22
days

The Long White Cloud - Full New Zealand Small Group Tour

Experience some of the best scenic delights New Zealand has to offer. Overnight in the rainforests of Franz Josef, sleep among the treetops in the Coromandel Ranges and journey into the wild and pristine landscapes of Stewart Island.

TranzAlpine Rail Journey, Pancake Rocks, Franz Josef Glacier, Historic Arrowtown, Gondola Ride, Kayak Milford Sound, Stewart Island, Maori Hangi, Waitomo Glowworm Grotto, Cruise Bay of Islands

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Itinerary

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1
Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand!

Upon arrival in Christchurch you will be met by a tour representative and transferred 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: The George Hotel - 1 Night

2
PUNAKAIKI - Wild Coast, Seals and Beautiful Rock Formations

All aboard the famous TranzAlpine train, rated as one of the world’s great scenic railway journeys. Travel across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps, an unforgettable trip. Re-join your coach at Arthur’s Pass and travel to Punakaiki where you will see the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Tonight your eco-friendly resort is right on the waterfront so you can enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort - 1 Night

3
Franz Josef Glacier

Today visit Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, for a greenstone (jade) jewellery demonstration by a local carver. From here travel to the Treetop Walkway where you can stroll through the canopy of the lush rainforest. Stop at the gold-mining town of Ross en-route to Franz Josef, where you’ll take a guided tour to the viewing area at the mighty Franz Josef Glacier with a local expert glacier guide.This evening, why not treat yourself to one of the local Geothermal Hot Pools.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat - 1 Night

4
Queenstown - The Adventure Capital of the World

This morning you’ll have the opportunity to see the glacier from the air on an optional scenic flight (own expense). Later today travel over the Haast Pass and along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, stopping at Makarora at lunchtime. Visit the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown, followed by an orientation tour of Queenstown. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the surrounding scenery is breathtaking.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Millbrook Resort - 3 Nights

5-6
Queenstown At Leisure

Today you're free to explore New Zealand’s adventure-capital. Perhaps play a round of golf on one of the countries best courses, do a wine tasting tour or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment. Tonight you’ll ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak for dinner with a stunning view overlooking Queenstown, the awesome Remarkables Mountains and Lake Wakatipu.

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

7
Milford Sound

Today continue your journey South to Te Anau, located on the shores of the South Island’s Largest Lake. Travel through World Heritage Fiordland National Park's stunning glaciers and lush rainforest. Then it's on to amazing Mirror Lake before making your way into Milford Sound where you'll have some time time to kayak the majestic fiord, considered by many as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Tonight experience a magical dinner on an Overnight Cruise aboard the Milford Mariner, you’ll travel the length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea past breathtaking waterfalls, majestic mountain ranges and native wildlife.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Milford Wanderer - 1 Night

8
Stewart Island

This morning choose to relax and enjoy one of the many on-board activities. In the afternoon we continue to New Zealand's southern-most city Invercargill where we'll board a ferry and cruise to Stewart Island. With its clear waters, lush rainforest, native flora and fauna and unspoilt natural beauty, you’ll get a glimpse into the Southern wild and pristine landscapes.

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Bay Motel - 2 Nights

9
Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary

This morning you’re off on a Village and Bays tour before a lunch cruise on Paterson Inlet, known for its remote sandy beaches and abundant native wildlife. We stop at Ulva Island and tour the island’s wildlife sanctuary with the Department of Conservation to spend time up close with native flora and fauna. Tonight, try your hand at a bit of kiwi-spotting in the native bush near your accommodation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

10
Mt Cook - Cloud Piercer

This morning you board a ferry and make your way back to the mainland across the Foveaux Strait. Admire the rural farming views of Southland and the spectacular alpine scenery of the Southern Alps as you travel towards Queenstown. Venture over the Lindis Pass and along the shores of Lake Pukaki into Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, helped Sir Edmund Hillary hone his climbing skills in preparation for his conquest of Everest.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel - 1 Night

