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An Odyssey Down Under: Australia and New Zealand

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Road Scholar
Program #16434RJ
31 Days | 30 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
The highest elevation reached on this program is the Homer Tunnel at 945 metres (3,100 feet).

Equipment Requirements
Your bathing suit is a must! A long-sleeve sun-protection cover-up are highly recommended for your day out on the Great Barrier Reef.

Itinerary for Mar 5 — Apr 4, 2015

Expand all
Day One: Thursday, March 05 - Departure
Note: Depart on flight from Los Angeles, crossing the International Date Line.

Evening: Depart the USA on overnight flight to New Zealand.

Day Two: Friday, March 06 - In Flight
Note: Cross the International Date Line.

In Transit: Cross International Date Line.

Type: Hotel

Description: Situated in the centre of Auckland and within walking distance to picturesque Waitemata Harbour.

Contact info:
8 Customs Street
Auckland, 1010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -9-377-8920
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1721-mercure-auckland/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, Internet & PC connection and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a laundry service, fitness facilities and safety deposit box facilities

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBA in Preparatory Material
For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org.


Day Three: Saturday, March 07 - Transfer through Sydney and arrive in Auckland.
Lunch: On board your flight.

Afternoon: Kia ora! Welcome to Auckland. Auckland, the “City of Sails,” is New Zealand’s largest city and over one-third of all New Zealanders live in the greater Auckland area. It has a cosmopolitan population and the high proportion of indigenous Maori and other Polynesian peoples from the Pacific Islands have contributed distinctive elements to its cultural mix. This mix has been heightened by increased immigration from a number of Asian nations throughout the last decade or two. A third of the city’s population was born outside New Zealand. The city has a unique setting between two harbours on a narrow isthmus studded with numerous volcanic cones. To the east, the Waitemata Harbour provides New Zealand’s busiest Pacific port and a picturesque setting for the central business district and suburbs. Beyond this harbour lie the superb boating waters of the island-studded Hauraki Gulf. To the west, the broad shallows of the Manukau Harbour provide ideal habitat for large flocks of seabirds in the shadow of the rugged rainforest-covered Waitakere Ranges. Beyond these ranges the wild black-sand surf beaches of the west coast are a dramatic contrast to the gentle golden sand of the tree-fringed beaches of the east coast. Upon your arrival in Auckland your Program Leader and local Site Coordinator will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. We have some time to check in and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At accommodation.

Evening: This evening is free to settle in to New Zealand.

Lodging: Mercure Auckland Hotel

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated in the centre of Auckland and within walking distance to picturesque Waitemata Harbour.

Contact info:
8 Customs Street
Auckland, 1010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -9-377-8920
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1721-mercure-auckland/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, Internet & PC connection and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a laundry service, fitness facilities and safety deposit box facilities

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBA in Preparatory Material
For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org.


Day Four: Sunday, March 08 - Program Overview & Introduction / Meet Your Fello...
Program Overview & Introduction / Meet Your Fellow Participants / Walking Tour of Central Auckland

Breakfast: At leisure in the hotel's top-floor dining room with stunning views of Auckland Harbour and the central business district

Morning: After a relaxing early morning we come together with our fellow recently-arrived participants on program 20135 for a program overview, an introduction to Auckland and the opportunity to get to know each other.

Lunch: At accommodation.

Afternoon: This afternoon our local Site Coordinator and Group Leader lead us on a walking tour of central Auckland introducing us to New Zealand's largest city. We will learn how Auckland interacts with its harbour for both business and pleasure and take a stroll through the grounds of the university. Those who wish to may choose to linger at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, recently named as World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore. We return to our hotel in time for dinner. This afternoon's walk will be at least two miles in length on paved surfaces over undulating terrain as we walk up Queen Street from the harbour.

Dinner: At accommodation.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Mercure Auckland Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated in the centre of Auckland and within walking distance to picturesque Waitemata Harbour.

Contact info:
8 Customs Street
Auckland, 1010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -9-377-8920
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1721-mercure-auckland/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, Internet & PC connection and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a laundry service, fitness facilities and safety deposit box facilities

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBA in Preparatory Material
For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org.


Day Five: Monday, March 09 - Introduction to New Zealand History / Harbour Cru...
Introduction to New Zealand History / Harbour Cruise / City Orientation / Auckland Museum.

Breakfast: In the hotel's top-floor dining room.

Morning: We begin today with a well-known local author and journalist presenting a lecture giving us an introduction to New Zealand history. We then walk the four flat, paved blocks (1.2 miles) down to Viaduct Basin for a yacht cruise on Auckland's magnificent Waitemata Harbour giving us stunning views of the Harbour Bridge, the city and the surrounding volcanic cones. As we sail the channel, those who wish can have a turn at the wheel, weather conditions permitting.

Lunch: We board our coach and transfer to Eden Garden, where we have lunch surrounded by delightful gardens. These wondrous gardens were created in an abandoned quarry nearly 50 years ago. We have time to explore the gardens briefly prior to or after lunch.

Afternoon: This afternoon we visit Auckland’s War Memorial Museum for a guided tour of the permanent exhibitions showing us patterns of Polynesian and European settlement. En route we get an orientation to the layout of the city. The remainder of the afternoon is free for us to explore Auckland at our leisure.

Dinner: We have dinner at own arrangements given you the chance to sample Auckland's cuisine at your leisure. The Viaduct Basin, formerly the home of the America’s Cup, has a variety of cafes and restaurants a short walk from the hotel while the Britomart precinct is located in the streets behind the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Mercure Auckland Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated in the centre of Auckland and within walking distance to picturesque Waitemata Harbour.

Contact info:
8 Customs Street
Auckland, 1010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -9-377-8920
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1721-mercure-auckland/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, Internet & PC connection and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a laundry service, fitness facilities and safety deposit box facilities

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBA in Preparatory Material
For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org.


Day Six: Tuesday, March 10 - Auckland's Geology / Explore the North Coast
Breakfast: In the hotel's top-floor dining room.

