AACI Australia and New Zealand   

30 January 2018 - 27 February 2018
Locations: Auckland, Cairns, Christchurch, Melbourne, Queenstown, Sydney, Wellington
AACI Australi * New Zealand

Coming 2018: A trip of a lifetime awaits! As the planet heats up environmentally and politically, it’s good to know that New Zealand exists. This uncrowded, green, peaceful and accepting country is considered the ultimate escape!

Sample itinerary – subject to change:
Australia is a land of savage beauty, big adventure and even bigger horizons. To top it all, its major cities are outstanding destinations in their own right.

Day 1: – Tel Aviv-Hong Kong-Auckland

Day 2: – Auckland
Upon arrival we will begin our orientation tour with a visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, one of New Zealand’s most important museums and war memorials whose collections concentrate on New Zealand history, natural history, as well as military history. Next stop is Auckland Sky Tower for an amazing view of the city! Our day ends with dinner, and an early rest!
Kabbalat Shabbat, candle lighting, Tfillot and dinner.
Overnight in Auckland

Day 3: – Auckland
We deserve a relaxing day. Shabbat will include Tfillot, Seudat Shabbat and an afternoon walk around the Harbor.
Overnight in Auckland

Day 4:  – Auckland
We continue sightseeing the surrounding Islands of Auckland. Our morning starts with a ferry ride past Rangitoto and other harbor islands, where we view the volcanic scenery from up close. Our ferry ride continues to Waiheke Island where we’ll board a bus to tour the island, including its beautiful beaches, vineyards, and quaint towns. Return via ferry to Auckland.
Overnight in Auckland

Day 5:  -Waitomo caves & Rotorua
Our morning starts with a farewell to Auckland and a drive to Waitomo Glowworm Cave which is considered one of the highlights of the area. We will enjoy a boat ride in this underground wonder illuminated by thousands of glowworms.
After our exciting visit, we continue on to Rotorua known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing the fascinating Maori culture. As evening approaches, we will pay a visit to the Polynesian hot pools, an experience that will certainly leave us relaxed!
Overnight in Rotorua

Day 6:  – Rotorua
Today features volcanoes, geysers, thermal baths and more. We start the day with a visit to Wai-O-Tapu, a wonderland of geothermal activity which can be viewed from very well maintained walking paths. Driving on to Waimangu Volcanic Valley, where we’ll take a walk through the youngest volcanic valley in the world, formed in 1886 as a result of the eruption of Mt Tarawera. We will walk along a hot steaming river, bubbling geysers, colorful mineral lakes and down to a crater lake.

It’s time for some local culture! Continue to Wakarewarewa, the living Maori village,  Te Puia and Maori cultural center, in order to understand the culture of these indigenous peoples. The village is also home to the tallest geyser in the world – the Pohuto, which we will watch in awe. We finish our adventure with ancient Māori cooking techniques and witness geothermal cuisine up close at Ngararatuatara – the natural cooking pool (kosher!). We will also enjoy an authentic Maori cultural performance – Te Ra and Te Po.
Overnight in Rotorua

Day 7: – Rotorua – Taupo – Tongariro
Bidding farewell to Rotorua, we will drive to the powerful Aratiatia Dam, and geothermal power station.
Explore the area of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in Australasia, which is a result of a massive eruption 5000 years ago. Whilst here, we’ll visit the wonderful Huka Falls, a thundering 11 meter high waterfall which is the most visited and photographed natural attraction in New Zealand. We will enjoy an afternoon boat ride on the lake to visit ancient Maori rock carvings.
Overnight in Tongariro

Day 8:  – Tongariro National Park
Today we will enter the heart of the volcanic region – the Tongariro National Park featuring 3 active volcanoes and a myriad of Maori religious sites. The highlight of our day is the epic flight over the volcanoes!
Overnight in Tongariro

Day 9:  – Wellington
Drive to the capital Wellington and continue through the city for an orientation tour, including the parliament and Mount Victoria for the best views of the city! We’ll take a cable car ride up to the botanic gardens, and back down to the center of town.
Candle lighting, Kabbalat Shabbat at the synagogue. Dinner (15 minute walk away)
Overnight in Wellington

Day 10: – in Wellington
Enjoy a relaxing morning including Tfillot and Seduat Shabbat with the local Jewish community.
In the afternoon, if you choose, we will enjoy a guided tour of the Te Papa museum, the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand.
Overnight in Wellington

