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Southern Panorama


Tour Code: E65
Tour Duration: 23 Days

Southern Panorama is a 23 Day tour from North America that is Fully Escorted in Australia and New Zealand. Your APT Tour Director will meet you on arrival "Downunder", introduce you to your fellow travelers, and escort you from beginning to end on your unforgettable South Pacific adventure.

Cities you will visit while on tour include Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Greymouth, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Sydney, Melbourne, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Darwin, Kakadu National Park and more.

 
Tour Highlights
 
Sightseeing Highlights
Cross the Southern Alps by rail aboard the TranzAlpine Train
Cruise on Sydney Harbour, viewing the landmarks of the Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison and the Harbour Bridge
Tour Uluru (Ayers Rock), learning of the ancient legends surrounding this landmark
Cruise the full length of spectacular Milford Sound, admiring Mitre Peak
View the imposing Franz Josef Glacier
Tour World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park
Join the Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Auckland city sights tour
City sights tour of tropical Cairns
Join a boat cruise through the glow-worm grotto at Waitomo Caves
Visit Rainbow Springs to view the Kiwi bird
Explore the giant domes of Kata Tjuta (Olgas) in Australia's Red Centre
See the Pamagirri Aboriginal Dancers
Tour the 'Garden City' of Melbourne
Nourlangie Rock Aboriginal art site
Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef
Ride the Skyrail Cableway over the canopy of World Heritage rain forest
Enjoy the year-round resort of Queenstown
Join a town tour of Alice Springs
Tour Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve

Superior Accommodation
Stay two nights in stunning Queenstown
Stay three nights at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, with Opera House views
Stay at Sails in the Desert, Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Two nights at Sheraton Towers, Melbourne
Stay two nights in thermal Rotorua
A three night stay in tropical Cairns
Centrally located hotels in key locations
All hotel porterage and tipping included

Finest Dining - 39 Meals Included
Dine Around Dinner, Queenstown
Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, Melbourne
Maori Hangi (feast) and cultural performance
Camp Oven Outback dinner, Alice Springs
22 hot breakfasts (B); 6 lunches (L)
11 dinners, Freedom of Choice Dining - multi-choice menus or buffets (D)
Restaurant tipping included

Feature Benefits
Tour prices include all touring as listed plus all air from North America and within Australia and New Zealand
Friendly and professional Tour Director and Driver/Guide at your service
Luxury motorcoaches featuring large panoramic windows, reclining seats with foot rests and rest room
Cultural Touring Experiences
Free travel kit including stylish travel bag

Click map to view full size

Legend:
   B = Breakfast    L = Lunch    D = Dinner 

Itinerary
(Departure dates and pricing below itinerary)
 
Day 1 Sun. Los Angeles
This evening board your flight bound for Auckland, New Zealand. (D)

Day 2 Mon. In Flight
Cross the international dateline and 'lose' a day.

Day 3 Tue. Auckland
You are met by your Tour Director on arrival in Auckland, a city situated between two picturesque harbors, the Waitemata and Manukau. You have time to relax or explore before taking an afternoon sightseeing tour. Tonight, get to know your fellow travelers at our special Welcome Dinner, hosted by your friendly Tour Director.
Accommodation: Auckland, Crowne Plaza. (BD)

Day 4 Wed. Rotorua, Traditional Feast
This morning we take a guided boat tour of the glow-worm grotto at Waitomo Caves, then continue to the dynamic Rotorua thermal region. This evening, we are welcomed as guests at a traditional Maori Hangi (feast) and cultural performance.
Two Night Stay: Rotorua, Royal Lakeside Novotel. (BD)

Day 5 Thur. Country Homestay
We start the day with a fascinating tour of Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, viewing its boiling mudpools, hot springs and steaming geysers. We see an agricultural show and sheep shearing display at the Agrodome, then continue to Rainbow Springs to view the rare flightless Kiwi bird. This afternoon, choose to experience the charms of rural living with a genuine New Zealand country family, enjoying a home-cooked dinner and their hospitality for the night. Or, choose to stay and dine at the hotel. (BD)

