Explore the diverse wonders of the lands Down Under. An adventure that includes a “Dreamtime tour” in the rugged Outback introduces you to the Aboriginal life and culture of Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Meet the Drum Atweme, a musical group supported by the Collette Foundation comprised of at-risk youth. Delve into the colorful world of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. Take in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Meet Australia and New Zealand's famous wildlife up close. Explore the snow-capped peaks, vistas, gorges and waterfalls of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Cruise Milford Sound. Settle in for three nights in Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s prettiest towns. Experience the Franz Josef Glacier and the majestic Mt. Cook region. Discover the beautiful 19th-century gold rush settlement of Arrowtown.
Glide over and through the lush rainforests of Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, the world’s longest gondola cableway. The comfortable gondola carries you 4½ miles through the rugged beauty of Barron Gorge National Park, part of the Wet Tropics, a UNESCO World Heritage area. The gondola dips through the layers of the canopy to bring you deep into the rainforest, stopping at two viewing platforms along the way. Experience the sights, sounds and scents of this vibrant ecosystem up close and see the dramatic Barron gorge and waterfalls. Duration approximately 2 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 15 passenger(s) is required to operate this option.
Each night at sunset the world’s smallest penguins, the Little Penguins, emerge from a day’s fishing at sea and waddle ashore to their sand dune burrows. Travel to Phillip Island, home to one of the world’s largest colonies of Little Penguins and see the Penguin Parade for yourself. Observe the busy penguin rookeries from elevated boardwalks, so as not to disturb the nests. Take advantage of exclusive "Penguins Plus" access to have the best viewing possible. Explore the Visitor Centre and learn all there is to know about the lives of the Little Penguins and their daily commute. Duration approximately 9 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 15 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. This option must be purchased in advance. Bring warm, waterproof clothing with you as nights can be cold on the island in any season. Timing of this option varies throughout the year based on the time of sunset.
Drift over the Outback on the gentle winds in the welcome cool of the morning. The landscape erupts into color as the sun’s rays strike the rugged MacDonnell Ranges. Watch as balloons slowly inflate and gracefully rise into the sky. Float aloft and enjoy the spectacular Australian scenery below you. Kangaroos and wallabies love the early mornings, so keep your eyes open for them as you glide over the bush. Return to the ground and enjoy a light breakfast as you toast your airborne experience! Duration approximately 3 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. Actual balloon flight time is 30 minutes. This option operates on a weather permitting basis only. Time is seasonal and will begin approximately one hour before sunrise. This option requires riding in a basket which does not have an entrance. To enter, passengers will need to step up and over into the basket.
Experience the majesty of sunrise on Ayers Rock from a unique vantage point – the back of a camel! A peaceful one-hour camel ride brings you across the red sand dunes in the cool, clear morning air. Watch the sunrise over Ayers Rock bring the warm hues of the monolith alive. Learn about the flora and fauna of this UNESCO World Heritage site from your friendly cameleer. After the ride, enjoy fresh-baked damper bread and hot, fresh tea and coffee. Duration approximately 2.5 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. During winter months this option may not be available due to timing of sunrise. Vendor requires advance notice of any passenger over 100 kg/220 lbs.
All aboard the TranzAlpine Express, one of the Southern hemisphere’s most scenic railway journeys! The train pulls out of Christchurch and into the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, passing through lush fields grazed by sheep and cattle. It follows the beautiful Waimakiriri River gorge, passing over bridges and through tunnels as you climb the spectacular Southern Alps to your destination at Arthur's Pass National Park. Duration approximately 3 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 15 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. If this option is not purchased prior to tour departure, space may not be available once on tour. Due to the nature of this optional item, once purchased it will be non-refundable.
A mantle of pure white snow awaits you as you fly over thick forest toward two of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers. Lift off from Franz Josef and travel south over glacial rivers and meandering streams. Soar over the Fox Glacier and continue on for a snow landing at the head of the Franz Josef Glacier. With its ability to fly and hover, a helicopter provides a fantastic way to explore these inaccessible areas of dramatic and unspoiled beauty. Transportation is included. A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. This option is only available to purchase while on tour through your Tour Manager. This option operates on a weather permitting basis only. Front seat weight limit totals 330 lbs. Back seat weight limit totals 792 lbs. Duration: 45 minutes. Flight time is approximately 30 minutes.
