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Now, having said that, January and February are probably the worst months of the year to visit those locations. Uluru is going to be beastly hot (100+ Fahrenheit); Darwin and Kakadu are in the midst of "The Wet" in Jan/Feb so it will be hot, humid and rainy; it's hot and humid in Cairns/PD and it's also cyclone season and stinger (deadly jellyfish) season.
If I were traveling in Australia at that time of year (which I have), I would stay south of Sydney, e.g. Canberra, Melbourne, or Tasmania.
Finally,we have made the flight to Australia many times and the worst one was when I had the "bright idea" of overnighting in L.A. after our flight from the U.S. East Coast. It only complicated everything by having to schlep everything from the airport, pay for a hotel for one night and then schlep everything back to the airport and deal with TSA yet one more time. I felt no more refreshed when we arrived in Sydney than I had when I made that long trip in one go. Unless you are spending 2 -3 days in L.A., skip the stopover.
Voyager of the Seas - New Years Eve Cruise - NZ & Fiji
Explorer of the Seas - November - South Pacific
However, those months could be a bit chilly for New Zealand as it is further south of Australia.
September was also fine for New Zealand.
I do not think a cruise is the ideal way to see either country. This is particularly so for New Zealand where much of the spectacular scenery is inland.
Eden (Navimag) four nights on ferry up inner west coast of Chile, March 2016
Expedition (GAdventures) Antarctica, Feb/March 2016
Dragon's Pearl Halong Bay, Vietnam 2014
Azamara Quest Far East, March 5, 2011
Victoria Empress, Yangtze River, March 25, 2011
Azamara Quest Ancient Empires, Nov. 14, 2009
Independent land tours:
Skiing in France, then drove to Tuscany, down to Sicily and back to Lyon: March/April, 2017
Argentina and Chile - cities and Patagonia, 2016
Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Seoul, 2014
New Zealand and Australia 2013
Argentina and Peru, 2007
Europe, 1985, 91-92, 95, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2011
numerous in US and Canada
Guatemala and Mexico 1971, 1972