Australia and New Zealand Service
5,285 + Airfaire + $500 Intra Trip Flights
Jun 25 – Jul 14
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Sydney, Brisbane, Kuranda, Queenstown, Milford Sound
Los Angeles to Queenstown
Sydney to Los Angeles
Fly across the International Date Line and arrive in the Land Down Under! Our journey to Australia & New Zealand is a perennial TFT favorite, combining adventure with cultural exploration, and major travel destinations with little-known gems. Throughout, our TFT staff will be there to provide you with tons of insider knowledge and an itinerary that gives you options as to how you spend your time, so that you can feel safe making this trip your very own. Join us on this amazing adventure!
On this trip you will:
- Sand toboggan down hundred-foot sand dunes
- Ride horses through the Outback, learn how to throw a boomerang, crack a whip and ride a mechanical bull
- Scuba dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
- Earn up to 20 hours of community service credits, working with Australia’s unique Flora and Fauna or assist with a building project in an Aboriginal Community
- See the most poisonous animals in Australia, hold a koala bear, and see kangaroos up close
- Learn about Aboriginal and Maori life and history
- Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge and see a performance at the Sydney Opera House
- Tour Darling Harbor on a WWII submarine recovery vessel
- Cruise Milford sound – one of the most gorgeous places on earth
- Ride a Shotover Jet Boat on the Arrow River where Lord of the Rings was filmed
DAYS 1 – 3: LOS ANGELES (FOR THOSE WHO OPT TO TAKE THE GROUP FLIGHT)
As the group flight takes off, the trip officially begins! Lose a day as you fly over the international date line.
DAYS 3 – 6: QUEENSTOWN, NZ
We start our trip in Queenstown, where we pack in the action right from the start! Here, you’ll cruise through the spellbinding Milford Sound, where you’ll take in dramatic vistas composed of high mountains and rugged fjords, spot penguins and seals on the rocky shores, and watch dolphins playing in the waters around the boat. We’ll come to understand the cultural practices that link New Zealand’s past with its present, as we attend a traditional Haka and learn about the culture of the Maori. We’ll race on the waves in the world’s fastest jet boat, and check out some favorite local eateries and hot spots of the bustling ski town.
DAYS 6 – 9: BRISBANE & THE OUTBACK
We leave New Zealand behind as we cross the ditch to Australia and head straight into the famed Outback. Ride horses through the gorgeous landscape, go rappelling, and learn to break the sound barrier by cracking an Aussie whip. Then take a guided walk to Sunset Hill and watch the sun go down over a thousand acres of pristine wilderness before playing games around the campfire and marveling at the stars of the Southern Hemisphere. We’ll take a 4×4 tour of a working cattle ranch, where you’ll get to ride a mechanical bull and see wild kangaroos bounding across the terrain, even participate in a goat rodeo! Then learn some of the most important rituals in Australian culture, as you get lessons in bushdancing – a traditional Australian country dance – and learn to throw a boomerang.
DAYS 9 – 16: CAIRNS
Leaving the Outback, we spend a full day in Kuranda, where we enjoy a traditional Aussie BBQ lunch, take a tour of the rainforest, and get to know some very photogenic koalas. Those who are interested can also check out the kangaroos, a butterfly sanctuary, or the creepy Poison and Venom Museum. From the depths of the rainforest, we head to the sea, on our tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can snorkel or scuba dive and cruise through this natural wonder on a glass-bottomed boat. We’ll also perform 20 hours of valuable community service by working with an Aboriginal community or working on conversation projects with Australia’s unique flora and fauna.
DAYS 16 – 20: SYDNEY
Next, we explore the urban and cosmopolitan excitement of Sydney, with its splendid harbor and fabulous restaurants. You can visit the Botanical Gardens, take in a show at the famed Sydney Opera House, check out a movie on the world’s largest IMAX screen, stroll down Bondi and Manly Beach, enjoy the city’s fantastic shopping in Paddington and explore Sydney world famous fusion food scene. To celebrate a life changing adventure we’ll enjoy our final dinner overlooking the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
How much free time do the participants get on their trip?
This is an action packed trip, but you will also have time to recharge if you choose. There is time to sit by the campfire in the Outback, or take a walk and check out the Southern Hemisphere constellations. In Cairns you will have options in the evenings to shop, go to the Internet cafe, or spend time with your friends at the Night Markets. In Sydney you will have many options for free time. Some of the options are laser tag, going to a performance at the Sydney Opera House, or the Imax theater. You can also explore Bondi and Manly Beaches. In Queenstown you’ll have many great options like chilling at the chalet with friends, late night shopping, and pick up games of soccer.
What’s the food like in Australia and New Zealand?
In the Outback you will get to try damper (a type of bread common in the Outback) plus beef roasted over the barbie. The rest of the food on the trip is cosmopolitan. In Sydney you will have a special final dinner by the pool overlooking Sydney Harbour. You’ll cultivate a taste for TimTams and Milo, as well. If you’re a vegetarian, no worries. There is plenty of vegetarian food available, even in the Outback. Our hosts in the Outback love taking on a challenge to find the tastiest vegetarian fares.
Do I need to buy flights or does TFT buy them for me? Where does the group depart from?
Travel for Teens organizes chaperoned group flights for every trip. You do not have to go on the group flight with us, although there are several advantages to doing so: the group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, a lot of group bonding happens on the trip over, and, on those trips that have group flight contracts, we get preferred group flight prices (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel for Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants as they walk to baggage claim, and escort them to where the rest of the group has assembled. Our group flight to New Zealand departs from Los Angeles LAX and arrives in Queenstown, New Zealand. For the return, we depart from Sydney, Australia and arrive back at Los Angeles LAX. Please contact us for details regarding flight cost.
Who are the counselors on the trip?
The Trip Leader for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Leaders often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving, so our participants enjoy sharing experiences with them. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff. It is the job of the counselors to keep the fun clean and happening, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
Where do we stay on the Australia and New Zealand trip?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and to be generally well-suited to facilitating group supervision. This means we do not use large, impersonal hotels on the outskirts of cities. We stay away from large hotel chains, preferring to select small, family run places where we establish personal relationships with the owners. We do use hostels on some of our trips, only when they are exceptionally clean, safe, and have some other especially favorable characteristic (i.e. the new hostel in Florence which is hip, modern, and 30 seconds from the Duomo). In Australia and New Zealand we stay in a variety of accommodations. In New Zealand we stay in a chalet at the base of the Remarkable Mountains. From your chalet you are at the perfect place to depart for your adventures. Many shops are nearby, plus museums, and restaurants. Your chalet will be equipped with a kitchen and a lounge in addition to bedrooms. Our lodging in the Outback of Australia is rustic and cozy. You and your friends will be in cabins–each cabin has heat, AC, electricity and lots of authentic charm. In Cairns you will be staying in a lively and fun hotel just moments away from the boat that will take you to the Great Barrier Reef. This hotel is tropical and very fun! When you arrive in Sydney, you’ll stay right in the center of the city. Our hotel is sleek, modern, and very cosmopolitan. It’s within a moment’s walk to shopping, the Harbour, parks, and the world’s largest IMAX screen!