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1

Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ … welcome to New Zealand. Now you can relax - you are officially on holiday. Everything has been taken care of, we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

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. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome cocktail party.

Some suggested activities around 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

Rydges Latimer Square in Christchurch overlooks scenic Latimer Square, an iconic New Zealand green space with ample room for travellers to roam and enjoy the shade of lush, broad-leaved trees. This contemporarily kiwi designed rooms & suites are spread over four levels, with the piece de resistance being the fifth level penthouse suite which boasts views stretching from the Port Hills to the Southern Alps.
Rydges Latimer Square Christchurch

2

TranzAlpine Train Journey to Glacier Country

Travelling via Arthur's Pass to Greymouth on the West Coast. Climb aboard the TranzAlpine. This rail journey is truly something special. Enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River and traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. Ranked among the world’s top 6 train journeys, these tracks flow through some of New Zealand's most splendid country side from the Southern Alps to Greymouth. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see natural grandeur on such a scale. 

On to west coast glacial village of Franz Josef where you can relax and soak in the thermal pools after an invigorating day and sumptuous dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Franz Josef - 1 night

Te Waonui is the only luxury property of its kind in the area. The retreat is nestled in the lush bush with views of the natural environment at almost every turn. Located in Franz Josef, the retreat offers easy access to the many natural wonders of the South West World Heritage Area. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, coastline, and native flora and fauna all lie in wait at the doorstep for visitors to admire and explore.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat - Franz Josef

3

Scenic Drive from the Wild West Coast to Queenstown

Before our departure this morning, there is the opportunity to experience an optional scenic flight over this remarkable region (subject to weather conditions).

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) 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 are: Lake Matheson, Views of Mount Cook, Bruce Bay, Ship Cove, Haast River/Pass, Thunder Creek Falls, Blue Pools, Lakes Hawea & Wanaka.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 nights

Accommodation:
Crafted from centuries-old-schist stone and cedar, this comfortable and sophisticated Queenstown hotel enjoys stunning views over Lake Wakatipu and is the perfect place to mix business and pleasure. Guests can enjoy all the hotel has to offer, with extensive leisure facilities, including heated indoor/outdoor swimming pool, spa pool, sauna, gym, restaurant and bar. The modern, alpine-style accommodation sit in peaceful, scenic surroundings.
Heritage Hotel Queenstown

4

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.

Recommended excursions around Queenstown:

Routeburn Day Walk Highest Bungey Jump Explore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon       Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise   Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail


5

Overnight Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

From Queenstown we drive the scenic route to the lakeside town of Manapouri in Fiordland National Park a World Heritage Area.
 
From Manapouri we embark on an amazing cruise through the moody and mysterious Doubtful Sound. Onboard the Fiordland Navigator experienced nature guides will provide commentary on the wildlife sightings ensuring you don’t miss any of the highlights. Watch out for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and the Fiordland yellow eyebrow crested penguin.  After anchoring for the evening you will have the opportunity to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat.

Dinner will be prepared by an onboard chef and served in the dining saloon. Before retiring to your private cabin (with ensuite bathroom) take time to gaze at the stars and listen to the sound of ‘silence’. 

*Please Note: The itinerary for this day varies in the winter: 18 May – 20 Sept.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Accommodation: Fiordland Navigator Doubtful Sound  - 1 night

The Fiordland Navigator is a purpose built vessel designed and perfectly suited to cruising and staying overnight in the remote Doubtful Sound. The Navigator has spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge and also carries kayaks and a tender craft onboard - at your disposal. As well as having comfortable accommodation.

Fiordland Overnight Experience

6

Wildlife - Manapouri & Dunedin

After a hearty breakfast we spend the morning cruising Doubtful Sound back to Deep Cove. In particular we are on the hunt to view the resident bottle nose dolphins that patrol the fiord or the New Zealand fur seal seen basking as the sun rises warming the rocks they occupy and when in season the rare Fiordland crested penguin.  

We retrace our steps back to Manapouri where you rejoin your coach for the journey to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South. 

Meals: Breakfast 

Accommodation: Dunedin  - 1 night 

The former Dunedin Chief Post Office (1937), transformed the 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin into an elegant 4 1/2 star luxury hotel. It occupies an entire city block in The Exchange, the historic business centre of Dunedin. The impressive building was considered a monument to the importance of the role of the state and also to Dunedin's preeminent position as the country's most prosperous city. The Distinction Dunedin Hotel offers a variety of brand new accommodation to suit everyone from the businesses traveller requiring spacious and modern facilities to those wanting a relaxing weekend away.
The Distinction Dunedin Hotel

7

Otago Peninsula & Taieri Gorge Rail Journey

Soak up the panoramic views and colourful history of New Zealand’s only castle today with a visit to Larnach Castle, perched high on the Otago Peninsula. On your guided tour, learn about its tragic and mysterious history before enjoying a High Tea in the Grand Ballroom.

