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New Year's in...

New Year's in Australia: Australia & New Zealand Adventure

21 days, 8 cities24
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From $6989 without flightsPayments as low as $409

Brightly-colored fish and coral underwater
Brightly-colored fish and coral underwater
A view of a grand decorative building at the edge of the ocean with other large skyscrapers in the background on a cloudy day
A blue body of water on a sunny day with mountains in the distance
A city skyline along a river at dusk
Trip Type:
Activity Level:
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Why go?

There’s only one word that can describe this trip, so we stuck it in the name. This is mountaintops and coral reefs and cityscapes. It’s surfing and koalas and rainforests and digeridoos and geysers. This is so much more than just a g’day, mate—this is nonstop New Year's adventure Down Under.

Picture yourself

  • Hanging 10 on the waves of Bondi Beach

  • Cruising through Sydney Harbor, soaking up the sun

  • Summiting Bob’s Peak for epic views of Queenstown

  • Snorkeling through the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef

  • Sipping Sauvignon Blanc right where the grapes were grown

What you'll get

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers (or book 'em yourself)

  • 18 nights in handpicked accommodations

  • 18 breakfasts

  • 3 dinners including a Hangi feast

  • Expert Tour Director

  • 24/7 support from our travel gurus

  • 4 insider city tours

  • A New Year's Eve celebration in Melbourne

  • Sydney Harbor cruise

  • Admission to Great Barrier Reef Observatory

  • Entrance and tour through Mossman Gorge

  • Cable car ride to the top of Bob’s Peak

  • Ferry ride into Milford Sound

Map for the New Year's in Australia: Australia & New Zealand Adventure tour
Full trip itinerary


  • Day 1: Board your flight

    Board your overnight flight, bound for a country that’s also a continent—Australia. Get stoked to meet some of the quirkiest people and coolest wildlife. Just don’t touch the bugs—not that you would.

    This tour requires a visa for U.S. citizens. Check entry requirements or call us with questions at 800-766-2645.

  • Day 2: Overnight flight

    Continue your flight to the land down under.

  • Day 3: Arrive in Melbourne + Welcome Dinner

    Welcome to Melbourne! Your first destination is Australia’s second largest city, and one of the best places in the world to get lost. Seriously. It seems every alleyway and side street has a hidden bar, hot new restaurant indebted to the city’s flourishing Vietnamese and Chinese populations, or a graffiti mural just waiting for you.

    In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!

    Today's highlights:

    • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
    • Transfer to your accommodation and check in.
    • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
    • Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
    • Get acquainted with Melbourne on a brief walk around the city with your Tour Director.
  • Day 4: Sightseeing in Melbourne + Optional Phillip Island Nature Park

    Start your morning by declaring “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my flat white,” Australia’s favorite way to get heavily caffeinated was supposedly invented in Melbourne before being co-opted by Starbucks. Now it’s time to take a deep dive with your Tour Director into quirky Melbourne, which, for the love of meat pies, you should pronounce as “Melb’n” like the locals do.

    Today's highlights:

    • Smell the flowers in Carlton Gardens: 94-acres of succulents, cacti, and other uniquely Aussie ecosystems.
    • Perfect your milk mustache with a flat white in one of Lygon Street’s charming Italian cafes.
    • Remind yourself to go back to school for architecture as you stroll Collins Street where glossy new skyscrapers mingle with ornate Victorian shopfronts.
    • If all your teeth are sweet-teeth, grab a jam donut at the largest open-air market south of the border (read: equator): Queen Victoria Market.

    Free time suggestions

    Pray to the Shopping Gods: Chapel Street is a shopping Mecca. Peruse the length of it, stopping often, as it transforms from vintage and bohemian to upscale boutiques.

    Call me Banksy: Get all the likes by posing in front of one of Melbourne’s endless murals on Hosier Lane (no, not named after the “Take Me to Church” guy). You now have photographic proof that you’re hip and artsy.

