Austravel can reveal that the royal couple are confirmed to visit Australia for the fourth Invictus Games this October, before continuing their travels to neighbouring New Zealand and Fiji to complete the Australasian hat-trick. Just six months on from Prince Charles and Camilla’s royal visit to Australia earlier this year, Australasia is undeniably a royal favourite and one of the hottest destinations for 2018/2019.
The Invictus Games holds a great deal of significance to the newlyweds. Not only is Prince Harry co-creator and patron of the international competition for injured service personnel, but 2017’s Invictus Games in Toronto marked the first official royal engagement Meghan attended with him – the world’s media went into overdrive when they were photographed holding hands at the opening ceremony. The couple is expected to attend the week-long event in Sydney, so time your visit and you might get a glimpse of Harry and Meghan between 20-27 October.
An Australasian tour fit for royalty
We expect the happy couple to be given a full tour of Sydney’s finest during their attendance of the Invictus Games. Highlights of your personal Sydney tour could well include a VIP visit to Taronga Zoo, followed by climbing the iconic Harbour Bridge. To complete your unforgettable day, top it off with a Tour and Tasting Plate of the Opera House to discover its secrets and insights into its construction. After you’ve caught your breath, the magic continues. Just outside the city limits you’ll find the beautiful Blue Mountains. Here you can visit the Spicers Sangoma Retreat to taste some of New South Wales’ most exquisite wines.
The royal couple will doubtless head to spectacular Uluru at some stage during their tour, and we suggest you do likewise. Stay at the five-star Sails in the Desert hotel for a Sounds of Silence experience, dining against the beautifully raw backdrop of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. While here, you can also experience the Field of Light art installation made up of 50,000 solar-powered lights.
The idyllic palm-clad vistas of coastal Port Douglas should be next on your list. Experience one of the natural wonders of the world, as you snorkel and dive / see the Great Barrier Reef – an opportunity not to be missed – when you climb aboard the Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Cruise to experience the magic of the underwater world.
Having explored some of Australia’s finest sights we recommend you fly to the South Island of New Zealand to visit cosmopolitan Christchurch for shopping and mingling in its chic bars and restaurants. Head south from here and you can visit the Hector dolphins of Akaroa on a boat cruise or even swim with them – the only place in the world you can do so. Then, discover the remarkable scenery of the South Island on a six day Alpine Adventure escorted tour in the picturesque Southern Alps, using the adventure capital of Queenstown as your base.
Of course, a visit to New Zealand would not be complete without exploring the ancient customs and arts and crafts of the Maori culture of Rotorua in the North Island. Step back in time with a Tamaki Maori Village tour to see the haka war dance. Then journey to stunning Auckland to go giddy at the knees when you ascend the Sky Tower. You’ll need a glass of wine to steady your nerves so hop over to Waiheke Island to sample some of New Zealand’s most celebrated vineyards.
In the midst of Australia and New Zealand’s spring season, October to November is an ideal time to travel Down Under. Ahead of peak tourism season, flowers are beginning to bloom and are accompanied by very pleasant temperatures. From New Zealand, the royal couple plan to visit the stunning islands of Fiji and while we can't confirm where they are likely to stay, we can suggest you cap your incredible Australasia tour by discovering the Mamanuca Islands to relax and rejuvenate your senses at the Likuliku Lagoon Resort amid the calm waters of this wilderness retreat.
Following the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Australia, back in 2013, Austravel recorded a 120 percent increase in booking enquires year-on-year. We expect to see a similar ‘Meghan effect’, both before and after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s trip later this year, and advise travellers to book any holidays in advance to avoid disappointment.