Journey down under as you explore Australia and New Zealand during this 18-day expedition with National Geographic. Experience the diversity of Australia and New Zealand as you journey from cosmopolitan cities to lush rainforests, specular coral reefs and the rolling hills of Matamata.  From unusual encounters with wildlife in Kangaroo Island to spending time with Maori elders in Murupara, immerse yourself in local communities and cultures.

Trip highlights

Meet with Dr. Adam Barnett, a National Geographic grantee who will discuss his latest research on sharks; then spot Australia’s diverse marine life while snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef.

Encounter the unusual wildlife of Kangaroo Island during a stay at Southern Ocean Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World.

Spend time with Maori elders on a reservation in Murupara, and enjoy music and storytelling over a traditional hangi lunch.

Itinerary - 18 Days

1-2 Auckland, New Zealand/Tiritiri Matangi Island

Arrive in Auckland and visit Tiritiri Matangi Island, where we’ll learn about conservation efforts while seeking out endangered species. Stamford
Plaza Auckland (Day 1: D; Day 2: B/L)

3-6 Waitomo Caves/Rotorua/Milford Sound

Descend into a glowworm-lit cave system in Waitomo; then travel to Matamata for a private tour of the “Shire” film set from The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Delve into Maori culture at the Ngati Manawa tribal lands, and take a private tour of Orakei Korako Geothermal Park and Cave. Fly to Queenstown, and spend a day exploring magnificent Milford Sound.
Princes Gate Boutique Hotel; Distinction Te Anau Hotel (Days 3-6: B/L/D Daily; Days 4-5: B/L)

7-9 Queenstown/Mount Aspiring National Park

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of a working sheepfarm, hike and ride a jet boat through the glacial river valleys of Mount Aspiring National Park, and take an interpretive medicinal plant walk along Lake Wakatipu.
Hotel St Moritz Queenstown (Day 7: B/L; Days 8-9: B/L/D)

10-11 Sydney, Australia

Fly to Sydney, and tour its historic Rocks district; then take a sunset dinner cruise across Sydney Harbour. Visit the Royal Botanic Garden, and go behind the scenes at Sydney Opera House.
InterContinental Sydney (Day 10:B/D; Day 11: B)

12-14 Kangaroo Island/Adelaide

Journey to Kangaroo Island—known as Australia’s Galapagos— and settle into Southern Ocean Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. Choose from a variety of naturalist-led activities designed to immerse you in this wonderland of endemic species and unusual geology. Fly to Adelaide.
Southern Ocean Lodge; Stamford Plaza Adelaide (Day 12: B/D; Day 13: B/L/D; Day 14: B/L)

15-17 Great Barrier Reef/Daintree Rainforest

Travel to Cairns and check in to our National Geographic Unique Lodge. Visit James Cook University to meet National Geographic grantee and renowned shark researcher Dr. Adam Barnett. Spend a day discovering some of the 2,000 species that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. Join an indigenous guide for an interpretive walk through the Daintree Rainforest. Thala Beach Natural
Reserve Lodge (Day 15: B; Day 16: B/L; Day 17: B/L/D)

18 Port Douglas/Cairns

Fly home from Cairns. (B)

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