Day by Day Itinerary

Discover a region of true natural and cultural diversity on our Australia & New Zealand Tour. Few travelers get to visit the South Pacific as affordably and comprehensively as you can with Grand Circle Travel. From Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to New Zealand’s alpine South Island, you’ll find great opportunities for learning and discovery on this popular vacation. And you’ll do it up close, as your resident Program Director introduces you to Aussie cattle experts and New Zealand's native Maori—all the engaging people who give this part of the world its deserved reputation for friendliness and good cheer.

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    You depart Los Angeles today and fly over the Pacific.

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    Crossing the International Date Line westbound, you lose a day (you’ll gain it back on your return flight).

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    You’ll arrive this morning in Sydney or Brisbane, and a Grand Circle representative will assist you in connecting with your flight to Cairns. On arrival at the airport in Cairns, another Grand Circle representative will meet you and assist with the transfer to your hotel, where you'll meet your fellow travelers, including those who took our Melbourne & the Outback pre-trip extension. The balance of your day is at leisure to relax after your overseas flight before beginning your Australia & New Zealand tour in earnest.

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    After breakfast this morning, depart for Hartley's Crocodile and Wildlife Park for an up-close visit with crocodiles, koalas, and kangaroos. Hartley's is a working crocodile farm located in the Australian Bush. You'll have the opportunity to meet a cuddly koala, hand-feed kangaroos in a private enclosure, and watch the crocs at feeding time. You'll also take a boat cruise on Hartley's Lagoon, a natural habitat for the saltwater crocodile. A behind-the-scenes tour of the park will provide you with an informative and entertaining experience with the region's rich array of wildlife and the keepers who care for it.


    Then enjoy some time at leisure to visit beautiful Port Douglas on the Coral Sea. Originally established as a link to the gold fields, Port Douglas is now a favorite Aussie vacation spot. The year-round tropical climate creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

    Perhaps you’ll browse the shops lining the marina’s boardwalk, or find an enticing restaurant for lunch, which is on your own. After your stop in Port Douglas, depart for Wetherby Station, stopping along the way to join your Program Director for a look at a contemporary Australian institution—an authentic Aussie pub. After a drink and some mingling with the locals, continue on to Wetherby Station, where you’ll experience life at a working cattle ranch.

    Just as New Zealand is renowned for its lamb, Australia is world-famous for delicious beef. In fact, the country is one of the world’s largest cattle producers (the U.S. ranks first) and one of the world’s leading beef exporters.

    You'll get a taste of the Australian beef industry—literally and figuratively—during an exclusive Discovery Series presentation and dinner at Wetherby Station, one of the oldest cattle properties "Down Under." Wetherby Station is located in northern Queensland, the heart of Australia's cattle country, about 13 miles southwest of Port Douglas in the Tablelands around Mount Molloy. Established by William Groves in 1870 (and named after his hometown in Yorkshire, England), Wetherby was once a working, million-acre station (ranch). Learn about this history, and enjoy a hearty meal of authentic Aussie tucker (food).

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    After breakfast, you'll learn about the vibrant Great Barrier Reef during an exclusive Discovery Series discussion on its history and the environmental factors threatening its future.

    Then, you'll board a high-speed catamaran with a choice between two activities which are both located in the Great Barrier Marine Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Stretching 1,240 miles, the Great Barrier Reef comprises acres of multicolored coral supporting an array of exotic sea creatures.

    One choice is an included excursion, for which you will get off the catamaran at Green Island, a spectacular 6,000-year-old coral cay located in the inner reef. Green Island is approximately 37 acres in size and the only coral cay on the reef with a rain forest growing on it. Home to several bird species and more than 100 native plant species, it is surrounded by magnificent coral gardens. Here you can swim or snorkel among colorful tropical fish and coral formations or behold the underwater world from a glass-bottomed boat. You'll be dazzled by paradise of angelfish, clown fish and riots of lacy anemones as you explore the rocky canyons and fingers of soft and hard coral. After a buffet lunch, enjoy free time to make your own discoveries on this unique island.

    Or, join an optional tour to the Outer Great Barrier Reef, a fantastic spot from which to explore this ecological wonderland. You'll board the same high speed catamaran, but instead of disembarking at Green Island, you'll remain onboard to the outer reef, where you'll arrive at a stationary pontoon-style observation post—your base for reef-viewing. The Outer Barrier Reef provides the best views because it is further from the shore and free from the run off from the rain forests that can cloud the water. Additionally the outer reef supports a more diverse range of marine life than other locations. At the outer reef you can swim or snorkel, probe the lower depths in a semi-submersible vessel, or behold the underwater world from the lower deck of the stationary pontoon. A local reef expert will also be on hand to enlighten you about this unique ecosystem and enhance your experience of the reef. A buffet style lunch is included with this optional tour. You'll return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

    Dinner tonight is on your own.

    Please note: Weather conditions may affect your marine life-viewing experience. On rare occasions, strong winds or severe weather may prevent your visit to Green Island or the Outer Barrier Reef.

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    This morning, perhaps you'll join us for an optional Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park, Skyrail & Kuranda Village tour. At Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park, you'll watch Aboriginal people perform traditional dances and learn about their controversial history in this region of Australia. Later, let them dazzle you with their boomerang skills—perhaps you'll even try your hand at the boomerang yourself. Afterward, ride up the beautiful Whitfield Range in a skyrail gondola to Kuranda, a quaint and picturesque village nestled in one of the Earth's oldest rain forests.

    Returning to the hotel later, you'll have some time at leisure before an exclusive Discovery Series discussion. A speaker with ties to the local Aboriginal community will discuss the life and culture of Aborigines Today, sharing with you the fascinating beliefs and contemporary challenges of the continent's first peoples.

    Tonight, enjoy an exclusive visit to the Cairns branch of the Returned Services League, which supports veterans and present members of the armed forces. Here, you'll sit down for an included dinner.

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    This morning, you'll transfer to the Cairns Airport for your flight to Sydney. Upon arrival in Sydney late this afternoon, you'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

    After dinner, transfer to your hotel.

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    After breakfast, get to know Australia's oldest and largest city on a guided tour.