Morning: This morning a local geologist and marine biologist gives us a lecture on the geology of Auckland and its varied coastlines. He then leads us on a field trip to explore Auckland's northern coastline and give us an understanding of the variety of the city’s coastal environment. Our walk at North Head will give us a greater perspective of the Hauraki Gulf and the volcanic islands that litter it. On today's field trip we will walk at least three miles over undulating terrain and varied surfaces.

Lunch: We have lunch today at a local restaurant looking out over the picturesque Cheltenham beach and across to Rangitoto's cone.

Afternoon: Our field trip continues this afternoon as we visit Lake Pupuke to understand how the volcanic lake and the stunning coast coexist so closely. We return to our hotel in the late afternoon and have some time at leisure prior to dinner.

Dinner: At accommodation.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Mercure Auckland Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
Fenton Street
Rotorua, 3010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -7-348-0199
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthornerotorua/

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, tennis court, gymnasium, guest laundry and safety deposit box facilities.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Wednesday, March 11 - Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves / Coach to Rotorua / City...
Breakfast: In the hotel's top-floor dining room.

Morning: We check out of our hotel after breakfast and depart for Waitomo, travelling through Waikato's rolling green countryside passing pristine farmland and dense forest.

Lunch: We have lunch at a local farm cafe close to Waitomo.

Afternoon: After lunch we transfer to Waitomo for a field trip. We have an expert-led exploration of the internationally-recognised Waitomo glowworm caves. The glowworm (arachnocampa luminosa) is unique to New Zealand and thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance. We will enjoy a boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and be amazed at the clear natural acoustics of the "cathedral cave". We reboard our coach and transfer through to Rotorua where we will stay for the next two nights. Located on the shores of Lake Rotorua and nicknamed “Sulphur City,” Rotorua has been sustained by tourism since 1870. It is a thermal wonderland with the most energetic thermal activity in the country including hot springs, geysers and bubbling mud pools. It is also an important centre of Maori culture. In the early 19th century the colonial government attempted to develop it as a European-style spa town. The impressive Tudor-styled Bath House dating from that time is now the Rotorua Museum. The area also has fine trout fishing and scenic wildlife parks. Nearby Mount Tarawera erupted late last century resulting in major changes to the landscape and considerable loss of life. The beautiful lakes in the region are part of the legacy of this cataclysm.

Dinner: We have an orientation to Rotorua on the way to our hotel and check in in time for dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Copthorne Hotel Rotorua

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
Fenton Street
Rotorua, 3010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -7-348-0199
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthornerotorua/

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, tennis court, gymnasium, guest laundry and safety deposit box facilities.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Thursday, March 12 - Waimangu Volcanic Valley / Maori Arts and Crafts ...
Waimangu Volcanic Valley / Maori Arts and Crafts Institute / Kiwi House / Whakarewarewa Thermal Area / Maori Cultural Evening

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we learn something of Rotorua’s geothermal and Maori background. We travel first to Waimangu Volcanic Valley to learn more about volcanic and geothermal New Zealand. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the only geothermal system in the world wholly created as the direct result of a volcanic eruption, the Tarawera Eruption of June 10, 1886. We walk through this amazing volcanic landscape serenaded by the songs of the local native birdlife. At the end of our walk we have a cruise on Lake Rotomohana, surrounded by pristine bush and also formed as a result of the 1886 eruption. This morning's walk will cover approximately three miles on gravel pathways that are steep in parts and can be uneven.

Lunch: We return to Rotorua for lunch in a historic and lovingly restored hotel beside Rotorua's Government Gardens.

Afternoon: This afternoon we visit Te Puia — the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. Here we visit the Kiwi House to meet New Zealand's national symbol — the flightless kiwi. We view the Whakarewarewa thermal area, renowned for its boiling mudpools and the spectacular pohutu geyser. We also learn of the role the Institute plays in encouraging young Maori to train in the traditional Maori arts and crafts — wood- and stone-carving, weaving, traditional building techniques and the like. At Te Puia we will walk nearly a mile and a half on paved surfaces with some steep sections.

Dinner: After some free time at our hotel, we return to Te Puia. This evening for dinner we experience a hangi, the traditional Maori method of cooking food in the ground.

Evening: During and after dinner we experience a Maori cultural performance.

Lodging: Copthorne Hotel Rotorua

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Novotel Christchurch is a premium, landmark hotel located in the heart of Christchurch's Cathedral Square. The Novotel Christchurch is only moments to main attractions, Cathedral Square, Cashel St Pop-Up Mall, Hagley Park, Christchurch Business District and 30min from Christchurch Airport.

Contact info:
52 Cathedral Square
Christchurch, 8011 New Zealand
phone: +64 3 372 2111
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-6592-novotel-christchurch-cathedral-square/index.shtml

Room amenities: Each room has an ensuite bath or shower, charged wireless Internet access, double-glazed windows, a work area, large LCD TV, pay movies, a safe and a hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Featuring 154 contemporary rooms, high-end amenities and WIFI internet (surcharge). Hotel facilities include gym, guest laundry, restaurant, bar and meeting rooms catering for up to 250 delegates.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Friday, March 13 - Fly to Christchurch / Riccarton House & Bush - Hi...
Fly to Christchurch / Riccarton House & Bush - History of Christchurch / Orientation to Christchurch / Immigrants' Stories with the Te Puna Ora Story-teller

Breakfast: In our hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we check out of our hotel and board our coach taking us to Rotorua airport. This morning we leave the North Island as we fly to Christchurch situated on the east coast of the South Island. The city is set close to the sea on a broad plain between the towering Southern Alps and the large extinct volcanic crater that forms Banks Peninsula. It is the largest city in the South Island and the centre of farming, industrial and cultural activities for the province of Canterbury. Because of its excellent transportation facilities, bountiful water supply and abundant hydro-electric power, Christchurch is one of the most important industrial centres in New Zealand and was, until 2011, New Zealand’s second-largest city. The area, between September 2010 and May 2012, suffered a series of significant earthquakes resulting in a large part of the Central Business District being damaged and many homes, in the eastern suburbs in particular, being destroyed. Much of the rest of the city, and particularly the western side, is pretty much up and running as per usual as the rebuilding and rejuvenating process begins in earnest in the affected areas. We will be met at the airport by our local Site Coordinator and transferred to Riccarton House, one of Christchurch's most important and significant early homesteads.

