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HOBBIT: Australia Total Solar Eclipse Cairns & New Zealand November 9 - 24, 2012

AUSTRALIA Total Eclipse 2012

Dramatic seashores, unchanged from the day they were first sighted by Polynesian and European voyagers. The South Island offers the stark beauty of the Southern Alps, whose glaciers plunge into the tangled forests of the West Coast , to the canyons and rivers of Otago. Perhaps the most beautiful of all, where the Southern Lakes give way to beech forests, is the region of awesome fjords.

Your Tour Includes:

  • Roundtrip international airfare from Los Angeles & Australia domestic airfare
  • First-Class Accomodations
  • Meals: All breakfasts, Eclipse Bar-B-Que, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners with wine
  • Hotel Porterage
  • Welcome Reception in Cairns
  • Astronomical lectures, eclipse glasses, star parties
  • English speaking meet and greet guides
  • Air-Conditioned, deluxe coach with professional commentary driver
  • Document packet
  • All sightseeing and transfer services as specified
    • Cairns: Daintree River Excursion, Full day Great Barrier Reef Excursion, Cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong, Glass bottom boat on Upolu Cay, Snorkel drift with a Marine Naturalist
    • Tranz Alpine: Scenic rail journey between Christchurch - Greymouth
    • Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin, Mt. Cook National Park
    • Queenstown: Skyline Gondola ride and TSS Earnslaw cruise
    • Milford Sound: Scenic cruise

HOBBIT Itinerary

Friday/Sunday, November 09/11, 2012 | USA – Cairns, Australia
Depart from your USA gateway for your flight to Australia. Cross the International dateline and lose a day but you will gain it on the return.
Novotel Oasis Cairns or Pacific International Cairns

Monday, November 12, 2012 | Cairns
Depart our hotel and board our Great Barrier Reef vessel. Enjoy the one and half hour cruise to Upolu Cay on the Great Barrier Reef of turquoise water and many types of corals, reef fishes, stingrays, cucumbers, and sea stars. Lunch is served as we cruise to our second site, the "Wonder Wall" on the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef. View many different types of hard and soft coral in addition to fans, giant clams, turtles, and a huge diversity of reef fish of all sizes.
B/L

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | Cairns
This morning we depart our hotel with Adventure North. Learn about our area's rich Aboriginal history and culture with the Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours combined with the oldest living rainforest on the planet including the spectacular Niau Falls. Walk with brothers, Brandan and Linc Walker on pristine Cooya Beach and learn how observe wildlife through the mangroves.  Enjoy morning tea as the Walker boys show and explain artifacts, tools, or how to play a didgeridoo.  We continue north to the Daintree Village for an hour Daintree River Cruise.
B/L

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | ECLIPSE – Green Island
Depart from hotel early morning to Cairns Wharf where you will board a large catamaran for the cruise to Green Island. On completion of the eclipse event, sail back to Cairns. The remainder of the day is at leisure prior to the Australian Bar-B-Que tonight.
Bar-B-Que

Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Cairns – Sydney                
Transfer from our hotel to Cairns airport for your flight to Sydney. Transfer to The Grace Hotel.  Afternoon and evening at leisure. 
The Grace Hotel
B

Friday, November 16, 2012 | Sydney – Christchurch, New Zealand
Transfer from our hotel to Sydney International Airport for your flight to New Zealand. 
Heartland Hotel Cotswold
B

Saturday, November 17, 2012 | Christchurch – Franz Josef   
Following breakfast passengers will be collected and transferred to the Christchurch Railway Station.  The Tranz Alpine train journey travels New Zealand’s coast/coast of 140 miles and takes 4 ½ hours.  View the fields of Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to Greymouth, where you continue along the rugged west coast to Franz Josef Glacier. 
Franz Josef Glacier Hotel
B/D  

Sunday, November 18, 2012 | Franz Joseph                    
Enjoy a walk on the impressive terrain of the lower reaches of Franz Josef Glacier. Continue through regenerating rainforest along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain the unique features of the glacier.
Franz Josef Glacier Hotel
B/D

Monday, November 19, 2012 | Franz Joseph –  Queenstown         
This morning enjoy time at Franz Josef before proceeding southbound to Queenstown.  Enjoy the scenic drive to Queenstown, which has captured hearts since the first Maori came in search of greenstone or jade and hunt the giant Moa bird.  Upon arrival into Queenstown passengers will be transported to the Skyline Gondola to enjoy beautiful views of Queenstown. 
Heartland Hotel 
B/D

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Queenstown                                                      
An evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw followed by dining at the Colonel's Homestead at Walter Peak is the perfect way to end an action-packed day in and around Queenstown.  After dinner, an entertaining farm demonstration provides a glimpse into high country farming life.  On your return TSS Earnslawcruise, enjoy a drink in the saloon, join a sing-along with the ship’s pianist, or take a stroll on the moonlit decks. The views on the return cruise as the lights of Queenstown draw nearer are simply magical.
B/D

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | Queenstown – Milford Sound – Te Anau              
Today we head for the simply stunning, Milford Sound.  In Maori legend, the fiords were created not by rivers of ice, but by Tu Te Raki Whanoa, a godly figure who came wielding a magical adze and uttering incantations.  Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) is without doubt his finest sculpture.
Between Te Ana and Milford is exceptional scenery ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields.  
Distinction Luxmore Hotel
B/D

Thursday, November 22, 2012 | Te Anau – Dunedin                                
After breakfast the journey continues today to the city of Dunedin.  Howard McGrouther established a conservation project of breeding pairs of Yellow-eyed Penguins.  Enjoy a guided tour through the colony for some close-up viewing of the birds.   Covered trenches and observation huts will hide us so the penguins will not be frightened and can be observed going about their daily business.  Visit the Larnach Castle with its magnificent carved ceilings, New Zealand antiques, and gardens. 
Victoria Hotel 
B

Friday, November 23, 2012 | Dunedin – Mt. Cook – Lake Tekapo                     
Following breakfast this morning passengers will board their coach for the journey today, which will take them through to the centre of the South Island and the Mount Cook National Park.  Aoraki/Mount Cook is New Zealand's alpine park with the highest mountains and largest glaciers.  
The Hermitage Hotel
B/L

Saturday, November 24, 2012 | Lake Tekapo – Christchurch - USA                                
Following breakfast after exploring the region board the coach for return journey to Christchurch and flights onward or extend Down Under.
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