Arrive in Sydney and destress and acclimatise a couple of days before your group arrives. We have included an epic day-trip into the UNESCO World Heritage area of the Blue Mountains. Hike amongst some of the most incredible scenery you will see in Australia, ride the world’s steepest railway and meet your first cute Koalas on the way.
You then join your group for an amazing adventure that starts by exploring the centre and sightseeing the iconic harbour & monuments which make this a truly unique city, including quality time at Bronte and Bondi beaches. Then with your new BFFs we move up the coast to surf camp at Spot X where a great team of local surf instructors will introduce you to one of Australia’s national sports – Surfing! Over two magnificent days you can learn to surf like a pro – or sunbathe even better!
Heading up the coast of Australia through regions with such apt names as Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Rainbow Beach and Surfers Paradise. Here we will spend plenty of at the beach plus some amazing adventure activity options for you.
As we head north up the east coast of Australia you will forget all thoughts of home and be thinking by now: “Would anyone even notice if I just ran away and lived on these wonderful beaches forever?” Hot sand between your toes and sunburn on the shoulders and sea salt cleansing the face – welcome to Australia! You’ll sail amongst the 74 islands in the Whitsundays, snorkel amongst sea turtles, see dolphins and the occasional whales, cuddle koalas, go stand-up paddle boarding and sea kayaking, and maybe even one too many evenings drinking cocktails at a beachside bar dancing to the sunrise or falling asleep in an engulfing hammock.
We just keep trekking north this week heading to the city of Cairns gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical north rainforests of the Daintree and around Cape Tribulation. Explore the incredible coral reefs off the coast of Cairns on our overnight private boat swimming amongst the multi-coloured fish and exquisite corals. Sign up to get your PADI Dive Certificate and learn to scuba dive.
You finish your Australian trip and we organise your flight south onto the next paradise – New Zealand
It is sad when our Australia adventure finishes in Cairns but equally exciting when we hope on the plane to “cross the ditch” as Aussie and Kiwis refer to the Tasman Ocean between Australia and New Zealand. We might be turning down the temperature a few degrees but we are ramping up the heat as we arrive in the land of adrenalin activities, huge mountains, incredible scenery and hobbits (beware as their hairy feet are highly contagious).
Before joining your New Zealand group we have laid on an overnight trip to the winterless north and the Bay of Islands. Relax on the beach, catch up on sleep, social media, and emails, explore where modern New Zealand started with the Treaty of Waitangi, visit Russell (a town known as the hell of the South Pacific during settler and pirate days), grab a kayak and paddle into the Islands or jump on an exciting fast-boat to head out to the Hole in the Rock and hopefully see a few dolphins on the way.
Coming back to Auckland you join your group to start you most-excellent New Zealand adventure.
After a day trip climbing the conical Rangitoto volcano right in the middle of Auckland’s harbour we get out of the stuffy city and head to the beaches of the Coromandel where you can dig your hot pool right there on the beach. Then after an incredible sunrise over Cathedral Cove, a pint of mead in the Green Dragon (that is right – the actual pub right in Hobbiton), we immerse ourselves in the amazing Maori culture of New Zealand with a trip to Rotorua and then a stay with a Maori family (iwi) at Lake Aniwhenua.
A one-day hike that quite possibly will be the highlight of your trip to Australia and New Zealand. Crossing the alpine plateau of the Tongariro National Park Crossing is often rated as one of the top-ten day hikes in the world. Pass the mountain emerald pools over three active volcanoes – one of which is Mount Doom from Mordor – on this exhausting but rewarding day trip! We reward ourselves with a craft beer or designer coffee in the ultra-hip downtown district of New Zealand’s capital city before waving goodbye to the north island and crossing the Cook Strait direction the Abel Tasman National Park.
Adventures will include 4 wheel driving over farmland, hiking through Tongariro National park, a spectacularly beautiful ferry crossing and sightseeing through the Ables Tasman National Park, another city break with a huge modern cultural bias and more hiking in the tip of the South Island.
You will learn about the importance of conservation work to NZ’s ‘100% Pure NZ’ image, and the importance of protecting our native birds. Maori mythology is going to play an important part of this weeks experiences as your guide explains how Tongariro got ‘his’ name and the many stories which intertwine with neighbouring Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. If you have more questions, then Te Papa, our national museum is an incredibly interactive way to learn more and bridge those knowledge gaps.
Its time to head to the true south as we venture down the rugged west coast of the South Island this week – meeting local characters named Barry, also known as The West Coaster. The ‘nicest locals’ in New Zealand these guys will welcome you into their pubs to share a jug. Outside the weather is either amazing blue skies or as rough as the coastline with big surf and rain pounding the coastal rainforests that squeeze between the Southern Ocean and Southern Alps.
And then we arrive in the adventure capital of the world, or is that the party capital of the world, for Bungy Jumping, white water rafting, jet-boating, canyon swings, late nights, wine and gin tastings, and just a little respite when we day-trip to the breath-taking scenery of Milford Sound deep in Fiordland National Park.
There is always a little feeling of eventuality as we leave Queenstown and start heading north. It kind of feels like you are heading in to your last week of such an incredible journey and even though there is still some of the best experiences you could ever have yet to come you do feel sad leaving the adrenalin and high life of Queenstown.
You amazing multi-country journey finishes back in Auckland – exhausted, broke, new lifelong friends and too many memories to store in one brain load. Maybe you need to join many of the others in the group and head to Fiji for a bit of Island time (and few more cocktails)!