Lunch: At Riccarton House.

Afternoon: After lunch we will have a guided walk through Riccarton Bush - a unique native lowland podocarp forest close to the centre of New Zealand's "Garden City". We will have a lecture on the early-settler family responsible for the existence of both Riccarton House and Riccarton Bush. Through this we will gain an insight into the early settlement of the province of Canterbury. We then transfer to our hotel to check in before a local engineering geologist will lead us on a field trip orientating us to the city and introducing us to the effects of earthquakes on a vibrant, modern, first-world city. As well as seeing the effects of the earthquake we will learn of the innovative, often community-led projects helping to rejuvenate this city the locals are so passionate about. We will bear witness to the city's determination to rebuild and move on. We then head out to Lincoln University on the outskirts of the city for a short stroll before dinner.

Dinner: At Lincoln University.

Evening: After dinner the Te Puna Ora story-teller will, by playing two characters, introduce us to the experience of early immigrants to Canterbury. After the performance we will transfer back to our accommodation.

Lodging: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Novotel Christchurch is a premium, landmark hotel located in the heart of Christchurch's Cathedral Square. The Novotel Christchurch is only moments to main attractions, Cathedral Square, Cashel St Pop-Up Mall, Hagley Park, Christchurch Business District and 30min from Christchurch Airport.

Contact info:
52 Cathedral Square
Christchurch, 8011 New Zealand
phone: +64 3 372 2111
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-6592-novotel-christchurch-cathedral-square/index.shtml

Room amenities: Each room has an ensuite bath or shower, charged wireless Internet access, double-glazed windows, a work area, large LCD TV, pay movies, a safe and a hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Featuring 154 contemporary rooms, high-end amenities and WIFI internet (surcharge). Hotel facilities include gym, guest laundry, restaurant, bar and meeting rooms catering for up to 250 delegates.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Saturday, March 14 - Banks Peninsula Settlement History / Akaroa / Har...
Banks Peninsula Settlement History / Akaroa / Harbour Nature Cruise / Akaroa Museum / Walking Exploration of central Christchurch

Breakfast: At accommodation.

Morning: We head to the delightful Banks Peninsula township of Akaroa this morning. Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Some of the town's French character is shown by its French street names. En route to Akaroa we will learn about the historical patterns of settlement of the local Maori, French and other European settler populations. We arrive in Akaroa and board a boat for a harbour cruise on which we will see sea caves, volcanic formations, high cliffs and myriad nesting sites. We should keep an eye out for the delightful Hector's Dolphin, the world's rarest and smallest dolphin, as well as blue penguins, fur seals and abundant bird life.

Lunch: We return to land and are given free time to explore Akaroa on foot, just as the Christchurch visitors do on their day trips. We will be given money so we can get our own lunch at leisure as we explore.

Afternoon: We come together at the Akaroa Museum where we learn about life in this small community. We then board our coach and head back over Hilltop to Christchurch and our accommodation. The remainder of the afternoon is free but our local Site Coordinator will lead a walking tour of the centre of Christchurch for those participants interested in learning more about what makes this city tick as it continues its regrowth.

Dinner: At our hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Set amongst manicured gardens on the tranquil shores of Lake Te Anau.

Contact info:
20 Lakefront Drive
Te Anau, 9600 New Zealand
phone: +64 -3-249-7421
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/kingsgateteanau/index.html

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer and electric blankets.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a guest laundry, foreign exchange and safety deposit box facilities.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Sunday, March 15 - International Antarctic Centre / Flight to Inverc...
International Antarctic Centre / Flight to Invercargill then coach to Te Anau / Introduction to Southern New Zealand / Course Overview

Breakfast: At our hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we check out of our accommodation and transfer to the International Antarctic Centre. Here we get as close as possible to experiencing Antarctica without actually going there. Our lecturer will give us a lecture on Antarcticaand we will gain an insight into Christchurch's involvement with Antarctica as the nearest mainland base for US, NZ and Italian Antarctic research. We will also have the opportunity to get up close to the Centre's little blue penguins. We then transfer to the airport for our flight to Invercargill.

Lunch: We have lunch with a local service group allowing us the chance to meet some locals in New Zealand's most southerly city.

Afternoon: After lunch we have a lecture introducing us to New Zealand's southernmost province, Southland, learning something of its importance to New Zealand's agricultural backbone. We then drive to the serenely beautiful hamlet of Te Anau. The township of Te Anau is located on Lake Te Anau, the second largest lake in New Zealand and the largest lake in the South Island. Te Anau is a small country centre providing community support to the widely-dispersed fishing and farming communities of sparsely-populated Fiordland. It is situated at the edge of the World Heritage-Listed Fiordland National Park and is renowned for its alpine scenery and outdoor lifestyle. We will have an introduction to our southern program on board our coach en route to Te Anau. Those who wish to shall have time for a short stroll along the lake before dinner.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview is located within a 10 minute walk of the town centre and all rooms enjoy superb lake and mountain views.

Contact info:
88 Frankton Road
Queenstown, 9300 New Zealand
phone: +64 -3-442-7950
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthornequeenstownlakeview/index.html

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, electric blankets and hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a spa pool, guest laundry and safety deposit box facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twelve: Monday, March 16 - Cruise on stunning Milford Sound / Coach to Queen...
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we check out of our hotel. We drive around the side of Lake Te Anau, across some of the scenic splendour of the World Heritage-listed landscape of Te Wahipounamu — South West New Zealand. We drive through New Zealand's highest tunnel, the Homer Tunnel, where we may well meet a cheeky kea (New Zealand mountain parrot) or two, en route to the majestic Milford Sound. Here we cruise the sound, one of Fiordland's most picturesque fiords, where mountains stand tall right out of the sea and rainforest clings to sheer rock faces. We walk a minimum of approximately two miles on today's field trip.

