14 Day Privately Guided Kiwi Itinerary

 

Your Private Driver/Guide

When you touch down in New Zealand you will be met at the airport by Your Private Driver/Guide. 

Our guides have been with us for a long time and are seasoned professionals. Our aim is to give ‘you’ our guests a memorable experience of New Zealand and its stunning scenery. With years of experience in tourism in New Zealand, we guarantee that you will receive a first-class service!

The best part about our guides is that they are local and chances are they have their go-to destinations that only locals know about. Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, a favourite local pub, or a fantastic attraction that most tourists overlook, our guides can help recommend authentic experiences that you may not discover on your own.


Documents and 24/7 Support: We've Got You Covered!

Your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by your guide. 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        

144 Page A4 NZ Touring Atlas  

Full 24 Hour Support 50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide  

1

Arrive Auckland

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand

Relax - you are on holiday and everything has been taken care of. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your central city luxury accommodation. Make the most of some free leisure time in the 'City of Sails' - simply relax or take this opportunity to explore the many sights of Auckland. This evening we suggest you head down to the viaduct for dinner.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

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


Accommodation: Auckland - 1 night

Discover elegance on Auckland’s Viaduct where service and style are always in sync. The Sofitel Auckland has a global reach and a French luxury experience for its guests. Enjoy the marinas ambience from your own balcony, relax at the hotel’s spa by day and socialise at the champagne bar by night. Some of our world class amenities include: Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, World Class So Spa, Panoramic Ocean Views.
Sofitel Auckland

2

Waitomo Glowworms and on to Rotorua

To the south of Hamilton, the small and pleasant town of Waitomo is the focal point of the region’s subterranean wonders. The caves at Waitomo are one of New Zealand's most commanding wonders – a celebration of nature's work over the last one hundred thousand years. There are hundreds of miles of labyrinthine caves, glow-worms, under ground lakes, stalactites and stalagmites, and all manner of limestone crustaceans. Above ground, the area around Waitomo is also popular for horse riding and bush walking.

Take part in the small group personalized Spellbound Tour that allows you to spend 40 minutes under glow worms. This tour is one of the most unhurried glow worm tours in New Zealand, with plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness - intensifying the effect of thousands of softly shining glow worms.

Approximate Distance: 333 kms | 207 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 15 mins

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

3

Exclusive Cruise Lake Rotoiti & Te Wairoa Buried Village

At Okawa Bay on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotoiti, 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, travel past the Blue & Green Lakes to the famous buried village of Te Wairoa. This is New Zealand's most visited Archaeological Site, where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption come to life. Te Wairoa was established by the Christian missionary in 1848 as a model village, however Te Wairoa survived for fewer than 40 years before it, and the nearby Pink and White Terraces were obliterated by the eruption of Mt Tarawera.

This evening, enjoy a traditional Maori hangi (feast) and cultural performance.


4

Geothermal Wonder / Tongariro National Park

Today we visit the surreal, geothermal reserve, Wai-O-Tapu. The bubbling mud pools and incredibly colourful silica terraces are unforgettable. 

On the road to Lake Taupo we view the turbulent Huka Falls where the Waikato River thunders through a narrow chasm. From Taupo there are magnificent views across the lake to the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu (2,797 metres), the highest mountain in the North Island.These mountains of the volcanic plateau are our next destination, the World Heritage Tongariro National Park. Take a walk in the park this afternoon.

Approximate Distance: 179 kms | 111 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 20 mins

Accommodation National Park - 1 Night

Accommodation:

Chateau Tongariro Hotel is nearly as iconic a landmark as the mountain itself, located in Whakapapa Village, at the heart of Tongariro Nation Park. The hotel embraces the history and tradition of the Dual World Heritage status National park, offering you timeless elegance in the accommodation. 

Chateau Tongariro Hotel

5

National Park - Wellington

Our day starts in style, with breakfast at the historic Chateau Tongariro nestled at the base of the mountains. This is the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, from this volcanic plateau we make our way across the high country and down to our capital Wellington

We stay two nights in Wellington as we reckon you can’t miss "the coolest little capital in the world". We’ll check out the city's sights and head up Mt Victoria for the stunning views over the harbour before getting settled for the night. We’re right in the heart of Wellington's vibrant hub of museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques and cafes. Looking for some local flavour? Ask for one of Wellington’s trendy craft beers with your dinner (our pick – Tuatara).

Approximate Distance: 336 kms | 209 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 20 mins

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

6

Wellington - Free Day in the Coolest Little Capital

The day is yours to enjoy, you are at the heart of all the action at The Bolton Hotel, a short walk to the waterfront, Te Papa National Museum and all the eateries and boutique breweries that Wellington is famous for.

Wellington is also the spiritual home of "The Lord of Rings" where you can visit Weta Workshop and see how all the props are made or drop into the Embassy theatre which hosted the world premier back in 2003.

