Surf Australia / New Zealand Auckland, Raglan, Waitomo, Coromandel, Sydney, Byron Bay, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef 13 nights / 12 Days From $4,934 per person
Surf the world-renowned breaks of Raglan, Hot Water Beach, Bondi, and Byron Bay, while experiencing some of New Zealand and Australia’s most iconic landmarks. Go black water rafting at Waitomo caves, snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef, tour Sydney by bike, cruise above the rainforest at Kuranda, and experience the Sydney Opera House.
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland
Arriving in Auckland, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to SKYCITY Hotel, your accommodation for the night. Centrally located next to the iconic Sky Tower, SKYCITY Hotel provides easy access to Auckland’s main attractions.
Day 2: Auckland – Raglan
After breakfast, you’ll pick up a rental car and make your way to Raglan, a small beachside village located 96 miles from Auckland. Raglan is both a surfing mecca and a dramatically scenic area of black sand coastline. Featured in the 1966 cult classic, Endless Summer, Raglan’s Manu Bay is possibly the longest, most accessible and consistent left-hand break in the world. On the right day, it's possible to ride a wave for up to 1.25 miles. Your accommodation for the next two nights is Waoku Lodge.
Day 3: Surf Raglan / Day at Leisure
Make your way to Raglan Surfing School to collect your board and wetsuit for 24 hours rental. Three world-class point breaks - Indicators, Whale Bay, and Manu Bay – are within close proximity. There are also several beach breaks nearby. For non-surfers, Raglan offers other outdoor activities including canoeing, kayaking, caving, and paragliding. You may also learn about local Maori culture or visit the on-premise spa.
Day 4: Raglan - Waitomo Caves - Coromandel Peninsula
Today you’ll travel from Raglan to Waitomo, to experience the Glowworm Caves and Black Water Rafting. Cruise over cascading waterfalls and float serenely down an underground river as you enjoy the glowworm show on the vaulted limestone galleries above. From Waitomo, you’ll continue onward to Cook’s Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, where you will spend the next two nights.
Day 5: Day at Leisure on Coromandel Peninsula
Your accommodation here is a welcoming B&B. Nestled amidst native bush, tranquil gardens & streams, your accommodation provides the perfect base to explore Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, or walk on the gorgeous Lonely Bay. Hot Water Beach is said to be one of the nicest beaches in New Zealand, and provides beachgoers the opportunity to dig their own hot pools at low tide. There is a right-hand reef break at the south end and left-hand point break at the north end of the beach. Beyond surfing, the area offers paddle boarding, fishing, kayaking and boat cruises along the dramatic volcanic coastline, bird watching, and golfing. Finish your day at one of the many local restaurants.
Day 6: Coromandel Peninsula - Auckland – Sydney
After breakfast, you’ll return to Auckland for your flight to Sydney. In Sydney, you’ll be transferred to the InterContinental Sydney, your accommodation for the next three nights. Here, you're only a short walk to the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Royal Botanic Gardens, restaurants and shopping.
Day 7: City Bike Tour and Sydney Opera House
This morning after breakfast, you’ll stroll to the meeting point for your bike tour of Sydney. Enjoy a relaxing ride along Sydney’s beautiful harbor, and see all the iconic sights of Sydney with a local’s perspective. Afterwards, it's off to the Opera House, Sydney’s most famous landmark, for a guided tour.
Day 8: Surf Bondi Beach
Today it's time to hit the surf. You’ll head across town to Bondi Beach to collect your surfboard and wetsuit for two hours surfing. The rest of your day is free to explore Sydney at your own pace.
Day 9: Sydney - Ballina - Byron Bay
This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Ballina. On arrival in Ballina, you’ll make the short drive north to Byron Bay. Your accommodation for the next two nights is Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, a luxury getaway set within 45 acres of lush rainforest, just 5 minutes drive to the center of town. The resort has a tennis court and pool, and provides complimentary yoga classes and mountain bikes.
Day 10: Surf Byron Bay
After breakfast, collect your surfboard and wetsuit for 24 hours rental. Byron Bay is home to many world-renowned breaks, such as the Pass, Wategos, Tallow’s, and Broken Head. Between surf sessions, go explore the great restaurants, shopping, culture, and natural surroundings that make Byron Bay a popular destination for people of all ages.
Day 11: Byron Bay - Brisbane - Cairns – Thala
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then explore Byron Bay at your own pace. This afternoon, you’ll drive two hours north through the Gold Coast to Brisbane Airport for your flight to Cairns. Arriving in Cairns, you’ll pick up a rental car and drive north along the scenic Captain Cook Highway (50 minutes) to Thala Ecolodge, where you will spend the next two nights. At Thala, you’ll be greeted with a cold drink at Osprey’s Restaurant, and spectacular sunset views across the beach and rainforest canopy.
Day 12: Day at Leisure or Kuranda Day Tour (additional cost)
This is a day at leisure. Relax on Thala’s private beach, learn about local Aboriginal culture, or enjoy one of the resort’s complimentary guided activities: nature walks, bird watching, and/or stargazing. Thala also offers turtle-spotting sea kayak tours, yoga, and a day spa. For shopping, dining, and nightlife, head to Port Douglas (just 10 minutes drive north).
Alternatively, you may enjoy a trip aboard the Kuranda Scenic Skyrail, gliding high above the rainforest (additional cost).
Day 13: Great Barrier Reef: Low Isles Tour - Cairns
This morning you’ll be transferred to Port Douglas for your trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Low Isles is an idyllic, unspoilt coral cay island in the Great Barrier Reef, just one hour’s sail from Port Douglas. This is the perfect day trip for families and couples seeking island relaxation. Snorkel, enjoy a glass bottom boat tour, take a guided beach walk and snorkel tour with a marine biologist, or just relax on the beach under a thatched umbrella. Upon returning to Port Douglas, make your way south to Cairns, where you will check into the Shangri-La Hotel for one night. The Shangri-La Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Cairns, and provides spectacular views of Marlin Marina, Trinity Bay, and the Green Mountains. Note: dive tours are also available, please inquire.
Day 14: Depart Cairns - Auckland - Los Angeles
- 13 nights accommodation based on double occupancy; - All breakfasts; - Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers on shared basis, except where renting a car; - 11 Days Intermediate size automatic rental car; - 24 hour Fiberglass board and wetsuit rental, Raglan; - 24 hour Fiberglass board and wetsuit rental, Byron Bay; - 2 hour Fiberglass board and wetsuit rental, Sydney;
Tours: - 3-hour Black Water Rafting tour, Waitomo Caves; - Sydney Guided Cycle Tour; - Sydney Opera House Tour; - Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling - Low Isles Day Tour
Not Included: - Airfare; - One-way drop off fee between Ballina and Brisbane Airport (AUD$110 + GST); - Optional sightseeing experiences; - Meals (unless specified); - Travel Insurance
This itinerary can be customized to suit.
Terms and Conditions:
Prices are quoted in USD and are ‘from’, per person, based on twin share and based on departures January 2, 2015 – March 15, 2015. Rates for period September 16, 2014 - December 8, 2014 start from $4,994 per person. Single supplements apply. Black-out dates and/or surcharges apply Dec. 28 - Jan. 2 in Sydney and Dec. 20 - Jan. 12 in Byron Bay. All pricing is subject to availability and change without notice.
If flying Air New Zealand, the following departures are recommended for a direct connection from Cairns - Auckland - Los Angeles:
Depart USA Wednesday / return Saturday Depart USA Saturday / return Sunday