On this 10-day vacation from Air New Zealand Vacations, you’ll split your time between Auckland, New Zealand’s largest metropolis, and Cairns—Australia’s most-popular jumping-off point for exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
Located at the base of a wide cape in northern Australia, Cairns is the most-popular jumping-off point for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. Thanks to its northern latitude, the area is a balmy, tropical paradise. Australia’s winter (June through August) brings cool breezes and clear skies, making it one of the best times to visit the Great Barrier Reef. This vacation includes a snorkeling trip at the reef, which supports one of the world’s most-diverse ecosystems. The reef is home to 1,800 species of fish, 125 types of shark, and 350 different kinds of coral.
Your trip begins in the New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, which is situated on the North Island. An included tour introduces you to the so-called “City of Sails,” named for its abundance of yachts and boats (some say the city has world’s highest boats per capita). Spend the remainder of your three days exploring on your own; you can surf at Piha Beach or see the black-sand beaches and waterfalls in the Waitakere Ranges.
Each night, rest up at the Mercure Auckland, situated in the heart of the city’s bustling waterfront district.