Experience Unique Wildlife, Sealife & So Much More
Explore Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania by land and sea, and you’ll discover a whole new meaning to the term wild life—including a memorable sunset penguin parade on Australia’s Philip Island. Windstar gets you up close and personal with countless species from wombats, dingoes, kangaroos and wallabies to wedge-tailed shearwaters, black swans, manta rays, and killer whales—you can even hug a koala in Mooloolaba. But that’s just the beginning. This unique region offers up icons like the Great Barrier Reef, the famed Sydney Opera House, Kangaroo Island’s Remarkable Rocks, Freycinet National Park’s Wineglass Bay, Fjordland National Park, and the home of The Hobbit. Windstar also takes you down the road less traveled to immerse you in the area’s intriguing convict history, traditional Maori culture, and incredible wine country. Sip your way from Australia’s Barossa and Yarra Valleys to New Zealand’s esteemed Marlborough region and the Gisborne wine trail. Wine, wildlife and natural wonders await you Down Under.
Cairns to Benoa - 16 Days
Arrive early in Cairns to allow extra time to wander the Cairns Esplanade, explore the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Daintree National Park, and experience the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef—one of the largest, most diverse ecosystems on the planet and the world’s only natural wonder visible from space. Thursday Island offers the adventure of a wet landing and an introduction to the indigenous Torres Strait Islanders. Cultural exploration continues in Yirrkala, an Aboriginal artisan city where bark paintings, weaving and some of the finest Didgeridoos abound. In the cosmopolitan city of Darwin, don’t miss Mindil Beach, Kakadu National Park, and Crocosaurus Cove, home to turtles, water buffalo and saltwater crocodiles. Cross the Timor Sea to Kupang, Indonesia where friendly locals delight in showing their tenun ikat woven cloths and secluded beaches. Expand your idea of color upon entering Ende, Flores. This small hidden harbor is the launch point to visit Mount Kelimutu volcano with its mysterious 3-color crater lakes and Blue Stone Beach, known for its gorgeous multi-colored rocks.
Auckland to Auckland - 15 Days
Your adventure begins in Auckland. Stake out must-sees from 1,076-feet in the air at Sky Tower. Enter the yachters’ beloved Mercury Bay to explore beautiful beaches or try game fishing. An overnight in Wellington offers a chance to explore the Te Papa Maori cultural museum, gorgeous beaches, and a waterfront promenade. In Christchurch, visit Hagley Park Botanic Gardens and punt on the Avon River. Stroll Baldwin Street in Dunedin, designated a UNESCO City of Literature. On Stewart Island, see parakeets, tui and kiwi birds, and paddle picturesque bays. Freycinet National Park boasts pink granite peaks, iconic Wineglass Bay, and beautiful black swans. Spend a relaxing day at sea on the way to Picton, where fantastic hiking, biking and the exceptional sauvignon blancs of the Marlborough Region await. In Kaikoura, witness sperm whales, fur seals, and dolphins, and try local crayfish. New Zealand is teeming with sheep; find some of the country’s most beautiful Merino wool creations in Napier. Unveil the underlying Maori culture in Gisborne, and walk the wine trail. Tauranga’s sparkling harbor and blue skies welcome you to the home of The Hobbit and leave a lasting impression before your voyage concludes in Auckland.
Noumea to Cairns - 7 Days
Before embarking on your journey across the Coral Sea, spend the day exploring Noumea, New Caledonia. The World War II headquarters for the U.S. military in the South Pacific, Noumea offers history and a warm, welcoming atmosphere in addition to magnificent beaches and incredible views from several of the city’s bays. Consider a visit to the Aquarium des Lagoons, Noumea Cathedral, Coconut Palm Square or Jean-Marie Tijbaou Cultural Center. Then prepare to sit back, relax and feel the calming rhythm of life at sea with no interruptions. Time at sea aboard what feels like your own private yacht, relaxes and rejuvenates in preparation for adventure ahead in Australia. Upon arriving in Cairns, plan for extra time to wander the Cairns Esplanade, explore the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, discover the beautiful gorges, beaches and mountainous rainforest of Daintree National Park, and experience the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef.