Then embarking on a very special experience this afternoon. The Taieri Gorge Railway journeys through some of the most spectacular, isolated scenery of the Otago region; steel latticework viaducts and stonework bridges and tunnels make this a truly unforgettable rail journey. Disembarking at Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station you are transfer red back to your hotel to enjoy your final evening in Dunedin.

Meals: Breakfast


8

Moeraki Boulders - Mt Cook National Park


Stop to view the mystical Moeraki Boulders 40 km (24 Miles) south of Oamaru. These other worldly boulders are steeped in Maori Legend. Scientists explain the boulders as septarian concretions formed about 65 million years ago. Crystallization of calcium and carbonates around charged particles in muddy undersea sediments gradually formed the boulders in a process taking as long as four million years. The soft mud-stone containing the boulders was raised from the seabed around 15 million years ago and sea erosion is exposing the erosion-resistant boulders.

Then its time to visit 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 residents ‘the Oamaruivans’ are certainly not. In fact quite the contrary, unlike the Victorians they (the locals) are bohemians 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.

Your journey continues into the World Heritage Mt Cook National Park, with its 70,000 ha of breathtaking alpine scenery. After dinner, enjoy a guided tour of the Digital Dome Planetarium before your astronomy guides take you to their outdoor Stargazing site where you explore different elements of the spectacular southern sky.


Meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

Accommodation: Mt Cook Village - 1 night

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook

9

Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

Heading North up country, we look for a spot for some great photos at Lake Tekapo. Tekapo is one of three significant, neighboring lakes that border the Mackenzie Valley in New Zealand's South Island. Golden tussock grass carpets the surrounding hillside and roll away into the distance where the Southern Alps frame the horizon. The charming 'Church of the Good Shepherd' sits alone on its shores and the views to our highest mountain, Aoraki are awesome.

This afternoon we make our way to Christchurch

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

Rydges Latimer Square in Christchurch overlooks scenic Latimer Square, an iconic New Zealand green space with ample room for travellers to roam and enjoy the shade of lush, broad-leaved trees. This contemporarily kiwi designed rooms & suites are spread over four levels, with the piece de resistance being the fifth level penthouse suite which boasts views stretching from the Port Hills to the Southern Alps.
Rydges Latimer Square Christchurch

10

Kaikoura & Blenheim

Head north to the picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura and visit a New Zealand Fur Seal (Kekeno) colony. Continue to the charming town of Blenheim in the heart of the Marlborough Region, famous for producing New Zealand’s best Sauvignon Blanc. Spend the afternoon at leisure, exploring the town’s boutique galleries and shops.

Meals: Breakfast

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

11

Interisland Cruise Picton to Wellington

Board the Interisland Ferry, sit back and enjoy New Zealand hospitality on the three hour journey across Cook Strait which connects New Zealand’s North and South Islands - This is one of the most scenic in the world. The journey offers a dramatic view of both the North and South Islands. As you enter the picturesque Marlborough Sounds keep an eye out for wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, seals, whales and orca that make the sounds home.

Enter the North Island through Wellington Harbour. Enjoy a city tour taking in all the major sights and there is free time for exploring on your own. Situated on the Wellington waterfront, a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, is highly recommended.

Meals: Breakfast 

Accommodation: Wellington - 2 nights

he Bolton is an independent hotel that provides the discerning traveller with a high degree of comfort and privacy. Located at the junction of Wellingtons central business district and political heart, the 5 star Bolton Hotel is elegant, welcoming and well equipped to make the most of your time in the Capital city. Featuring an indoor lap pool, sauna and spa, gym and restaurants - your stay here will be met by a high level of comfort and privacy.
The Bolton Hotel - Wellington

12

Wellington at Leisure

Today explore this exciting region and enjoy an extensive city tour which explains the history and culture on show in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. A highlight will be time to explore Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views of the land, environment and people. Enjoy some free time to explore at leisure this afternoon.This evening is also free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants

Here are some sight seeing and activity suggestions while in Wellington:

National Museum - Te Papa     Visit Cuba Street Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve 

Wellington Cable Car   

Carter Observatory 


Meals: Breakfast


13

Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre & Napier

This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre, a breeding sanctuary for some of the country’s most endangered wildlife. A white kiwi, cheeky kaka, and giant eels will have you reaching for your camera. Mount Bruce promises you some extraordinary wildlife encounters -Conservation staff are on hand to answer your questions and talk about the breeding programme that's helping to preserve some of New Zealand's rarest native birds and animals.

