Wonders of Australia and New Zealand

Program Overview

Explore the land “down under” on this 15-day journey, featuring 3 nights in cosmopolitan Sydney, Australia, and a 9-night cruise of New Zealand's North and South Islands. Immerse yourself into the heart of cosmopolitan Sydney and see inimitable natural wonders that exist nowhere else on the planet as you cruise New Zealand’s North Island and circumnavigate the South Island. Savor stunning harbor views when you visit the iconic Sydney Opera House; the Yiribana Aboriginal Art Gallery; the famous Bondi Beach; and The Gap at Sydney Harbour National Park. Continue to New Zealand to experience Māori culture in the “thermal city” of Rotorua and enjoy an excursion in the city of Napier. Cruise for 2 days through Fiordland National Park for up-close views of deep fjords, untamed gorges, and the glacier‑grooved landscapes of Milford Sound and Dusky Sound. Enhance your voyage with the  Great Barrier Reef Pre-Program Option and/or the Queenstown Post-Program Option.



Program Details

January 11 to 25, 2024 (Le Lapérouse)
From approximately $8,595 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed 12-night land and cruise itinerary featuring 3 nights in cosmopolitan Sydney, Australia, and a 9-night, 5-star cruise
    of New Zealand's North and South Islands aboard the 5-star Le Lapérouse.
  • Included airfare from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Explore Sydney, Australia, on a full-day excursion, including guided visits to the Yiribana Aboriginal Gallery and New South Wales Art Gallery.
  • Visit the iconic Sydney Opera House to bask in its rich, storied history with a guided tour underneath the famous sails.
  • Enjoy panoramic views of magnificent fjords as the ship cruises through Milford Sound and Dusky Sound in UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Fiordland National Park.
  • Tour Napier and visit the Art Deco Trust building where you can opt to see a short movie documenting the journey of how the city was rebuilt
    in 22 months, after the Napier Earthquake of 1931.
  • Discover the historical city of Dunedin to see the architectural marvels of the Dunedin Railway Station and visit Olveston Historic Home
    and Larnach Castle.
  • Zodiac excursions to view the extraordinary flora and fauna of the incredibly diverse South Island.
  • City tour of Christchurch, including the beautiful Mona Vale Gardens, the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial, and Cathedral Square.

Day 1 - Depart home city

Day 2 - Cross the International Date Line

Day 3 - Sydney, Australia

Day 4 - Sydney, Australia

Day 5 - Sydney, Australia

Day 6 - Sydney/Fly to Auckland, New Zealand (airfare included)/Embark Le Lapérouse

Day 7 - Auckland

Day 8 - Whakatane/Rotorua

Day 9 - Napier

Day 10 - Picton, South Island

Day 11 - Cruising the Tasman Sea

Day 12 - Milford Sound

Day 13 - Cruising Dusky Sound

Day 14 - Dunedin

Day 15 - Lyttleton/Christchurch/Auckland/Return to home city

View detailed program itinerary>

Le Lapérouse

Exclusively Chartered, 5-star Luxury Small Ship

Le Lapérouse, launched in 2018, ushers in a new generation of five-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. All staterooms and suites feature private balconies. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

Learn more about Le Lapérouse>

Great Barrier Reef cruise

Great Barrier Reef Pre-Program Option

Begin your journey with a three-night stay on Queensland, Australia’s tropical north coast, which includes a full day at the UNESCO-designated Great Barrier Reef—a natural wonder like no other. Explore a virtual kaleidoscope of marine life with a variety of water activities on the edge of Australia’s Continental Shelf, from pontoon snorkeling to an underwater observatory. Continue the adventure with either a rain forest excursion to see crocodiles, snakes, and birds along the Daintree River or a visit to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Accommodations are in Thala Beach Nature Reserve Resort. Passengers will be staying in a Jungle Walk bungalow overlooking a Nature Reserve with complimentary Nature Reserve tours, Star Gazing experience, Coconut Tour, guided Garden walk, a Bird & Butterfly walk for guests and a Treetop Restaurant! Cairns to Sydney airfare is included in your Pre‑Program package price. 

Steam-powered ship on lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand Post-Program Option

Discover New Zealand’s interior in Queenstown with a three‑night tour extension. Enjoy views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Southern Alps on the Skyline Gondola from Bob’s Peak. Continue to the historic mining settlement of Arrowtown, once rich with gold, for a glimpse into the town’s 1860s Gold Rush days. Visit the Lakes District Museum to see exhibits that celebrate the region’s early Maori life and settler history. Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the legendary T.S.S. Earnslaw, a 1912 coal-powered steamship, to visit the Walter’s Peak high country sheep station. Accommodations are in the centrally located, luxury hotel, St. Moritz.
Christchurch to Queenstown airfare is included in your Post‑Program package price. 

The Pre- and Post-Program Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Nova Peris

Nova Peris

Nova Peris is an Australian treasure, renowned for both athletics and politics. She was not only the first Aboriginal Australian to win Olympic gold but one of the elite few athletes to represent their country in two different sports (hockey and athletics) in separate Olympic Games. Peris also served as the first Olympic torchbearer for the Sydney 2000 Games. A passionate campaigner for Aboriginal rights and reconciliation in Australia, Peris became the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to Federal Parliament in 2013, serving as Senator for the Northern Territory. She is the author of two books, Nova-My Story, and Nova-Finding My Voice.

