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1

Welcome to Auckland

‘Haere Mai’ … welcome to New Zealand. Now you can relax - you are officially on holiday. Everything has been taken care of, we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

Enjoy a relaxing day exploring Auckland, also known as the ‘City of Sails’. Soak up the harbour side beauty of the central city and enjoy the world-class dining options of the Viaduct and Princes Wharf. There’s quality shopping on offer and, for spectacular views over the city and beyond, a visit up Auckland's Sky Tower is not to be missed. For an insight into New Zealand history and culture, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is a great place to explore.

An evening welcome reception is followed by dinner with your Travel Director and fellow travellers.

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: Auckland - 1 night

Right on the main street of Auckland City's CBD, this brand new VR Hotel has proudly opened its doors to accommodate travellers who are exploring Auckland and surroundings. The location is on walking distance from the harbour, SkyCity, many shops and restaurants and the city's most popular attractions. Furthermore, public transport is easily accessible from this location. Many bars and restaurants are also available in nearby suburbs Mount Eden and Ponsonby.

VR Queenstreet

2

Waitomo Caves & Cultural Feast Rotorua

Waitomo – the name coming from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole) is home to an astonishing landscape. Hidden under the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. The caves were carved by underground streams pushing through soft limestone over thousands of years.

Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Waitomo Glow Worm Grotto - with plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness - intensifying the effect of thousands of softly shining glow worms.

On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi Feast and Concert.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 nights

Accommodation:

Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua, this hotel offers tranquil surroundings with sensational views, near to many bars, restaurants and main attractions. The Ibis Rotorua offers great accommodation to travellers that want to make most out of their stay in New Zealand's geothermal area. 

Ibis Rotorua

3

Out & About - Rotorua

Today is a chance to explore at your leisure some of the more interesting attractions Rotorua is famous for, and take the day at the pace you prefer.


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


4

Volcanic Plateau & the Great Lake

The road this morning takes us to a grand view of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is sitting in the South Pacific's largest volcanic crater. Heading further South we follow the Desert Road and enjoy amazing views of Tongariro National Park’s Volcanoes. The landscape becomes dominated by rivers and valleys. The Mangaweka Gorge is a scenic masterpiece and as you follow the state highway, the Kapiti Coast becomes New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.

Wellington is a compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, museums, theatre and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. As New Zealand’s capital, this city is rich in political history.

Meals: Breakfast 

Accommodation: Wellington - 1 night

Accommodation:

Located in a modern tower 300m from the waterfront, the Travelodge is just a few minutes walk from the harbour and the centre of Wellington. Main attractions such as the famous Cable Car, Botanic Garden and Te Papa (the national museum) all are situated within walking distance so transportation in the city centre is unnecessary. From here it is easy to enjoy a city trip that includes everything you don't want to miss when visiting New Zealand's (culture) capital! 

Travelodge Wellington

5

Cruise the Marlborough Sounds - Picton

After a city sights tour of Wellington taking in New Zealand’s parliament buildings, visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, 

Board the Interisland Ferry, sit back and enjoy New Zealand hospitality on the three hour journey across Cook Strait which connects New Zealand’s North and South Islands - This is one of the most scenic in the world. The journey offers a dramatic view of both the North and South Islands. As you enter the picturesque Marlborough Sounds keep an eye out for wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, seals, whales and orca that make the sounds home.  Enter the South Island through Picton, a picturesque harbour town located at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound. 

Onboard you will enjoy a packed lunch supplied by charity Eat My Lunch - it will also feed a Kiwi child who may otherwise go without,

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Picton - 1 night

Accommodation:

A visit to lovely Picton is at its best with the brilliant harbour views of award-winning Beachcomber Inn hotel. Outstanding service and the scenic waterfront location distinguish this hotel from others. Ideally located a short walk from retail stores and less than a kilometer away from the Interislander ferry terminal. For other directions, Blenheim airport is less than half an hour away. Have a comfortable stay at this hotel and let it be part of your best memories of New Zealand.

Picton Beachcomber Inn

6

Kaikoura - Christchurch

Get up close and personal with some New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point, watch whales at Kaikoura, (optional scenic whale-watching flight is available)

A spectacular marine playground exists off the coast of Kaikoura and living in this environment is the mighty Sperm Whale. It is here that resident bachelors dive to immense depths in search of Giant Squid, so accessible to Sperm whales but still elusive to mankind. Visitors are drawn to Kaikoura by the ability to view these magnificent mammals in their own environment 12 months of the year and Kaikoura The rich diversity of wildlife found means that every day is a chance to see something different and unique - and you will - from seabirds to cetaceans (whales and dolphins), seals, or even Orca.

