Pre-trips to Cairns and/or Sydney Australia - New Zealand (Base Trip) - Post-trip to Fiji
Trip Chair: Tere Mayne
New Zealand is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, located in the south westernmost part of Polynesia. New Zealand is a remote land and one of the last sizable territories suitable for habitation to be populated and settled. It lies more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Australia, which is its nearest neighbor. The country comprises two main islands—the North and South islands—and a number of small islands, some of them hundreds of miles from the main group. The capital city is Wellington and the largest urban area Auckland, which is where we will fly into and the countries largest port. We will spend the first part of our trip here. Both cities are located on the North Island.
New Zealand is a land of great contrasts and diversity. Here you will find active volcanoes, spectacular caves, deep glacier lakes, verdant valleys, dazzling fjords, long sandy beaches, and the spectacular snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the South Island—all contribute to New Zealand’s scenic beauty. New Zealand also has a unique array of vegetation and animal life, much of which developed during the country’s prolonged isolation. It is the sole home, for example, of the long-beaked, flightless kiwi - the ubiquitous nickname for New Zealanders.
The hotel is located in the city center near some of the city’s finest dining, shopping and entertainment venues. Also nearby are landmark venues e.g. The Civic, Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square, the city's largest outdoor civic space where you can relax and often attend local events. It’s a 452 stylish hotel with a smart design, chic decor, floor to ceiling windows for natural light and modern amenities. It has many quality facilities you can take advantage of during your stay, whether it’s enjoying a swim in the heated indoor pool or savoring a delicious teppanyaki meal at Katsura Japanese Restaurant. We will be provided fully-cooked breakfast daily at the hotel.
During our transfer from the airport to our hotel we will have a 1/2 day city tour. We will also spend a full day touring Waiheke Island by boat and bus that will include lunch and a wine tasting (round trip transfer included).
Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand is one of the most successful movie sagas Lord Of The Rings was mainly filmed in New Zealand, whose rich nature offers a variety of differing sites. Hobbiton was a set, built for the movie. However, after the filming was finished somebody got the idea to leave this Hobbit village as the tourist attraction - aren't we glad they did!
The “Maori Experience” is a hangi (earth oven feast) coupled with a song-and-dance performance. The hangi is the traditional Maori method of cooking. A large pit is filled with a wood fire topped by stones; when the stones are heated through, baskets of food are placed on top and covered with damp cloths. Earth is then shoveled over to create a natural oven. After about 3 hours, dinner is unveiled, with intermingling flavors of various foods lightly touched by wood smoke. Not all hangi are this authentic—indeed, many hotel hangi are now steamed for health and safety requirements.
Queenstown: After 2 nights in Rotorua we will take a motor coach to the Auckland airport to fly to Queenstown where we will stay 5 nights at the 4-Star Novotel Lakeside Hotel . Our stay will include a fully-cooked breakfast daily. All rooms are equipped with coffee/tea makers (see website for more details). The hotel property is just 15 minutes from the airport and located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with fine dining close by. We will have a welcome party and dinner buffet at the Skyline Gondola with wine, beer, soft drinks.
We will cruise across the Lake Wakatipu on the steamship TSS Earnslaw to enjoy a BBQ dinner at the Walter Peak Colonel's Estate. It’s one of the best ways to see Queenstown’s surrounding landscape aboard the iconic century-old coal fired steamship. The leisurely 90 minute cruise across Lake Wakatipu showcases some of Queenstown’s spectacular alpine scenery.
The 106 year old TSS Earnslaw was commissioned by New Zealand Railways to service the communities around Lake Wakatipu. Launched on October 18, 1812. Known as The Lady of the Lake, she provided an essential link between the isolated farming communities along the lake and the outside world. At 48 metres long, she was the biggest boat on the lake and carried passengers, sheep, cattle, mail and supplies.
For those extending your stay to experience the beautiful beaches and natural beauty of Fiji, you will fly from Queenstown to Auckland where you will change to Fiji Airways to arrive at Nadi International Airport on October 15. You will fly back to LAX via Fiji Airways. (Flights and upgrades on Fiji Airways will be confirmed by mid November.)
Pre-Trip to Australia - 2 Options
What would a write up for a trip to Australia be without starting out with a pic of a Koala Bear? Check out this National Geographic brief video on them. If you didn't already know they're an arboreal herbivorous marsupial not a bear. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.
Option 1 (Sydney Only) - October 01-15
We fly into Auckland from the US then on to Sydney via Air New Zealand then transfer to hotel with orientation tour enroute. It includes 3 nights at the 4-Star Holiday Inn Old Sydney. There will be breakfast daily at the hotel. Includes a Sydney Harbour Coffee Cruise. Additional itinerary items to be announced. Transfer to Sydney Airport included with driver/guide. Return flight to Auckland on Air New Zealand.
