AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND AND CRUISE | 4 ★
This bucket list trip to Australia and New Zealand is the ultimate dream vacation! Start with 12 nights in the Gold Coast in your luxury ocean view apartment in the centre of Surfers Paradise! Then transfer from Brisbane to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island for two nights and discover this rare and beautiful island, at the start of the Great Barrier Reef. Your accommodation will be at the stunning Kingfishers Bay Fraser Island Resort, where you will wake up to views of the natural surroundings. Continue to Sydney, Australia’s harbour city, for a two-night stay. Your amazing journey continues with a luxurious 12-night Great Barrier Reef cruise aboard Celebrity Cruise’s Solstice sailing from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand. Your amazing journey ends with two nights in Auckland, a city of natural wonders and stunning coastlines. This is truly an adventure of a lifetime!
Brisbane | Gold Coast | Fraser Island | Sydney | Blue Mountains | Newcastle | Cairns | Yorkeys Knob | Airlie Beach | Queensland | Brisbane | Bay of Islands | Auckland
• *Round-trip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Airport transfers in country
• Australia’s Gold Coast: 12 nights at the Mantra Circle on Cavill Gold Coast in an ocean spa apartment in the heart of Surfers Paradise
• Four excursions including, Spirits of the Red Sands Theatre with dinner, Wilderness Rainforest tour with lunch, Brisbane City tour and Aqua Duck Safari
• Fraser Island: two nights at Kingfisher Bay Fraser Island resort with breakfast and dinner daily
• Two excursions including, Bush Tucker and Taste and private half-day 4WD island tour including ferry transfers
• Sydney: two nights at the Grace Hotel with breakfast, and welcome dinner
• Two excursions including, Sydney city tour and Blue Mountains tour with lunch
• Celebrity cruise: 12-night Great Barrier Reef sailing onboard Celebrity Solstice with meals
• Auckland: two nights at Stamford Plaza Hotel with breakfast, city tour, dinner cruise and full day tour including Waiheke Island wine tour
• All transfers and gratuities^
• Merit Travel tour host^^
One-bedroom ocean spa apartments guarantee spectacular ocean and city views, featuring a modern décor, spa bath, private balcony, reverse air conditioning, gourmet kitchen with dishwasher and broadband and wireless internet data port. Bedding configuration consists of one queen bed and a sofa bed.
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Day 1 Mar. 2, 2020 | DEPART TORONTO – BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
Board your flight to Brisbane.
Air New Zealand flight 4799 departs Toronto 16:20 p.m. Arrives Los Angeles at 19:08 p.m. Then connect with Air New Zealand flight 005 departs Los Angeles at 21:40 p.m. arrives Auckland at 7:30 a.m. (two days later). Then connect with Air New Zealand flight 135 departs Auckland at 9:00 a.m. arrives Brisbane at 9:35 a.m.
Day 3 Mar. 4, 2020 | BRISBANE - GOLD COAST
Upon arrival in Brisbane International Airport, meet your local representative and transfer to your accommodation in the Gold Coast. Accommodation: Mantra Circle on Cavill Apartments (12 nights)
Days 4 - 14 Mar. 5 to 15, 2020 | GOLD COAST
Full days at leisure to explore the Gold Coast and the surrounding areas on your own. Four excursions are included and your Merit Travel tour host will be available for assistance.
Day 4 Mar. 5, 2020 | GOLD COAST
Included half-day excursion to Brisbane:
Depart your hotel for a half-day Brisbane city excursion to discover Brisbane’s convict and colonial past and see its heritage buildings. Pass the City Botanical Gardens and stop on top of Kangaroo Point Cliffs for great views of the river and the city skyline. Then cross the Story Bridge, passing Chinatown to Bartley’s Lookout, for a panoramic view of Brisbane. On arrival back into the Gold Coast stop at the local shopping centre to do some grocery shopping, before drop off at the hotel by 5.00 p.m.
Day 7 Mar. 8, 2020 | GOLD COAST (L)
Included excursion to Wilderness Rainforest and Southern Cross:
Depart your hotel for the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, Australia’s largest preserved subtropical rainforest. You will enjoy morning tea and time to look wander through the Gallery Walk on the Mountain. Enjoy seeing subtropical rainforest and cascading waterfalls. Learn about the unique characteristics of flora and fauna of the forest, as well as traditional hunter-gatherer methods used by local Aboriginal people. We stop at Spring Gully for a delicious bbq lunch and also have the chance to cool off in nearby rock pools. Later visit O’Reilly’s Plateau, where the Treetop Boardwalk and observation tower offer a bird’s eye view of this enchanting area. On the return journey to your hotel, keep an eye out for kangaroos and wallabies!
