rainforest, where we have time to explore on our own before we descend via the gondolas of Skyrail. (B,D)

Day 11 — Cairns/Christchurch, New Zealand

Today we travel via Sydney to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. (B)

Day 12 — Christchurch

Our morning city tour features the Botanic Gardens; Cathedral Square, the beating heart of the city and site of Christchurch Cathedral; and the memorial to victims of the 2011 earthquake.  This afternoon is at leisure for independent exploration; dinner is at our hotel. (B,D)

Day 13 — Christchurch/Mount Cook National Park

We depart by coach this morning for the journey south to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.  En route we stop for lunch and a visit to a local farm before we reach our hotel late this afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 14 — Aoraki Mount Cook

Set out for Mount Cook Village and visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center. Meander through the Hillary Gallery, commemorating Sir Edmund’s achievements, including the first ascent of Mount Cook’s difficult south face. After time in the village for lunch on your own, this afternoon is at leisure to discover Aoraki Mount Cook as you wish. (B,D) 

Day 15 — Queenstown

Travel through New Zealand’s lush fruit-growing region to Queenstown, stopping in the former gold mining town of Arrowtown. Enjoy a wine tasting and savory lunch at a renowned winery before continuing to the famed Kawarau Bridge where in 1988 AJ Hackett invented bungee jumping. Reach the “adventure capital” of Queenstown in mid-afternoon. (B,L,D)

Days 16 — Milford Sound

Set out on a rewarding, full-day excursion to the World Heritage-listed Milford Sound. Glide through the breathtaking fjords on a nature cruise, watching for wildlife, waterfalls, and spectacular scenery.  Enjoy lunch on board. This afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to return to Queenstown on a scenic flight, taking in magnificent aerial views the Fiordland. (B,L)

Day 17 — Queenstown

Today is yours to pursue your own interests in Queenstown. You may consider a hike, a stroll along Lake Wakatipu, a day of wine-tasting, or any of the many adventure activities offered in the city. Your Travel Director will have recommendations. (B) 

Day 18 — Rotorua

Fly from Queenstown to Rotorua on the North Island. This geothermal landscape of geysers, bubbling mud pools, steaming thermal springs is a center of Māori culture. Take a panoramic tour of this city on the shores of Lake Rotorua. This evening visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Māori Cultural Centre for a traditional hangi dinner and Māori performance. (1B,1D) 

Day 19 — Rotorua

Venture along the leafy paths of Paradise Valley Springs for a closer look at native flora, fauna, and birdlife. Tour the National Kiwi Trust, and learn firsthand how injured kiwis—New Zealand’s flightless national bird—are rescued and  rehabilitated here. (B)

Days 20-21 — Rotorua and Auckland

Venture into  Ruakuri Caves to see the thousands of glowworms illuminate underground grottoes. Late this afternoon arrive in Auckland, the “City of Sails,” set atop more than 50 volcanic hills. Take a half-day city tour featuring the Auckland War Memorial MuseumAuckland Harbour, and the America’s Cup Village. Tonight celebrate your adventure at a farewell dinner. (2B,D)

Day 22 — Depart for the U.S.

Early this morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Los Angeles (via Sydney), and connect with your flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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