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Australia | New Zealand | Fiji | French Polynesia

Opinions of what constitutes Oceania range, but for our purpose, we will encompass (largely) the islands of the South Pacific including Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, and the island nation of Fiji.

Hospitable land of kangaroos, wallabies and koala bears, the natural splendor of Australia ~ a.k.a. the Down Under ~ is truly unique. From its vast Outback and red-sand landscapes to the far reaches of Kangaroo Island and the Kimberly, Australia’s beauty is one of a kind. Step back in time with an exclusive visit to a private sheep station, or ‘hang’ and horse-trek with the cowboys in a working cattle station. Treat yourself to the sophisticated culinary experiences and fine vintages of Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains. Swim, sail, snorkel or scuba amidst the technicolor coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef with its tropical marine population. Finally, take delight in Sydney’s cultural landmarks and bustling bushland ambience.

Then on to the island nation of neighboring New Zealand - consisting primarily of the subtropical, more populated north island and glacier-clad Alpine south island. Home of Maori culture, rolling farmlands, bubbling geothermal pools, emerald lakes, world-class fishing, and some of the most delightful hotels and lodges on earth, New Zealand offers a world-class, environmentally serene adventure.

Your luxury adventure travel experience is taken to new heights on the islands of Fiji and French Polynesia. With resorts headlining over-water bungalows and white sand beaches, and secluded luxury hotels built on crystal blue lagoons, these islands offer a dream vacation for families, honeymooners and anyone seeking the ultimate south sea island escape.

We're here to help you navigate the options and orchestrate a custom holiday that suits perfectly your special wishes and interests.

Pure New Zealand


Experience the rugged beauty and unspoiled grandeur of New Zealand on this 15-day eco-adventure - with opportunities to hike, fish, raft and glacier trek . . OR simply wallow in the comfort and elegance of world-renowned luxury lodges.

DAY 1 - Arrive AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Your journey begins as you arrive this morning into Auckland, New Zealand. As New Zealand's largest city, Auckland contains nearly a third of the country's population and is the largest Polynesian city in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the country's business and industrial center and is located on the shores of the sparkling Waitemata, one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, which gives the city its nautical flavor.

After passing through Immigration and Customs you are met by your representative and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel. The Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is located in the heart of Auckland, boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour. Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture, this beautifully designed hotel is a true landmark destination. All luxury appointed bedrooms and suites have private balconies, floor to ceiling windows and feature oversized bathrooms with separate rain showers and deep soaking bathtubs.

Later, you are taken on a private tour of Auckland city including the downtown
shopping area, Auckland Harbor Bridge and a scenic drive around Auckland’s great harbor. Proceed through the affluent residential areas of the eastern suburbs to the summit of Mt. Eden, an extinct volcano cone, for panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Continue on to Parnell Village with its fascinating colonial style shops, boutiques and arcades. Visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum, where exciting stories of the Pacific as well as New Zealand’s people, flora, fauna are told in a series of fascinating exhibits. Here, you will also see an exceptional collection of Polynesian artifacts including an 80 foot long Maori war canoe built in 1836.

DAY 2 - AUCKLAND / BAY OF ISLANDS - The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs OR Eagles Nest

This morning is at your leisure to shop and explore Auckland by foot. Later this afternoon you are transferred by private vehicle to the airport to board a flight to the Bay of Islands. Upon arrival you are met and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation.

Set on 4,000 acres of rolling coastal farmland near Matauri Bay, Northland, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs was constructed to harmonise and blend with the natural features of the land. The stunning lodge has full 180-degree views of the ocean, off shore islands and the golf course. The New Zealand native timber built lodge is built in plantation style in the theme of the Waitangi Treaty House, and to focus on its natural bush and ocean surroundings. Kauri Cliffs offers a feast of splendid leisure pursuits, including a magnificent par 72, championship golf course measuring 7,000 yards. Please note: During cocktails and dinner, gentlemen are required to wear a jacket.