Soar over the plunging cliffs, snowfields and alpine lakes of the pristine Southern Alps on a flightseeing plane that carries you back from Milford Sound to Queenstown. Seeing Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park from the air will give you a whole new perspective on the overwhelming beauty of this region. You’ll be captivated by 9,000 foot peaks and frozen lakes that can only be seen from above. Enjoy amazing views and skip the lengthy return coach ride to Queenstown. A truly spectacular trip! Transportation is included. A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. Availability for flightseeing is limited. This option is only available to purchase while on tour through your Tour Manager. This option operates on a weather permitting basis only. Duration: 40 minutes. This option does have a weight restriction, which your Tour Manager will advise as it varies by aircraft type.
Zoom through the sheer canyons of the Shotover River on this thrilling ride. Shotover Jet boats race along in mere centimeters of the glacial water which flows down from the Southern Alps, providing an exhilarating, but safe and enjoyable ride for all ages. You may get a little wet, but it is a unique and fun way to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the South Island of New Zealand and absorb a little of the spirit that has made Queenstown a world center for adventure tourism. Many people think adventure is only for the young. Guests on these jet boats consistently illustrate otherwise – this adventure is perfect for the young at heart! Duration approximately 1.5 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. Weather may be cold (boat has heated handlebars) and you may get wet during this option. Actual high speed boating time is 25 minutes.
Step back in time when you board the TSS Earnslaw, the beloved steamship that has been transporting goods and people on Lake Wakatipu since 1912. Nicknamed "The Lady of the Lake," she is the only coal-fired steamship still in operation in the southern hemisphere. Embark on a leisurely cruise across the pristine waters to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Enjoy the hospitality of the Colonel’s Homestead at an impressive buffet where you can indulge in the best of New Zealand meats and seafood, fresh vegetables and garden salads. You are sure to find the house dessert specialties hard to resist! An after-dinner visit to the farm provides an entertaining glimpse into farming life in the high country. Cruise back to Queenstown, relaxing or joining in the revelry of the lively sing-along. Duration approximately 4 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. This option is only available from July through April as it is drydocked during the other months of the year. When the TSS Earnslaw is undergoing maintenance, the Cruise Lake Wakatipu to Dinner option will be made available to purchase.
All aboard! Board a Fiordlander and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Country Farm. Enjoy the hospitality of the Colonel’s Homestead at an impressive buffet where you can indulge in the best of New Zealand meats and seafood, fresh vegetables and garden salads. You are sure to find the house dessert specialties hard to resist! An after-dinner visit to the farm provides an entertaining glimpse into farming life in the high country. Cruise back to Queenstown, relaxing or joining in the revelry of the lively sing-along. Duration approximately 4 hour(s). Transportation is not included A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. This option is only available from May 11 through July 2 while the TSS Earnslaw is undergoing yearly scheduled maintenance.
Fly over the pristine wilderness of Mt. Cook National Park for once in a lifetime views of the mountain range surrounding Mt. Cook – named Aoraki by the Maoris. New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt. Cook soars to 12,316 feet. Nineteen peaks in the park climb to over 9,800 feet and 40% of its surface is covered by glacial ice. The ski plane carries you over the Tasman Glacier and gently lands on the ice field. Experience the magical silence of the remote ice field and capture remarkable photos of this extreme environment. Spectacular! Duration approximately 1 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 1 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. Flight Time: 40 minutes (including 10 minute glacier landing). This option is only available to purchase while on tour through your Tour Manager. Flights are weather dependent. This option does have a weight restriction which your Tour Manager will advise as it varies by aircraft type.
Set out on the flight of a lifetime! The “Grand Traverse” of the majestic Southern Alps offers you an incomparable perspective on this incredible area. This route takes you over both the Mt. Cook and Westland National Parks. Take off at the foot of Mt. Cook itself, then cross the Alps to fly above the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. See New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers, all spilling down to the lush rainforest of the West Coast. This family-run company has been flying in the region for over 40 years, and their veteran pilots provide a running commentary as you take in the breathtaking vistas. Duration approximately 1 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 4 passenger(s) is required to operate this option. Flights are weather-dependent and flight time is approx. 50 minutes. This option is only available to purchase while on tour through your Tour Manager.
Your tour opens in Cairns, the tropical gateway to one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions – the Great Barrier Reef (UNESCO World Heritage site). Established as a marine park in 1975, the reef is a haven for thousands of species of sea life, as well as turtles and birds.