Day 10 Mar. 11, 2020 | GOLD COAST
Included Aqua Duck Safari excursion:
Depart your hotel and experience the Gold Coast as you never have before! Your tour begins around the streets of Surfers Paradise, followed by the glorious Gold Coast beaches and up to the magnificent Versace and Marina Mirage Resorts. Next, cruise along and take in the sights of the beautiful waterways and the fabulous Millionaire’s row. The Aquaduck has a unique seating layout which offers you more room to stand and move around, along with great views.
Day 13 Mar. 14, 2020 | GOLD COAST (D)
Included Spirits of the Red Sands Theatre with dinner:
At 5:15 p.m., walk over to the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa where your transfer will be waiting to take you to the theatre. Spirits of the Red Sand is Australia’s newest and most spectacular interactive Aboriginal live theatre show and dinner experience – the first of its kind in Australia. You’ll journey back from Dreamtime to the early days of white settlement in Australia in the 1800s. Indulge in a delicious three-course bbq buffet dinner with dessert. Your transfer will return back to the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa between 9:00 and 9:15 p.m.
Day 15 Mar. 16, 2020 | GOLD COAST - FRASER ISLAND (D)
In the morning check- out for your transfer by coach to Fraser Island with an estimated arrival before noon. Upon arrival in Fraser Island, you will transfer to the Kingfisher Bay Mainland Reception to catch your ferry. The ferry departs River Heads (Hervey Bay) at 12:30 p.m. Sit back and enjoy a 50 minute cruise across the Great Sandy Straits to Kingfisher Bay Resort. On arrival, you will be met by the resort representative and transferred to reception for check in.
You will then join an afternoon “Bush Tucker and Taste” tour before relaxing in the afternoon in the Resort. Enjoy a buffet dinner tonight.
Accommodation: Kingfisher Bay Resort (two nights)
Day 16 Mar. 17, 2020 | FRASER ISLAND (B, D)
Included half-day 4wd private island excursion:
Enjoy a relaxing buffet breakfast at the Maheno Restaurant at 6:30 a.m. At 7.45 a.m. depart Kingfisher Bay Resort reception arriving at 8.30 a.m. at Lake Mackenzie, before the crowds. For the next two hours relax and swim at the lake.
At 11.00 a.m. enjoy a relaxed interpretive talk at Central Station, before departing Central Station at 12.00 p.m., arriving back to Kingfisher Bay Resort at 12.30 p.m. in time for lunch (not included). Enjoy a buffet dinner tonight at the resort.
Day 17 Mar. 18, 2020 | FRASER ISLAND - SYDNEY (B, D)
Enjoy a relaxing buffet breakfast at the Maheno Restaurant. Take some time to relax and explore more with our team of resort rangers.
Depart on the 10:30 a.m. ferry to transfer to the airport for your flight to Sydney. Virgin Australia flight 1556 departs Hervey Bay at 11:40 a.m. arrives Sydney at 14:25 p.m. Upon arrival in Sydney, collect your luggage and meet local representative for your transfer to your hotel. This evening enjoy Nick’s Bar & Grill, The Promenade, and King Street Wharf. (All beverages are an extra cost to be paid for by guests, and transfers are not included to the restaurant).
Accommodation: Grace Hotel (two nights)
Day 18 Mar. 19, 2020 | SYDNEY (B, L)
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart at 7:30 a.m. and travel to Lincolns Rock Lookout for a beautiful view over the Blue Mountains. Arrive in the quaint mountain village of Leura with some free time to look at the shops and for morning tea. Travel onto Govetts Leap in Blackheath for a short walk and some more spectacular views, then onto the Three Sisters lookout. A two-course lunch will be provided at the Hydro Majestic, with our final stop of the day being the Scenic Railway which is included for two rides to take the group up and down the valley boardwalk. Arrive back at the hotel by 4:00 p.m.
