AUSTRALIA, THE OUTBACK
& NEW ZEALAND
February 15 – March 15, 2018
Australia – 3 nights Melbourne, Cairns & Sydney, 2 nights Yulara, 1 night Alice Spring
Melbourne –Cricket Grounds, Federation Square, Queen Victoria Market, Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
Phillip Island – Dandenong Ranges, “Puffing Billy’ Train, Penguin Parade
Alice Springs – ANZAC Hill, Royal Flying Doctor Base, Earth Sanctuary
Uluru – Sunset Strip, Outback Pioneer Barbeque, Ayers Rock, Sounds of Silence Restaurant
Cairns – Kuranda Scenic Rail, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Tjapukai Cultural Centre, Great Barrier Reef
Sydney – Harbour Cruise, Sydney Opera House, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, Blue Mountains, Featherdale Wildlife Park, Echo Point and the Three Sisters at Katoomba, Scenic Railway, Dinner at Sydney Tower
New Zealand – 8 Private Excursions
Dunedin – Glenfalloch Gardens, Haggis Ceremony, Larnach Castle, Royal Albatross Colony
Christchurch – City tour by tram, boat and gondola
Picton – Tour of Marlborough, Pollard Park Gardens, Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum, Wine Tasting
Wellington – Botanical Gardens, Cable Car to Lambton Quay, Karori Sanctuary, Te Papa National Museum
Napier – Art Deco Walking Tour, Wine Tasting with Lunch
Rotorua – Rainbow Springs Nature Park, Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, Agradome Sheep Show
Auckland – Bastion Point, Mission Bay, Auckland Domain and War Memorial Museum
Waitangi – Treaty House with Cultural Performance
February / March – Comfortable temperatures and great summer weather in the Southern Hemisphere
Holland America Line – 140 years of Excellence – Recognized as a leader in cruising, they boast spacious and comfortable ships, award-winning service, five star dining, extensive activities and world class enrichment programs.
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YOUR 29-DAY JOURNEY
|DAY 1||DEPART CANADA|
Enjoy our private car home pick up service. Your Journey Manager greets you at Toronto Pearson airport and assists with your check in. Meet your fellow travellers and board your overnight flight.
|DAY 2||CROSS THE INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE|
|DAY 3||ARRIVE MELBOURNE|
On arrival into Melbourne you will be welcomed by our local guide and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. This evening enjoy dinner together, giving you the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers. Overnight Melbourne, Rendezvous Hotel, 3 nights
|DAY 4||EXPLORING MELBOURNE|
Today Melbourne is the second-largest city in Australia and the capital of the state of Victoria. Melbourne is built on a coastal plain at the top of the giant horseshoe shaped Port Phillip Bay, which also serves as the mouth of the mighty Yarra River. Located on the southern coast of Australia’s eastern seaboard, Melbourne is perhaps Australia’s most cultured and politically conservative city. Melbourne features include Victorian-era architecture, bounteous cultural institutions, museums, art galleries, theatres and spaciously landscaped parks and gardens.
This morning we take a look at Victoria’s capital city with a drive past the MCG (the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground) and Rod Laver Arena (where the Australian Open Tennis is played each year), past the parklands and the War Memorial, the stately old buildings in town and the odd-looking Federation Square. Next, we visit the Eureka Skydeck for amazing views over the city and Port Phillip Bay. Continuing on we head to the famous Queen Victoria Market where you can wander along the aisles perusing the fresh produce, or find a souvenir of Melbourne. The afternoon is free for you to discover more of Melbourne on your own. Dinner this evening is aboard the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant – an interesting perspective of Melbourne’s leafy boulevards. You’ll enjoy fine cuisine and the best of Australian wines on this glossy, burgundy “restaurant on wheels”. Dining aboard the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant is not only a culinary delight, but also a trip into a little piece of Victoria’s history.
|DAY 5||PHILLIP ISLAND|
This morning we drive through the eastern suburbs into the Dandenong Ranges that overlook the city. One of the most famous and enjoyable things to do in the Dandenongs is to take a ride through the lush mountainside from Belgrave to Emerald Lakeside on the historic “Puffing Billy”. Today share the grandeur and charm of a steam train journey through the scenic vista of the Dandenong Ranges! We re-board our coach back at Belgrave, drive to Phillip Island and to the south western end of the island, overlooking some spectacular rocky outcrops known as the Nobbies and Seal Rocks. Every day at dusk the Little Penguins come ashore after fishing for whitebait for their young. To be able to see them come out of the surf in small groups and waddle up the beach is a unique spectacle. It will be quite late by the time you get back to the hotel but what an interesting and fun day!
|DAY 6||MELBOURNE – ALICE SPRINGS|
This morning we fly to Alice Springs, the capital of the ‘Red Centre’. On arrival we take a drive around “The Alice” (as the locals refer to it) to get your bearings, stopping at ANZAC Hill for panoramic views of the town and the surrounding area. This afternoon visit the Royal Flying Doctor Base (RFDS). This is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world. Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, it delivers extensive primary health care and 24 -hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia.
The Reverend John Flynn was the founder of the RFDS and he has been brought back to life as a hologram to tell the story of the foundation of the service. During your visit you will also see the control room and an actual aircraft and explore the museum. After, check into our hotel, time is given to relax and freshen up before our special dinner this evening. Just 15 minutes out of Alice is Earth Sanctuary – a World Nature Centre at Quandong Homestead. Tonight enjoy a mouth-watering bush BBQ with music and entertainment to experience the spirit of the outback through stories of the aboriginal dreamtime. We learn how to cook a swagman’s damper! After dinner relax around the camp fire before heading back to the hotel. Overnight Alice Springs, Lasseters Hotel, 1 night
|DAY 7||THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA & SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS|
This morning we begin our journey south to Uluru National Park and Yulara. As we travel through the desert country dotted with spinifex and desert oaks, Mount Conner will be on the left. On arrival at Yulara this afternoon we check into our hotel. You will be spending some time at the Rock tomorrow, but this evening includes a drive to Sunset Strip – the colour of the Rock changes depending on the time of day and the weather but in the evening, at sunset, Uluru puts on a remarkable light show as it changes colour from red to orange to lilac in a matter of minutes. Overnight Yulara, Sails in the Desert, 2 nights
|DAY 8||ULURU & KATA TJUTA|
This morning learn about Aboriginal perceptions of Uluru, its powerful spiritual significance and how Anangu Traditional Owners and Rangers are looking after the Park together. These are many fine examples of Anangu art to see along the way. Ayers Rock is located in the World Heritage Listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It rises 348 metres from the desert floor and has a girth of 9.4 km. It’s the world’s most famous monolith with at least two thirds of the Rock lying beneath the surface. We drive around the Rock, stopping for photo opportunities and some short walks before a visit to the Cultural Centre. This afternoon is free to relax around the pool or do some shopping in the various galleries in the village. This evening revel in the ‘Sounds of Silence’ – the quietest restaurant on earth. Sip sparkling wine and listen to the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo while watching a magnificent sunset over Kata Tjuta. After sunset enjoy a delicious Northern Territory gourmet barbecue. Lights go down revealing a star filled sky with a resident astronomer providing introduction to the magnificent constellations, stars and planets that make up the skies of the Southern Hemisphere.
|DAY 9||YULARA TO CAIRNS|
Rise early this morning to watch the beautiful desert sunrise over Ayers Rock before returning to the hotel for breakfast. We visit the Olgas, called by the Aboriginal people, ‘Kata Tjuta’ or place of many domes. There are excellent views from an observation deck and time for a short walk into the Gorge before returning to the village at lunchtime. This afternoon we board our flight to Cairns, the capital of the Tropical North. Founded in 1876 as a service town for the goldfields, Cairns has evolved from a rough frontier outpost, where the pubs nearly outnumbered the people, to an international cosmopolitan destination. Looking at the city today it is hard to imagine that just 25 years ago it was a sleepy little port from whence primary produce such as sugar, timber and beef were exported. On arrival we transfer to our hotel. Overnight, Pullman International Cairns, 3 nights
|DAY 10||KURANDA SCENIC RAIL AND ABORIGINAL CULTURAL PARK|
Today board the Kuranda Scenic Rail for a spectacular journey with stunning views. Pass massive Baron Falls, Stoney Creek and cross steep ravines to the unique rainforest village of Kuranda. We will have time to explore this pretty village before boarding the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway which will take us skimming over the pristine rainforest canopy. Mid-afternoon, visit Tjapukai – the Aboriginal cultural park set on 25 acres at Caravonica Lakes. This will be a special experience. There are five theatres, a museum, an art gallery and a traditional aboriginal camp where you can learn to throw a boomerang! We will have time to see all the presentations.
The History Theatre tells the story of what happened when the modern world descended upon a 40,000 year old culture, the Spiritual beliefs of the Tjapukai people are portrayed in the Creation Theatre, a celebration of dance and song in the Dance Theatre and didgeridoo, bush foods and medicine demonstrations can be found in the Cultural Village. After an interesting day you are transferred back to your hotel. This evening dinner is at your leisure as there are numerous waterside venues to choose from.
|DAY 11||GREAT BARRIER REEF|
Cairns is a major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef – the largest and most complex expanse of living coral on earth. It extends from north of Cape York to south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Nothing you have read or seen on film will prepare you for the reality of its underwater coral gardens, its cays and islands and the huge variety of fish, marine mammals, turtles and birds. Today sail by catamaran to Michaelmas Cay, a picturesque reef sand island surrounded by magical coral gardens teeming with an incredible diversity of marine life. The Cay is a protected seabird sanctuary playing host to over 20,000 migratory seabirds. The surrounding outer reef is a spectacular garden of exotic marine life, magnificent coral and giant clams, boasting more varieties of tropical fish than the entire Atlantic Ocean. Ride a semi-submersible vessel for coral viewing, enjoy guided snorkel tours from the beach accompanied by informative ecological presentations by a marine biologist, as well as a buffet luncheon.
|DAY 12||CAIRNS TO SYDNEY|
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading to the airport for our flight to Sydney. On arrival, transfer to your city hotel with time to check-in and freshen up before our dinner cruise on the Sydney Harbour. Overnight Radisson Blu Sydney, 3 nights
|DAY 13||EXPLORING SYDNEY|
This morning embark on a city sights tour taking in the historical Rocks area, where the First Fleet landed in 1788 to establish Australia’s first European settlement. Other highlights include China Town, cosmopolitan Kings Cross and world famous Bondi Beach. Returning to town, you arrive at the Sydney Opera House; where you meet your guide for a tour with a difference. 60 years ago Jorn Utzon designed what is now considered one of the greatest buildings of all time. It is also the youngest building ever to be world heritage listed. This will be a fascinating tour following with a tasting plate at the Opera Kitchen. The final stop on your tour is Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair on the harbour foreshore. The chair was carved out of the sandstone by convicts for Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s wife in order for her to watch the activity on the harbour and await the arrival of ships from England. The point provides wonderful views of the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and Fort Denison. Return to your hotel for some time to put up your feet – or if you don’t feel like doing that, take a walk – Darling Harbour is right across the road. The rest of the day will be at leisure.
|DAY 14||THE BLUE MOUNTAINS|
Today discover the beauty of the Blue Mountains – a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of Sydney. First, we visit Featherdale Wildlife Park, which houses a great variety of wildlife including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, Australian reptiles, Tasmanian devils, wombats and various species of Australian birds. Our coach climbs into the Blue Mountains National Park where our lunch stop is in the village of Leura. Leura is aboriginal for “lava”, the name was given to the village because of the area’s wealth of volcanic stones. It is the rich volcanic soil that is responsible for Leura’s international reputation of possessing some of the nation’s most beautiful gardens.
