UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Perth.
We arrive into Perth this evening and transfer to our hotel, the Mercure Perth (3T+), conveniently located in Perth’s vibrant city centre with a choice of restaurants on your doorstep.
An included tour of Perth is the perfect introduction, as we explore the city’s elegant streets and many parks. There is time to discover the eclectic colonial port area of Fremantle and take an included cruise along the Swan River, past the multi-million-dollar mansions that occupy the waterfront.
Staying just a short stroll from the Swan River, Supreme Court Gardens and Perth Mint (home to the One Tonne Gold Coin!), it is easy to find ways to spend your free day. You may choose to venture to Rottnest Island if you wish to view the famously amusing local wildlife species, the Quokka. Or alternatively join an optional wine cruise excursion into the picturesque upper Swan Valley and the prestigious Sandalford Estate, for a unique ‘behind the scenes’ winery tour.
Perth - Alice Springs
We transfer to the airport for a flight to Alice Springs and on arrival drive to ANZAC Hill, where the great view highlights the town’s compact size. We continue to the DoubleTree by Hilton (4T) or Mercure Alice Springs (4T), for an overnight stay.
Alice Springs - Uluru
From Alice Springs, we transfer by coach to Australia’s most famous natural spectacle, Uluru. After settling into the Desert Gardens Hotel (3T+), we make our way to the rock area itself as the sun begins to set. As the rock’s hue captivatingly changes minute by minute, it is easy to see why this area is so magical and spiritually important to the local indigenous people.
Uluru - Cairns
Wake early for a glorious sunrise viewing of Uluru, where we have a packed breakfast before a tour of the base illustrates its enormity. Nearby Kata Tjuta, a group of 36 red rocks soaring out of the desert, is our next destination. As well as a tour of the unusual rock shapes, you may spot some of the many species of animal and birdlife that call them home. Later we fly to Cairns and transfer to the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort (4T) for four nights.
Today is free to spend as you wish. The hotel is a city-centre oasis and its lovely pool area may persuade you to relax in your surroundings and recharge your batteries. Or perhaps take a stroll and discover the shops and markets or the esplanade with its attractive lagoon.
Great Barrier Reef
Today is a highlight for many as we step aboard the Ocean Spirit, a luxury sailing catamaran, for an incredible cruise to Michaelmas Cay. A small sand island on the outer Great Barrier Reef, the Cay is encircled by an exquisite fringing reef of beautiful coral gardens teeming with colourful marine life. Once our vessel reaches the Cay, there will be time to view the unique reef environment, from any aspect that you choose: view it from the deck; snorkel in the warm, calm, translucent water to meet the colourful reef fish face to face; or take the semi-submersible coral-viewing tour. Morning and afternoon tea, and buffet lunch are included, before we return to Cairns later in the day.
Today is at leisure to enjoy Cairns and its tropical surroundings. Spend more time relaxing by the pool, or join an optional excursion further north to Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the sea.
Cairns - Sydney
Our discovery of tropical Queensland at an end, we return to the airport for our flight to Sydney. On arrival our coach transfers us to the Parkroyal Darling Harbour (4T), in the heart of Sydney, where we stay for three nights.
Australia’s most famous city is the final and perhaps the most anticipated Australian destination of our odyssey. We take a tour of Sydney’s highlights including the iconic Opera House, Australia’s oldest park - the wonderful Royal Botanical Gardens, and Hyde Park, home to Sydney’s ANZAC Memorial. A cruise of the famous harbour, with a buffet lunch included, allows us to see this eye-catching city from an alternative perspective.
Today is a free day, in a city with much to do. Perhaps travel to quiet Botany Bay, where Captain James Cook and, later, the First Fleet of convicts anchored in Australia, or stay in the city to visit the museums dedicated to Australia’s past. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Pylon Lookout and numerous galleries are also an option, or explore historic alleyways of The Rocks, relax in the lovely Botanical Gardens, or maybe see a show at the Opera House.
Sydney - Queenstown
Leaving Australia behind, we transfer to the airport for our flight to New Zealand. We arrive in the South Island and attractive Queenstown, a town on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and flanked by The Remarkables mountain range. We transfer to the Crowne Plaza (4T), Heritage Queenstown (4T) or Millennium Queenstown (4T), excellently located for exploration of the area reminiscent of an alpine ski resort.