    Begin with the Opera House, where you'll stop for a guided tour of this famous landmark. Opened in 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Opera House is a classic example of the innovative Postmodern movement in architecture. Its design, engineering, and scope are modern marvels. The building contains 1,000 rooms and five theaters. More than two million visitors each year are entertained by more than 3,000 performances.

    Then you'll have a seat in Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, a bench cut into a sandstone rock formation, for panoramic views of Sydney's picturesque harbor, followed by a drive through Sydney's Eastern suburbs to Bondi Beach. Bondi is an Aboriginal word that means "water breaking over rocks." This famous strip of coastline was established as a public beach in 1882, and is home to the oldest surf life-saving club in the world, the Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club.

    After an included lunch at Bondi Beach, you will visit a Sydney opal store, where you will learn about the various types of opals in Australia and how they are produced. You'll then enjoy a special glimpse at the world's largest gem opal when the staff opens their safe to reveal the "Olympic Australis," which weighs in at 17,000 carats. The rest of your afternoon and evening are at your leisure.

    Or, tonight, see Sydney in a different light on an optional tour. Begin with dinner at a local waterfront restaurant in the Rocks district. Then ride to Sydney Aquarium aboard a water taxi, taking in spectacular views of the harbor en route. Your exclusive guided tour of Sydney Aquarium—courtesy of an expert aquarist—introduces you to Australia's fascinating aquatic species, such as platypi, myriad tropical fish, and sharks.

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    You start this morning by riding to the historic “Rocks” area for an exclusive Discovery Series walking tour. Overlooking Sydney's beautiful harbor, the delightful Rocks district of today bears little resemblance to its scandalous incarnation circa 1788. That's when colonial expatriates—primarily English convicts and their families—arrived on the scene and established a lively settlement in this prime location. For the next several decades, the neighborhood's picturesque location amidst sandstone outcroppings (the "rocks" alluded to in its nickname) belied its rough-and-tumble reputation. However, what was once a bawdy warren of warehouses, taverns, and houses of ill repute is now one of Australia's most charming enclaves, with fine shopping and superb restaurants.

    As you explore the colorful, cobbled streets lined with bistros and boutiques, your Program Director will regale you with tales of the Rocks' illustrious history.

    You then stroll to Circular Quay at the heart of Sydney's waterfront. Circular Quay is a hub of activity where a constant flow of ferries and water taxis transport commuters and day-trippers to their destinations all around the harbor.

    The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to relax or explore Sydney at your own pace.

    Or you can join an optional Sydney Harbor cruise, spotlighting the upper reaches of the beautiful Middle Harbor. More than two centuries ago, European settler Captain Phillip proclaimed this the finest natural harbor on Earth; you'll know what he meant as you pass countless sheltered coves, dotted with yachts and lined with elite homes. You'll return with plenty of time for lunch on your own and an afternoon at leisure.

    Tonight, join your fellow travelers for an included dinner at a local restaurant.

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    Enjoy an additional day at leisure in Sydney and a chance to get to know Australia's largest and oldest city better. Perhaps you'll use the time to discover attractions in and around sprawling Hyde Park, including St. Mary's Cathedral, the Great Synagogue, and the Australian Museum. You could also visit the world-renowned Taronga Zoo. Or simply relax at one of Sydney's waterfront cafes, and enjoy the view of the sailboats dotting the harbor.

    Dinner is on your own this evening; your Program Director will gladly offer dining suggestions.

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    After breakfast this morning, depart for the airport, and then fly to Queenstown, your home for the next three days as you start your New Zealand tour.

    Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your accommodations and get to know your surroundings with an orientation walk. After the rest of your afternoon at leisure, join fellow travelers for an included dinner at a local restaurant.

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    This morning, perhaps you'll discover the spectacular Twin Rivers on a thrilling hour-long optional jet-boat ride. A native New Zealand invention, the jet-boat takes in water and ejects it from the stern under great pressure to create the propulsion. It needs very little room to maneuver, making it capable of handling twisting channels with ease (not to mention impressive moves like 360-degree spins). With a skilled jet-boat driver at the controls, you'll fly through the crystal-clear waters of the Kawarau River, set against the backdrop of the aptly named Remarkables Mountains. Then, skim the shallows of the famous Shotover River, the second-richest gold-bearing river in the world. (Please note: The operation of this tour is dependent on the river's water levels.)

    Or, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a morning to spend as you wish. You'll then walk to Queenstown's Wharf, where you'll board the TSS Earnslaw, a historic steamship that first launched in 1912. Cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Sheep Station for a guided farm tour.

    Since Captain Cook brought sheep to New Zealand in 1773, sheep farming has grown to be a mainstay of the country's economy. Today, New Zealand (with ten sheep for every person!) is the world's foremost producer of prized, strong wool. At Walter Peak, you'll learn about life on a Queenstown sheep farm, see sheepdogs run through their paces and watch a live sheep-shearing demonstration. To top off your visit, you'll enjoy a traditional English tea.

    You'll cruise back to Queenstown and arrive at the hotel mid-afternoon. Spend the balance of your afternoon as you please. Even if you are not inclined to ski, boat, raft, bungee jump, hang glide, horseback ride, or sky dive, you can have fun watching these activities and appreciating the incredible scenery all around you.

    The late afternoon is yours to spend as you please before rejoining your fellow travelers for an included dinner at your hotel.

    Please note: An alternate vessel will be used during late May through early July 2016, as the TSS Earnslaw will be on annual survey during this time.

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    Today, enjoy what is sure to be a highlight of your New Zealand tour, during a full-day tour of Milford Sound, hailed by Rudyard Kipling as "The Eighth Wonder of the World." Dense forests, shimmering Lake Te Anau, and a pass known as "The Avenue of Disappearing Mountains" mark your route. Marvel at towering cliffs and the stunning perfect cone of Mitre Peak. You'll see thundering waterfalls, impressive beech forests, and unique flora and fauna as you cruise along Milford Sound's famed fjords, enjoying an included lunch on board. After your cruise, you'll return to Queenstown by motorcoach, where dinner is on your own.

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    Today, you'll stroll the main street of charming Arrowtown on a guided tour, which has been faithfully reconstructed with wooden buildings that evoke a bygone era. The town today contains some of the best shops in the country—selling popular products like jewelry, gold nuggets, jade, and woolen goods.