This afternoon take the scenic Cliff Drive to Echo Point and the Three Sisters at Katoomba – a great stop for a photo opportunity! Near here is Scenic World where we take a ride on the Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest incline railway. Descend 415m down the escarpment at a gradient of 52 degrees and travel through the tunnel and ancient rainforest. When you disembark, walk the 300m rainforest boardwalk to connect with the Flyway platform.
The Scenic Flyway is the steepest aerial cable car in Australia. It will take you on a 545 metre ride up through the World Heritage Listed rainforest of the Jamison Valley. Your final adventure at Scenic World is to join the Scenic Skyway to take the journey 270m above ancient ravines and dazzling waterfalls. This ride boasts a world first, state of the art Electro-Scenic Glass Floor. At the flip of a switch breath taking views are revealed through the cabin floor directly below. The 360 degree Birdseye view takes in the Three Sisters, Katoomba Falls, Mount Solitary and the never ending expanse of the Jamison Valley. We return to Sydney and our hotel where you can dress up tonight as you enjoy in dinner at 360 Degrees Restaurant & Bar atop of Sydney Tower. The views will be spectacular. A great ending to our time in Australia!
|DAY 15||BOARD HOLLAND AMERICA NOORDAM This morning is at your leisure. We transfer to the cruise terminal to board Holland America Noordam.|
|DAY 16||DAY AT SEA|
|DAY 17||EXPLORING SYDNEY Day at Sea|
|DAY 18||CRUISING MILFORD SOUND|
Your day is filled with views of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful places, Milford Sound. It sits amid an amphitheatre of sheer cliffs, glacier carved inlets, tumbling waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. Looking down to the water, you may even spot dolphins dancing in the wake of the bow.
Scenic Cruising of Fjordland National Park Milford Sound is the most famous of the inlets that make up Fjordland National Park on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The terrain here is endlessly rugged and arriving from the ocean, you are surrounded by waterfalls, abrupt mountainsides and the steep cliffs of the narrow opening into still waters.
|DAY 19||PORT CHALMERS (DUNEDIN), NEW ZEALAND|
This morning depart the ship in Dunedin which sits at the head of the magnificent Otago Harbour. Founded in 1848 by Scottish settlers Dunedin was envisaged as the “Edinburgh of the South”. The influence of its Scottish heritage is still strongly evident. She is a city of gracious dignity and charm, characterized by the permanence of many handsome stone buildings and historical monuments. Our tour commences with a visit to Glenfalloch Gardens which is nestled in a 27-acre valley and offers a view of a pioneer homestead. Stroll through beautiful woodland gardens and view a wonderful display of rare rhododendrons and azaleas and proud, strutting peacocks. Here we will enjoy a Haggis Ceremony followed by morning tea. Next, visit Larnach Castle high on the hills above Otago Harbour for a guided tour where you will learn about the tragic and scandalous history of this superbly crafted building which was built in 1871 and see the unique collection of New Zealand antiques and furniture. Enjoy a stroll around the beautiful gardens and climb the tower for panoramic views over Otago Harbour, Dunedin City and Taiaroa Heads. We continue to travel further up the peninsula to the Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Heads which is the only mainland nesting site in the world for these magnificent birds. We watch an informative video explaining the life cycle of these majestic birds then walk up a steep pathway at a leisurely pace to the Observatory to view the nesting sites. Next we travel back to the city to enjoy a walk through the Botanic Gardens before your next stop at Olveston House which was completed in 1907 and was a masterpiece of modernity in the Edwardian era, featuring central heating, an in house telephone system and even heated towel rails. Olveston has been carefully preserved and now offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of a privileged family in the early 1900’s and the rich historical heritage of Dunedin. On the way back to our ship drive past the famous Dunedin Railway Station & through the Octagon which features the historic Town Hall and St Pauls Anglican Cathedral and a statue of the Scottish poet Robbie Burns.