Lunch: We have a packed lunch on board our cruise vessel in the Sound.

Afternoon: We disembark our cruise vessel and board our coach for the journey through to Queenstown. We will travel back through the Homer Tunnel down the Hollyford Valley past Lake Te Anau and across verdant farmland before we drive between the mountain ranges along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is nestled on the shores of this beautiful Lake Wakatipu, nestled in amongst the majestic Southern Alps. Its setting is stunning with the surrounding mountain ranges, the Remarkables and the Eyre Mountains, forming a breathtaking backdrop. It has more to offer than just magnificent landscape, however; the town strives to be the “adventure capital of the world” with a diverse range of attractions to lure visitors of all ages.

Dinner: We check into our hotel in time for dinner in the hotel restaurant looking out over the lake.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview is located within a 10 minute walk of the town centre and all rooms enjoy superb lake and mountain views.

Contact info:
88 Frankton Road
Queenstown, 9300 New Zealand
phone: +64 -3-442-7950
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthornequeenstownlakeview/index.html

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, electric blankets and hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a spa pool, guest laundry and safety deposit box facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Thirteen: Tuesday, March 17 - Lake Wakatipu Cruise including Walter Peak Sheep ...
Lake Wakatipu Cruise including Walter Peak Sheep Station / Gondola to Skyline Restaurant overlooking Queenstown's stunning natural beauty

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we cruise across Lake Wakatipu on board the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw. This iconic 1912 twin-screw steamship recently celebrated its 100th birthday. It is much beloved by locals and visitors alike as "the lady of the lake". We visit Walter Peak High Country Farm for an expert-led exploration and an insight into the training and usage of farmers' working dogs — the backbone of New Zealand sheep farming. It is hard not to be amazed watching farmer and dog working together in complete unison. Unless the pesky sheep have other ideas ...

Lunch: We have a BBQ lunch at Walter Peak Homestead.

Afternoon: Our field trip at Walter Peak Station continues before we reboard the Earnslaw and cruise back across the lake. We have some free time to explore Queenstown on our own before we board the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak. We have time to take in the spectacular views before dinner. We walk approximately two miles on today's field trip.

Dinner: We have dinner at Skyline Restaurant overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.

Evening: After dinner soaking up the stunning view, we hop a gondola back down the hill and board our coach back to our hotel.

Lodging: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The hotel has stunning views of Wellington's delightful harbour. It is located on the edge of Wellington's central business district and offers easy, flat walking access to many of the city's attractions including Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand.

Contact info:
73 Roxburgh Street
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand
phone: +64 -4-385-0279
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthorneorientalbay/index.html

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making, ISD telephone, television, refrigerator, ironing facilities and electric blankets (upon request).

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a heated swimming pool, cocktail bar, guest laundry facilities and a safety deposit box.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Fourteen: Wednesday, March 18 - Historic Arrowtown / Flight to Wellington / Orien...
Historic Arrowtown / Flight to Wellington / Orientation to Wellington / New Zealand Politics & Public Life

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will check out of our hotel and head to the historic little former gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown. Here we will have time to walk and explore. Maybe you will choose to check out the museum or the Chinese village. We will walk at least a mile in Arrowtown.

Lunch: Due to the timing of our flight to Queenstown, you will be given cash enabling you to purchase your lunch in Arrowtown or at Queenstown airport.

Afternoon: We fly direct to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand since 1865, located at the southern extremity of the North Island. Its magnificent amphitheatre-like harbour, hemmed in by rugged hills, was formed by the flooding of the crater of a very large and long-extinct volcano. It provides a picturesque setting for the city’s distinctive wooden houses set precariously on the steep hills. In addition to its role as the seat of government Wellington is a major seaport, rail and ferry centre and a commercial and manufacturing hub. Its compact city centre is immensely walkable and is full of life and interest. It has a vigorous cultural and artistic scene and is the home of many national cultural institutions. Upon our arrival in Wellington we have an orientation to Wellington, taking in such sights as the cable car, botanic gardens, Boulton Street Memorials and Premier House. From the top of the cable car, we gain excellent view of Wellington Harbour and its hilly backdrop. As the locals like to say, "you can't beat Wellington on a good day!". We will walk approximately two miles this afternoon, predominantly downhill on paved surfaces. We head to our hotel and check in. This evening we have a lecture on New Zealand politics and the political system before dinner.

Dinner: Our lecturer will join us for dinner at our hotel affording you the opportunity to get answers to any further questions you may have.

Evening: We have this evening at leisure.

Lodging: Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The hotel has stunning views of Wellington's delightful harbour. It is located on the edge of Wellington's central business district and offers easy, flat walking access to many of the city's attractions including Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand.

Contact info:
73 Roxburgh Street
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand
phone: +64 -4-385-0279
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthorneorientalbay/index.html

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making, ISD telephone, television, refrigerator, ironing facilities and electric blankets (upon request).

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a heated swimming pool, cocktail bar, guest laundry facilities and a safety deposit box.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Fifteen: Thursday, March 19 - New Zealand Parliament House / New Zealand's Supr...
New Zealand Parliament House / New Zealand's Supreme Court / Afternoon & Evening free

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we visit New Zealand’s parliament buildings — including the aptly-named Beehive — for an expert-led exploration. We also visit New Zealand’s Supreme Court to gain an understanding of how the highest court in the land operates — you may be surprised at the differences between it and the United States Supreme Court.

Lunch: We have lunch today at a local restaurant close to parliament.

Afternoon: The afternoon is free for you to explore Wellington at your leisure. Put on your walking shoes and get amongst it!