    Penguin Parade: Phillip Island Nature Park (extra cost)

    That’s right, there are penguins in Melbourne. Take a guided tour of Phillip Island, and end the day at Summerlands Beach to watch 4,000 tiny furballs scurry home at sunset full from a long day of fishing.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 5: Free Day in Melbourne

    Melbourne is so colorful and cosmopolitan and now it’s your playground for a day. Hop on over to the local Outback Steakhouse and chow down on an authentic Bloomin’ Onion. Kidding. Melbourne is the Great Australian Melting Pot and today’s your chance to take a bite of local culture.

    Today's highlights:

    • Boomerang your way through the bustling laneways and arcades of Oz’s cultural capital—you’re free to move about Melbourne.
    • Fuel up on exotic food like Sri Lankan roti or Malaysian beef kebabs as you zigzag from neighborhood to neighborhood.
    • Reach your peak on a rooftop with a cold drink and some good company. The CBD has plenty of the above, and great views of the Yarra River to boot.
    • Dance through the streets to the tune of Melbourne’s many busking musicians. Quality guaranteed: buskers have to pass an audition to get permission to perform. Be sure to tip ‘em!

    Free time suggestions

    The Tragically Hip: Hipsters? They have those there too? Yep. Grab your skinny jeans and head to the uber-trendy Fitzroy neighborhood for a mason jar cocktail.

    Bring your floaties: St. Kilda is like a bohemian beach town within a beach city within a beach country. The “Inception” of beach towns. Get your tan on at St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne’s most famous strip of sand. The neighborhood is also home to a small penguin enclave, and the world’s oldest continually operating rollercoaster.

  • Day 6: Morning Flight to Cairns

    G’day mate, hop your morning flight (sorry we couldn’t arrange for enough kangaroo pouches to carry everyone) to Cairns. Maybe there’s something to be said about how this is the northernmost point of your trip to the Southern hemisphere. Or maybe you’re about to be way too floored by the beauty of snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef to care about geography.

    Today's highlights:

    • Board your flight from Melbourne to Cairns, and break out your biggest, floppiest hat, you’re going from big city to resort town.
    • Look in the mirror and practice another whacky city name pronunciation, Cairns is pronounced “Cans.”
    • Take a walking tour of the city center, lush esplanade, and boardwalk and start to feel blissed out by Cairns laidback vibe.
    • Get a taste of fresh seafood, strong espresso, or any number of other local stalls at Rusty’s Markets, if you’re lucky enough to be in Cairns on the weekend.

    Free time suggestions

    Lagoon-a matata: The Esplanade Lagoon is built into the boardwalk. The water is clear, and admission is free and open to the public. Perfect for a day of lounging, getting your laps in, or just playing a little footy on the lawn nearby.
    Gilligan's: A Cairns backpacking institution. This hostel-turned party hut/pool/bar throws legendary ragers well into the night. Please swim responsibly.

  • Day 7: Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

    Sure, Australia is filled with natural beauty, the likes of which you’ve never seen before. But even after a few days down under, nothing will prepare you for the unparalleled experience of snorkeling through Earth’s largest living creature. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mind you visiting. Dance with dugongs (AKA Australian sea cows) and clown around with, well, clownfish.

    For more information on Ultimate Break’s commitment to responsible tourism, please visit this page.

    Today's highlights:

    • Organize an a capella version of “I’m on a Boat” as you board a vessel from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef.
    • Swim, snorkel, and sun tan as you get acquainted with one of the natural wonders of the world.
    • Hop in an underwater observatory built into the reef to watch the fish up close.
    • Discover the secrets of the reef on an optional adventure with a marine biologist.

    Marine Biologist Snorkeling Upgrade (extra cost)

    Enhance your snorkeling excursion and spend the day with a real marine biologist who spends their time studying the reef and the colorful characters who live there. They’ll even take you to a special research area.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 8: Day Trip to Mossman Gorge & Port Douglas

    Think of a rainforest. You call that a rainforest? No, THIS is a rainforest. Experience this Australian national park through the eyes of the aboriginal population: the Kuku Yulanji tribe.

    Today's highlights:

    • Pass the pipe with your aboriginal hosts, it’s polite to accept their offer of a smoking ceremony #wheninrome.
    • Gawk at the natural beauty of the gorge, remember that you’re not in Kansas anymore.
    • Follow your guide on a walk through the rainforest and ask questions about which toads you can and can't lick.
    • Head into the seaside village of Port Douglas and make a beeline for Four Mile Beach.
  • Day 9: Travel to Townsville

    Wave goodbye to the wallabies, and hop your bus to Townsville. Just a few hours down the coast from Cairns, this misleadingly named oasis (really more of a city than a town or ville TBH) combines the surf town vibes of Cairns with the big city amenities of Melbourne.

    Today's highlights:

    • Put didgeridoo practice on pause to marvel on your bus ride from Cairns as the outback transforms from tropical to savannah right before your eyes.
    • Arrive in Townsville and drop everything but your hiking boots and sense of adventure.
    • Feel the attraction as Magnetic Island calls your name, so much so that you take a ferry out to it.
    • Hike the coastal trails, catching a glimpse of koalas living their best life in the Eucalyptus.

    Free time suggestions

    Pretty in pink: Move mountains and bushwhack to the top of bright pink Castle Hill for amazing panoramic views of Townsville, Cleveland Bay, and Magnetic Island.
    Don't just strand there: Still not sick of the sun? The Strand beach in Townsville is one of Australia’s premiere beaches, not to mention beachside bars.

  • Day 10: Travel to Airlie Beach

    Now’s your chance to be bold at breakfast and try vegemite on toast, because you’re off again for bluer pastures in the afternoon. Head to Airlie Beach by bus and see if you can spot any dingoes out the window. Actually, start by asking your Tour Director exactly what a dingo is, and why you can’t pet one. After a quick regroup upon arrival, it’s off to the lagoon for a little R&R with your new BFFs. Beach volleyball, anyone?

    Today's highlights:

    • Soak up the final rays Townsville has to offer, but don’t be sad, you’re going from one beach town to another.
    • See if you can finish a rousing rendition of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” in the time it takes your bus to make the picturesque trek to Airlie Beach.
    • Arrive in Airlie Beach and re-re-reapply the SPF 100. The Australian sun doesn’t go on holiday.
    • Take some time in Airlie Beach to figure out which lagoon-side bar is your favorite. This may take some hands-on research.
  • Day 11: Free Day in Airlie Beach & Optional Whitsunday Island

    Don’t you just hate waking up in paradise? Yeah, us too. Airlie Beach boasts the most stunning beach scenes this side of Bob Ross’s paintings, and you get a front row seat to its endlessly serene beauty all day.

    Today's highlights:

    • Pinch yourself, make sure this isn’t a dream. Time to go hit the beach.
    • Though the bay is chock full of jellyfish, the public lagoon is a resort-level beach bunny’s dream, complete with sandy beach, grassy lawns, and plenty of space to turn up or chill out.

    Free time suggestions

    Beaches: Not the landform, the bar. Spend the day with a cold beverage in an open-air beer garden right by the Airlie Beach Lagoon. Contrary to what the fat cats in advertising want you to believe, no one drinks Foster’s in Australia. Sample something local!
    Crikey!: Would it really be an Australian vacation if you didn’t get to see some crocodiles? No. No, it would not. Channel your inner Steve Irwin and take an eco-friendly tour of the Proserpine River Wetlands and get debatably too close for comfort to some saltwater crocs.

    Whitsunday Island (extra cost)

    Take a high speed raft to the famous Whitsunday Island and Whitehaven Beach. Snorkel among the Great Barrier Reef, then keep the good vibes going on some of the world’s whitest sands and turquoise waters.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 12: Travel to Sydney

    Today you’re off to the biggest city on the Great Southern Island: Sydney. Get all the 42 Wallaby Way jokes out of your system on the plane over, we have it on good authority that the address is made up.

    Today's highlights:

    • Make like a kookaburra and fly—to Sydney. Your last stop in the outback.
    • Turn your attention to your Tour Director (who by now you should be referring to as Crocodile TD), you’re going for a harbor cruise tour of Sydney Harbor.
    • Set your sights on the uber-famous Sydney Opera House, where, if you listen carefully, you can almost hear the fat lady singing.
    • Float past iconic Sydney landmarks such as The Rocks, Mrs. Macquarrie’s Chair, and Bondi Beach—all of which you’ll have plenty of time to experience up close tomorrow.

