14
days

14 Days Auckland to Queenstown (Public Transport)

If self driving does not appeal this trip includes all the highlights from Auckland to Queenstown; travel via comfortable coaches with friendly and informative drivers, trains, planes and a Cook Strait ferry crossing. Take 14 days to explore the country, covering the premier locations at a pace you will enjoy. Time to sit back and relax with the 'must see' activities taken care of. 

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Itinerary
1
Welcome to Auckland City of Sails

Following your morning arrival into Auckland, this informative 3 hour tour of Auckland will acquaint you with this volcanic harbour city. Visit the famous Auckland landmark of Mount Eden, a dormant volcano whose summit offers excellent panoramic views of the city and harbours.  From this fantastic vantage point you will see evidence of Auckland’s volcanic history, the most significant being the youngest volcano of Rangitoto Island at the entrance to the Waitemata harbour. The sightseeing tour also takes in the Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park which is situated on a 62,000 year old volcano.  In addition to these natural features the city sights tour also takes in the trendy shopping area of Parnell Village with its historical buildings that have been transformed into boutiques, antique, craft and specialty shops.  Your tour will then take you along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive before returning to Downtown.

Accommodation Auckland - 2 nights

2
Wine on Waiheke

Just 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland, across the beautiful Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island is a tranquil paradise. Since the late 1970's Waiheke's benign climate has seen the growth of a flourishing wine industry. A "small is beautiful" philosophy yields low quantities of extremely high quality fruit, which is made into international award-winning wines. Visit three of the Islands finest vineyards for tasting and enjoy a commentated scenic tour of the Island by one of our knowledgeable, local guides. Included is a two hour lunch stop (lunch is additional cost) at a a village or beachside cafe. Extend your stay at the completion of the tour as the ferry keeps running until 10pm.

3
Auckland to Rotorua Via Waitomo Caves

After your hotel collection, enjoy a day trip from Auckland to Rotorua through across lush rolling farm landscape to the mystical Waitomo Glowworm Caves. After lunch enjoy a guided tour through the galleries and lofty chambers of the Caves. Your tour culminates with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - lit up by thousands of tiny living lights. Continue your journey through to Rotorua.
In the evening, enter the world of Mitai. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream, and see glow worms in their natural habitat. Marvel at the crystal clear water full of eels and trout, flowing directly from the earth at the sacred Fairy Spring, and see your traditionally cooked hangi meal being lifted from the ground. During our cultural performance, you’ll learn about our past, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art).  Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat, coupled with the grace and beauty of the poi dance. You’ll be amazed by the spine tingling haka finale. The Mitai family is proud to have created a sacred and spiritual place that offers you an indigenous cultural experience like no other.

Accommodation Rotorua - 1 night

4
Fly to Wellington, Zealandia Sanctuary by Night

It is a short 40 minute flight from Rotorua Airport to Wellington. Wellington is another of our Harbour Cities situated at the southern most tip of the North Island. The Wellington vibe is creative and eclectic - the nations politicians and parliament rub shoulders with street performers, the National Te Papa Museum and a lively cafe culture.Your evening tour begins at our unique predator-proof fence. Kitted out with red-light torches that don’t disturb the locals, your guide will lead you into one of New Zealand’s most important wildlife safe havens. As dusk falls over our valley, you will hear an incredible sound – birdsong that hasn’t been heard on the mainland for centuries. Native parrots squabble in the trees overhead, and tuatara, our unique ‘living fossil’, head out to hunt.

Accommodation Wellington - 1 night

5
Ferry Southbound to Marlborough Wine Country

This morning, make your way to the Wellington Ferry Terminal in time for your morning crossing of the Cook Strait. This challenging stretch of water connects the Tasman Sea to the Southern Pacific Ocean, you will enter the South Island island through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. Blenheim is the winemaking engine room of the New Zealand wine industry. In the 1970's the plains would have been filled by sheep - now it  is vines as far as the eye can see, producing world class wines. You will be collected from the ferry terminal and taken for a 3hr tour of world class wineries, and then transferred to your accommodation. 

Accommodation Blenheim - 1 night

6
Blenheim to Christchurch by Train

Enjoy a leisurely morning before your 1pm train departure. This journey will take you through 22 tunnels and over 175 bridges. This is a scenic feast, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Along the way you pass though the village of Kaikoura. With an open air viewing carriage to your senses are awakened with the clean, fresh, sea air while viewing wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of your carriage. All carriages are centrally heated/air conditioned, with 'Airline' style reclining seats, with large panoramic windows for sweeping scenic views. 

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

7
Christchurch City Tour followed by Farm Stay

The Grand Tour of Christchurchis a great way to experience the 'buzz' and see the creativity being used to rebuild a great modern city for us all.  Explore Christchurch city's top attractions by bike - from the historic... to the new,  there are many exciting new projects and developments underway in Christchurch as the post-earthquake rebuild begins. In the afternoon you will be collected by your hosts and taken to Petes Farm Stay, 25 mins out of Christchurch. This is a real kiwi farmstay Bed & Breakfast, with Sheep, Alpacas & Cows. Enjoy a evening meal and a glass of wine whilst enduring the tranquility of this special property.

8
Return to Christchurch

Following your farm tour return to Christchurch. Relax and enjoy more sights of Christchurch city.

9
From Christchurch to Mt Cook, then tour by 4WD

Leaving the city via the Canterbury plains, you will reach Lake Tekapo which is approximately halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown Continue on to Mount Cook National Park - A Fantasy Land of Ice and Rock. Mt Cook National Park, known for its exquisite alpine beauty and is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt Cook. Its Maori name, ‘Aoraki’ means ‘cloud piercer’ and at 12,016ft (3,755m) it towers above the surrounding snow-covered peaks in the park. You will arrive by early afernoon with time for lunch before exploring the Tasman Valley by 4WD & Argo (8 wheel all Terrain Vehicles). This trip will offer plenty of stunning photo opportunities of both Mt Cook and the Tasman Glacier and terminal lakes. 

Accommodation Mount Cook Village - 1 night

10
Travel the Lindis Pass to Queenstown

The tour continues south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route, enjoy afternoon tea (own expense) in the quaint village of Omarama and if time permits, visit the Jones Family Orchard near Cromwell. Your tour concludes in the evening upon reaching Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.We've all heard the endless hype about it being the adventure capital of the world, and there are certainly enough crazy activities here to challenge the strongest, but Queenstown offers much more besides. 

Accommodation Queenstown - 1 night

11
Overnight Cruise Milford Sound

Head off today for the often moody & dramatic Milford Sound via the famous Milford Road and Homer Tunnel.  This is a lengthy drive that will afford plenty of stunning mountain backdrops, cascading rainforest carpeted canyons that tumble to the sound, tunnels and the cheeky Kea (native parrot) to keep the visual symphony booming. Upon arrival at Milford, board the Milford Mariner for a leisurely cruise the full length of Milford Sound. The Milford Sound is home to three species of dolphin, along with fur seals and penguins. Return under sail and anchor overnight in Harrison Cove. An opportunity to sea-kayak or explore the shoreline from the tender vessels. Stay in a private cabin with en suite, enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner and a hearty cooked breakfast. 

12
Return to Queenstown

Today return to Queenstown and relax with a walk around the township nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

13
Dart River Wilderness Jet Boating

The inventor of the worlds first modern jet boat was a New Zealander with the Hamilton Jet. Today as you ride the jet you will marvel at the skilled navigation of the ever changing shallows of the Dart River braids (1.5hrs) As you walk the Heritage Trail (40mins) of the aptly named Paradise Valley, framed by snowcapped mountains  and ancient forests, the commentary of your friendly guides will provide insight in to the  Maori and colonial history of the region. 

14
Fly Queenstown to Auckland to connect to your outbound flight