In Oct-Nov 2014 we did a 21-day Air & Coach Escorted Tour of Australia and New Zealand with Thomas-Cook. In Australia we covered Brisbane, Gold-Coast, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne and Sydney. In New Zealand we did Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Mt. Cook and Christchurch.
with our Dates, in the page below.
The general "day-wise" detailed Itinerary as provided by Thomas Cook is here AU&NZ. I have used that itinerary descriptions and customizes a bit it for our tour specifics,
The pictures of Australia part of tour are all in this Collection on Flickr: Australia 2014
The general day-wise details of the tour copy-pasted from the Thomas Cook (TC) tour brochure (so in their words!); but slightly modified with specifics of our tour is below:
DAY 1 (24th Oct 2014) Depart for Brisbane from Mumbai via Singapore. Today, you are off on your exciting tour of Australia – “The Land Down Under”. Embark on your overnight flight to the vast island which has so much for you to explore, whether you want nature, wildlife, outback adventure, cityscapes, islands, rainforest or reef. It is a haven of natural beauty, relaxation, adventure, wonderful sights and great shopping.
DAY 2 (25th Oct 2014) Arrive into Brisbane and then proceed by a Coach towards Gold Coast – Australia’s entertainment capital. A unique amphibious ride touring Gold Coast on the Adventure Duck has been arranged for you. Later, a grand night out at the spectacular music and dance extravaganza of Conrad Jupiter’s. On arrival at Brisbane airport, you will be greeted by your friendly and experienced Thomas Cook Tour Manager/ Local Representative outside the baggage hall. Proceed and check into your hotel (Standard check in at 1400hrs). The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Post lunch get ready for some fun and excitement as we take you on a great land and water adventure with Gold Coast’s Adventure Duck ride. It is a great way to see what the glitzy Gold Coast is all about. After an early delicious dinner at a local Indian restaurant, we take you to experience Gold Coast’s most famous glamour and entertainment theatre at Jupiters. Here, take an awe-inspiring journey through an exotic world of breathtaking colour, mesmerizing global rhythms and explosive energy at this live stage show. Overnight at Hotel Outrigger / Grand Chancellor or similar, in Gold Coast.
DAY 3 Today get set to meet your aquatic friends at ‘Sea World’. What’s more, enjoy an exciting helicopter ride – truly an exhilarating experience. Also join us on a fun-filled day to Movie World - Hollywood in Gold Coast. Today after an American breakfast at the hotel, spend the morning at Gold Coast’s most spectacular theme park – Sea World. Get up close and personal with marine life wonders and experience a hole world of exciting rides, shows, laugh along with the crowd as the clever sea lions solve an environmental crime in a wonderful new adventure – Fish detectives. Experience Imagine, an enchanting new interactive Dolphin Show. Be enthralled by some of the most spectacular sights as you fly over stunning Gold Coast beaches – a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience on a scenic helicopter ride! Also, visit Sea World’s attraction – the Polar Bear shores. Today enjoy lunch. Later proceed to Warner Brothers ‘Movie World’ where movie magic happens every day. Meet your favourite stars and enjoy all the behind-the scene actions, comedy stunts along with exhilarating rides, shows and attractions like the new Superman Escape, the suspended roller coaster ‘Lethal Weapon’ – where you will see your feet against the sky, encounter five complete upside down experiences. Experience a hair-raising ogre time at Dream Works Shrek 4D Adventure. Also have a chance of meeting and taking off on the ultimate Batman adventure ride. Continue your fun-filled day with your favourite Looney tunes characters at ‘Looney Village’. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Outrigger / Grand Chancellor or similar, in Gold Coast.
DAY 4 Today, enjoy Dream world which will provide a one stop shop for thrills, spills and family fun. Later get a bird’s eye view of the Gold coast city from the Sky Point observatory deck. Today after an American Breakfast at the hotel, get set, as we proceed to Dream World. Enjoy the tallest and fastest thrill rides, interactive shows and unique animal attractions; there’s something for everyone at Dream World. Rides that are stomach losing, packed with adrenalin, and give you a big dose of fear such as the Giant Drop, Tower of Terror, Wipe out, Cyclone roller coaster and Dream World’s latest scream machine - The Claw! Experience some more wonderful rides and attractions at Nick Central Wiggle’s World, Flowrider and IMAX Theatre. Later you visit the Sky Point observatory deck. Sky Point takes you to the highest point above the Gold Coast on top of Q1 and offers spectacular 360 degree view from the surf to hinterland and beyond. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Outrigger / Grand Chancellor or similar, in Gold Coast.
DAY 5 Onto Cairns – The Tropical Paradise. Today, get set for a day of fun and excitement as you visit Kuranda – a village in the rainforest. After an American breakfast at the hotel, we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Cairns. On arrival enjoy lunch. Later proceed to Kuranda – a World Heritage Rainforest. Experience the Skyrail - the world’s most beautiful Rainforest experience. The Skyrail journey immerses you in an intimate rainforest experience where you will relax and enjoy the stunning rainforest scenery, panoramic views of the Cairns’ tropical region and the glittering waters of the Coral Sea. Explore the amazing environment from the forest floor on boardwalks, scenic lookouts in the state-of-the-art Rainforest Interpretation Centre. After a day of excitement and fun, we return to Cairns. You can relax in the comfort of your hotel or you can visit some of the exciting shops at the ‘Cairns Night Market’ on your own. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Rydges Tradewinds / Esplanade or similar, in Cairns.
DAY 6 Join us on an unforgettable experience to the outer Great Barrier Reef – the only living structure visible from the moon! A chance to enjoy Hot Air Ballooning. This morning you have an option to go for hot air ballooning. Later after an early American breakfast at your hotel, we proceed to board the cruise liner to the Great Barrier Reef – most spectacular underwater experience imaginable. The cruise will take you to a reef at the very edge of Australia’s Continental shelf, to an underwater world that has a dazzling kaleidoscope of colours. Escape into a world of surprises to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Outer Great Barrier Reef. There is an abundance of activities for swimmers and non-swimmers to enjoy. A chance to Snorkel and dive, visit the underwater observatory or you can stay dry and explore the stunning reef from the comfort of an air-conditioned semi-submersible. Savour a delicious lunch on board the cruise liner. Return to your hotel with fantastic memories of this living natural wonder. Tonight, a delicious dinner awaits you at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Rydges Tradewinds / Esplanade or similar, in Cairns.
DAY 7 Arrive in to Melbourne – the Victorian Capital. Explore the charm, history and character of Melbourne on an exciting city tour. Enjoy a guided tour of the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground. After an American breakfast at the hotel, we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Melbourne. Today enjoy packed lunch. On arrival proceed to discover the breathtaking landmarks and monuments of Melbourne on your city tour, which includes a visit to the famous and beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens, Town Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, National Tennis centre, the 1956 Olympic venue, the Shrine of Remembrance, Bourke Street Mall and some beautifully restored Victorian houses. Also, enjoy a guided tour of the spectacular Melbourne Cricket Ground - one of Australia’s greatest assets. Tonight, proceed for a sumptuous dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Rydges Melbourne / Mercure Oak or similar, in Melbourne.
DAY 8 Enjoy a memorable excursion to the Great Ocean Road, where you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the ‘Twelve Apostles’. After a delicious and leisurely breakfast at the hotel, get set to spend the entire day at the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy the spectacular views over golden surf beaches, sheer cliff faces and magnificent stands of Eucalyptus. Enjoy local lunch. Drive along the coastline on entire length of Port Campbell National Park. The coastline with it’s twisted shapes of amazing rock formation, the famous ‘Twelve Apostles’ – huge stone pillars rising from the surf, the Loch Ard Gorge, will give a photographer some spectacular pictures this evening. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Rydges Melbourne / Mercure Oak or similar, in Melbourne.
DAY 9 Welcome to Sydney – one of the world’s easiest and most pleasant cities to visit. Have the time of your life as you get set for the most exciting, entertaining and fun night on a dinner cruise along Sydney Harbour! After a delicious American breakfast at the hotel, the morning is at leisure for you to explore this chic and stylish city on your own. Later we check out and proceed to the airport to board your flight to Sydney. Today enjoy lunch. Arrive into the Harbour City. Tonight, get set for a lifetime experience on a board the spectacular Showboat dinner cruise. Be captivated by the breathtaking scenery as you sail through the shimmering Sydney Harbour with its mesmerizing panorama of bright city lights, Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge. Delight on a three – course Indian dinner followed by a dazzling sensational theatre cabaret featuring professional Australian showgirls in their glamorous costumes! Join in on the choruses with the immensely talented and charming songstress! Overnight at Hotel Mercure Sydney / Rydges World Square or similar, in Sydney.
DAY 10 Explore the landmarks of Sydney - the Rocks area, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach on your exciting city tour. Enjoy a spectacular guided tour of the world-renowned Sydney Opera house. Discover stunning underwater life at the Sydney Aquarium and visit the famous Sydney Tower and Oz Trek. Visit the world famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Visit Wildlife World. After an American breakfast at the hotel, we proceed on an exciting and interactive city tour of Sydney which includes highlights like the Darling Harbour, one of the world’s greatest waterfront destinations, experience a slice of the city’s history at the Rocks area, the busy CBD area, Hyde Park, the Harbour Bridge, Mrs. Macquarries Chair, Eastern suburbs – home to the city’s rich and famous and the world famous Bondi beach. We also take you on a guided tour of one the world’s most spectacular landmark – the Sydney Opera House. See inside the world’s most recognizable sails. Experience this miracle of architecture and engineering. Today enjoy a hot lunch. Later take a journey through the world famous Sydney Aquarium. Also, visit the famous Sydney Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in Sydney. Here you enjoy a visit to the observatory deck for the most spectacular 360° aerial view of the beautiful harbour city and embark on a journey across Australia’s landscapes, history and terrain to explore Australia’s national treasures at the Oz Trek. Later experience the world of glamour, glitz, sport, politics and music when you visit the world famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum where you will see the life size wax statues of the famous personalities from around the world. We later visit the WildlifeWorld. Find yourself on an amazing animal adventure as you journey into Australia’s most famous locations. Walk through iconic Aussie habitats and encounter some of the most loved and feared animals that call Australia home. Tonight enjoy a delicious dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Mercure Sydney / Rydges World Square or similar, in Sydney.
DAY 11 Day at leisure at the most happening city of Australia. You can enjoy the many adventures in Sydney on your own or take an optional day trip to the Blue Mountains OR Bridge climb After a delicious and leisurely breakfast at the hotel, you have the opportunity to spend time at your own pace by exploring some of the good cafes and restaurants, gardens and parks, museums galleries, dazzling beaches and many more tourist attractions. You can shop at the classic Queen Victoria building – the most beautiful shopping centre in Sydney or you can experience the spectacular blue-hazed beauty, dramatic cliffs and deep canyons of the Blue Mountains on a full day excursion. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Mercure Sydney / Rydges World Square or similar, in Sydney.
The pictures of New Zealand part of the tour are in this Collection on Flickr: New Zealand -2014
DAY 12 Welcome to Auckland - “The city of Sails” On arrival at Auckland airport, you will be greeted by your friendly and experienced Thomas Cook Tour Manager / Local representative outside the baggage hall. Proceed and check into your hotel. (Standard Check in time: 1400Hrs). Later the evening is at leisure for you to explore this city on your own. Tonight a delicious Indian dinner awaits you at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Crowne Plaza / Heritage Hotel or similar, in Auckland.
DAY 13 Enjoy a city tour of this beautiful and pristine city. Proceed to Rotorua – “The Thermal city” After an American breakfast at the hotel, check out and get set for a day of fun as we take you for a city tour of Auckland featuring summit of Mt Eden, Harbour Bridge and waterfront drive. See the West Haven Marina, the War Memorial Museum and drive through the Parnell, onto Bastion Point amongst Auckland’s most expensive residential area. Enroute enjoy hot lunch at an Indian restaurant. See the view of Waite Mata Harbour and beaches that are unmatched. Later proceed to Rotorua via Hamilton Gardens. With its unique volcanic landscape, living Maori culture and natural hot springs, Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most famous destinations. On arrival check into the hotel. Tonight a delicious Indian dinner awaits you at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Novotel / Millennium, in Rotorua.
DAY 14 See the sheep shows at Agrodome followed by a farm tour. Enjoy a Maori Cultural Show. After a delicious breakfast, proceed to Agrodome which will give you a chance to see through the eyes of a true New Zealand farmer. Witness the Agrodome Sheep Show an exciting and informative insight into the world of New Zealand agriculture, featuring different breeds of sheep, sheep shearing, cow milking, lamb feeding and dog demonstrations. Later get an experience of the farms on your farm tour. Learn about the farming. Opportunity to take photos and hand feed the animals like sheep, cattle, deer, llamas and alpacas. Visit the kiwifruit orchard and olives groves, get a chance to taste kiwifruit juice or wine and delicious sweet honey from the farm. After a delicious Indian lunch visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve where you can wander around the bubbling mud pools and see the famous ‘Pohutu’ Geyser. Also discover Maori art forms, ancient rituals and traditions, experience thrilling song and dance at a traditional Maori Cultural show. You also have the chance to indulge in some adventure activities at Agroventures Adventure Park. You have the chance to choose any 02 of the adventure activities: Agrojet, Freefall Xtreme, Swoop or Shweeb. Later enjoy an Indian Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Novotel / Millennium, in Rotorua.
DAY 15 Onto Auckland, en route visit to the beautiful Waitomo Caves and the stunning Hamilton Gardens. After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, check out and drive to Auckland. Enroute visit the Waitomo Caves in the lush Waikato region. Marvel at Mother Nature’s light display, as you glide silently through the starry wonderland caves of Glow-worm situated underground along the Waitomo River and gaze in silence at the myriad of glow-worm lights that make up the Glow-worm Grotto. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you will immediately experience a serene ambience and be fascinated and intrigued by tiny glow-worms that light your way. Enjoy Indian lunch. Also enjoy a stop at the Hamilton Gardens, New Zealand’s first traditional Maori garden. With a stunning Paradise Garden Collection, you also have a chance to see the Indian Char Bagh Garden right there in New Zealand. Enjoy delicious Indian dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Crowne Plaza / Heritage Hotel or similar, in Auckland.
DAY 16 Onto Queenstown – New Zealand’s adventure capital. Today experience the Gondola ride that gives you the best view of this city. After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed to the airport to board your flight to Queenstown. Enjoy Indian Lunch. Today get ready to experience the famous Gondola ride, also a fast convenient access to the best views in the region, which is reputed to be the steepest lift in the Southern Hemisphere. Tonight a delicious Indian dinner awaits you at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Novotel / Crowne Plaza or similar, in Queenstown.
DAY 17 Today we set out for the most spectacular cruise to the Milford Sound. After an American breakfast, depart from Queenstown and travel via Te Anau through the aweinspiring Homer Tunnel and the stunning glacier-carved Eglington Valley, to arrive at Milford Sound. Enjoy the full-day on an unforgettable Milford Sound cruise, which sails right up to the mouth of the Tasman Sea (weather permitting). Enjoy a delicious lunch on board the cruise. Journey into the untouched paradise of Milford Sound and explore the natural wonders and history surrounding this deep fiord. Later tonight, enjoy a sumptuous Indian dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Novotel / Crowne Plaza or similar, in Queenstown.
DAY 18 Enjoy a visit to Arrowtown. Rest of the day is free. Enjoy an American breakfast at the hotel. Visit Arrowtown and the bungee jumping site. Enjoy Lunch. The rest of the day is at leisure. You have the chance to feel the adrenaline rush and enjoy Jet-boating. Prepare yourself for the thrill and excitement of the ultimate Jet Boating experience with world famous Shotover Jet. It’s a unique, breathtaking white water ride and an adrenaline rush you’ll never forget! It’s an amazing white water ride, as the Shotover Canyon walls tower over you, your expert driver puts your ‘Big Red’ Jet Boat through its paces and skillfully whips it past rocky outcrops, skims around crags and boulders, and speeds through the dramatic and narrow canyons. Enjoy Indian dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Novotel / Crowne Plaza or similar, in Queenstown.
DAY 19 Onto Twizel. En route visit “Puzzling World” at Wanaka, Mt Cook. Wine tasting at Lady Bird Hill. After a delicious breakfast, check out of the hotel and proceed to Twizel. Enroute visit the Puzzling World at Wanaka, a unique attraction specializing in puzzling eccentricity. Offering the world’s first “modern-styled” Great Maze, incredible Illusion Rooms, and the most eccentric architecture and Oddities, this place is a photographer’s delight. Later we drive to Lady Bird Hill near Omarama. Enjoy Wine sampling with cheese and crackers. After an Indian Lunch resume the journey to Mt Cook region. Located in the centre of New Zealand's South Island, Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie is the home to breathtaking landscapes and the kiwi spirit of adventure. Here you get time for optional flight seeing to view mountain range and Tasman Glacier. The flight is within the national parks and has access to some of the most iconic landscapes within New Zealand. Later return to Twizel for a sumptuous dinner at a local Indian restaurant and overnight stay at Twizel, a town surrounded by the beautiful Southern Alps of New Zealand. Overnight at Hotel MacKenzie Country or similar, in Twizel.
DAY 20 Visit the Glacier Lookout Point after which you proceed to Christchurch. Get set to drive through one of the most scenic route in New Zealand. City tour of Christchurch. After a delicious American breakfast, travel to picturesque Lake Tekapo and see the iconic Sheep Dog Monument and Church of the Good Shepherd. Lake Tekapo is one of the six beautiful lakes in Twizel and is the second largest among the three lakes running roughly parallel. Enjoy lunch in the afternoon. Later continue descending the mountain ranges across Canterbury plains to the Garden City – Christchurch. City sights includes the beautiful Mona Vale gardens, re-constructed CBD and the new ‘cardboard’ Cathedral. Enjoy Punting on the Avon River. Enjoy a sumptuous Indian dinner and check into the hotel. Overnight at Ibis Hotel or similar, in Christchurch
DAY 21 Return home with wonderful memories of your holiday. This morning after an American breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport, where your memorable Thomas Cook tour comes to an end. Do spare a few minutes to fill in the feedback form and hand it over to your Tour Manager. Your valued suggestions will be most appreciated. Arrive home with pleasant memories of your “Australian Grandeur with Scenic New Zealand” tour.