17
days

The Magical Tour of New Zealand

Travel across endless patchwork plains, over shimmering blue waters, through misty rain forests and along hand-carved mountain roads. Travel through pristine stunning natural landscapes as you journey from the South to the North Island.

Franz Josef Glacier, Sail Lake Wakatipu and Queen Charlotte Sound, Jade Demonstration, Queenstown, Cruise Milford Sound and the Bay of Islands, Lake Tekapo, Kaikoura Fur Seals, Maori Culture, Glowworm Caves

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Itinerary

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1
Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand!

Relax you are on holiday! When you arrive in Christchurch we will meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel. Depending what time you arrive, you will then have some time to explore before meeting your travel director and fellow companions for dinner and a welcome drink.

Some suggested excursions if you have time

Easygoing Cycling Tour Punting the Avon River Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Ibis Hotel - 1 Night

2
TranzAlpine Rail Journey

This morning you board the TanzAlpine to begin one of the top train journeys in the world. This spectacular trip takes you across the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains and through the majestic Southern Alps to Aurthur's Pass. Later, visit the beachside town of Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade). Experience the vibrant local arts, culture and heritage through a jewelry demonstration by a local carver. Next it's on to Franz Josef Glacier were you have the opportunity to take a scenic helicopter flight (optional).

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier - 1 Night

3
Glaciers | Cromwell | Arrowtown

Travel through the scenic Haast Pass and view the must see 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls. Continue past the trio of lakes - Lake Dunstan, Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka  - before heading to scenic Cromwell, known for its breathtaking landscapes, where you'll get to try delicious stone fruit - peaches, plums, apricots, cherries - at a local orchard. From here visit to the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, located on the Arrow River, before arriving in Queenstown for an orientation tour.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort - 2 Nights

4
Queenstown At Leisure

Today explore the adventure capital of the world your way - take a jet boat ride or go white water rafting. If you would prefer to relax choose to play a round of golf on one of the country's best courses, unwind on a unique wine tasting tour or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm, for a gourmet barbecue dinner. Afterwards experience an entertaining farm show where you'll get a glimpse into high-country farm life. 

Recommended Queenstown Excursions:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

5
Te Anau | Fiordland National Park

Today you travel to Te Anau. You'll be awestruck by the stunning sights of Fiordland National Park as you cruise Milford Sound, considered by many to be the eighth wonder of the world. From here drive to Mirror Lake, famous for its reflective views of Mount Cook, and past Pop's Lookout where you'll see stunning peaks, valley's and falls. Later you return to Te Anau where you will have the opportunity to experience the underground world of Glowworm Caves, which are unique to New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Luxmore Hotel - 1 Night

6
Dunedin - Edinburgh of the South

Cross sheep-filled farming land on the way to Dunedin, known as the Edinburgh of the South because of its rich Scottish heritage. Here you will begin with an orientation tour of the city. This afternoon you are free - choose to visit the Otago Peninsula to see unique native wildlife such as Albatross, Sea Lions and rare Yellow-eyed Penguins. If you're a chocolate lover visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or if you want to learn more about your surroundings, take a ride on the historic Taieri Gorge Railway which will take you into the spectacular Central Otago Hinterland and up the rugged coast.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel - 1 Night

7
Victorian Oamaru

This morning you are free to relax, perhaps visit Larnach Castle New Zealand's only castle. In the afternoon travel to Oamaru, a unique mix of Victorian – ornately decorated grand limestone buildings that once housed upstanding banks, hotels and restaurants – and bohemian artisans, creative’s and antiquarians. From here it's on to Omarama which highlights New Zealand's best – mountain scenery, location and small-town hospitality.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel - 1 Night

8
High Country Lakes & Mt Cook National Park

Travel along the shores of spectacular Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki into Aoraki Mount Cook National Park soaking up the sensational alpine landscape. Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, helped Sir Edmund Hillary hone his climbing skills in preparation for his conquest of Everest. Later visit the Church of the Good Shepherd before arriving in the garden city of Christchurch where you will see the extensive work being carried out to rebuild the city after the devastating earthquake of 2011.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Ibis Hotel - 1 Night

9
Kaikoura - Serengeti of the Sea

Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, famous for its native wildlife, such as whales and fur seals, unique to New Zealand. Here you can choose to do an optional whale-watching flight. Continue past the fascinating and rather alien landscape of the Grassmere Salt Works, the result of natural salt production, then onto the picturesque seaside town of Picton.

