We live in a world of go-getters, of people wanting to handcraft perfect experiences for themselves and bask in the satisfaction of a job well done. Naturally, this carries over to travel, with people being more likely than ever before to use the resources of the internet to help them craft a dream vacation. It means a lot of work and a lot of research, but it’s possible to put together a luxury travel experience all on your own.
But why go through all that trouble if you don’t have to?
At Goway, we offer our Holiday of a Lifetime series that does the heavy lifting of putting together your dream vacation. These handcrafted trips offer the best of their respective destinations and luxury accommodations that make sure you’re staying in style as you follow your ideal itinerary. They are not simple overview tours, but instead, painstakingly-planned and executed journeys through some of our most popular destinations, which tend to be travellers’ favourite destinations as well. There’s perhaps no trip we take greater pride in than the Waltzing Matilda journey through Australia and New Zealand.
20-Day Waltzing Matilda: Holiday of a Lifetime
Luxury and Convenience
There are many reasons to forgo intensive planning in favour of a Holiday of a Lifetime. For one, it saves you time, which is not inconsiderable in the modern world. More significantly, it promises you a seamless trip with a diverse array of experiences – for instance, if you’ve never been to Australia or New Zealand before, you’ll be amazed at how many types of landscapes they’re home to. As well, Holidays of a Lifetime offer the best accommodations and excursions available through Goway, helping to define luxury travel. To make things even more convenient for you, most meals, tours, and even tips are included in the cost.
Named after Australia’s unofficial national anthem, the Waltzing Matilda Holiday of a Lifetime takes you across Australia and New Zealand to see the icons. However, it’s not just an introductory tour to the most popular highlights of each country. Staying in the best accommodations and focusing on the iconic experiences of each destination, Waltzing Matilda tries to capture the essence of the world Downunder and share it with Globetrotters. It can also be conveniently broken down into the Best of Australia and Best of New Zealand Holidays of a Lifetime, in case you want to focus exclusively on one country.
Harbours and Geothermal Wonders
The 20-day Waltzing Matilda: Holiday of a Lifetime begins in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, situated on the North Island. It won’t take long for you to understand why Auckland ranks among the Most Livable Cities in the World on The Economist’s yearly lists. In terms of nature, Auckland is second-to-none. It sits on a narrow isthmus between two massive natural harbours, making it one of the rare cities with two waterfronts to boast of. But it’s also spectacular culturally. After touring the waterfront and climbing Mt. Eden to enjoy breathtaking views of both harbours, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with Maori culture in the city’s many arts and crafts centres.
From Auckland, you’ll head south on route to Rotorua, stopping off at two incredible spots along the way. If you’re a film buff, you’re in luck as you’ll visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, where Peter Jackson and company filmed the epic The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and forever set New Zealand’s film industry on the map. After strolling through the rolling hills of Hobbiton, you’ll pass on to Waitomo, home to the spectacular glowworm caves. You’ll descend into the caves to journey through an underground complex of tunnels illuminated by the glowworms.
When you reach Rotorua, you’ll experience bubbling mudpools and steaming hot springs that seem like holdovers from the planet’s early years. Beyond the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, which include mighty Pohutu Geyser, you’ll also deep-dive into Maori culture as you visit the Te Puia Arts and Culture Centre, where you’ll enjoy an evening of food and live performances. To complete your iconic Kiwi experience in Rotorua, you’ll also attend a Sheep and Shearing Show at the Agrodome to engage with the country’s most populous denizens: sheep.
Lakes and Fjords
Pass onto the South Island to reach Queenstown, the nation’s adventure capital. This picturesque town sits in the mountains alongside a sparkling lake. If you’ve ever harboured the desire to skydive out of an airplane or bungee jump off a towering bridge, Queenstown is the place to indulge that desire. However, it’s also great for non-adrenaline junkies; the mountain trails offer spectacular views of the area, while the town’s promenades will satisfy all your shopping urges on your luxury travel.
While you’re in Queenstown, you’ll take a day to explore Milford Sound, which is commonly referred to as the most beautiful spot in all of New Zealand. This fjord culminates in Mitre Peak, a mountain that’s known as the most photographed sight in the country. The best way to see Milford Sound is by the water, so you’ll join the tour group on a fjord cruise across the waters to snap incredible photographs of Mitre Peak and the surrounding landscape.
After enjoying the beauty of Fiordland and Queenstown, you’ll head to your final spot in New Zealand, the “garden city” of Christchurch. With its gorgeous architecture and abundant gardens, Christchurch remains the most British of the cities in New Zealand and a great spot to close out your time in the country. On the way to Christchurch, you’ll also pass through some of the South Island’s gorgeous countryside, including the wine area of Gibbston Valley and coastal roads alongside Mount Cook, the country’s tallest mountain.