    The population of Arrowtown grew to more than 7,000 during the Gold Rush, but has recently settled at around 2,000 residents. Walking around the town, you may mistake your surroundings for a Hollywood movie set—the deserted miners' cottages, historic wooden buildings, and old-time shops appear much as they did during the Gold Rush period.

    After an included lunch at a restaurant in town, you'll visit a local winery, sampling vintages and learning about the wine-making process in New Zealand. The oldest existing vineyard here was established in 1851, although New Zealand has been producing wine since colonial times. Most of the vineyards are located near the coast, where the temperate climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly—retaining their vibrant and distinctive flavor.

    Return to your hotel late this afternoon, where the rest of the day is yours to spend as you please in Queenstown. You can explore on your own, or reach out to your Program Director for suggested activities. Tonight, enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant.

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    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to New Zealand's North Island. Arriving in Rotorua, a small city known for its Maori culture and natural thermal pools, you'll check in to your hotel and enjoy time to unwind. Dinner is on your own tonight.

    Or join an optional evening excursion to Te Puia Cultural Center, featuring a visit to New Zealand's national carving and weaving schools, a tour of natural geysers and thermal pools, and, included in the cost of your optional tour, a traditional dinner with Maori storytelling and entertainment.

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    On today's included tour, explore the city of Rotorua with your Program Director, and get to know this gem of New Zealand's North Island better. You'll start by learning more about the local Maori traditions during an exclusive Discovery Series event as you visit the Maori village of Ohinemutu. Here you can admire a Maori Church, as well as a hand-carved meetinghouse built on a marae, an ancient ceremonial site. Then learn more about the culture and history of the region during a visit to the Rotorua Museum. Enjoy time for lunch on your own and independent discovery this afternoon.

    This evening, enjoy a Home-Hosted Dinner with a local family who can tell you about Rotorua's rich culture and their daily way of life during an exclusive Discovery Series event.

    Please note: Certain December departures will not include Home-Hosted Dinner due to regional holidays.

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    This morning, you'll visit Kaitao Middle School (when in session), supported in part by Grand Circle Foundation. You'll be greeted by the students with a powhiri, a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony, and have the opportunity to interact with them throughout the morning. Please noteSelect departures will visit the school on the previous day of the itinerary. The school visit will not be available during school closures.

    After your school visit, transfer by motorcoach to Auckland to continue your discoveries of New Zealand's North Island. Enjoy an included lunch en route.

    In Auckland, the “City of Sails," you'll find a fine waterfront, well-used by ferryboats and sailboats of all sizes. Auckland Harbor hosted the exciting 2000 America's Cup Challenge, in which the Kiwis successfully defended their title against the American challengers. The downtown area is a great place to stroll and drop in on the street-level cafes.

    The evening is yours to explore as you please. Dinner is on your own tonight.

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    This morning, enjoy a memorable hands-on sailing experience aboard the 50-foot sailboat, Pride of Auckland. As you cruise, you’ll enjoy a new perspective of Auckland Harbor, New Zealand’s bustling commercial port.

    After, you’ll enjoy an included tour of the city, offering a closer look at such iconic sights as the Sky Tower, Auckland Harbor, and the America’s Cup Village.

    Take the afternoon at your leisure. Perhaps you’ll visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum or explore the Viaduct Basin, an entertainment area that was once home to the America’s Cup. You can take a stroll to mingle with locals and visitors alike at more than 20 restaurants and bars. Or try your luck at the Sky City Casino.

    You'll rejoin your fellow travelers at the hotel tonight for a Farewell Dinner.

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    • Meals included:

    If you've chosen our post-trip Bay of Islands extension, you'll transfer to Paihia in the morning. Otherwise, you’ll transfer early this morning to the Auckland airport for a connecting flight in Sydney or Brisbane before your return flight to the United States. You’ll gain a day as you fly east, crossing the International Date Line.


Traveler Reviews

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Questions and Answers

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Questions and Answers

Want to know more about one of our vacations? Now, when you post a question, travelers who have been on that trip can provide you with an honest, unbiased answer based on their experience—providing you with a true insider’s perspective.

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Weather & Regional

Before you travel, we encourage you to learn about the region of the world you'll discover on this trip. From weather and currency information to details on population, geography, and local history, you'll find a comprehensive introduction to your destinations below.

Visit our “What to Know” page to find information about the level of activity to expect, vaccination information resources, and visa requirements specific to this vacation.

Currency Cheat Sheet: Submit

What to Know

For more detailed information about this trip, download our Travel Handbook below. This document covers a wide range of information on specific areas of your trip, from passport, visa, and medical requirements; to the currencies of the countries you’ll visit and the types of electrical outlets you’ll encounter. This handbook is written expressly for this itinerary. For your convenience, we've highlighted our travelers' most common areas of interest on this page.

Download the Travel Handbook

What to Expect


  • 5 locations in 17 days
  • 3 internal flights of 3-4 hours each

Physical Requirements

  • Walk 1-2 miles unassisted and participate in 4-5 hours of physical activities daily, including stairs
  • Balance and agility are required to board watercraft
  • Not accessible for travelers using wheelchairs or scooters
  • Travelers using walkers, crutches, or other mobility aids must travel with a companion who can assist them
  • Program Directors reserve the right to modify participation or send travelers home if their limitations impact the group’s experience

Terrain & Transportation

  • Uneven walking surfaces, including unpaved paths, hills, stairs, and cobblestones
  • Travel by 45-seat motorcoach, 36-seat boat, high-speed catamaran, gondola, water taxi, steamship, jet-boat, 280-seat boat, and sailboat


  • Daytime temperatures range from 60-88°F during touring season
  • December through March are the warmest months


  • Meals will be based on the local cuisine

Travel Documents


Your passport should meet these requirements for this itinerary

  • It should be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled return to the U.S.
  • It should have the recommended number of blank pages (refer to the handbook for details).
  • The blank pages must be labeled “Visas” at the top. Pages labeled “Amendments and Endorsements” are not acceptable.