Day 6 Fri. Queenstown, DINE AROUND
A relaxed morning before flying to the resort town of Queenstown on the South Island. The remainder of the day is at your leisure before our evening Dine Around Dinner, where you choose from a selection of Queenstown's superb restaurants.
Two Night Stay: Queenstown, Queenstown Gardens Hotel. Stay in this year-round resort, right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. (BD)

Day 7 Sat. Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound Cruise
Absorb the beauty of Fiordland National Park today on our journey through beech forests surrounded by snow-capped mountains to beautiful Milford Sound. On arrival, enjoy a guided cruise along the full length of the sound, passing beneath sheer cliffs and tumbling waterfalls, and viewing the dominant grandeur of the famous mile-high Mitre Peak. The optional return flight to Queenstown provides a truly unforgettable aerial perspective of this untamed region, soaring above the peaks and valleys (own expense). (BL)

Day 8 Sun. Queenstown, Franz Josef Glacier
We travel through superb scenery to New Zealand's west coast and the beauty of Franz Josef Glacier. There is an opportunity to take a scenic helicopter flight landing at the head of the glacier (own expense).
Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier Hotel. (BD)

Day 9 Mon. TranzAlpine Express Train, Southern Alps, Christchurch
On arrival in Hokitika this morning, see native greenstone (jade) jewelry and artifacts. We then board the TranzAlpine Train for a memorable rail journey through spectacular alpine scenery in New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Accommodation: Christchurch, Crowne Plaza. (BD)

Day 10 Tue. Fly to Sydney, Australia
Board a flight across the Tasman Sea to the harbor city of Sydney, Australia.
Three Night Stay: Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney. From your room, you have guaranteed views of the harbor and its magnificent Opera House. (BL)

Day 11 Wed. Sydney Harbour Cruise
Take a morning sightseeing tour followed by a luncheon cruise on Sydney Harbour, viewing the landmarks that make Sydney so recognizable, including the Harbour Bridge and Fort Denison. Later, enjoy a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. (BL)

Day 12 Thur. At Leisure in Sydney
Relax and enjoy cosmopolitan Sydney at your own pace today. Perhaps take an optional sightseeing tour to Canberra or the Blue Mountains (own expense), stroll the famous Rocks area or visit the exclusive Queen Victoria Shopping Complex. Dinner tonight has been left free for you to further explore. (B)

Day 13 Fri. Tropical Cairns
A morning flight takes us to the tropical city of Cairns. On arrival, enjoy an orientation tour of this tropical gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Three Night Stay: Cairns, the superb Radisson Plaza Hotel at the Pier. Discover Cairns from this ideal location, right on the waterfront at Trinity Bay. (BD)

Day 14 Sat. Great Barrier Reef Cruise
An unforgettable experience as we spend the day on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's natural wonders. Enjoy a tropical lunch of fresh salads, meats, local seafood and Queensland fruits. At Moore Reef, swim, snorkel and ride in the glass-bottom boat over colorful coral gardens. (BL)

Day 15 Sun. Skyrail, Kuranda Train
Immerse yourself in the tropical environment as you ride the Skyrail above World Heritage-listed rain forest. Arrive in Kuranda, see the Pamagirri Aboriginal Dancers perform a traditional corroboree, cuddle a koala and enjoy time to wander the village. This afternoon, join the Kuranda Train as it winds its way down the Macalister Range, passing waterfalls and rain forest back to Cairns. (B)

Day 16 Mon. Cairns, Darwin
Enjoy a free morning before your flight to Darwin, in the Northern Territory's Top End.
Accommodation: Darwin, Saville Park Suites. (B)

Day 17 Tue. Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Jumping Crocodile Cruise, Nourlangie Rock
Tour Darwin then head into the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. See a variety of birdlife and crocodiles in the wild on the Jumping Crocodile Cruise. This afternoon, view ancient Aboriginal rock art at the scenic Nourlangie Rock art site.
Accommodation: Kakadu National Park, Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn. (BD)

