Your New Zealand adventure begins with a flight across the Tasman Sea to Auckland, the City of Sails. After your airport transfer to your hotel, explore Auckland your way.
This evening, meet up with your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
❱ 1 night: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites
Travel along the scenic Hibiscus Coast to the Bay of Islands. Check into your hotel in Paihia before boarding your scenic cruise.
★ Set off on a memorable 3 hour cruise around some of the bay’s 144 islands to Cape Brett in search of dolphins & other marine life.
Take in the stunning views and see the historic lighthouse keeps watch over and Piercy Island/Motukōkako, known the ‘Hole in the Rock’.
❱ 2 nights: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands
Explore more of the picturesque Bay of Islands region at your own pace today. Perhaps sail on a historic tall ship, take the ferry to the charming town of Russell, the country’s first sea-port, or explore the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Enjoy a leisurely morning in the charming town of Paihia with some time to explore the town before travelling through beautiful lush farmland back to Auckland.
❱ 1 night: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites
Begin your day with a city tour, then trace the path of the Waikato River to the Waitomo Caves.
★ Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural & natural history. Marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto.
Travel on to Rotorua and take in the spectacular views of Lake Rotorua.
❱ 2 nights: Ibis Rotorua
After breakfast, relax or explore Rotorua at your own pace. Perhaps visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park, to observe many species of the native fauna of New Zealand including the country’s iconic kiwi.
★ Tonight, experience authentic Maori culture with the Tamaki family as you’re invited to an evening of fun & laughter.
Amidst crackling village fires, discover Maori art forms, take part in ancient rituals and learn fascinating Maori traditions. Experience an impressive song & dance display before enjoying a traditional hangi feast, cooked beneath the ground on hot stones. It’s a night not to be missed – a highlight of any visit to New Zealand!
Journey through tall pine forests and verdant farmland to spectacular Huka Falls and serene Lake Taupo. Drive along the shores of New Zealand’s biggest lake through the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park and the dairy farms of Manawatu.
We then follow the Kapiti Coast to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington for a city orientation tour.
❱ 1 night: Travelodge Wellington
★ Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Wellington, and then visit Te Papa Museum of New Zealand.
You will have some time at leisure at the Te Papa Museum to discover its fascinating interactive exhibitions about New Zealand’s nature, art, history and cultural heritage.
★ A packed lunch supporting the ‘Eat My Lunch’ charity is included today.
Your lunch won’t only be wholesome, it will also feed a Kiwi child who may otherwise go without. ‘Eat My Lunch’ supports Kiwi kids who live in poverty – thousands of whom go to school without lunch each day. The charity has given over 1,000,000 lunches to Kiwi kids so far.
★ Later, relax onboard a cruise across the stunning Cook Strait and explore the spectacular maze of inlets of Queen Charlotte Sound.
On arrival, you will be met by your guide for the South Island and be transferred to the seaside village of Picton. Enjoy a tour of this beautiful city before dinner.
❱ 1 night: Picton Beachcomber Inn
Travel to Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore (an optional whale-watching flight is available).
Continue along the Pacific Ocean coast, then across fertile farmlands to the fascinating vibrant city of Christchurch.
❱ 1 night: Ibis Christchurch
Travel through verdant countryside to serene Lake Pukaki before arriving at Lake Tekapo, a remarkable turquoise coloured lake surrounded by the Southern Alps.
★ See the Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a picture perfect view of the Southern Alps.
Later, we continue to the awe-inspiring Mt. Cook National Park before arriving at our overnight accommodation in Omarama.
❱ 1 night: Heritage Gateway Hotel
★ Visit the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme, an intricate series of interconnected lakes & canals, and the monumental spillway of the nearby Benmore Dam.
Then travel to the historic town of Oamaru, with its elegant tree-lined streets and white limestone buildings. Continue to Dunedin, the southernmost city in New Zealand’s, where your afternoon is at leisure. You may like to take a wildlife cruise, or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.
❱ 1 night: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
This morning you’re free to explore Dunedin at your own pace – you might like to visit stately Larnach Castle.
This afternoon, travel through lush green sheep-grazing country on your way to Fiordland National Park and Te Anau.
Tonight, there’s the option of travelling by boat through the fascinating Te Anau Glowworm Caves (own expense).
❱ 1 night: Distinction Luxmore Hotel
★ Your experience in Milford Sound is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
Travel through tall native rainforests and rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park, then cruise the serene waters of this natural wonder. Experience the breathtaking, awe-inspiring scenery that Milford Sound is renowned for including its sheer cliffs, massive waterfalls, glaciers & rainforest. Your guide will make sure you don’t miss photo-worthy highlights including Mitre Peak & the Pembroke Glacier. You may also see seals basking on the rocks or the local pod of dolphins streaking through the Sound.
After your cruise, stop at the beautiful Mirror Lake before travelling along the Devil’s Staircase & the scenic shores of Lake Wakatipu and arriving in Queenstown.
❱ 2 nights: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown
Explore New Zealand’s adventure capital at your own pace today. There are jet boat rides, white water rafting and 4WD safaris for the thrill-seekers, and wine tours or intimate cafés.
★ Later this afternoon, enjoy a cruise across peaceful Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner.
Your first destination today is the faithfully-restored gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown. Sample luscious stone fruit in Cromwell, and enjoy the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes.
Drive over Haast Pass, passing the 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls and stopping for a tranquil rainforest walk on your way to the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier.
❱ 1 night: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef
After breakfast, we continue on our journey north along New Zealand’s rugged west coast to the town of Hokitika.
★ Here, you will have a chance to visit some of the Pounamu (jade) workshops.
Pounamu, NZ’s most famous greenstone, is of great cultural significance in Māori culture and was prized for its strength, durability & beauty. It was used for weapons, tools & ornaments, and also denoted great status.
Later, we continue on our journey north to the beautiful small town of Arthur’s Pass in the spectacular Southern Alps.
★ Board the iconic TranzAlpine train for a trip over the alps & the Canterbury Plains, rated one of the world’s top 10 most scenic rail journeys.
This evening in Christchurch, join your fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner.
❱ 1 night: Ibis Christchurch
Bid farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport in time for your flight home.