‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand!
Today is Arrival Day. You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending what time you arrive, you will then have some time to explore the city of Auckland before meeting your travelling companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink after which your Tour Leader will review the details of your trip.
Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:
|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|
Accommodation: Ramada Hotel Auckland (or similar) - 1 night
COROMANDEL PENINSULA / HAHEI
The Coromandel Peninsula lies east of Auckland, on the other side of the Hauraki Gulf. An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs up the middle of this peninsula, bordered on each side by kilometres of spectacular coastline. Check out the beaches and cliffs and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales. Make friends with the locals, including "hippies" who arrived in the 1970s and never left.
Pack your swimsuit and walk from the north end of Hahei Beach along a cliff-top path that leads down to Cathedral Cove. Swim, lay in the shade, and enjoy the beauty of this idyllic spot.
Hot Water Beach is a unique spot on the Coromandel Peninsula. If the tide is right, you can dig into the sand to create a natural jacuzzi.
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation Tatahi Lodge - 1 night (or similar)
ROTORUA / Maori Village Stay
Rotorua is a geothermal spectacular. Giant geysers rocket into the air and colourful sulphur terraces hiss and boil. The earth's crust at its most exciting and accessible in the downtown parks and lakefront- the smell of sulphur and sight of steaming vents invade the senses. But Rotorua is more than boiling mud, there are ancient forests set amongst pristine lakes, and the area is steeped in the history and tikanga (culture) of Maori, the First People of New Zealand.
Maori Village Overnight Visit
Visit the Tamaki Maori Village. Receive the traditional Powhiri welcome ceremony followed by a captivating stage performance explaining Maori history and culture. For dinner, enjoy a traditional Hangi meal, similar to the Hawaiian Luau, with dishes cooked in the ground. After, enjoy some quiet time with our Maori hosts by a fire.
Recommended excursions in and around Rotorua:
|See Geysers & Boiling Mud||Polynesian Hot Springs||Whirinaki Forest Walk|
|Thermally Active Golf||Biking the Mighty Forests||Flight to Volcanic Island|
|Museum of Art & History||Evening Cultural Experience||White Water Rafting|
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Tamaki Maori Village - 1 Night (or similar)
ROTORUA TO WELLINGTON
Rest your legs this morning as we drive south through rolling hill country to the capital city of Wellington.
Wellington is a picture perfect city. It is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot.
The city has long been recognized as the cultural and arts capital of New Zealand (with festivals almost every month) and is home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, opera companies, theater and a large number of art galleries.
Accommodation: Comfort Hotel Wellington - 2 nights (or similar)
WELLINGTON - OUR COOL LITTLE CAPITAL
Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city. After an orientation walk the rest of the afternoon is yours, so take your time as you stroll through the busy streets of this buzzing wee city. Absorb some of New Zealand’s history in the national museum - Te Papa, explore the waterfront or simply get lost admiring the heritage houses along one of the many improbably steep streets. Nowhere is very far in this walkable city.
Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.
Suggested outings in and around Wellington.
|National Museum - Te Papa||Visit Cuba Street||Weta Workshop Tour|
|Zealandia Wildlife Reserve||Carter Observatory|
TRAVEL TO KAIKOURA
Take the ferry to the South Island, then travel on the Coastal Railway heading through Marlborough the winemaking capital of New Zealand, continuing south the vines will keep you company as you reach the headlands of the East Coast.
Nestled between soaring mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura is known as New Zealand’s ‘Serengeti of the Sea’. The natural wonders here are breath taking. Fur seals lounge on the rugged coastline and, just offshore, whales and dolphins thrive in an ocean that teems with life.
For dinner, opt to chow down on the national dish – fish and chips – near the beach.
Accommodation: White Morph Motor Inn (or similar) - 1 Night
KAIKOURA - HANMER SPRINGS
Enjoy your free morning in Kaikoura, you can choose to swim with dolphins or go whale watching before travelling to Hanmer Springs, stopping en route for a wine tasting at a local winery. Opt to take a soak in the hot springs.
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|
Accommodation: Drifters Inn Hanmer Springs (or similar) - 1 Night
Travel across the Southern Alps via the stunningly scenic Arthur's Pass. Stretch your legs with a mountain or rainforest walk as we head south into the National Park known as ‘Glacier Country’ – in parts, huge valleys of ice tumble down almost to sea level. Also blessed with lakes, rivers and wetlands; Westland is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Here, the landscapes are highly revered by those kiwis who have lived here for generations, as well as by the local Ngai Tahu tribe who hold this wild place in high spiritual esteem.