U.S. citizens will need a visa (or visas) for this trip. In addition, there may be other entry requirements that also need to be met. For your convenience, we’ve included a quick reference list, organized by country:

  • Australia: Visa required.
  • New Zealand: No visa required, but travelers making their own international air arrangements will need to send us their flight ticket numbers. The form to do this will be mailed with the Australian visa application.

Travelers who are booked on this vacation will be sent a complete Visa Packet— with instructions, applications, and a list of visa fees—approximately 100 days prior to their departure. (Because many countries limit the validity of their visa from the date it is issued, or have a specific time window for when you can apply, we do not recommend applying too early.)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, do not travel with a U.S. passport, or will be traveling independently before/after this trip, then your entry requirements may be different. Please check with the appropriate embassy or a visa servicing company. To contact our recommended visa servicing company, PVS International, call toll-free at 1-800-556-9990.

Vaccinations Information

For a detailed and up-to-date list of vaccinations that are recommended for this trip, please visit the CDC’s “Traveler’s Health” website. You can also refer to the handbook for details.

Before Your Trip

Before you leave on your vacation, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:

Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.
Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)

What to Bring

In an effort to help you bring less, we have included checklists within the handbook, which have been compiled from suggestions by Program Directors and former travelers. The lists are only jumping-off points—they offer recommendations based on experience, but not requirements. You might also want to refer to the climate charts in the handbook or online weather forecasts before you pack. Refer to the handbook for details.

Insider Tips


Main Trip

  • Doubletree by Hilton Cairns

    Cairns, Australia | Rating: First Class

    The First-Class Doubletree by Hilton Cairns enjoys an oceanfront location overlooking the Coral Sea surrounded by lush gardens, while remaining close to the city center. Hotel amenities include a swimming pool and on-site restaurant. Your air-conditioned room features a flat-screen TV, wireless Internet access, and private bath.

  • Holiday Inn Darling Harbour

    Sydney, Australia | Rating: First Class

    The First-Class Holiday Inn Darling Harbour is located near Sydney’s bustling Chinatown district and scenic Cockle Bay Wharf, providing you with plenty of options for nearby dining and evening entertainment. The hotel also features an on-site restaurant and bar, serving boutique brews, as well as a fitness center and relaxing sauna. Each air-conditioned room includes coffee- and tea-making facilities, cable and satellite TV, in-room safe, and private bath with hair dryer.

  • Rydges Lakeland Resort

    Queenstown, New Zealand | Rating: First Class

    Nestled between the mountains and Lake Wakatipu, the First-Class Rydges Lakeland Resort is a modern lakefront hotel, convenient to a variety of the outdoor activities Queenstown has to offer, from horseback riding to water skiing. Shops and restaurants are just a short walk away, along the shore of Lake Wakatipu. The hotel features a bar and restaurant, heated outdoor pool, and a spa; your room includes coffee- and tea-making facilities, refrigerator, safe, satellite TV, and private bath with hair dryer.

  • Distinction Rotorua Hotel

    Rotorua, New Zealand | Rating: Superior First Class

    Set among beautiful gardens, the Distinction Rotorua Hotel offers 133 rooms with amenities including a TV, refrigerator, coffee- and tea-making facilities, minibar, and Internet access. During your stay, enjoy the outdoor spa and swimming pools, underground grotto spas, and a choice of three on-site restaurants.

  • Rydges Auckland Hotel

    Auckland, New Zealand

    The First-Class Rydges Auckland Hotel is located in the heart of the city, near the scenic Viaduct Harbor waterfront district, and provides easy access to a number of dining and shopping opportunities close at hand. The hotel features an on-site restaurant, bar, and coffee shop, while each room includes air conditioning, wireless Internet access, and private bath with hair dryer.


  • Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne

    Melbourne, Australia | Rating: First Class

    The Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne is located in Melbourne's city center, overlooking the Yarra River, and just a short walk away from world-renowned restaurants, entertainment, and shopping areas. Amenities include a fitness center, spa, and an on-site restaurant. Your air-conditioned room features coffee- and tea-making facilities, cable TV, wireless Internet access, safe, and private bath with hair dryer.

    Please note: Select departures feature similar accommodations.

  • Desert Gardens Hotel

    Yulara, Australia | Rating: First Class

    We spend one night at this 218-room hotel in the small town of Yulara, just a short drive from Uluru National Park. This accommodation reflects sensitivity toward the environment with its landscaped desert setting and offers a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar. Each air-conditioned room features coffee- and tea-making facilities, in addition to a refrigerator, minibar, and private bath.

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort

    Paihia, New Zealand | Rating: First Class

    With water on three sides and surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens, Copthorne Hotel & Resort captures the essence of the Bay Islands. Adjacent to the historic Waitangi Treaty Ground, the hotel features outdoor dining, a swimming pool, and an herb garden. Each of the 180 rooms offers air-conditioned rooms, satellite TV, wireless high-speed Internet, a safe, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and private bath.


  • Jet Park Airport Hotel

    Auckland, New Zealand | Rating: First Class

    Jet Park Airport Hotel is comfortable, modern, and features South African art on the walls. Each of the 167 rooms is air-conditioned, and amenities include a mini-bar fridge, hair dryer, and ironing board. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, fitness center, and gift shop.

Flight Information

Customize Your Trip

Whether you choose to take just a base trip or add an optional pre- and post-trip extension, you have many options when it comes to customizing your trip—and creating your own unique travel experience:

Purchase Flights with Grand Circle

  • Choose the departure city and airline that works best for you
  • Depart from one city and return to another
  • Upgrade your air itinerary based on your travel preferences
  • “Break away” before or after your trip to explore independently or re-energize
  • Combine two or more trips to make the most of your value—and avoid another long flight
  • Extend your discoveries with pre- or post-trip extensions

Make Your Own Arrangements

  • Make your own international flight arrangements directly with the airline
  • Purchase optional airport transfers to and from your hotel
  • Extend your Land Tour-only Travel Protection Plan coverage and protect the air arrangements you make on your own—including your frequent flyer miles

OR, leave your air routing up to us and your airfare (as well as airport transfers) will be included in your final trip cost.