Australia’s Culture and Wildlife
Luckily for you, your luxury travel on Waltzing Matilda Holiday of a Lifetime is not even half over by the time it heads to Australia from New Zealand. First stop in Australia is Melbourne, which is consistently ranked the Most Livable City in the World. You’ll find plenty to engage with here, from the chic bars and restaurants that populate rooftops and laneways in Federation Square to the bohemian neighbourhood of Fitzroy. Melbourne is also tantalizingly close to some incredible natural highlights. One is the Great Ocean Road, which stretches along the coastline of Victoria and features the amazing geographical landmarks, the Twelve Apostles. Perhaps even better and more appealing to travellers who love wildlife is a trip to Phillip Island, where the adorable Little Penguins, who stand barely one foot tall, march out of the ocean and onto land each evening to the delight of all onlookers.
After getting all warm and cuddly from witnessing the Little Penguin Parade, you’ll head west to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. Adelaide is a bit quieter than other major cities in the country, but it’s not lacking in culture. The city’s Victorian architecture is stunning and it’s also a great gateway for wine tours and wildlife excursions. You’ll have the chance to visit the National Wine Centre, where you’ll get to taste five different vintages from nearby wine regions like the Barossa Valley. You can also add on a day tour to Kangaroo Island (optional – extra charge applies), which is Australia’s own answer to the Galapagos Islands. This island off the south coast features a stunningly diverse array of animals. You’ll see koalas, seals, and of course, kangaroos, as you explore the island which essentially serves as a zoo without fences or walls.
From Adelaide, you’ll head to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. To get there, you can enjoy one of the most luxurious and charming journeys in the country: a ride aboard the famed Ghan Train. The Ghan transports you back to the golden age of train travel and takes you across the southern Australian landscape in timeless comfort. At the end of your journey lies Alice Springs, in the heart of the Red Centre.
Icons of the Red Centre and Tropical Northeast
Alice Springs is the quintessential Outback town, situated smack-dab in the middle of the country. It was built in 1872 as a stop on the Overland Telegraph Line and exists today as a place to get in touch with indigenous Australian culture and historical traditions. While in Alice Springs, you’ll learn about the Flying Doctors who use airplanes to service remote communities in the Outback. In the evening, you’ll head on a sunset Outback experience to explore the wilderness and enjoy a dinner beneath the stars, while also gaining insight into indigenous culture and traditions.
From Alice Springs, you’ll pass onto Uluru/Ayers Rock, the sandstone monolith that is perhaps the main icon of the Australian Outback. As you walk around the base of this massive stone monolith, you’ll learn about the indigenous legends that describe its creation as well as the geological composition of the rock. That evening, you’ll enjoy the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo, as you dine on Outback cuisine with Uluru as your magnificent backdrop. Before you turn in for the night, enjoy the night sky as you’ve never seen it before.
From the Red Centre, you’ll fly northeast to Cairns in the tropical north of Queensland. Cairns is your base for exploring both the Great Barrier Reef and the Kuranda Rainforest. On your first full day in Cairns, you’ll board a catamaran and head out onto the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel or dive through the waters and discover the colourful ecosystem of the world’s largest living structure. On your next day, you’ll ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway into the rainforest to explore the Kuranda Rainforest and engage in indigenous traditions like the Dreamtime Walk.
Final Stop: Spectacular Sydney
Your final stop on this unforgettable luxury travel experience is Sydney, Australia’s largest city and one of the most picturesque metropolises in the world. Blessed with an incredible natural harbour and easy access to a wide variety of natural wonders, Sydney has it all. First day in Sydney, you’ll head into the Blue Mountains and enjoy the breathtaking views of the coastline and hazy blue forests, waterfalls, and rock formations that populate the mountain range. The next day you’ll see the highlights of Sydney on a sightseeing tour, starting in the historic Rocks neighbourhood, where convicts founded the city, and working your way to the surfing mecca Bondi Beach, as well as the Harbour Bridge and unforgettable Sydney Opera House. You’ll close your time in Australia with a sunset dinner cruise across Sydney Harbour, where you’ll enjoy sumptuous cuisine with unbeatable views of the city’s icons.
The Waltzing Matilda Holiday of a Lifetime is a chance to experience the essence of Australia and New Zealand. It’s luxury travel that does the heavy lifting for you, planning a trip full of the best experiences in the most fascinating and beautiful locations in these incredible countries. And no doubt, you’ll feel inspired to experience other Holidays of a Lifetime!