Ngahihi Bidois

Ngahihi o te ra Bidois

New Zealand native Ngahihi o te ra Bidois is a modern‑day warrior who translates ancient wisdom from his Maori culture into modern solutions. Often referred to as “The Face of New Zealand,” this former businessman embraced the Maori culture in his 20s and shifted his focus to indigenous education and health care. An award‑winning inspirational speaker, Ngahihi o te ra is currently chair of New Zealand’s Eastern Fish and Game Board and Manager of a large Maori Land Trust. His book Ancient Wisdom Modern Solutions outlines his “why” for helping people on their journeys.

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Program Itinerary

Days 1 and 2 Depart home city / Cross the International Dateline

Your trip will begin by departing your home city and crossing the International Date Line.

Day 3 Sydney, Australia

Arrive in Sydney, the most populous city in Oceania and the cultural hub of Australia. Check into the Shangri-La Sydney. then enjoy a leisurely walking tour through the historic “Rocks” district, which marks the place where Australia was first founded. Spend time at leisure to explore the neighborhood’s maze of terrace houses, restored warehouses, and markets, pubs, and restaurants.

Day 4 Sydney

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of cosmopolitan Sydney. Journey to The Domain, a verdant oasis in the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District that includes the Royal Botanic Gardens. Visit the New South Wales Art Gallery with local guides and tour its newly relocated Yiribana Aboriginal Gallery—a compelling introduction to the indigenous art and culture of Australia. Finish the morning with a stop at the world-famous Bondi Beach for lunch along the promenade and take a drive by The Gap for breathtaking views of the coastline. Conclude your evening with the Sydney Harbour Cruise, featuring cocktails and incredible views.

Day 5 Sydney

Visit the Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to bask in its rich, storied history with a guided tour that takes you beneath its iconic sails. Step inside the inspired theaters and learn how Danish architect Jorn Utzon's groundbreaking design and vision came to life.

Day 6 Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

Fly from Sydney to Auckland before boarding Le Lapérouse and sail to Waiheke Island.

Day 7 Auckland

Nicknamed the City of Sails, Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have harbors on two different bodies of water—the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy visiting the island’s famed vineyards, including wine samples, a food pairing, and a honey and  olive oil tasting Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board this evening.

Day 8 Whakatane for Rotura

Journey to the “thermal city” of Rotorua to experience rich Māori culture and other spectacular marvels. Visit Te Puia, located in the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, to see the boiling mud pools and cascading Pohutu geyser that make Rotorua famous. Enjoy a visit to the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute to see local Māori artisans at work. Here, the traditional techniques of whakairo (wood carving), pounamu (jade, bone, and stone carving), and raranga (textile weaving) are upheld and celebrated as part of the Māori heritage. Finish the excursion with a lively Māori performance, which includes the world-famous haka and a buffet lunch.

Day 9 Napier

Two options await as you arrive in Napier. You may embark on the city’s Art Deco Tour, which begins with a drive to suburban Marewa to see Napier’s legendary Art Deco homes from the 1930s and 1940s and other architectural landmarks such as the Municipal Theatre, the former Hotel Central, and the Masonic Hotel. From there, you will visit the Art Deco Trust building to watch a short film that documents the Hawke’s Bay earthquake in 1931 and the determination that resulted in the city being rebuilt over the course of two years.

A second option is to immerse yourself in the 1850s-era wine‑making history of Hawke’s Bay, which includes tastings. 

Day 10 Picton, South Island

Choose from three excursion options as the ship arrives in Picton. You may opt to go on a guided sea kayak adventure on the west end of Queen Charlotte Sound, cruise to Arapawa Island for a tour of a
Blue Pearl farm, or visit three wineries in the Marlborough Wine Region, with tastings.

Day 11 Cruising the Tasman Sea

Enjoy a day at sea, where you can choose to attend various
educational lectures.

Day 12 Milford Sound, South Island

Milford and Dusky Sounds comprise Fiordland National Park, which is part of Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Milford Sound, named Piopiotahi by the Māori after the thrush-like piopio bird, is the wettest inhabited place in New Zealand and one of the wettest in the world. Look for New Zealand fur seals, the Bottlenose Dolphin, and the Little Blue Penguin from the ship and spectacular scenery as the ship enters Milford Sound—which author Rudyard Kipling referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Day 13 Dusky Sound

Cruise through Dusky Sound for views of dramatic wilderness, sheer cliffs, and tumbling waterfalls. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, which is noted by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. The sound and its surrounding land are important to the conservation and restoration of native New Zealand flora and fauna. Look for cormorants, seagulls, and New Zealand fur seals on your
Zodiac excursion.

Day 14 Dunedin

Arrive in Victorian-era Dunedin and choose from several included excursions. The first is a city tour to see such landmarks as its famous Octagon city center, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the First Church of Otago, and the Dunedin Rail Station. You will also visit Olveston House, a 35-room, early 20th century Jacobean-style mansion. Another option is to journey to the Otago Peninsula for a visit to a private working farm where you will board an 8-wheel drive vehicle known as an Argo for a scenic off-road journey. Along the way, look for some of the peninsula’s most spectacular wildlife, including the New Zealand seal. 

Be on deck with a team of naturalists as the ship continues from
Otago Peninsula to cruise past a rookery of Northern Royal Albatross. This evening, attend the Captain's Farewell Reception.

Day 12 Lyttelton / Christchurch / Return to home city

Tour Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. Visit the Mona Vale Gardens, whose grounds include a lily pond, rose garden, and fern conservatory. See areas affected by the 2011 Canterbury earthquake and visit the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial, which includes the Memorial Wall and the Bridge of Remembrance along the River Avon. Continue the drive to Regent Street and then walk to Cathedral Square, the center and heart of Christchurch. After lunch, continue on to the Queenstown
Post-Program Option or transfer to the airport for your flight home
via Auckland.