On arrival at Franz Josef Glacier, take an hour to walk to the Glaciers Terminal face and treat yourself to a soak on your return. Nestled in lush rainforest enjoy a soak in the fabulous Glacier Hot Pools, a perfect way to unwind after your days drive and walk.
Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat - 2 Nights (or something similar)
EXPLORE FRANZ JOSEPH
Spend the day exploring the stunning region around Franz Josef. Opt for various hiking adventures in the area, the most popular being a glacier trek. If relaxing is more your style, there are shorter day hikes and bush walks or local hot pools to take a dip. You are in the heart of Westland National Park, considered to be the most diverse and beautiful area in New Zealand.
Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef.
|Kayak Okarito Lagoon||Glacier Hot Pools||Glacier Scenic Flight|
|Horseback Riding||Walk to Glacier Face||Glacier Heli-hike|
QUEENSTOWN - THE ADVENTURE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and ringed by towering mountains, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s ultimate holiday destinations. It may be the adventure capital of the world, but it’s also home to an excellent food and wine scene as well as great shopping, hiking and endless opportunities to relax.
It’s just as easy to go fishing, golfing, gold panning or wine tasting as it is to Bungy jump or skydive. Famed for its international winter skiing profile and outdoor beauty, Queenstown is a brilliant destination to visit year-round. One thing is certain here: you won’t run out of things to do.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel - 2 nights (or similar)
QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE
Explore everything Queenstown has to offer. You can get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling Wilderness Jet Boat Ride or if you prefer something more relaxing like a wine tour in the stunning vineyards of the Gibbston Valley, you won’t be disappointed.
Recommended Queenstown excursions:
|Routeburn Day Walk||Highest Bungey Jump||Explore Arrowtown|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Doubtful Sound on a day cruise. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife, then return to Queenstown for the night.
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Cruise through the stunning Doubtful Sound, one of the most untouched, remote places in the world. The only way to get here is by boat across Lake Manapouri, then bus across Wilmont Pass to Doubtful Sound. Marvel at the steep cliff walls and cascading waterfalls, and keep an eye out for area wildlife: dolphins, penguins, seals, and a variety of birds. This isolated part of New Zealand is truly a special place!
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Mount Cook National - TWIZEL
Head through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook. Visit Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and spend the afternoon hiking the region, taking in the alpine scenery. Learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary at the Visitor's Centre.
Aoraki/Mount Cook is both a village, a national park and the name of New Zealand's highest mountain. Located in central South Island, the park includes a mix of rocks and glaciers, as well as alpine plants including the world's largest buttercup, the Mount Cook lily. There are several short walks that reward with spectacular views.
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park Visitor Centre
Stop by the visitor's centre to learn more about the region.
Accommodation: Mountain Chalet Twizel (or similar) - 1 Night
CHRISTCHURCH - THE GARDEN CITY
Spend the morning hiking the region surrounding Mt Cook, taking in the alpine scenery with the chance to learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary at the visitor's centre. Continue on to Christchurch for one final night together.
New Zealand’s second-largest city 'Christchurch' has bounced back after a series of major earthquakes, and has shown its resiliency with a number of new and exciting developments popping up everywhere. Don’t miss the Re Start Shopping Mall, made out of shipping containers, as well as the many funky Pop Up bars dotted throughout the city. All public services and spaces are running as normal, and Christchurch continues to be a vibrant city to live, work and play.
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|
Accommodation All Stars Inn on Bealey (or similar)
"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
We know you will enjoy the 'The Highlights of New Zealand Adventure Tour' and our promise to you is 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 in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
- Check out a Hot Water Beach
- Feast on a hangi in a Maori village
- Let loose in Queenstown
- Cruise around the fjords of Milford Sound
- Travel a scenic rail route
- Coromandel Peninsula visit
- Cathedral Cove visit
- Hot Water Beach stop
- Traditional Maori ceremony and Hangi dinner
- Overnight in Maori village
- Orientation walk in Wellington
- Scenic train journey
- Beach time in Kaikoura
- Arthurs Pass
- Fiordland National Park visit
- Milford Sound overnight boat excursion (Seasonal; May through September will have a day cruise)
- Visit to Mt Cook NP with hiking opportunity (weather permitting)
- Visit to Mt Cook NP Visitor's Centre
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities