- Getting up close and personal with the South Pacific
- First you're off to Australia, where you'll visit Sydney and the Outback, and then you'll head to New Zealand to explore the highlights of the North and South Islands.
- You'll also explore three parts of Polynesia - Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora - to experience the pleasures of the lagoon and life on stilts
- You'll have access to our additional services, including our local Concierge
Contact one of our Australia specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
THE GRAND TOUR OF OCEANIA
YOUR TRIPIn the Australian Outback and New Zealand, you'll get around in a car that has been hired especially for you, which is equipped with GPS navigation. Driving is easy in both countries; the roads are well looked after, and the views as you drive are spectacular. Each of your hotels are conveniently located, and provide comfort after a day on the road exploring . Worth particular mention is the typical New Zealand B&B hospitality and a bungalow in a lagoon to finish off the trip. Throughout the journey, the itinerary is full of encounters, highlights and private moments, including: Sydney with an expert guide, the 'Field of Light' in the Australian Red Centre, admission to the Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown, admission to the Wai-O-Tapu and Waimangu thermal parks and a private boat trip around Bora Bora. The rest of the time, you'll be free to explore and venture out as you wish, and transform your ocean journey into a personalised world tour. You can even extend you trip with additions including the Australian Top End, the Great Barrier Reef, the Polynesian Marquesas Islands, Dubai or California. Throughout the trip, you will have the contact details of our local Concierge, who can be reached at any time to direct and advise you.
Flight to Sydney, Australia
Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
Welcome on arrival, private transfer and three nights' accommodation in the heart of the city: The Rocks, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay are all within walking distance. It's the perfect location for exploring the city. Behind its neo-Gothic facade, your 1920's hotel boasts an Art Deco atmosphere. The rooms are spacious, the terrace is pleasant and the service is professional.
Sydney life centres around the water - the harbour and the ocean. From Circular Quay, you'll sail through the harbour. You can't miss a walk along the sands of Bondi and Bronte beaches, connected by a scenic path. Whether you're a beginner or experienced surfer, you must try out the waves here, or try your hand at skimboarding. The Sydney Fish Market offers the best fish in the ocean on beds of ice; many small restaurants come here to turn fresh fish into mouth-watering dishes. Immerse yourself in the CBD's high-rise architecture or stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens, Australia's oldest scientific institution. It's a wonderful place to explore on foot; the British-style gardens, combined with its plant conservation and acclimatisation processes, have created a living national treasure. At the Museum of Contemporary Art, admire works by Emily Kane Kngwarreye, Fiona Foley and Peter Kennedy, among many others. As evening falls, you'll see that whether it's beer or wine, burger or haute cuisine, a tiny cafe or a huge techno club, Sydney has something for everyone at night.
Included in the itinerary - a guided walk with a local expert take a tailor-made walk of the city with an expert guide who will adapt the tour to suit your interests. It's also the perfect opportunity to talk about life in Australia, to listen to anecdotes about Sydney and get some tips for the rest of your trip.
Option - A private cruise around Sydney's bay for unobstructed views of the city, Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Sydney - Ayers Rock
Private transfer to the airport and flight to Ayers Rock in the Red Centre. Collect your hire car and spend two nights in simple and practical accommodation in the middle of the bush. The location is ideal for enjoying the desert, especially the views of the towering Uluru, the spiritual heart of local Aboriginal culture.
Option- A helicopter ride over Uluru to fully appreciate its majesty.
Included - Admission to the 'Field of Light'. Internationally renowned light artist Bruce Munro chose the Red Centre to exhibit his artwork. This is a world first for this ephemeral art show, which is a temporary installation that keeps being extended due to its popularity. Approximately 50,000 thin stems crowned with frosted glass spheres line the desert and light up the red earth as soon as night falls in the Outback, against the backdrop of the towering rock. It's a truly unique opportunity to see the desert completely lit up at night.
Things to see and experience - At dawn or at the end of the day, enjoy some couple time alone while watching the sunrise or set on Uluru - the Olgas Mountains, a series of 36 red domes; another unique site, owned by the local Aboriginals.
Our advice : the rock is so huge that it can easily be seen from several miles away. Yet, curiously, all visitors stop at the same place to admire the show. Be smart and find your own little spot.
Ayers Rock - Sydney
Return the hire car to the airport and fly back to Sydney. Private transfer to the CBD where you'll setting in your Art Deco hotel for your last night in Sydney.