Travel across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.


Alternative Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Cruise    Swim with the Seals
Whale Watching Flight        Dusky Dolphin Viewing
Kayaking with Fur Seals    Pelagic Bird Watching 


Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 night

Accommodation:
This inviting and modern brand new hotel features contemporary rooms, Restaurant & Bar. Nearby to the Cashel Street Re:START mall - this "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. The Hotel is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to local activities, outer lying attractions and the airport.
Ibis Hotel Christchurch.

7

Mt Cook National Park

After some free time we leave the Christchurch city and head westwards through the Canterbury plains, you will find a superb location for some great photos at Lake Tekapo. Tekapo is one of three significant, neighboring lakes that border the Mackenzie Valley in New Zealand's South Island. Golden tussock grass carpets the surrounding hillside and roll away into the distance where the Southern Alps frame the horizon. The charming 'Church of the Good Shepherd' sits alone on its shores and the views to our highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook are remarkable, before travelling around Lake Pukaki to Twizel and Omarama.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Omarama - 1 night

Set amongst landscaped gardens with views of the surrounding mountains, the Heritage Gateway Hotel is a peaceful place to stay. Featuring 98 comfortably furnished guest rooms, restaurant & bar.The Heritage Gateway is located 4 hours south of Christchurch and is truly the gateway to the South Island. This hotel has a full restaurant and cocktail bar both offering panoramic views of the Southern Alps.
Set amongst landscaped gardens with views of the surrounding mountains, the Heritage Gateway Hotel

8

Oamaru - Dunedin

This morning we head down the beautiful Waitaki Valley to visit Oamaru. While its façade is strictly of the Victorian era with ornately decorated grand white stone buildings that once housed upstanding banks, hotels and restaurants, the residents ‘the Oamaruivans’ are certainly not. In fact quite the contrary, unlike the Victorians they (the locals) are bohemians artisans, creative’s and antiquarians who run ‘out-there’ galleries, museums, shops and venues – it has to be seen to be believed and you'll love it.

Dunedin - Scottish City of Grace and Grandeur
It is for good reason that New Zealand's oldest city is known as the 'Edenborough of the South' - Dunedin comes from Dun Eideann the Scots-Gaelic name for Edinburgh, founded largely by Scottish immigrants, who raised the impressive buildings which now add much to the city's charm. 

Free Time: Then you have some free-time in Dunedin this afternoon – perhaps take a Wildlife Cruise, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Dunedin - 1 night

Accommodation:
This contemporary quality 4-star hotel accommodation is located the heart of Dunedin and is filled with modern local artwork. Located just blocks from the Octagon and walking distance of many of the city’s main attractions like the fabulous First Church of Otago, and handy to great restaurants and shopping centres. Amenities Include: Free WiFi, Restaurant & Cafe/Bar, Fitness Centre, Valet Car Parking, Conference Facilities.
Scenic Hotel Dunedin

9

Gateway Fiordland National Park

It’s a morning at leisure, during which you might like to tour New Zealand’s Larnach Castle. Built in 1871 by a merchant baron, over 200 Workers spent more than three years building the Larnach Castle main shell, while master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior - Larnach spared no expense and the castle is built from the finest materials from around the world. This superbly crafted building with magnificent architecture, showcases a unique collection of New Zealand antiques, see spectacular tower views and beautiful gardens.

We say farewell to Dunedin and head inland, crossing rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Te Anau - 1 night

Distinction Luxmore Hotel provides comfortable newly refurbished accommodation in one of New Zealand's most popular scenic areas - Te Anau. Within easy walking distance of the township, surrounded by all local services, this 4-star hotel welcomes guests with 2 restaurants, free self parking, a fitness centre and FREE unlimited WiFi. Luxmores management and staff take pride in providing a warm, friendly and efficient service to all guests.
Distinction Luxmore Hotel

10

Milford Sound Scenic Cruise

The Road to Milford is one of New Zealand’s most scenic drives. The first part is relatively mild farmland, then you’ll ease into beech forest near the entrance to the Fiordland National Park. Look for the Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain and the Mirror Lakes. The rough hewn Homer Tunnel brings you into Milford Sound, an amazing 22km-long fiord dominated by Mitre Peak. A cruise on Milford Sound will be an essential component of your time in Fiordland. Tall waterfalls, vertical rock faces and seals are some of the things you’ll remember.