Dinner: Dinner tonight is at own arrangements allowing you to sample the many fine restaurants, cafes and bars Wellington has to offer.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: The hotel has stunning views of Wellington's delightful harbour. It is located on the edge of Wellington's central business district and offers easy, flat walking access to many of the city's attractions including Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand.

Contact info:
73 Roxburgh Street
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand
phone: +64 -4-385-0279
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthorneorientalbay/index.html

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making, ISD telephone, television, refrigerator, ironing facilities and electric blankets (upon request).

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a heated swimming pool, cocktail bar, guest laundry facilities and a safety deposit box.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Sixteen: Friday, March 20 - Zealandia Native Sanctuary / Te Papa Tongarewa: M...
Zealandia Native Sanctuary / Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand / Farewell Dinner

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we visit Zealandia – a native sanctuary of forest and lakes just ten minutes from the city centre. Here we learn about some of New Zealand’s unique and fascinating birdlife. Our expert guides will introduce us to these wonderful birds and to the challenges of conserving rare and vulnerable species in New Zealand. We learn the story of how local residents lobbied and volunteered to get this valley sanctuary, only 10 minutes from the centre of town, set aside as a reserve and have it fully enclosed by predator-proof fencing. During our exploration of Zealandia's wonderful facilities we will walk approximately three miles uphill and downhill on paved surfaces.

Lunch: We return to our hotel for lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch we take the short walk across to Te Papa Tongarewa: National Museum of New Zealand where we have a guided tour. Following our tour we have the remainder of the afternoon free to explore the museum on our own.

Dinner: We have our final dinner in New Zealand tonight in the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Overlooking Darling Harbour, the hotel is located beside Chinatown and the Entertainment & Convention Centres. It is a five-minute walk of the heart of the city.

Contact info:
17 Little Pier Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
phone: +61 2 8217 4000
web: www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3021-novotel-rockford-darling-harbour/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, hairdryer, refrigerator and internet access.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a safety deposit box, gymnasium, indoor heated lap pool and foreign exchange facilities. Valet laundry service is available or a commercial laundry is located nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seventeen: Saturday, March 21 - Wellington's Fascinating Coastline / Flight to Sy...
Wellington's Fascinating Coastline / Flight to Sydney / Course Overview / Orientation to Sydney

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we check out and load our bags on our coach. This morning a local scientist guides us on a field trip exploring Wellington's fascinating coastline. Here we learn how tectonic forces have shaped the rugged environment surrounding the New Zealand capital.

Lunch: We have a picnic lunch at a sheltered scenic spot along the south coast.

Afternoon: We coach to Wellington International Airport and check in for our international flight to Sydney. Upon our arrival, we will be met by the local Site Coordinator and transferred to our hotel in Sydney's Darling Harbour precinct. Sydney’s stunning natural harbour forms the centrepiece of a dynamic city that has grown dramatically since its beginnings as a prison colony. Situated in the temperate area of Australia, Sydney is surrounded by National Parks and has a beautiful range of flora and fauna. It is Australia’s largest city with nearly 5 million citizens thriving in a multi-cultural society in a congenial climate. Sydney is dominated by Sydney Harbour, of which Port Jackson is only a small part. The city covers a large area, twice the size of London with half the population, and has large parks and sparkling sandy Pacific Ocean beaches, such as the well-known and very popular Bondi and Manly.

Dinner: We come together for dinner with the participants on program 20134, who arrived from the USA this morning, and who will be sharing our exploration of Australia with us.

Evening: After dinner we have an overview of our Australian course and a brief introduction to Sydney.

Lodging: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Overlooking Darling Harbour, the hotel is located beside Chinatown and the Entertainment & Convention Centres. It is a five-minute walk of the heart of the city.

Contact info:
17 Little Pier Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
phone: +61 2 8217 4000
web: www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3021-novotel-rockford-darling-harbour/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, hairdryer, refrigerator and internet access.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a safety deposit box, gymnasium, indoor heated lap pool and foreign exchange facilities. Valet laundry service is available or a commercial laundry is located nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eighteen: Sunday, March 22 - Introduction to Australia / Orientation to Sydney...
Introduction to Australia / Orientation to Sydney's Beachside Suburbs & Harbour Heads / Sydney Opera House tour

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning a local professor gives us a lecture introducing us to the history of Sydney and, by extension, Australia.

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: After lunch we visit Sydney's sought-after eastern beach-side suburbs and South Head to see the narrow entrance to the harbour. We return to the magnificent World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House. Here we have an expert-led exploration of this truly wonderful, iconic building, a masterpiece of late modern architecture. We walk more approximately two miles this afternoon and evening on undulating paved surfaces and stairs. We return to our hotel and have some free time before dinner.

Dinner: This evening we take a short walk along the western fringe of Darling Harbour where we have dinner at a local restaurant in the Darling Harbour precinct.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Overlooking Darling Harbour, the hotel is located beside Chinatown and the Entertainment & Convention Centres. It is a five-minute walk of the heart of the city.

Contact info:
17 Little Pier Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
phone: +61 2 8217 4000
web: www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3021-novotel-rockford-darling-harbour/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, hairdryer, refrigerator and internet access.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a safety deposit box, gymnasium, indoor heated lap pool and foreign exchange facilities. Valet laundry service is available or a commercial laundry is located nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nineteen: Monday, March 23 - Sydney's Colonial History / Cruise on Sydney Harb...
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we have a walking exploration of The Rocks area giving us an insight to Sydney’s colonial past. The Rocks was the area of Sydney first settled by the British and it has a fascinating history and wonderful Sydney sandstone buildings. We finish our walk at Circular Quay where we board a vessel for a cruise on magnificent Sydney Harbour. On our coffee cruise we take in the stunning scenery and learn how the modern Sydney Harbour has evolved. We will walk up to three miles this morning.

Lunch: We disembark our cruise vessel and walk to a restaurant in The Rocks for lunch.

