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AUCKLAND | ROTORUA | WELLINGTON | CHRISTCHURCH | TRANZALPINE TRAIN | FRANZ JOSEF | QUEENSTOWN | MILFORD SOUND | TE ANAU | DUNEDIN | MOUNT COOK | LAKE TEKAPO
New Zealand is arguably the world’s purest destination; un-crowded, clean and green. There’s quiet villages and bustling cities; history, culture and a friendly population who are passionate about their country. Once you’ve visited, you’ll understand why…
- Enjoy a Maori Hangi Feast in Rotorua
- Ride on the famous TranzAlpine train
- Marvel at Franz Josef Glacier
- Cruise the full length of Milford Sound
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Day 1 : Arrive Auckland
Be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Then, choose from a range of Freedom of Choice sightseeing activities. Perhaps you’ll take a city tour and then either relax on a harbour cruise, visit Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium and see over 30 live animal exhibits and amazing underwater viewing tunnels, or take a trip to the Auckland museum. Or maybe you’ll see the lush rainforest and black sand beaches outside the city on a Wilderness Adventure, or take a cruise and visit Devonport, a picture-perfect harbourside suburb. The freedom to choose is yours. Tonight, get to know your fellow travellers and Tour Director during a Welcome Dinner.
Hotel: Grand Millennium Hotel
Day 2 : Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua
Leaving Auckland, travel to the Waitomo cave. World-renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in the New Zealand vacation wish-list. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves’ historical and geological significance. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveller. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history. Then continue to Rotorua; with its crystal clear lake and lush forests it’s at the heart of Maori culture and famous for its geothermal activity. Tonight you’ll enjoy a Hangi Feast and learn about ancient Maori customs as you are entertained with song and dance by locals.
Hotel for 2 nights: Holiday Inn Rotorua
Day 3 : Rotorua - Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
Today enjoy the opportunity to choose from a range of activities including an eco-thermal tour; a visit to Hobbiton; a trip to the Rotorua Museum; a Kiwi encounter and Rotorua sightseeing tour.
Day 4 : Rotorua – Taupo - Wellington
Follow the Thermal Explorer Highway through the heart of the North Island. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls, the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand, where you’ll see up to 220,000 litres of water a second gushing through the gorge and shooting out over 8 metres beyond to create a beautiful blue pool. Then head to the tranquil setting of Lake Taupo and cross the vast volcanic plateau of Tongariro National Park, which encompasses the volcanoes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu and features some of New Zealand’s most contrasting landscapes, to Wellington. This evening you have Freedom of Choice dining; will it be the hotel’s grill, the iconic Lido Café or the Hummingbird Eatery for dinner?
Hotel for 2 nights: Amora Hotel Wellington
Day 5 : Wellington
You’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour of Wellington today, taking you to the city’s best-loved landmarks, including the Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa. Then ride Wellington’s iconic Cable Car and gain a fresh perspective on this coastal city.
Day 6 : Wellington - Christchurch
Step aboard the Interislander Ferry and cruise across Cook Strait and on to Picton on New Zealand’s South Island. Rejoin your coach and journey through Marlborough to Christchurch.
Hotel: The Commodore
Day 7 : Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef
Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s greatest rail adventures. You’ll journey through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before travelling across the Southern Alps. Disembark at Arthur’s Pass and travel by coach to Hokitika. Here, you will have the opportunity to see Pounamu (jade) being skillfully carved into pieces of jewellery. Afterwards, continue along the dramatic New Zealand west coast to Franz Josef, where you’ll have the opportunity to take in the dramatic terrain and icy surrounds of striking Franz Josef Glacier. Check in to your luxury eco-resort before enjoying a spectacular four-course dégustation dinner this evening.
Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Day 8 : Franz Josef - Queenstown
Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River, capturing views of the massive glacier-formed Haast River Valley, towering peaks, rushing waterfalls and lush rainforest. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s ‘adventure capital’, where this evening you have Freedom of Choice dining. Perhaps sample the delicious fresh produce at waterside Finz seafood restaurant, or take a scenic gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant. Alternatively, you may prefer to cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamboat.
Hotel for 2 nights: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Day 9 : Queenstown - Freedom of Choice sightseeing
You choose what to do today. Perhaps embark on a Safari of the Scenes tour, and visit several local sites where the popular ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was filmed. On it, you’ll experience the great affinity between the cinematic landscape of New Zealand and that of Middle-earth. Alternatively, you may prefer to take an exhilarating ride on the famous Shotover Jet Boat. New Zealand is rightly famous for its wines, and a tour of the country’s premier wine producing region is a tempting option today. Your Tour Director will be on hand to help you choose.
Day 10 : Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau
Follow The Remarkables mountain range to the Fiordland National Park and journey along Milford Road, through some stunning scenery to Milford Sound. Cruise the full length of tranquil Milford Sound, a haven of beauty where the fiord like landscape has verdant rainforest covered rock faces dropping into the clear waters of the Sound, waterfalls cascading seaward and if you’re lucky, marine life in abundance. Later this afternoon travel to the pretty town of Te Anau on the shores of Lake Te Anau. This evening savour the tastes of Southland at a Taste of Fiordland dinner.
Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
Day 11 : Te Anau - Dunedin
This morning you journey through rolling Southland countryside via Lumsden and Gore to the east coast and Dunedin. Known as the Edinburgh of the south, the former gold mining town was once New Zealand’s largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the goldrush. This afternoon you have the freedom to choose your activity. Perhaps tour Larnach Castle and learn of its intriguing history; visit the Otago Peninsula or head to Dunedin’s beautiful railway station and board the Taieri Gorge Railway for a journey into the rugged countryside. Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross.
Day 12 : Dunedin - Mount Cook
See the spectacular Moeraki Boulders at Koekohe Beach before continuing to the Mount Cook National Park, home to Australasia’s highest peak, known to the Maori as Aoraki. The journey to your stunningly located hotel is quite spectacular; as you journey along the shores of Lake Pukaki the vista changes constantly and the mountain grows ever larger until you leave the lake behind and arrive at the base of the snow covered giant. Enjoy Freedom of Choice Sightseeing; will it be a guided nature walk, a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre or in summer a close up boat ride amongst glaciers on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. Or maybe a little stargazing tonight is more to your liking?
Hotel: The Hermitage Hotel
Day 13 : Mount Cook - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch
Continue to Lake Tekapo and view the brilliant turquoise water. On the shores of the lake you’ll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake. The church was built in 1935 for the pioneer families of the Mackenzie district, and it’s a popular photo spot for visitors, so popular in fact, that it is one of the most photographed places in New Zealand! Make sure to see the Sheep Dog Statue. Continue to Christchurch later on today where you will thoroughly enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travellers.
Hotel: Rydges Latimer
Day 14 : Christchurch departure
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.