Itineraries

Here is a popular all round 17 Day NZ Tour 

Cost from $4294 per person (valid 2021)

Itinerary shows included Hotels, sightseeing and meals (Marked in Gold**) 

It can be easily amended to suit your requirements

17 Days Auckland to Christchurch  (Tour Code 17AC21)                                                         

Day 1 ARRIVE AUCKLAND (D)

Welcome to New Zealand!  On arrival we will retire to our secluded Hotel on the Northern Beaches. Extensive sightseeing of Auckland will be carried out on our return from the lovely Bay of islands on "Day 5" below.

Snells Beach Hotel (Dinner)

Day 2 AUCKLAND - BAY OF ISLANDS (BD)

 

Heading north today our first stop is  **The Kauri Museum at Matakohe. This tells us the story of Northland’s founding industry which was based on harvesting massive kauri trees and collecting their gum. Around the turn of last century, Kaipara’s settlers milled kauri and exported the timber and the gum, which was used to make varnish. It boasts magnificent collections of antique kauri furniture, photographs, pioneer memorabilia and restored and working machinery, including a steam sawmill, and the world’s largest collection of kauri gum. The Northland Forest Park comprises 17 forests containing 85% of all the Kauri trees remaining in this country. The magnificent, tall, straight, knot-free kauri was one of the great inducements for settlement of these far-flung islands in the Pacific. Kauri was used by Maori to fashion war canoes, and by the British Navy for masts and spars. It was pit-sawn for settler’s homes and provided valuable kauri gum. Travelling north we drive on to the Bay Of Islands this region has the finest maritime park in New Zealand with the 144 Islands and secluded bays. The Bay has an abundance of marine life, including the big marlin, whales, penguins, dolphins, gannets and many other species. The maritime and historic park is the original cradle of European civilization and has fine examples of Maori culture.

Kingsgate Hotel  Paihia (Dinner and Breakfast)

 

Day 3: Bay of Islands (BD)

Today we have the option to take the Cape Reianga Trip by special coach to the very tip of the North Island, Cape Reianga. It is here where the Maoris believe the spirits of the dead pause before flying north to their home-land in Hawaiki . After spending some quality time here at the cape we make our way back south, but instead of returning via the main road we turn off and drive down a river bed called Te Paki Stream. We have to keep moving here as the river has quick sand in places!!. We then literally drive down 90 mile beach and at times have to drive through the surf!! We return to the Bay of Islands via a coast-line of quant little fishing villages as well as visiting a Kauri wood display.

The day is other wise free for relaxation or shopping.

Kingsgate Hotel  Paihia (Dinner and Breakfast) 

Day 4:        Bay of Islands – Auckland  (BD)

This morning we load our coach and head for the Paihia waterfront where we board our big catamaran for our cruise to **Cape Brett and the famous "Hole in the Rock". It is a top trip out onto the bay, and our captain will point out the local spots that are rich in history. The scenery is a photographer’s dream. On return to Paihia we return south to our secluded Hotel.

Snells Beach Hotel   (Dinner and Breakfast) 

Day 5:           Auckland  - Rotorua (BD)

We start today by carrying out our sight seeing tour of Auckland also known as "The City of Sails". Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand with a population of over one million people. Positioned between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea the city has become known as the city of sails because of the large number of pleasure craft there. The Auckland regatta which is held annually is one of the largest one day events of its kind in the world. Auckland represents the largest urban city in New Zealand and is recognised as having the largest concentration of Polynesian people in the world. Imagine a modern, cosmopolitan city of over one million people sprawling over an area twice the size of London. Imagine that this city has a sunny climate with average temperatures of 20°C in summer, 13°C in winter and a moderate 1.2 meters annual rainfall. Visualise this place built on 50 dormant volcanic cones between two beautiful harbours, where everyone lives within a 30 minute drive of white sand beaches, lush rainforest, over 20 regional parks and a maritime playground embracing 50 islands. This place is Auckland. Little wonder then that this uniquely exciting twin-harbour city attracts 1.4 million overseas visitors each year and is regarded as having one of the best lifestyles and family environments in the world.

From Auckland, we meet NZ s largest river, the Waikato River and cross the lush Waikato dairy country. We then climb over the Mamaku Range and continue to the volcanic wonderland of Rotorua. Rotorua has the most energetic thermal activity in the country with bubbling mud pools, gushing geysers, beautiful coloured hot springs and terrace formations created by mineral water. Rotorua also has a large Maori population whose cultural activities are interesting and accessible as will be witnessed tomorrow evening.

Copthorn Hotel   (Dinner and Breakfast)

 

Day 6:  Rotorua (BD)

Today we have a fun filled day, with sights of Rotorua This morning we visit the **Agrodome to learn about the sheep industry. This unique New Zealand experience is still the best and most popular sheep show but there's a lot more to it than sheep - 19 champion rams, sheep shearing, sheep dogs, cow milking, sheep auction, lamb feeding. The multi-award winning Agrodome Sheep Show is one hour of 'full on' entertainment.. Our next visit is located close to the  New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and **Te Puia Thermal Valley featuring the Pouto Geyser. Exploding from the ground up to 30 meters high is the world famous Pohutu Geyser – an awesome display of Mother Nature’s power. A tourist attraction since the early 1900’s. But that’s just the start of the beautiful Te Puia thermal valley. See silica terraces, bubbling mud pools and unique geothermal vegetation. And each of the geothermal wonders is woven into a legend – surrounded by memories and sometimes mystery. Balance of the day free.  Tonight we enjoy the spectacular ** Maori Hangi and concert.

Copthorn Hotel (Dinner and Breakfast) 

Day 7 ROTORUA  - Wellington (BD)

This morning we depart Rotorua for Taupo via New Zealand’s largest pine tree forests. En-route, we make a visit to the **Wairakei Geothermal Steam Field.  This was a world’s first generating electricity by tapping a natural steam field then channelling the steam to a nearby power generation plant.  Continuing we view the mighty **Huka Falls.  Huka in Maori translates to "snow" as the water here has the appearance of snow falling as it is forced along from Lake Taupo through the falls on its journey along the Waikato River. State Highway One winds through a bleak windswept tussock plain called the Rangipo Desert. This is a unique alpine semi-desert, with the forbidding appearance of a wild desolate wasteland. To the east it merges with the densely forested foothills of the Kaimanawa Ranges. To the west there is no horizon, as the landscape and sky are overwhelmed by the monumental outline of Mt. Ruapehu. Dark canyons and shadowy scree slopes tumble from the snow-capped peaks and merge with the indistinct landforms of the plain. The majestic grandeur of Ruapehu is a powerfully moving sight especially on a clear day. It is well worth a photo stop to capture the changing moods of the mountain.

Bay Plaza Hotel (Dinner and Breakfast)

 

Day 8 Wellington - Christchurch (BD)

This morning we carry out sightseeing of Wellington**. Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city. It is a complete contrast to the sprawling urban mass that constitutes Auckland. Wellington is a visitor-friendly, upbeat, compact city, which can claim to be the world’s southernmost capital. It offers the visitor far more than a look at New Zealand’s parliamentary democracy in action. Wellington has a well-earned reputation as an entertainment and cultural centre. You can find some of the New Zealand’s best theatres, galleries, restaurants, bars and cafes here. The choice of authentic ethnic restaurants and cafes is mind-boggling, in fact with around 400 eating establishments. We then cruise the Wellington Harbour out onto the Cook Strait on the Interislander* and through New Zealand’s only true sounds, the picturesque Marlborough Sound into Picton. The bustling port of Picton is the terminal for inter-island ferries, and gateway to the ‘Mainland’, the South Island’s self-proclaimed nickname.. Reboarding our coach we arrive at the pretty little town of Blenheim. Blenheim can proudly uphold the claim to be both ‘The Sunshine Capital’ and ‘The Foremost Grape Growing Area’ of New Zealand We continue south along the spectacular Kaikoura Coast where we pause to view the fur seals. We continue to New Zealands English City.

Garden Hotel (Dinner and Breakfast)

Day 9:  Christchurch Sightseeing

Christchurch is the South Island's largest city. It’s a vibrant, cosmopolitan place with exciting festivals, theatre, modern art galleries, great shopping and award-winning attractions. In the centre of the city you can’t help but notice Christchurch Cathedral, an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture. Sadly the Cathedral was damaged during the Earthquake but may still be viewed from the City Square. Other grey-stone nineteenth century buildings, tree-lined avenues and extensive leafy parks give the city an elegant, rather English atmosphere.

Garden Hotel (Dinner and Breakfast) 

Day 10:   Christchurch - Glaciers

This morning we literally head for the hills (Southern Alps actually!). You may choose to take the optional trip on the world famous Tranz Alpine Train. Both coach and train literally head deep into the mountains of the Southern Alps. At the end of the train journey, we re-board the coach, and we begin our exploration of the West Coast. After lunch we head for Hokitika, which was settled in the 1860’s following the discovery of gold. It developed into a thriving mining town and an important port. The first settlers were John Hudson and James Price who set up a store on the banks of the Hokitika River in 1865 to cater for the miners pouring in following the gold strike in 1864. In 1866, with a population of more than 6000 the town was almost twice its present size. People were either digging for gold along the banks of the river or servicing the gold mining industry which had spread along rivers in the region. Today there is a thriving craft industry in the town, with artist working in greenstone (jade) gold, glass, wood, and clay. There are weavers and painters also. Time to explore this historic town with a visit to the local greenstone factory. 

We travel through lush rainforests past South Westland’s scenic lakes to the Franz Josef Glacier

Alpine Glacier Motel (Dinner and Breakfast) 

Day 11 Glaciers - Queenstown

This morning we traverse the Waikukupa Hill and Omoeroa and Cook Saddles to the Cook River Flats and the Fox Glacier. Perhaps you’d like to view the Glaciers from the air on an optional helicopter flight.Driving towards the southern end of the South Island’s West Coast Road, there is a strong sense of entering a primeval land, and a feeling of total isolation. Arriving at Haast, you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world

. We travel through the Haast River valleys and over Haast Pass. Once in Otago the scenery changes dramatically to large glacial valleys and lakes. Leaving Wanaka we travel to Cromwell and enter the rugged Kawarau Gorge. Two years after the first European settlers established high country farms in the Wakatipu area, gold was discovered nearby. The find was concealed for a short time, but news soon spread. In 1862 Jack Tewa, a shearer working for William Rees, had found gold in the Arrow River. Originally named Fox's (after William Fox, a Californian gold miner) the town began to populate. Within weeks 1500 people, and as the news of gold in the Arrow River spread, people in search of the alluvial treasure arrived in droves. Tents and shanties built on the river bank were washed away in a spring flood the following year, lives were lost. The town was re built more solidly on the terraces above the river bank. We continue on to the alpine village of Queenstown.

Rydges Hotel  (Dinner and Breakfast)

Day 12  Queenstown (BD).

Today is a day of leisure. Queenstown has so many options for you to chose from or just relax.

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps, Queenstown was named because "it was fit for Queen Victoria". Today Queenstown is recognised as New Zealand's premier visitor destination and as one of the friendliest towns in the world. Queenstown's reputation as the Adventure Capital is well earned. Earth, water and air, there is something to thrill any adventure seeker from Jet Boats to Gondola rides. Tonight over dinner we can recall our adventures 

Rydges Hotel  (Dinner and Breakfast) 

Day 13: Queenston  – Milford - Te Anau (BD)

We travel beneath the towering Remarkable's Range to Mossburn then onto Te Anau. Southwest New Zealand is one of the great wilderness areas of the Southern Hemisphere. It is an area where snow-capped mountains, rivers of ice, deep lakes, unbroken forests and tussock grasslands produce a landscape of exceptional beauty.

We continue to Fiordland and the largest of the Fiords Milford. Recognition of the outstanding natural values of the area was granted by UNESCO in December 1990, with the formation of the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area. This area incorporates Aoraki/ Mt Cook, Westland/ Tai Poutini, Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks, and covers 2.6 million hectares or 10% of New Zealand's land area. World heritage is a global concept that identifies natural and cultural sites of world significance - places so special that protecting them is of concern to all people. Fiordland was also the final refuge to the worlds only flightless parrot the nocturnal Kakapo. Glacier carved hanging valleys thick native forest, spectacular waterfalls and sheer precipices tower over the fiord. Mitre Peak Cruises take you on a voyage of discovery of Milford Sound. Here we cuise the fiord by launch and get close-up views of the magnificent scenery that this world heritage area has to offer. While cruising we enjoy a picnic lunchIn the afternoon, we move on to the beauty of Lake Te Anau

Kingsgate  Hotel (Dinner and Breakfast) 

Day 14:  Te Anau – Dunedin (BD)

Our journey this morning takes us through some of NZs most lush sheep farming country. We travel on to NZs own charming Scottish city, Dunedin. We take you on a sightseeing tour of the city with possible free time being made available. This afternoon we have the option of traveling on the  famous Taieri Gorge train trip  – a gem of a rail journey into the spectacular rocky Central Otago Interior.

Kingsgate Hotel (Dinner and Breakfast)  

Day 15: Dunedin – Omarama (BD)

We explore the Scottish city by first taking "The high road" onto Otago Penisular and then "Take the Low Road" winding our way back along the harbour to the city.   Travelling north our first stop is at the **Moeraki Boulders which are huge spherical stones that are scattered over the sandy beaches. Our next stop is at Oamaru where we view **Oamaru’s Historic Precinct of well-preserved 19th century buildings. Here you will be fascinated by the variety of architectural styles. They range from Gothic revival to neoclassical Greek and Italian. The remarkable cream limestone from local quarries has earned Oamaru the title of ‘The Whitestone City’. It is so soft that it can be quarried with a circular saw. Once exposed to air, it hardens and is eminently suitable for public buildings. Elegant banks and hotels stand alongside handsome warehouses and wool stores. We then head inland following the mighty Waitaki River along the way viewing the hydro dams.

Heritage Hotel Omarama  (Dinner and Breakfast  

Day 16:  Omarama – Mt Cook – Christchurch (BD)

This morning we head for the resort village at Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain with time available to enjoy the magnificent view. We then leave the Mount Cook region behind and continue our travels through the vast Mackenzie Basin. We visit the **Church of the Good Shepherd and the statue of **The Musterers dog, before heading over Bourke’s Pass. We continue through Fairlie, Geraldine, and on to the Canterbury Plains returning to Christchurch – the Garden City.

Garden Hotel (Dinner and Breakfast)  

Day 17  Home (B)

This morning is set aside for extra sight-seeing around Christchurch with possible time available for shopping. Later in the day we head out to the Airport where sadly we farewell NZs triple shores.

 

Included in the Tour

*Meet and Greet and Airport Transfers;           *16 nights hotel/motel accom incl Breakfasts/Dinners;

*Christchurch "The Garden City";                    * Mount Cook National Park;    

*Spectacular Southern Alps;                             *Dunedin "Edinburgh of the South";

* Spectacular Milford Sound Cruise /Lunch;     *Fiordland National Park – a World Heritage Area; 

*2 nights in the Alpine resort of Queenstown;       * 2 Nights in Christchurch

*Beautiful Southland Lakes;                              *Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers;

*World Heritage Westland National Park;         *Greenstone (Jade) jewellery manufacturing;

*Pictureque  Malborough Sounds;                           

*Cruise across Cook Strait;                                *NZ’s capital city – Wellington; 

*World  Heritage Tongariro National Park;       *Spectacular Huka Falls;  

*Wairaki Thermal Reserve;                               *Beautiful Lake Taupo; 

*2 nights in Thermal Rotorua;                           *Agrodome agricultural Show; 

*Rotorua Sightseeing                 ;                      * Larnarchs Castle   

* Te Puia Thermal Reserve                              *Maori Hangi (Feast) and cultural entertainment;

2 Nights in the National Maritime Park of the Bay of Islands;

*Matakohe Kauri Museum;

*Cape Brett "Hole in the Rock" Cruise;              *Auckland – "City of Sails";