Day 19 Mar. 20, 2020 | SYDNEY (B, D)
Depart our hotel mid-morning accompanied by our Sydney local guide for our sights of Sydney and the famous beaches. Driving through the city centre, we will see many contrasts – from the traditional Victorian architecture of the Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building (worth an interior visit on your own) to the modern skyscrapers of the business district; from the sweeping design of the Opera House to the modern developments of Darling Harbour. Drive through the Botanic Garden to Lady Macquarie’s Chair (for views of the harbour and the Opera House and bridge) and then head out to the exclusive eastern suburbs, passing Kings Cross en-route to Vaucluse and Double Bay. Continue to the Heads, famous Bondi Beach and historic Paddington with its iron railed town houses, ending at White Bay Cruise Terminal where you will board your 12-night Great Barrier Reef cruise onboard Celebrity Solstice.
Cruise departs at 6:45 p.m.
Day 20 Mar. 21, 2020 | NEWCASTLE (B, L, D)
Arrive Newcastle at 8:00 a.m., depart at 5:00 p.m.
Newcastle is located on the eastern seaboard of Australia at the mouth of the Hunter River. Founded as a penal colony coal deposits, Newcastle today is a modern thriving center and Australia’s sixth most populated city. It is a city with beautiful scenery, parklands, and historical buildings with its bustling and important role as a gateway for commercial shipping.
Day 21 Mar. 22, 2020 | AT SEA (B, L, D)
Day 22 Mar. 23, 2020 | AT SEA (B, L, D)
Day 23 Mar. 24, 2020 | CAIRNS, YORKEY’S KNOB (B, L, D)
Arrive York’s Knob at 8:00 a.m.
Yorky’s Knob is situated in eastern Australia on the coast, and is nearby the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Neighbor to Cairns, this idyllic stretch of land has beaches, shopping, and a top-notch marina.
Day 24 Mar. 25, 2020 | CAIRNS, YORKEY’S KNOB (B, L, D)
Depart Yorky’s Knob at 4:00 p.m.
Day 25 Mar. 26, 2020 | AIRLIE BEACH, QUEENSLAND (B, L, D)
Arrive Airlie Beach at 8:00 a.m. depart at 5:00 p.m.
Being the focal point of activity on the mainland and the gateway to The Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach is the perfect place to enjoy a holiday in paradise. Popular activities in the Airlie Beach area include: sailing the islands, day trips to the Great Barrier Reef, skydiving, snorkeling, and even crocodile safaris. Moreover, Airlie Beach is not only perfect due to it’s vast array of activities, but also its many dining options, shops, and pubs.
Day 26 Mar. 27, 2020 | AT SEA (B, L, D)
Day 27 Mar. 28, 2020 | BRISBANE (B, L, D)
Arrive Brisbane at 7:00 a.m. depart at 4:00 p.m.
Day 28 Mar. 29, 2020 | AT SEA (B, L, D)
Day 29 Mar. 30, 2020 | AT SEA (B, L, D)
Day 30 Mar. 31, 2020 | BAY OF ISLANDS (B, L, D)
Arrive Bay of Islands at 10:00 a.m, depart at 8:00 p.m.
Day 31 Apr. 1, 2020 | AUCKLAND, NZ (B, D)
Ship arrives 6:30 a.m. Disembark ship after breakfast. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Auckland. This is followed by checking in to your hotel, and then the Pride of Auckland Dinner Cruise.
Accommodation: Stamford Plaza Hotel (two nights)
Day 32 Apr. 2, 2020 | AUCKLAND, NZ (B)
Following a full breakfast at the hotel, enjoy visiting the Sky Tower and a bird’s eye view of the “City of Sails” sitting at 328 metres. Follow this with a ferry ride to Waiheke Island, where you will join a Waiheke wine tour, before returning to the hotel.
Day 33 Apr. 3, 2020 | DEPART AUCKLAND - TORONTO (B)
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your hotel and check out.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Air New Zealand flight 008 departs Auckland at 9:45 a.m. arrives San Franscisco at 12:00 p.m. Then connects with Air New Zealand flight 4734 departs San Fransisco at 15:35 p.m. arrives Toronto at 23:37 p.m.
CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Based on an interior stateroom cat. 12 or similar. Single supplement: $3,800. Professional fee of $65 plus HST per booking is not included. Upgrade to an ocean view stateroom cat. 08 or similar: $560. Upgrade to a balcony stateroom cat. 2B or similar: $1,100. *Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. ^^Minimum 16 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host. ^Gratuities are included onboard the cruise. Shore excursions not included.
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