The Lodge of Kauri Cliffs

Eagles Nest

Eagles Nest is a multi-award winning 75 acre estate situated in New Zealand’s spectacular Bay of Islands. Designed and furnished in an eclectic contemporary style, the estate’s gardens and lodgings blend into the natural topography and foliage. Eagles Nest is within easy walking distance of the historic village of Russell, the birthplace of New Zealand. With five world-class Luxury Villas in the collection, guests are treated to private facilities within the villas such as a heated infinity pool and a Jacuzzi, and palates are tempted by delicious cuisine prepared by the resident chefs. (BD)

DAY 3 - BAY OF ISLANDS - The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs OR Eagles Nest
This morning you are transferred to the airport to connect with your scheduled Cape Reinga Fly / 4WD tour. You explore Cape Reinga and Northland by both air and four-wheel drive. You see some of the most stunning scenery New Zealand has to offer including Ninety-Mile Beach, Cape Reinga – where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean and Tapotupotu Bay. Here you will begin your 4WD drive experience down Te Paki Stream and through the giant sand dunes of Ninety-Mile Beach. Rejoin your aircraft for the return flight down the spectacular East Coast to Kerikeri Airport. Upon arrival back at airport you are met and transferred overland to Paihia and Waitangi. Here you have some time for lunch at your leisure before joining a tour at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds overlook the Bay of Islands. This is New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site. It is a place of belonging and enjoyment that is central to the life of the nation and special to all New Zealanders. It was here on February 6, 1840, that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori and the British Crown. Today you are taken on a 60 minute guided tour of the grounds by your local Maori guide, who gives you unique insight into this special and spiritual place. Afterwards, return to your accommodations and enjoy the evening at leisure. (BD)

DAY 4 - BAY OF ISLANDS / AUCKLAND / HOBBITON / ROTORUA / TAUPO - Huka Lodge
This morning you are transferred to the airport to board a flight to Auckland. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by private vehicle overland to Rotorua via Hobbiton (Matamata), a journey of approximately two hours. At Hobbiton experience the real Middle-Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton movie set, the bucolic setting for The Shire featured in The Lord of the Rings.

Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide accompanies you through the ten acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton set was created. The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can be viewed, and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth. Afterwards, enjoy a scenic walk through through the redwood forest of Hamurana Springs Reserve. Hamurana Springs is the deepest natural fresh water spring on the North Island of New Zealand. Located to the northeast of Lake Rotorua (five miles from Nicara Lodge), the crystal clear spring emerges from a rocky area within a Department of Conservation reserve.

Upon completion of your tour, you will enjoy lunch before continuing to your accommodation in Taupo. Originally a fishing lodge on the shores of the Waikato River, Huka Lodge today ranks as one of the world's most cherished retreats. Located on Lake Taupo, just an hour’s drive from Rotorua and near the dramatic Huka Falls, Huka Lodge is the sort of place one dreams of. The charming staff anticipates your every whim, produces the most exquisite meals, and can organize just about anything you might wish for.

Large, airy villa suites with beautifully fitted bathrooms are set amid extensive park-like grounds, and dining in the Main Lodge is a memorable event highlighted by the freshest and best New Zealand produce. Huka has tennis and croquet courts, fishing, and a nearby golf course. Other available activities include horseback riding, jet boating, rafting and skiing. Your full country breakfast, pre-dinner cocktails and a five-course dinner are included. (BLD)

DAY 5 - TAUPO / ROTORUA / TAUPO - Huka Lodge
This morning you will embark on a day of adventure in Rotorua. Your day begins with a scenic helicopter flight. Experience a wider overview of the Rotorua region with a view from above - over Lake Rotorua, Sulphur Bay, the geysers of Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, and Rotorua City plus five major crater lakes including the Blue and Green Lakes.

You land at Tarawera Inlet and are met by your guide, then set off on a guided walk along the Tarawera Falls Trail, concluding at a local eco café for morning tea. You will then travel on to Te Puia where you will enjoy a tour and steambox lunch. Steambox utilizes a favorite Ngā Whā (steam vent) "Puapua" located in the geothermal area, backdrop to the famous Pohutu Gesyer. Manuhiri (visitors) choose what they want cooked for lunch before heading off on a guided tour of Te Puia. This begins with an interactive session learning to weave a flower, and a tour of the carving and weaving schools. Heading down into the geothermal valley to the Kiwi house, mud pools and hot springs, the tour concludes when, after watching your lunch lifted from the Ngā Whā, you may sit and enjoy your steambox picnic lunch on the geyser terrace.

Afterwards, head to Rainbow Springs where you will enjoy your Insider Access Kiwi Encounter Tour. This Insider Access tour is all about becoming better acquainted with New Zealand's elusive kiwi. Your tour begins with a brief introduction at the incubation room and hatchery. You then continue to the Kitchen where the artificial diet for the young kiwi is prepared, which includes a variety worms and insects!