Continue north along the the Art Deco Capital - Napier

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

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

14

Mission Estate Winery Tour

After a leisurely morning we’ll visit New Zealand’s oldest winery, Mission Estate, established in 1851 by pioneering French missionaries. Take your time as you wander around the elegantly restored seminary building.

Staff will guide you through a tasting of an exclusive selection of wines before we enjoy a contemporary fine dining, European-style lunch prepared with the freshest local produce.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner


15

Lake Taupo - Rotorua

Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and fascinating Wairakei Geothermal Project before arriving at the thermal wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu. Sculptured out of volcanic activity and thousands of years in the making, this uniquely different natural landscape is considered to be New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction.

Tonight, visit the award winning Tamaki Village and enjoy a traditional Maori hangi (feast) and cultural performance featuring Maori songs, chants and dance, including the stirring haka.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Nights

Accommodation:

Rotorua’s designer 5 star Boutique Hotel and Spa offers stylish luxury accommodation, with accommodation to suit most groups of travellers from Hotel rooms to 2 bedroom family apartments situated amidst the exciting attractions and experiences Rotorua has to offer. With excellent facilities such as the restaurant, heated pool, gym and mineral bathing facilities. 

Regent of Rotorua

16

Lake Rotoiti Cruise & Hotpools

At Okawa Bay on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotoiti, we board "Tiua", a 53ft catamaran for a relaxing sail on serene Lake to secluded coves and natural hot pools reached only by boat - a memorable journey.

This afternoon enjoy a suspended Treetop Eco-Walk amongst Rotorua’s gentle giants in the nearby Giant Redwood Forest and get a unique bird’s eye perspective of these 120 year old trees and the lush flora below.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner


17

To the realm of Hobbits - The City of Sails

An exciting day awaits this morning. 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 on this fully guided 2.5hr Hobbiton tour. Learn about the production of the movies – how did they make Gandalf appear so tall? Why was this exact site chosen to build Hobbiton? The passion and knowledge gleaned from your guide brings this authentic Middle-earth experience to life.

Continue our journey on to the 'City of Sails' Auckland

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 night

Auckland's latest luxury hotel is surrounded by the shopping and entertainment streets of the waterfront, Grand Windsor Hotel blends a protected historic building with chic, contemporary interior design. Your air-conditioned room comes equipped with WiFi and satellite TV. Guest receive free tea and coffee making facilities. Breakfast is served at Cookes Restaurant. A 24-hour front desk is available. Valet or discounted self-parking rates are available nearby.
Grand Windsor Hotel

18

Bon Voyage

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

Today we say farewell to newfound friends. We take care of your transfer to Auckland Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.


NOTES

18 day New Zealand Grandeur: 2019-20

Guided Luxury Small Group Tour – New Zealand Wide

INCLUSIONS:

  • Maximum group size 24 guests
  • 16 nights luxury hotel and boutique accommodation
  • Overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound
  • Full breakfast daily (B), 2 lunches (L) & 9 dinners (D)
  • Welcome dinner & drinks on arrival day
  • Travel by 5 star luxury touring coach
  • Guided by a professional Coach Captain
  • All sightseeing, excursions and entrance fees as shown
  • Hotel porterage
  • Complimentary private airport transfers on arrival & departure

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 2 night stays in Queenstown, Dunedin, Wellington, Rotorua & Napier
  • West Coast Glaciers
  • Spectacular Southern Lakes District
  • Fiordland National Park
  •  Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South
  • World Heritage listed Mt Cook National Park
  • Coastal village of Kaikoura
  • Wellington, the nation’s capital
  • Boutique wine village of Martinborough
  • Napier Wine Tour and Tasting
  • Thermal Wonderland of Rotorua
  • Auckland, the City of Sails

FEATURED EXPERIENCES:

  • World famous TranzAlpine Train
  • Overnight Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
  • High Tea at Lanarch Castle
  • Taieri Gorge Railway
  • Stargazing tour, Mt Cook
  • Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre
  • Exclusive Lake Rotoiti cruise
  • Authentic Maori Hangi & Cultural Performance

ICONIC SIGHTSEEING:

  • Entry to Franz Josef thermal pools
  • Guided tour of Larnach Castle
  • Entry to Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre
  • Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo
  • Scenic Interislander Ferry crossing
  • Wine tasting, Martinborough
  • Te Puia Thermal Reserve
  • Treetop eco-walk amongst the Redwoods
  • Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour

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What Shelly says about this tour: This trip is for the discerning traveller, when the pace of travel, group size, quality experiences and high standard of accommodation are non-negotiable. With extra-ordinary inclusions such as overnight cruises, nature encounters, and classic rail experiences - this trip ticks all the boxes.
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