Sydney - Queenstown (New Zealand)
Private transfer to the airport and flight to Queenstown, on New Zealand's South Island. Pick up the hire car and spend three nights in a welcoming and cosy B&B with a view of the lake and the mountains.
Situated on the shore of the lake and surrounded by mountains, Queenstown alternates between a winter sports resort and a summer resort.
Things to see and do - Treat yourself to a dose of adrenaline with bungee jumping, parachuting, rafting, quad biking, mountain biking - enjoy a peaceful walk along the shores of the lake to reminisce about your trip - hike to Coronet Peak, the oldest ski resort in the country - climb to the top of Bob's Peak by Gondola - for bird lovers, visit the Kiwi and Birdlife Park - enjoy an evening on the bustling streets of the city.
Included in the itinerary - Tickets to the Onsen Hot Pools, which houses private and hidden pools nestled in wooden structures facing the Shotover mountain range and river.
Option - A cruise through Milford Sound (access plus a plane flight over the area, where you take in the breathtaking scenery). Milford Sound is spread over nine miles inland and is surrounded by 3,937ft mountains, the highest point being The Elephant, which reaches 4,977ft. You might be lucky enough to see dolphins, seals or penguins.
Queenstown - Rotorua
Return hire car to the airport and fly to Auckland, on North Island. Pick up another hire car and drive to Rotorua via the very fertile Waikato Plains. Spend three nights within walking distance of the city centre, in a lovely colonial house. The garden is planted with vines and lemon trees; you can walk around it or admire it from your balcony. Here you'll return to a simple and rural way of life. Breakfast is particularly delicious.
Rotorua is known for its thermal activities and lake - not to mention its very strong sulphur smell. Beyond the geothermal energy of this volcanic plateau, which is one of the most active in the world, Rotorua is also a major centre of Maori culture.
Included in the itinerary - Admission for a free visit to the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Park, which amazes with its colour and diversity: lakes, caves, whirlpools, geysers, fumarole fields and rainbow-coloured silica terraces. You admission to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley is also included. There are several discovery trails throughout the park, which have varying distances and levels of difficulty. Among the park's main sights are Flynn Pan Lake, the world's largest hot spring, and the blue, smoky waters of the incredible Inferno Crater.
Things to experience - Explore old Rotorua on foot - a walk in the Government Gardens - a seaplane or helicopter ride for a better view of the region's geothermal and volcanic activity - enjoy a Hangi dinner - head a little further south to Lake Taupo, created as a result of a supervolcano eruption, which magnificently highlights the uniqueness and beauty of the country.
Rotorua - Auckland
Drive to Auckland. With a population of one million (one third of the country's entire population), the City of Sails is the most populated city in New Zealand. It is a sprawling city with a long cultural heritage and excellent quality of life. Spend two nights in a comfortable suite a short walk away from the waterfront. The area is full of fashionable restaurants and bars and the stylish Viaduct Basin. The New Zealand Maritime Museum is within walking distance: it exhibits everything from explorations of Maori sailors to triumphs at the America's Cup. Also nearby is New Zealand's oldest park, the Auckland Domain, and the beautiful tropical glasshouses of the Wintergardens, dating back to the 1920s. The shabby-chic Karangahape Road and the artsy Ponsonby are great places to visit. Rugby lovers must head to Eden Park, southwest of the CBD. The sun sends Aucklanders running to the beaches of Waitemata Harbour. Climbing to the top of Mount Victoria, will give you a full, immersive view of the city.
Auckland - Tahiti (Polynesia)
Return hire car to the airport and fly to Tahiti, whose time difference will set you back a day. Welcome on arrival, private transfer and overnight stay a short distance away in the lagoon at Papeete. Your hotel is the only one on the island with a natural white sandy beach. The upscale resort offers spacious rooms overlooking the garden and lagoon, and a stunning sand-based pool. You'll have everything you need to acclimatise to the relaxed Polynesian way of life.
Tahiti - Moorea
Private airport transfer and short, ten-minute flight to Moorea. Another transfer and three-night stay on one of the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago - or even the world - bordered by a translucent lagoon. Bungalows on stilts look out onto the ultramarine blue of the Pacific ocean and the island of Tahiti. Others are nestled on the garden side, around a pond covered with water lilies. The architecture is based on the traditional faré (Polynesian bungalow) - all wood, braided bamboos and screw palms.
