AAT Kings Spirit of New Zealand Itinerary

Guide explaining the geological features in New Zealand

‘Haere Mai’ - Welcome to Christchurch

Community spirit is strong in Christchurch, as you’ll discover exploring its streets at your leisure. We recommend jumping on the tram to tour Christchurch and discover how the city has rebuilt itself since the 2010/11 earthquakes. Look out for the Transitional Cathedral, made largely of cardboard, and Turanga, the gold-clad central library.

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

Surrounded by bars and restaurants, 10 kilometers from Christchurch International Airport (CHC), Wyndham Garden Christchurch Kilmore Street offers convenient amenities like a gym, café, and free WiFi. Pick up local goods at Riverside Market


Lake Pukaki & Tekapo - Mt Cook National Park

More of Christchurch is revealed before the colours of the Canterbury Plains spread before you: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, snowcapped mountains and atmospheric towns. 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

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Omarama - 1 Night

Mount Cook National Park
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


Edinburgh of the South - Dunedin

Travel onto 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 ‘Oamaruivans’ are certainly not. In fact, they are quite the contrary. Unlike the Victorians they (the locals) are bohemian 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.

This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin. With the rest of your free afternoon you may wish to take part in an optional excursion to see more of the region. Take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.  

Some options available in and around Dunedin:

Speights Brewery Tour

   Cadbury Chocolate    Penguins and Albatross Tour

Taieri Rail Journey

   Peninsula Wildlife Cruise   Larnach Castle Tour


Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Dunedin - 1 Night

Dunedin Leisure Lodge is nestled within two acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, located adjacent to the Dunedin Botanic Gardens and just a six-minute drive from the city centre. Take in the beautiful garden views while you relax in McGavins Bar for a relaxing pre or post dinner drink. The hotel features spacious rooms and suites, each with a balcony or outside patio, plus ample complimentary parking and a 24 hour reception.
Leisure Lodge Auckland


Dunedin to Invercargill

From Brough Superior to Burt Munro and John Britten, Classic Motorcycle Mecca has it all. Ride into yesterday and discover the Southern Hemisphere’s leading classic motorcycle collection. Home to more than 300 vintage motorcycles, a visit here is a truly mind-blowing experience for enthusiasts and newbies alike. Housed in two restored historic buildings in the heart of Invercargill, the collection boasts displays of classic British, American, European, and Japanese bikes alongside tributes to motocross and speedway (including legend Ivan Mauger), the collection is also home to the George Begg Bunker: a tribute to a homegrown hero and a golden age in Kiwi motorsport history.   After your visit enjoy a local dinner to remember on location. 

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Accommodation: Invercargill - 2 Nights

classic motorcycle mecca - worlds fastest indian
Kelvin Hotel is situated in the city centre, only a short walk to major attractions and a 10-minute drive to the Invercargill Airport. Accommodation options at Kelvin Hotel include deluxe rooms and superior and king suites. All rooms feature en suite bathroom, satellite television and tea/coffee making facilities. Level One Restaurant and Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Room service is available.
Kelvin Hotel


Stewart Island

Wild, wide and wonderful, Stewart Island’s rugged coastline cuts a dramatic form in the Southern Ocean. It’s largely untouched, which means that endemic flora and fauna thrive. But don’t take our word for it. Meet the locals on a tour through the Village and Bays

Meals: Breakfast

Stewart Island


Invercargill - Queenstown

You’ve probably already noticed that there’s a lot of farmland here in New Zealand. It’s fitting, then, that you meet southern girl Laura, who will introduce you to the sheep farm where she was born and raised. The Real Country Farm Show, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, offers an authentic taste of what rural New Zealand is like. For every guest, we donate funds to The Fairlight Foundation, Advancing Women in Agriculture. Continue to Queenstown and take the afternoon at your own pace.  

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


Queenstown - Franz Josef

Atmospheric Arrowtown was born from gold, and its movie-set-like streets still shimmer today. It’s hard to tear yourself away, but the Alpine country of the Southern Lakes is calling, from Lake Dunstan – pause for juicy stone fruit picked fresh from the tree – to oh-so-blue Lake Hawea and lovely Lake Wanaka, with its shoreline of poplars and willows. Over the Haast Pass, the pretty town of Franz Josef/Waiau, awaits. Get some perspective on an optional Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere flight tour – if the weather behaves, you may even get to land on it. New Zealand tours don’t get much cooler than this.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Franz Josef  - 1 Night

Franz Josef Glacier
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


Franz Josef Glacier / Punakaki

Today choose to see spectacular Franz Josef Glacier from the air or do a Glacier Heli Hike (optional). From here its on to Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, for a greenstone (jade) jewellery demonstration by a local carver. Later travel to Punakaiki  where you will see the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Tonight you stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront  - enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep! 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Punakaiki  - 1 Night

Pancake Rocks


Buller Gorge / Nelson

Soak up the scenic wilderness of the Heritage Highway through the impressive Buller Gorge and Kahurangi National Park before arriving in Nelson

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Nelson- 2 Nights


The Rutherford Hotel  is an icon of the region standing next to the Cathedral steps and an easy stroll into the city of Nelson.  Nelson is a haven for art enthusiasts, and has a reputation for excellent produce, craft beer and fine wines. The Rutherford Hotel features restaurants and bars and caters for all room categories from studios, interconnecting rooms and suites.

Rutherford Hotel Nelson


Relax - Nelson at Leisure

Explore Nelson at leisure today. Surrounded by sheltered mountain ranges, golden beaches, national parks and boutique wineries and breweries there's no shortage of things to see and do. Choose to journey to the top of the South Island and enjoy a relaxing cruise in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, take a bush walk or maybe just relax in the city and explore the many arts and craft galleries.