Visit the nursery room filled with "brooders" - breeding units where the kiwi chicks stay in the nursery until they are approximately 400 grams in body size. They are then moved to outdoor enclosures where they grow until they are 1.2 kilograms. From here you enter the indoor nocturnal area where kiwi enclosures are completely open with no partitions between the kiwi and visitors. Your tour concludes with a display of Kiwi Encounter that provides a wealth of information and audio-visual of kiwi. After the Kiwi Encounter, you will board a heli back to Taupo. (BLD)

DAY 6 - TAUPO - Huka Lodge

Today enjoy the many activities available at Huka Lodge. (BD)

DAY 7 - TAUPO / ROTORUA / TAUPO - Huka Lodge
This morning you are met and depart again via heli for your morning Whakarewarewa Forest Mountain Bike tour. After lunch, travel to Lake Rotoiti for a sailing tour. Lake Rotoiti offers majestic bush-clad shorelines, secluded coves and private beaches. You will have an opportunity to soak in the Manupirua hot thermal pools, swim in the lake, or fish for premium Rotoiti rainbow trout. Enjoy a light complimentary afternoon tea. Following this, return via heli to Huka Lodge. (BLD)

DAY 8 - TAUPO / ROTORU / CHRISTCHURCH - The George

Enjoy your morning at leisure. Later you are transferred to the airport to board a flight to Christchurch. Upon arrival you will are met and taken on an orientation tour. Your tour commences by covering the central city highlights including the botanical gardens, Museum and Art Centre, the Avon River, Bridge of Remembrance, the city's new pop-up container mall and many other Christchurch city highlights. Please note that this tour can change daily due to road closures and new areas re-opening. On leaving the inner city, travel to Mona Vale (an historic homestead and gardens) up to the Sign of the Takahe, an historic building providing spectacular views over the city, Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps. Continue over the Port Hills to the Port of Lyttleton, through the harbour tunnel to the seaside suburb of Sumner and cave rock before returning to the central city where your tour concludes.

While in Christchurch, you are accommodated at The George, an elegant boutique hotel, in a superb location, opposite Hagley Park and the picturesque Avon River, near the heart of Christchurch. The guestrooms are luxuriously appointed with every amenity. And, with a one-to-one ratio of staff to guests, impeccable service is assured. The George has two award-winning restaurants - 50 on Park Restaurant and Bar for all day dining and Pescatore for exquisite evening cuisine. The George is just steps from Christchurch's city center and heritage attractions, including the historic Tram, Canterbury Museum, Arts Center and the modern Christchurch Art Gallery. (B)

DAY 9 - CHRISTCHURCH / GREYMOUTH / FRANZ JOSEF - Te Waonui Forest Retreat

This morning you are met and transferred to the rail station to board the scenic Tranz Alpine train. The Tranz Alpine scenic rail journey travels between Christchurch and Greymouth - from one coast of New Zealand to the other. Climb into the Southern Alps and descend through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers.

Upon arrival you are met by your driver-guide and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation in Franz Josef, a journey of approximately two and a half hours. The road to Franz Josef is rural, but with a wild streak. The farmland is trying to turn back into forest, and the beauty of the rivers is raw and primeval.

If time permits, you may visit Hokitika and take the West Coast Treetop Walk (payable locally). This is an exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants. Experience life with the birds high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Access is easy along a steel platform 65 feet high and over 1,476 feet long. Enjoy a leisurely 45 minute to one hour stroll through the beautiful West Coast rainforest tree tops.

Your day concludes at your accommodation in Franz Josef. A foray into New Zealand’s pristine wilderness, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximize your well-being. With natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there’s no better place to take a deep breath and unwind. (BLD)

DAY 10 - FRANZ JOSEF - Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Today you are met by your driver-guide and private vehicle for your Ice Explorer Tour. You will first receive a fantastic introduction to the enthralling world of ice. A short heli hop from the township takes you into the remarkable Pinnacles area of the glacier. Here your guide will navigate you through a maze of ice, explaining the dramatic environmental changes over the last few years. You will explore the awe-inspiring landscape through Franz Josef Glacier. Your Ice Explorer hike also includes entry into the fabulous Glacier Hot Pools!

