Auckland to Bali (Benoa)
PRISTINE AUSTRALIAN PEAKS | 18 NIGHTS | DEPARTS MAR 6, 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, “The City Of Sails”, is spread over a narrow isthmus between the sparkling waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours on New Zealand’s North Island. It earns its sobriquet from having more boats per capita than any other city in the world. The first settlers here were the Maori, and are still a vibrant component of its cosmopolitan population. Auckland offers the visitor all the amenities of a world-class city. Browse the shops of Queen Street or the Parnell area with its galleries and boutiques in quaintly restored Victorian buildings. For a magnificent panorama of the city travel to Mount Eden, the city’s highest point, or visit the Skytower for loftier views. Minutes from downtown you can relax on a black sand beach, or explore the America’s Cup Yachting Village. Further afield there are the spectacular pine-clad Waitakere Mountains, the amazing Waitomo Glowworm Caves and the verdant vineyards of Kumeu River Wines.
One of the liveliest, must-see cities of the Pacific Rim, Sydney humbly began life as a British penal colony in 1788. Among the colorful characters in its early history was William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame who was deposed as governor during the Rum Rebellion of 1808. In 1852, with the discovery of gold in the interior, Sydney became a thriving port of the Victorian Empire. Today, Sydney looks to the future, its skyline crowned by the graceful billowing sails of its famed Opera House. Visitors can get a glimpse of the past along the narrow, twisting streets of the Rocks, Sydney’s restored historical district and for the adventurous, the Sydney bridge climb will reward you with panoramic views of the city and harbor. Excursions can reveal the spectacular, untamed beauty of the Blue Mountains with a ride on the worlds steepest perpendicular railway; or get up close and personal with Australia’s charming wildlife at the Koala Park Sanctuary, then end your day with a refreshing stop at a traditional Aussie pub.
Bali (Benoa), Indonesia
Once a simple fishing village grown into an upscale destination, Benoa’s charms are most evident in Nusa Dua, one of the most beautiful beaches in already-legendary Bali. In this land of rice terraces, spectacular volcanoes and over 20,000 temples , the main destination is the 17th-century royal temple complex of Pura Taman Ayun in nearby Mengwi, surrounded by a lotus- filled moat, giving it the feel of a garden sanctuary. Highlights include elaborate wood carvings of Balinese deities and tranquil pavilions. Another favorite is the Sunset Temple, Tanah Lot, dramatically perched on a rocky outcrop, making for an ideal photo opportunity. And don’t miss the batik factories for that perfect gift or souvenir.