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HOBBIT: New Zealand and Green Island
November 9 – 24, 2012

AUSTRALIA Total Solar 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. And perhaps most beautiful of all, where the Southern Lakes give way to beech forests, a region of awesome fiords.

Your Tour Includes:

  • Roundtrip international airfare from Los Angeles & Australia domestic airfare
  • First Class and Luxury Accommodations
  • Meals: All breakfasts, Eclipse Bar-B-Que, 2 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
    • Green Island Resort: Welcome Sunset Drinks, Glass bottom boat tour, Snorkelling equipment, windsurfers, surf skis, & canoes, Rainforest walks & night nature walks, World’s oldest Underwater Observatory, Daily windsurfing instruction
    • 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 with Green Island

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.
Pacific International Cairns

Monday, November 12, 2012 Green Island Resort
After breakfast transfer to the wharf for your cruise to Green Island Resort. Relax in the privacy of your accommodations. Enjoy the resort's amenities such as massage, swim, snorkelling, and nature walks.
Green Island Resort

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 Green Island Resort
Another day in paradise.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 ECLIPSE – Green Island Resort
Preparations are made for the eclipse viewing. An Australian Bar-B-Que will celebrate the day.

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

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

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

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

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 

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.

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

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

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

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.