AAT Kings New Zealand Magic Itinerary

Many magical tours are seen on this tour of the South island.

Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand!

Relax you are on holiday! Step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax as the Christchurch Tram takes you around the 'must-see' central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Some suggested excursions if you have time

Easygoing Cycling Tour  Punting the Avon River  Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Meals: None

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

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.


Arthurs Pass to Franz Josef

This morning you travel through the majestic Southern Alps via Arthur's Pass. Later, visit the beachside town of Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade). Experience the vibrant local arts, culture and heritage through a jewelry demonstration by a local carver. Next it's on to Franz Josef Glacier were you have the opportunity to take a scenic helicopter flight (optional).

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Franz Josef  - 1 Night

Arthurs Pass
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. 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 and quality rooms with balcony views.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier


Glaciers / Cromwell / Arrowtown

Travel through the scenic Haast Pass and view the must see 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls. Continue past the trio of lakes - Lake Dunstan, Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka  - before heading to scenic Cromwell, known for its breathtaking landscapes, where you'll get to try delicious stone fruit - peaches, plums, apricots, cherries - at a local orchard. From here visit to the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, located on the Arrow River, before arriving in Queenstown.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 Nights

Franz Josef Glacier
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


Queenstown at Leisure

Today explore the adventure capital of the world your way - take a jet boat ride or go white water rafting. If you would prefer to relax choose to play a round of golf on one of the country's best courses, unwind on a unique wine tasting tour or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment. 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 dinner. Afterwards experience an entertaining farm show where you'll get a glimpse into high-country farm life. 

Recommended Queenstown Excursions:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungey JumpExplore 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, highlight dinner

Queenstown TSS Earnslaw Steamship


Te Anau / Fiordland National Park

Today you travel to Te Anau. You'll be awestruck by the stunning sights of Fiordland National Park as you cruise Milford Sound, considered by many to be the eighth wonder of the world. From here drive to Mirror Lake, famous for its reflective views of Mount Cook, and past Pop's Lookout where you'll see stunning peaks, valley's and falls. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Te Anau - 1 Night

Milford Sound at Sunset
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


Dunedin - Edinburgh of the South

Cross sheep-filled farming land on the way to Dunedin, known as the Edinburgh of the South because of its rich Scottish heritage. This afternoon you are free - choose to visit the Otago Peninsula to see unique native wildlife such as Albatross, Sea Lions, and rare Yellow-eyed Penguins. If you want to learn more about your surroundings, take a ride on the historic Taieri Gorge Railway which will take you into the spectacular Central Otago Hinterland and up the rugged coast.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Dunedin - 1 Night

Dunedin Railway Station
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 and Conference Facilities.
Scenic Hotel Dunedin


Victorian Oamaru

This morning you are free to relax, perhaps visit Larnach Castle New Zealand's only castle. In the afternoon travel to Oamaru, a unique mix of Victorian – ornately decorated grand limestone buildings that once housed upstanding banks, hotels and restaurants – and bohemian artisans, creative’s and antiquarians. From here it's on to Omarama which highlights New Zealand's best – mountain scenery, location and small-town hospitality.

Meals: Breakfast, 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


High Country Lakes & Mt Cook National Park - Cloned

Travel along the shores of spectacular Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki into Aoraki Mount Cook National Park soaking up the sensational alpine landscape. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo, hosted by passionate guides, will forever change the way you see the night sky. You’ll see for yourself it may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe. Back on earth, it’s time to become reacquainted with Christchurch, your in-the-know guide pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation over the last decade. You'll view the mind-bending Transitional Cathedral, made largely of cardboard, and Turanga, the gold-clad central library.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Lake Tekapo
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.


Christchurch - Picton

Today we travel over the Canterbury Plains and over the Lewis Pass, stopping at the small Alpine village of Murchison. Known as the ‘whitewater capital’ of the country due to the many rivers in the region. Later, we enjoy stunning scenery of the Buller Gorge before arriving to the Marlborough region, world-famous for its Sauvignon Blancs amongst other quality wines. This evening you will finish your adventure in the South Island in the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Picton - 1 Night

Marlborough Wine Coutnry
A stone's throw from the bustling London Quay where water taxis zip to and fro from the Marlborough Sounds is the Picton Yacht Club. This hotel complex boasts a swimming pool and harbour views with 48 rooms to accommodate every possible combination of traveller. The onsite facilities are excellent with an outstanding restaurant producing a very high quality of cuisine.