    Free time suggestions

    Manly Beach: Looking for tickets to the gun show? The cost of admission to Manly Beach is one dumbbell curl. Just kidding, it’s free. Catch a quick ferry-ride from Sydney out to the preferred beach of the locals. No testosterone needed.
    The perfect night to dress like hipsters: Newtown is Sydney’s coolest neighborhood for those in search of their eclectic side. Go thrifting and see if you can snag a pair of Russell Crowe’s discarded jeans.

  • Day 13: Sightseeing Tour of Sydney and Day at Bondi Beach

    This is it: the beach to make all other beaches blush. This quintessential strip of sand is the emerald oasis of Sydney’s sunbathing masses, and the future spot of your next sunburn. Perfect your doggie paddle in the breakers, or take the infinitely-‘Grammable Bondi to Bronte coastwalk and snap some doggie pictures with the furry locals.

    Today's highlights:

    • Join your Tour Director for a guided walking tour of Australia’s biggest city.
    • Make sure someone gets your back (and your ears) as you follow your Tour Director down to beautiful Bondi Beach.
    • Spend the day swimming, sunbathing, or taking a long walk exploring the sandstone cliffs nearby.
    • Take an optional surfing lesson from a local pro and learn to read the waves in real-time.

    Surf Lesson on Bondi Beach (extra cost)

    Spend the day exploring one of Australia's most popular beaches. Ferry across picturesque Sydney Harbor, meet up with a pro surfing instructor for a 2-hour lesson, then put your skills to the test and hang 10.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 14: Free Day in Sydney

    It’s easy to forget Sydney was founded as a prison colony. But today’s your day to make out like a bandit in some of the Southern Hemisphere’s premiere shopping districts, make a break for the pub, or get your bad self some outdoors time on the Sydney harborfront.

    Free time suggestions

    The most fun you can have underwater: Strap on a snorkel and follow along the Gordon’s Bay underwater nature trail, complete with submerged steel plaques describing the history and wildlife in the bay.
    Garden party: Pack a lunch (Tim Tams are a MUST) and hit the Royal Botanical Gardens that you saw from the harbor cruise on your first day here. Get a whiff of the roses and pretend you’re in “The Bachelor,” then pop a squat at Mrs. Macquarrie’s Chair for a scenic view of the waterfront.

    Tonight, join your group for an included dinner.

  • Day 15: Fly to Queenstown + Explore Bob’s Peaks

    Wave goodbye to Oz, you’re headed to New Zealand: Australia’s outdoorsy crunchy-granola cousin. Upon arrival in Queenstown, the resort capital of the southern island, take a minute to get acquainted with your accommodations. Then grab a handful of trail mix and head for the hills on Bob’s Peaks.

    Today's highlights:

    • Board a plane and fly from Sydney to Queenstown.
    • Gaze out the window of the plane and watch as some of New Zealand’s 39 million sheep organize themselves to spell out “Welcome, friend” for you—just kidding.
    • Travel by cable car and gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak—part of the so-called Southern Alps.
  • Day 16: Explore Milford Sound

    You’re in the South Island of New Zealand, where one of the country’s most popular sights can be found: the fiords. Don’t know what that word means? Never fear, definitions are here! A fiord is a narrow waterway surrounded by commanding, sometimes snowcapped, cliffs AKA a breathtaking part of Mother Nature. New Zealand’s got lots of them, and today, you get to explore one by boat.

    Today's highlights:

    • Say “I’m on a boat” as you float away on a ferry into the Milford Sound.
    • Snap pics from every angle—the fjords don’t have a “bad side.”
    • Enjoy an included lunch, with included spectacular views.
    • Warm up your dominant pointing finger—seals, penguins, dolphins, and whales can be seen swimming in these waters, and people need to know.
  • Day 17: Free Day in Queenstown

    Queenstown is a city many call the ‘adventure capital of the world,’ due to the popularity of high-adrenaline activities. So if you’re into the whole heart beating faster than normal thing, you’re in the right place. And if you want something a little more mellow, this city’s got that, too.