Part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site, stunning Milford Sound is set within the heart of Fiordland National Park. Bounded by steep cliffs that soar vertically from the fiord and surrounded by a dense rainforest, that creates temporary waterfall cascades in days of heavy rain, Milford Sound is a beautiful serene area. Perhaps its most impressive sight is Mitre Peak, standing 1,692m above sea level and as you sail towards it, you may even spot a bottlenose dolphin. The day is a long one, however the journey from Queenstown along one of the world’s finest alpine roads, is just as spectacular as the destination itself.
Enjoy a free day in a town that offers adventure and relaxation. The Skyline Gondola is just a short stroll from the hotel, offering views from Bob’s Peak across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Or a walk along the shores of the scenic lake is an ideal way to absorb this stunning setting and it becomes clear why the Remarkables Mountains gained their name, as the ever-changing colours play across their faces. Those seeking something a little more adventurous may like to spend some of their free time by taking an optional helicopter flight or boat ride.
Queenstown - Wanaka
Gibbston Valley Winery is one of Otago’s founding wineries and their produce is world renowned. A visit is included today, for a glimpse of the making and an enjoyable tasting, of the lovely soft Pinot Noir for which the area is famous. Afterwards we continue to Wanaka and the Edgewater Resort (4T), with lawns stretching to the scenic shores of Lake Wanaka, one of New Zealand’s largest and deepest lakes.
Wanaka - Franz Josef
Our coach takes us past Lake Hawea and on through the Haast Pass and Mount Aspiring National Park, to embark on an exhilarating river safari on the Haast River to Roaring Billy Falls. Onwards to Westland National Park and the world-renowned glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox. We stay overnight at the Scenic Hotel (3T+).
Franz Josef - Arthur’s Pass - TranzAlpine - Christchurch
Following an included breakfast we head inland and up into the spectacular Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass. Here we board the award-winning TranzAlpine train, for probably one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world, heading back down the mountain range through spectacular gorges and plummeting river valleys to Christchurch where we stay at the Chateau on the Park a DoubleTree by Hilton (3T+) for two nights.
Our destination today is the historic French Village of Akaroa and its spectacular harbour, where we join a cruise sailing through majestic scenery that exists around an extinct volcanic crater. A number of species of wildlife may make an appearance: the rare Hector's Dolphin, native to New Zealand; the white-flippered penguin, the smallest penguin in the world; or the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. There are also five different cormorant or shag species that call the harbour home and a number of New Zealand fur seals. There will be free time after the cruise to purchase lunch in Akaroa, before returning to our hotel later in the day.
Christchurch - Rotorua
We depart the South Island today, travelling to Christchurch Airport for a flight to Rotorua in New Zealand’s North Island. On arrival we transfer to the Holiday Inn Rotorua (4T), excellently located, overlooking the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Reserve.
Rotorua is one of the ‘jewels’ of New Zealand and the heart of the Maori culture - its crystal clear lake, thermal wonders and lush forests are a joy to explore. Today we visit the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, where the Maori continue to live in harmony with this unique landscape, amidst the eruptions of geothermal activity. Later, we drive to Tamaki Maori Village to have an all-embracing cultural experience complete with a traditional ‘hangi’ accompanied by song and dance.
Rotorua - Auckland
We head north to Auckland, where on arrival we take a tour of New Zealand’s largest city, formed on the ridges of volcanic lava flows. Our city tour introduces us to the heart of the ‘Queen City’ and its founder, Captain Hobson, before making our way to the suburbs and Parnell Village with its quaint boutiques, restaurants and Victorian-styled shops. The rest of the day is free to meander around the city with its sparkling waterfront location. Our hotel for two nights is the Grand Millennium Auckland (4T+) or Heritage Auckland (4T).
With a free day in Auckland, maybe ascend Auckland’s Sky Tower for breathtaking views over the city and its incredible backdrop, or if you feel like venturing a little further, there are several small islands reachable by ferry from Auckland’s two harbours. Alternatively take an optional cruise along Waitemata Harbour.
Auckland - In flight
Our odyssey almost at an end, we transfer to Auckland Airport for your return flight to the UK.
Day 26 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.