11
Travel To Christchurch

Today travel to Lake Tekapo, stopping along the way to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, you are  welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor to enjoy a barbecue in their 240 hectare garden. After lunch continue through the Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch. On a sightseeing tour see how the city is being rebuilt after the devastating 2011 earthquake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: The George Hotel - 1 Night

12
Kaikoura - Serengeti of the Sea

Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, famous for its whales (optional whale-watching flight is available). See New Zealand’s fur seals at Ohau Point, then travel to the seaside town of Picton. Cruise Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to Wellington for a sightseeing tour of New Zealand's capital city.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Museum Hotel - 2 Nights

13
WELLINGTON - Our cool little Capital

Today you are free to explore as you wish. Perhaps join a tour of New Zealand’s Parliament buildings and the ‘Beehive’ or ride Wellington’s famous cable car up to Kelburn lookout for stunning views of the city. 

Suggested outings in and around Wellington.

National Museum - Te Papa Visit Cuba Street Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve  Wellington Cable Car
 
Carter Observatory 

Meals: Breakfast

14
The Volcanic Plateau | Great Lake Taupo

Today travel along the Kapiti Coast to Tongariro National Park. Visit Taupo and view stunning scenery as you travel along the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake of the same name. View the stunning Huka Falls and pass Wairakei Geothermal Power Station, built in 1958 it was the first wet steam power station in the world.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Hilton Hotel - 1 Night

15
Taupo & Rotorua

Today there is time to explore the township of Taupo before continuing on to cultural Rotorua. Here you will gain insight into Maori culture and history through a special Maori show where you’ll learn about some local customs and words. Enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi meal cooked in a pit in the ground using geothermal steam.

Excursions available around Lake Taupo...

Taupo Hot Springs Kayak to Maori Rock Art Wairakei Golf
Explore White Island Volcano Visit Huka Falls Lake Taupo Walk

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Regent of Rotorua - 2 Nights

16
Rotorua - The Pacific Rim of Fire

Today begins with an Agrodome Sheep Show. Witness the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog trials, cow milking and even a sheep auction. From here your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park where you'll discover native flora that grows around the crystal clear mineral water springs. Keep your eyes open because you might spot a kiwi or two! To complete your day you’ll visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village for more insight into traditional Maori life and how they interact with the geothermal activity in the area.

Meals: Breakfast

17
Waitomo Caves

Make your way to the famous Waitomo Caves for an exclusive 5 star Glowworm Experience. Next up is Matamata before a delicious lunch at Longlands Farm. Then you’re off to the stunning Coromandel Peninsula where you’ll stay in Tree Hut Chalets set among the native bush.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort - 1 Night

18
Auckland - City of Sails

After a leisurely breakfast, you travel to  New Zealand's largest city, Auckland. Begin with a sightseeing tour, then you’re free to explore the 'City of Sails' at leisure.

Some activities and sightseeing options are:

Explore Waiheke Island Island Kayaking Adventure America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Sofitel - 1 Night

19
The Beautiful Bay of Islands

Travel to Orewa and along the scenic Hibiscus Coast. Then continue to the Waipoua Forest where your Maori guide will walk you through the native bush and explain the history and legend behind the mighty Kauri. This forest is home to the largest Kauri tree in existence, Tane Mahuta, which is over 2,000 years old. This afternoon continue on to the beautiful Bay of Islands.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Copthorne Resort - 2 Nights

20
Russel Island at Leisure

This morning you’ll take a ferry across the harbour to the historic island of Russell, New Zealand's first European settlement. After a walking tour of the town the rest of the day is at your leisure to explore this charming coastal paradise. With rich marine wildlife, clear blue water and secluded beaches it is the perfect base from which to explore the spectacular surroundings.

Meals: Breakfast

21
Bay of Islands - Auckland

Today explore the Bay of Islands, where you’ll take a cruise to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. See historic Cape Brett as you explore some of the 145 islands in the bay. Later, you’ll have some time in Paihia to check out the local craft shops, go for a walk along the beachfront or just relax over a coffee. Celebrate tonight at a farewell dinner in Auckland.

Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Accommodation: Sofitel - 1 Night

22
Farewell Auckland

Your holiday concludes this morning 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