|DAY 20||AKAROA (CHRISTCHURCH), NEW ZEALAND|
This morning we depart the ship in Akaroa, a beautiful unspoilt old French whaling depot that was settled by the French in an early attempt to colonize New Zealand. Akaroa still retains a good deal of French character in its street names, boutiques and cafes. Here our coach will be waiting to take you through to Arthurs Pass to join our TranzAlpine Scenic Train Journey. On the way we will stop in the small community of Darfield for morning tea before continuing on through the Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. Here you will board your train and travel back to Rolleston viewing the alpine scenery through panoramic windows. The TranzAlpine is renowned as one of the top ten train journeys in the world.
This morning depart the ship in Picton’s Port Marlborough and depart on a scenic tour of Marlborough. We start the day with a visit to Blenheim where there is time out for shopping and walk through Pollard Park gardens. Then it is on to Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum where the Knights of the Sky exhibit occupies 3,000 sq. metres and is one of the world’s largest collections of WWI aircraft and rare memorabilia including a mix of dramatically staged static displays along with flyable aeroplanes. This innovative and visually stunning exhibition depicts aircraft in context, some recreating actual incidents. You don’t have to be an aviation enthusiast to enjoy this exhibit! This afternoon enjoy the delights of a local winery for wine tastings and a scrumptious lunch before a quick stop at Makana Chocolates to indulge yourself. Late this afternoon return to the ship with plenty of time before it departs.
|DAY 22||WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND|
Today is a visit to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city which clings to steep hillsides around a magnificent harbour at the southern tip of the North Island. The geographical heart of the country, it is also the political and administrative centre. The city has a cosmopolitan flavour with department stores, boutiques, galleries, trendy cafes and restaurants lining the office-block canyons.
We start the day with a tour of Wellington including Oriental Bay, Old St Pauls Church and Wellington Botanic Gardens. Then take the Cable Car down to Lambton Quay to meet our coach to drive to Zealandia and the Karori Sanctuary for a guided tour. With over 225 hectares of regenerating native forest and 40 species of birds, Zealandia is a unique, world-first eco-attraction, providing an excellent opportunity to experience New Zealand’s natural environment just minutes from the capital city. Afterwards you return to the city and are dropped off at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum for an afternoon of free time. When you have finished exploring, make your way back to the ship.
|DAY 23||NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND|
This morning you will find yourself in Napier on the East Coast of the North Island. Napier was devastated by an earthquake and ensuing fires in 1931 and was rebuilt during the period when Art Deco Architecture was fashionable. Within two years, the city was rebuilt, predominantly in Art Deco style, with Maori motifs and design elements incorporated. The area is also one of New Zealand’s top grape growing regions with some of the country’s best – known wines coming from the Hawke’s Bay. You will start the day with a guided Art Deco Walking Tour. Take an entertaining look at the unique 1930s architecture as you wander through the streets with your local guide. En -route learn about the 1931 earthquake that destroyed the city, hear about the people that led the rebuild, and discover the unique Art Deco style of this unique city. Then board your coach to travel to a nearby winery for wine tasting and lunch before returning in the early afternoon to the ship.