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 

 


7

Cook Strait Cruise / Marlborough Wine Country

Loading up the car and heading across to ‘the mainland’ is what we all used to do on holiday as kids, it’s a Kiwi rite of passage!  We cruise on the Interislander ferry for three hours across Cook Strait and into beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton to plant our feet firmly on “Te Waka a Maui”, the South Island. Our first port of call is Allan Scott's vineyard for wine tasting and lunch, right in the heart of the world famous Marlborough sauvignon blanc region.

From wine country we head to through the heart of Marlborough toward Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way we cross the Pelorus River bridge, scene of the Barrel Run scene from the Hobbit movies. In Nelson relax and unpack, this is home for 2 nights.

Approximate Distance: 133 kms | 83 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 mins

Accommodation Nelson - 2 Nights

Accommodation:

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

8

Cruise & Walk Abel Tasman National Park

Today you have a choice of a full Scenic Cruise or a cruise and walk from Marahau along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline. Abel Tasman National Park is our country's smallest national park. It protects 23,000 hectares of the most natural stretch of easily accessible coastline in New Zealand. The coastline is characterised by islands just offshore, sheltered waters, estuaries and golden, sandy beaches. Lie on a beach, or even go for a swim if the weather is warm. The park is sheltered from ocean swells, and enjoys a mild climate. After your cruise or walk we return to Nelson.
 


9

Explore the Kaikoura Coast

From Nelson we drive to Pelorus Bridge, Havelock and Blenheim then down the spectacular Kaikoura coastline where big seas pound the rocks. Kaikoura is a small hamlet beside the ocean and beneath the towering Kaikoura Mountains. Seafood, especially crayfish, is a specialty. We stay right on the waterfront. This afternoon take a scenic flight to view whales and stroll along the coastline for encounters with the cheeky fur seals that live here.

Approximate Distance: 243 kms | 151 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 30 mins

Accommodation Kaikoura - 1 night

The White Morph Motor Inn is situated on the waterfront with an easy stroll into the township for convenient dining, shops and bars (there is also a restaurant on site). Choose between the deluxe spa rooms with ocean view balcony, or the 4 star studio rooms & family apartments with garden views. 

White Morph Motor Inn - Kaikoura

10

Akaunui Farm Homestead & Mt Cook National Park

This morning we continue south, winding inland over the Hunderlee Hills and dropping down to the patchwork beauty of the Canterbury Plains. Today's lunch is very special – Akaunui Farm Homestead, owned by Di and Ian Mackenzie, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and the homestead itself oozes history and character. We dine on fresh produce from the bountiful veggie garden and enjoy true kiwi country hospitality. In the afternoon we drive past stunning alpine lakes and fields of golden tussock before arriving at our accommodation in the foothills of the Southern Alps, and into the World Heritage and breathtaking Mt Cook National Park where you stay in the shadow of New Zealand's tallest Mountain. 

Approximate Distance: 506 kms | 314 miles  Total Driving Time: 6 hours 42 mins

Accommodation Mt. Cook - 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

11

Mt Cook - Queenstown

Enjoy an early morning stroll in the valley first thing before we drive through more mountain and tussock scenery to arrive into Queenstown. We take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for beautiful views over this pretty resort town. Your hotel is very central, only minutes away from town and with views out to Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountains. Queenstown is home to a myriad of delicious cafes and restaurants – your driver/guide can offer some great recommendations.

Approximate Distance: 264 kms | 164 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 20 mins

Accommodation: Queenstown - 3 nights

Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and a short walk in to the centre of Queenstown is the elegant Hotel St Moritz. The hotel is modern and stylish decorated in an alpine style fitting to the location. Boasting an excellent restaurant and bar on site, spacious comfortable rooms, and a professional level of service, your stay will be rewarding.


12

Milford Sound Cruise & Fiordland Scenic Flight

Today promises to be one of the highlights of your time in New Zealand. Travel to Milford Sound along the Milford Road – winding deep into the heart of Fiordland National Park, this is one of the most visually spectacular roads in the country. Arriving in Milford Sound itself, take a boat cruise to explore the inky blue waters. The onboard nature guide will help you to spot the unique wildlife that call this place home. Afterwards, return by stunning scenic flight to Queenstown.
 


13

At Leisure in Queenstown

Today is the final day of your tour. Experience Queenstown exactly as you want to and enjoy a day of activities from walking & cycling and adrenalin & adventure to gourmet food & wine. Your driver/guide will assist you with your plans. 

Recommended excursions in 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


If you would prefer something a little more relaxing, enjoy wandering the boutique shops or strolling through the pretty Botanic Gardens. Whatever you choose to do, you’re guaranteed to be surrounded by stunning scenery.
 


14

Transfer to Queenstown Airport

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We take care of your transfer to Queenstown Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday. Our promise is 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 in Aotearoa, New Zealand.


What Kasey says about this tour: Relax and rejuvenate on this two-week luxury privately guided tour of both the North and South Islands. What I love with this tour is the slightly off-beat itinerary, vineyard visits, farm homesteads, and Maori cultural encounters. There's a scenic flight over Milford Sound, sailing trips, and a great mix of urban life with the great outdoors.
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