This eighteen-day tour includes one night in Auckland, two nights in the Bay of Islands, two nights in Rotorua, one night in Napier, one night in Wellington, one night in Hanmer Springs, one night in Christchurch, one night in Omarama, one night in Dunedin, two nights in Te Anau, two nights in Queenstown, one night at Franz Josef Glacier, and one more night in Christchurch.
Your adventure gets underway in Auckland and then continues north to Paihia in the Bay of Islands; where you'll visit Waitangi, enjoy a self-guided tour of the Treaty House, and a cruise to Cape Brett Lighthouse, and Hole in the Rock. Continue to Auckland to visit the Sky Tower, and then travel via Waikato to the geothermal town of Rotorua to enjoy the Agrodome, Rainbow Springs, Tamaki Village, and a ride on the Skyline Gondola.
Admire the Huka Falls and the Wairakei Geothermal project before travelling via Lake Taupo to Napier for a locally-guided walking tour. Wairarapa region is next with a stop at historic Greytown, then over the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington for a city tour. Hop on the Interislander Ferry for a cruise to the South Island; step ashore in Picton and travel to Hanmer Springs with time at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools. Travel to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre.
Cross the Canterbury Plans to the Church of Good Shepherd, visit Mt Cook National Park and Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and arrive at Omarama. View the mystical Moeraki Boulders en-route to Dunedin, where you'll enjoy a traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony before dinner. Cross the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle then visit Gore and Lumsden before arriving at the shores of Lake Anau.
Continue north to Kingston and around Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown for a vintage steamship cruise and gourmet barbecue at Colonel's Homestead. Journey to Arrowtown and Wanaka before arriving on the West Coast to view the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. Board the TranzAlpine Train and travel to Christchurch for your final night before your flight back to the UK.
|Day 1||UK to Auckland|
|Day 2||Auckland to Paihia|
|Day 3||Explore the Bay of Islands|
|Day 4||Auckland to Rotorua|
|Day 5||Rotorua Sightseeing|
|Day 6||Taupo to Art Deco Napier|
|Day 7||Wairarapa to Wellington|
|Day 8||Wellington to Hanmer Springs|
|Day 9||Hanmer Springs to Christchurch|
|Day 10||Mount Cook to Omarama|
|Day 11||Moeraki Boulders to Dunedin|
|Day 12||Central Otago to Te Anau|
|Day 13||Milford Sound Cruise|
|Day 14||Te Anau to Queenstown|
|Day 15||At leisure in Queenstown|
|Day 16||Haast Pass to Franz Josef|
|Day 17||TranzAlpine to Christchurch|
|Day 18||Christchurch to UK|
Your tour starts with your flight from the UK to Auckland, New Zealand. On arrival, you'll transfer to Rydes Auckland for a one-night stay.
Leaving the city of Auckland behind, you'll travel across the Auckland Harbour Bridge and drive north to Paihia in the Bay of Islands, a quaint seaside town located on the foreshore of this National Maritime Park. On arrival, meet your local Maori guide who will provide an insight into the local history before paying a visit to Waitangi, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori people and the British. Enjoy a self-guided tour through the Treaty House, the Maori Meeting House, and war canoe. Later this afternoon, step aboard your launch for the scenic cruise to the Cape Brett Lighthouse and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. Check into Copthorne Bay of Islands for a two-night stay.
Today is at leisure so you can explore and enjoy the beauty of the Bay of Islands at your own pace. Your Coach Captain will happily arrange optional activities for you. Perhaps join a full-day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northern most point. Alternatively, explore the township of Russell - New Zealand’s first settlement - where you can visit the historic Church, Mission House, and Museum.
Depart Paihia and travel south through Whangarei to Warkworth and then on to Auckland. Visit the Sky Tower, at 328m-high the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoy panoramic 360 degree views across the city and its two harbours. Later, cross the Bombay Hills to the lush farmlands of the Waikato. Continue on to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, the centre of Maori culture and famous for its geysers, boiling mud pools, and steaming craters. Here you'll check into Sudima Lake Rotorua for a two-night stay.
Today begins with a unique New Zealand farm show at the Agrodome, followed by a visit to Rainbow Springs to learn about the famous Kiwi bird and native flora and fauna. The spectacular Skyline Gondola trip to the top of Mount Ngongotaha offers superb views over the city, lake, and mountains and, for those wanting a little excitement; you can try a Luge ride at no extra cost. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before visiting Tamaki Village for an evening of fun and culture. You'll experience a traditionally-prepared Maori Hangi (feast) followed by a cultural performance featuring Maori songs, chants, and dance including the exciting haka.
Today starts with a journey to view the mighty Huka Falls and the Wairakei Geothermal project before stopping at Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Continue on to Napier, often regarded as the world’s Art Deco capital. On arrival, enjoy a locally-guided walking tour of the city before checking into Scenic Te Pania Hotel Napier for your overnight stay.
As you travel into the rural heartland of the Wairarapa region today, you'll notice that the orchards and vineyards give way to farmland. Stop at historic Greytown to gaze at the excellent examples of Victorian colonial architecture. Travel over the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington, the nation’s capital, where you'll enjoy a city tour on arrival. Afterwards, you'll check into Ibis Wellington for the night.
Leave Wellington behind this morning to join the Interislander Ferry for a scenic cruise to the South Island. Cross Cook Strait into the sheltered waters of Queen Charlotte Sound before arriving at the small seaside village of Picton. Continue south to the alpine resort town of Hanmer Springs, renowned for its therapeutic natural thermal waters. Here you'll check into Heritage Hanmer Springs for an overnight stay.
After a leisurely breakfast, stroll around the village and enjoy entry into the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools with its naturally-heated thermal mineral waters. Later today, there'll be a short drive to the Garden City of Christchurch for a visit to the International Antarctic Centre before enjoying a brief orientation tour of the city. Check into Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch for the night.
Cross the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps to the west. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog Memorial overlooking Lake Tekapo. Visit Mount Cook National Park, with time to enjoy the scenic majesty of New Zealand’s highest snow-capped peaks and a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Travel around Lake Pukaki to Twizel and Omarama. You'll check into Heritage Gateway Hotel Omarama for an overnight stay.
Continue down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru. Stop to view the mystical Moeraki Boulders, then on to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South. An early arrival here allows you plenty of time to enjoy a choice of excellent optional activities. Before dinner this evening, you'll be treated to a traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony complete with piper, address to the Haggis, and gift. You'll stay overnight at the Scenic Hotel Dunedin City.
Admire the awe-inspiring views across the Otago Peninsula as you travel to Larnach Castle. On your guided tour, learn about its tragic and mysterious history. Depart Dunedin and head inland, crossing rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the picturesque Fiordland National Park. Check into Distinction Luxmore Hotel Te Anau for two nights.
Follow the Hollyford Valley before descending into the Cleddau Canyon. Drive through the Homer Tunnel into amazing Milford Sound, the world-renowned natural wonder dominated by Mitre Peak. Lush rainforest clings to sheer rock walls and waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres to the sea below. Cruise the entire length of the fiord and enjoy the on-board commentary that gives you an insight into the region’s history, flora and fauna as you view spectacular waterfalls, towering mountains, and wildlife. NB: Overnight cruises on Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound are also available today subject to availability.
The tour continues north to Kingston, and then travels around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the picturesque alpine resort of Queenstown. This evening, cruise across the lake aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw before reaching the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner. Your hotel for the next two nights is Millennium Hotel Queenstown.
Today is a free day to experience this magnificent resort at your own pace. Queenstown boasts an incredible choice of adventure and leisure activities and your Coach Captain can assist in arranging any optional activities for you. Perhaps take a ride on the world-famous Shotover Jet Boat, travel to the top of Bob’s Peak by gondola for spectacular views, join a tour to the gold-mining area of Skippers Canyon, or for the adventurous, have a go at white water rafting. Alternatively, wander around Queenstown and browse in the many shops and galleries.
Your journey today takes you past the picturesque Lake Hayes on the way to Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating early settlement and the gold-mining history. Stop at Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lake's edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. View the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mount Aspiring and Westland National Parks before arriving on the West Coast, home to the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef. Tonight you'll stay at Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier.
Travel from Franz Josef to Greymouth where you'll step aboard the famous TranzAlpine Train. Renowned as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, this coast-to-coast rail adventure will take you though the Southern Alps, over massive viaducts, river valleys and gorges on its way to Christchurch. You'll stay overnight at Sudima Christchurch Airport.
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and transfer to Christchurch Airport for your flight back to the UK.