Australia & New Zealand
Australia might be the world’s smallest continent however it is also the world’s largest island and is almost the size of the continental United States!
With a whole class of species that cannot be found anywhere else, terrain as diverse as the Red Center and the green and blue tropical coast, it’s a land like no other!
Separated by the raging “Tasman Sea” neighbouring New Zealand is a land of exquisite beauty, complete with glaciers, fjords, volcanic lakes, snow-covered mountain ranges, and thermal springs and pools of virtually every colour.
In this “first-of-a-kind” luxury kosher trip, we enjoy 15 days of incredible scenery, gourmet kosher food, luxury hotels and fascinating culture. We will experience this breathtaking tour together relishing in adventure, fun and unforgettable memories!
“It turns out that travel heaven just might be down under! With its vast and varied landscapes, unique wildlife, and white-sand beaches, Australia is one of the most interesting continents around” – Unknown
On our much-awaited arrival in Melbourne, we are met at the airport, and taken for a walking tour of this colorful and dynamic city.
We explore the modern city center, the Yarra River-front with its eclectic bars and coffee-shops, and some of its contrasting quaint side-alleys.
We then check into our hotel and going for dinner at a kosher restaurant in Melbourne’s Jewish area of Caulfield.
We leave Melbourne early, and after some great views of this famous city, we travel west along the highway towards the “Great Ocean Road”, 243 kilometers of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford, an Australian National Heritage, that is known as one of the most beautiful coastal routes on the planet.
We enjoy the most magnificent formations of the western “Great Ocean Road”, including the “postcard perfect” limestone Twelve Apostles, Gibson’s steps, Loch Ard Gorge, grotto, and London Arch. From the 12 Apostles, we drive the Great Ocean Road East back towards Melbourne.
En route, we’ll see spectacular coastal scenery, look for wild koalas and Australian parrots at Kennett River; and explore the rain forest at Great Otway National Park with its grey kangaroos and swamp wallabies among other animals.
On day 3, we fly to Sydney, Australia’s most famous metropolis. From the iconic opera-house and harbor, to its spectacular beaches and Tower, this city is truly one of the world’s greatest.
We enjoy an unforgettable Shabbat in the famous Bondi-Beach neighborhood, both the center of the Jewish community and one of the most popular tourist spots of Sydney.
On Shabbat afternoon, the walking enthusiasts can enjoy part of the spectacular coastal walk from Bondi to Coojee.
Today, we fly North-West to the great “Red Centre”, and Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, believed by the Aboriginal People to have been formed during Dreamtime by ancestral beings. This monolithic sandstone landmark in the expansive Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, is believed to be one of the largest single rocks in the world, and will set the scene for gaining insight into the Aboriginal culture.
As we explore the Mala walk and Mutitjulu waterhole, we learn about the regional flora and fauna, and the local aboriginal culture, before an incredible sunset accompanies us to our overnight accommodation, where we hope to see some of the best star-filled skies on the planet.
An early start takes us to experience sunrise among the 36 domes of Kata Tjuta, and the southern panorama. Geologically, these domes are believed once to have been a monolith like Ayers Rock, that collapsed over the years.
In the afternoon, we fly to North-Eastern Queensland and the tropical city of Cairns, gateway to the “Great Barrier Reef” region, listed as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world!
On day 7, we enjoy one of the 7 wonders of the natural world, the largest coral reef on the planet, which stretches 1000 miles from one side to the other! We depart Cairns by boat, cruising through crystal-clear waters, to the fixed pontoons in the heart of the reef, from where we have a chance to snorkel, or for those with the ability, to go diving.
For those who prefer to remain dry, the pontoons have under-water observatories from which the incredible life of the reef can be observed. A relaxed cruise takes us back to our hotel, for a well-deserved dinner.
On day 8, we explore the magnificent Daintree Rainforests, one of the largest in the world.
We drive up the mountains to the rainforest village of Kuranda, and take the incredible skyrail down, over the river-gorge and rain-forests, back to the coast.
From here, we travel to the airport for our flight back to Sydney, where we enjoy an early supper at a kosher restaurant, followed by an optional show at the Sydney Opera House (own cost- once programme is available, bookings will be taken.)
Today, we enjoy the sights and sounds of Sydney that we have not yet explored, including Hyde Park, the Botanical Gardens, the Rocks, an incredible boat excursion in the harbor, and of course, some free time for shopping.