Estimated Flight Times

We understand that international travel has unique challenges including fewer airline choices and limited flight schedules. The chart below provides estimated travel times and the typical number of connections from popular departure cities to help you plan for your trip.

Please note that traveling to Cairns, and from Auckland, will require multiple connections, and these flight rigors should be taken into consideration.

What Makes This Trip Unique

Exclusive Discovery Series events

  • Wetherby Station dinner & cattle demonstration: Discover country life on a working cattle ranch.
  • Great Barrier Reef discussion: Learn about the natural history of the reef and environmental factors threatening its future.
  • Aborigines Today discussion: Hear from a local expert how indigenous peoples have adjusted to the changing population in Australia.
  • Returned Services League dinner: Get to know veterans and hear their stories of service in Australia's armed forces.
  • The Rocks tour: Explore the neighborhood overlooking Sydney's famed harbor.
  • Ohinemutu community visit: This Maori community is a fascinating peek into indigenous life in New Zealand.
  • Home-Hosted Dinner: Break bread with a family in New Zealand, and take the opportunity to ask questions about local life.

Enjoy the opportunity to visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Wet Tropics of Queensland
  • Fiordland National Park

10 reasons to experience Australia & New Zealand—in the words of our travelers

The best endorsements of our discovery-rich vacations come directly from those who have traveled there. From the rich marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, to the unique traditions of New Zealand’s Maori people, here are some of the memorable experiences that travelers have shared with us from our Australia and New Zealand tour.

Scenic landscapes
"I think of my recent trip to Australia and New Zealand as a nature adventure. Unlike European trips which overwhelm you with cathedrals, architecture and dates, this trip will enthrall you with the natural wonders of both countries … If you love the outdoors and like to experience contrasts to your own natural surroundings, this trip is for you!"
A 9-time traveler from Delavan, WI

Wetherby Station dinner & cattle demonstration
"We went out to a ranch outside of Cairns. The meal and entertainment was wonderful, but the best part was when they turned off the lights. There was no ambient light, so the stars of the Southern Hemisphere shone like they were painted on a canvas—it was AWESOME!"
A 2-time traveler from Valley City, ND

Sydney, Australia
"What to do on a free day in Sydney? Why not walk across the harbor bridge on this sunny day? I took the free bus from our hotel to the Rocks area, which Darrin, our guide, had explored the day before, walked up the steps and over the bridge, admiring the view of the opera house, bay, skyline, and gardens."
A 9-time traveler from Muncie, IN

Outer Great Barrier Reef optional tour
"Go the extra distance. I snorkel every year in the Caribbean … this reef has blue/purple coral, starfish, and giant clams … really nice spot."
A 5-time traveler from Madison, WI

Queenstown, New Zealand
"Queenstown, without a doubt, was my most memorable moment. It's a lovely town partially surrounding an outstandingly beautiful lake which, in turn, is surrounded by a most impressive mountain range. Just beauty wherever you look!!!"
A 6-time traveler from Somers, NY

Grand Circle Foundation Kaitao School visit
"Visiting the Kaitao School was the highlight of the trip. I like the fact that Grand Circle provides monetary help to schools in various countries."
A 2-time traveler from Melbourne Beach, FL

Melbourne & the Outback pre-trip extension
"To appreciate the contrasts of Australia, I recommend the pre-trip to the Outback. The view on the flight to Alice Springs initiates you into the barren, vast, red center of the country. You will immediately understand the settlement patterns on the continent."
A 9-time traveler from Delavan, WI

Home-Hosted Dinner
"The family that hosted us was warm and friendly and welcomed us with open arms and hugs. We chatted for a while and then were presented with the most sumptuous dinner that consisted of New Zealand green mussels, meat pie, shrimps with chili sauce, ceviche fish, BBQ chicken, scalloped potatoes, potato salad, caramelized carrots, broccoli, and rice, to name a few, and pavlova for desert. Everything was so yummy that we went for seconds."
A 2-time traveler from Boston, MA

Auckland Harbor cruise
"… we had the experience of steering a sailboat in Auckland’s harbor. Sailing a schooner had always been a dream and on this trip that wish came true."
A first-time traveler from Charlotte, NC

Program Directors
"Our guide Darrin gave us information all the time, watched and cared for us and handled any problems, and continually encouraged us to ‘get to know the people.’"
A 4-time traveler from Fresno, CA

Want to know more about our Australia and New Zealand tour? Call us toll-free at 1-800-221-2610 for reservations and information.

Photos From Our Travelers

On location in South Pacific

Here’s how Grand Circle travelers have captured moments of discovery, beauty, friendship, and fun on previous departures of our Australia & New Zealand vacation. We hope these will evoke special travel memories and inspire you to submit your own favorite Grand Circle Travel trip photos.


It was a typically beautiful day at Sydney Harbor as Steve and Barbara Scammell, 5-time travelers from Summit, New Jersey, and Suzanne and Dennis O'Malley, 6-time travelers from Califon, New Jersey (left to right) pause before the Sydney Opera House.

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How to submit your photos:

Please submit individual photos in jpeg format to:

Please be sure to include the name of your Grand Circle vacation, along with the travel dates. Tell us where you took the photo and, if you’d like, tell us why. And don’t forget to include your name and contact information.

Please note: By submitting a photo, you (i) represent and warrant that the photo is your original work created solely by yourself and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any party; (ii) grant to Grand Circle LLC and its affiliates a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, in any and all related media whether now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, anywhere in the world, with the right to make any and all commercial or other uses thereof, including without limitation, reproducing, editing, modifying, adapting, publishing, displaying publicly, creating derivative works from, incorporating into other works or modifying the photo and (iii) hereby release and discharge Grand Circle LLC and its affiliates, officers and employees from and against any and all claims, liabilities, costs, damages and expenses of any kind arising out of or relating to the use by Grand Circle LLC of any photo submitted.

History, Culture & More

Learn more about the history, art, culture, and more you’ll discover on this trip by reading the features below. These articles were collected from past newsletters, Harriet’s Corner, and special features created for Grand Circle by our team of writers.

The Rise and Emergence of Australia

From prison colony to paragon of democracy: Trace the progress of this island nation through history

Read More »

Meet the Maori

Learn more about the proud people who inhabited New Zealand before the Kiwis.