Afternoon: The afternoon and evening is free to allow you to explore this wonderful city at your leisure.

Dinner: Dinner is at own arrangements this evening allowing you to explore and sample what Sydney's restaurant scene has to offer.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: Overlooking Darling Harbour, the hotel is located beside Chinatown and the Entertainment & Convention Centres. It is a five-minute walk of the heart of the city.

Contact info:
17 Little Pier Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
phone: +61 2 8217 4000
web: www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-3021-novotel-rockford-darling-harbour/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, hairdryer, refrigerator and internet access.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a safety deposit box, gymnasium, indoor heated lap pool and foreign exchange facilities. Valet laundry service is available or a commercial laundry is located nearby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twenty: Tuesday, March 24 - Taronga Park Zoo / Performance at the Sydney Oper...
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we coach across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo, located on the north shore with delightful views across the harbour to the city. Here we begin our study of Australian fauna. As well as meeting kangaroos, koalas & wallabies and hoping for a glimpse of the rather more elusive wombat, echidna and platypus, we will have a lecture introducing us to some of Australia’s more dangerous inhabitants – its spiders and snakes. At the zoo we will walk in excess of three miles over undulating paved surfaces. We will be on our feet for most of the morning.

Lunch: We have lunch at Taronga Park Zoo.

Afternoon: You are given a ferry ticket for the journey back across the harbour to the city centre. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure allowing you to perhaps linger and explore the zoo further or to head back across to the city to investigate more there.

Dinner: We come together back at the hotel for an early dinner allowing us to get to tonight's performance at the Opera House in plenty of time.

Evening: This evening we enjoy a performance at the Sydney Opera House - one of the world's great pieces of architectural design. Definitely something to tell the folks back home about!

Lodging: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in the heart of Melbourne, close to major attractions and adjacent to major tram routes.

Contact info:
195 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC, NA 3000 Australia
phone: +61 3 9663 4711
web: www.theswanstonhotel.com.au

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, cable television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include laundry, gymnasium, heated indoor swimming pool, foreign exchange, safety deposit box facilities and internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twenty One: Wednesday, March 25 - Flight to Melbourne / Course Overview / Introduct...
Flight to Melbourne / Course Overview / Introduction & Orientation to Melbourne / Eureka SkyDeck 88 / Shrine of Rememberance / Evening Video

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we check out of our Sydney hotel and coach to Sydney Domestic Airport for our flight to Melbourne. Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is the capital of Victoria, a state in the south-eastern corner of Australia. During the gold era Melbourne possessed great wealth and many of the city’s fine buildings were built during this period of prosperity. Its magnificent streetscapes and extensive parks and gardens provide an ideal setting for its many elegant buildings. In the past Melbourne was a larger business centre and city than Sydney and today the two cities continue a friendly rivalry. Both are cosmopolitan and multi-cultural and Melbourne has many strong ethnic communities from three major periods of migration including: Chinese and German (after the gold rushes), Italian, Greek, southern European (1939 – 1945) and, more recently, Asian. Melbourne is reputed to have the largest Greek population outside Athens. We will be met by our local Site Coordinator and transferred into the city.

Lunch: We have lunch in a cafe set in one of Melbourne’s parks

Afternoon: After lunch, we visit the Shrine of Remembrance. We then head up to the top of the Eureka 88 Skydeck offering panoramic views over the city, giving us an understanding of the layout of Melbourne. We transfer to our hotel and check in. We come together again for a lecture introducing us to Melbourne and the State of Victoria before dinner.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: This evening we can watch a video - "Australia: The Big Country" - educating us on Australia's unique environment.

Lodging: The Swanston Hotel Melbourne, Grand Mercure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in the heart of Melbourne, close to major attractions and adjacent to major tram routes.

Contact info:
195 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC, NA 3000 Australia
phone: +61 3 9663 4711
web: www.theswanstonhotel.com.au

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, cable television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include laundry, gymnasium, heated indoor swimming pool, foreign exchange, safety deposit box facilities and internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twenty Two: Thursday, March 26 - Australia's Economy and Health System / Melbourne...
Australia's Economy and Health System / Melbourne's famous Queen Victoria Markets / local wildlife park - meet the wombat & friends / Phillip Island Penguin Parade

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we have a lecture introducing us to Australia’s Economy and Health System. We then hop aboard Melbourne’s famous tram system and visit Melbourne's well-known and quirky Queen Victoria Market, where we soak up the vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere. We will walk at least two miles this morning and evening.

Lunch: We will be given money to get our own lunch, sampling whatever fare we fancy at Queen Victoria Markets.

Afternoon: We return to our hotel to board our coach bound for Phillip Island. En route we pause for a comfort stop at a local wildlife conservatory where we again have the opportunity to meet some of Australia’s most recognisable residents – kangaroos, koalas and maybe a wombat or two. We continue on to Phillip Island Nature Park in time for the Penguin Parade. Our Site Coordinator will get us an ideal location, from which we can watch the gorgeous little penguins come ashore at dusk after their day out fishing.

Dinner: We will have dinner at a quintessential Australian local country pub bistro in San Remo near Phillip Island. Please note that, depending on when dusk is due to fall, we may either have dinner before or after our Phillip Island penguin experience.

Evening: At the conclusion of our Phillip Island penguin experience we board our coach and return to Melbourne.

Lodging: The Swanston Hotel Melbourne, Grand Mercure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in the heart of Melbourne, close to major attractions and adjacent to major tram routes.

Contact info:
195 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC, NA 3000 Australia
phone: +61 3 9663 4711
web: www.theswanstonhotel.com.au

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, cable television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include laundry, gymnasium, heated indoor swimming pool, foreign exchange, safety deposit box facilities and internet access.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twenty Three: Friday, March 27 - Introduction to Australian Art at the National Ga...
Introduction to Australian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria / Remainder of day at leisure

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we can walk or take the tram to the National Gallery of Victoria for an introduction to Australian art. A local art historian will give us a lecture and an expert-led exploration of the Aboriginal art exhibition. We walk approximately two miles this morning.

