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After earning a ton of points in 2015, we are finally getting around to some big trip redemptions in 2016. We visited Europe back in March. So, for our second big trip of the year, Brooke and I decided to visit Australia and New Zealand. We added a layover in Beijing on the return. This page will serve as a table of contents for the entire trip. If you are considering a trip to any/all of these destinations, our experiences can help craft your itinerary.
We will provide all of our logistics and costs (points and/or cash). We will review all of our accommodations, except for the two nights we stayed with friends. Finally, we will recommend some awesome tours we enjoyed, provide the top 10 things to know, and give you some suggestions for a packing list. Bookmark this page, because we will update with links as we add new posts. Enjoy!
Complete Trip Logistics
This trip included a few different airlines to hop around Australia and New Zealand! We rented a car in Queenstown, which allowed us to plan our own itinerary and take some beautiful, scenic drives around the mountains and lakes. The table below lists out our costs in cash/points/miles for all methods of transportation.
This post provides more information on how we booked the award flights listed below.
Top Ten Tips for Australia and New Zealand
Cairns – Hotel Spotlight: Doubletree by Hilton Cairns
- Day 2 – Qantas Business Class & Exploring Cairns
- Day 3 – Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef with Reef Experience
- Day 4 – Daintree Rainforest, Mossman Gorge, & Cape Tribulation with Discovery Tours
Queenstown – Hotel Spotlight: Doubletree by Hilton Queenstown
- Day 7 – Hiking Queenstown Hill & Eating Fergburgers
- Day 8 – Biking the Wineries with Around the Basin Tours
- Day 9 – Milford Sound Day Tour with Fiordland Tours & Glowworm Caves
- Day 10 – Golf at Jack’s Point
- Day 11 – Scenic Drives, Lupin Spotting, and Cardrona Distillery
Sydney – Hotel Spotlight: Park Hyatt Sydney
- Day 12 – 6-Course Dinner at the Park Hyatt Sydney
- Day 13 – Free Walking Tour, Opera House, Bridge Climb, Exotic Dinner
- Day 14 – Exploring Sydney
- Day 15 – Exploring Sydney and Departing for Melbourne
- Day 16 – Great Ocean Road Tour with the Little Penguin Bus
- Day 17 – Exploring Melbourne and Departing for Home
- Day 18/19 – Air China Return Flight & Beijing Layover Tour
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