Read More »

Desserts from Down Under: Sticky Date Pudding

This sweet Australian treat is worth the sticky fingers. Follow this recipe and try it for yourself.

Read More »

History, Culture & More

The Rise and Emergence of Australia

How Sydney’s penal colony transformed into one of the freest countries in the world

by Pamela Schweppe, for Grand Circle

Thrust from an urban setting into an inhospitable wilderness, the convicts had to quickly overcome adversity just to stay alive.

Transport yourself to the London of the 1780s. Under the English Penal Code, known colloquially as the “Bloody Code,” more than 200 crimes are punishable by death. Perhaps you are hungry and desperate and turn to pickpocketing to survive, or maybe you’re a soldier guilty of insubordination. Which would you prefer: being put to death, or being transported to the underbelly of the world, where you will be left to fend for yourself? Or are these two options essentially the same thing? For many British convicts in the late 18th century, being exiled to Australia may have seemed like a death sentence—and for many, it was. At the time, London was the most populous city in Europe, having grown to 800,000 people. Crime was rampant—so much so that it was unwise to venture out after dark. What to do with all the criminals had become a major issue. Prisons were scarce and overcrowded, so transporting prisoners to remote lands had become the preferred alternative to execution. During the 17th and 18th centuries, roughly 60,000 prisoners were sent to North America. When Britain lost the Revolutionary War, however, they also lost a vast continent on which to deposit convicts, so a new site needed to be sourced.

It happened that, in 1768, Lieutenant James Cook had been commissioned by King George III to explore the South Seas. In 1770, his ship, the HMS Endeavor, became the first European vessel to touch the eastern shores of Australia. The place where the ship landed is now called Botany Bay. On August 18, 1786, a decision was made to develop a convict settlement at Botany Bay. On May 13, 1787, the First Fleet set sail from English shores. The fleet consisted of eleven ships: two naval ships, six convict ships, and three supply ships. On board were roughly 1,500 passengers, of whom around 800 were convicts. As it turned out, the voyage did not end at Botany Bay. On arrival on January 20, 1788, the leader of the expedition, Captain Arthur Phillip—soon to become Australia’s first governor—determined that the unprotected waterfront plus a lack of green fields and fresh water made the site unsuitable. The fleet sailed on to Port Jackson—better known today as Sydney Harbor—where permanent anchor was made. The date was January 26, 1788.

A typical day for Australia’s first European settlers

Conditions for those first European settlers were harsh. Scurvy and dysentery were rampant. Thrust from an urban setting into a wilderness, the convicts were responsible for finding a way to sustain themselves with food and shelter. Crops were sparse, and much of the livestock was lost. Still, Governor Phillip quickly arranged for the new settlers maximize their skills, whether farmers, shepherds, carpenters, nurses, or record keepers. Days were long and rigorous, and yet the convicts enjoyed a measure of freedom that would never have been afforded to them in London. Still, the mortality rate was high among the new settlers, who waited impatiently for more food to arrive with the Second Fleet. The next ship to arrive, however, was not what the colonists expected. Crimes against Australia’s indigenous people, the Aborigines, reached an extreme when an eight-year-old Aboriginal girl was raped. In response, British Home Under-Secretary Evan Nepean decided that the behavior of the men of the new penal colony would be improved with the arrival of more women, so he ordered that 225 women from prisons throughout England be sent to Australia aboard the Lady Juliana.

The special plight of women

For some of the female prisoners aboard the Lady Juliana, transportation to the new penal colony was ironically freeing—a chance to cast aside social strictures and carve out a new life. For most women, however, being sentenced to Sydney Cove was tantamount to being forced into prostitution. Even though most of the women transported were guilty of a first offence (as opposed to multiple offences for most of the men)—and that usually a misdemeanor—they were assumed to be vulgar, low-class women with loose morals. Sexual abuse usually commenced even before arrival in Australia—aboard the very ships that took them there. Besides, with men assigned the tasks of farming, manufacturing, and construction, there were few jobs left over for women. There was little demand for servants, and factory jobs were scarce. With little incentive for men to marry, even the respectability of marriage was out of reach for most women, and for decades, those who did marry still could not escape the stigma of being considered a prostitute.

From penal colony to, simply, a colony

As the years went by, the focus of the settlement turned from punishment to colonization. By 1810, convicts were building roads, bridges, hospitals, and public buildings. Some were even gaining their freedom. Free citizens also began arriving in 1793, increasing the proportion of free citizens and adding to the demand for democratic change. Real reforms were enacted under Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Bourke, the ninth governor of New South Wales (1831-1837). Governor Bourke began waging a campaign against excessive punishment and inhumane treatment of the convicts, and also began granting rights to free convicts, including the right to own property. In 1850, transportation to Australia as a form of punishment was abolished. In all, approximately 165,000 convicts had been transported to Australia aboard 806 ships. The colony was now self-sustaining. Today, January 26 is celebrated as Australia Day, a national holiday comparable to America’s Fourth of July. Is there irony in the fact that the U.S. observes its birthday on the signing of the Declaration of Independence, whereas the Aussies mark the anniversary of the arrival of prisoners? Perhaps not, when you consider that the brash and easygoing character we associate with the Australian people is founded on a band of convicts who had ample reason to cherish and pursue the very notion of freedom.

History, Culture & More

Meet the Maori

New Zealand’s first people (that we know of)

by Bob Hammerling

It’s tempting to think of the Maori as New Zealand’s indigenous people, but in fact, they’re colonists too. Some time around AD 1300, those who would become the Maori paddled from Polynesia in a fleet of wakas, or ocean-going canoes, arriving at the land that they would name Aotearoa (roughly translated as “land of the long white cloud”) which we now call New Zealand.

Before long, Maori tribes had moved inland from the shores and established a thriving culture spread all across the young island nation.

Understanding the Maori’s cultural roots

Deeply important to traditional Maori culture is the concept of mana, a spiritual measure of a person’s status and authority. Mana is derived from nature, and an individual can only carry it, never create it. It can be accumulated by righteous living over the course of one’s life and is passed down through generations. Thus, Maori revere their elders and take great interest in whakapapa, or genealogy, tracing their roots as they connect to not just their ancestors but to all nature, including the land and sky, all the way back to the beginning of creation.

