New Zealand Wonderland
AUCKLAND | BAY OF ISLANDS | ROTORUA WELLINGTON | CHRISTCHURCH | TRANZALPINE TRAIN | FRANZ JOSEF | QUEENSTOWN | MILFORD SOUND | TE ANAU | DUNEDIN | MOUNT COOK | LAKE TEKAPO | CHRISTCHURCH
Freedom, flexibility and hotels in stunning locations are the hallmark of this tour. As you journey through the New Zealand landscape you’ll encounter enriching cultural experiences, see amazing geothermal activity and wondrous marine life.
- Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds
- Ride on the famous TranzAlpine train
- Marvel at the impressive Franz Josef Glacier
- Stay at the Te Waonui Forest retreat
New Zealand Wonderland
Day 1-2 : Arrive Auckland
On arrival into Auckland, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Discover the ‘City of Sails’ as you choose from a range of sightseeing options including a cruise on Waitemata Harbour, a Waiheke Island wine tour, the Auckland Museum; Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium and a Wilderness Adventure into the Waitakere Rainforest.
Hotel for 2 nights: Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland
Day 3 : Auckland - Bay of Islands
Travel along the Hibiscus Coast, to Matakohe’s Kauri Museum. Continue to the stunning Bay of Islands and visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the original treaty between the British and Maori people was signed. Here, you’ll also enjoy a visit to the Maori Meeting House and War Canoe.
Hotel for 2 nights: Copthorne Hotel and Resort
Day 4 : Bay of Islands
Today, discover this spectacular region with a choice of activities. Perhaps take a day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northernmost point; experience life aboard a tall ship; embark on a dolphin watching adventure or take a mini-tour of Russell.
Day 5 : Bay of Islands - Auckland
Explore the spectacular Bay of Islands on a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. In these deep-sea fishing grounds, dolphins are frequently seen. Meander through the inner islands, admiring the picturesque sandy beaches and rocky outcrops, then relax in a secluded bay. Back at your hotel in Auckland tonight enjoy a pacific-themed dinner.
Hotel: Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland
Day 6 : Auckland - Waitomo Caves – Rotorua
Travel to Waitomo, home to the famous glow-worm caves where thousands of tiny luminescent creatures radiate an unmistakable glow. Discover this natural wonder on a guided tour, before continuing to Rotorua - the geothermal capital of New Zealand. This evening, immerse yourself in Maori culture at a traditional Hangi Feast and performance of song and dance.
Hotel for 2 nights: Holiday Inn Rotorua
Day 7 : Rotorua
Enjoy Freedom of Choice Sightseeing today. Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the Agrodome Farm Show, visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park or take a ‘Hobbiton Movie Set’ tour. Take a drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs, or discover the local art, history and culture at Rotorua Museum.
Optional Country Homestay:
You may prefer to experience warm New Zealand hospitality on a Rotorua Country Homestay. Ask for further details and pricing.
Day 8 : Rotorua – Taupo – Wellington
Follow the Thermal Explorer Highway to the heart of the North Island and view the Wairakei Steam Valley. Visit Huka Falls and Lake Taupo, before travelling across the vast volcanic plateau of Tongariro National Park to Wellington. This evening, discover the tantalising flavours of New Zealand with a choice from three tempting restaurants in which to dine.
Hotel for 2 nights: Amora Hotel
Day 9 : Wellington
Today enjoy a sightseeing tour taking you to the city’s best-loved landmarks and sights, including New Zealand’s national museum - Te Papa Tongarewa. Afterwards, ride Wellington’s iconic Cable Car.
Day 10 : Wellington – Kaikoura - Christchurch
Cruise across Cook Strait through the stunning waters of Marlborough and Queen Charlotte sounds to Picton. Travel to the quaint fishing town of Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching, and on to Christchurch. Hotel: The Commodore
Day 11 : Christchurch - TranzAlpine - Franz Josef
Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s greatest rail adventures 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, the jade capital; then continue along the stunning west coast to Franz Josef and the dramatic terrain and icy surrounds of striking Franz Josef Glacier. Check in to your luxury eco-resort and enjoy a spectacular four-course degustation dinner.
Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Day 12 : Franz Josef – Queenstown
Enjoy a day of truly breath-taking 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’ll choose from four tempting restaurants in which to dine.
Hotel for 2 nights: Novotel Queenstown
Day 13 : Queenstown
You choose today from a range of activities. Perhaps embark on a Safari of the Scenes tour, and visit several local sites where the popular ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was filmed; take an exhilarating ride on the famous Shotover Jet Boat or maybe take a tour of the country’s premier wine producing region.
Day 14 : Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau
Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along the Milford Road, wind down the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys and drive through the Homer Tunnel to be met by the majestic sight of Mitre Peak. Continue to spectacular Milford Sound, where you’ll enjoy a cruise along the full length of this pristine fiord. The mesmerising sight of trees clinging to almost vertical rock faces as they plunge seawards; of cascading waterfalls appearing from nowhere and crashing to the ocean in a haze of mist and spray will live in your memory for ever. And then there’s the wildlife – dolphins if you are lucky, sea lions and hundreds of birds. Afterwards, enjoy a drive through picturesque countryside to the lakeside settlement of Te Anau.
Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
Day 15 : Te Anau – Dunedin
Leaving the Fiordland region you’ll journey via Lumsden and Gore to Dunedin. Known as the Edinburgh of the south, this former gold mining town was once New Zealand’s largest city. This afternoon, choose your sightseeing. Perhaps visit Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin’s must-see visitor attractions, for a guided tour. You’ll discover the castle’s rich history that dates back to 1871 as well as explore the exquisite gardens, which have attained a Garden of International Significance award from the New Zealand Gardens Trust. Or why not visit Olveston House, designed by acclaimed English architect Sir Ernest George. Olveston House was built as a family home furnished with fine art, furniture and artefacts purchased from all around the world. The house is somewhat of a time capsule; little has changed in the house since it was occupied in 1906. Or maybe you’ll board the Taieri Gorge Railway for a journey into the rugged countryside. Tour Speight’s Brewery; visit an albatross colony and see penguins or take an off-road tour of the Otago Peninsula.
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Day 16 : Dunedin - Mount Cook
Journey north, stopping to view the large Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach. Continue to World Heritage-listed Mount Cook National Park, where you can choose your activity. Perhaps visit The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, join a guided nature walk or participate in a stargazing session this evening. Tonight, relish your stay at one of the region’s premier properties, set in the shadows of magnificent Mt Cook.
Hotel: The Hermitage Hotel
Day 17 : Mount Cook - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch
Once you have arrived at Lake Tekapo you’ll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the most photographed places in New Zealand! Travel through delightful scenery along Burkes Pass to Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner.
Hotel: Rydges Latimer
Day 18 : Christchurch departure
Your tour concludes after breakfast with a transfer to the airport