Lunch: Lunch today is at own arrangements in the city.

Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore this cosmopolitan city.

Dinner: Dinner is at own arrangements giving you an opportunity to explore and sample Melbourne's renowned restaurant scene.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: The Swanston Hotel Melbourne, Grand Mercure

Meals Included: Breakfast
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated on the banks of the famous Todd River, with its magnificent river red gums, the hotel is only a five minute walk from the town centre.

Contact info:
34 Stott Terrace
Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia
phone: +61 8 8951 4545
web: www.chifleyhotels.com.au/alice-springs/chifley-alice-springs-resort/

Room amenities: Room facilities include air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, refrigerator, television, in-house movies, telephone, radio, internest access, iron/ironing board hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, guest laundry, dry cleaning service, internet kiosk, foreign currency exchange and safety deposit box facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twenty Four: Saturday, March 28 - Fly to Alice Springs / Course Overview / School o...
Fly to Alice Springs / Course Overview / School of the Air / Aboriginal Culture / Olive Pink Botanical Garden BBQ / Stars of the Southern Hemisphere

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we check out of our hotel and coach to Melbourne Domestic Airport for our flight to Alice Springs. Alice Springs is located almost exactly at the geographic centre of Australia and has been a home for Aborigines for 30,000 years. Many of the physical features of the land have great cultural significance. Originally established in 1888 as Stuart, the town developed through the need for an overland telegraph line to assist Australia with its communications to the world. Today, “The Alice” is a pleasurable, modern town and is a major access point for the many tourist attractions of central Australia. On arrival we are met by our Red Centre Site Coordinator and are given an overview of Alice Springs and the Red Centre.

Lunch: We transfer to our hotel and check in in time for lunch in the restaurant.

Afternoon: This afternoon we visit the School of the Air to gain an understanding of the techniques employed to provide education across the vast isolated and remote expanse of the Australian outback. We walk approximately a mile and a half this afternoon. We return to our hotel and have a lecture introducing us to the culture, art and heritage of the Aborigines of the Red Centre.

Dinner: This evening we have dinner at the local botanical garden. As we dine we are entertained with ballads and yarns of the Australian bush.

Evening: After dinner a local astronomer will introduce us to the stars of the southern sky – we can look for the Southern Cross and other southern constellations in the clear air of Australia's Red Centre, free of the lights of the big city.

Lodging: Chifley Alice Springs Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated on the banks of the famous Todd River, with its magnificent river red gums, the hotel is only a five minute walk from the town centre.

Contact info:
34 Stott Terrace
Alice Springs NT 0870, Australia
phone: +61 8 8951 4545
web: www.chifleyhotels.com.au/alice-springs/chifley-alice-springs-resort/

Room amenities: Room facilities include air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, refrigerator, television, in-house movies, telephone, radio, internest access, iron/ironing board hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, guest laundry, dry cleaning service, internet kiosk, foreign currency exchange and safety deposit box facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twenty Five: Sunday, March 29 - Alice Springs Desert Park / Western MacDonnell Ra...
Alice Springs Desert Park / Western MacDonnell Ranges / Royal Flying Doctor Service / Aboriginal Bush Foods

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we visit Alice Springs Desert Park where we gain an understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Australian desert and the life that exists there. As we explore the park with our guide we will be on our feet most of the morning and will cover approximately two and a half miles on even, well-cared-for dirt surfaces.

Lunch: At Alice Springs Desert Park.

Afternoon: After lunch we travel to Simpson’s Gap in the Western McDonnell Ranges where we view the permanent waterhole in its stunning location under the towering cliffs of the Simpson Range. The walk is approximately one mile in length and is on fairly even surfaces including some sand. We return back into Alice Springs where we visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service and learn how aircraft and the radio are used to deliver medical services in the huge distances of central Australia.

Dinner: We then head to a local restaurant where a local indigenous caterer introduces us to native Aboriginal bush foods, their traditional use and how they are being incorporated into contemporary cuisine. We have dinner at the local restaurant where our taste buds get to discover for themselves just how contemporary Australian cuisine is utilising traditional Aboriginal flavourings.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Chifley Alice Springs Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The hotel is located as a part of the Ayers Rock Resort very close to Uluru.

Contact info:
Yulara Drive
Yulara NT, 0872 Australia
phone: +61 -8-8957-7714
web: www.ayersrockresort.com.au/desert/

Room amenities: Room facilities include air-conditioning, tea/coffee-making facilities, refrigerator, television, ISD/STD phone, in-house pay movies, hair dryer and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, laundry/dry cleaning service and safety deposit facilities.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twenty Six: Monday, March 30 - Uluru - Ayers Rock / Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Pa...
Uluru - Ayers Rock / Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre / Sunset viewing.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we check out and board our coach for the journey to Uluru with an excursion to a camel farm en route. We will pause for morning tea at a typical Outback roadhouse. Rising from the arid heartland of Australia are the haunting geological marvels of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). They lie within Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, which is owned by the local Aborigines. Uluru is a red sandstone monolith, the world’s second largest at 5.5 miles around, with smooth slopes rising to 1,098 feet. For thousands of years this rock has been the focus for religious, cultural, territorial and economic inter-relations among the Aboriginal peoples of the Western Desert. Caves around the base of the rock were used by Aboriginal people for shelter and were decorated with their paintings. Kata Tjuta is a collection of smaller, more rounded rocks that are very captivating. The tallest rock, Mt Olga, is nearly 656 feet higher than Uluru.

Lunch: At Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre.

Afternoon: This afternoon we explore Uluru by coach and on foot (covering approximately two miles in total). This sacred Aboriginal site is truly awe-inspiring. Our Northern Territory Site Coordinator will explain something of the significance of the Rock to the local Aborigines. In the late afternoon we will take in a sunset viewing of Uluru, watching the amazing colours of the Rock as the sun sets.