Meals: Breakfast

Abel Tasman


Queen Charlotte Sound / Wellington

Visit the picturesque seaside village of Picton before cruising the tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. Head across the Cook Strait to Wellington, New Zealand's capital.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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 to Napier

This morning you will have a tour of the city with the opportunity to visit Te Papa, the nation museum. After the visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, travel to Art Deco mecca, Napier. 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Napier - 2 nights


Styled to complement its remarkable location on the edge of the beautiful Hawke's Bay, Scenic Hotel Te Pania boasts design awards for its style and offers an unmatched level of service to leisure travellers with a high four star accommodation rating. Enjoy the central waterfront location and the extensive sea views that all rooms share. Te Pania is just a short stroll from Napier’s main art deco style street with many shops, cafes and restaurants.

Scenic Hotel Te Pania - Napier


Napier - Art Deco City

In February 1931, Napier was levelled by earthquake and fire but was rebuilt in the depths of the Great Depression in just two years.  Nowhere else in the world can you see such a concentration of buildings in the styles of the 1930s: Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical. You’ll hear the story of the earthquake that devastated Napier in 1931 and be introduced to the Art Deco style and hear stories of the characters involved in rebuilding this city. A local guide will accompany you on a walking tour.  

This afternoon if free time to explore.

Meals: Breakfast


Styled to complement its remarkable location on the edge of the beautiful Hawke's Bay, Scenic Hotel Te Pania boasts design awards for its style and offers an unmatched level of service to leisure travellers with a high four star accommodation rating. Enjoy the central waterfront location and the extensive sea views that all rooms share. Te Pania is just a short stroll from Napier’s main art deco style street with many shops, cafes and restaurants.

Scenic Hotel Te Pania - Napier


Great Lake Taupo & Rotorua

This evening, explore Te Puia’s geothermal valley, and learn about Māori history and culture on this guided experience, including 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

Maori Cultural Evening Rotorua

Set in a magnificent location on the shores of Mystical Lake Rotorua the Sudima Hotel Lake Front Rotorua enjoys a location that is second-to-none. Enjoy a swim in the geothermal heated pools or relax in the spa complex. Adjacent to the renowned, Polynesian Spa and offering beautiful vistas across the lake, this well-appointed Qualmark 4-star hotel is just a short stroll from Rotorua's vibrant CBD.

Sudima Hotel Lake Front, Rotorua


Rotorua - Free Day

Today is one of decisions. Bliss out in the Polynesian Spa’s thermal springs; go behind the scenes on a working kiwi nursery; visit the Hobbiton movie set; or board a scenic flight for a bird’s-eye view.

Meals: Breakfast

Recommended excursions in and around Rotorua:

See Geysers & Boiling Mud    Polynesian Hot Springs  Whirinaki Forest Walk
Thermally Active GolfBiking the Mighty ForestsFlight to Volcanic Island
Museum of Art & HistoryEvening Cultural Experience   

White Water Rafting


Rotorua Te Puia Pohutu Geyser


Auckland - City of Sails

On our way to Auckland we pass through the lush dairy-farming areas of the Waikato region. Today your sights are firmly set on the Auckland’s main love: rugby. The interactive All Blacks Experience explores an introduction to the game as a part of New Zealand culture. 

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

The Bay of Islands is undeniably beautiful, but it also holds a special historical secret: this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. Your guide, perhaps a descendent of one of the original signatories, will explain the significance.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Bay of Islands - 2 Nights

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. Perhaps 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 Russell. 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

Cape Reinga


Bay of Islands - Auckland

Start with a morning of leisure and this afternoon sit, back and relax as you make your way down through Northland’s lush farmland scenery and past the sprawling suburbs of the North Shore of Auckland. This afternoon, you may want to head out and explore Auckland before joining your group for a Farewell Dinner.

Some Activities and sightseeing options for your free time in Auckland:

Explore Waiheke Island    Island Kayaking Adventure    America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky TowerRelax on the BeachRangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine TourWhale and Dolphin SafariMuriwai Surf Beach

Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner

Accommodation: Auckland  - 1 Night

Whangarei marina
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!

We hope you enjoyed your holiday and our promise 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Safe Flight.


*Itinerary Variations – the provider strives to improve trip itineraries. If improvements can be made, or if circumstances beyond their control make changes necessary, the provider reserves the right to vary itineraries and to make substitutions.

Included Highlights

  • Tour through Christchurch to witness the incredible rebuild of this city
  • Dark Sky Project Tekapo
  • Let loose in the adventure capital, Queenstown
  • See awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier
  • Punakaiki, home to Pancake Rocks & Blowholes
  • Interislander Ferry
  • Visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand
  • Art Deco Tour
  • Immerse yourself in Maori culture at a Hangi and Concert
  • Relax in the Bay of Islands
  • Bay of Islands Cruise


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


  •  20 Full buffet breakfasts
  •  2 Highlight Dinner
  •  5 Dinners 
  •  1 Farewell Dinner

Flight Information

  •  Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Christchurch Airport
  •  Day 21 - Flights to depart anytime from Auckland Airport

See Pricing Options
Profile picture for user Nicole
What Nicole says about this tour: Travelling by luxury coach with great food and quality accommodation this small group tour lets you discover some out-of-the way places. The pace is relaxed and the tour director will expertly guide your 3 week journey. I recommend this tour for folk who want to relax and enjoy kiwi culture and hospitality and of course the stunning New Zealand scenery.
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