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10 Exceptional Vacations

There’s wonder and amazement in the sights of Australia and New Zealand. These extraordinary countries have many marvelous places to discover. Take a look at these exceptional vacations down under or combine them for a more comprehensive experience including both countries.

1. Sydney – Red Centre – Great Barrier Reef    

This is the standard route for seeing the top sights of Australia. Spend time in cosmopolitan Sydney and the nearby Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains before heading for Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Red Centre. Follow this up with Cairns, Queensland and a jet boat ride out to the spectacular underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. 

2. Sydney – Canberra – Yarra Valley – Melbourne  – Great Ocean Road

After spending time in Sydney, head south to Australia’s capital city of Canberra. Continue on to magnificent Melbourne, the country’s arts and sports capital. The Yarra Valley wine region is nearby. Journey along the famed Great Ocean Road for a visit to the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone monoliths along the coast which are truly amazing to see.

3. South Australia – Red Centre  

Beautiful Adelaide, with its many distinctive neighborhoods and remarkable art gallery, is the capital of South Australia and a great place to start your adventure. Visit the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions on day trips from the city. Nearby Kangaroo Island is the Galapagos of Australia while Lake Eyre and the Flinders Ranges north of Adelaide will amaze you. Then take The Ghan railway to Alice Springs and see the stunning sights of the Red Centre.

4. Western Australia

Australia’s best kept secret, Western Australia has many areas well worth visiting. Enjoy the dramatic coastlines of the Southern and Indian Oceans, historic towns, tree top walks through dense forests, the peaceful Margaret River wine region, the Golden Outback, Aboriginal encounters  and plenty of kangaroos  - even on the golf courses and the lawn of your hotel. You could make this a destination in itself or add WA to your other vacation plans. You’ll be glad you did!

5. Tasmania  

Australia’s ’Natural State’ is home to 19 National Parks and the spot said to have the cleanest air in the world. There’s wilderness to explore on this island including rainforests and highlands carved by glaciers. The well laid out nature walks make it easy to enjoy. You’ll also find quiet beaches along beautiful coastlines and several wine regions. Fly to the island or arrive by ferry from Melbourne, across the Bass Strait.

6. Cruising Between Sydney and Auckland  

See both countries in luxury and comfort on this exciting cruise itinerary. As well as calling at ports on both islands of New Zealand, Tasmania and mainland Australia, you’ll spend two relaxing days crossing the Tasman Sea and have a day sailing the beautiful sounds of Fiordland National Park, including incomparable Milford Sound. Depending on your direction, enjoy a pre or post-cruise tour featuring Sydney, the Red Centre and Great Barrier Reef to round out a marvelous and comprehensive down under vacation.

7. Auckland – Bay of Islands – Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua – Wellington

New Zealand’s natural beauty and unique sights make touring the North Island a wonderful experience. After exploring Auckland and taking a day trip to Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, head for the peaceful Bay of Islands for some interesting historic and cultural sights as well as stunning scenic beauty. Enjoy the Hot Water beach and some great craft beer in the Coromandel Peninsula before heading for fascinating Rotorua, the center of Maori culture as well as geo-thermal activity. The bubbling mud pools, steaming vents and geysers will amaze you. Travel south perhaps via Hawke’s Bay wine region and Napier to the capital city of Wellington with its world class museum, cable car and scenic views from Mount Victoria lookout.

8. Trans Alpine Railway – Fiordland – Queenstown – Dunedin – Otago Peninsula

Cross by ferry from Wellington or fly to New Zealand’s South Island, a place of spectacular scenic beauty with the Southern Alps and Aoraki (Mount Cook), New Zealand’s highest mountain at 12,316 ft. Enjoy a ride on the Trans Alpine Railway for scenic vistas and a traditional afternoon tea. Take in the powerful natural beauty of Milford Sound before heading for Queenstown, the world’s adventure capital. Carry on to Dunedin, the Scottish settlement, now a university town and gateway to the windswept Otago Peninsula, a great spot for wildlife viewing.

9. New Zealand Trekking Adventures

With a network of well-planned hiking trails across the country, and no natural predators to disturb you, New Zealand is a world leader for walking, hiking and trekking through unspoiled natural landscapes. Enjoy a city hike, like the Mt. Victoria Trails in Wellington and easy hikes like the track along Queen Charlotte Sound. More difficult and longer treks include famous Milford Track, a four-day adventure through Fiordland and the three to five-day Abel Tasman Coastal Track near Nelson.

10. Circle-Australia and New Zealand Cruise 

This is a cruise of a lifetime! Sail right around Australia, round trip from Sydney to Queensland, around Cape York to Darwin, Bali, Broome, Geraldton and on to Perth. Continue along the southern coast of Australia with stops at Albany, Adelaide, Tasmania and Melbourne. Then it’s off across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand’s top sights before returning to Sydney. Mariners will appreciate the spectacular array of seas and oceans on this route while the variety of ports you’ll call at will give you an excellent view of both Australia and New Zealand.

The Sydney Opera House and harbour. | Sydney, Australia
 

Vacation Side Travel




Steven Talbott
Vacation Side Travel

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