Documentation pack and support: We've got you covered!
When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.
24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.
What's also included?
|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers||
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
ARRIVE IN CHRISTCHURCH
‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to New Zealand!
Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. After you check-in, you can head out and explore Christchurch. 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 Activities Options for Christchurch
|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 Christchurch - 1 Night
TranzAlpine Rail Journey - PUNAKAIKI
It’s ‘all aboard’ this morning as you will begin your adventure on the renowned Tranz Alpine Railway, rated as one of the top 6 rail journeys in the world. Be entranced by the spectacular panorama that unfolds outside your window – the tracks wind through the very heart of the Southern Alps, a mighty mountain landscape that’s home to craggy gorges, soaring peaks and ribbons of crystal-clear rivers. Once arrived in Greymouth we continue by coach to Punakaiki, where you will stay this night.
Accommodation Punakaiki - 1 Night
PUNAKAIKI - FRANZ JOSEF
Today we are journeying to the Franz Josef Village – and here, you’re in for a real treat. The Franz Josef Glacier tumbles down from the Southern Alps almost to the sea, its ancient icy faces contrasting spectacularly with the surrounding rainforests. You will stay 2 nights in Franz Josef.
Accommodation Franz Josef - 2 Nights
THE GLACIERS AT LEISURE
Today is a free day to explore the region around Franz Josef. You are in the heart of the Westland National Park, considered to be the most diverse and beautiful areas in New Zealand and the home of the Kea, a protected native parrot that thrives in the chilly environment and is infamous for its inquisitive and often destructive behaviour!
Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:
|Glacier Hot Pools||Glacier Scenic Flight|
|Walk to Glacier Face||Glacier Heli-hike|
FRANZ JOSEF - QUEENSTOWN
Today we venture across the mountains, driving up and over the Haast Pass and travelling past dramatic rivers, forests and mountains. We stop to stretch our legs on an easy forest track that leads to dazzling blue pools and the amazing Thunder Creek Falls. We journey along the shores of the turquoise-blue lakes of Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan, and make our way through the rugged cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge and onwards to Cromwell. The final stop of today is Queenstown - the adventure capital of New Zealand.
Accommodation Queenstown - 3 Nights
SPECTACULAR MILFORD SOUND CRUISE
Today promises to be one of the major highlights of your time in New Zealand. We journey to Te Anau, the gateway to the stunning Fiordland National Park, before driving the spectacular Milford Road. Lush forests, glacier-carved valleys, snowy peaks and mirror-like lakes dot this very special driving experience into a renowned World Heritage Site. Continuing through the hand-carved Homer Tunnel and on to Milford Sound itself, the views of this grand fiord are breath taking. We explore its inky waters on a boat cruise, soaking up the surroundings of granite cliffs, tumbling waterfalls and unique wildlife before journeying back to Queenstown.
QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE
The surrounding area is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards and the natural landscape with wild rivers, high peaks and deep canyons has allowed Queenstown to 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.
If you want to enjoy spectacular scenic views, you can sit back and relax in the Skyline Queenstown Gondola (cost of Gondola included). The steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the must-do activities in Queenstown.
Other recommended excursions around Queenstown:
|Routeburn Day Walk||Highest Bungey Jump||Explore Arrowtown|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
MT COOK National Park
The drive to Mount Cook is stunning and the drive along Lake Pukaki is one of the most beautiful in the world, so its no wonder the alpine scenery was declared a World Heritage site by Unesco recently.
New Zealand's Mt Cook National Park is known for its exquisite alpine beauty and is home to our highest mountain, Mt Cook. Its Maori name, ‘Aoraki’ means ‘cloud piercer’ and at 12,016ft (3,755m) it towers above the surrounding snow-covered peaks in the park. A third of the park is covered in permanent ice and snow and the mighty Tasman Glacier is the longest glacier outside of the polar regions. Glacial melt gives the lakes their beautiful milky, turquoise colour and there are many walks in the area to take in the dramatic beauty. This is the very heart and soul of a World Heritage and National Park wilderness playground. Ice, snow, hidden valleys, lakes and glaciers offer golden opportunities for discovery and relaxation on your New Zealand independent coach Itinerary.
Accommodation: Mt Cook Village - 1 Night
GREAT SOUTHERN LAKES AND CANTERBURY PLAINS
As you depart for the heart of New Zealand's South Island you discover Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, these beautiful turquoise highland lakes are surrounded by a vast basin of golden tussock and the spectacular Southern Alps Mountains. Finely ground rock in the glacial melted waters gives the lakes a beautifully unique colour. A perfect place to stop for a look around on the way to Christchurch.
Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night
CHRISTCHURCH - ROTORUA
Today you will take an internal flight to Rotorua. Enjoy the evening in the Mitai Maori Village. An authentic traditional Maori Experience! An evening at Mitai will give you an introduction to Maori culture, you will have an authentic hang dinner while being entertained.
* Please note the flight from Christchurch to Rotorua are additional as flight prices are dynamic and can change on a daily basis.
Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Nights
ROTORUA SIGHTSEEING & OPTIONAL HOBBITON TOUR
This morning you will discover three of Rotorua's best visitor attractions on a sightseeing tour.
Gain an insight into New Zealand's Māori culture at Te Puia, then experience Rotorua's famous geothermal activity with a tour of the neighbouring Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley - a place where mud pools bubble and boil and geysers shoot steam high into the air. You'll also see Te Puia's woodcarving and weaving schools and see how these ancient Māori art forms are being passed on to a new generation of master artists. You will continue on to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park where you can join the Kiwi Encounter and then head over to the Agrodome Sheep Show for a taste of 'very kiwi' farm life.
In the afternoon you can experience an exciting Hobbiton Tour (optional). You will journey to the emerald pastures and rolling hills of The Shire, where Hobbiton was brought to life on a private farm in Matamata. This idyllic village blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Set to the scale of a 3ft Hobbit you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a magical world of smoking chimneys, bluebells, and the Green Dragon Inn. Visit Bag End as well as the other 43 Hobbit Holes.
Homeward Bound"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
It is time to say goodbye. This morning you will be transferred to the airport of Auckland to catch your flight.
Some Activities and Sightseeing Options if you have time or choose to stay an extra night at Auckland:
|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|
What is an Independent Coach Tour?
- 4 Star Accommodation
- Experienced Driver Guides
- Detailed and informative commentary
- Travel in an air-conditioned coach
- 24 Hour Assistance
- Daily Departures
- Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
- TranzAlpine Train Christchurch - Greymouth
- Skyline Gondola Queenstown
- Mitai Hangi & Concert
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves
- Return airport transfers - flight details to be provided 14 days prior to travel