Its relaxed way of life has always attracted painters, sculptors, writers and poets throughout the years. You'll spend a few enjoyable days in Moorea, Tahiti's sister island, along the lagoon.
Things to see and do - Enjoy Mahi-mahi on the beach - go to a traditional dance show - relax on the sand or by the pool - put on flippers, a mask and a snorkel to see the multi-coloured reef fish - take a catamaran ride - have a Tiare flower treatment in the spa - cycle around the island - go on a romantic getaway at sunset.
Option - Spend a day with a Polynesian couple, which includes net fishing on a pirogue, snorkelling, a cooking class, a trip to their organic plantation and a braiding workshop.
Moorea - Bora Bora
Private transfer to the airport and another flight (30 minutes) to Bora Bora. Transfer by boat to an intimate hotel combing Polynesian hospitality and decor, where you'll stay for three nights. Here, you'll literally be staying on the water: hotel bungalows float on wooden pontoons protected by motus, small barrier islands. It's just three steps from your bungalow to the water.
Immerse yourself into the mythical Bora Bora. Perfectly poised in the middle of its lagoon, it contrasts against the water's palette, of every shade of blue you can imagine.
Included in the itinerary - A private boat trip with a guide. Go on a full tour of the lagoon, stopping off in several places in search of blacktip reef sharks, and swim with the majestic manta ray, stingray or leopard whipray. In Toopua, where marine life flourishes under ideal conditions, the coral garden invites you venture out with a mask and snorkel in waters ranging in depth from one to six metres.
Option - An introduction to diving.
Bora Bora - Return flight
Private transfer to the airport and flight to Tahiti. A few hours' journey to Papeete (your baggage is checked in so you can wander around at your leisure), then an international flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day. The flight will take you forward one calendar day.
A la carte
SOME IDEAS TO EXTEND YOUR TRIP
AUSTRALIA - THE TOP END
Leaving Darwin, you'll take the Stuart Highway, passing eucalyptus trees and acacias that seem to go on for miles. You'll head towards Kakadu National Park, driving along a dirt track that takes you into Arnhem Land; plains and wetlands dot the horizon, and the occasional silhouette of a water tower or a remote motel breaks the wonderful monotony of the landscape. Arrive at the camp and settle in, spotting the local wallabies hopping around. Spend a night gazing up at the Milky Way. At dawn, the early morning light is magical. Soon, the 4x4 plunges into the Outback, venturing into the tall grasses, skirting round the giant termite mounds. Against a backdrop of eucalyptus trees and grasslands with wild buffaloes, you'll embark on a boat and sail along the billabongs. Further up ahead, you'll hike a trail along a rock wall stencilled with handprints from several millennia ago. The huge vast plain stretches as far as the eye can see.
POLYNESIA - THE MARQUESAS ISLANDS, THE LAND OF THE MEN
The Marquesas Islands, which are nestled around 930 miles north of Tahiti, sets its basalt peaks against the deep-blue Pacific. Since Captain Cook's era, the primitive beauty of these remote islands has fuelled a legend that has attracted many writers, artists, and adventurers. The Marquesas, nicknamed the 'Land of the Men', brings together these wild islands, with their rugged landscapes and deep valleys, with the sweetness of the Marquesan people. Added to this is the atmosphere of archaeological sites and the raw beauty of local craftsmanship.
Dubai is one of the most intoxicating of today's head-spinning cities because of the speed and scale of the changes they are experiencing. Everything seems possible here. From the 2723ft of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world (nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building) to the stunning ocean-based Palm Islands, from Ski Dubai indoor ski resort to Dubai Marina's skyscrapers, from the super blingy and busy shopping malls to the edgy art galleries, the former pearl diving village has come a long way.
Los Angeles - the promise of discovery in the City of Angels, between its futuristic architecture, Hispanic pueblos and the shops of Venice Beach. A little higher up, nestled between the Pacific Ocean, pine forests and vineyards is the small town of Cambria. The legendary Highway One scenic route glides along the coastline, which is home to steep cliffs, coves and secluded beaches, marine life, vineyards and Hispanic villages. The former fishing port of Monterey, its bay, Cannery Row - which has been transformed into a commercial hub - and the aquarium are beautiful. Your last stop is San Francisco, the perfect place to sample the Californian way of life. We love it for its gentle living and European atmosphere, steep streets climbed by cable car, lively neighbourhoods, Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, which stands out from the mist.
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