Option 2 (Cairns & Sydney) - September 27 to October 15, 2023
We fly into Auckland from the US then on to Cairns via Virgin Australia and transfer with driver/guide between Cairns Airport and hotel. Return flight to Auckland on Air New Zealand. We will have 3 nights accommodations in Cairns at the 4-Star Pullman Cairns International Hotel. Breakfast will be provided daily at the hotel. Transfer from hotel to Cairns airport included.
We will have a Full Day cruise to the Great Barrier Reef that includes lunch and snorkeling. There will also be a Full Day tour to Kuranda Rain Forest and National Park with BBQ lunch. We will also enjoy a Sydney Harbour Coffee Cruise.
Within the GBR there are some 2,500 individual reefs of varying sizes and shapes, and over 900 islands, ranging from small sandy cays and larger vegetated cays, to large rugged continental islands rising, in one instance, over 1,100 metres (684’) above sea level. Collectively these landscapes and seascapes provide some of the most spectacular maritime scenery in the world.
Post Trip - Fiji - October 15-19 - 4 nights
Welcome to the Republic of Fiji located in the South Pacific about 1,300 miles Northeast of New Zealand's North Island. The capital of Fiji is Suvu, which also serves as the country's principal cruise ship port. About 3/4 of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coast, either in Suvu or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount.
has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific thanks to its
abundant forest, mineral, and fish resources. Its currency is the Fijian dollar, and its main sources of foreign exchange
are its tourist industry, remittances from Fijians
working, and bottled water exports. It has a population of almost 900,000. The
local currency is the Fiji dollar and the official language is English.
Almost half of Fiji’s total area
remains forested, while dry grasslands are found in western areas of the large
islands. Coconut palms are common in coastal areas, and almost all tropical
fruits and vegetables can be grown. Much of the shoreline is composed of reefs
and rocks, while mangrove swamps are found on eastern coasts. There are few
white-sand swimming beaches and, because of the encircling reef, little surf.
Most animals, including pigs, dogs, cattle, and a few horses, are domesticated.
You must be a current Austin Skiers Member to join a trip.
All prices are subject to change until transportation is confirmed and/or exchange rates are set
Prices are per person, double occupancy unless noted as a single supplement.
BASE TRIP - New Zealand
(9 nights = 2 Auckland, 2 Rotorua, 5 Queenstown)
Full Trip pp $4,687 Ground Only $2,723 Single Supplement add $1,682
Pre-trip: Cairns & Sydney, Australia
(4 nts Cairns, 3 nts Sydney)
September 27 to October 15
Double Occupancy Add: $1,925
Pre-trip: Sydney, Australia (3 nights)
Double Occupancy Add: $857
Post -trip: Nadi, Fiji (4 nights)
Ocean Breeze Double Add: - $788
Ocean View Double Add: $919
Ocean View Single Add: $1,418
Ocean Front Double Add: $1,050
Ocean Front Single Add: $1,649
Payment schedule: $1,400 deposit due upon registration.
2nd payment due Jan. 6, 2023: $2,500
Final Payment Due June 1, 2023
Before June 2, 2023 $50pp*
June 3-Aug. 2, 2023 $200pp*
After Aug 3- Sep 1, 2023: up to 50%*
No refunds after Sep 1. 2023
*Plus any unrecoverable expenses to Austin Skiers.
HTrip Insurance with Medical and Evacuation coverage is recommended for all travelers. Visit Austin Skiers Trip Insurance Resources
AIR PRICES and SCHEDULES TO BE CONFIRMED SOON.
Air Upgrades: Available on trans-pacific flights only. Based on availability. 1st come/1st served. Air Prices subject to change.
*Skycouch and Premium Economy are
NOT available on Fiji Post-trip*
1 on sky couch to NZ only +$1,475 pp**
1 on sky couch RT, NZ only +$2,950 pp**
2 sharing 1 sky couch NZ only +$750 pp**
Premium economy to NZ +$1,718pp (1-way)**
Business Premier NZ only (RT) +$5,765 pp
$1,400 DEPOSIT REQUIRED
MAKE ALL CHECK(s) PAYABLE TO AUSTIN SKIERS AND MAIL to Tere Mayne per registration instructions.
Final payment due June 1, 2023. if you wish to pay any portion of your trip by credit card your Trip Leader will work with our Treasurer to generate a PayPal invoice for you to pay. A 3.5% handling fee will apply.
* If you choose to pay your trip via credit card tell your trip chair so that an invoice can be generated via PayPal. (A 3.5% merchant fee will be applied.)
*A passport is required for this trip. You will need your passport number and expiration date to register. It needs to be VALID 6 months beyond the return date of the tour (Exp dates: Apr. 16, 2024 or Apr. 20, 2024)
VISA Requirements: Each trip participant is responsible for filing for online VISAs required to enter Australia (~$101) and New Zealand (~$22). These costs are extra, and not included in trip prices. Based on current exchange rate and susceptible to change.
Families can register together to receive 1 invoice: At the bottom of the registration form, click "Add Guest" to register your family member`