Why you need a specialist to get the most out of a trip to Australasia
It is no secret that Australasia, comprising Australia, New Zealand and The Pacific Islands, is a vast and varied region of kaleidoscopic landscapes and endless places to explore – not to mention a wide array of memorable experiences to suit all ages and interests. You would be hard-pressed not to be enchanted by the sheer natural beauty of its contrasting scenery or entertained by the thrilling activities on offer here. The area is so huge that it is difficult to know where to start, which is, of course, where we come in.
The climate varies dramatically in Australasia due to its monumental size. You can ski in New Zealand’s snow-covered mountains, experience the arid and sun-baked Australian outback or enjoy the cooler wetlands of the Bamurru Plains in northern Australia. So, depending on where you would like to go, the time of year you travel needs careful consideration. But rest assured that with our experts’ invaluable support and extensive knowledge of where to go and when, your journey will be perfect for you.
Australia, New Zealand and The Pacific Islands are home to some of the world’s best places to stay but the choice is boundless. Understanding the intricacies of each hotel or lodge is vital, and we will help you select the right options for you. In addition, there are often big distances between each one and a number of ways to travel between them, including by plane, car and helicopter, which we can also advise on.
Most importantly, we have worked tirelessly to provide our clients with unparalleled access to people and places of interest in Australasia. Our guides and friends on the ground allow you to engage with locals and really get under the skin of the country – for example, learning about the Aboriginal culture with a specialist in Australia’s Tropical North Queensland or learning about the Maoris’ hunter-gatherer skills and their relationship with the land in New Zealand. These are the moments – when doors are opened to the real soul of the places you’re visiting – that we believe make a holiday truly special.
We have meticulously curated the best and most exclusive experiences for our clients, which we have tried and tested. These include flying over New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring National Park in a helicopter and a totally bespoke camping adventure in the Australian outback, where you walk between remote camps in a spectacular wilderness area that you will have all to yourself.
At cazenove+loyd, we believe in giving back to the places and people we visit. Therefore, we encourage our clients to take an interest in and even participate in some of the fabulous conservation projects, such as Lizard Island’s Reef Research Foundation. At Lizard Island – situated in a prime ecological area, right on the Great Barrier Reef, you can learn about the fascinating marine conservation work by spending time with some of the world’s best coral reef researchers here; you can even get involved with their projects. These encounters are often the highlight of a trip and ensure that you go home feeling as though you have been part of something significant and made a positive impact on the place you have visited.
Our Destination Experts always include thoughtful touches along the way to enhance your trip, such as a surprise canoeing expedition on a serene, secluded lake, as part of a glorious hike with a knowledgeable Māori guide in Taupo; or an unforgettable picnic on an empty beach that can only be reached by private speedboat from Orpheus Island.
While Australia, New Zealand and The Pacific Islands can be combined if time allows, each one has so much to offer, making them very much stand-alone destinations.
Stretching over a colossal 7.6 million sq km, Australia is heralded as the largest island on earth. It provides an incredible blend of places, from cosmopolitan cities and breathtaking beaches to amazing wildlife and spectacular wilderness areas. The richness and diversity of its environment is genuinely staggering, as is the variety in the weather. This means it is essential to know the ins and outs of the climates, and microclimates, while arranging a trip here.
While every itinerary we create starts with a blank piece of paper and is completely tailored to our client’s interests, we think the perfect Australian adventure should include a few days in a city, some time in the outback, a chance to gain an insight into Aboriginal culture and a decent stint on the Australian coast, including, of course, the Great Barrier Reef.
Australia boasts some captivating cities – the best known being Sydney and Melbourne. Most of our trips start and finish in one of these lively metropolises to give you some time to acclimatise after the long journey and enjoy their history, architecture, restaurants, bars and beaches. In Sydney, we suggest that you join one of our fabulous local guides to ensure you make the most of your time here. We can arrange for you to enjoy a picnic lunch on a private boat in a quiet bay near the city, where you can surf, swim, snorkel or paddleboard, followed by a performance at the famous opera house. Similarly, in Melbourne, there is plenty to do. One of our favourite things to organise is a guided cycling adventure, where you pass elegant architecture and iconic stadiums and immerse yourself in the eclectic inner-city neighbourhoods rich in heritage, creativity and colour.
Of course, no trip to Australia is complete without a visit to the outback. We urge our clients to visit more off-beat locations for example Arkaba Conservancy in the epic Flinders Ranges or the majestic Mount Mulligan in North Queensland to the renowned Uluru site, otherwise known as Ayers Rock. We also recommend staying at a working cattle station to gain first-hand experience of life in the wilderness.
