Day 1: Auckland, Freedom of Choice Touring:
You will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Today you have the opportunity to choose your own sightseeing activity. Whether you wish to take a cruise of Waitemata Harbour, indulge your body with a Bliss Reflexology treatment, visit Auckland Museum, head to Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, climb Auckland Bridge or take a city sights tour, there’s certainly something to cater to every taste and every activity level. Stay: Auckland, Skycity Hotel.
Day 2: Auckland, Bay of Islands:
Leaving Auckland, travel along the Hibiscus Coast via Matakohe and through the Waipoua Forest to the beautiful Bay of Islands. This region is not only a picturesque coastal area, but also the cradle of European settlement in New Zealand. On arrival, visit the historic Waitangi Reserve. Two Night Stay: Bay of Islands, Paihia Pacific Resort.
Day 3: Bay of Islands, Freedom of Choice Touring:
Freedom of Choice Touring activities in the beautiful Bay of Islands today include a full day excursion to Cape Reinga, sailing on a schooner, swimming with the dolphins, a round of golf at Waitangi and much more. Overnight Cruise option available tonight.
Day 4: Bay of Islands, Auckland:
Explore New Zealand’s finest national maritime park on a catamaran cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. View the Cape Brett Lighthouse then cruise through the hole. Return this afternoon to the city of Auckland and enjoy dinner with city views at The Observatory Restaurant atop Sky Tower. Stay: Auckland, Skycity Hotel.
Day 5: Auckland, Waitomo, Rotorua:
Leaving the City of Sails, travel to Waitomo caves, for a guided tour then continue to Rotorua for a Maori Hangi feast tonight. Two Night Stay: Rotorua, Heritage Hotel.
Day 6: Rotorua, Freedom of Choice Touring:
Rotorua is New Zealand’s oldest and best known thermal resort. Our Freedom of Choice Touring options here range from the ‘Rotorua Icons’ - the Agrodome and Te Puia thermal reserve - to a leisurely soak in a natural thermal mineral pool. Or perhaps you might like to visit the Rotorua Museum or head for the pristine Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you have the chance to get close up to New Zealand’s native and endangered kiwi bird, among other options. Country Homestay option available tonight.
Day 7: Rotorua, Wellington:
Follow the Thermal Explorer Highway to the heart of the North Island, traveling through some of the largest alpine forests in the Southern Hemisphere. View Wairakei steam valley, where thermal energy is harnessed in the world’s second largest geothermal power plant. Then travel south and cross the vast volcanic plateau of World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park to Wellington, the national capital. Stay: Wellington, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor.
Day 8: Wellington, Blenheim:
Enjoy a brief city sightseeing tour of Wellington this morning, including the parliament buildings, before visiting Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. This afternoon board the Interislander ferry for a cruise across Cook Strait, through the Marlborough Sounds and Queen Charlotte Sound to the charming port town of Picton. Rejoin your coach and continue to Blenheim. Tonight enjoy dinner at the world-renowned Montana Brancott Winery. Stay: Blenheim Country Hotel.
Day 9: Blenheim, Christchurch:
Travel through the Marlborough region, an area with a strong international reputation for white wines. Arrive in the thriving seaside settlement of Kaikoura. Journey between the Pacific Ocean and the rugged Kaikoura Ranges and through North Canterbury to Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island and renowned as the Garden City. On arrival, enjoy a city sightseeing tour then the afternoon is at your leisure to explore. Stay: Christchurch, Copthorne Central Hotel.
Day 10: TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef:
This morning board the award-winning TranzAlpine train and enjoy spectacular scenery as you cross the Canterbury Plains before climbing up into the Main Divide. Disembark at Arthurs Pass and continue to Hokitika by coach. Here, see Pounamu (jade) being carved into beautiful jewelry then continue to Franz Josef. Stay: Franz Josef Glacier Hotel.
Day 11: Franz Josef, Queenstown, Dine Around Dinner:
Travel along the rugged West Coast to Haast. Experience a unique river safari, capturing breathtaking views of the massive glacier-formed Haast River Valley. Rejoin your coach and continue to Queenstown, on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. Tonight enjoy a Dine Around Dinner, where you’ll choose from one of four carefully selected restaurants. Two Night Stay: Queenstown, Novotel Lakeside.
Day 12: Queenstown, Freedom of Choice Touring:
Queenstown is a year-round alpine resort. Today we have a selection of activities for you to choose from, including a tour through some of Queenstown’s local gardens, a visit to some award-winning wineries, a double decker bus tour around Queenstown or an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Shotover River.
Day 13: Milford Sound, Te Anau:
Today, travel to World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park. Here, see some of New Zealand’s most remote and untouched scenery as you journey to Milford Sound. Join a cruise on this beautiful, glacier-carved fiord then take a relaxing journey to the lakeside village of Te Anau. Stay: Te Anau, Village Inn.
Day 14: Te Anau, Dunedin, Freedom of Choice Touring:
Leaving the dramatic landscape of the Fiordland region, journey through rolling Southland countryside. Travel via the rural support towns of Lumsden, Gore and Balclutha to the east coast and the city of Dunedin. This afternoon you choose an activity from our Freedom of Choice Touring options. Stay: Dunedin City Hotel.
Day 15: Dunedin, Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice Touring:
Journey along the coast to view the unique Moeraki Boulders, then head to Mt Cook National Park and join your selected Freedom of Choice Touring activity. Choose from a guided walk through the National Park, a discovery of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, or stargazing with expert astronomy guides. Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage.
Day 16: Lake Tekapo, Christchurch:
This morning stop at Lake Tekapo to visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built of local stone as a tribute to the regions’s early settlers. Travel through Burkes Pass to Christchurch, where your tour concludes on arrival.
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