Day 1: Arrive Auckland. Meet and transfer from the airport to your hotel. See Auckland your way until an evening Welcome Drink with your Tour Director and fellow travellers. Hotel: Stamford Plaza, Auckland.
Day 2: Auckland – Bay of Islands. Over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and up the scenic Hibiscus Coast. Walk among the Kauri trees, explore Whangarei, the northern–most city, then on to Paihia and the Bay of Islands where we’ll tour the historic Waitangi Treaty Reserve. Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Bay of Islands, 2 nights. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Bay of Islands ‘Free Time’. The day is yours to explore the Bay of Islands. Dolphin watch, catch a ferry to Russell, drive along the Ninety Mile Beach, sail or sea–kayak – whatever you like, then have a night on the town. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Bay of Islands – Auckland. Enjoy a scenic cruise through the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett and the ‘Hole in the Rock’. We’ll explore Urupukapuka Island then return to Auckland. Hotel: Stamford Plaza, Auckland. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Auckland – Rotorua. After an Auckland City Sights Tour, we trace the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves, where we’ll see the amazing Glow Worm Grotto. Our Rotorua orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight The Realm of Tãne, a Maori Hangi feast and Concert. Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, 2 nights. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Rotorua. Sparkling wine breakfast cruise on Lake Rotorua onboard the Lakeland Queen. On to the Agrodome Sheep Show and a sample of farm life. Visit Te Puia and be accompanied by a local Maori guide for a tour of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. An afternoon of ‘Free Time’. Spend tonight with a local family on a nearby farm for an additional charge per person and enjoy genuine New Zealand hospitality. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Rotorua – Wellington. From the mountains to the sea. View the Huka Falls. Visit Taupo and drive along the shores of its lake. Travel through the alpine scenery of Mt Ruapehu. Tongariro National Park. Manawatu. The Kapiti Coast. On our Wellington city sights tour see the city from Mt Victoria. Hotel: Novotel Capital, Wellington. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Wellington – Blenheim. A morning to explore Wellington your way. Visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, with time to discover it yourself. We cruise the tranquility of Queen Charlotte Sound. On to Picton then Blenheim for a city tour. Tonight we’ll enjoy a tasting, tour and dinner at Montana Winery. Hotel: Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Kaikoura – Christchurch. En route to Kaikoura, we pass the Grassmere Salt Works and see New Zealand Fur Seals at Ohau Point. Explore Kaikoura, maybe take an optional scenic Whale Watching flight. We travel to Christchurch via the Canterbury Plains. A City Tour, then it’s ‘Free Time’. Hotel: The Heritage Hotel, Christchurch. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Mt Cook. A ride on the Christchurch Tram. Then you’re free to go shopping or relax. Later we’ll see Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mt Cook National Park. Take an optional scenic flight over Mt Cook. Hotel: MacKenzie Country Inn – Deluxe Rooms, Twizel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 11: Dunedin. From the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam we travel through Oamaru to Dunedin, we tour the city and the afternoon is yours – take a Wildlife Cruise, visit the Cadbury Factory or ride the Taieri Gorge Railway – it’s up to you. Hotel: Southern Cross Hotel, Dunedin. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 12: Dunedin – Te Anau. A guided tour of New Zealand’s only castle – Larnach Castle – and its gardens begins the day. Across fertile farming land to Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau. The Te Anau Glow Worm Caves is an option tonight. Hotel: Village Inn, Te Anau. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 13: Milford Sound. From Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound, we’ll see Mirror Lakes, Claudu Valley, The Chasm, Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls and more. We travel along Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown for an orientation tour and group photo. For dinner you may choose to dine at the Skyline Restaurant on Bob’s Peak. Access is via the steepest Gondola in the Southern Hemisphere and there’ll be the Kiwi Haka Maori Show as well! Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights. Includes: (B).
Day 14: Queenstown ‘Free Time’. Explore action adventure Queens town for yourself. Take it easy with wine or garden tours. Or go wild with jet boat rides or white water rafting. Dinner and a sheep shearing demonstration is at Walter Peak Sheep Station via New Zealand’s oldest steamship – the TSS Earnslaw – across Lake Wakatipu and back after dinner. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 15: Franz Josef. First stop – historic gold mining town, Arrowtown. Second stop Cromwell and its sensational stone fruit. Then it’s a trio of lakes – Lake Dunstan, Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka, Haast Pass, Thunder Creek Falls. A small rainforest walk. Then Franz Josef Glacier – the world’s most accessible glacier. Plus the opportunity to take a scenic flight, if you choose. Hotel: Franz Josef Glacier Hotel, Franz Josef. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 16: TranzAlpine – Christchurch. Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), is first up, with a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. On to Greymouth and inland to Arthur’s Pass where we’ll board one of the top 6 train journeys in the world – the TranzAlpine – which travels through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. Hotel: The Heritage Hotel, Christchurch. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 17: Depart Christchurch. Explore Christchurch as you wish until we transfer you to Christchurch Airport. Includes: (B).
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Australia and Oceania New Zealand Local Culture Cultural Journey Multi-activity