Australia or New Zealand? Do both! There’s never been a better time to get a taste of the world Down Under, and on this adventure, you’ll do so via trains, canopy cable cars, and private yachts. There’ll be no lack of sights to see as you explore Sydney and Auckland, walk around iconic Uluru, visit Aboriginal villages, and participate in wine tastings in the Barossa Valley. Add in an overnight wilderness cruise and you’ve got yourself a trip that memories are made of.
Looking for a little extra from your adventure but don’t want to skip out on all the genuine experiences? Comfort is your ticket. These trips offer upgraded accommodations and more inclusions while still delivering plenty of freedom to pursue spontaneous situations on your own.
Please note: The Comfort Travel Style is a renamed edition of the G-Plus, our collection of comfort-themed adventures. Same great trips, more descriptive name!
Private yacht sailing on the Sydney harbour and Sydney orientation walk. Aboriginal dreamtime walk through the Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge. Kuranda Scenic Railway to Queensland rainforest with canopy tour on a Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Sunrise interpretive walk at Uluru. Overnight on the historic Ghan Train. Adelaide orientation walk. Barossa Valley wine tour with lunch and wine tasting. Dolphin and whale watching boat excursion. Visit scenic Bridal Veil Falls. Dinner cruise on Raglan harbour. Guided tour of the Lake Taupo region with a local meal. Soak in geothermal spa pools. Visit an historic Maori village with a local guide. Orientation walk in Christchurch. Ride the scenic TranzAlpine Train. Gondola ride. Overnight wilderness cruise on Doubtful Sound. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Learn about Aboriginal and Maori myths and traditions with local experts, ride the rails on 3 historic trains, explore the rainforest by foot and canopy cable car, learn how your favourite wines get from vine to glass, revitalize yourself in geothermal pools, enjoy an overnight cruise through scenic Doubtful Sound in search of wildlife, cover more ground with included internal flights
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
Max 16, Avg 12.
21 breakfasts, 4 lunch, 5 dinners.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the M/S Expedition or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Allow USD500-600 for meals not included.
Mini-bus, flight, train, boat, walking.
Our vans in the red centre are Mini Coaches (24 seat vans which have been accommodated to occupy 18 people so you have more space while travelling). Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13 seater vehicles. Mini Coaches tow a trailer for luggage and equipment (only when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver.
The vehicles are factory built, with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. They are fitted with seat belts and it is mandatory to wear them.
All internal flights are included in this trip (including 1 flight between Australia and New Zealand) - Your CEO will give you your ticket on the day of flight.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Comfort hotels (18 nts), ghan train cabins (1nt), local holiday home (1 nt), eco-cruise boat (1 nt).
The Ghan train
The Ghan > Services on The Ghan > Gold Service
Gold Service Sleeper Cabin
During the day, the compact Twin Berth Sleeper Cabins offer a comfortable three seater lounge, converting to an upper and lower sleeping berth at night. Your train journey through Australia will be made even more comfortable with service from our hospitality attendant including fresh sheets, bath towels, pillows, doonas and complimentary toiletries. Twin Berth Sleeper Cabins have private en suite facilities with a hide-away compact toilet, wash basin and shower.
Single Berth Sleeper Cabins feature a comfortable lounge chair and foot rest by day and a single level sleeping berth by night. Cabins are fitted with a wash basin. Showers and toilets are located at either end of the Gold Service carriage.
Gold Service features include:
Compact sleeper accommodation
Stylish Restaurant Car dining included in your fare (Dinner and breakfast), with freshly prepared, delicious meals and waiter service
Lounge Car for relaxation and refreshments
Cabin Steward service
In-cabin music and detailed journey commentary available from your cabin sound system
Complimentary toiletries kit
Free ‘Platform’ magazine
Complimentary tea and coffee available during your journey
Doubtful Sound Eco cruise
Designed along the lines of a traditional scow, the Fiordland Navigator blends old world charm with modern comforts that include spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon/fully licensed bar and an observation lounge. As you cruise through some of the fiord’s most stunning scenery, our knowledgeable nature guides will provide commentary ensuring you miss nothing, be it the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals or rare penguins you might encounter.
After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, you can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat or to simply relax onboard. For the more adventurous (or very brave), there’s even a chance to go swimming!
In the evening, enjoy a delicious three course buffet dinner prepared by our onboard chef and served in the dining saloon. Mingle with fellow travellers, savour some of the fine wines at our licensed bar and if the skies are clear in the evening, spend some time on the upper deck gazing at the stars.
Kick off the next day with a hearty cooked breakfast and spend the rest of the morning exploring other parts of the fiord. You then return to Deep Cove for the trip back to Manapouri.
-Three-course buffet dinner & cooked breakfast
-Includes kayaking and tendercraft (small boat) activities
-Private cabins with ensuite bathrooms and limited quad share bunk - style compartments
-Spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge
The Fiordland Navigator is a purpose built vessel designed to replicate a traditional trading scow and is perfectly suited to cruising the fiords.
Vibe Hotel Rushcutters
100 Bayswater Road, Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011
Tel: (02) 8353 8988
For departures from Oct 29th, 2014 onwards:
Diamant Hotel Sydney
2-14 Kings Cross Rd, Sydney, NSW 2011
Tel: (02) 9295 8888
An arrival transfer is not included on this trip - please make your own way to the joining hotel. A group meeting will be held by your CEO this evening, please check the notice board in the hotel lobby for the time and details.