Please be prepared to bring 2-4 warm layers for your upper body and a pair of lightweight trousers. Please NO Jeans (as they get cold when wet). You may wish to bring a light snack and a bottle of water. Also, bring along sunglasses, sunscreen, a camera and a backpack.

This afternoon is at leisure. (BD)

DAY 11 - FRANZ JOSEF / QUEENSTOWN - Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa

Meet your driver-guide this morning and depart for Queenstown, a journey of approximately six hours. Discover the rugged scenery along one of New Zealand's most awe-inspiring highways. Your journey takes you via the Haast Pass, the southernmost pass that connects the communities of the East and West. Marvel at the vast rainforests and clear waterfalls of this untouched landscape, and enjoy breathtaking sights from high mountain peaks to the blue lakes before arriving into Wanaka.

Upon arrival, you will depart on a two and a half hour tour encompassing the highlights of Wanaka. Experience the rugged beauty and solitude of the spectacular high country with this exclusive 4WD journey, visiting an historic New Zealand sheep, cattle and deer farm. Explore historic ruins of pioneering European settler cottages, and enjoy pure mountain air and beautiful scenery as you take a stroll in alpine meadows. This journey offers a unique insight into Wanaka’s rich history, heritage and modern-day farming life.

After your tour you are transferred on to your accommodation in Queenstown, a journey of approximately one hour. The Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of the city and just minutes from both the airport and Coronet Peak ski fields. Most of the hotel’s luxury rooms offer private balconies with either mountain or lake views. Sofitel offers concierge service, a fitness center and LeSpa at Sofitel.

Queenstown is a small collection of buildings on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the snow-capped Remarkable Mountains and Coronet Peak. Queenstown, so named because its scenic beauty was "fit for Queen Victoria”, is known today as the jewel in New Zealand’s crown and the hub of Central Otago. In less than 30 years it has grown from a sleepy lakeside town into a sophisticated all year tourist resort. Queenstown features stunning landscapes and an unrivaled range of adventure activities such as hiking, water rafting, skiing, and bungee jumping, with many other choices. (B)

DAY 12 - QUEENSTOWN - Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa

Step across this great frontier and meet the challenge of rafting the Shotover River. Experience the rugged beauty and unspoiled grandeur of the breathtaking scenery as you conquer this wild and untamed river. Tackle ten rapids, then raft through the darkness of the 557 foot Oxenbridge Tunnel, then shoot the Cascade Rapid to complete the challenge! The trip includes Sauna, hot shower and refreshments at the Rafters Lodge.

This evening is at your leisure to explore the city on your own. (B)

DAY 13 - QUEENSTOWN - Matakauri Lodge

This morning you will embark on a half-day sightseeing tour of Queenstown. Today’s sightseeing of the Wakatipu basin includes a wine cave tour at Gibbston Valley Winery, located in the world’s southernmost wine producing region. Visit the Kawarau Bridge made famous by A.J. Hackett and over one million bungy jumpers, and the historic gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown. Enjoy a ride on the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak for spectacular panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu.


Following this, you will be transferred to your lodge. Nestled among the bush on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and just 7 minutes from Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge is a spectacular alpine lakeside retreat, offering stunning panoramic views and a variety of facilities including the Spa Pavilion with sauna, outdoor hot tub, and massage and therapy rooms. (BD)

DAY 14 - QUEENSTOWN - Matakauri Lodge

Today you are whisked by helicopter to World Heritage Milford Sound flying over secluded alpine lakes, lush rainforest, deep bush-fringed valleys and rugged mountain peaks. Take in the beauty of the Southern Alps on your way into Milford Sound, experiencing this amazing glacial creation. View Lake Quill, the source of the spectacular Sutherland Falls – the second highest waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. Sweep the full length of the fiord, flying over a remote West Coast beach to view seal colonies. Before heading home, weather permitting, you will have a chance to land ‘on top of the world’ where you can stand among the ancient ice flows of the Fiordland Glaciers. Enjoy a picnic lunch before flying back to Queenstown. (BLD)

DAY 15 - Depart QUEENSTOWN
Your remarkable adventure journey comes to an end as you are transferred this morning by private vehicle to the airport to meet your flight homeward. (B)

courtesy of and in collaboration with Elisabeth Sucharda @ A&K

 


Condé Nast Traveler Award
Resorts & Charted Courses

"World's Top Travel Specialists"
SALLIE MASSIE for Destination MONACO
Four-Time Award Recipient - Condé Nast Traveler

Condé Nast Traveler Award

 

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