|DAY 24||TAURANGA (ROTORUA), NEW ZEALAND|
Your ship docks in the Port of Tauranga this morning where you will meet your coach and travel inland to Rotorua. Located in the heart of New Zealand’s famous thermal region, Rotorua forms part of the geologically active ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’. Situated on the shores of Lake Rotorua, it is also renowned for Maori cultural activities. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of this popular tourist town set on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Highlights include a guided tour of Rainbow Springs, a showcase of New Zealand’s natural flora and fauna – see the rare Kiwi bird in a special nocturnal enclosure and New Zealand’s only reptile, the Tuatara. Then a visit Te Puia to visit the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve to see the boiling mud pools, steaming silica terraces and the geyser activity and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where young Maori are learning traditional carving and weaving skills. Here you will be treated to a Maori Cultural performance followed by a hangi lunch and guided tour . Your last stop is a visit the Agrodome to learn about how sheep and wool are one of New Zealand’s premier exports and see the working sheep dogs at the entertaining Sheep Show. Then it is back overland to Tauranga where, time allowing, you may be able to see some of the local sights before re-boarding the ship.
|DAY 25||AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND|
This morning when you depart your ship you will be in Auckland, gateway to New Zealand. Auckland is a modern city set on a narrow isthmus between the restless Tasman Sea and the calmer waters of the Pacific Ocean. The Waite Mata Harbour, one of the city’s greatest treasures, is a mecca for sailors, and the popularity of sailing on the harbour has led to the affectionate term, ‘City of Sails’. The volcanic cones of One Tree Hill and Mt Eden are characteristic of the legacy of over 60 craters and cones concentrated in an area which is geologically unique. Depart on a morning sightseeing tour including the Auckland waterfront area, Bastion Point to visit the Sir Michael Joseph Savage Memorial – this also offers a great vista of Auckland City and Harbour – the popular beach area at Mission Bay, the trendy shopping village of Parnell, then onto the Auckland Domain and War Memorial Museum where you have a Guided Tour. The Auckland War Memorial Museum was built as a memorial to New Zealand’s war dead who sacrificed their lives in WWI, WWII and other conflicts. The Museum offers visitors an excellent introduction to New Zealand from unique geography, flora and fauna and history at war to the precious collection of Maori and Pacific treasures in the extensive Maori and Pacific Islands Court. The Museum’s galleries showcase New Zealand’s natural, cultural and social history in an interesting and informative manner. Housed in one of the nation’s fine heritage buildings and with spectacular views of Auckland City and the Waite Mata Harbour, Auckland Museum is a popular destination. Time is allowed here for you to purchase your lunch in the Museum Café. Afterwards board your coach and travel into the city to the Auckland Sky Tower for a “Total Tower Experience”. The Sky Tower is the tallest tower in New Zealand, featuring four observation decks and a revolving restaurant. At the base, experience a visual encounter with Auckland’s history then step into the high-speed elevator and travel at high speed to the main observation deck. Stand on the glass floor and see Auckland at your feet – an amazing experience. From here you are returned to your ship.
|DAY 26||WAITANGI (BAY OF ISLANDS), NEW ZEALAND|
This morning our ship docks at the Waitangi Wharf where we make our way up to the Waitangi Treaty House by foot for a Guided Tour and Cultural Performance. It was here on 6 February 1840 that Maori and British settlers signed an historic agreement which gave birth to the nation of New Zealand. The Maori Meeting House in the grounds is a superb example of the skills of Maori wood carvers and flax weavers. You will have free time here to enjoy the views before heading back to the wharf to re-board our ship.
|DAY 27||DAY AT SEA|
|DAY 28||DAY AT SEA|
We arrive back in Sydney this morning and disembark the Noordam and transfer to the airport for our flight back to Canada.
|D - Ocean-View Stateroom||$18,100||$21,220|
|C - Ocean-View Stateroom||$18,300||$21,420|
|VB - Verandah Stateroom||$18,650||$21,790|
|VB - Verandah Stateroom||$18,730||$21,890|
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JERRY VAN DYKE DIFFERENCE
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We pride ourselves in providing personal service and quality in everything we do. All our journeys are personally researched, orchestrated and operated. Our Guests experience them only after we are sure every ship or hotel inspected, guides interviewed and every detail pre-arranged. When you contact our office, you know you are speaking to experts.