AAT Kings - New Zealand Uncovered Itinerary

 
1

Welcome to Auckland

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand

Relax you are now officially on holiday and everything has been taken care of! We will meet you at the airport and drive you directly to your hotel to freshen up and unwind. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Reception and dinner with your Travel Director. 

Meals: Dinner with wine

Accommodation:  Auckland - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
The Stamford Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Auckland CBD (Central Business District), 8 minutes’ walk from shopping and fine dining on Queen Street. Vector Arena is a 15-minute walk away. The concierge can arrange transportation services. All stylish and sophisticated guest rooms and suites include a 40-inch satellite TV, a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. Each air conditioned room offers a luxurious bathroom with plush bathrobe, slippers and guest toiletries. Dental kits are available for an additional charge.
Stamford Plaza Auckland

2

Auckland at Leisure

After a city sights, tour enjoy time at leisure. 

Make the most of some free leisure time in the 'City of Sails' - simply relax or take this opportunity to explore the many sights of Auckland. After meeting your travel director at the Welcome Reception this evening we suggest you head down to the viaduct for dinner.

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


Meals: Breakfast


3

Auckland – Tauranga & Guest lunch

You’re invited to a Be My Guest lunch at the Red Barn on the Waikato farm of Lance and Bridgette O’Sullivan, New Zealand horse racing royalty.

Later, travel to Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty. 

The Bay of Plenty aptly named by Captain James Cook for its abundance in food, lush soils, sheltered harbours and beauty. 'The Mount' rises abruptly at the entrance to Tauranga Harbour. It is an extinct volcanic cone that towers over the idyllic Ocean Beach, a summer mecca for thousands of sun, sea, surf and sand worshippers. Mt Maunganui is synonymous with New Zealand's love of long summer days and balmy evenings on beaches and barbecue areas. 

Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest Lunch & Dinner with wine

Accommodation: Tauranga - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Trinity Wharf Tauranga provides luxury hotel accommodation offering Tauranga Harbour views and free WiFi access. All rooms feature a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and an en suite bathroom with a heated tile floor and bathrobes. Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the restaurant's outdoor patio which offers panoramic views of New Zealand's busiest commercial port. Facilities include 24/7 reception, room service and a private pontoon.
Trinity Wharf Tauranga

4

Tauranga – Rotorua

Travel through Te Puke to visit Kiwifruit Country, then after reaching Rotorua, we visit Te Puia, the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, where students carry on age-old traditions of wood carving and weaving. A tour of Rotorua’s active geothermal fields follows.

After enjoying great views of Lake Rotorua settle down to enjoy a traditional Maori 'Hangi' Feast and Concert at the Tamaki Family Marae.

Meals: Breakfast & Highlight Dinner

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
This 4.5 star deluxe property is perfectly situated next to mystical Lake Rotorua and is just a brief stroll from the City centre, close to many restaurants and bars. The hotel offers world class residential style accommodation that is suitable for those travelling on business and for leisure. Restaurant Nikau offers a good range of evening menu choices, from the Restaurant's famous Nikau Burger to fine dining options, while the Brassiere Poolside Restaurant is the perfect place to start your day with an alfresco style breakfast beside the geothermal heated pool.
Millenium Hotel Rotorua

5

Free Day In Rotorua & Included Activity

Embark on one of your Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Glide through the Waitomo Glowworm Grotto, take an ancient forest zipline adventure with Canopy Tours, visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, or explore Rotorua and its lakes in an Amphibious WWll-era Duck.

Included Meals: Breakfast


6

Rotorua – Wellington

The Thermal Explorer Highway guides you to the Central North Island and the largest body of fresh water in the Southern Hemisphere - Lake Taupo. follow its shores south and climb up to the spectacular Desert Road in to the Tongariro National Park where a dramatic alpine vista unfolds, crowned by the imposing volcanic peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngaruahoe. Continue along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Wellington - 1 Night

Wellington's iconic hotel, James Cook Grand Chancellor is situated right in the heart of the city. The friendly staff and excellent service will help make your stay in Wellington a memorable one. With well appointed rooms that all have high speed internet access, Sky TV, in house movie system, iron and board, full minibar and tea/coffee making facilities. They also offer Bodyhaven Spa Style Boutique and a complimentary in-house gymnasium.
James Cook Wellington

7

Wellington – Blenheim

Savor a morning to yourself - take a look around Wellington or just relax. A visit to the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, offers wonderful insights into the nation’s colourful history and there are some truly world-class collections on display. Waving goodbye to the North Island, we board the ferry for the crossing of Cook Straight. Tranquility and beauty define the cruise into Queen Charlotte Sound and the gorgeous seaside town of Picton, where we first set foot on South Island soil. We stop in Blenheim for a tour of the city before arriving at our destination - the premier wine region of Marlborough

Dinner: This evening we savor a tasting of some remarkable local wines and enjoy a  3 course dinner, Sauvignon Blanc is the specialty.