Socially, the Maori place heavy focus on community—an individual is a member of their community first and foremost, and the group exists to serve its members. Although bonds within a tribe are powerful, intertribal conflict was common in Aotearoa’s early history. In fact, warfare played an important part in early Maori culture, and archaeologists have unearthed nearly 7,000 pa, or fortresses, across the country.

Maori culture is deeply connected to nature, and this is reflected in their faith. In contrast to many western religions, in which divine beings exist in a supernatural realm separate from our own, Maori gods inhabit the natural world. Resources in the days of Aotearoa were exploited with great caution, and only with the blessing of tohungas, or priests, who spoke with the voice of the gods to communicate their will.

When worlds collide: First contact with Europe

The first encounter between the Maori and Europeans was brief and bloody: The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to set eyes upon New Zealand in 1642, but he never made it ashore. As four of his crew attempted to row to land aboard a small boat, they were rammed—for reasons which aren’t fully understood—by a Maori war canoe. The four sailors’ deaths christened the waters with the name “Murderers Bay” (now known under the friendlier moniker “Golden Bay”) and Tasman eventually sailed away, never to return.

More than a century later, Europe came back: This time under the British flag of Captain James Cook in 1769. Around 1800, British settlement of New Zealand was well under way. As the sun rose over another corner of the British Empire, Maori culture faced a crisis: Their people were ravaged by new diseases, alcohol, and fierce intertribal warfare, made bloodier with the arrival of European muskets. Many Maori became further distanced from their cultural roots due to the arrival of Christian missionaries, who succeeded in converting many people to their religion.

Waitangi and war: Resisting the British

In 1840, the British sought to formally gain sovereignty over New Zealand and to make the Maori citizens under the crown with the Treaty of Waitangi, signed by representatives of Great Britain and several hundred Maori chiefs.

The treaty is considered to be the founding document of modern New Zealand, but its validity is a source of debate to this day. Significant differences existed between the English and Maori translations of the treaty—chiefly around the notion of the transfer of “sovereignty,” a concept which was not fully understood by Maori society at the time. To put it concisely, many Maori felt tricked: They didn’t know they were signing their land and independence away.

Before too long, disagreements between the Maori and pakeha, or European settlers, led to conflict and outright war, symbolized by the iconic image of Chief Hone Heke (one of the treaty’s first signatories) chopping down the British Flag flying over the Bay of Islands. The Maori would ultimately lose the war, resulting in a further decline of Maori culture, up until the beginning of the 20th century.

The Maori today: A rising cultural tide

The 19th century marked a low point for the Maori, but much progress has been made since. Young Maori leaders like Apirana Turupa kicked off the 1900s with a cultural renaissance, helping the Maori make great strides economically, politically, and socially.

Subsequent years have seen such strides as the election of Maori members of Parliament, a renewed interest in Maori language and culture (both among the Maori and the world at large), the legal investigation into dispossession of Maori lands following the scandals of the Treaty of Waitangi, and more.

Modern New Zealand has also witnessed the revival of traditional Maori arts, including carving, weaving, tattooing, and dancing. Famously, the New Zealand All Blacks, the national rugby team, opens each match with the fearsome haka, a traditional Maori war cry. To face the haka is often seen as a badge of honor even for opposing teams.

One can’t ignore the challenges the modern Maori faces: While some still live in traditional tribal lands, vastly more have dispersed into the cities, where they generally face economic disparities compared to their paheka neighbors. While the Maori may have come a long way from their Polynesian roots, history has shown that they’re here to stay.

History, Culture & More

Desserts from Down Under

One of the many great things about traveling is getting to sample the foods that define and enrich each country—the traditional favorites that both locals and visitors alike devour with delight. A favorite dessert among the Aussies—and one that “mums” across this South Pacific country bake with love—is their sticky date pudding. Actually a super-moist cake, sticky date pudding is a warm and (as the name implies) sticky dessert that is deliciously drizzled with caramel sauce and often served with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream on top. Follow along with the recipe below to make your own satisfying after-dinner treat.


  • ¾ cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sifted self-raising flour

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


  • 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2. In a medium saucepan, cover pitted dates with hot water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for three minutes.

  • 3. Add baking soda to dates, then remove pan from heat and let cool.

  • 4. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs one at a time.

  • 5. Pour cooled dates into bowl with butter and sugar mixture, and add vanilla extract. Stir.

  • 6. Gently fold in flour, stirring lightly.

  • 7. Pour mixture into greased muffin tins to create individual puddings and bake for about 30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • 8. For the caramel sauce, combine brown sugar, cream, butter, and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring until smooth—about three minutes.

  • 9. Pour a small amount of caramel sauce over baked puddings and return to oven until the sauce is bubbly—about two to three minutes.

  • 10. Serve individual puddings with remaining caramel sauce drizzled over top. The pudding is great served hot with ice cream or whipped cream, but can also be served cold.

Servings: 6

NEW Best Price Guarantee

When you and your friends travel on a Grand Circle Land Tour, we guarantee you will always receive the best combination of value and experience, at the best price, even with international airfare included.

1.Find your departure date

Select your dream Grand Circle vacation—and the departure date that best suits your travel preferences.

2. Compare other trips to ours

Our NEW Best Price Guarantee means that, if you and your friends can find a lower price on a comparable trip from another tour company, we’ll match it. It’s that simple.

We encourage you and your friends to compare our prices and value to the following companies:

  • Collette
  • Go Ahead Tours
  • Grand European Travel
  • Gate 1 Travel
  • SmarTours
  • Vantage Deluxe World Travel
  • Tauck

How do you know if you’ve found a comparable trip?

  • Does their trip visit the same or similar locations?
  • Does their trip include the same or similar number of days?
  • Does their trip include the same or similar number of meals and included tours?
  • Prices vary by season—does their trip depart in the same month as ours?
  • If their trip has internal flights, are they included in the price?
  • Is their trip led by a guide who accompanies the group for the entire trip?
  • Is any included airfare arranged by the company itself or a third party (Kayak, Travelocity, etc)?