Day 18 Wed. Darwin, Alice Springs
Wander through Bowali Visitor Centre, Kakadu, for a greater appreciation of this remarkable area. Then it's on to the Northern Territory's capital, Darwin, where we board our flight to Alice Springs.
Two Night Stay: Alice Springs Resort. (B)

Day 19 Thur. Alice Springs Town Tour
This morning, tour Alice Springs. See the School of the Air, the organization that provides schooling to children in remote Outback towns. Visit the base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the historic Telegraph Station. View the West MacDonnell Ranges and enjoy panoramic views over the township from atop Anzac Hill. The afternoon is at leisure before our special Camp Oven Outback dinner. (BD)

Day 20 Fri. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Kata Tjuta (Olgas), Ayers Rock Resort
Today we head southwest passing the flat-topped Mt Conner en route to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, home of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Olgas). We stop to explore the rocky domes of Kata Tjuta, including a walk between the sheer red walls of Olga Gorge. This striking formation is thought to have once been a single monolith many times the size of Uluru. Continue to Ayers Rock Resort. Tonight, dine at the resort or you can enjoy the 'Sounds of Silence' dinner (additional cost. please inquire).
Accommodation: Ayers Rock Resort's premier hotel, Sails in the Desert, offering absolute luxury in the arid heart of Australia. (BD)

Day 21 Sat. Uluru (Ayers Rock) Climb or Base Tour, 'Garden City' of Melbourne
For those who wish, the opportunity is available to take an early morning climb to the top of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Enjoy exhilarating 360-degree views of the vast desert landscape of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, including Kata Tjuta (Olgas) to the west. Alternatively, you can watch as the first light of the new day bathes the rock in color, then take a leisurely walk around its base, viewing ancient Aboriginal rock art, caves and sites still held sacred to the traditional owners. This afternoon, we head to Ayers Rock Airport and board our flight to the 'Garden City' of Melbourne, the Victorian capital.
Two Night Stay: Melbourne, Sheraton Towers Southgate, luxury on the vibrant riverfront. (B)

Day 22 Sun. Melbourne City Sights, Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
We take an in-depth sightseeing tour of Melbourne this morning, including Victoria Market, Parliament House, the famous city parks, beautiful Fitzroy Gardens and the intricate iron-laced terrace houses of Carlton. For lunch, step aboard the 1927 Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Enjoy fine cuisine and superb Australian wines while touring the lovely tree-lined streets of Melbourne and the exclusive suburbs of Toorak and South Yarra. (BL)

Day 23 Mon. Los Angeles
Following a leisurely breakfast, transfer to Melbourne Airport for your international return flight to the United States. Farewell Australian and arrive in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon. (B and BL)

 

Departure Dates and Price (Back to beginning of itinerary)
 
Southern Panorama
Tour Code: E65

Fully inclusive air/land tour prices include all international and domestic airfares in Australia and are based on flights starting and  finishing in Los Angeles (US$) and Vancouver (Cdn$).
 

 Departure Dates US$ Cdn$
2004
Jan 11;
Feb 22;

Please call or email for current prices.

Mar 7;    
Oct 10;
Nov 7.
   
2005
Jan 16;
Feb 13;
   
Mar 6.    

-Many dates are guaranteed - ask when booking.

-For departures after March 2005 please inquire.
-Single Supplement may apply.
-Land Only tour prices available upon request.
-Special add-on airfares from US and Canadian cities available upon request.
-Air taxes and departure taxes not included.
Additional Information

Extend Your Vacation With a Stopover in Tropical Fiji
Indulge yourself and add a few days to your South Pacific vacation with a three day stopover in tropical Fiji. Enjoy the warm, clear blue Pacific waters and unspoiled sandy beaches of this island paradise. Your three day stopover includes two nights accommodation, airport transfers, a cruise and a barbecue lunch on the second day.

 

 
For reservations call
Australia Escorted Tours
toll free at 1-888-333-6607
or email: res@aetours.com

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