This afternoon have a scenic drive to Queenstown

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 nights

Experience tranquillity all year round. The Copthorne Resort Lakefront in Queenstown sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area. Exploring panoramic views of the lake and nearby mountains, the Copthorne is the perfect venue to relax! The Copthorne Lakefront blends superior facilities and comfort with friendly service. The hotel Balconies and garden views are a feature of many rooms.
Copthorne Resort Queenstown

11

Steamboat to High-Country Station

Its time to get out and explore this great little city. Queenstown has developed an exciting array of outdoor adventure activities - and there's plenty to choose from. But if you are just want to chill out then Queenstown's compact downtown area is relaxed during the day and huge fun at night. In any season, you can count on stylish designer shops and many trendy restaurants offering a kaleidoscope of dining experiences.

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 highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining after-dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life.

Recommended excursions around Queenstown:

Routeburn Day Walk Highest Bungey Jump Explore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon       Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise   Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail


Meals: Breakfast and Highlights Dinner


12

West Coast Glacier Country

The adventure continues, and this morning Central Otago's rich pioneer gold rush history comes alive in the picturesque village of Arrowtown. Set beside a beautiful clear flowing river, this charming town has some great historical sites, boutique shops and delightful cafés. Following the road to Cromwell, the fabulous scenery keeps on coming and during the stone fruit season, you can pick up bags of delicious cherries, apricots and nectarines at any of the roadside stalls.

For a slice of paradise we drive past a trio of fantastic lakes including Lake Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka before traversing the Haast Pass where the Thunder Creek Falls make for some more great photos. A short stroll amongst emerald rainforest refreshes us prior to our arrival at Franz Josef - the world's most accessible glacier.


Meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

Accommodation: Franz Josef - 1 night

Situated on the very edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier will welcome you in true New Zealand style. The Hotel makes the most of its alpine location and is only moments from spectacular Franz Josef Glacier. The highly regarded Hot Pools are within walking distance. Featuring patios or balconies, the simple, warmly decorated rooms and suites include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, plus tea and coffee making facilities. Suites add living areas. (formerly known as the Scenic Circle Franz Josef Glacier Hotel) has quality rooms with balcony views and special access.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

13

Alpine Train - Christchurch

Travelling via Greymouth to Arthur's Pass we climb aboard the TranzAlpine. This rail journey is truly something special. Ranked among the world’s top 6 train journeys, these tracks flow through some of New Zealand's most splendid country side from the Southern Alps to Christchurch . This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see natural grandeur on such a scale. In the evening join your travel director and driver guide, and your new-found friends for a farewell dinner with wine.

Meals: Breakfast, farewell dinner

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

Accommodation:
This inviting and modern brand new hotel features contemporary rooms, Restaurant & Bar. Nearby to the Cashel Street Re:START mall - this "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. The Hotel is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to local activities, outer lying attractions and the airport.
Ibis Hotel Christchurch.

14

Bon Voyage

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

Today we say farewell to newfound friends. We take care of your transfer to Christchurch Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.


Some suggested activities 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: Breakfast


Inclusions

Highlights

  • Discover the arts and traditions of New Zealand’s Maori culture
  • Feast on a Maori Hangi at a unique dinner experience with the Tamaki family
  • Cruise through Waitomo’s famous Glowworm Grotto
  • Visit Huka Falls
  • Visit the Museum of New Zealand
  • Interislander ferry
  • Visit Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo
  • Cruise on Milford Sound
  • Travel past ancient glaciers, spectacular mountains and magical rainforest en route to Milford Sound
  • Sail across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak for a unique highlight dinner
  • Let loose in the adventure capital Queenstown
  • Visit the old gold mining village of Arrowtown
  • Travel through the magnificent rainforest of Haast Pass
  • See awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier
  • Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Train

Inclusions

  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Airport transfers 
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide

Dining

  •  13 Full Buffet Breakfasts
  •  1 Lunch
  •  4 Dinners
  •  2 Highlight dinners
  •  1 Farewell dinner

See Pricing Options
What Debs says about this tour: This 14 day trip allows for a relaxed pace without missing any of the highlights out. All of the major cities of New Zealand are visited, plus outstanding road & rail trips are included. Nothing is missed from stunning Milford Sound, a 2 night stay in Queenstown and the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.
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