 Meals: Breakfast & Highlight dinner

Accommodation: Blenheim - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Chateau Marlborough, Marlborough's premier boutique hotel overlooking Seymour Square Gardens, prides itself on offering guests luxury accommodation with an enviable attention to detail - and all just a short walk from Blenheim's town centre.
Chateau Marlborough

8

Blenheim – Christchurch

Today we venture inland through the Wairau Valley, home to some of the Marlborough region’s most well-known wineries & world-famous Sauvignon Blancs. Travel to Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore before travelling over the Lewis Pass and Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 night

The Distinction Hotel is a brand new hotel opening in 2019 in the revitalised heart of Christchurch and Cathedral Square. Centrally located and a short stroll to the Botanical Gardens, New Regent Street, the Arts Centre, and Avon River. This luxury Christchurch hotel offers 179 elegant, air-conditioned hotel rooms including 3 floors of brand new Superior Rooms and Suites.
Distinction Hotel Christchurch

9

Christchurch – Twizel & Guest Dinner

After joining our Sustainable Tourism Commitment by planting a native tree in the Port Hills of Christchurch, an area recovering from wildfire, we travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Get a taste of famous kiwi hospitality during our special barbecue lunch at Morelea Farm. Our hosts, Angie and Stan, welcome us into their home and share their wonderful 240-hectare garden, overflowing with colour, charm and native bird song. Later on, we visit Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo where a magical scene of turquoise blue water contrasts with a stunning backdrop of mountains cloaked in a veil of golden tussock grass. Adding to the superb photo opportunities,

Later, view the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd on your way to Twizel.

Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest afternoon tea & Dinner with wine

Accommodation: Tekapo - 1 Night

The MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel, is located very in the heart of the historic MacKenzie Basin. The hotel offers 108 spacious guestrooms including 80 standard rooms and 28 deluxe rooms; all offer shower over bath ensuites with surrounding views of the spectacular Ben Ohau Ranges and Mount Cook. Enjoy a meal in the restaurant or bar by choosing from the hearty menus revealing local cuisine accompanied by a range of New Zealand wines.
MacKenzie Country Hotel

10

Twizel – Dunedin & Included Activity

This morning, we stop to marvel at the Benmore Dam while en route to Oamaru, where the town centre is graced by some of New Zealand's best 19th century architecture. Our journey continues to our final destination of the day Dunedin

Today indulge your adventurous side, selecting one of the 'Included Choice Sightseeing Experiences' on offer to you in Dunedin.

Choice from one of these included experiences:

  1. Tour Stately Larnach Castle 
  2. Historic Taieri Gorge Railway Journey
  3. Interactive Tour of Speight's Brewery
  4. Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner with Wine

Accommodation Dunedin - 1 night

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross is Dunedin's largest and most established hotel. Located in the heart of Dunedin, this hotel has been extensively refurbished and now provides guests with modern style, exquisite quality, convenience and exceptional service. Your every comfort is well provided for, with 178 attractive rooms and suites, extensive hotel facilities, and a very high standard of service. This has earned the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross a 4-star plus Qualmark rating, as well as the Enviro-Silver award.
Scenic Hotel Southern Cross - Dunedin

11

Dunedin – Te Anau (gateway to Fiordland National Park)

We head overland through lush farming country and rolling hills to the splendid lakeside town of Te Anau- the gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Remember to charge your camera batteries tonight.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner with Wine

Accommodation: Te Anau - 1 night
* Guests will now stay at the Distinction Luxmore Te Anau on day 11 in place of the
Distinction Hotel & Villas Te Anau which remains closed for the remainder of 22/23 season.

Located on the Te Anau lake front, a short stroll from the Te Anau town centre, Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas is perfectly situated for you to make the most of this beautiful area. The rooms are very comfortable and the hotel has all the facilities you would expect from a property of this standard.Distinction Te Anua Hotel and Villas, offering chic, elegant accommodation. This 4 Star hotel is surrounded by extensive landscaped gardens where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Te Anua and the Fiordland ranges.
Distinction Hotel Te Anau & Villas

12

Cruise on the Majestic Milford Sound

Welcome to one of the most scenic locations in the world. A majestic World Heritage Site, Milford Sound has been described as the '8th natural wonder of the world' and the journey along the amazing Milford Road is just as awe-inspiring as the destination. You'll enjoy plenty of photo opportunities along this spectacular highway that cuts through an unimaginable cathedral of imposing mountain peaks, mirror lakes and bottomless valleys decorated in rainforests, waterfalls and glaciers. 