Suggested Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Cruise Swim with the Seals in Kaikoura
Whale Watching Flight Kaikoura Dusky Dolphin Viewing or Swimming
Kayaking with Fur Seals Albatross & Pelagic Bird Watching Kaikoura

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Beachcomber - 1 Night

10
WELLINGTON - Our cool little Capital

Cruise the tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to Wellington, recently named 'The Coolest Little Capital in the World'. You will begin with a tour of the city before visiting the national museum Te Papa, where you'll gain insight into the country's fascinating nature, art, history and cultural heritage.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Travelodge - 1 Night

11
Tongariro National Park

Travel along the Kapiti Coast to Tongariro National Park soaking up the stunning alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu. Visit Taupo and travel along the shores of New Zealand's largest lake. View Huka Falls and pass the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station, built in 1958 it was the first wet steam power station in the world. Tonight gain insight into traditional Māori culture followed by a delicious dinner at the Tamaki Family Marae (meeting grounds), the focal point of Māori communities.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Ibis Hotel - 2 Nights

12
Rotorua - The Pacific Rim of Fire

This morning begins with a visit to the Agrodome for a sheep show and glimpse of farm life. Afterwards enjoy an afternoon at leisure - perhaps visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park, named after the abundance of Rainbow Trout, to see native fauna, including kiwi birds. Or choose to do a tour of Te Puia, where a local Maori guide will show you the mud pools and geysers of the geothermal valley.

Meals: Breakfast

13
Glowworm Grotto's | The 'City of Sails'

Travel through the Waikato region to the Waitomo Caves where you will take a tour of the amazing Glowworm Grotto by boat. Continue along the Waikato River to Auckland where you will take a sightseeing tour of the city.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: VR Queen Street - 1 Night

14
Bay of Islands

Drive over Auckland's Harbour Bridge and along the scenic Hibiscus Coast to Parry Kauri Park, where you will walk amongst the native Kauri Trees, some of the largest and longest living trees in the world. Explore Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, then it's on to the seaside town of Paihia, known as the 'Jewel of the Bay of Islands.' From here enjoy a Scenic Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous 'Hole in the Rock' - make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the native marine life.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Copthorne Resort - 2 Nights

15
Bay of Islands Leisure Time

Today you are free to experience the beautiful Bay of Islands as you wish. Made up of 144 islands it's paradise for water lovers and there is no shortage of things to do. Go on a dolphin cruise, take a coach trip to Cape Reinga via 90 mile beach, spend the day sailing on a tall ship or take a tour to historic Russell. Ask your Travel Director about optional experiences.

Excursions available in and around the Bay of Islands

Historical Island Cruise Diving Rainbow Warrior 4WD Adventure Cape Reinga
Sailing the Islands Dolphin Swimming Giant Kauri Forest Walk
Cultural Tour of Waitangi Golf at Kauri Cliffs Sea Kayaking the Bay

Meals: Breakfast

16
Bay of Islands - Auckland

Today you visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Reserve, where New Zealand's founding document was signed. You will have time to take in the highlights such as the magnificent Maori War Canoe (Waka) and Marae (meeting house). This afternoon enjoy the farmland scenery as you return to Auckland.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: VR Queen Street - 1 Night

17
Farewell Auckland

Your holiday concludes after breakfast. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We hope you enjoyed your holiday and our promise to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon.

Meals: Breakfast