Exploring Australia & New Zealand
Begin your epic 22-day journey in Cairns. Ride the historic railway to the mountain village of Kuranda. Cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef and sail around Sydney Harbor. Explore New Zealand’s Mt. Cook National Park and the breathtaking fjords of Milford Sound. Experience the Maori culture at a traditional hangi dinner and performance. Optional post-tour extension in Auckland.
Cross the International Date Line and lose a day.
This afternoon we arrive in Cairns, gateway to Australia’s Far North and the Great Barrier Reef. We transfer to our hotel where tonight we enjoy a briefing and dinner.
Cairns Pullman Reef Deluxe Casino (D)
We take an orientation tour of Cairns then board an historic railway to the mountain village of Kuranda. After time to explore here, we descend via the gondolas of Skyrail. We return to our hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Cairns independently. Cairns Pullman Reef Deluxe Casino. (B)
This morning we board a boat for a day-long excursion to the Great Barrier Reef, at 1,200 miles long the world’s largest living organism and richest marine resource. We pull up at Michaelmas Cay where we can swim, snorkel, or view the reef from a semisubmersible vessel. Cairns Pullman Reef Deluxe Casino (B,L)
We take a morning flight to Alice Springs, where we see the Anzac Hill Monument to Australian and New Zealand soldiers, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and School of the Air, which provides schooling to widely scattered Outback children. Tonight we enjoy a traditional dinner in the “bush.” DoubleTree by Hilton (B,D)
This morning we embark on an Aboriginal “dreamtime” tour, to meet Walpiri tribespeople and learn about their ancient culture. Then we visit Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm, where we enjoy a picnic lunch and see the sheer rock walls aglow in reflected sunlight. DoubleTree by Hilton (B,L)
We reach our Ayers Rock hotel early afternoon. After lunch on our own, we visit Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is the traditional land of the Anangu Aboriginal peoples and home to the Olgas rock formations and Uluru (Ayers Rock). We watch the sun set over this fabled sandstone monolith that rises to a height of 1,114 feet. Sails in the Desert (B,D)
This morning we visit the base of Uluru and the interesting museum here. Mid-day we fly to Sydney, arriving late afternoon. Sir Stamford Hotel (B,D)
Today’s tour features the breathtaking Royal Botanic Gardens, Darling Harbour and Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, Rose and Watson’s bays, and popular Bondi Beach. Then we board a catamaran for a lunch cruise around Sydney Harbour. Sir Stamford Hotel (B,L)
This morning we tour Featherdale Wildlife Park, where wombats, dingoes, and koalas (among other creatures) reside. Then the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Sydney as we wish. Tonight we enjoy dinner together in the city’s popular “Rocks” area at the Waterfront Restaurant, with excellent seafood and a beautiful setting. Sir Stamford Hotel (B,D)
After a late morning tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House, this afternoon is free for independent exploration. This evening we board a flight to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.” Rydges Latimer Christchurch (B)
This morning’s orientation tour features the acclaimed Botanic Gardens and “Re:START Mall,” the vibrant civic area that rose from the rubble of the 2011 earthquake. Then we board our motorcoach for the journey south to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, stopping en route at a farm to watch a sheep-shearing demonstration and to see the amazing sheep dogs in action. Upon reaching Mount Cook in the Southern Alps late today, we dine at our hotel. Hermitage Hotel (B,D)
This morning’s tour of alpine Mount Cook Village includes a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center, where we see a 3D planetarium movie about the region. We also visit the Hillary Gallery, commemorating Sir Edmund’s achievements, including the first ascent of Mount Cook’s difficult South Ridge in 1948. At 12,316 feet, Mount Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain. After time in the village for lunch on our own, this afternoon is at leisure to relax amid the breathtaking scenery, hike, or take an optional scenic flight (weather permitting). Hermitage Hotel (B,D)
We depart this morning for Queenstown, stopping en route in historic Arrow-town for lunch on our own followed by a visit to Kawarau Bridge Bungy, the world’s first bungy jump operation open to the public. Mid-afternoon we reach Queenstown, New Zealand’s “adventure capital.” We dine tonight at our hotel. Hotel St. Moritz (B,D)
Our day-long excursion to Milford Sound includes a nature cruise through the breathtaking fjords. We have lunch on board then later have the opportunity to return to Queenstown on an optional scenic flight (weather permitting). Hotel St. Moritz (B,L)
Today is free to explore Queenstown independently. Lunch and dinner are on our own and the city boasts a robust dining scene. Hotel St. Moritz (B)
We depart today for Rotorua, with its geysers, bubbling mud pools, and hot thermal springs; and a center of Maori culture. Our tour here includes the government gardens and the acclaimed Rainbow Springs Nature Park. The park offers an up-close look at New Zealand’s biodiversity, featuring native trees and a host of endemic plant and bird species, along with a nursery pool for the noted New Zealand rainbow trout. Here we visit New Zealand’s largest kiwi hatchery, where the country’s famous birds are nurtured before being released into the wild. Regent of Rotorua (B)
This morning and early afternoon are at leisure; late afternoon we visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Cultural Center for a traditional hangi dinner and performance. Regent of Rotorua (B,D)
En route to Auckland, we stop this morning at Ruakuri Caves to see the unique glowworms that illuminate the underground grottoes and caves. We reach Auckland late this afternoon; we’re on our own for dinner tonight.
Grand Millenium Auckland Hotel (B)
Our half-day tour of this city set atop 48 volcanic hills features glittering Auckland Harbour and the America’s Cup Village. We also visit the War Memorial Museum, with its prized Maori and Pacific Islander collections. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at our hotel. Grand Millenium Auckland Hotel (B,D)
Very early this morning we depart for the airport for the flight to Los Angeles (via Sydney) and our return flights home. (B)
Cost and Details
San Francisco, Portland, Seattle: $10,284
Los Angeles: $9,984
New York: $10,484
Please call if your city is not listed. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $389, which are subject to change until final payment is made. All tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.
Land Only: $8,895 (transfers not included)
Single Room Supplement: $1,995
Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight:
Business Class - $5,995 per person; Premium Economy - $2,995 per person (upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change). Upgrade prices are in addition to the costs above.
Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; 19 nights’ accommodations: 33 meals: 19 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 10 dinners, and bottled water; Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Educational lectures/study leader with a minimum of 15 guests; Additional Commonwealth Club representative at 20 guests; Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip; Luggage handling for one bag per person; Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.
Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; Costs of passports and visas; Personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, communication charges, and meals not specified; Airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; Gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); Optional sightseeing; Travel protection insurance; Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline prior to departure.
Auckland - On Your Own
Cost: $325, per person, based on double occupancy
Single room supplement: $245
2 nights’ accommodations at Stamford Plaza (Superior First Class); 2 breakfasts; Transfers to/from airport
Enjoy a series of lectures from local guest speakers throughout this tour, as well as a briefing by U.S. Foreign Service Staff.
Terms and Conditions
Cancellations, Refunds and Changes
If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges:
Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge
Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price
Cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price
Cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price
Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund.
If a guest makes any changes to their reservation within 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure. Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website
The liability of the Commonwealth Club, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The Commonwealth Club and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.
Health and Medical Issues
We request that you be in good health to participate in an Odysseys Unlimited tour. There is a reasonable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that our itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the Commonwealth Club assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.
Air Transportation – Important Information
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities as shown and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own flight arrangements for an alumni tour and not use those provided by the tour company, we recommend that you do not do so until making your final payment to the tour company confirming details of your trip’s scheduled departure. However, if you choose to make your own flight arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes to tour dates.