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.
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 Bonorong Wildlife Park awaits. Relax en route to New Zealand and cruise scenic Fiordland National Park. Upon arriving in Bluff, snap a photo of the Bluff international sign. 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.
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.
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.UNESCO site Fiordland National Park boasts many deep fjords, most notably Milford Sound. 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.
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. 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.
Benoa to Cairns - 13 Days
Natural splendors and architectural wonders beckon throughout this exceptional journey rich in expedition cruising excursions exclusive to small ports that very few other ships visit. This is small ship cruising at its best – remote islands teeming with wildlife and small villages with friendly locals. Observe Komodo dragons, wombats, koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies in their natural habitats at Komodo National Park near Loh Liang. Browse unique knit shawls and sample artisan-made nutmeg preserves among tiny shops and Portuguese colonial architecture in Ambon. Walk the gray stone battlements of Fort Belgica, the former protector of all nutmeg trade bound for Europe in the 1600s. Ride swift Zodiacs from the small port of Kokas to 35,000-year-old paintings and handprints throughout the caves and cliff walls of Andamata, globally recognized among the oldest human artwork on the planet. Snorkel amid schools of rare tropical fish and colorful, reclusive eels along the edges of the Great Barrier Reef. Gain insights on cutting-edge coral reef experiments and the latest conservation efforts from researchers at Australia’s Lizard Island Research Station.
Cairns to Sydney - 24 Days
Experience unforgettable sights and culinary delights beneath cosmopolitan skylines, inland ranges, and expansive sandy beaches along Australia’s eastern and southern shorelines. Sip full-bodied Shiraz from Barossa Valley old vines, indulge in bright Eden Valley Rieslings, and linger over floral-fragranced Tasmanian Pinot Noirs as you discover how Australian wineries lead the world in technical innovations. Cuddle up to a cute koala and dig up details on wombat burrowing instincts during a Cleland Wildlife Park visit near Adelaide. Ride into the semi-arid wilderness of the outback and admire early Aboriginal rock art among the outcroppings of Ikara-Flinders National Park. Bite into rich and juicy snags—Aussie sausages—steaming from the barbie and sample freshly shucked oysters paired with acidic local white wines at an Eden oyster farm. Take a walkabout amid the cracked walls and bleak cells in Port Arthur’s original settlement in Tasmania, an open air museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Auckland to Cairns - 25 Days
Koalas, penguins and red kangaroos abound throughout this remarkable 25-day cruise that touches the warm beaches, small villages and coastal cosmopolitan cities on New Zealand’s North and South Islands and Australia’s eastern coastline. Ride bikes through Marlborough, New Zealand’s most famous wine country, and enjoy wine tasting paired with a light private lunch sourced from local ingredients. Watch sheepdogs herd sheep on a working farm outside Christchurch. Seek out penguins, great albatross and colorful avian wildlife aboard a restored wooden launch cruising along the remote reaches of the Otago Peninsula. Observe koalas, wombats and wallabies at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary near Hobart, Tasmania. Kayak amid turquoise waves and vibrant marine life off the warm sandy tropical coast of Airlie Beach, Australia. Explore with a guide from the Kuku Yalanji tribe near Port Douglas and learn how to source food from mangroves and tidal lagoons, then examine native artifacts and hear stories about indigenous lands.
Melbourne to Benoa - 23 Days
Indulge in sunrays and fragrant tropical flowers in Asia’s hottest tropical archipelago as you discover contemporary city harbors and small port charms throughout Indonesia and Australia’s eastern and southern coastlines during this longer cruise. Sip cocktails adorned with bright blossoms and fresh fruit on a pristine Lembar, Lombok beach. Stand atop the stone battlements above Banda Neira, a former Spice Island stronghold, and imagine protecting Renaissance Europe’s entire mace and nutmeg supply. Savor the spicy deliciousness of Ayam Goreng Penyet, crunchy fried chicken crushed and mixed with chili paste. Dive or snorkel Triton Bay’s brilliant blue waters, as you swim to the center of the Coral Triangle, a region unmatched for vibrant coral and reef sea life anywhere else on our planet. Venture along the eastern Australian coast to spend days at the Great Barrier Reef, pristine beaches at Thursday Island, Airlie Beach and Fraser Island, and overnight in Sydney, a world-class city.
Auckland to Tokyo - 65 Days
Enrich your travel insights and worldview during this 65-day cruise featuring stops in coastal cities, small ports, remote villages and isolated beaches in Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Asia. Roam off-road on 4-wheeled ATVs along misty mountain trails in the picturesque New Zealand backcountry beyond Wellington. Soar in a small plane from Hobart, Tasmania to South West National Park, one of the last wilderness frontiers. Stay out late during an overnight stay in Sydney for tasty dishes like pizzas topped with smoked emu meat, or Australian lobster and grilled steaks paired with old vine Barossa Valley Shiraz. Explore Indonesian handcrafted art and everyday Bali life in Batuan Village and admire the intricate statuary adorning stately Puseh Batuan Temple. Ride the fastest elevator in the world up 89 stories to Taipei 101’s observation deck. Stroll through manicured gardens surrounding moats that elegantly enclose Himeji Castle’s ivory fortifications near Kobe.