The morning is yours to explore the town at your own pace or simply relax and soak up the tropical atmosphere. Perhaps you will take an optional tour on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for an unforgettable experience that takes you above the rainforest canopy for a bird’s-eye view of unspoiled natural beauty. This afternoon, visit Hartley’s Croc Farm for a chance to get up-close with crocodiles in their natural habitat. Boardwalks take you on a path of adventure through rainforests and woodlands to see animals such as wild birds, reptiles and wallabies. You may meet some of the local koalas and chat with a wildlife naturalist to learn more about these cuddly creatures.
Board a catamaran and sail to the Low Isles to explore the fascinating underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Choose how you want to spend your day in paradise by making your time on the reef as educational or as laid back as you like. Perhaps you will relax and independently explore the pristine shores of this tiny sand island located on the outer reef. Or maybe you are a bit more adventurous and will go snorkeling, revealing a wealth of vibrant sea life. You also have the opportunity to meet with a marine biologist during an informative presentation. Or you may opt to join an expert for a beach and heritage trail walk along the island.
Fly to the beautiful Victorian city of Melbourne. Set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River, the city exudes a lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Set out on a city tour and see Fitzroy Gardens, valued for their historic and horticultural significance, and the bustling “laneways” of Melbourne. Later you may participate in an optional tour to Phillip Island, a renowned nature reserve and home of the world’s largest colony of Little Penguins; protected and studied by rangers, hundreds of them waddle out of the sea and cross the beach to their burrows in the dunes; at the interpretation center, you have a chance to learn about the lives of the Little Penguins and their significance to the area.
It’s on to the vast landscapes and tranquility of the Outback. Your flight takes you to Alice Springs, the perfect place to begin exploring this unique land. A special experience is in store this evening as you have the opportunity to meet the young Aboriginal group, Drum Atweme. Supported by the Collette Foundation,* Drum Atweme is a musical group comprised of at-risk youth from the local community. Tonight, continue your cultural immersion with a memorable bush dinner set against the backdrop of this unique desert environment.
Access the history and culture of the Walpiri Aboriginal people during a "Dreamtime Tour.” A specialist guide shares Aboriginal creation stories and explains everyday life. This afternoon, discover a more modern side to Outback living when you visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a lifeline to thousands across the vast terrain of Central Australia. Later, tour the Old Telegraph Station and Anzac Hill with its excellent views of Alice Springs and the surrounding area.
Traverse the “Red Centre” as you drive to Uluru (the Aboriginal name for Ayers Rock) in the heart of the Australian Outback. This huge monolith and the sandstone domes known as Kata Tjuta were created through the process of upheaval and erosion. Tour the base of "the Rock," learning about its geology and significance to Aboriginal culture. Prepare for a truly majestic sunset as you witness the changing colors of Uluru accompanied by a champagne toast.
This morning, tour Kata Tjuta before saying farewell to the quiet of the rugged Outback. Fly to Sydney, an energetic metropolis. Upon arrival in Sydney, enjoy dinner in the bustling Darling Harbour restaurant area.
See where the original English colonists first settled in 1788 during a city tour of Sydney. Highlights of your tour include Kings Cross, the Harbour Bridge, Chinatown, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Botanic Gardens and the fashionable suburb of Darlinghurst. Discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights as you take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, poised majestically on Sydney Harbour. Then you’re in for a unique experience as you learn firsthand about opals during a special presentation at the National Opal Collection. Later this evening, you may choose to take in an optional dinner and performance at the famous Opera House.
Deepen your exploration of Sydney’s many wonders with a day at leisure. Tonight, say your farewell to Australia by chatting with new friends and taking in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the scenic vistas the harbour has to offer including Sydney’s magnificent skyline and iconic attractions: the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Leave Australia behind and fly to the historic city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Devastated by an earthquake in early 2011, see firsthand how the “Garden City” is recreating itself during a sightseeing tour that highlights the city’s magnificent gardens and elegant park district.
Take in marvelous snowcapped peaks, rugged mountains, and beautiful river gorges as you cross the Southern Alps. You may choose to take the TranzAlpine train (optional) for a truly inspiring train ride through this glorious scenery. Arrive in the Franz Josef Glacier Region, which offers travelers a rare opportunity to experience a living glacial landscape in a temperate environment.
