New Zealand Highlighter
Day 1 Arrive Auckland - Freedom of choice sightseeing
When you arrive at Auckland airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel, then discover the 'City of Sails'. Perhaps climb Auckland's Harbour Bridge, visit Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, cruise Waitemata Harbour or enjoy a relaxing massage. Overnight at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel. Meal included: feature dinner
Day 2 Auckland to Rotorua, Hangi feast.
Leave Auckland for the Waitomo region, home to the worldrenowned glow-worm caves. We discover this natural wonder on a guided tour of the limestone caverns, before continuing to Rotorua. This evening, the Tamaki Maori Village welcomes us as we experience the dance, music and fascinating culture of the Maori people at a traditional Hangi feast. Overnight at the Holiday Inn. Meals included: breakfast, feature dinner
Day 3 Rotorua - Freedom of Choice sightseeing
A free day; choose from a relaxing spa treatment in the mud from Rotorua's geothermal region, experience the icons of Rotorua at Te Puia Thermal Reserve, enjoy an entertaining and educational Agrodome Farm show, a 'Hobbiton Movie Set' tour or a thrilling 4WD bush safari through beautiful native rainforest. Perhaps spend tonight on a Country Homestay (see below - must be prebooked). Overnight at the Holiday Inn. Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Alternatively a Country Homestay option is available tonight: Immerse yourself in friendly local culture and discover the true spirit of New Zealand. In Rotorua, you have the opportunity to experience the hospitality of rural New Zealand with an overnight stay in a family home, at no extra cost. Breakfast and dinner are included. You will be picked up by the family from the hotel in the afternoon and return to join the group after breakfast the next morning. Please request this option at the time of booking.
Day 4 Rotorua to Wellington.
Depart Rotorua and travel through a region abundant with geothermal activity, crystal clear lakes and streams, natural spas and rich Maori culture. Visit Lake Taupo and thundering Huka Falls with its striking blue water. Our journey then takes us across the vast volcanic plateau of World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park en route to Wellington, the national capital. Tonight, enjoy the choice of a great range of dining options. Overnight at the Amora Hotel. Meals included: breakfast, freedom of choice dinner
Day 5 Wellington - Freedom of Choice sightseeing
A free day in Wellington - choose from a selection of included sightseeing activities. Perhaps enjoy a Wellington city highlights tour, or an enthralling visit to Zealandia: Karori Eco Sanctuary. Take a 'Lord of the Rings' set tour or visit the Carter Observatory and Planetarium. Overnight at the Amora Hotel. Meal included: breakfast.
Day 6 Wellington to Kaikoura
Named after Captain James Cook, the first European to sail through the narrow body of water in 1770, Cook Strait separates the North and South islands. The Interislander ferry journey is one of the most picturesque cruises in the world, passing through Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds. Once in Picton, we travel to Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching, before arriving in Methven. Overnight at the Methven Resort. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.
Day 7 Methven to Franz Josef
Today is sure to be a highlight of your New Zealand journey. Rated as one of the greatest scenic rail journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine Train takes us through river valleys and across the magnificent Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. Re-boarding our coach, we drive down the breath-taking west coast where you'll marvel at majestic Franz Josef Glacier. Overnight at the Scenic Hotel. Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Day 8 Franz Josef to Queenstown
Enjoy a day of incredible scenery as you travel along the Haast River, capturing views of the towering peaks, waterfalls and rainforest in the massive glacier-formed Haast River Valley as we make our way to Queenstown. Overnight at the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside. Meals included: breakfast, freedom of choice dinner.
Day 9 Queenstown - Freedom of Choice sightseeing
Tailor your sightseeing today in Queenstown. Options include a thrilling Shotover Jet boat ride deep into river canyons, indulging in some of Central Otago's finest wines, or enjoying a Safari of the Scenes tour taking in all the Queenstown locations from the famous 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy.. Overnight at the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside. Meal included: breakfast
Day 10 Queenstown to Te Anau
Journey along the Milford Road this morning, as it winds its way down the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys, then through the Homer Tunnel. As we exit the tunnel we'll be met by the sight of dramatic scenery. Cruise the full length of Milford Sound - a must on any visit to New Zealand. Then drive to Te Anau. Overnight at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas. Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Day 11 Te Anau to Dunedin
Today we travel across New Zealand's south island to the east coast and Dunedin with its strong Scottish heritage. This afternoon, discover Dunedin, known as the Edinburgh of the south, with your chosen included activity. Perhaps learn the art of brewing beer at Speight's Brewery or take a ride aboard the historic Taieri Gorge Railway. Overnight at the Scenic Hotel Dunedin City. Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Day 12 Dunedin to Mt Cook
We head north today along New Zealand's east coast, stopping to view the unusual spherical-shaped Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach, before continuing to Mt Cook National Park. Here, tailor your sightseeing and perhaps enjoy a visit to the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre, with its digital planetarium or join a guided nature walk through the wilderness of Mt Cook National Park and discover the spectacular landscapes, wildlife, flora and fauna of this region on foot. Overnight at The Hermitage. Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Day 13 Mt Cook to Christchurch
Leaving the snow-capped mountains of Mt Cook National Park behind, we travel by coach to Lake Tekapo. Here, we'll visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built of locally gathered stone and oak as a tribute to the regions early pioneers. Overnight at The Ashley Hotel. Meals included: breakfast, dinner.
Day 14 Depart Christchurch
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Christchurch before an included transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Meal included: breakfast.
Bay of Islands Extension
To complete you North Island experience, a 3 night Bay of Islands extension is available. Your tour will start 3 days earlier than our dates shown opposite.
Day 1 Auckland arrival & overnight
Itinerary as shown above
Day 2 Auckland to Bay of Islands
Cross Auckland's busy Harbour Bridge and travel along the Hibiscus Coast to Matakohe's Kauri Museum. Then journey to the Bay of Islands and visit the Waitangi Treaty House, Maori Meeting House and War Canoe. Overnight at the Copthorne Waitangi Resort.
Day 3 Bay of Islands
Today in the beautiful Bay of Islands, you choose your own sightseeing activity from the Freedom of Choice Touring options. You may like to drive along the sands of ninety mile beach on a Cape Reinga Day tour or step back in time aboard the R. Tucker Thompson sailing. Overnight at the Copthorne Waitangi Resort. Overnight Cruise option also available tonight (surcharge applies, details on request)
Day 4 Bay of Islands to Auckland
Explore the Bay of Islands on a cruise to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock. Returning to Paihia, your coach will then take you to Auckland. Overnight at the at the Rendezvous Hotel.
Day 5 Continue with itinerary as shown
(day 2 onwards)