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New Zealand Panorama- 15 days Christchurch to Auckland
Escorted holidays with passengers accommodated at superior, first class properties comprise First Light Travel flagship products and range in length from shorter duration tours starting at three days up to comprehensive tours of 31 days.
Tour Directors rich in cultural and historical knowledge. Experienced drivers focused on getting you where you’re going safely. Quality accommodation. Hearty breakfasts, delicious three course dinners and delectable buffets. The opportunity to strike up friendships with like-minded holiday makers from New Zealand, Australia and overseas. A flexible itinerary that ensures you see all the sights, as well as providing you with all the free time you need to make your holiday yours alone. That’s the First Light Travel difference.
- Tour by luxury air-conditioned coach with 2-door access, restroom, seat belts, reclining seats, panoramic windows
- Tour with an experienced, professional Tour Director and Tour Driver
- Full Buffet Breakfasts (14) B
- Exciting Highlight Dinners (2) HD
- Hotel Dinners (8) D
- Welcome Drink
- Travel wallet and map
- Airport transfers (Day 1 from Auckland Airport - flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm; Day 15 to Christchurch Airport - flights anytime)
- Hotel porterage
Please contact us or complete our online enquiry form to receive further information on this tour or to check availability on your preferred date of travel.
YOUR TOUR ITINERARY
‘Haere Mai’ … welcome to New Zealand
After we transfer you from the airport, settle into your hotel, then see Auckland your way - visit the Sky Tower, Viaduct Harbour or explore the Waitemata Harbour by ferry. A welcome drink with your Tour Director and travel companions ends the day.
ACCOMMODATION: Mercure, Auckland. (D)
Auckland - Rotorua
We board The Overlander to journey through the heart of the North Island. Travel along the Waikato River with stunning views of lush farmland - New Zealand’s longest - to the Waitomo Caves for a guided tour and to discover the amazing Glow Worm Grotto. Then it’s on to Rotorua. On our orientation tour you’ll soak up views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight experience a traditional Maori Hangi feast and concert.
ACCOMMODATION: Ibis, Rotorua, 2 nights. (B,HD)
This morning it’s time to visit the Agrodome Sheep Show then a guided tour of the Geothermal Reserve. (B)
Rotorua - Wellington
Travelling from the mountains to the sea, today we’ll see Lake Taupo, the Huka Falls, the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu. We board The Overlander at Taumarunui. Take in the lush forest, farmland and stunning alpine views as we cross the volcanic plateau of the central North Island. Traverse gorges, sprawling plains then enter the world famous Raurimu Spiral.
ACCOMMODATION: Mercure, Wellington, 2 nights. (B,D)
Enjoy a city tour of Wellington. Visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Later you’ll visit the Silverstream Railway in Upper Hutt to view some of the preserved New Zealand railways and industrial steam and diesel locomotives. Enjoy a short steam train ride and tour through their restoration factory. (B)
Wellington - Christchurch
This morning you’ll cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. At Picton board the Tranz Coastal and journey down the East Coast of the South Island. Travel over 100 kilometres pinned between the Pacific Ocean and the rugged Kaikoura Ranges. Next we head through the Canterbury Plains en route to Christchurch.
ACCOMMODATION: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch. (B)
We begin the day with a ride on the Christchurch Tram. Continuing our travels we see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the spectacular alpine scenery of Mt. Cook National Park. If you like take a scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting).
ACCOMMODATION: MacKenzie Country Inn, Standard Rooms, Twizel. (B,D)
En route to Dunedin we’ll see the famous white limestone buildings of Oamaru. Board the historic Seasider train at Palmerston for the journey through to Dunedin. This afternoon join the historic Taieri Gorge Railway for your second train journey through rugged, spectacular scenery only accessible by train. Cross stone work bridge, ride through tunnels and over iron latticework viaducts built in the 1880’s.
ACCOMMODATION: Kingsgate, Dunedin. (B,D)
Dunedin - Te Anau
Take a guided tour of New Zealand’s only castle - Larnach Castle and its gardens. Then we head off across rich fertile, sheep-filled farming land on the way to Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau. Tonight you can choose to travel by boat to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.
ACCOMMODATION: The Village Inn, Te Anau. (B,D)
Be awe-struck by the magnificence of the Fiordland National Park, not only a World Heritage Park but also New Zealand’s largest. Amazing nature and photo opportunities await us as we see rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the hand-made Homer Tunnel. Mirror Lake. Pop’s Lookout. Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Mitre Peak. Bowen Falls. Cruise on Milford Sound. Continue to Queenstown. Your dinner option tonight is the sensational Skyline Restaurant on Bob’s Peak via the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest Gondola! A bonus Kiwi Haka Maori Show makes for a top night.
ACCOMMODATION: Heartland Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights. (B)
Queenstown ’Free Time’
Explore action adventure Queenstown your way. Take it easy with a wine or garden tour. Or go wild with jet boat rides or white water rafting. Just be back in time for dinner and a sheep shearing demonstration at Walter Peak Sheep Station. We travel there and back across Lake Wakatipu via the TSS Earnslaw, New Zealand’s oldest steamship. (B,HD)
Queenstown - Fox Glacier
First stop. Arrowtown, on the Arrow River. Second stop Cromwell and its sensational stone fruit. Then it’s a trio of lakes – Lake Dunstan, Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka. Through the Haast Pass, you’ll view Thunder Creek Falls and enjoy a rainforest walk. Final stop, majestic Fox Glacier. Take the opportunity for an optional scenic flight over the glacier (weather permitting).
ACCOMMODATION: Heartland Hotel, Fox Glacier. (B,D)
Punakaiki - Greymouth
We depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later you’ll view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki before continuing to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast.
ACCOMMODATION: Kingsgate Hotel, Greymouth. (B,D)
TranzAlpine - Christchurch
Visit the historic village of Shantytown for a ride on the vintage steam train. At Greymouth, board the TranzAlpine, one of the top 6 train journeys in the world, to travel through the Southern Alps to Christchurch.
ACCOMMODATION: Ibis, Christchurch. (B,D)
’Free Time’ in Christchurch until we transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)
13th, 20th, 27th
|10th, 17th, 24th
7th, 14th, 28th
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