Hong Kong to Cairns - 27 Days
Unspoiled settings and uncrowded beaches abound during this extended cruise featuring visits to China, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. Swim and sunbathe before savoring enticing, locally sourced Filipino cuisine at a Windstar Signature beach party with the scenic splendors of the Hundred Islands as your backdrop. Snorkel among coral reefs adjacent to pristine white beaches, and browse boutique shops or dine at one-of-a-kind restaurants in Boracay, a verdant, palm-lined port inaccessible to large cruise ships. Drift through murky limestone caverns sculpted by underground water near Palawan in the Philippines. Amble among brightly painted Dutch architecture and spot the lingering European influences in the former colony of Ambon, now one of Indonesia’s most culturally diverse cities. Browse armor exhibits and military artifacts that protected Thursday Island colonists for nearly two centuries. Uncover an array of environmental threats affecting the world’s coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef during a highly informative tour at Australia’s Lizard Island Research Center
Tokyo to Cairns - 39 Days
Uncover the extraordinary along the Australian and East Asian coastlines during this extensive cruise to remote beaches, iconic cities, and untouched villages throughout Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. Meditate for a moment in silence amid fragrant, wood incense in an intricately crafted shrine in Okinawa, surrounded by raked gravel beds and verdant gardens. Slip past intricately handcrafted wooden boats, sleek family pleasure craft, and placid forested shorelines during a day-long cruise of Japan’s scenic Inland Sea. Browse high-end fashions in the shadows of towering residential high-rise buildings along Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan skyline. Savor the culinary magic of an exclusive Windstar Signature Cruise barbecue on a remote stretch of beach in pristine Hundred Islands Park in the Philippines. Observe massive Komodo dragons lumbering along the gravel shores of Komodo National Park near Loh Liang, Indonesia. Drift beneath the azure waves and float amid multihued splendors of tropical fish and endangered coral reefs throughout Triton Bay.
Melbourne to Hong Kong - 39 Days
Pamper yourself and your loved ones by spending nearly a month relaxing and exploring small coastal villages, pristine sandy beaches, and historic colonial fortifications and iconic landmarks throughout China, Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines with an overnight in Sydney. Search for traces of ancient coral that shaped and nourished lush, tropical jungles thriving throughout Hundred Islands National Park. Savor a sizzling skillet of Filipino ‘sizig,’ featuring pork or chicken topped with an egg that thickens as your meal cools. Wander amid the remaining Spanish walls in Intramuros, Manila’s oldest quarter, and march across the bridge moat to the gates of Fort Santiago, a fortress occupied by four nations over 400 years. Appreciate the real meaning of remote in the villages of Indonesia. Discover the importance of the world’s dwindling coral reefs at the Lizard Island Research Center, or see firsthand with extra time to dive and snorkel above the Great Barrier Reef. Stand eye-to-unblinking eye with large sharks and rays swimming in massive windowed tanks throughout Mooloolaba’s UnderWater World, Queensland’s largest aquarium.
Osaka to Cairns - 49 Days
Ornate ancient temples, vibrant village markets, verdant jungle coastlines, and endangered exotic wildlife beckon throughout this diverse and far-ranging 49-day cruise with unforgettable stops in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia. Stand on the riverbanks of the quiet Motoyasu River, steps away from the stark skeletal girders of the Atomic Bomb Dome, the closest surviving structure to Hiroshima’s atomic attack. Savor a delicious overnight stay beneath glowing paper lanterns in the midst of a thriving evening market in Keelung, Taiwan. Ride skyward aboard the Peak Tram funicular railway to lush, green Victoria Peak high above Hong Kong’s contemporary skyline. Lose yourself in the serenity of remote Indonesian islands. Sample rich and crunchy lumpia, spicy garlic adobo and sip tart, ginger-infused fish tinoloa broth served up by Manila’s street vendors. Meet oceanographers and gain insights on the future of Great Barrier Reef and Pacific Ocean marine life at the Lizard Island Research Station in Australia.
Auckland to Melbourne - 14 Days
Wines, wilderness and wildlife—iconic hallmarks throughout Australian and New Zealand scenic coastlines—are yours to explore during this 2-week cruise crossing the Tasman Sea. Browse specialty food shops and sample seasonal fruit and artisan cheeses at popular local eateries during a Tauranga foodie tour. Glide a sleek sea kayak amid seals and aquatic birds in the stunning natural beauty of the Marlborough Sounds near Picton. Venture among The Lord of the Rings film settings during a tour outside Wellington. Savor bright, South Island Sauvignon Blanc white wines and the red fruit flavors of Waipara Pinot Noirs while taking in vineyard views during a wine tour outside Lyttelton. Sail across Halfmoon Bay to the remote Mutton Bird Islands for glimpses of terns, yellow-eyed penguins and curious seals near Oban. Nibble on local chocolates, cheeses and truffles while admiring local artisan artistry on a delicious Tasmanian tour of Hobart’s seaside shops. Depart from convenient Melbourne, but not before capturing a penguin parade on Phillip Island