Cairns to Melbourne - 11 Days
Whether you prefer to snorkel or witness vibrant marine life from the comfort of a glass bottom boat, dive into your Eastern Australian adventure at the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef—accessible from Cairns and Port Douglas. Watch for wedge-tailed shearwaters, sooty terns, and noodies as we pass Willis Island, and fall in love with Whitehaven Beach where you’ll experience an unforgettable Windstar complimentary barbecue complete with fish feeding, hiking, volleyball, cricket, and rugby—a few Aussie favorites. Feel the rich maritime history the minute you step onto remote Middle Percy Island and experience rugged Fraser Island with a dip in picturesque Lake McKenzie or a drive on 75 Mile Beach, a veritable beach highway home to dingoes and birds of prey. Cuddle a koala at the Australia Zoo in Mooloolaba where the family of the late Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter, preserves his memory today. An overnight in Sydney brings opportunities to explore the famed Opera House, bustling Sydney Harbour, iconic Bondi Beach, and The Rocks, the birthplace of modern Sydney. Wake up and take in Melbourne and its insatiable thirst for artisan coffees, boutique gin and whisky distilleries, and the Yarra Valley’s famous Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wine.
Auckland to Sydney - 14 Days
Hailed as one of the world’s most livable cities, Auckland offers up Maori history, urban adventure, and natural wonders. In Christchurch, the Gateway to Antarctica, tour the International Antarctic Centre. Stroll Baldwin Street in Dunedin, designated a UNESCO City of Literature, and grab binoculars and swimsuits for birdwatching and kayak adventures on picturesque Stewart Island. For your New Zealand finale, find your perch up on deck for cruising Fiordland National Park to spot takahe and kakapo birds, bottlenose dolphins, seals, and penguins. An overnight in Melbourne offers time to venture out to the Yarra Valley for wine tasting, or stroll the cobbled laneways of the “Garden City” to sample fine food and boutique gin and whisky. The hidden harbor on Phillip Island brings a unique opportunity to celebrate your journey with the sunset Penguin Parade. Enjoy a day at sea before embarking on Eden, where you can feast on fresh, local seafood and explore its towering lighthouse. Sail into Sydney Harbor for a swan song at the Opera House.
Melbourne to Sydney - 13 Days
Feel the pulse of Australia in Melbourne; wander cobbled laneways to discover local art, artisan coffee, and local distilleries. The Barossa Valley outside Adelaide beckons you to taste your way through Australia’s wine country while Kangaroo Island’s Remarkable Rocks and Admiral Arch offer opportunities to see wildlife roam free against an incredible backdrop. While at sea watch for blue whales as gannet dive deep in pursuit of underwater prey. Visit Port Arthur’s museum—once a 19th century penal settlement, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in the picturesque harbor of Hobart tucked beneath Mount Wellington and prepare your senses for the lively Salamanca Market and old growth forests at the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness. Pink granite peaks and Wineglass Bay are the pride of Freycinet National Park; swim, snorkel, and see black swans. From Launceston, venture to Cataract Gorge for panoramic views and return to Tamar River to sip sparkling wine. Phillip Island’s sunset penguin parade is truly a sight to see, as are the Australian fur seals and koalas. The wildlife journey continues in Eden, known for its Killer Whales. The swan song in Sydney brings a bustling harbor, and of course, the iconic Opera House.
Sydney to Auckland - 15 Days
Start your adventure in Sydney by getting your feet wet at Bondi Beach and visiting the Opera House. On Christmas Day, embark on Phillip Island where hundreds of penguins come ashore at sunset. From Melbourne, head to Yarra Valley to taste exquisite local wines. Retreat to nature in Launceston, famous for its Cataract Gorge; or sip sparkling wine along the Tamar River. Explore Freycinet National Park’s pink granite peaks and snorkel in secluded bays. Sail into Tasmania’s picturesque Hobart Harbor tucked beneath Mount Wellington where the lively Salamanca Market and Bonorong Wildlife Park await. Relax en route to New Zealand and cruise scenic Fiordland National Park. Upon arriving in Bluff, snap a photo of the Bluff international sign and sample world-renowned Bluff oysters. Discover Dunedin’s Scottish and Maori heritage and Edwardian architecture. From Lyttelton, ride a double-decker bus to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre or spend the afternoon punting on the Avon River. Wellington invites food lovers to taste their way through town, or venture out to the famous site of the Lord of the Rings. Set sail for the finale in Auckland, where the 1000-ft Sky Tower offers views of the city’s natural beauty and urban landscape.