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Experience the contrasts of New Zealand’s North and South Islands on a 17 day Best Buys guided expedition. Take in the beauty of Auckland, Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Southern Alps, Milford Sound, Queenstown plus more.
UNFORGETTABLE SIGHTSEEING EXPERIENCES
Day 1: Welcome to Auckland
After your airport transfer to your hotel, explore Auckland your way.
Evening enjoy a welcome reception with your Tour Director and fellow travellers.
Hotel: VR Queen Street, Auckland.
Day 2: Auckland to Bay of Islands
Depart Auckland and travel along the Hibiscus Coast to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Take a scenic cruise through game fishing waters to Cape Brett and, weather permitting, through the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ formation. The return cruise to Paihia meanders through picturesque islands – see deserted sandy beaches and secluded bays and keep your eyes peeled for the marine life.
Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort (Garden View), Bay of Islands. (B,D)
Day 3: Bay of Islands ‘Free Time’
Explore the Bay of Islands. Dolphin watch, catch a ferry to Russell, drive along the 90 Mile Beach, sail or sea-kayak. (B)
Day 4: Bay of Islands to Auckland
Enjoy a leisurely morning before travelling through lush farmlands on your way back to Auckland.
Hotel: VR Queen Street, Auckland. (B,D)
Day 5: Auckland to Rotorua
After an Auckland City Sights tour you trace the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing Glowworm Grotto by boat. Then arrive in Rotorua for an orientation tour.
Tonight enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi feast and concert at the Tamaki Family Marae.
Hotel: Ibis Hotel, Rotorua. (B,D)
Day 6: Rotorua Sights
Visit the Agrodome Sheep Show, then enjoy an afternoon of ‘Free Time’ – visit Rainbow Springs, abundant with Rainbow Trout and native fauna including the kiwi or Te Puia, where a local Maori will guide you through the Geothermal valley with its mud pools and geysers. (B)
Day 7: Rotorua to Wellington
View the Huka Falls, visit Taupo and drive along shores of its lake. Discover the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park and the dairy farms of Manawatu. Travel along the Kapiti Coast into Wellington, for a city tour.
Hotel: Travelodge, Wellington. (B,D)
Day 8: Wellington to Picton
A morning of ‘Free Time’, followed by a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Then you’ll cruise Queen Charlotte Sound and later travel to the seaside village of Picton.
Hotel: Beachcomber, Picton. (B,D)
Day 9: Picton to Christchurch
Get up close and personal with some New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point, watch whales at Kaikoura, (optional scenic Whale Watching flight) and travel across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
Hotel: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch. (B)
Day 10: Christchurch to Omarama
Free time to relax this morning. Later see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mt. Cook National Park (optional Mt. Cook scenic flight).
Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama. (B,D)
Day 11: Omarama to Dunedin
Your day starts along the Waitaki River with the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through Oamaru with its famous white limestone buildings to Dunedin, where you tour the city. Then you’ve got the afternoon to yourself – take a Wildlife Cruise, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City, Dunedin. (B,D)
Day 12: Dunedin to Te Anau
After a free morning, you’ll cross sheep-filled farming land to the South Island’s biggest lake and the town of Te Anau where tonight you can take an optional Glow Worm Caves tour.
Hotel: Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau. (B,D)
Day 13: Te Anau to Queenstown
Journey through Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound, where you will cruise on the waters of this natural wonder. See Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown for a sightseeing tour on arrival.
Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Queenstown, 2 nights. (B)
Day 14: Queenstown ‘Free Time’
Explore thrilling Queenstown your way – from wine tours to jet boat rides and white water rafting.
This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station for a gourmet barbecue ‘highlight dinner’ at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining after-dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life. Why not join in a sing-a-long on your cruise back to Queenstown. (B,HD)
Day 15: Queenstown to Franz Josef
The first stop is Arrowtown. Next is Cromwell to taste its sensational stone fruit. Then it’s a trio of lakes – Lake Dunstan, Hawea, Wanaka before you travel through Haast Pass, view Thunder Creek Falls and take a rainforest walk. Final stop is Franz Josef Glacier, a rare, still advancing glacier (an optional scenic flight is available).
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef. (B,D)
Day 16: Franz Josef to Christchurch
You’ll visit Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration first up then travel through Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast, to Arthur’s Pass to board the TranzAlpine, one of the top 6 train journeys in the world. This spectacular journey takes you through the Southern Alps and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
This evening celebrate your trip at a dinner with your Tour Director and new-found friends.
Hotel: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch. (B,D)
Day 17: Farewell from Christchurch
Your Holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You’ll be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)
WAS from £3575
First class touring with like minded travellers. Our experienced guides will make sure you don't miss a thing.
Your escorted tour includes: