Land of the Long White Cloud
INDEPENDENT TOURING - SELF-DRIVE TOUR
AUCKLAND | BAY OF ISLANDS | ROTORUA | NAPIER | WELLINGTON | KAIKOURA | CHRISTCHURCH | LAKE TEKAPO | QUEENSTOWN | TE ANAU | MILFORD SOUND | DOUBTFUL SOUND | DUNEDIN | WANAKA | FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
This fantastic 3 week tour of New Zealand includes all the highlights of both the North & South Islands. With the flexibility of taking a self drive option or using coach transfers, this tour allows you to see the North and South Islands however you choose.
- See stunning West Coast Glaciers
- Cruise the spectacular Milford Sound
- Overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound
Land of the Long White Cloud
Day 1 : Arrive Auckland
Arrive into Auckland and make your own way to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore. Rated as the third most liveable city in the world, Auckland is a place where vibrant city style and spectacular landscapes go hand in hand.Perhaps head to one of the city’s many restaurants, cafés or bars or relax in the sunshine.
Day 2 : Auckland - Bay of Islands (240 kms)
Self Drive passengers: collect your rental vehicle this morning from the downtown office.
Coach passengers: You will be collected from your hotel.
Head north over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge though the northern suburbs and beaches of the Hibiscus Coast to the beautiful Bay of Islands. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 3 : Bay of Islands
Today the choice is yours to view the Bay of Islands from the water or visit Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s most northern point where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea’s crash together. Choose from either a Cape Reinga Day Trip with lunch, Cape Brett Hole in Rock Cruise, Dolphin Eco Encounter (includes viewing option), or the historic and more leisurely Cream Trip Cruise.
Day 4 : Bay of Islands - Auckland (240 kms)
Today enjoy a leisurely drive south back to Auckland. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 5 : Auckland - Rotorua - via Waitomo (360 kms)
This morning leave Auckland and travel south through the farming city of Hamilton to Waitomo Caves. A guided glow-worm cave tour is included. From Waitomo continue over the Mamaku Ranges to Rotorua.
Day 6 : Rotorua
Today’s sightseeing incorporates Rotorua’s best attractions. Included is a guided tour of Te Puia and the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute to see roaring geysers and boiling mud pools, Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, the Agrodome Leisure Park (famous for its entertaining sheep show) a gondola cable car to the Skyline complex and Polynesian Spa, New Zealand’s leading international day spa and hot mineral baths (only mineral bath admission is included). This evening attend a traditional Maori Hangi meal and Cultural Show.
Day 7 : Rotorua - Napier (220 kms)
Today travel south through the world’s largest man-made forest to Taupo and onto Hawkes Bay with its Art Deco buildings and dramatic history.
Day 8 : Napier
Today is free to explore.
Day 9 : Napier - Wellington (340 kms)
Travel south over the Rimutaka Ranges to the Wairarapa and continue to Wellington.
Day 10 : Wellington
Today is free to explore Wellington. With a beautiful harbour lining the city and an absolute multitude of dining and cultural experiences, Wellington has a lot to offer. Perhaps take in the impressive collection of art and history gathered at the Museum of New Zealand, or tour the country’s parliamentary buildings known as “The Beehive”.
Day 11 : Wellington - Kaikoura (258km)
Self Drive passengers: return your rental vehicle at Wellington Ferry Terminal prior to boarding the ferry. Board the Interislander ferry, crossing the Cook Strait and cruise through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds to Picton where you board the Coastal Pacific train and travel south along the coast to Kaikoura.
Day 12 : Kaikoura - Christchurch (203km)
This morning meet the giant sperm whales off the coast of Kaikoura on your Whalewatch cruise. This afternoon reboard the Coastal Pacific and travel to Christchurch.
Day 13 : Christchurch - Tekapo / Mount Cook (230kms)
Self Drive passengers: collect your rental vehicle this morning from the Christchurch Airport rental office.
Today’s journey is across the Canterbury Plains and through Burke’s Pass to Lake Tekapo / Mount Cook.
Day 14 : Lake Tekapo / Mount Cook - Queenstown
Today you’ll travel into the Mackenzie Country and beyond the scrub with its vast expanses of tussock. Continue over the Lindis Pass into Queenstown over the Kawarau Gorge, otherwise known as “the golden highway”. You’ll be surrounded by towering cliffs and rugged hillsides as you travel through the heart of one of New Zealand’s most historic gold mining regions.
Day 15 : Queenstown
Today is free to explore this alpine resort. Today, we’ve included admission to the Skyline Gondola. Sit back and relax as you’re taken 450 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll enjoy the best views in the region unfolding before your eyes. You get to experience a spectacular 220 degree panorama with breath-taking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter and Cecil Peak and, of course, Queenstown. When you get to the top, choose your own pace from the host of activities on offer (not included). Maybe you’ll have a relaxing evening with some of the best of New Zealand and international cuisine, or head back to the city centre to explore.
Day 16 : Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau (430 kms)
Today, travel south to Te Anau, the gateway to the Fiordland National Park. The road climbs steadily to the Homer Tunnel before descending through rugged mountains and forest to Milford Sound. Enjoy a Milford Sound cruise and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, and unparalleled beauty. Return to Te Anau following your cruise.
Day 17 : Doubtful Sound
Cruise across Lake Manapouri and take a coach over Wilmot Pass to board the Fiordland Navigator. Enjoy the stunning views and discover the hidden arms of Doubtful Sound. As the shadows lengthen, you will drop anchor for the night and enjoy an evening buffet meal. Overnight onboard the Navigator*
*Overnight cruise does not operate from 21 May to 31 August, during this time you will stay overnight in a Te Anau hotel and enjoy a day cruise on Doubtful Sound.
Day 18 : Te Anau
Breakfast is included onboard this morning. After your cruise you will be returned to Te Anau where the rest of your day is at leisure. Perhaps visit Te Anau’s Wildlife Park, only 10 minutes walking distance from the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre on the Lakefront. See the endangered Takahe, a flightless alpine bird, along with other unique native birds such as the Kaka, Tui, Kea and the Parakeet.
Day 19 : Te Anau - Dunedin (290 kms)
Make your way to Dunedin today and enjoy the afternoon exploring this Scottish influenced city.
Day 20 : Dunedin - Wanaka (280 kms)
Travel through the rich fruit producing regions of central Otago, along the shores of Lake Dunstan to the alpine lakeside village of Wanaka.
Day 21 : Wanaka - Franz Josef Glacier (290 kms)
Your journey today takes you along the West Coast, through the awesome Haast Pass, to the Glacier towns of Fox Glacier and Franz Josef.
Day 22 : Franz Josef Glacier
A free day to relax or explore the captivating Franz Josef Glacier. Optional activities include rainforest walks, indoor ice climbing and the Franz Josef Hot Pools complex.
Day 23 : Franz Josef Glacier - Christchurch (via Greymouth) (190 kms + rail)
From Franz Josef travel through Hokitika to Greymouth. Here self drive clients will return their rental vehicle. Board the TranzAlpine Train, New Zealand’s premier alpine rail journey. Travel through lush beech forest, past lakes and rivers before ascending the Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass which leads across the main divide. From here descend through the foothills of the Alps onto the fertile Canterbury Plains to Christchurch
Day 24 : End of Tour
Your tour ends today.