Day 11: – Nelson
Bid farewell to Wellington and board the ferry to Picton, crossing Cook Strait, which lies between the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
We will stop for lunch in Picton overlooking Marlborough Sounds then continue our day through scenic routes, stopping to visit a kosher winery.
We then continue to Queen Charlotte Road, a 40-kilometer winding road fringed with native forest offering one of the most scenic drives you’re likely to encounter.
Overnight in Nelson

Day 12:  – Abel Tasman – Nelson
Today is devoted to Abel Tasman National Park, renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and its world-famous coast track. Our day, among other activities, includes a boat ride to Tonga island seal colony, and a marvelous hike in the park (easy walking track!).
Overnight in Nelson

Day 13: – Punakaiki
Drive through Nelson Lakes National Park, an enchanting alpine landscape of rugged peaks, forests and stunning glacial lakes, and home to the beginning of the Southern Alps. We’ll visit Buller Gorge and the longest swing bridge in New Zealand (360 feet long). We continue on to Westport to see our old friends at the Seal Colony, including a short walk. Drive through spectacular coast line and Paparoa National park – where we will gaze in wonder at the Punakaiki pancake rocks and blowholes, where columns of water shoot skyward from rocks that resemble giant stacks of hotcakes!
Overnight in Punakaiki

Day 14:  – Franz Josef
Driving south along the west coast, including short hike through Hokitika canyon, which provides excellent views of the area. We continue to a second highlight of the trip, the “Franz Josef” Glacier, considered the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand! Our time with the Glacier begins with a short flight over as well as a walk on the glacier. This will surely be one of the more memorable parts of the trip!
Overnight in Franz Josef

Day 15: – Queenstown
Our day starts with a journey south through the rugged West Coast road, past the glacier district. Cross the South Alps through the mountainous Haast Pass, through Lake Wanaka and on to Queenstown. Our time in this scenic city will begin with a stroll around Lake Wakatipu.
Overnight in Queenstown

Day 16:  – Queenstown
Start the day exploring the “tourist capital” of New Zealand, including its historic landmarks and buildings. Board the skyline gondola, for amazing and stomach turning views of the city. Continue to Arrowtown – a historic gold-mining town with a rich history and tour the old streets to learn about New Zealand’s colonial history. Return to Queenstown to begin preparations for Shabbat.
Overnight in Queenstown

Day 17:  – Queenstown
Shabbat Services, followed by Kiddush and lunch. After lunch we will take an optional walking tour of the town.
Overnight in Queenstown

Day 18:  – Queenstown
We depart early morning to the Fiordland National Park to one of the most beautiful fiords in the world: Milford Sound. We’ll enjoy a boat cruise through the fiord surrounded by breathtaking 1600m high glaciers and waterfalls.
Back to Queenstown for overnight

Day 19: – Christchurch
We have a morning flight from Queenstown to Christchurch. We begin with a gondola ride which shows us the city from one of its many rivers. On to the International Antarctic Center where we’ll visit ‘Antarctica’ the snow and ice experience to survive an Antarctic Storm and learn about life in modern day Antarctica and Scott Base plus, hang out with Little Blue Penguins!
Continue the day with a stroll around the renowned Botanic Gardens for which Christchurch is famous.
Overnight in Christchurch

Day 20:  – Melbourne, Australia
Morning flight to Melbourne. Upon arrival we will be met by our local Jewish guide who will join us for the day beginning with a panoramic tour around the main sites including the Rialto tower, Flinders Railway Station, walk through the lanes and arcades of Melbourne, street art, Aboriginal exhibition at Melbourne Museum, Jewish Museum, St Kilda and more.
In the evening we will watch the “Penguin Parade” on Philip Island where we will enjoy a packed dinner at Nobbis Point.
Overnight in Melbourne

Day 21:  – Cairns
Morning flight to Cairns for our exciting trip to the Great Barrier Reef! Upon arrival we will drive north along the scenic Cook’s Highway, passing some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. En route we will visit Kuranda, well known as the Village in the Rainforest which has been attracting visitors for well over a century.

People flock to this tiny village daily to enjoy the stunning natural beauty and the relaxed atmosphere of the local markets, selling unique souvenirs and gift items.