It is very easy to make your way from the airport to the hotel, options are as follows:
By Taxi: $40-50, approximately 15km and shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.
By Shuttle Bus: $16 pp. Buy tickets at the 'Sydney Airporter' bus desk between exit gates B & C. Alternatively, there is the "Airport Connect' service in the same location. Book tickets online at www.airportconnect.com.au/
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Melbourne)
During office hours, 9am-5pm Local Time
From outside Australia: +61 3 9413 5820
From within Australia: 03 9413 5820
IF YOUR TRIP IS STARTING IN AUSTRALIA
After office hours emergency number
From outside Australia: +61 430 321 725
From within Australia: 0430 321 725
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend the use of a well-labeled duffel bag, soft bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). Suitcases or heavy luggage are not recommended for the health of the CEO! A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential as you will have the chance to walk and hike in different national parks during these trips. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
For days in the outdoors, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days spent hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•AUD & NZD cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (check weather forecast for time of year you'll be visiting)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Flashlight or headlamp
•Camera, memory card(s) and charger
•Electricity plug adapter
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Optional Items: reading/writing material, maps, guidebooks, iPod, iReader, earplugs
Laundry can be done at least once a week while on tour - most cities have laundromats where you can buy soap and wash your laundry in coin-operated machines. Your CEO will advise you along the trip where you will be able to do your laundry.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
A valid passport and visa is required. For some nationalities, the visa can be issued by your Travel Agency or the Australian Embassy via Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
To apply for an ETA online, travellers must hold a passport from one of the following countries:
- Brunei - Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
More information about the ETA and how to apply can be found here:
If you do not hold a passport from any of the above countries, you cannot apply for an ETA online. You may be eligible to apply for an ETA through a travel agent, airline or an Australian visa office. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for other types of electronic visitor visas. See: www.immi.gov.au
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The Australian currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD) and currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in both countries and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's) and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in New Zealand in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate.
Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is not customary in New Zealand or Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) - do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip - but it certainly isn't expected.
PERSONALIZE YOUR TRIP
Extras are specially designed for travellers with unique interests, they are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure.
*For specific days of each activity please see the Full Itinerary*
SYDNEY BRIDGE CLIMB
Sydney - 3.5 hours (Morning Climb)
Climb to the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 134m above sea level, while an expert guide tells you stories about the history and construction of the bridge. The panoramic view of Australia's central city will take your breath away.
Please note: The climb is on the morning of Day 1 you will need to book an additional night in Sydney. You will get a specific reservation number at time of book, please bring voucher to the climb.
AUCKLAND SAILING: AMERICA'S CUP EXPERIENCE
Auckland - 2 hours (Departure time between 11am-2pm, will be confirmed at time of booking)
As part of the boat crew, you'll work together with your teammates to sail around Auckland's Waitemata Harbour in this competitive yacht. Either take the helm and participate or sit back and enjoy the spectacle - the choice is yours.
QUEENSTOWN JET BOATING
It's a jet-boating ride along the Shotover River of Queenstown - need we say more? Okay, how about this - imagine a white-water ride with the turns and paces expertly done by a trained driver. All you need to do is strap in and get ready to get wet.
Optionals Booked Locally:
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in NZD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators. Please note there may be weight restrictions on certain activities (eg skydiving 100 - 110 kg).
MyMulti Pass (public transport pass) $11
Harbour Bridge Climb $198
Whitewater Rafting $195 (Tully Full-day) $225 (Xtreme Tully Full-day)
Bungee jumping $169 (includes certificate and t-shirt)
Minjin Swing $99
Combo Bungee and Minjin Swing $319
Helicopter Ride $120
Bone Carving $89
Mountain Bike Tour $49
Maori Marae Experience $49
Skydiving $269 (9000ft) $429 (15000ft)
White Water Rafting $95
Ice Explorer Guided Hike (Heli transfer) $299
Heli Ice Climbing $375
Heli Hike $399
Bungy Jumping $180-$260
Swing $180 ($160 pp Tandem)
Jet Boat Skydive $129
Mountain Biking (Skippers Guided Tour) $129
Lord of the Rings Horse Riding Tour $195
Vineyard Cycle Tour $155
Please note: Usually there is time for one activity in each location (except Queenstown where there are two free days for activities).
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Heed the caution signs at all times in National Parks and other remote areas in New Zealand and Australia.
Between November and March, there is extreme heat with temperatures averaging between 43-46°C in the middle of Australia, especially around Uluru. This can lead to heat exhaustion and potentially become very dangerous. Be sure to drink plenty of water and replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks, coconut water or water mixed with electrolyte powder packets. Our CEOs have been trained in first aid and are well-versed in the risks associated with this heat.
As a result of this heat some included walks may be closed in the interests of travellers health. Certain walks around central Australia including Uluru and Kata Tjuta are closed when weather is forecast to exceed 36°C. During these hot months, we will endeavour to offer all walks early in the day to avoid the heat. Our CEOs will monitor the weather conditions to gauge the safety of any included walks and may need to call off a given day's walk due to extreme heat.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEO has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Our commitment to responsible tourism inspired us to establish the Planeterra Foundation in 2003, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures pays all of Planeterra's administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation goes directly to support our projects. We also match all donations up to $30,000 per year to double the impact! For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Donate when you book your trip!
We offer travellers the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating $3 at the time of booking. Of course any amount above $3 is welcome! 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to donate to Planeterra, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Please visit http://www.gadventures.com/evaluations
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.