We believe that having an understanding of Australia’s Aboriginal history is fundamental to any journey here, so we have developed untouristy, authentic experiences for our clients. We can ask one of our specialist guides to take you through some of the country’s most diverse regions, such as Tropical North Queensland, so that you can appreciate their unique beauty, history and culture. Recently, for example, a client explored one of Sydney’s nearby national parks with an Aboriginal guide to learn about the city’s important part in their history. We aim to help you develop a true understanding and respect for Aboriginal Australians, their land and their past.
When it comes to Australia’s coast, again, there is so much to choose from, depending on what it is you are looking for. Whether you would like to laze on an unspoilt beach or go snorkelling or scuba-diving over the phenomenal marine life and coral of the Great Barrier Reef, our experts will select the best place for you. We can even arrange a scenic helicopter flight over the awe-inspiring reef, bound to be a highlight of your trip. We also encourage you to venture that little bit further afield to the surrounding islands: some of our favourites being the incredibly ecologically preserved Lord Howe Island, the ideal retreat for hiking, snorkelling and unwinding; and the isolated, wild isle of Tasmania, which harbours one of the country’s most renowned art museums and best lodges. In Australia, there is so much to see and do, you need a specialist to work out what is right for you.
New Zealand is well known for its spectacular landscapes, fascinating people, exciting adventures and places to stay. Here, we can put you in touch with local Kiwis who are true specialists in their fields and willing to share their secrets in order to show the country in the best light. Learning about the impressive scenery is bound to be a real highlight of your travels. The stunning maritime fjords and rural farms are amazing to explore, as is everything in between.
The Māori are crucial to understanding the roots of this island country. We can organise a truly unusual encounter which will give you a very special insight into the Māori culture, during which you can fully engage with their unique customs in an immersive and dynamic way. We are wary of giving away too many details about this extraordinary experience, as it is best kept as a surprise!
Moreover, there are few better places in the world than New Zealand for adventure. Extreme sports are ingrained in the nation’s DNA. Many of these exhilarating activities allow you to see the jaw-dropping terrain from remarkable angles: we suggest taking to the skies in a helicopter to sweep over the glacial valleys of Mount Aspiring National Park on South Island, as well as jetboating along the reserve’s aquamarine river. For truly unforgettable bird’s-eye views of the mesmerising topography, you can skydive or bungee jump in several spots around this wonderful country. Canyoning through striking natural rock formations is also exhilarating. With cazenove+loyd, you can go beyond the ordinary in terms of the ways in which you explore New Zealand. Whatever you choose, you can trust that you will be in safe, reliable hands.
New Zealand offers a range of truly extraordinary places to stay. The best lodges are all very remote and enable you to make the most of these magnificent, offbeat areas. Our favourites include The Landing in the stunning Bay of Islands on North Island or Mahu Whenua, a spectacularly beautiful homestead near Wanaka on South Island. And these are just the tip of the iceberg: there are so many places to visit – each one delivering a completely different experience. You simply can’t do it all, so you need an expert to discuss the options and help you decide what is right for you.
The Pacific Islands
While a visit to The Pacific Islands can be a great addition to a trip to New Zealand, Australia, Asia or the west coast of America, these far-flung tropical isles – mere specks in the vast Pacific Ocean – are wonderful destinations in their own right. They offer seclusion, top-notch hotels, almost unparalleled marine biodiversity and lovely weather in our summer months. If you were to travel here as part of a longer trip, we suggest going to one island for five days to a week to really get under the skin of one place. However, if you are travelling only to The Pacific Islands, two weeks on two or three isles would be ideal, as they all differ greatly from one another, with distinctive cultures.
The relatively unvisited Pacific Islands are often on the bucket list of well-travelled individuals who are interested in the rich heritage of Polynesia’s indigenous cultures or who are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime trip somewhere very off-grid. They are a great destination for couples and families, as there are pristine beaches, incredible dive spots, plentiful watersports as well as the amazing opportunity to swim with whales.
Due to the enormous scale of this oceanic region – Fiji alone is made up of more than 300 islands – it can be difficult to decide exactly where to go without a specialist. Our favourite archipelagos in The Pacific Islands are Tahiti, Fiji, Bora Bora, Papua New Guinea and Tonga, and our experts are well versed on the best places to stay, depending on your interests.
We at cazenove+loyd have spent many months sourcing the very best for our clients in New Zealand, Australia and The Pacific Islands. We have curated remarkable travel experiences to cater to every type of client, from families of all ages, to couples young and old, making it well worth the long journey to the other side of the planet. Whatever your interests, wants and needs, we can design the trip of a lifetime. We pride ourselves on our creative itineraries that allow our clients not only to see the highlights – from diverse cultures and phenomenal nature to adventurous activities and sensational food and wine – but also to experience them in the very best way possible. It is tricky, if not impossible, to achieve this and whittle down your options without a specialist.
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