Dinner: We have dinner at our hotel tonight where we may have the opportunity to sample some of Australia's more "interesting" native meats.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Desert Gardens Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The resort-style hotel is located within easy walking distance of the stunning waterfront esplanade and the compact city centre.

Contact info:
122 Lake Street
Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
phone: +61 7 4080 1888
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0534-novotel-cairns-oasis-resort/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, in-room safe and internet connection.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include lagoon-style pool with a sand-beach entrance, gymnasium, valet laundry/dry cleaning and guest laundry.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twenty Seven: Tuesday, March 31 - Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) / Fly to Cairns / Orientat...
Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) / Fly to Cairns / Orientation to City / Course Overview / Great Barrier Reef lecture

Breakfast: This morning we check out and head across for breakfast at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre.

Morning: After breakfast we travel out to Kata-Tjuta, the spectacular formation of 36 rounded domes. Kata Tjuta means "many heads" in a local language. Here we will walk up Walpa Gorge, affording us wonderful views across the Outback. We will walk nearly four miles over some uneven surfaces.

Lunch: We return to Yulara for lunch at the Outback Pioneer.

Afternoon: We coach to Ayers Rock airport for our flight to Cairns. Cairns, on the east coast of Australia, is the most northerly city in the state of Queensland. It is always green and lush with abundant tropical plants and flowers. It is also one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities and, in addition to its role as a regional centre for dairy, timber and sugar production, it is an important tourist destination. Cairns is uniquely situated between two World Heritage-Listed areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.

Dinner: On board flight to Cairns.

Evening: Upon our arrival we we are met by our Cairns Site Coordinator and transfer to our hotel in Cairns. We will have an introduction to Cairns and our program en route to the hotel. A local marine biologist will give us a lecture this evening on the Great Barrier Reef and the issues endangering its existence. He will give us an insight into what we might see tomorrow on our cruise out to this World Heritage-listed icon.

Lodging: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The resort-style hotel is located within easy walking distance of the stunning waterfront esplanade and the compact city centre.

Contact info:
122 Lake Street
Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
phone: +61 7 4080 1888
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0534-novotel-cairns-oasis-resort/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, in-room safe and internet connection.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include lagoon-style pool with a sand-beach entrance, gymnasium, valet laundry/dry cleaning and guest laundry.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twenty Eight: Wednesday, April 01 - Cruise on Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia's ...
Cruise on Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia's most remarkable natural gifts

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we have a full-day cruise on the Great Barrier Reef where we can view the World Heritage-listed coral reefs in the company of our dedicated marine biologist. We will be able to snorkel among the spectacular coral reef and/or view the reef from a semi-submersible vessel.

Lunch: We have a seafood buffet lunch today on board our cruise.

Afternoon: Our cruise continues this afternoon. We return to Cairns in the late afternoon and the rest of the day is free for you to relax or explore.

Dinner: Dinner is at own arrangements this evening with The Esplanade's wide range of restaurants only a block or two from our hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: The resort-style hotel is located within easy walking distance of the stunning waterfront esplanade and the compact city centre.

Contact info:
122 Lake Street
Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
phone: +61 7 4080 1888
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0534-novotel-cairns-oasis-resort/index.shtml

Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, in-room safe and internet connection.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include lagoon-style pool with a sand-beach entrance, gymnasium, valet laundry/dry cleaning and guest laundry.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twenty Nine: Thursday, April 02 - Wet Tropical Rainforests / Kuranda / SkyRail / Tj...
Wet Tropical Rainforests / Kuranda / SkyRail / Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we have a lecture introducing us to the second of Cairns’ World Heritage-listed features – the Wet Tropical Rainforests of North Queensland. We gain an understanding of the abundance of life in the tropical rainforest. We then coach to the village of Kuranda, a mountain retreat surrounded by rainforest. We have time to explore before lunch.

Lunch: We have lunch at a local restaurant in Kuranda.

Afternoon: We then walk to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to take the stunning cableway journey sweeping above the canopy of World Heritage-listed rainforest. En route to the cableway terminus at Caravonica, we stop at the Rainforest Interpretive Station where our guide will lead us on a rainforest walk teaching us more about this special environment. From the teminus we then walk to Tjapukai Aboriginal Park where we learn about the lifestyle of the northern coastal Aborigines. Here we will have the opportunity to see if we can make our boomerang come back.

Dinner: We have our farewell dinner tonight in our hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated next to riverfront parkland and overlooking an 18 hole golf course, the hotel is located only 1.2 miles from Sydney’s International and Domestic Airports but is away from the direct flight path.

Contact info:
20 Levey Street
Wolli Creek, Sydney NSW 2205, Australia
phone: +61 2 9518 2000
web: www.mercuresydneyairport.com.au

Room amenities: Room facilities include air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, refrigerator, television, pay-to-view movies, telephone, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a laundry/valet service, computer centre, outdoor swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts and squash courts.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: On form in Prep.
For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org.


Day Thirty: Friday, April 03 - A chance to relax, explore Cairns at leisure, pac...
A chance to relax, explore Cairns at leisure, pack and prepare for the flight home.

Breakfast: At accommodation.

Morning: We have this morning and early afternoon free to explore Cairns at leisure.

Lunch: At own arrangements in Cairns.

Afternoon: We transfer to the airport for our flight to Sydney.

Dinner: On board flight to Sydney.

Evening: Upon our arrival in Sydney this evening, we coach to our Sydney Airport hotel in the safe hands of our Program Leader. The remainder of evening is at leisure.

Lodging: Mercure Hotel Sydney Airport

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Thirty One: Saturday, April 04 - Departure for the USA.
Breakfast: At accommodation.

Morning: After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and transfer to Sydney Airport. We check in to our flight to Los Angeles and home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
28 nights of accommodations
77 meals: 28 breakfasts, 26 lunches, 23 dinners
19 Expert-led lectures
46 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
4 Performances
8 Flights during the program
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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