Queenstown is considered by everyone in the know to be New Zealand’s most beautiful town. Surrounded by mountains and on the shores of the pristine Lake Wakatipu, there are views virtually from every corner. After our morning flight from Sydney, we explore the downtown area of this quaint town, walking its alleyways and enjoying its quaint stores.
We also take the gondola up to the viewing point, and the ski-lift up to the Luge track, where we enjoy the thrill of “Luging” hundreds of metres above the city! We then return to our hotel to get ready for Shabbat and we then enjoy a lovely, albeit late, Shabbat in the deep-South of the planet!
This breathtaking, glacier-sculpted fiord, with its vertical cliffs, mountain peaks and waterfalls, was described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, and as New Zealand’s most popular natural spectacle, is truly worth the long drive. The drive to Milford sound takes in some of the best scenery of the South-Island.
After a coffee stop in the picturesque town of Te Anau, we drive past waterfalls, lakes, and forests, and through the spectacular Homer Tunnel, before making the dramatic descent into the fjord. We then enjoy the highlight of the day, a boat cruise on the sound. For those who prefer to fly back to Queenstown, and unforgettable scenic flight can be added at own cost.
Today, we drive through magnificent Southern Island Scenery, to Mount Cook National Park, site of New Zealand’s iconic highest peak, at the top of the Southern Alps. We hope for clear weather and great views of the mountain, and lovely nature trail in the foothills of the Alps.
We then cross the Southern Alps to the Canterbury plains, stopping at the pristine Lake Tekapo and the sheep farming village of Tweezel, en route to Christ-Church, the largest city on the South Island, famous for its rebuilding efforts after the recent devastating earthquakes.
Time permitting, we enjoy a walking tour of this quaint and colorful city, after which we drive to the airport for our evening flight to the thermal-lands of Rotorua.
Rotorua is all about geysers and volcanic activity, and today we explore some of the incredible thermal sites of this region. We enjoy a cruise of Lake Rotorua, admiring the smoking geysers along the shore, and visit a Maori village, where we learn about the local culture.
30 min drive from Rotorua, the Wai-Tapu Thermal wonderland is the showcase of the region, and we spend a couple of hours exploring its incredible thermal pools and vistas from the boardwalks and trails of the reserve. With multi-colored pools like the “Artist’s Palette” and “Champagne Pools”, this walk provides some of the most unique and incredible views on the planet.
Today, we drive through “Lord of Rings” country, to the incredible Waitomo Caves complex, where we visit some of the world’s most beautiful show-caves. The highlight of the day is a short underground boat-cruise lit up by thousands of glow worms that resemble the star-filled vacuum of outer-space!
We then drive back to Auckland, and enjoy a short tour of New Zealand’s, famous capital, before catching our international flight back home.
These FAQ's are specific to this tour. For general info please visit our FAQ page.
- U.S. citizens are able to apply for an electronic travel authority on-line, and must be sure to have it printed out – if you have not yet done this, please do this urgently. www.visacentral.com
- U.S. citizens may enter New Zealand visa-free.
- Passports: Your passport has to be valid for 6 months from date of entry.
- Australia and New Zealand have extremely strict bio-security rules and it is essential to avoid bringing any non-permitted foods into the country- we recommend avoiding bringing all non-processed foods completely
- All local flights and hotels are booked as per request where possible, and will billed accordingly.
- Arrive in Melbourne the morning of the tour.
Depart Auckland after 3 pm on the last day of the tour unless otherwise specified.
Climate and Clothing
- February is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and the weather is generally warm – very hot in most of Australia, with nights in Sydney or Melbourne sometimes getting a little cooler.
- New Zealand is cooler than Australia and can be chilly on the South Island even in summer, particularly in the evenings and early mornings, and at Milford Sound.
- Australia and New Zealand have modern health-care facilities, particularly in the main cities. However, It is still essential to bring any medication you require and to ensure that your medical insurance covers you comprehensively whilst away.
- The unit of currency in Australia is the Australian dollar which is currently valued at about 1.45 AUD = 1$, although currency fluctuations can be rather drastic.
- The unit of currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar which is currently valued at about 1.52 NZD = 1$, although currency fluctuations can be rather drastic.
- Although most larger shops take Visa and Mastercard (always for a 1.5-5% levy), it is suggested to bring some local cash (Australian Dollars and New Zealand Dollars) with you.