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
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
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.
Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 nights
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|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
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
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.
Accommodation: Dunedin - 1 night
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.
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
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
Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night
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.
Accommodation: Blenheim - 1 night
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.
Accommodation: Wellington - 2 nights
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||Carter Observatory|
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
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
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
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
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
Accommodation: Auckland - 1 night
18 day New Zealand Grandeur: 2019-20
Guided Luxury Small Group Tour – New Zealand Wide
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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