Touch down in Melbourne and meet your A&K representative. You will be escorted to your elegant boutique hotel, the perfect base to explore the city’s vibrant culture.
After checking in, take a walk around the neighbourhood streets to get your bearings. You can find world-class art at the National Gallery of Victoria or graze on organic meats, cheese and specialty sourdough in the Queen Victoria Market. In the evening, we recommend a drink in your hotel’s buzzing rooftop bar for gorgeous views of the city skyline.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Melbourne with a carefree vibe at all times. Slip into its famed coffee culture offering artisanal brews and every rendition of poached eggs and smashed avocado possible. Sun worshippers should catch a 20-minute tram to St Kilda, an instagrammer’s paradise with stunning beaches, multi-coloured bathing huts, picturesque pier and buzzing promenade. After slurping a few oysters, consider a cruise down the Yarra River, ending at Federation Square, the city’s cultural hub with countless museums and eateries.
It’s a short flight to Sydney where on arrival you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. Not only is it the perfect place to indulge with palatial rooms and private butlers, but you couldn’t ask for better views overlooking Sydney Harbour. You’re in a geographical sweet spot among the city’s colonial neighbourhood, The Rocks. Take a stroll along the quaint cobbled lanes, heritage pubs and some of the city’s oldest buildings.
This morning you can stretch your legs on a bike ride around Sydney. Pedal around its plethora of post-card worthy attractions including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Stop at the world-famous Opera House to ponder its architecture with ample photo opportunities. Then park up at a local watering hole and order a schooner as you get the lowdown from your guide on the best restaurants, bars and parks in the city.
It’s time to test Sydney’s iconic beaches famed for incredible surf and trendy beach culture. It’s a short taxi ride to Bondi, the grand dame of Australian beaches fringed by trendy eateries and sea-facing bars. Start the six-kilometre hike to Coogee beach, one of the most scenic coastal walks in the country. You’ll wind over craggy headlands, swoon over dreamy bays and come across varied beaches from the wave-lashed Tamarama to calm Bronte Beach, perfect for families. End at Coogee’s long white sands.
Rise early for your flight to Queensland’s sunshine coast and the stylish coastal town of Noosa. At the airport, pick up a hire car and drive to your resort. Drop your bags and head straight out for creamy gelato and to browse the seaside-chic boutique shops clad in ocean colours. It’s the perfect place to unwind with a deliciously laidback vibe and a cool culinary scene. Spend the rest of the afternoon lapping up the sun on the beach with the warm sand in between your toes.
After a leisurely breakfast, why not take a day trip to Noosa’s Everglades, one of the two everglades in the world with untrammelled wilderness. Take a cruise down its shimmering waterways with plenty of wildlife viewing. After a tea stop, kayak back upstream with nothing but the sound of bird calls to disturb you. The afternoon can be spent walking Noosa’s coastal track, spotting koalas in the gum trees as you go.
It’s time to say goodbye to Australia. A driver will transfer you 90 minutes to Brisbane airport from where you’ll fly to Christchurch. Pick up a hire car for a short drive to your centrally-located boutique hotel. With a one-to-one customer-to-staff ratio, you have just about everything you could ever need, including two award-winning restaurants. If you feel like getting out and about, stroll along the River Avon or explore the city’s RE:START container mall offering handmade clothing and creative nosh.
One of the most scenic train journeys in the world, hop aboard the Tranzalpine train where for hours you can snake east to west through spectacular scenery; rolling farmland, river gorges and the mighty Southern Alps. You’ll traverse the looming Arthur’s Pass, cross century-old viaducts and pass through South Island’s landmark towns. Descend to Greymouth, switch to a hire car and head to the town of Franz Josef, surrounded by tangled forest and glaciers.
Wrap up warm for an adventure-filled day. This morning, take to the air on a helicopter ride over two of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers, Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. Glide around colossal cloaks of ice descending from the Southern Alps all the way to the valley floor. You’ll even have the chance to land on its dramatic terrain and roam the sparkling ice, only accessible by helicopter. Then it’s back to town for lunch. You have the rest of the afternoon to mooch at your leisure.
We recommend rising early to make the most of this scenic drive south to Wanaka.
Along the way, we recommend pausing at the small township of Haast for a whitebait sandwich – a regional speciality. Continue through even more remote beauty, arriving at Wanaka where your lakeside lodge awaits.
Take a morning dip in the solar-heated pool before driving an hour to Queenstown, a renowned adventure mecca. Most flock here to take on the great outdoors with so much to do and see in and around this energetic town. Explore endless vineyards for superlative local wine or drive out to see Kawarau Bridge Bungy, the world’s original bungy jump, worth the trip even just for the mesmerising gorge views. You could also simply hole up in an eatery for a long lunch.
Get ready to discover the Milford Sound, which Rudyard Kipling called the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.’ Take a 35-minute flight over colossal Middle-Earth mountains, soaking up golden tussocked high country and glacial lakes. Then board a boat and drift along the Sound keeping an eye out for fur seals basking on the rocks and dreamy valley waterfalls. Highlights include the sky-piercing Mitre Peak and Pembroke Glacier. Fly back to Queenstown for a leisurely afternoon.
It’s your last day in Queenstown, so we’ve left it free to spend as you please. If you didn’t do this on your first day, take a cable car to the top of Bob’s Peak to revel in extreme views of the lakes below and distant snow-capped peaks. You can then wind back down to town on foot.
After breakfast, head to the airport from where you will depart.