Wellington - Our Cool Little Capital

Cruise the tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to Wellington, recently named 'The Coolest Little Capital in the World'. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Wellington - 1 Night

Interislander Ferry Crossing

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


Wellington - Rotorua


Travel along the Kapiti Coast to Tongariro National Park soaking up the stunning alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue freshwater of Lake Taupo is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. 

This evening, explore Te Puia’s geothermal valley, and learn about Māori history and culture on this guided experience, which includes a dinner of hangi-inspired cuisine and a cultural performance in a finely carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. It ends on a high at the Pohutu Geyser, where, armed with a hot chocolate you’ll view one of New Zealand’s geothermal wonderlands.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Nights

Tongariro National Park

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


Rotorua - the Cultural and Geothermal Centre

Today is a free day to relax and explore at your own pace. Afterwards enjoy an afternoon at leisure - perhaps visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park, named after the abundance of Rainbow Trout, to see native fauna, including kiwi birds. Or choose to do a tour of Te Puia, where a local Maori guide will show you the mud pools and geysers of the geothermal valley.

Meals: Breakfast.

Rotorua Geyser


Glowworm Grotto’s / The ‘City of Sails'

Travel through the Waikato region to the Waitomo Caves where you will take a tour of the amazing Glowworm Grotto by boat and walk through the limestone caverns. As you make your way into the heart of New Zealand’s largest city, you will stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata Harbour. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 Night

With its unbeatable location in Auckland’s epicentre on the corner of Wyndham and Albert Street, the brand new Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre is as convenient as it gets when visiting New Zealand’s harbourside city on business or on holiday.
Holiday Inn Express


Bay of Islands

Say goodbye to the ‘City of Sails’ as you journey north to New Zealand’s dramatic Bay of Islands – 140 droplets of land ringed by turquoise sea. It’s undeniably beautiful, but it also holds a special historical secret: this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, between Captain William Hobson and Māori chiefs. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Bay of Islands - 2 Nights

Beautiful view of the bay of Islands.
This four star hotel offers uninterrupted Bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens and the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It features a spectacular, lagoon style swimming pool and rock pools of cascading water. The hotel’s 180 guest rooms have individual patios or balconies from which to enjoy the water or garden views. Taking inspiration from nature, rooms have been designed to blend into the natural environment whilst offering a serene escape.
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands


Bay of Islands Leisure Time

Today you are free to experience the beautiful Bay of Islands as you wish. Made up of 144 islands it's paradise for water lovers and there is no shortage of things to do. Go on a dolphin cruise, take a coach trip to Cape Reinga via 90 mile beach, spend the day sailing on a tall ship or take a tour to historic Russel. Ask your Travel Director about optional experiences.

Excursions available in and around the Bay of Islands

Historical Island Cruise  Diving Rainbow Warrior  4WD Adventure Cape Reinga
Sailing the Islands  Dolphin Swimming  Giant Kauri Forest Walk
Cultural Tour of Waitangi  Golf at Kauri Cliffs  Sea Kayaking the Bay

Meals: Breakfast

Swimming with Dolphin


Bay of Islands - Auckland

Today, New Zealand’s most northerly city is on your radar. Whangarei is a place where waterfalls meet beaches, galleries meet museums. Explore at your leisure before sinking back into your seat for the mesmerising commute back to Auckland.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 Night

Waitangi Treaty Grounds
With its unbeatable location in Auckland’s epicentre on the corner of Wyndham and Albert Street, the brand new Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre is as convenient as it gets when visiting New Zealand’s harbourside city on business or on holiday.
Holiday Inn Express


Farewell Auckland

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

Today we say farewell to newfound friends, leaving you with the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.

Meals: Breakfast

Auckland Viaduct



  • Tour through Christchurch to witness the incredible rebuild of the city
  • See awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier
  • Visit serene crystal clear Lake Wanaka
  • Sail across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak for a unique ‘highlight dinner’
  • Let loose in the adventure capital Queenstown
  • Cruise on breath-taking Milford Sound
  • Tekapo Dark Sky Project
  • Cruise on the Interislander Ferry
  • Explore New Zealand’s capital Wellington
  • Discover the arts and traditions of New Zealand’s Maori culture
  • Feast on a Maori Hangi at a unique dinner experience Te Puia
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds


  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach


  •  16 Full buffet breakfasts
  •  7 Dinners
  •  2 Highlight dinners
Magical Tour of New Zealand Tour Map

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What Jess says about this tour: If you've come to get up close to New Zealand's spectacular landscapes and stunning vistas, you will thoroughly enjoy the 17 day New Zealand Magic tour. You begin in the South Island, then criss cross your way north in a luxury coach with a knowledgable on board Tour Director. The accommodation is all 4 star and the pace is relaxed.
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