At Milford Sound we embark on a cruise you will never forget. An otherworldly landscape plunges into the Tasman Sea and unique wildlife abounds in the deep waters of the fiord. Our destination for tonight is the fairytale town of Queenstown, set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. On arrival we finish our day full of highlights with an orientation tour.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 nights

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is only minutes from Queenstown central shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities and offers a peaceful haven from the variety of activities in this lively city. With many guest rooms and suites to choose from the centre boasts a gym, sauna, spa, bar and restaurant, feature contemporary city-inspired designed. Many of our rooms also offer scenic views of the city and mountains, providing the perfect backdrop to your journey.

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

13

Included Choice Experiences & Steamer Cruise to Farm

Today indulge your adventurous side, selecting one of the Included Choice sightseeing experiences on offer to you in Queenstown.

Choice from one of these included experiences:

  1. Central Otago Wine Tour 
  2. Thrilling Shotover Jet-boat Ride
  3. A 4WD Minibus tour in Skippers Canyon
  4. Skyline Gondola with thrilling Luge Ride

This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue ‘highlight dinner’ at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life.

Meals: Breakfast and Highlight Dinner


14

Franz Josef - 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 makes 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 with Wine

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

15

Franz Josef – Punakaiki & Pancake Rocks

Today we lay eyes on Franz Josef Glacier, a tremendous frozen cascade of ice that tumbles down from the soaring Southern Alps towards the ocean. Then it’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway, followed by a visit to Hokitika, where a trip to The Jade Factory showcases the beautiful greenstone carvings for which the town is renowned. Further on, the famous limestone stacks of the Punakaiki Pancake Rocksare highlighted by thundering, geyser-like blowholes and unique rock formations etched out over thousands of years.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner with Wine

Accommodation Punakaiki - 1 night

Surrounded by the Paparoa National Park and with stunning views of the Tasman Sea, The Ocean View Retreat – Punakaiki is in a great location. The resort is situated only 300m from the famous Punakaiki Blowholes and has been designed in harmony with the local environment.  Evenings are spent relaxing in a standard resort room with views of the sea or an Eco Suite with rainforest and distant seaviews.

 
The Ocean View Retreat – Punakaiki

16

Punakaiki to Christchurch

Travelling via Greymouth to Arthur's Pass is truly something special. The road flows through some of New Zealand's most splendid country side from the Southern Alps to Christchurch. 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

The Distinction Hotel is a brand new hotel opening in 2019 in the revitalised heart of Christchurch and Cathedral Square. Centrally located and a short stroll to the Botanical Gardens, New Regent Street, the Arts Centre, and Avon River. This luxury Christchurch hotel offers 179 elegant, air-conditioned hotel rooms including 3 floors of brand new Superior Rooms and Suites.
Distinction Hotel Christchurch

17

 Farewell from Christchurch

"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


Notes

Trip Inclusions

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Auckland Sky Tower
  • Te Puia - Thermal Mud Pools & Geysers
  • Immerse yourself in rich Maori culture with the Tamaki family over dinner
  • Take your pick of a selection of included experiences in Rotorua, Dunedin, Queenstown & Bay of Islands
  • Journey through the magnificent scenery of Mt. Ruapehu Tongariro National Park
  • 'You're invited' to Morelea for a unique private afternoon tea experience
  • Explore Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand
  • Savour a delicious Kiwi BBQ at Morelea Farm
  • Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station
  • Travel past ancient glaciers, spectacular mountains and magical rainforest en route to Milford Sound
  • Taste Central Otago stone fruits at a local orchard
  • Discover fascinating Franz Josef Glacier
  • Walk around Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
  • Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Train

Included Meals

  •  16 Full Buffet Breakfasts
  •  1 Lunch
  •  1 Be My Guest Lunch
  •  1 Be My Guest afternoon tea
  •  7 Dinners with wine
  •  3 Highlight dinners
  •  1 Farewell dinner

Plus

  • Welcome Reception
  • Travel Wallet, Luggage Tags & Map of New Zealand
  • Hotel Porterage Included
  • Arrival & Departure transfers

 

 


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What suzie says about this tour: If you're looking for a quintessential luxury coach tour of the whole of New Zealand, then look no further. From the working farm visits, Maori cultural experiences, geysers and glaciers, rainforests and majestic mountains this popular journey has it all. A mix of adventure and relaxation with opportunities to pick and choose your activities. A Professional Coach Director and premium accommodation give added comfort.
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