The ultimate voyage of discovery in 14 unforgettable days. Your grand tour covers the length and breadth of both islands with visits to all the major attractions and places of interest.
UNFORGETTABLE SIGHTSEEING EXPERIENCES
Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch
On arrival in Christchurch you’ll be transferred to your hotel. You have today at leisure before a welcome reception and dinner with your Tour Director and fellow travellers.
Hotel: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch. (D)
Day 2: Christchurch to Franz Josef
This morning you’ll board the TranzAlpine, one of the top 6 train journeys in the world. This spectacular railway takes you across the Canterbury Plains and through the Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass. Later, visit Hokitika home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit to see local artists at work. Next stop is Franz Josef Glacier – a rare, still advancing glacier (optional scenic Franz Josef Glacier flight available)
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing), Franz Josef. (B,D)
Day 3: Franz Josef to Queenstown
Travel through the Haast Pass. See Thunder Creek Falls, take a rainforest walk and then it’s a trio of lakes – Wanaka, Hawea, Dunstan. Next up try sumptuous stone fruit at a Cromwell orchard. Later, you’ll visit historic gold mining Arrowtown on the Arrow River, previously one of the world’s richest rivers. On arrival in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure-capital, you’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour.
Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Queenstown. (B)
Day 4: Queenstown ‘Free Time’
Explore exciting Queenstown your way, all day. From wine tours to jet boat rides and white water rafting, Queenstown will surprise and exhilarate. 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,D)
Day 5: Queenstown to Te Anau
Travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. You’ll be awe-struck by the great sights of Fiordland National Park on your journey to Milford Sound, one of the world’s most amazing places, where you’ll take a spectacular cruise on this natural wonder. En route you’ll have abundant photo opportunities at the Chasm, Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Return to lakeside Te Anau, where you have the option to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.
Hotel: Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau. (B,D)
Day 6: Te Anau to Dunedin
Cross sheep-filled farming land to Dunedin for a city tour. With ‘Free Time’ this afternoon, consider a wildlife cruise to see the Penguins and Royal Albatross, a visit the Cadbury Factory or ride the Taieri Gorge Railway.
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City. (B,D)
Day 7: Dunedin to Omarama
You have the opportunity to visit Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Travel through Oamaru, famous for its limestone buildings, passing the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and the Benmore Dam on your way to Omarama.
Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama. (B,D)
Day 8: Omarama to Christchurch
Soak up the scenery of Mt. Cook National Park (optional scenic flight available). See Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and travel across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch to explore the rebuild of this fascinating city.
Hotel: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch. (B)
Day 9: Christchurch to Picton
Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, famous for its whales (optional whale watching flight is available). Get up close and personal with some New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point. Pass the Grassmere Salt Works then travel to the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton for an orientation tour.
Hotel: Beachcomber, Picton. (B,D)
Day 10: Picton to Wellington
Cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to Wellington for a city tour before ‘Free Time’ and then you’ll visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, where you’ll have time to explore New Zealand’s nature, art, history and cultural heritage.
Hotel: Travelodge, Wellington. (B,D)
Day 11: Wellington to Rotorua
Travel along the Kapiti Coast, past the dairy farms of Manawatu to Tongariro National Park and discover the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu. Visit Taupo and drive along the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. View Huka Falls and pass the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station.
Tonight enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi feast and concert and gain an insight into Maori culture.
Hotel: Ibis Hotel, Rotorua (B,D)
Day 12: Rotorua Sights
Visit the Agrodome Sheep Show, the multi-award-winning stage show, for a sample of farm life where you’ll gain an exciting and informative insight into agriculture in New Zealand. See the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog demonstrations, cow milking, bottle feeding of lambs and an exciting sheep auction.
Then enjoy an afternoon of ‘Free Time’ – perhaps 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 13: Rotorua to Auckland
This morning travel through lush Waikato farmland to Waitomo Caves. See the amazing underground Glowworm Grotto by boat and walk through the limestone caves. Later you’ll follow the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river, into Auckland. Enjoy views from Mt. Eden before continuing to your hotel.
This evening celebrate your holiday at a dinner with your Tour Director.
Hotel: VR Queen Street, Auckland. (B,D)
Day 14: Farewell from Auckland
Your Holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You’ll be transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight. (B)
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Your escorted tour includes: