AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
This bucket list trip to Australia and New Zealand is the ultimate dream vacation! Start with 14 nights in the Gold Coast in your luxury oceanview apartment in the centre of Surfers Paradise! Then fly from Brisbane to Sydney, Australia for an overnight stay. Then embark on a luxurious 12-night Australia and New Zealand cruise aboard Holland America’s MS Noordam sailing from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand! Your amazing journey ends with two nights in Auckland, New Zealand, a city of natural wonders and stunning coastlines!
• Australia’s Gold Coast: 14 nights at the Mantra Sun City Apartments
• oceanview apartment in the heart of Surfers Paradise, 15 mins. from, shopping centre or two tram stops
• four excursions including Outback Spectacular, Wilderness Rainforest National Park with lunch, Brisbane and Aqua Duck Safari
• Sydney: Overnight at the Grace Hotel with breakfast and city tour, welcome dinner
• Cruise: 12-night Australia and New Zealand cruise onboard MS Noordam w/meals
• Auckland: two nights at the Crowne Plaza Auckland Hotel with breakfast one dinner cruise, full-day city tour and Waiheke Island wine tour
• all transfers, service fees, and gratuities included*, Merit Travel Tour Host, all taxes
Related Services Available to Add
Days 1-2 | Feb. 26-27, 2017 | DEPART TORONTO — BRISBANE, AU
Board your overnight flight to Brisbane. Westjet flight 709 departs Toronto 12:55 p.m. Arrives Vancouver 15:12 p.m. Connecting with Air New Zealand flight 23 departs Vancouver at 1835 p.m. Arrives Auckland at 0540 a.m. on February 28. Connecting with Air New Zealand flight 135 departs Auckland at 09:30 a.m. arrives Brisbane at 10:05 a.m.
Day 3 | Feb. 28, 2017 | ARRIVE BRISBANE — GOLD COAST
Upon arrival in Brisbane International airport meet your local representative and transfer to your accommodations on the Gold Coast.
Day 4-15 | Mar. 01-12, 2017 | GOLD COAST
Full days at leisure to explore Gold Coast & its surrounding areas. Your Tour Host will be available for additional suggestions. You will have four cultural excursions included to really understand the local culture.
WILDERNESS RAINFOREST TOUR WITH SOUTHERN CROSS (L):
Depart your hotel for the World Heritage Listed Rainforests of Lamington National Park. The trek into the Hinterland region follows the original pioneer’s track to the volcanic plateau of Tamborine Mountain and this area of secluded eucalyptus forests provides a private sanctuary for koala, wallabies, kangaroos and other varied wildlife. Tucked away in the beautiful Sarabah Valley is our private lunch venue “Spring Gully’ that has all the appeal of ‘the outback” yet only a stone’s throw from the Gold Coast. This 400 acre property provides the ideal venue for a delicious BBQ lunch and a on a hot day, nearby cool waters and rock pools provide the opportunity for a refreshing swim so it is recommended that guests bring their swimsuits. Following lunch, the tour continues on into the mountainous regions of Lamington National Park (Australia’s largest preserved natural stand of subtropical rainforest). Return to your hotel in the Gold Coast.
HALF DAY BRISBANE TOUR: Depart your hotel for a half day Brisbane city excursion to discover Brisbane’s colonial past and see its oldest buildings including the magnificent St John’s Cathedral and City Hall, Treasury Casino, Parliament House and the Commissariat Store. Pass the City Botanical Gardens and stop on top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs for great views of the river and the city skyline. Then cross the Story Bridge, passing Chinatown to Bartley’s Lookout, for a panoramic view of Brisbane, and Mt Coot-tha Lookout, a favourite destination for locals and visitors.
OUTBACK SPECTACULAR INCLUDING MEDIEVAL DINNER (D):
Depart your hotel and enjoy dinner and a High Country Show at the Outback Spectacular. Be dazzled like never before by the amazing animal stars, see death defying stunts and aerial performances as you hear the brave tale of the Aussie girl sold to the circus at the tender age of 7. Sit back and enjoy the majesty of an arena transformed into the snowy peaks of the high country as 40 stockmen and women serve up a gourmet Aussie feast with beer, wine or soft drink to every member of the audience – all in record time. Witness the bravery, beauty and courage of the greatest Australian stories never told. Dinner included.
AQUA DUCK SAFARI EXCURSION:
Depart your hotel and experience the Gold Coast as you never have before! Your Ducktacular land and water tour begins weaving around the streets of Surfers Paradise, followed by a waddle along the Gold Coast beaches and up to the magnificent Versace and Marina Mirage Resorts. The Aquaduck Gold Coast Adventure gets to show its true colours with a bit of ‘duck diving’ into the spectacular Broadwater and you get to experience the thrill of the big splash. Cruise along and take in the sights of the beautiful waterways and of course the fabulous millionaire’s row. The Aquaduck has a unique seating layout which offers you more room to stand and move around, along with great views.
Day 16 | Mar. 13, 2017 | BRISBANE — SYDNEY (D)
Today you will transferred to the airport for your flight to Sydney. Virgin Australia flight 516 departs Brisbane at 10:05 a.m. Arrives Sydney at 12:35 p.m. Check in to the Grace Hotel. This evening, enjoy dinner at local restaurant, 3 courses within an easy flat 15 minute walk around the Darling Harbour/Cockle Bay district.
Day 17-29 | Mar. 14, 2017 | SYDNEY — WHITE BAY TERMINAL (B, D)
Depart your hotel accompanied by our Sydney local guide for our sights of Sydney and the famous beaches. Driving through the city centre, we will see many contrasts - from the traditional Victorian architecture of the Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building (worth an interior visit on your own) to the modern skyscrapers of the business district; from the sweeping design of the Opera House to the modern developments of Darling Harbour. Drive through the Botanic Garden to Lady Macquarie’s Chair (for views of the harbour and the Opera House and bridge) and then head out to the exclusive eastern suburbs, passing Kings Cross en route to Vaucluse and Double Bay. Continue to the Heads, famous Bondi Beach and historic Paddington with its iron railed town houses, arriving at White Bay Cruise Terminal where we board our 12 nights cruise onboard Holland America’s – MS Noordam.
Below is information on your cruise itinerary and ports of call
you will be visiting. Prepaid gratuities are included onboard the
cruise but shore excursions are not included.
March 14, 2017 (D) Sydney, AU | Depart @ 6:30 p.m.
March 15, 2017 (B, L, D) At Sea
March 16, 2017 (B, L, D) Hobart, Tasmania, AU | Arrive @ 8:00 a.m.
March 17, 2017 (B, L, D) Hobart, Tasmania, AS | Depart @ 8:00 a.m.
Port Arthur, Australia | 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
March 18, 2017 (B, L, D) At Sea
March 19, 2017 (B, L, D) At Sea
March 20, 2017 (B, L, D) Milford Sound, NZ | 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Cruising Fiordland National Park
March 21, 2017 (B, L, D) Port Chalmers (Dunedin), NZ | 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
March 22, 2017 (B, L, D) Akaroa (Christchurch), NZ | 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
March 23, 2017 (B, L, D) Wellington, NZ | 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
March 24, 2017 (B, L, D) Napier, NZ | 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
March 25, 2017 (B, L, D) Tauranga (Rotorua), NZ | 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
March 26, 2017 (B) Auckland, NZ | Arrive @ 7:00 a.m.
Day 29 | Mar. 26, 2017 | AUCKLAND (B, D)
Disembark your cruise around 9:30 am and transfer to the Crown Plaza with sightseeing enroute. Enjoy a Maori Cultural Performance including admission to Auckland Museum plus Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World. You will arrive at the hotel for check in by 4 p.m. This evening enjoy a Pride of Auckland dinner cruise and immerse yourself in Auckland’s harbour setting with dinner on the water. Glide past the city as it lights up and watch the sun set over the inner harbour.
Day 30 | Mar. 27, 2017 | AUCKLAND (B)
Following a full breakfast at the hotel, begin the Total Tower Experience tour. Total Tower Experience The Sky Tower provides a bird’s eye view of the “City of Sails” sitting at 328 metres, the journey begins from down at the base of the tower. Travel up in the glass fronted lifts which open up to the unparalleled views in all directions of the city and its surrounding area. You will have access to the main observation deck and sky deck. Make your own way to Fuller’s ferry terminal to catch the ferry to Waiheke Island. Once on the island you will join the Waiheke wine tour which includes wine tastings and mouth watering treats. Once the tour is done, you will take the ferry back to Fuller’s ferry terminal and walk back to the hotel.
Day 31 | Mar. 28, 2017 | AUCKLAND — TORONTO (VIA HOUSTON) (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. Air New Zealand flight 28 departs Auckland at 1700 p.m. arrives Houston 12:30 p.m. Connecting with Air Canada flight 8112 departs Houston at 14:20 p.m. Arrives Toronto at 18:17 p.m.
2 NIGHTS OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO AYERS ROCK
Departs March 3, 2017
Add an optional two-night extension to Ayers Rock, one of the most impressive landmarks in Australia. Your extension includes return flights from the Gold Coast, return airport transfers from your Gold Coast Hotel, two nights accommodation at the Outback Pioneer Hotel at Ayers Rock Resort or similar with breakfast, Sound of Silence dinner and two half-day excursions to Uluru and Kata Tjuta, all transfers.
Day 5 | Mar. 03, 2017 | GOLD COAST — AYERS ROCK (D)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ayers Rock, upon arrival check-in to your hotel. This afternoon head out to a private area to enjoy the famous “Sounds of Silence” dinner. The Sounds of Silence offers the best of the Red Centre distilled into four magical hours. An evening of dining under the sparkling outback sky. As the night sky twinkles to life, help yourself to a bush tucker inspired buffet that incorporates native bush ingredients such as crocodile, kangaroo, barramundi and quandong. ( Vegetarian & other dietary options are catered for with prior notice).
Settle back and listen to our resident star talker decode the southern night sky. Locate the Southern Cross, the signs of the zodiac, the Milky Way, as well as planets and galaxies that are visible due to the exceptional clarity of the atmosphere. After dinner, enjoy dessert with a glass of port, tea or coffee, before returning to the Outback Pioneer hotel.
Day 6 | Mar. 04, 2017 | AYERS ROCK (B,D)
As you travel towards Uluru, your guide will take you to a special location to watch the sun rise over this amazing monolith whole enjoying an outback breakfast. You will learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python) and hear about the Mala people. After breakfast you will visit Mutijulu Waterhole and then drive around the base of the Uluru before returning to your resort. Have a rest during the hottest part of the day and enjoy lunch at leisure before being picked up again in the afternoon for a “Kata Tjuta Dome Walk”. Here your guide will reveal the many attributes of this diverse environment and describe the cultural significance of Kata Tjuta as a sacred Aboriginal men’s ceremonial site. Arriving at Walpa Gorge you will walk between the mighty conglomerate domes and hear how these 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years. The spirituality of this amazing location embraces everyone who ventures here. Your guide will then return you back to your resort in the late afternoon. Return back to the Outback Pioneer hotel. Breakfast & Dinner included.
Day 7 | Mar. 05, 2017 | AYERS ROCK — GOLD COAST (B)
This morning time to catch up on your sleep after two early starts, and maybe do some last minute shopping before your courtesy transfer back to Connellan (Ayers Rock) Airport for your flight back to the Gold Coast. Upon arrival meet your local representative and transfer to the Maantra Sun City Apartments.
END OF SERVICES.
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*Prices are in CDN$ per person, double occupancy, based on category L interior stateroom or similar. Additional: Single supplement: $3,300. Upgrade to Category F outside stateroom or similar $550. Upgrade to category VD balcony stateroom or similar $1,300. Gratuities are included and prepaid onboard Holland America Cruise. †Prices are in CDN$ per person, double occupancy. Single supplement: $475.