    Free time suggestions

    Burger Madness: Yes, you’re in New Zealand, so you should be trying local food. But Fergburger sells burgers that some people claim are the best in the world. So make an exception, and stop in for a life-changing culinary experience.
    Secret Garden: Slow down your pace at Queenstown Gardens, where you’ll find plenty of green things to sit on and look at. And if you feel like being more active, try your hand at frisbee golf or tennis.

  • Day 18: Travel to Rotorua

    Say “sayonara” to the South Island and head north. Rotorua is known for its geothermal geysers and very appetizing sounding hot bubbling mud pools. Later, after a day of travel, satisfy your ravenous cravings with a traditional Maori feast.

    Today's highlights:

    • Island hop from Queenstown to Rotorua via airplane (or, aeroplane, if you will).
    • Explore the sights, sounds, and strange smells of the quirky natural phenomena at Waka Geothermal Area.
    • Get a little culture with your dinner, and learn about Maori culture between mouthfuls of a traditionally prepared Hangi feast.
  • Day 19: Polynesian Spa + Travel to Auckland

    Let out a great big “ahhh” as you ease yourself into a sacred geothermal pool at the Polynesian Spa. Legend has it it can cure anything: arthritis, stress, even a hangov— um… common cold. Afterwards, you’re off to Auckland: New Zealand’s largest city.

    Today's highlights:

    • Let serenity encompass you in the healing waters of the Polynesian Spa.
    • Realign your chakras, if you’re into that kind of thing, as you unwind from a long few weeks of traveling the globe.
    • Board your bus and head north to your final destination: Auckland.
    • Get re-accustomed to big city life, then spend the rest of the day taking advantage of those amenities as you see fit.
  • Day 20: Auckland + Waiheke Island Excursion

    Auckland is New Zealand’s sleek, cosmopolitan capital, so you know what that means: eat all the food, take all the pictures, and try to wrap your mind around the fact that despite Auckland being a major city, only 5% of New Zealand’s population is human. The rest are animals. Whoa. Once you’ve got that, take a tour of the city and Waiheke Island with your Tour Director.

    Farewell Dinner
    Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

    Today's highlights:

    • Whisk your way around town on your tour of the city’s highlights.
    • Crane your neck at the 600-foot Sky Tower.
    • Take a ferry out to Waiheke Island for a tour of the coastal villas and a winetasting.
    • Return to mainland Auckland for some heavy-duty reminiscing and a three-course farewell dinner.
  • Day 21: Fly Home

    Goodbye, friends!
    Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?



    1. Double the fun
    A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

    2. Go ahead or stay behind
    Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

    Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.


Overall rating: 4.9 out of 5
Based on 24 authentic traveler reviews
  • Trip of a lifetime

      Anonymous, traveled Dec. 2023

    This was an amazing trip. It’s long and fast, so if you’re looking for something relaxed this isn’t for you. Everyday is packed with fun activities and lots to do! I will never forget this trip, and the people I met along the way made it 100x better


      Jessica, traveled Dec. 2023

    Overall great experiences especially this being my first EF ultimate tour. So much fun and adventures, going to keep memories from this trip with me for life! Justin was an amazing TD, so passionate and knowledgeable, highly recommend this Australian New Zealand experience!

  • Fav EF trip to date

      Quinn, traveled Dec. 2022

    Every day on this trip was the best day of my life. You cram SO MUCH into 3 weeks so it’s really fast paced but every moment is completely worth it and will stick with me forever. Ben was the best TD and my group’s entire energy dynamic was infectious to be around which made the trip that much better. If you’re having doubts, BOOK IT NOW

  • Overall worth it

      Kelsey, traveled Dec. 2022

    Absolutely fell in love with Australia & New Zealand. Had the best time and met some amazing people along the way! We went back to back with another group & got to meet the one and only GREGGYYY! He made this trip amazing. Wish he would’ve actually been in our group. Having 3 big groups was definitely a little too much, I think 2 groups would’ve been better.... See more

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