3: Call us at 1-800-221-2610 to see if you found a match

If you think you have a comparable trip, don’t delay. Call us today and get the best price on your vacation—guaranteed. Our Travel Counselors will be able to either give you a response on the spot or will get back to you within 24 business hours.

Tell your friends: They can also enjoy our best price, guaranteed, and you can all benefit with our Vacation Ambassador Referral Program.

See full Best Price Guarantee Terms & Conditions.

Eyes on the Prize: Vacation Ambassador Judith Lazev Aims for Eight

By David Valdes Greenwood for Grand Circle Travel

Discover the South Pacific through the eyes of Judith Lazev, who embarked on Australia & New Zealand as her first Grand Circle vacation, and see why this Land Tour is one of our most popular.

During a recent food tasting event Judith Lazev, of Clermont, Florida, and a friend were seated with a couple they didn’t know when Judith’s companion gave her a good-natured kick under the table. What motivated the hidden signal? “I had just whipped out my [Vacation Ambassador] card from Grand Circle to hand the couple sitting with us,” Judith says. “They had started talking about travel and that was my opening. My friend was feeling shy about it, but I just told her, ‘This is how it’s done!’”

It’s been three years since Judith, now a 2-time traveler, took Australia & New Zealand —her first trip with Grand Circle—and she still remembers it fondly. Recently widowed, she was attracted by the fact that she could travel solo without added fees. She was immediately impressed with the trip, from its crocodile farm visit to a sing-along on the porch of a cattle ranch, as well as an especially memorable sheep-shearing demonstration.

One of the highlights, she says, was her time spent among the Maori. “It was great meeting the local people. I came to understand their underground water system, and how they used hot springs to heat their houses and to cook. It wasn’t touristy at all. I also like that during the cultural show, we got to participate, twirl the [poi] balls, and that sort of thing.”

Judith was especially appreciative of her Program Director, Jules, who she describes as “so knowledgeable and so helpful.” Her group was there on Christmas Day, which meant everything was closed, and there wasn’t much to do. “But Jules had other plans. She had a niece whose boyfriend was a chef, and they lived in a condo with a terrace. They invited us to Christmas dinner, and borrowed chairs to set us all at one long table, for the most fabulous dinner. We all got crackers [the Christmas toy] and crossed arms to help each other pop them. Jules didn’t have to do this but she did—and it was fabulous.”

Judith says that though she was traveling solo, she never felt alone. “The people I met were wonderful. And I met one woman traveling solo like me who became a great friend. We ended up staying in touch and drove all over Provence together, and we went on Discover South America: Chile & Argentina trip together.”

Shortly after Judith’s return home after her South Pacific vacation, everyone in her Florida social circle was hearing about Grand Circle. She referred one of her past travel companions to a later Australia & New Zealand departure, and that friend got hooked on Grand Circle too. “I’ve referred five travelers already,” Judith says, “and am working on lining up the next three” knowing that with just eight referrals, she’ll earn a free trip.

“It’s easy to do,” she explains. “I just carry the cards around and I present them to people I meet when the opportunity arises.” She offers an example. “I was at a used book sale and this woman was holding a beautiful photo book of Prague. I asked her if she had been there and she said she hadn’t.”

'I really have to start traveling,’ she said, ‘Right now I travel through books.’ When I asked why she didn’t really do it, she said, ‘I don’t know where to start.’ So I pulled out the card and said, ‘This is a good start.’”

Judith is still taking trips herself, with both Dubrovnik & Beyond: From the Adriatic to the Alps and Discover Sicily: Heart of the Mediterranean on tap. And she fully intends to meet her goal of three more referrals. “I like that it’s open-ended as to how long before I get to eighth traveler, and believe me, I will get there.”

It’s easy to earn rewards as a Vacation Ambassador:

REFER: Inspire new travelers to reserve any vacation and they’ll save $100 instantly
when they mention your name and Customer Number

EARN: You’ll earn $100 CASH for your first referral, and up to $5900 for eight referrals

REPEAT: Enjoy increasing CASH rewards for every additional new traveler you refer—
it’s unlimited

Find tips and tools for sharing your love of travel—and start earning rewards!

Travel Parties

Hosting a travel party is an easy—and fun—way to earn a free trip


Referral Cards

Print your own referral cards so you’ll always have some handy


Referral Kit

The complete guide to referring and earning as a Vacation Ambassador


A new traveler is a person who has never traveled with Grand Circle or Overseas Adventure Travel and does not have a current departure reserved with Grand Circle or OAT. Standard Terms & Conditions apply. Every effort has been made to represent this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors.

Partner since: 2006
Total donated: $34,505

Supporting a World Classroom: New Zealand

By seeing how children are educated all over the world, we gain a rare understanding of different cultural values—as well as the common values that unite us all. That's why, providing that school is in session, your itinerary includes a visit to the local school featured below, which is supported by Grand Circle Foundation.

"We were very impressed with the school visit. Amazing principal and teacher. Our young guide was the best. Out of twelve trips, we felt each time that Grand Circle made us proud to be a part of making these schools better."

Carol & Dane Tune
Kerrville, Texas

Kaitao Middle School

Partner since: 2006 • Total donated: $34,505

Sol del Pacifico School

When you travel to the South Pacific with Grand Circle, you'll also be helping to raise the next generation of New Zealand's youth. Grand Circle Foundation's donations to the Kaitao Middle School in Rotorua, New Zealand, have helped build community houses, a digital classroom with interactive technology, an amphitheater, and extra seating in the school's performance hall. When the school's in session, you'll have the opportunity to see the school's improvements for yourself, and to meet the students who will help shape the future of New Zealand.

School in session:

Operates year-round, breaking for multiple weeks in between quarterly sessions; closed periodically throughout the year for national holidays

Gifts to bring if you're visiting:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Drawing paper
Alan and Harriet Lewis founded Grand Circle Foundation in 1992 as a means of giving back to the world we travel. Because they donate an annually determined amount of revenue from our trips, we consider each one of our travelers as a partner in the Foundation’s work around the world. To date, the Foundation has pledged or donated more than $97 million in support of 300 different organizations—including 60 villages and nearly 100 schools that lie in the paths of our journeys.

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