Our next stop is the Skyrail. Skyrail provides people with a unique opportunity and a world first, to see and experience the rainforest in a safe and environmentally friendly way. This cable car ride over the rainforest will leave you breathless!
Overnight in Cairns

Day 22: – Cairns
Start the morning on a yacht-like Quicksilver Wavepiercer’ catamaran and journey to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef, home to the most spectacular undersea garden in the world. At the Reef, we will view the coral in a number of ways from a large platform or raft. There is a semi-submarine, an underwater viewing platform, an optional helicopter ride or the option of trying a scuba dive. There is nothing more thrilling than being in the sea at the Great Barrier Reef, looking at the colorful fish and coral. The snorkel equipment is free and the staff will assist you in getting fitted and a short “how to” lesson – they provide flotation devices so that even those who can’t swim can enjoy this experience. A kosher buffet lunch will be served during the time you are at the reef.
Overnight in Cairns

Day 23:  – Sydney
Morning flight to Sydney. Upon arrival, we will be met by our local Jewish guide who will join us for the duration of our stay in Sydney. We will explore the highlights of Sydney through a panoramic tour, as well as a visit to Sydney harbor. In the late afternoon we will check in to our hotel at Bondi.
Overnight in Sydney

Day 24:  – Sydney
Enjoy Shabbat with the warm Jewish community in Bondi. After lunch – a walking tour in the neighborhood and to Bondi beach (eruv all the way to the esplanade, just not down to the beach).
Overnight in Sydney

Day 25:  – Sydney
We will enjoy a full-day tour to the Blue Mountains, a rugged region west of Sydney in Australia’s New South Wales. Known for dramatic scenery, it encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages. Ride on the Scenic World, crossing the valley from above, and riding into the heart of the valley by the various cable cars and sky rail. Visit Featherdale Wildlife Park – to meet and touch the unique animals of Oceania, including koalas, kangaroos and walabis!
Overnight in Sydney

Day 26: – Sydney
Start the day at Taronga Zoo, where we’ll enjoy and have fun with cuddly animal experiences. We will take a ferry ride to Manly beach – one of the famous beaches of Sydney (take a towel and swim wear, as this bay is shallow, warm, and very inviting for a swim!!). Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach by a gourmet kosher caterer – with a taste of Aussi kosher wine. Return to Sydney and continue with a walk through the Royal Botanic Garden to the Chair of Lady Macquarie, the wife of the first governor of Sydney famously known for sitting overlooking the harbor. We will walk along the esplanade to the Opera House, enjoy the water front, visit the Museum of Contemporary Arts, and Bondi Beach.
Overnight in Sydney.

Day 27:
Transfer to airport for flight to Sydney to connect to your flight back home.

Itinerary subject to change

Note: Most trips have varying levels of walking requirements. If yo have any mobility issues, please inquire from your Ophir agent.

International Flights:
* LY75 Jan 18 departure 20:50 from Tel Aviv arrival at 13:55 Hong Kong (Jan 19)
* CX117 Jan 19 departure 15:25 from Hong Kong arrival Auckland 07:35 (Jan 20)
* CX110 Feb 14  departure 08:40 from Sydney arrival at 14:55 Hong Kong
* LY76 Feb 14  departure 16:30 from Hong Kong arrival at 23:00 Tel Aviv

Price: AACI members  per person in a double room                                 Currency Converter
non members
Single supplement 

This deluxe trip includes:

  • 25 nights accommodations at hotels
  • Entrance Fees to all sites including but not limited to: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Sky Tower, Wai o Tapu, Gondola ride, (Queenstown) , International Antartic Center, Featherdale Wildlife Park, Taronga Zoo,
  • Full-day outing to Great Barrier Reef
  • Flight over the Tongariro volcanoes
  • Flight over Franz Josef Glacier
  • Numerous boat rides
  • Ride on the Scenic World
  • 4 Shabbatot with full board kosher food
  • 4 International Flights
  • 4 Internal flights
  • Kosher winery visit
  • Kosher full board with packed lunches
  • International flight with ELAL and Cathay Pacific
  • Water on bus (2 per day)
  • Tips to driver/guide, hotel & restaurant staff
  • Israeli guide
  • AACI staff escort

Not included:

  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Any activity not included in above itinerary
  • Visa Fees
  • Medical Insurance
  • Insurance
  • 25% Deposit due at time of registration – Full payment due October 18th
  • Cancellation upon registration to October 18  2016: 25% of total package
  • Cancellation from October 18 November 18  2016: 50% of total package
  • Cancellation from November 18 2016 to day of departure:100% of total package