Before departing Franz Josef, if the dynamic New Zealand weather cooperates, you may opt to see this beautiful glacier region from a bird’s-eye view during a flightseeing tour. En route to Queenstown, watch as the amazing landscape unfolds before your eyes as you pass through the rainforest, bordered by the Southern Alps and the twisting coastline. Cross jade green glacial rivers, view thundering waterfalls and enjoy dramatic changes in scenery. After crossing the Haast Pass, arrive in Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s prettiest towns. Enjoy dinner overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains.
Journey to Milford Sound. Soak in the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley. You’ll travel through ancient beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. During a cruise of the breathtakingly beautiful Milford Sound, you’ll see why this fjord is one of the most visited sights on the South Island. With rock faces that rise nearly 4,000 feet on either side, the scenery will take your breath away. Following the cruise, you return to Queenstown. You may choose to return via a short optional flight (weather permitting) for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Enhance your free day with a variety of optional activities. Shop in the charming village center or enjoy an optional and exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River. Perhaps you will join the optional "Gold Seeker – Metal and Movie Discovery" tour which takes you through the majestic Remarkable Mountains and the breathtaking Queenstown countryside showcasing many of the locales where The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. Or…just relax!
Set off for the beautiful 19th-century gold rush settlement of Arrowtown, a boomtown during the 1860s gold fever. Next, sample the freshness of the Central Otago region with a stop at a local fruit stand. Follow the Kawarau River and cross Lindis Pass before arriving in New Zealand’s most famous national park, Mt. Cook. Savor some free time in this Alpine paradise. You may choose to take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flightseeing tour (weather permitting) or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps.
As you return to Christchurch this morning, pay a visit to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. A leader in conservation of New Zealand species, Willowbank offers the chance to view New Zealand’s “Big 5” up close and personal.
Today you will arrive in the beautiful tropical paradise of Fiji. Fijians are warm and friendly, with a welcoming, vibrant South Pacific culture. The expansive sandy beaches and clear ocean waters draw visitors from around the world.
Your day is free to explore everything that your resort has to offer. Relax by the beach and pool, or choose one of the many fun, adventurous activities available to you from the hotel activities desk. Tonight, enjoy a lovely dinner.
Enjoy another day of rest and relaxation. The friendly concierge and activities staff will help you get the most out of your time.
Your time in Fiji comes to an end today.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Back in 1918, when Jack Collette started the company, the first tour to ever run was made up of a jitney bus of travellers that left Boston, Massachusetts headed for Florida. This three-week adventure cost just $61.50! At that time few could have foreseen that nearly 100 years later, that same company would be taking guests from around the world to all seven continents.
Collette believe that a true travel experience starts and ends with people and they pride themselves in creating adventures which take you on a journey around the world. They offer over 150 tours taking you to the national parks of North America, the wonders of Central and South America, the culture of Europe, the ancient sites of Asia, the wildlife of Africa and the outback of Australia. Their extensive travel experience and local expertise, developed over their 100 year history, means they take you to the main sights but also to places rarely visited and those you have always dreamed of exploring. Their aim is to deliver authentic experiences so on their tours you can expect to experience and try your hand at local crafts and traditions, meet the locals and see a lifestyle often very different to your own.
Travelling is such an enriching experience, but it is not always straight forward. Language and cultural differences can be a challenge, but Collette have it covered. They have their own experts on the ground who speak the language and understand the customs, and they have designed tours to maximise your stay in your chosen destination. They have organised all the details with airlines, accommodation, transportation, meals, sightseeing and more to ensure your tour runs seamlessly. They transport you from A to B in comfort, so you can sit back, relax and really make the most of your travels.
Collette offer you their ‘Best Value’ approach. Their tours are inclusive of any domestic transportation, accommodation, most meals, daily tours including entrance fees, local guides and exceptional Tour Managers. When you book a flight inclusive tour with them, they will also transport you in style in your own private door to door airport transfers. All you have to pay for are any non-included meals, drinks and non-included excursions – not to mention the odd souvenir along the way! Before you travel, Collette includes, with your full itinerary, details on how to download your personal App for use on tour. The App will become your new travel friend, and is packed with useful information including all the details about your flights and accommodation on tour, useful weather updates, city maps, and restaurant and attraction recommendations. You can also use it to share photos via social media.
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