My first trip to Australia was as a young child, travelling with my parents to visit Mom’s family. Even as a young kid, after hearing many stories of waltzing kangaroos, sleepy koalas and walkabouts in the outback, I was pumped to explore this place for all of the fun things I’d heard about. That sentiment really hasn’t changed over the years and as I visited in my adult years, once on a cruise around Australia and New Zealand and again on Craig Travel’s 50th anniversary cruise earlier this year, I still have a love for this magnificent land and a desire to make repeat visits to explore more.
I don’t believe I am alone in that sentiment, as Craig Travel’s 23-day Australia and New Zealand tour in February, is consistently one of our most popular every year; truly the ultimate destination on many people’s bucket lists.
In both Australia and New Zealand, we explore all of the major highlights and we do it in a relaxed, leisurely-paced manner, staying two or three nights in most centres. Our journey starts in New Zealand in the stunning “city of sails,” Auckland, on the north island. Highlights on the north island include the famous Waitomo Caves where a cruise inside the caves to view the thousands of sparkling glow worms overhead. In Rotorua, the Maori traditions are introduced, complete with a traditional dinner and entertainment. Always a special highlight is a homestay spending dinner and overnight with a local New Zealand family and here many friendships are made.
On the south island, we have lots of time to explore the fun resort town of Queenstown. One evening, a cruise across the lake takes us to the delightful mountainous setting at a sheep station for a demonstration on how the sheep dogs are trained to round up sheep. It is followed by an extensive, delicious dinner in this spectacular setting. A drive to Te Anau for a luncheon cruise to Milford Sound is a magical experience. The sheer cliffs, the inky black water and the towering alpine peaks looming overhead create a stunning scene.
In Australia, so many legendary sites and highlights! The Great Barrier Reef and a chance to swim and snorkel in this special place; a narrow gauge rail journey through lush rainforests and stunning canyons to Kuranda; the awe-inspiring Uluru, or Ayers Rock in all of its massive, red rock glory alone in the outback and that evening, a truly unforgettable experience…the Sounds of Silence dinner, a spectacular outdoor event in the desert, complete with white tablecloths, fine wine and an incredible dinner under the stars! And no tour of Australia would be complete without time spent in the beautiful city of Sydney, where a wonderful five nights gives plenty of time to explore the highlights….The Opera House, a harbour cruise and city tour, the botanical gardens and a visit to a wildlife park where one can even hold a koala!
These are just a few of the many highlights on this fabulous journey. There’s a $300 Early Booking Bonus if you book by October 31st, so why not move this one from your bucket list to reality this coming February!
Explore Australia and New Zealand on our next journey February 11, 2020.