The New Zealand Scenic Escape Itinerary

Boats on Lake Te Anau

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Arrive in Auckland

Haere Mai and Welcome to the 'City of Sails'

Relax, you are officially on holiday! We have arranged for you to be met and transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is yours to do as you please. There is plenty to see and do in Auckland. New Zealand’s largest city is located between two large harbours and 48 extinct volcanic cones scattered over the city are evidence of it's volancic past. They also provide a perfect location for viewing the city! A diversely cultural place, Auckland is a great location for marine adventures, wine tasting, forest walks and urban sophistication.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

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

Accommodation - 1 Night

Auckland Viaduct
The modern and spacious Skycity Hotel Auckland is located right in the CBD and allows you to relax in style while enjoying more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bars, a theatre, free live entertainment on selected nights and the iconic Sky Tower - all right at your doorstep. Each air-conditioned room includes a private bathroom, minibar, satellite TV, including CCTV channels, and 24-hour room service. All rooms have a view of the courtyard, city skyline or Auckland Harbour.
Skycity Hotel - Auckland


Auckland - Hobbiton - Rotorua

With an early departure from Auckland you will be travelling to the amazing Hobbiton Movie Set used in the filiming of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Amazing attention to detail and a tour that will have you truly impressed from start to finish. From here your journey continues to Rotorua.  

Enjoy a guided tour through the spectacular geothermal valley of Te Puia, followed by a visit to the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute and Kiwi Bird House where you will see native Kiwi birds. Following the guided tour, commence your Te Po experience with an authentic Maori welcome, enjoy a first class delicious Maori feast and enjoy the incredible illuminated thermal valley where the famous Pohutu Geyser explodes 30m high into the air.

Accommodation Rotorua - 2 Nights

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


Rotorua Tribal Footprints Tour

The morning is your's to explore Rotorua at leisure.This afternoon partake in a fascinating Tribal Tour. Follow the footprints of the Maori tribe 'Tuhourangi' and spend the afternoon learning the rich history of the eighth wonder of the world and the pink and white terraces and the great 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera that destroyed both ...

 Some suggestions for your free time in Rotorua:

See Geysers & Boiling Mud    Polynesian Hot Springs  Whirinaki Forest Walk
Thermally Active GolfBiking the Mighty ForestsFlight to Volcanic Island
Museum of Art & History White Water Rafting 


Rotorua Thermals


Rotorua - Wellington

This morning you will continue south to Wairakei - wreathed by steam, then to Taupo. Skirt Lake Taupo, and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu. You will continue across the fertile plains of the Manawatu and along the rugged Kapiti coastline to Wellington. Your arrival in Wellington will be in the late afternoon. 

Accommodation - 2 Nights

Lake Taupo
The 4.5 Star Novotel Wellington is located in the heart of the CBD. Enjoy Harbour views of the city in our luxury rooms designed with splashes of colour and comfort. A selection of modern spacious rooms with en suite bath/shower, ergonomic work area, LCD TV with pay movies and WiFi internet access, hair dryer, minibar, tea/coffee
Novotel Wellington



Entrance fees and Cable Car costs are all included in the price.

  • We pick you up at 9.30am or 1pm and head for the hills of Mt Victoria to witness the stunning landscape below that is Wellington and its harbour.
  • We then follow the coastline round to the Weta Cave museum and shop, the showpiece of Peter Jackson's film empire.
  • After a drive around the rugged south coast we head back into the city for a ride up the Cable Car and a walk around the Lady Norwood rose gardens. 
  • The tour concludes with a visit to the Beehive and our Parliament buildings. We drop you back to your home base at 1.00pm or 4:30pm.


Wellington - Picton - Christchurch

This morning you will take the ferry from Wellington to Picton. Once arrived in Picton you can enjoy a ride on the Coastal Pacific Train to Christchurch. After your arrival in Christchurch you will be transferred to your accommodation. 

Some suggested activities in Christchurch 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


Accommodation Christchurch - 1 Night

Train Coastal Pacific


Christchurch - Greymouth - Franz Josef

This morning you will board the TranzAlpine to Greymouth. The TranzAlpine Train, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Descend through spectacular gorges, river valleys and over massive viaducts before completing your journey at Greymouth. From there you will take a coach to Franz Josef. Franz Josef is 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! 

Accommodation Franz Josef - 2 Nights

TranzAlpine Rail Journey
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


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! 

Simply relax in the Glacier Hot Pools or if you are feeling adventurous take a Glacier Heli Hike and land on the glacier with an experienced guide to explore the towering peaks and ice formations.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

   Glacier Hot Pools      Glacier Scenic Flight

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face   Glacier Heli-hike


Franz Josef Glacier


Wild West Coast to Wanaka & Queenstown

The scenery is impressive all the way, and once over the Haast Pass it changes dramatically as you head into the mountains and bid farewell to the coastline. Continuing up the Haast River into Mount Aspiring National Park and Central Otago(This pass was used by the Maori to trade Poumanu (Greenstone) and food) you follow Lake Hawea nearly all the way through to Wanaka over the Crown Range to Arrowtown and Queenstown. This drive is world class, some of the vistas to watch out for the views of Mount Cook, Bruce Bay, Ship Cove, Haast River/Pass, Thunder Creek Falls, Blue Pools, Lakes Hawea & Wanaka.

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 Days

Queenstown Wharf

Sitting on the crystal-clear shores of Lake Wakatipu, Novotel Gardens is centrally located - only a five-minute walk to town on level ground - home to prime restaurants and boutique shopping. Rooms are spacious and comfortable with views from private balconies over manicured landscapes, with the property being adjacent to the beautiful Queenstown Gardens.

Novotel Queenstown


Walter Peak Farm & Steamboat Cruise

Today you will board the TSS Earnslaw. Enjoy a scenic cruise from Queenstown, across stunning Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. A delicious BBQ Lunch will be served on the sun terrace at the Colonels Homestead. When you returned to Queenstown you will have some free time to explore the city. 

Recommended Queenstown excursions if you have time:

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


Queenstown TSS Earnslaw Steamship


Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Today you will travel to Milford Sound. You will explore its inky waters on a Milford Sound Cruise, soaking up the surroundings of granite cliffs, tumbling waterfalls and unique wildlife before journeying to Te Anau where you arrive in the evening. 

Accommodation Te Anau - 1 Night

Milford Sound Mitre Peak
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


Te Anau - Dunedin

Today you will leave Te Anau and continue to Dunedin where you will arrive in the early afternoon. Majestic Victorian architecture dots the city centre, but one of the main attractions is the rare wildlife that lives here. Dunedin is home to rare yellow-eyed penguins as well as the world’s only accessible mainland colony of Northern Royal Albatross. These princely ocean adventurers are thrilling to see up-close. Experience Dunedin your way with an afternoon of free time. Take a wildlife cruise, visit the famous Speights Brewery or enjoy a historic rail experience on the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Accommodation Dunedin - 1 Night

Dunedin Lanarch Castle
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


Dunedin - Christchurch

Today we are heading back to Christchurch. Keep your eyes peeled for the perfectly rounded boulders which are embedded in the sand at Moeraki Beach.

If you have some time these activities might interest you: 

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

Moeraki Boulders


Christchurch - Auckland - Bon Voyage!

Homeward Bound"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

It is time to say goodbye. This morning you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Auckland. From Auckland you may choose to stay an extra night, or you can organise your flight home to link up with your arrival back in Auckland.  

Some Activities and Sightseeing Options if you have time: 

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
Sky City Tower Auckland


What is an Independent Coach Tour

Tour Inclusions

  • 4 Star Accommodation
  • Experienced Driver Guides
  • Detailed and informative commentary
  • Travel in an air-conditioned coach
  • 24 Hour Assistance
  • Daily Departures
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Te Puia Geothermal Experience
  • Rainbow Springs Nature Park
  • Agrodome Farm Show
  • Tribal Footprints Tour
  • Wellington City Sights Tour
  • Ferry from Wellington to Picton
  • Coastal Pacific Train from Picton to Christchurch
  • Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
  • TranzAlpine Train Journey
  • Walter Peak BBQ Lunch
Scenic Escape Map

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What Jess says about this tour: Group tours are not for everyone - neither are the challenges of left hand driving! For those who want to experience the beauty of New Zealand independently with public transport - we have found the perfect solution. Plenty of variety of accommodation and activities personally selected with the independent traveller in mind.
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